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Thursday
Apr282016

Lets Be Honest

 

Well known author and pastor Dr Tim Keller thinks there are idols in the Western Church.

He thinks that our experiences, our doctrine and our consumerism are well entrenched in our churches, so much so that they have become idols. Here is what he says:

1) Experience. 

Instead of looking to the Word of God to be their norm and their guide, people tend to look to their own experience, feelings, intuitions, and impressions to be their guide.

Emotion and expression are very good, but when you make it more important than the Word of God, or put it higher than the Word of God, it becomes an idol.

2) Doctrine.

I do think some people make an idol out of doctrine.

If you have your doctrine right, they say, then you are part of the solution, not the problem: you’re not heretical like everyone else.

There is a pride and a smugness about having good doctrine that, to me, almost puts it into the place of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

3) Consumerism. 

Instead of looking to the church to give themselves into community, people look to the church to get the services they want. They have emotional, vocational, and relational needs and they go to a church because it is a good place to network.

People see the church as a mall, rather than a family that they give themselves to.

Consumerism becomes the idol that is, my felt needs become an idol; they are more important than being apart of a community.

I don’t disagree with Dr Keller, but I would like to add some contributing factors to Keller’s ideas on idols.  

The lack of humility and a pride of knowledge that permeates American Christianity. This probably can tie into the experience and doctrine issues that Dr Keller mentions, because most Christian leaders today are not teachable, and their agenda for ministry is determined with little to no acknowledgement of God. I know this sounds harsh, but I know too many people who talk the language of faith, but still think that the kingdom is built by their giftedness and hard work.

The lack of honest and truthful ministries. U2 Bono nailed Christian music recently when he said that Christian music isn’t honest. When U2 musician Bono reads the Psalms, a book of the Bible filled with ancient hymns, he sees the full range of human emotions: anger, irritation, sadness, bliss. While the Psalms have been a source of spiritual inspiration for him throughout his life, Bono has much harsher words for contemporary Christian music.

Modern Christian worship music has often been critiqued for its mediocrity — the repetition of the same four chords, the same set of reliably inspirational words, and theological jargon that leaves outsiders bewildered. Bono says, “The psalmist is brutally honest about the explosive joy that he’s feeling and the deep sorrow or confusion, and I often think, ‘Gosh, well, why isn’t church music more like that?”

Christians are some of the phoniest people on earth; they are fickle, backbiting, jealous, hateful, vindictive people that are often disloyal and immoral people. These are people who claim the promises of the Bible and give Jesus praise. Again, this ties in to Dr Keller’s idea on consumerism in the church, because consumers are all about themselves. Now, I get it, we are all sinners and have a fallen nature, but as believers we should be gaining more control over how we love God, and treat people. In fact if you think I am hard on believers, the Apostle Paul was even harsher. When you read 2 Timothy 3, you discover that the latter days will not only affect the world, it will also affect the church.  Paul even says that there will be people who are religious, but don’t know the Lord.  2 Timothy 3:5 “having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”  

I think it is time we take a long hard look at what we believe, and how serious we are about wanting His kingdom to come.

Lack of Knowledge and Discernment in the Church. The lack of a standard for discernment makes it easy for the counterfeit to become incorporated into the church culture. The pulpits have become so enamored with being relevant they forgot how to be spiritual. They have failed their calling by ignoring elements of the scriptures that are informative about how evil is preparing this world through the indoctrination of social thinking and setting the stage for corporate control by a world leader. If you surveyed 7 out of 10 Christians about the importance of Israel in the last days, they would have little to no knowledge of Biblical prophecy concerning the Jews prior to the coming of Christ. In fact many Christian millennials believe the Palestinians are the rightful owners of the land occupied by the State of Israel. This is as un-Biblical as it gets, yet no one in their Christian circles ever correct this mistake. There are more rabbit trails today in the church than ever before, because the counterfeit church is gaining more power over the truth of the scripture. We have spiritual Pharisee’s who want people to read the Bible, but they won’t teach you about Jesus. They will teach you about social justice, keeping the law, and building doctrines about their understanding of God rather than teaching the truth.

Let’s be honest, the world isn’t the only entity that is out of control, much too often the Church is too. Dr Keller has raised some interesting points, so what do we do about it?  How do we pray?  Who do we talk to and how can we affect change in my church?  As Jesus said, “These come out only by fasting and prayer!”

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday
Apr242016

When Everything Becomes The Same

I came up with an illustration the other day of where I think society is going today. That illustration is a blank piece of white copy paper with nothing written on it, just a plain white 8 ½ by 11.  I am convinced that all distinction is being removed, and everyone will be known as asexual, with no gender distinction whatsoever. Public bathrooms will become user friendly no distinction necessary to use them, gender differences will disappear. Let’s be honest, if we could remove all differences that divide us including having to make a decision about which bathroom to use, life would be so much easier. That is why a blank sheet of paper is the best illustration to describe the direction of our society.

The problem with this kind of thinking is, that God did not create it that way. He created us with differences, and that is what makes life work. We are not all the same we were not created to be all the same. Gifting, talent, gender, race, these are all are gifts from God. They were first given to serve Him, and then serve all of humanity. God gave these gifts to those he created, male and female, two every distinct creations. 

Genesis 5; 2 “He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.

The creator didn’t make a hybrid that would be called anything but male or female. So then what makes a transgender person a transgender person? If God didn’t make males sexually attracted to other males, and females to other females then who did?  God says they went their own way because they denied Him. They followed that which was not permitted and they perverted the gifts God gave to them.

Romans 1:24-31

“24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”

The confusion of sexual identity comes when we say that homosexuals were created that way, and God did it. Nowhere in scripture does it say God created anyone to lust after it’s own sexual kind.  The same sex attraction was allowed because people denied Him, and He allowed their unnatural desires to be fulfilled. The homosexual rhetoric is based upon a perpetual lie that spins out misinformation as if it were fact.  Society has justified that people are born this way, and therefore they have the right to pursue happiness. 

We now have transferred that same right to those who are confused about their gender identity, and now they want to have a protected and privileged status within our culture.

So in the end, society will decide to discard all distinction and make everything the same. If everything is the same, than there is no reason for discrimination.  If we do away with race, wealth, gender, and sexual distinction, than there will be less problems dealing with inequality and injustice.  Problem solved.  At the end of the day however, this one size fits all is the war against GOD and His values and laws.

Sin wants to cut God out of everything.  Sin basically wants to blot God out of our thinking, our actions, and our governance. Sin wants to be served and worshipped, and sin can’t have complete control until it destroys God’s message that proclaims that the wages of sin is death. Meanwhile, sin’s message wants to be served and wants to create a world of full of defying God in every aspect of life. Sin wants to make good bad, and bad good, all the time stoking the fires of confusion.

There are lessons in the Bible that teach us that God will allow His people to be turned over to their enemies so that they would cry out to Him for deliverance. It happened repeatedly in the history of Israel.

Nehemiah 9:28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time."

We are being turned over to our enemies and slowly we are being overtaken. However this fight isn’t about our enemies it is about our faithfulness to cry out to God and to prioritize Him first in our lives. God is watching to see if we blend into that piece of white paper, or will we become the distinction that stands out for Him? This neutering of the society is not good for anyone, and it will cheapen the way we see each other.  I personally don't want to become a blank sheet of white paper, do you? 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K    

 

Friday
Apr222016

The Value of Belief

 

A quote from Gerhard Hamm a Christian from Russia, who had spent many years in prisons and labor camps in Northern Siberia:

“Satan always offers us a compromise, so be watchful. Christians who enter into compromise are of no value to God or man. Only those who remain faithful to the Lord, anywhere and under any circumstance, are valuable.”

Worldviews determine the value people place on life. Once you figure out a person’s worldview, you have the basis for understanding their belief system.  Christians have a worldview based upon the Bible and God is the beginning of all things, and He is the end of all things. In other words, this world began with God creating it, and everything in it, and He will end this world by judging everything in it. In the Bible, God gave us instructions how to be honest, sexually pure, emotionally stable, and how to trust God in all circumstances. The goal of a Biblical worldview is not to be religious, but to be in a relationship with the God of the Bible.

The goal of the Devil is not to get Christian people to quit their worldview, even though some do, but his goal is to get Christian people to compromise their worldview to accommodate the views of others into their belief structure. For example, there are Christians (57% as one survey indicated) that say Christ is not the only way to heaven.  So they are compromising on the statement Jesus made that is quite clear.

John 14:6”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This has lead Christians to celebrate “Ramadan” and combining Christianity and Islam into “Chrislam” as a way to celebrate both religious traditions.

Some Christians even go as far as to say that Jews do not need Jesus as a Savior, because they have the laws of Moses, and if they keep those laws they will see God. (Some call this dual covenant theology) The problem I have with this is that when Jesus spoke John 14:6 He was speaking it to Jews, not Gentiles.  Go figure!

Christians have an obligation to the Lord not to serve this world’s ideas, and comprise on His agenda for His Church. Unfortunately, God’s agenda for His Church is not what we often see portrayed in His church.  God doesn’t get as excited as we do about big buildings, budgets, and popular leaders with organizational skills that are found in fortune 500 companies. I am not suggesting these are bad; it’s just not what God accents upon.  God wants the character of a believer to be like King David, who was not a perfect human being, but he was described as “a man after God’s own heart.”  Too many in the church today feel as if they have to compromise their beliefs in order to remain relevant to a changing culture. In my lifetime, the culture has changed many times and each new idea that was accepted by culture eroded life even further than the previous changes. Some have called this progressivism, the thinking we are moving closer to a better world through the combination of good ideas. God’s ideas however never change; they are constant as the sunrise, and hold the same promise for anyone who will believe in them without compromise.

I like change in my life. I try to be relevant with my dress, thoughts, and behavior, but I will never change my beliefs to incorporate ungodly principles, ideas, or moral practices. In light of this, I don’t know why I have to be called names because I don’t believe in gay marriage, abortion, transgender-ism, or in causes that divide us like ‘Black Lives Matter.”   Shouldn’t people like me have a voice in the American system?  This same system that is suppose to serve all people who live in America and are called Americans?  Why should my faith, or beliefs be lesser than any of those who are demanding that culture silence people like me?  It is interesting that those who have an agenda of fundamentally changing America talk about tolerance, yet are the most intolerant when it comes to a different point of view.

I am not upset about the world hating the gospel, Jesus told us that would happen, and so we accept it. However, what is most disturbing to me is not the hatred of people, but the compromise of His church. Christians have compromised either to join the world in thinking like them, or they have become silent, retreating to their holy huddles in their churches. There is coming a day, when the great divide between right and wrong will demand you serve the world, or you serve God, the choice will either give you status with those around you, or put you at odds with everyone. This is no joke; America will not stand as a righteous God-fearing nation as she has been in generations past. Those whose worldview opposes the immoral laws passed by our government will suffer persecution, because they will be guilty of civil disobedience in defying those laws that defend immorality. Compromise will bring the church into an irrelevant status of blending into the fabric of society.

Is that what God wants His Church to do?  Is this God’s plan, to become one with the world and blend in to the fabric of ungodly beliefs and practices?

Remember, compromise is not a value of God.

1 John 2:15 “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

Monday
Apr182016

Grooming Bad Behavior

 

That’s right, legalizing bad behavior in New York.  Why is it okay to urinate on the street?  The civilized world invented sewer systems centuries ago, so why are we okay with behavior that will only degrade a city not beautifying it.

Oh, I get it; it’s racism to arrest someone who urinates on a New York City street. 

Here is a story by The Political Insider who asks the question, “why is this okay?

Why? Because many blacks and minorities have been fined or arrested for it. They would rather legalize this disgusting behavior than enforce basic rules of public sanitation.

Urinating and drinking in public would no longer be treated as crimes under a package of bills New York’s City Council will consider to ease enforcement of quality-of-life offenses that lawmakers say clog the courts and have been disproportionately enforced against minorities.

The council scheduled a Jan. 25 hearing on the proposed laws, which are supported by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a majority of her 50 colleagues and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. The proposal would remove the possibility of permanent criminal records for public urination and violating park rules, mostly treating them as civil offenses, along with public drinking, littering and excessive noise.

Such low-level offenses have left the city with more than 1.2 million active warrants, according to a fact sheet distributed by the council Wednesday.

According to the New York Times, one liberal official who sponsored this change noted it was designed to help minorities “reach their full potential.”

“We know that the system has been really rigged against communities of color in particular,” said Ms. Mark-Viverito, who has promoted such reforms and is the main sponsor of the bills. “So the question has always been, what can we do in this job to minimize unnecessary interaction with the criminal justice system, so that these young people can really fulfill their potential?”

This also comes, as the city is relaxing rules on public drug use, open alcohol container rules, public masturbation, and excessive noise in this sweeping “Criminal Justice Reform Act.” This is a far-step away from the tough rules implemented by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who cleaned up New York’s streets with “broken window” policies.

Here again we have to make it a race issue, and my question is, “what difference does it make what race anyone is, everyone has to urinate, so why not use a public restroom rather than the public sidewalk?”

This behavior is another sign of how culture is turning more barbaric due to living without a God consciousness. Will we continue to deteriorate into a barbaric, crass and godless society? People will not care about others, or the environment in which they live. This is a sign of the times, a move to more lawless behavior as the Bible predicted.

2 Tim 3:3-4 “Without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Matthew 24:12

"Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.

Jesus even had some harsh words for the religious folk of His day on the lawlessness of religion.

Matthew 23:27-28

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. "So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Lawlessness has always been with us, from the time of Adam and Eve, but as the time gets shorter lawlessness will grow stronger.

2 Thessalonians 2:7

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.”

Wrong behavior is grounded in wrong values, and it isn’t about race or poverty. It is an issue of lifestyle that ignores the respect for others, and what is best for the common good. Of course bad behavior just didn’t happen, it has been groomed into society from childhood.

-The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper reported:

Children's behavior has worsened over the past five years according to a survey of teachers which found that a fifth thought girls were more likely to cause trouble than boys.

Teachers criticized a lack of role models in the home. A primary teacher said: "The boys are far more willing to be aggressive to adults, verbally and even physically. There doesn’t seem to be any parental boundaries set of what is an appropriate way to speak and deal with another adult."

-The survey was done with more than 850 teachers, and other school staff.

This seems to be the sentiment of many researchers today; children are getting worse in their behavior. Is it any surprise to anyone?  Parents are spending less time with their kids, media becomes a surrogate parent, and they learn disrespect from almost everyone in their lives. Kids are being groomed to urinate on the streets, and it’s coming to a city near you.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday
Apr152016

The Wrong Focus

I was listening to Dr Michael Brown’s program in the line of fire today and there was a caller who worked in a homeless shelter in Massachusetts where they separate men from women in their overnight shelters.

 http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2016/04/11/dr-brown-confronts-the-social-madness-and-for-the-advance-of-the-jesus-revolution/

However, the Massachusetts state law mandates that if a transgender male believes he is a female, they have to allow him to sleep, and shower in the women’s facility.  The women that stay in the shelter are not happy about it, and feel threatened by this provision. 

As Dr Brown pointed out throughout the broadcast, we are putting others at risk for the sake of the feelings of another.  Here is an example of what is continuing to happen due to the stupidity of society.

http://dailyheadlines.net/archives/31175

Here is where civil disobedience may come into play. In fact, every Christian and conservative person will need to link arms and stand against this insanity. The government does not have the right to place the majority of the people at risk because of a few who are confused about their sexual identity. It’s not bigoted, nor hateful to have moral principles that oppose the insanity of this transgender movement. Many in our society who have influence such as musicians, corporations, the NFL, and others have made it their objective to pressure states who have laws protecting the safety of bathrooms, and laws that protect religious freedoms.

There are ministries that claim that transgender orientation can be compatible with Christianity. Here is a sample.

It can be hard to believe - there are many, many transgender Christians. We are devout in our faith and sincere in our gender. We range from ordained pastors to biblical saints! Visit the Stories page to hear the pilgrimages of Christians growing into their gender. There are Organizations specifically for trans Christians, Denominations that embrace us, and all sorts of Links to other trans Christian websites.

Transgender Christians are Christians, too!

I know what they say about us. 'How can you be a Christian and transgender?' The same as everyone else!

I dedicated myself to finding the honest truth about whether living out trans-genderism  in the Spirit of God. I have gone through my own journey of gender and learned about Eunuchs, Intersex people, and the character of God and examining all possible Christian Objections. I utterly believe Christianity is completely harmonious with trans-genderism.

I share this with you because this is what the spirit of this age is doing to Christianity.  It is gutting the substance of the scriptures only to insert it’s own type of God.  The spirit behind this movement is the god of this world because he wants to invalidate the standards of scripture and gut the moral law to be replaced by feelings and experience.  When we are ruled by an emotional response, feelings translate into rights, and then those rights eventually become the law in the land. America is slowly caving in to accepting any perversion of sexuality as normal. Even Facebook acknowledged this change when in February they added more than 50 custom gender options to identify its users, from gender nonconforming to pangender.

So how large is the transgender population? 

 Gary Gates is an LGBT demographer at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law’s Williams Institute, which studies sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. He is responsible for one of the most frequently cited estimates of the transgender population — 700,000, about 0.3 percent of U.S. adults.

This is the point Dr Michael Brown concluded upon, that the small percentage of people who are able to change the law in order to facilitate their personal struggle with sexually even when it puts the vast majority of people at risk, especially young children. One small group of confused people is able to convince the legislatures, the sports conglomerates, and mega-corporations that this issue of being transgender is an issue all Americans have to accept. Whatever happened to the majority rules? What about the freedom of religion to have a right to oppose such actions by our legislatives, and speak into the moral dilemma this poses for the greater good of society? 

Since gay marriage, has been accepted by the laws in our land it has opened the door for these kinds of issues such as the transgender movement. However, this is just the beginning.

Polygamy

Pedophilia

Bestiality

Incest

These all will have their day to present their perversions to the American people as a right to express their sexuality without restraint. It may seem inconceivable to us now, but in time it will become the norm.  The world is slowing moving to the darkest days since creation because that is what the Bible says will take place before Jesus Christ returns.

Matthew 24:21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Not only will the moral environment be turned on its head, the greatest motivation for these moral changes is driven by the perversion of who God is. This re-invention of the God of the Bible is why we have so much confusion dominating every day life.

For Christians, it is time to pray for courage to tell the truth, to be loving without compromise, and to bind together as a one voice to make the truth known.

It is a day when this invasive culture will force us to come together, or succumb to it.

Keeping it honest and truthful..K

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