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Wednesday
May232018

When Your Views Are Assaulted Personally 

The headline read, “Tomi Lahren’s Minneapolis Brunch spoiled by a thrown drink, heckling.”  If you don’t know who she is, Tomi is a conservative political commentator on Fox News and former television host. Her views on conservative issues have either made her popular or hated, depending on your point of view. However, nothing this woman has done merited the treatment she received recently while at a bunch in Minneapolis with her mother. She was called every filthy name in the book, and a drink was thrown at her as she left the restaurant. The folks doing the swearing and drink tossing were people who in some way either worked for the DNC or were associated with a more left leaning point of view. This kind of response should never be tolerated because it gives license for others to do the same. Political views are just that - they are opinions, and we should never take an opinion and make it a reason to attack a person who holds differing views. However, there is a deeper problem with this kind of behavior. It says to me that we are in the early stages of anarchy where my point of view is the only one that’s right, and if others don’t agree, then you’re wrong and it is time to get rid of you. Your opposition to the dominant ideas of the day will be a reason to remove you so you don’t cause any dissention among the Rank and File. I have felt for some time that the American value of freedom of speech is slowly going away. There is only tolerance for a perspective that is leaning progressively left which dictates that conservative ideas are intrinsically racist and perverted, therefore bad for everyone. 

The media first captured this attitude of violence during the campaign of Donald Trump in 2016. Protestors assaulted many of his supporters at his rallies. It was quite common for violence to break out, and then the media said that it was Trump’s ideasthat incited the violent reaction. Regardless of the ideas or who was to blame, the American Constitution guarantees our right to Freedom of Speech. I believe that the most egregious people who violate the freedom to speak are those who call themselves progressives. 

Here again to refresh your memory is what we are guaranteed by the First Amendment: 

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.  

Tomi Lahren was assaulted simply for her ideas and her right to express them. People who disagreed with her and felt she didn’t have the right to be at a public brunch were bullying her. This should disturb both sides of the aisle because the one thing we cherish as Americans is the right to express our ideas without the fear of retaliation. 

I can’t imagine anyone who is a progressive leftist would ever have let this go, had it happened to him or her. There would be a lawsuit along with a demand that the person be charged with assault. 

This kind of behavior is becoming more pervasive and will affect those in the Church who have strong opinions on the behavior of a society who rejects the progressive ideas of a liberal mindset. We have already seen conservative posts censored on Facebook and YouTube, and soon these major outlets of communication will ban conservative ideas altogether. 

Censorship is coming and it is the first stage of how a society is brainwashed into accepting the ideas of a few whose aim is to control the many. The world is being prepared to accept the biggest scam by any leader in history, and most are totally clueless as to what is happening. Revelation Chapter 13 explains this leader who will overpower the world with his ideas and his successes, and he will eventually control the planet. He won’t have too much of a problem convincing people that he has the answer to our dilemmas, because we have demonstrated that we can be easily fooled and programmed to accept deception. 

All Christ honoring people should be alarmed, because freedom to speak the truth about the Gospel of Jesus Christ will become a censored and targeted crime. Remember people without Christ do not grow better they grow worse and those who stand for truth will not go unscathed by the evil that hates its message.

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”  -2 Timothy 3:12-13

 Keeping it honest and truthful…K

Monday
May212018

One Penetrating Question

I was asked recently about Israel and why are so many people fixated on this little country in the Middle East?  They went on to say “Isn’t it all about Jesus, so why are we shifting our emphasis from Jesus to Israel?  

Now that was a good and sincere question, and the answer to it comes in a couple of ways. 

Revelation 12:17 “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

Zech 14:2-3 “  I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight  against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.”

This tiny little country was chosen by God to represent Him on earth. The Bible records all interaction God had with Israel from the giving of the law, to the messages of the prophets. This interaction ultimately brought Jesus to earth to bring salvation to all of mankind. 

This story of salvation didn’t end at the cross, it continues into the future until He returns to reign on earth from Jerusalem. His goal is to bring both Jew and Gentile together in Himself, creating a new designation from the two. 

“He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.” Ephesians 2:15

Gentiles grafted into the olive tree and together with the Jews become one people in Jesus. The Church/Gentiles need to be reminded that we were grafted into their system, and we together become the one new man. God does not discount Israel as forgotten nor does He consider Gentiles second-class citizens in His Kingdom, we all become new people in Him. 

Romans 11:18-21  "do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

Israel is a stumbling block with most Christians, and it is a shame. It is a shame because the leadership in the Church has failed to see that Jesus (being a Jew) came to fulfill God’s promises to Israel, which was to institute the New Covenant. Again, this new covenant was not directly given to Gentiles - it was given to the Jews. The prophet Jeremiah explains this new covenant: 

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,“when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israeland with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenantI made with their ancestorswhen I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,because they broke my covenant,though I was a husband to them, ” declares the Lord.

33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israelafter that time,” declares the Lord.“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.I will be their God,and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’because they will all know me,from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.“For I will forgive their wickednessand will remember their sins no more.”  

                                                                                                                              -Jeremiah 33:31

You can see that the New Covenant was given to Israel to fulfill the promises of a coming Messiah. The plan for the Gentiles was always to graft them into the Olive Branch.  

So that penetrating question cannot just be answered with a simple, “it is just all about Jesus” response. His story is about God’s covenants with His people the Jews, and how they were chosen to bring us the knowledge of God through the scriptures and through their Messiah. Jesus came to be the Savior of the world, but His story of being a Jew plays a role in how God redeems the world. Our Christian faith is in Jesus Christ, a Jew whose story is about the Jewish people, and the plan that God had for the whole world.  We cannot leave any of these pieces out if we want to understand the complete story of God’s redemption for this world. The Jews had a huge part to play in God’s redemption of all human beings. 

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

 

Sunday
May132018

When the Protection is Gone

I have talked quite a bit in this blog about God’s judgment because I believe the scriptures teach about it. If the scriptures teach about anything, that anything should be talked about, so I engage from time to time about God’s judgment.

Here is God’s way of telling us that He is protecting us:

“For the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. Deut 20; 4

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”  Ps 34; 17-18

“The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph 3; 17

“So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13; 6

The key in these verses and hundreds of others like them is that God will stand with you and will protect you against the evil in our day. Even in the Lord’s Prayer it says, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” So life for those who place their trust in God will have the protection of the Lord. So, what happens when a nation decides to reject God and live in violation of everything He teaches? Romans 1 teaches us that God will withdraw His influence and protection and allow sin to be our guide and judge. 

Verses 28-31  "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.”

This withdrawal is God’s first form of judgment. He removes the hedge or wall of protection and allows evil to penetrate our lives and communities. I have wondered since 9/11 how many of these terroristic attacks have happen on our soil and how is it that we can’t protect our schools from people who want to kill the innocent. We talk gun control, but it’s evil control that we have to deal with. I’m sorry, but society is ignorant and stupid when it comes to discerning what is happening in our society. They blame all the violence on guns; how naïve do you have to be to miss the discernment of what is happening to our country? Isaiah 5 discerns it quite well when this sort of thing happened to ancient Israel: 

Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard I will take away its hedge,and it will be destroyed;I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated,and briers and thorns will grow there.I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”

This is what God does to get our attention. He removes Himself and His protection on a nation who is determined to live a sacrilege life by living in direct violation of His commands. 

It is no secret that we are under the attack of evil from within and from outside, and our country is totally unaware of what is going on. I talk to Christians who have no clue, no discernment, and they go along with society’s ignorance that we have an infestation of too many guns. We have race issues, hatred issues, and gay issues, and all we can do is say we need new laws to redefine the family, and make those laws control speech that is acceptable to a politically correct society. 

Sorry, I can’t go there because I know better, and so should all those who believe God and His Word. Our problem is that we have rejected Him, and He has given us over to our sinful ways, and it is those ways that are judging us by all the turmoil in our society. 

Forget the guns and the social justice marches, and let’s get back to repentance and living for God. Let the churches start preaching again about the righteous judge who will not stand for our rebellious hateful attitudes toward Him. The Bible is full of examples where God is patient with sinful people, and gives them a chance to return to Him. However, when that does not happen, then His wrath will come, and that will be no joke. For many of you who are not acquainted with this side of God, I would suggest you read Jeremiah and find out what angers God, and discover that God is more than just the love message you have learned to enjoy. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
May092018

When We Don’t Tell The Whole Truth

In court they make the person who is taking the witness stand swear an oath that goes something like this: “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”

I think congregations should make their preacher say that every Sunday before any preaching is done. It might help that preacher be more honest and direct about the truth rather than omitting what he/she thinks is offensive to someone. 

Can you imagine what would happen if you took the witness stand and were asked questions about the case being tried and said, “gee, I think if I tell the truth it will hurt someone in this courtroom, so I will avoid answering that question.”  What do you think the judge would do? If the witness refuses to answer the question they could be held in contempt of court or they would have to plead the 5thAmendment. I often think about preachers who refuse to address the issues of our day through the lens of the Bible. In essence, are they not pleading the 5th?  “I don’t want to incriminate myself or this ministry by preaching on that issue,” is that not invoking the 5thAmendment in preaching? I realize there is no 5thAmendment in preaching, but as Christians we need to know ‘the truth and nothing but the truth’ from our leadership. 

James 3:1 says this: “ Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” 

So when preachers stand before the Lord on the day we give an account of our lives as it relates to our faith in Christ, what will we say to Him about our preaching?  Will we be honest and say, “I never compromised on anything I read from the Bible, I preached it word for word.”Or will we say, “The Bible gave me great themes to preach about, I just did a little editing to make it more acceptable for my listeners.”  Or we might say:  “I didn’t agree with some of it so I just avoided those subjects altogether, but I gave my best on things I did agree with.”

I have a word for you preachers/teachers/Executive Directors who are involved in sharing God’s word. You may be okay not addressing issues you think may not resonate with your crowd, but God says, “preach the truth.” It is above your pay grade to edit what you think is acceptable and what is not. If you are not preaching on sin, righteousness, and judgment, you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, or you are in direct rebellion to His ministry in your life. You may not like what I just said, but that is the truth. Some of you get so excited about achieving the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit, but if you aren’t preaching on sin, you might as well go join the circus because that’s the kind of entertainment you are creating for your audience. 

You may dislike me for saying that, but I can handle it. If you are called by God to preach the word you better get serious about doing it. If your congregation or following isn’t being prepared for the era of deception which the Bible says is coming upon the earth, the fate of that ill-prepared audience is on you. (James 3:1)

You don’t agree with the Bible on topics of killing the unborn, having sex with the same sex, living with your sexual partner without the benefits of marriage, paying restitution for wrongs you have committed toward others, greed, racism, hatred for Muslims, pornography, jealousy of other ministries, spiritual pride and narcissistic leadership, you better find a different calling. 

Judgment begins in the household of God, which means we know the truth. Yet if we refuse to live it, preach it, or hold others accountable to it, we will be held in contempt in His court. 

Keeping it honest and truthful..K

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
May082018

The Pattern In The Ministry of Jesus

I find the ministry of Jesus intriguing.
When you analyze the way Jesus went about doing ministry it appears that He was not afraid to be creative and rather unique. Have you ever wondered how many times he did something out of the ordinary? 

If you just look at the miracles He performed you find some bizarre events. 

  • He turned water into wine
  • He healed an official’s son
  • He healed Peter’s mother-in-law
  • He cleansed a man of leprosy
  • He healed a centurion's paralyzed servant
  • He healed on the Sabbath
  • He raised a synagogue leader’s daughter from the dead
  • He fed the 5,000
  • He healed a man by spitting in his eyes
  • He even healed a servant's severed ear while he was being arrested

The one thing we can say about the ministry of Jesus is that He was involved with people. His ministry reached out to the powerful and the influential as He healed an official’s son and cured the Centurions’ paralyzed servant. He also broke with tradition by healing on the Sabbath, and used spittle to give sight back to a blind man. Jesus was not afraid to engage life and rub shoulders with people of prominence and with people of poverty and disease. Jesus didn’t just teach about the ways of God, He practiced them by taking a common everyday incident and turning it into a miracle. If you run out of wine, you believe for more. If you have no food to feed a large crowd, you simply multiply some young lad’s lunch to satisfy the hunger. You even have a mother-in-law that gets a second chance to bug her son-in-law, by getting healed. 

There are some pretty incredible miracles among the 37 mentioned in the gospel stories. Jesus could have been a boring healer by only going to those who were the least of the brethren in His day. But He didn’t; He lived among the throngs of people from all walks of life and did His unique ministry of miracles in broad daylight. Jesus taught us to engage life and not be afraid of it by retreating to a monastery like so many of His followers did following His crucifixion. Many of us do similar things, like retreat to the church and become heroes among the faithful. I am convinced that the only way the Church makes a difference in this world is when it is bold, creative, and unafraid to engage life wherever possible. It takes risks by befriending people who swear, drink, and are worldly-minded.  True Christianity is not afraid to engage people who are not popular, and it protects people who are bullied or killed in the womb because they are not wanted. True Christianity is dirty, messy business because you are rubbing shoulders like Jesus did with disparate people with disparate needs. 

I was in Africa recently and in one of the poorest areas of a third world city. As I visited a one room schoolhouse run by a church of less than 25 people, God spoke to me and said, “this is where my church does it’s best work.” As I looked around the room I saw bright shining eyes of laughing children not knowing they were poor, but realizing they were being loved and cared for. 

I believe that miracles could happen everyday and they don’t because we have become too afraid to engage life as Jesus did. Miracles have to have two things for them to work:

  1. Be present with people who have needs  
  2. Be willing to allow God to respond thru you

That was the pattern of the ministry of Jesus. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

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