3 When a man's folly brings his way to ruin,
There are many verses that talk about the foolishness of folly, or sinful desires and pleasures, and it is this folly that makes us dumb. I recently heard the speaker of Breakpoint radio broadcast, Jon Stonestreet, make this statement about sin, and it resonated with me.
God's purpose in allowing us to live, breathe and have life is to bring us to an understanding of Him. We live our lives too often to please ourselves, following our passions and dreams, and often it excludes God, or at best, limits His access to our lives. The hardest people to convince about sinful living are Christians who become self righteous. Folly to them happens to other people, but not to them. They don't realize that folly still exists in their lives, it has just changed clothing. In other words, sinful behavior still exists, it's just not the same kind of behavior that existed before one comes to faith.
Let me list a few areas of folly that is often overlooked as not being sinful.
1. Back biting, and gossiping about people's character, motives, and personal choices.
2. Jumping to conclusions about people without fully understanding the whole story
3. Holding grudges and living in unforgiveness
4. Allowing sinful habits to dominate your behavior
5. Avoiding the truth, or being silent because it is uncomfortable or inconvenient
6. Isolating our lives from others, in order to protect against hurtful relationships
7. Living a relationship lie, but not putting God first
8. Exercising poor judgment in lifestyle choices
9. Spending too much time living out a reputation, but not being honest about who you are.
10. Faithlessness in prayer, scripture reading, and the practice of honest worship
I tried to pick areas of known sinful behavior practiced by myself and others I am close to. I know by doing this, that I am hitting the majority of you as well. As Christians we are not exempt from folly, we just learn how to mask it and sanitize it.
In sanitizing our sin, we become immune to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, as He tries to call our attention to areas that need attention. Remember, none of us can do this on our own, and no matter how well equipped you become in knowing scripture, or establishing a successful ministry, doesn't make your folly any more pleasant before God. Sin is sin, and it makes fools out of us all.
Here is what has helped me to keep my folly in check. I ask myself how have I violated these verses?
How often have we heard the words of someone say, "I just didn't know, or see this coming.?" I realize in some cases life can't always be predictable, but can we do better in understanding our times, and prepare for what is coming?
Our world is leaning more and more toward a liberal, socialistic world view, and it is getting there because our society is losing Biblical discernment. Compassion is a huge component of a liberal world view. Compassion is first step to tolerance, and tolerance is their way to understand how to get along with people from everywhere and who believe anything. Conservatives on the other hand, stand strong on principles and values, however, they are seen as people who alienate individuals from their human rights. You can see why a society that is amoral will stand with the liberal world view.
Discernment is a mindset that places ideas, principles, values, beliefs and lifestyles under the grid of Biblical truth to see the value these concepts are to a society or to the church as a whole. Discernment is not about being critical, it is defining the world through the eyes of the Bible. The question discernment asks is, "What does God say about this?" This is the first step in understanding, and then the next step is, what do we do about it? In order to properly prepare for the the future, believers must rekindle the gift of discernment. In recent years, discernment has be relegated to a few people who are shouting from the sidelines, but most of their warnings go unheeded by those on the field. From 1 Corinthians we read these few words concerning the gift of discernment.
'to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits,'
The ability to discern between spirits means discerning what is godly and what is not, or what is Biblical and in alignment with God, and what is not.
This is the gift most leaders will not exercise for several reasons.
1. They don't want to be known for what they are against, more than they want to be known for what they are for.
2. They are not trained in Biblical doctrine that confronts people with lifestyle decisions
3. They are deceptive or defeated by a culture that will not accept a Biblical world view.
For whatever reason most Christian leaders will not operate in the gift of discernment, even though it is a gift of the Holy Spirit, is why we are not prepared as a church for what is to come.
Let me give you some Biblical discernment that is often missed.
1. The Ukraine, Middle East and Israel must be understood not by politics, or conservative saber rattling, but by the fact God is doing it. God has explained, that He will draw nations together against Israel in a one sided war in order to display to the world that He is God, and that Israel is His land. You can read how this discernment plays out in Ezekiel 39, and the point of this discernment is simple, God is in control, and He is performing His Word. So Russia is being prepared, and Putin has come to be a leader God will use for such a time as this.
God is selective in how He allows people into His kingdom, and just saying this is a huge red flag for most people. Why? Because they have been brainwashed to think God is something different than what He is. Discernment isn't about telling people what's wrong, discernment is telling the truth about God. The God of the Bible is Jesus, and Jesus is not the person often represented by many of our pulpits and Christian authors. We have blasphemed God when we do not use the Bible as our resource to discern who God is, and reveal His standards for salvation.
We will be better prepared for a world without God, if we discern who He is today, and turn our lives over to Him and serve Him before it's too late. Knowing God is also knowing His protection as we face our future.
Keeping it honest and truthful...K
4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
I watched last night as the news focused on a teacher who talked about a new state program that will help children of low income families afford the internet and receive a computer that is internet ready. The teacher said, "how will a child learn today without the ability to google it." We have come a long way from the day of going to the library. Google is our best informational friend, searching through over 200 million websites for information. It is amazing that we have the ability to access the kind of information google offers in a matter of seconds. Yet, in an era where technology is king, are we getting smarter? I know we have more information available to us, and knowledge has increased, but the question still stands, "are we getting smarter?"
To me, smarter means "are we advancing knowledge to make us better people?" And the answer is no, because information alone is sterile and has no ability to change anything other than give you information. Information, like language communicates facts and figures, but it is not desired as a moral compass. So, we have the ability to fill our world with information, and use it for the wrong purposes.
What is missing in this technological world of information is a moral compass, the foundation upon which life is interpreted, and gauge to evaluate between right and wrong. Information can not do that. It is with a moral compass that we can use information to help us navigate the channels of life. When a society uses information as a moral compass, you have what we see happening in the world around us. There is confusion, and a desperate need to know more, because like greed, information can not be satisfied with more, it only feeds the addiction.
A moral compass is defined as a set of foundational principles that guides your thinking and behavior. When a moral compass tells you that lying is wrong, than any decision to lie brings about a conviction that violates that foundational principle in your life. Remove the moral compass and replace it with information, and you have a society that can justify any thinking or behavior. If information plays such an important role in our culture, is it corruptible? Does information have a virus much like a computer gets when it gets compromised? It would be reasonable to say yes, information at any level can be corrupted and virus ridden as it serves the evil that has corrupted it. You can not trust information to be accurate, or even truthful, without doing your homework in verifying it.
The two defining words scripture uses to define the last days, is lawlessness, and deception. Both words are based upon corrupted information, and one feeds off the other. The conscience that has no moral compass does not have the capacity to discern between what is true and what is not. That is why one spiritual commentator described our day as "the day discernment died." Without a moral compass there is nothing to steer the ship, the rudder is gone.
This is precisely why I say the only source for trusted information comes from the Bible. This information comes with a built in moral compass that returns us to foundation of knowing right from wrong, and good from evil.
Don't just feed on information, find the truth in God's word, and that will give you a foundation to process information to benefit you, and not to harm you.
Keeping it honest and truthful....K
The American Educational system seems to make hero’s out of people who formulate a idea or two that are out of the ordinary. Here is an example of someone Hillary Clinton and President Obama idolized . Saul Alinsky was a socialist at best, a community organizer who became famous for his ability to organize marginalized groups of people. Here is a short bio on him.
Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his book Rules for Radicals.
However brilliant this man may have been, his responses to a Playboy interview says something completely different about his world view and ultimately about his character.
In an interview just before his death, Alinsky said this:
ALINSKY: ... if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell.
ALINSKY: Hell would be heaven for me. All my life I've been with the have-nots. Over here, if you're a have-not, you're short of dough. If you're a have-not in hell, you're short of virtue. Once I get into hell, I'll start organizing the have-nots over there.
PLAYBOY: Why them?
ALINSKY: They're my kind of people.
Attitudes like this make me wonder about a persons character, and about the work they do. I think if anyone is serious about what they do, they would project into their work something of themselves, and especially their world view. Alinsky saw himself as some kind of savior, a person whose work will continue even in hell.
When you read his Rules for Radicals, you get a sense that he is scheming to defeat his enemies, not by merely defending a position of truth, but finding ways to overpower his enemies by clever techniques. It seemed to me he was a person who even tried to cheat at dying, by the arrogant remarks he made to Playboy. It certainly is his choice not to believe in God, but when one doesn't believe in a higher moral being, the tendency is to set one self up as a substitute. However, Alinsky isn't alone in setting a course for radical thinking, Liberation Theology is another world view that draws young people to a radical way to think. Liberation theology exists to eliminate poverty through a socialistic theology that is more Marxism than Christianity. As author Terry James explains.
Liberation theology is the perfect substitute for true Christianity. It replaces the traditional message of salvation based on faith in Jesus' death with one that is focused on salvation through political and social reform. Salvation is simply reduced to the goal of freedom from oppression in this life. Liberation theology allows the Gospel of Christ to be swallowed up by socialism. God is seen as a "hidden force," and the New Testament is merely a collection of useful illustrations of Marxist truths.
This is the kind of thinking that attracts the young mind to a cause that is greater than themselves. It doesn’t matter that socialism, or Liberation Theology doesn’t work, nor does it serve our world with better ideas. The clearest picture of how to help the poor is not defined by Saul Alinksky, or Liberation Theology, it is found in the scriptures. The transformation of the human heart is still at the top of radical ideas, and it's God's way of changing a culture one life at a time.
The heart of a persons life that is changed by God, is capable of bringing the kind of hope people in poverty need. Taking care of the poor is a part of the gospel that can not be denied, but the emphasis is not on eliminating poverty, it's focus is on the individual in poverty. Meeting their immediate need for food and shelter is the first step, but beyond that the need is for sustainable hope that will help them find the internal resources to climb out of poverty. That may take many steps and many attempts to bring poverty into submission, but with the right motivation, and world view, it is possible.
Saul Alinsky's world view is to find ways to fight as a community, to conquer the system at large, and get your slice of the good life. The slice of the good life has a limited run, and even if you become a millionaire and lose your soul, what has it profited a man? In Matthew 7, Jesus taught that life without God is a bankrupt life, even if the life you live has a moral cause by helping people. Helping people is just cause, but if all you do is help them to live better in this life and not prepare them for the next life, you have done them a disservice for eternity.
|24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”|
Any world view that is not built upon God, is a world view that is bankrupt, destined to succumb to failure because there is no foundation in God. Our young people have to be taught to go beyond the ideas of this world, because this world is so limited, and has no solutions for people beyond their course here on earth. Saul Alinksky may have had some ideas for a racial change, but God's ideas tell us how to live here successfully, and be prepared to die well, and that's the kind of radical that makes more sense to me.
Keeping it honest and truthful....K
Last night in Hollywood you had the Oscars, the world of make believe giving out awards for the best in story telling. Then over the weekend you had the people in the Ukraine threatened by an invasion of Russia. So, the news was filled with the make believe to the real, all finding a spot on the media stage on a Monday morning.
Hollywood has great influence in our world, because they tell stories about people, about dreams, and about our culture. They make most of their stories up, even though there may be some historical truth to some of the stories, the majority are just stories. Everyone likes stories, that's why the movie theater is still the most frequented event in America year around. I realize that the stories told in movies have an entertaining element to them, but there is also an agenda. That agenda is a culturally based abuse of language, sexual exploitation, violence, and often there is a political agenda in what is being layed out on the screen. There are some exceptions, but very few in terms of the over all production of movies coming from Hollywood in a year. As with any good story tellers, the stories reflect the culture in which the story is based, therefore the argument from Hollywood is,"this is our culture, and we are the cultural storytellers." Well, Hollywood may be right, they are only mirroring what our culture has become, and therefore their stories reflect it. I know when I watch the Turner Movie Classic channel, there is a difference in what Hollywood produced many years ago, but again, Hollywood was mirroring the culture of that era.
So, don't be surprised when movies are violent, vulgar, and morally corrupt, they are only showing us what kind of a society we have become, like it or not.
In the world of governments, we have learned nothing from our past. Russia invading the Ukraine is very reminiscent of Germany invading Poland and Austria at the beginning of WW2. With all the international laws and treaties that have been signed since that time, this invasion by Russia breaks all of them, and none of those laws was a deterrent to Russia. The same was true with Germany. The world is not safer, it is not gentler, and even though we have laws and treaties on the books, we are a more dangerous world than we were in World War 2. Nothing has changed in the desire for power, and control, and governments around the world are experiencing a surge of a Marxist world view. We are experiencing this phenomenon here in America, where the government is now controlling more of our lives, and if Americans don't push back, the US Government will control all aspects of American culture. Today, the US Government is the largest employer in America with 2.7 million employees. WalMart the largest retailer has 2.2 million, so what does the comparison between these two tell you about the direction of our country?
With the additional jobs that the Affordable Care Act will employ to regulate and manage the new health care initiative, we may one day all work for the government. Does this disturb anyone? That the government is the largest employer in this country, and growing? How many more areas of control will the government take over, employing more of us from the private sector to manage it's corporate growth? Oh, by the way, how does this government corporation make its money? Does it make any profit on the goods and services it provides? No, it takes your money to fund it's budget, and then without any warning, it decides to get bigger and doesn't worry about where the money will come from to expand its territory, because the government thinks there is an endless supply of resources from your bank account.
So, there you have it, the story tellers from Hollywood and the largest corporation in America, our government, all working to control the American lifestyle, through ideas, stories and policies. How influential is the largest religious group in America, the 400,000 churches totalling 235,000,000 million people? That is based upon 310 million people, and surveys that tell us that 76% of Americans say they are followers of Christ. Now, we know that number can't be that high, but for the sake of conversation, lets cut it in half, you still have 100 million people who say they are Christians. Now what can 100 million people do for a county if they all had the same world view? In contract, there is a 3-4% gay population, maybe 9 million people, and they are able to change the laws in a country where 235 million followers of Christ live. Something doesn't make sense does it?
Have the story tellers been that effective, to influence all those people to accept a lifestyle that the Bible condemns? They must be! Has the government become so powerful that is has squeezed the traditions of Christians out of the ruling class in America? They must have!
Evil, and evil men the Bible says will continue to grow in the last days, and we are seeing it before our very eyes.
Proverbs 28:55 Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
1 Timothy 4
1Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
Regardless of what may be seen now, it won't always be this way. My advise, invest in God, because at the end of the day, all immorality, and all lies, will be wiped from the earth. So the storytellers and all the government control will revert back to God, when He comes to rule this earth. Invest in God, it will pay off in the end.
Keeping it honest and truthful......K