Saturday, December 20, 2014

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The Sin of Man
          Recently, I was encouraged to concentrate more on the love of Jesus rather than the sin of man in my writings.  As I contemplated upon this idea, I began to consider this question: Are the two subjects really mutually exclusive, or inclusive, of one another?  Can the two truly be separated from one another without causing a serious perversion of the word of God?  God is a loving God, but He is also a just God.  Even as I seek to gain a greater understanding of God’s love for us and our responsibility to seek God’s forgiveness, I question my ability to get to the root of this.  I know this one thing that prevails over all understanding, and that is that God’s ways are higher than ours.  Learning to truly follow the Lord in all our ways is not an immediate acquisition for any of us, for it is a lifelong process, a journey that can never be completed as long as we are in these mortal bodies.  And yet it is a journey that is worth the taking in order to draw nearer to the Lord, and learn what it means to love the Lord with all our mind, heart, and strength.  Do I think that I will come to a full understanding by the time I will have finished this paper?  I am sure that I will not, but I pray that in some small way, I may at least gain a partial understanding.

          This is my dilemma: What are the criterion for being judgmental, as opposed to using good judgment to discern and confront sin, to give or receive, rebuke, reproof, or correction as an individual believer, and within the body of Christ as a whole?  Where shall I begin?  Perhaps the best place is with the statement that we hear thrown around so frequently these days towards anyone that directs attention to, or makes an attempt to confront sin: “Judge not lest ye be judged…”  More often than not, that is meant to silence any further mention of sin, and end any further discussion of the possibility of its existence, or the need for godly discipline and restraint based upon God’s system of ethics and morality.  Just by chance, could man’s desire to be “unshackled” from God’s restraints, be the very cause of our increasing acceptance of mankind’s relativism and secular world standard of ethics and immorality?

          Our present decent into being conformed by the ways of the world is a tool of Satan that is rapidly turning us away from God.  I speak here of Christians, for unbelievers do not profess to believe in our God or His ways.  Through manipulation and intimidation, we are being taught and indoctrinated to believe that God’s ways are evil.  Sentimentality and a false sense of compassion are being used to cause us to discard and reject God’s standards of absolute right and wrong.  Proclaim that something is a sin based upon the word of God, and you will be accused of being judgmental, and labeled, even by some who profess to be Christians, as an intolerant hater, and a self righteous bigot.  Things have gone so far that some pastors, who still claim to be Christians, are teaching their congregation that there is no Hell, in other words, there are no consequences for practicing sin.  In fact, the new Catholic Pope is even teaching that atheists, as long as they are “men of goodwill,” will go to Heaven.  Don’t take my word for it; Google and verify it for yourself.  It may be that this conclusion is based on the unbiblical doctrine that Jesus died for the sins of the world, disregarding the biblical teaching that salvation requires that we believe in Jesus as the Son of God who paid for our sins on the cross.  We are all too ready to accept His love, but we don’t want to accept the fact that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

            Can we be judgmental towards one another?  Without a doubt!  However, it can not be automatically assumed, when someone rebukes or criticizes us, that they can be rightly accused of being judgmental.  In my own experience, I have found that it isn’t “comfortable” to be on the receiving or the giving end of criticism, but I have learned one thing.  No matter who delivers the criticism, their intent, or whether it is true or not, it can be viewed as a kindness.  Criticism, especially if it is delivered in love, can be an instrument to deliver rebuke, reproof, or correction to direct our path away from sin and back to an acceptable path in the Lord, to produce His intended good in our lives.  I am not always successful at receiving criticism with this positive attitude, but it is my desire to endeavor to learn to do so.  The following is a precious scripture that can melt our hearts and turn our lives around.  “Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness.  And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it.  For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.” (Psalm 141: 5)  Maybe that scripture provides a key to understanding the difference between being judgmental, as opposed to receiving correction for confrontation of sin for our own good.  Perhaps it lies in the condition of the heart being changed, led, and disciplined by the power of the Holy Spirit, and having a willingness to die to yourself and submit to the will of God.

          I know that it has become very popular, even within the body of Christ, to concentrate on the love of Christ without mention of man’s responsibility to acknowledge and confess his sin.  By ignoring sin, do we not remove the reality that we are responsible for our choices and actions, and the consequences of both?  We are saved by the grace of God, but does that mean that we then have the ‘freedom’ to do as we will without regard to the will of God?  I’m certain that my search for truth and understanding, no matter what the topic, will not be complete here, for God is ever at work to reveal more and more of His truth as we go through this journey of life.  Somehow, I believe that this connection between the love of Jesus and justice, or confrontation of sin is very much related to the scripture that says: “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.”  (II Tim. 4: 3, 4)  In other words, mankind will only want to hear what makes him feel comfortable about his own choices whether they are acceptable to God or not.  More and more, we live with a limited and distorted view of life, as if this present earthly life is of greater importance than what God has planned for our far greater eternal life.  We have become satisfied with settling for fast food instant gratification, instead of waiting patiently for the greater dining experience gained through the meticulous preparations of the Master Chef.  We have forgotten the rewards for laying up our riches in Heaven, instead of living just for the present.  We have become like Esau who, for the instant gratification of obtaining one meal, relinquished his inheritance that would have been his.  Oh how limited our vision becomes.  “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Prov. 9: 8) 

          Can we really say that we are living lives to give glory and honor to God, while we choose to fulfill our own desires rather than living in obedience to the Lord?   Yet, more often than not, those who would strive to remind us that we should turn away from the sin in our lives, are being labeled as self righteous haters and judgmental bigots.  It seems that we relish hearing all about Jesus’ love for us as unconditional, but we do not want to be told that if we truly love Him, we will seek to be obey Him, to be doers of His word and not just hearers. 

          It seems that each of us, as individuals, is less willing to ask the Lord to “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.” (Psalm 139: 23, 24)  If we would start with self examination for the Lord’s correction for ourselves, perhaps their may be less of a need for it to be delivered through another source.  However, we can be sure that whether we acknowledge that sin in our lives or not, there will be consequences.  God’s judgment and chastisement is not meant for our harm, but for our good that we might be sorry for the wrong we’ve done and turn back to him.  Unless we “sorrow to repentance,” (II Cor. 7:9, 10) and turn away from sin, we will only continue to sink deeper, and suffer the consequences that brings great harm and damage to ourselves.  Our conscience will eventually become so seared that we no longer perceive our sin as wrong doing, but just accept it as the new “normal” in our life.

          If we will not discern the sin in our lives for ourselves, in His mercy and love, God will confront us of its existence.  The important thing is not how the criticism, or rebuke, is delivered, but rather how we choose to respond.  Yes, the reproof may sting all the way to our very core, but isn’t it good if it comes to shed light into our life that the darkness may be exposed?  No one wants a cancer to remain hidden until it’s too late and the terminal damage has been done.  If we allow it to remain and grow, sin is more deadly than a physical disease, for it can produce, not just physical death, but spiritual and eternal death.

          What has happened to the responsibility of delivering reproof, rebuke, and correction within the body of Christ?  Does it even exist anymore?  Within I Cor. Chapter 5, an example is given of the procedure to follow to confront sin when it exists within the church.  As a last resort, it teaches that the unrepentant sinner should be expelled from the church in hopes that he/she eventually would realize what was lost, repent, and return, seeking forgiveness in order to be welcomed back into the fold.  Do we see this happening in our churches today?  Scripture tells us that God chastises His children because He loves us.  “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12: 8)  Unfortunately, many are not “sons,” for we have not loved Him enough to have ears to hear and yield to His chastisement when it is delivered.  It is not popular to even mention sin, much less administer any discipline for it.  Not wanting to be cast into the image of one who is judgmental, discipline within the body is often forsaken, and many are going down the “wide path” that leads to destruction.  In these new “enlightened” times, where the authority and absolutes of the Bible are questioned, we find it easier to either ignore or redefine that which is considered to be sin.  It seems we have become more interested in becoming so inclusive and tolerant, that we have decided to make the Bible agree with what we say is or is not sin, instead of emphatically standing in agreement with the Word, God’s infallible truth.

          Again I ask, what are the true criteria for recognizing when we are, as individuals or as the body of Christ, actually behaving in a judgmental way, or when we are just using good judgment to discern the difference between good and evil to confront the practice of sin?  I don’t mean to infer that it’s easy to give or receive discipline, rebuke, reproof, or correction.  It’s probably one of the hardest responsibilities to obey as Christians.  There are many churches today which are gung ho when it comes to being active in “doing good works” for the Lord, but don’t want to hear about removing sin from the body.  If doing good works is all that is important, then all we need do is join the nearest community social justice activist club.  We can all save ourselves by becoming the best community organizers, acting out our role of compassionate service to help our fellow man.  However, the results of that will be exactly what God has said it would create: “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.”

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

(II Tim. 3: 1-5, 7) 

          Doing good works is a good thing.  Wanting to serve and help our fellow man is a charitable thing to do, and should be an outward sign of the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  However, if our works are done as a service to mankind to bring glory to ourselves, instead of doing them as unto our Lord, that we may give glory and honor to Him, then we have not loved the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength, putting Him first in thought, word, and deed. Many will declare that “true religion” is exhibited by doing good works.  But in doing so, they have ignored the last part of the scripture:

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  What a world of difference it makes when we consider the meaning of the scripture in context and in its entirety.  If we believe that the word of God is true, and meant for our instruction and correction, then we must admit that our choices and actions are important in demonstrating our love for God and His ways.  It’s important to understand: “And be not  conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God ” (Romans 12: 2)  Man’s ways are relative, ever changing.  Either we are going to adapt and live according to man’s ethical and moral (or immoral) system, or we are going to put our trust in God, and commit ourselves to Christ’s ethical and moral system, not that of the world.  True faith means nothing if we live no differently than the rest of the unbelieving world.  Remember, “If a house be divided against itself, that house can not stand.”(Mark 3:25)  “…For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”  “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1: 6, 8)  A believer is sanctified and changed more into the image of God as he/she studies and obeys the word of God.  “…Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it;  That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5: 25b- 27)

          The Word of God is a two edged sword that will, as we apply its truth to our lives, cut away those things from our lives that are not pleasing to the Lord.  Jesus loved us so much that He gave His life for us that we might be forgiven and reconciled to a right relationship with God our Father through faith in the Son of God.  What greater love could we ever have poured out toward us?  If we truly love Him in return, would we not show it by dying to our selves?  What does that mean?  As I understand it, we choose to let go of anything that would come between the Lord and us; we yield our will to His will, that we may receive His best for us.  All of us are sinners, for all have fallen short of the mark.  All have been born with a sinful nature because we live in a fallen world.  None of us will ever become sinless until we see the Lord face to face, and He gives to us a glorified body.  But it is our purpose in life to yield our lives to Him that He may perfect us.  A great part of this love relationship between us and the Lord involves confession of our sins to Him that we may be forgiven through the blood of Jesus, for there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood.  There is no sinless person in all of time, past, present or future, that can grant forgiveness of sin, except Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, crucified to pay for our sins, and resurrected, made alive, and sits at the right hand of God the Father, ever interceding on our behalf.

          I am sure this is not the last time that I will visit this topic to try to understand more fully.  One thing is always true about the word of God; every time we read it, the Lord always has another nugget of His truth to reveal to us that somehow we missed before.  Then too, He has blessed me with wonderful Spirit filled brothers and sisters.  Each of them has played a part in contributing to drawing me closer to the Lord over the years.  After reading my paper, upon a request for further insight, my older brother responded with some thoughts of his own.  As always, he had further wisdom from the word of the Lord.  With his permission, I share it with each of you. In just a few words, he has wrapped it all up with the most important element of all – the Holy Spirit:

          “The Lord sets the standards for judgments, and we have to seek the discernment of and how to apply them to ourselves and others.  There are variables in our discernments.  Sometimes it is a choice of a lesser sin to deal with before we confront the greater sins that the Holy Spirit must confront.  We are the ‘little helpers’ and HE-THE-SPIRIT is the effective, Big helper that makes discernment and transformation work in us.  Being in the Spirit” sums up all the criteria that Jesus teaches.”

          One of my greatest sins that I constantly find myself battling against is worry and being anxious.  You would think, after all this time, I would be able to recognize it when it pops its head up within me, for it always brings with it a spirit of heaviness and a false burden.  By my ‘old sinful nature,’ I tend to want to ‘fix’ people, wanting to rescue them from themselves or the consequences of their choices or actions.  Now isn’t that ironic?  I am in need of so much ‘fixing’ myself!  What did Jesus tell us?  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phlp. 4: 6 – 8)  It is God alone who sets the agenda and gives the right answer at the right time.  When we see friends or loved ones either in a ‘trap,’ or headed for one, it is a natural instinct to want to reach out and rescue them, not because we are so wise, but often because we ourselves were once ensnared by the very same thing.  But no matter how much we want to save ourselves or someone else from the harm to come, no one can do anything of any real significance unless the Lord has first prepared their heart.  Neither you nor I can afford to go out ahead of the Lord.  No matter how good our intentions, the results are always in His hands and not in our own.  When I think of all the many times that my own paths have been averted from sinking into the miry clay of sin, even though I may not have realized it until after the fact, the Lord had always first prepared my heart, and then given me ears to hear His truth, that it might be effective in my life.  Unless we ourselves have first come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, to hunger and thirst to know the Lord and His Word, we will not see our need for Him.  Neither can any of us create that hungering within someone else.  We can but pray that the Holy Spirit will work in our own life and the life of others, and then, depend upon the Lord and His timing, as He chooses whose hands to use to be His ‘little helpers’ to lead another to Him.  At the right time, He will give us His words to speak that they may be effective.  Without His leading, we will only walk in the mindless circles of the confusion of this world.

          As we see the world crumbling down around us, and we cry out for the sake of ourselves and others, we must remember the first principle – take it to the Lord, and then remember not to turn around and try to pick up that burden again, for the battle is the Lord’s.  Trying to ‘fix’ people, even ourselves, is not a burden that God has given to us.  It is a false burden that Satan uses to try to wear down the army of God to make us weary and ineffective.  God’s timing, correcting, planting, and harvest are His.  Our ‘hands and hearts’ are only helpful when it is He who has led the way and directed our paths.  He must go before, and we must follow.  Then and only then will we become the “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”(Isaiah 61: 3)

          Lord, teach me that I might know Thy ways.  Let me not be judgmental, but to have good judgment in discerning good and evil.  Teach each of us Lord to obey Thy will that we may follow the straight and narrow path to Thee through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Help each of us Lord to study Thy word that we may be transformed more and more into Thy image, by the washing of the water of your word, and the power of Your Holy Spirit.  To God be the glory, great things He has done.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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Demonic Influence

          There is more documentation for the Bible than for all of the other ancient books combined.  That is because it is the Word of God, given that His people may know: His will and power, peace and love, and for our power over the enemy (Satan and his minions); powers and principalities of the air. " 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."[1] 

          I believe in God because He has revealed and proven Himself to me.  He leads and guides me into all truth, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as I learn to yield my will to His. In His truth there is no wavering, and His truth resides within me.  I feel sorry for those who do not possess this same confidence in the Lord.  A biblically literate Christian knows that those who practice witchcraft and other forms of sorcery have several forms of power, and that those forms of power are provided by the demons that control those people, due to their choices. "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord:"[2].

          What happens when someone calls on those demonic forces to cast a curse, or spell,  against a Holy Spirit filled Christian?  First, we must realize that the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian.  That means that anyone casting that spell or curse is doing so against the dwelling place of the Lord of the universe.  Second, we know that evil spirits (demons, minions of Satan, etc.) are not loyal to anyone or anything except Satan.  They know who the Lord of the universe is, and they fear Him.  They simply do not have the ability to honor or the will to obey Him.  "This is what’s going on when humans boast of having supernatural powers on earth. No matter what they call themselves—witch, sorcerer, medium, warlock or some other fancy title—they have as much power over you as you have over the planet Mars. They simply can’t do anything to harm you on their own. Instead, they are completely dependent on demons to give them the illusion of power. If they chant some “sacred” bit of baloney and at the same time a demon hurls a knife at your head, then naturally you’re going to feel a bit nervous around that person. Your flawed human logic will tell you that whenever two earthly events happen so close together, they must be related. You’ll conclude that the first event caused the second to happen, therefore the spell really worked. No, it didn’t. A human mumbled a bunch of baloney and then a demon threw a knife at your head. These were two separate, unrelated events. The demon simply timed his actions to create the illusion that the human has supernatural powers. Now Satan has an ego that’s bigger than this whole universe, so why on earth would he ever want us to take the glory for the things he has done? Because as long as we think we’ve got magical powers, we’ll never be interested in Jesus."[3]  The Bible tells us about the "Whole Armor of God" which consists of the Helmet of Salvation, the Breast Plate of righteousness, the Shield of Faith, the Belt of Truth, the Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) and the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace.

When we are equipped with the Whole Armor of God, the Satanic and demonic forces cannot prevail against us.  Demonic suggestion, demonic ideology, demonic obsession and demonic influence can all have effects on the life of a Christian; however, a Christian cannot be controlled or possessed by a demon, because he has willingly yielded the possession and control of his life to God.  The Bible tells us that we must put on the full armor of God, in order to be able to stand against the fiery darts of the enemy.  That means it is a conscious decision to use this armor.  The life of a Christian can be made miserable by demonic influence if that Christian does not know about this armor, as his rightful possession. Study of the Word of God is the answer to this lack.  Christians are not pacifists, they are Christian Soldiers; warriors in the army of God. There are instances, such as protection of family, where physical warfare is authorized, however, for the most part, the warfare a Christian is involved in is spiritual.  Just as , when the demons saw Jesus, they said: "We know who you are, the Son Of God", demons can sense or see the Holy Spirit's presence in the Spirit filled Christian.  

          God established Israel, while the rest of the world established itself. Abraham sought after God, and God accepted Abraham. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance."[5] The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that it's the TRIBAL MENTALITY, like the Native Americans used to have and is so prevalent in the middle east today. "From whence come wars and fighting among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?"[6]  Tribalism doesn't get along with civilization. The Lord and Creator of the universe represents civilization.  We can see, throughout the pages of the Bible, the Lord drawing man from tribalism to life in a civilized and orderly manor. We can see that God took the Hebrew tribe of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and built them into the nation of Israel.  Ethnicity and national origin has nothing to do with it. Culture has everything to do with it.  Tribes, throughout history, have made up gods to suit their perceived needs.  The satanic influences are more than willing to fulfill these needs.  They will do anything they deem necessary, to keep people from getting to know the real God of Heaven. Yes, there really is a conspiracy here.  Those who, for whatever reason, ignore God, substitute false gods, or reject the true God, are therefore open to be subject to those demonic influences. 

          Spirit filled Christians desire to turn over and submit their will and life to Jesus. Paul tells us that it is a constant struggle within us, to overcome the sinful nature we were born with.  “If any man comes to Me and does not have much more love for Me than for his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be My follower." Luke 14:26 NLV[7]   The King James states it this way, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."   Hated, in this verse, means held in relative disregard in comparison with the other.  If we do not place God as first place in our life, where and in what place do we put Him?  He desires to be first, and any other position is not acceptable.  The Lord is Jealous of anything that is placed before Him.[8]

          To sum up, there really is demonic influence in the world. I don't fully understand why God has given Satan dominion over this world, but the Bible tells us Adam and Eve were deceived by the devil, and gave in to it. This gave Satan the right to have influence in the world.  I do know that this life is essentially a test for the next life.  If God had placed us in this world, without the influence of Satan being here, how much of a test would that have been? The Lord gave us "free will" so that we could choose to accept either good or evil.  He also gave us the ability to know the difference.  In His Word, He instructs us to choose good over evil, life over death and Him above all else.  Because He gave us "free will" it is up to each of us to make his own individual decision.  He, Himself said, that there is now only one way be accepted into the kingdom for Heaven. That one and only way is through accepting Jesus (who is the Lord's Christ) as your Lord and Savior.[9] Jesus told us to spread the Good News, of His Salvation, throughout the world, so that everyone who accepts Him will be saved.

[1] Ephesians 6:12
[2] Deuteronomy 18:10-12
[4] I was unable to find the original source of this artwork, in order to give proper credit
[5] Psalm 33:12
[6] James 4:1
[7] New Life Version
[9] John3:16. Romans 10:9-14

Sunday, December 7, 2014

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Fundamentally Transforming America

Fundamentally Transforming America:

And the Blame Game Wheel of Sin Goes Round and Round

          To be honest, I feel that it's important to let the reader know that I am a white conservative, and a born again Christian with a Biblical world view.  I do not accept the politically correct standards set by secular humanists that see things from a man centered world view, having little or no need for God or His ways.  I say this, not from a self righteous, holier than thou attitude, but merely to make clear the vantage point from whence I take my stand.  Speaking from a biblical world view means that I do believe that God’s moral standards for absolute right and wrong are true for all generations, and His standards do not change or waver.  One can always put his trust in God, for He remains steadfast, true, and forever dependable established from the beginning of time, regardless of culture or place.  Whereas, the standards for right and wrong in the secular humanist point of view is relative and varies from generation to generation, and changes continually as man makes up his own standards as he goes along.  In the secular humanist point of view, each man is allowed to create his own source of ‘light,’ or path to follow, with no hindrance from God.  There is no true path, for all paths are right.  “A man’s ways are right in his own eyes.” (Prov. 21: 2)  The secular humanist sees God and His ways as a hindrance to his “liberty” to “Do as thou wilt;” therefore, his goal necessarily is the pursuit to remove all reasons to acknowledge the existence of sin and Hell, and to extol  mankind as being basically good, having no need for repentance, forgiveness, or a Savior.  Placing man, and not God, as the measure of all things enables man, in effect, to be his own god and set his own standard or path to his own ‘light,’ according to his own will.

          For the born again Christian, God is the measure of all things.  Speaking for myself, my trust is in Jesus as my Savior and Lord who has proclaimed: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6)  “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I say unto you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they be born again.’” (John 3: 3)  Jesus said: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.  For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”(John 3: 14 – 21)  For the born again believer, true liberty is found only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, who forgives all his sins, and sets him free from the chains of sin and death.  “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (liberty).” (II Cor. 3:17) 

          I have revealed the foundations which influence the formation of my views, in an effort to remove doubt concerning where I stand.  My faith in the Lord, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the truth of His word, is what I depend upon to reshape my heart, soul and mind.  That is a lifelong process.  Since my life on earth has not yet ended, I can not claim that I know everything; however, I can proclaim, with solid assurance, that I do know the One who does know everything.  I depend upon His mercy and grace to continue that good work which He has begun in me, knowing it will not be completed until the day I see Him face to face, and He gives me an eternal glorified body.  I am far from perfect, but through His love, grace, and the power of His Holy Spirit, I am being perfected.

          Having the knowledge concerning where I stand, you may or may not want to read any further.  If you stand firmly upon the beliefs of the secular humanistic world view, you must be aware that our views may be farther apart than the North Pole is from the South Pole.  If you are looking for views that will only agree with the mind set based upon the politically correct standards of this present time, then you must necessarily search for other venues, for that is not what you will find here.  With God’s help and guidance, I refuse to bow down and worship at that altar.  However, if you’re not against opening your eyes and heart to other possibilities, feel free to read on.

                   People used to be proud of America, and proud of being an American.  American exceptionality, American patriotism, pride in the American flag, God and country, and biblical standards for family, community, and national traditional values were seen as good things.  Every immigrant was eager to learn the English language and be assimilated into our society as quickly as possible, taking great pride in becoming an “American”, not a “Hyphenated - American.”  Even more importantly, there once was greater unity when the majority of the people were greatly influenced by the moral absolutes of the Judeo-Christian standards, even if they were not all believers in the Judeo-Christian religions.  It was in that atmosphere that civil rights were greatly expanded, based upon the belief that all men are created equal in the eyes of God, and given certain inalienable rights by Him, not by the government. "One nation under God," in our pledge of allegiance, and on our currency, was widely believed and supported.  Believe it or not, our constitution acknowledges the existence and guidance from our Creator God.

          However, during the ‘60’s, as the 'free love,' and the man centered mantra of "Do as you will!" {not as God wills} exploded upon the scene; there arose an increasingly secular humanistic and broadening atheistic element in society that has been determined to remove the God of the Bible from every part of the public arena.  It is not surprising then that America, in its increased endeavor to forget God and His ways as a nation, is now shaken and shattered into multi factions, each one caring more for its own selfish interests than for the good of the country as a whole.  It has become popular to find fault and criticize, instead of looking for and being thankful for the good that has been done in and by our nation.  What country has been and continues to be known for its generosity when others have been in need?  Yet, today all good accomplishments are continually being downplayed, trashed, or totally ignored all together. 

          More often now, our politically correct media and those that support and follow them, choose to dig up all the ills and sins of our past as a nation.  We now
have a president that has made it one of his priorities to proclaim abroad all of
our short comings, virtually ignoring our good characteristics and positive
influence upon the world at large.  In this politically correct world, we must
not only deny any American exceptionality, but we should also be ashamed and
apologize to the rest of the world for ever holding such an arrogant point of
view.  Pres. Obama even went so far as to proclaim that America is not a Christian nation (even though it was deemed to be just that by our Supreme Court), and that Islam has always played a vibrant and contributing part in our society.   Should we be surprised?  No!  He is only doing what he promised: to fundamentally transform America and redistribute wealth.  He never lied about that part of his agenda. However, did he keep his promise to be a unifier for all Americans?  In my opinion, he and his administration have produced more divisiveness among the American populous than I have ever witnessed in my lifetime, or read about in our past history.  Instead of drawing the people together in unity, he has succeeded in dividing and pitting one group against another to the detriment of the entire nation.  Yet, even as I say that, part of the blame for his success lies upon the shoulders of Christians, as we either refuse to vote for more godly thinking leaders, or choose not to vote at all.  In addition, our voice against political correctness has been silent, or perhaps, intentionally or not, we have undermined the will of God by supporting policies that are contrary to the teachings of the God that we claim to serve.

          I can not possibly enumerate all of the fractures within our society, brought about by the tool of politically correct thinking within an increasingly godless and lawless society.  However, the following are but a few examples of these divisions: Class warfare, pitting one socioeconomic group against another; one gender against another(war on women by those awful “insensitive and chauvinistic” men, and those “clueless” women who refuse to reject traditional family values); racism – white people who, due to their white ‘privilege,’ continually seek to oppress all persons of color, whether they be black, Hispanic, American Indian, or whatever(anyone disagreeing with either Obama’s policies, or politically correct thinking, is automatically labeled a racist); black people who don’t agree with the latter are also labeled as Uncle Tom, accused of not being black enough, or accused of “acting white;” and white people must necessarily carry the burden of “white privilege guilt” simply because they were born white; the young are pitted against the older generation, for they have not had their consciousness raised to the more “enlightened” path of thought as the younger generation has; and Christians are more often vilified, for their politically incorrect way of thinking is deemed to be a threat to the well being of all society.  One comment, meant to marginalize and demonize Christians, was that they stubbornly choose “to hang on to their guns and bibles,” (Both of which are a part of those pesky unalienable rights granted to us through our constitution.)  To set a politically correct scene, on the stage before one of Obama’s early speeches, instructions were given for all crosses in the background to be covered, lest they ‘offend’ someone.  I can’t help but wonder, had there been Islamic religious symbols in the background, would they too have been just as diligently covered, or removed, lest they offend someone? 

          Everyone knows that our past history as a nation is not without sin and horrible failings, such as the blot of the treatment of Indians and the plague of slavery.  The atrocities white people committed against American Indians are well documented historically and can not be denied.  However, if we are going to cast the light of truth upon all, let us not forget the atrocities that were committed by one tribe of Indians against other tribes, as they slaughtered the men, and took the women and children as slaves, or the unwarranted Indian attacks upon innocent settlers whose only crime was traveling through tribal lands while white.  Decades after the struggles for civil rights, according to politically correct standards, whether or not they or their ancestors ever owned slaves, all white people must still carry white privilege guilt, even if some of their ancestors were abolitionists or fought for civil rights along with Martin Luther King. In addition, all black people must still see themselves as oppressed by “whitey” and forever chained as victims to past history, unable to rise above victimization for generation after generation. Has anyone yet determined how many more decades it may require for white and black people to be pitted against one another before it can be said “enough is enough,” or is it possible that even eternity will never be counted as enough?  Pres. Obama is a black man.  What ever happened to his opportunity to join in with Martin Luther King in unifying all of us by endeavoring to encourage each of us to stop considering the color of a man’s skin, but only the character of a man, that we may be united as one race – the human race?  Obama’s offer of “hope” for the future has become “little or no hope,” and the “change” he promised only seems to have changed into “chains” to the sins of our past.  His administration, the liberal media, and those who agree with political correctness only serve to enhance his ability to divide us further, and force his ideology and agenda upon the people, enabling him to act more and more like a king, instead of a president.  In America, according to our constitution, the people are supposed to be the sovereign (king), not one man or group.  Yet, today our government has become so large and out of control, it no longer acts as the servant of the people.  Rather it has created such a nanny welfare state that it has turned the masses into slaves, and the government has become the master, determined to keep all of us enslaved on the government plantation.  Our constitution, and the idea of the rule of law, are rapidly becoming a vague memory of the past.  He decides what laws to enforce and what laws are no longer to be enforced.  Protection of our southern border is a thing of the past, and illegal immigrants cross it as if the border no longer even exists.  Many legal immigrants feel cheated and foolish for having “wasted” their time, money and effort by obeying the law and entering legally.  Rule of law is being eroded, not only by activist court systems and judges, but every time a Grand Jury decision is reached that is not in agreement with politically correct thinkers, it is being second guessed, demoralized, and politicized.  Since when did Grand Jury decisions have to be based on emotions and political correctness instead of evidence and facts?  If we are no longer a country led by the rule of law, then we are a country governed by whims and the standard of one group’s idea of what is politically correct.  But since that contains no core of unity, total agreement, or consistency, but changes from moment to moment, we have set our nation on a pathway to anarchy, lawlessness, tyranny, and possibly rule by a dictator eventually.

          No longer is our focus on building a stronger and more perfect union.  Instead, in many ways, we are becoming very similar to the atmosphere found within the Middle East.  Tribal warfare there has been a steady and unending part of its history, not for decades, but for centuries.  If they are not fighting foreigners, they are fighting against each other for no greater crime than not upholding the same Islamic vision as one another.  Continual strife seems to be an acceptable part of their life. We may not yet be acting on that same level of strife and violence, but we are becoming more and more vulnerable to the possibility of its development as a normal way of life for our own country.  ISIS won't have to take us over to destroy us from without, for we seem to be willing to tear down our own country, and turn American Patriotism for ALL our citizenry into a politically incorrect dirty word.  When God's standard of absolute right and wrong are discarded, and man's ideas of relativism are preferred, there will be wars and strife among the "tribes" as each one tries to tyrannically enforce it's particular brand of 'relativism' upon  all the others.  “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Gal. 5: 15) The media is forever ready to give the spotlight and bully pulpit to those who are most politically correct, more man centered rather than God centered, and more contentious and ready to stoke the fires to insight and stir up the cauldrons of anger, malice, envy, unforgiveness and strife.  Seldom will they spotlight and give voice to the peace makers that would encourage forgiveness, understanding and tranquility.  “Good news” doesn’t increase their ratings, and God centered news is most vilified and deemed to be politically incorrect in today’s world.  That voice is to be cloistered away from the ears of the public, to be forever shunned and rejected.  “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”  “Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 5: 20, 21, 24)

          People are more often engaged in taking sides, or forming tribes, to war against the enemy to gain their 15 minuets of fame, or exact their pound of flesh from the perceived offender, or oppressor.  By whose standards should we determine who needs to assume the most guilt, who owes the greatest debt, who deserves the greatest punishment, and what period of time should they serve as punishment for their crime (sin)?  Perhaps we should just line up all who are guilty of the crime of walking through life while having blue eyes on one side, and allow those who have brown eyes to line up on the opposing side, and shoot down all the blue eyed people.  Would that be a solution to the problem of all past sins and hurts?  Would all the brown eyed people be free now of the scourge of blue eyed pestilence, and be free to live life happily ever after?  I seriously doubt it!  History tells us that sin and strife would raise its ugly head once again.  Now those who have the darkest brown eyes would find some reason to hate and want revenge against those who have lighter brown eyes.  Without intervention from the God of Heaven, man will continue the war against one another till all civilization has been destroyed. 

   My question is, "What good does it do for any of us to continually point accusing fingers of blame, fault, and guilt at one another?  Man is NOT basically good as the man centered world view proclaims.  We live in a fallen world where all are contaminated by the disease of sin.  All are entrapped on this wheel of sin and, without forgiveness, it will never cease.  Instead, it will continue to go round and round, until all are destroyed by the fires of strife and contentiousness.  There is but one solution and cure for this disease of sin: faith in the blood of Christ Jesus which is able to cleans and wash away our sins.  It is by His grace that our sins are forgiven.  It is He who has taught us to forgive and walk in love towards one another.  We do not belong to ourselves, for He took our sins upon Himself upon the Cross, and marked the receipt for our debt, “PAID IN FULL; IT IS FINISHED!”

           We can think of many crimes, or sins, that have been committed by one individual, or one group of people, against another person or group.  We might even say, in the natural, that one has every right to hold a grudge or unforgiveness against the perpetrator.  However, God’s ways are higher than ours.  God teaches us to: “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Matt. 6)  This is the true and only way to find peace with one another.  Does forgiveness mean that one does not have to reap the consequences for what he has done wrong?  Absolutely not!  But holding onto a grudge and unforgiveness is never going to lead to peace within a person, family, country, or the world at large. The following truth is revealed to us in a story told by Jesus in MATTHEW 18: 21-35.  Peter is asking Jesus how many times he must forgive someone:

“…Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but until seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to his tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

          This life lesson contains part of God’s guidelines for how Christians are to deal with one another when sin has been perpetuated against another.  As I pointed out earlier, at one time biblical standards were once seen as dependable, valuable, and trustworthy for most of society, even if not all of them were born again believers.  God’s standards, when applied, work to bring forth a greater degree of respect and obedience for the law, and a greater degree of liberty and peace within in the individual persons and their nation as a whole.  The farther away the people stray from God and His ways, the deeper those persons and nation will sink into sin, lawlessness, with the lack of freedom, liberty, and peace.  Unless we, as individuals and a nation, turn our hearts back to God soon, America may stray so far away that God’s hedge of protection may be completely removed, and He will let us have our own way, “Do as thou will,” and we shall reap the full consequences of turning our backs on Him, the One who has loved us first.  By the adoption of a “man centered” secular humanistic and increasingly atheistic theology (yes, it is a religion with man as god), we are on the precipice of becoming transformed into a godless nation with no hope, but plenty of change: rampant lawlessness, godlessness, and tyranny.  The image of God can not be seen in a nation, if the image of God can no longer be seen in the people of that nation.  And the blame game wheel of sin goes round and round. 


Lord, I pray that you would work in my heart both to will and to do that which is good and pleasing in Thy sight. Let it begin in me, that I may be willing to forgive others as you have forgiven me, not because I deserve it, but because of your mercy, grace, and love that is offered to all.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. In Jesus name, Amen.

If you seek Him, you will find Him.