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Sunday
Oct192014

When Debate Is One Sided

“Leftists like to use government and institutions to control others, and they often fear a robust and free exchange of competing ideas,” LaBarbera said. “This explains U-Regina’s censorship and squelching of a debate that actually would have benefited its students. (We had friendly discussions with some young adults before the arrest.) Such bureaucratic speech ‘protection’ dishonors students, who by the time they reach college should be able to hear all sides of every issue and make decisions for themselves on what they believe.”

This quote is from a man who was protesting on a Canadian College campus debating and discussing the risks of homosexuality, and abortion.  He was arrested, and now faces a court trial on the ordeal.

http://mobile.wnd.com/2014/10/christian-on-trial-for-telling-dangers-of-homosexuality/

The left has had an agenda for years that makes a debate with those who oppose the issues they support illegal to have in the public square. Education, in our so called, institutions of higher learning have the same agenda, they do not want the Christian point of view to enter the debate, because they ultimately are afraid of it. This is not unfamiliar with the lefts agenda's against the truth, I remember growing up, that the communist countries banned the Christian message from being preached anywhere in their land. Today, Islamic countries target Christian churches and persecute believers. The story is the same, whether it is in the West, or the East, the debate is a one sided affair. The fear of allowing Christianity and it's claims of truth into the debate are too dangerous and the uncertainty of  what people might do with it, is too much of a risk.  

I have always felt, that whether it is Islam or our western Universities, their leadership are cowardly. Education for example should be a debate on issues that are in opposition, if Christianity is such a bad idea, then debate it. Prove that the agenda of Christians world wide are delusional, and non-instrumental in bringing stability to a people or group. Prove that our judicial system is not based upon the moral Biblical code, of the Ten Commandments. Prove to their students how the early colleges, hospitals, and human service organizations were started because of the teachings of Christ and caring for your fellow man. Christianity teaches about God's love, and how to love your neighbor as yourself. The DNA of Christianity  is about improving a society at it's foundation, and it does not incite revolution, violence, and it never restricts a debate about the merits of it's beliefs.  Christianity as a whole never restricts the freedom of people to think for themselves, and investigate the claims of Christ. If any belief structure can't put their belief underpinnings to the test of discovery on the open market for people to see for themselves the merits of your philosophy or religion,  than your system is not about education, or freedom, it's about tyranny. In a free society, you have the right to debate ideas, and it is no different than having the right to shop for a new car.  You compare the options, test drive the vehicle, review the warranties, and negotiate the price.  You have the freedom to educate yourself on the various manufacturers to find out which car is best suited for you. What our universities have done, is tell the student, we have one model, and one choice for you to study, there is no freedom to have a fair and balanced debate on the merits of other cars, because that isn't in the options of their education. It's no wonder our colleges are turning out atheists, and people who hate Christianity.  There is no fair debate anymore, it's all about a left agenda of do it their way, or we will take you to court.  There will be no debate about the immorality of homosexuality, because they want it accepted without challenge, and if you do oppose it, you are accused of hate speech. There is no debate. 

Jesus told us that we would be hated, restricted, beaten and marginalized if we believed in Him. 

Matthew 24:9-10

 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.  10And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.

Jesus knew that the truth is a witness against deception and false religions, they hate any open debate. The sinful heart of man is a powerful enemy, and when it fights against the truth, it fights to eliminate it, not debate it. It is no different than Islamic terrorists telling Israel it has no right to exist.  Do you see the similarities?  Universities telling it's students, Christian thought, and belief is not welcome in any debate at this institution. Our job as Christians is to continue to challenge that thinking, not letting them escape without a debate.

A free society has open debates, giving people the opportunity to discover the merits of all beliefs, not just what is decided for them by a leftist agenda. 

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

 


Thursday
Oct162014

Impeach the Mayor? Why Not?

The Houston mayor has over stepped her authority and should be impeached. The city council should also all resign, at least those who endorsed this action. Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council said this about this incident.

Pastors from around the nation should rally around the Houston ministers.

“The state is breaching the wall of separation between church and state,” Perkins told me. ‘Pastors need to step forward and challenge this across the country. I’d like to see literally thousands of pastors after they read this story begin to challenge government authorities – to dare them to come into their churches and demand their sermons.”

Perkins called the actions by Houston’s mayor “obscene” and said they “should not be tolerated.”

“This is a shot across the bow of the church,” he said.

This is a sign, the beginning of persecution for any Christian standing up for the truth of the scripture.  This is only the beginning, and if you think it won't come to your neighborhood, you are delusional. The bottom line of the left, gay agenda, is to prosecute any person, or persons, who oppose their so called rights. Their opposition are targeted, maligned, and as it is in Houston,  they are threatened with fines and jail time if they don't comply.  Every pastor and church in America should send a message to Mayor Annise Parker protesting her abuse of power.  If the church in Houston doesn't rally around these five pastors, and support their fight against this action, then they might as well close their doors, because they have become like the salt Jesus described in this verse.

Matthew 5:13

 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.

King Solomon told us there is a time to fight back, and defend what is right. 

a time to keep silent, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

A great need in the church today is to raise up courteous leaders who are not afraid to tell the truth and fight for what is right in our society. Too many pastors end up compromising their calling in being silent about the issues that are controversial.  

If you contrast what we see in the pulpits today with the pulpits back in the Revolutionary days, you will find a stark contrast. 

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube%EE%80%81+black+robe+%EE%80%80regiment&FORM=VIRE4#view=detail&mid=6FAAB8781CEF9C02E2A86FAAB8781CEF9C02E2A8 

Preachers were not only religious leaders, they understood that their religious duty was to serve their country by defining the Constitution of the United States.  Beneath those black robes they wore as they preached, was a soldier who willing to defend the country with his life.

It was that kind of courage that forged this great land, and we are now on the brink of losing everything our foundering forefathers fought and died for. 

I usually don't call for the resignation of people, because everyone has a right to an opinion, but when they misuse their authority and abuse their power as a public servant, that is a different matter.  She should be called upon to step down, and resign her post. However, my greater concern is for the pastors who are in her sights. I pray for courage and boldness for these leaders, and that the church will come to support them in an overwhelming way.  

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

 

Wednesday
Oct152014

Is the Church Guilty of Subversive Activity? 

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/14/city-houston-demands-pastors-turn-over-sermons/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/10/15/a-witch-hunt-houston-govt-subpoenas-pastors-sermons-as-battle-over-equal-rights-ordinance-heats-up/

This is the kind of craziness that our government is perpetuating upon the American people. It is this same craziness that we should be concerned, because monitoring Christian activity will be the norm in America in days to come. This is another reason why our pulpits are silent, weak, and uninformed, they don't want to create any waves. However, it is worth mentioning that there is a movement underway with some pastors who are standing their ground and telling the government that they will speak about political issues, and candidates, even at the risk of losing their tax exempt status.  Let's give them a standing ovation. 

http://abcnews.go.com/US/pulpit-freedom-sunday-challenges-government/story?id=11731772

If the Church is going to be monitored as to what we are saying about the government, then it's time we monitor mosques as well.  Christians haven't flown any planes into building recently, nor have they been guilty of any jihad. I have warned through this blog repeatedly, that when the pulpits of the land don't address issues of government, societal immorality, support for Israel, Middle East prophecy, and start addressing the issues of the day through a Biblical world view, we as the church become irrelevant, and ultimately deceived.  There is coming a day, when there will be a distinct divide among Christians, those who who will be absorbed into the society's system, and those who will be determined to stand for the truth.  Some have accused me of making the message of the Church too political, but I say, the last days are political days.  Bible prophecy tells us that the one world system that ushers in the Antichrist is a political system. It is a philosophy of governance that says that the government is god, and government is the only entity that can solve the world's problems. So, let's merge all the governments, get on the same computer software, and build a world of "one size" fits all. That's where we are going, and that's political.  The Church represents the salt and light of Jesus, and that means we should have influence in the world around us, inlcuding the politics of our day.  Salt and light preserve and illuminates, they are change agents, not passive elements. There is no admonition in the scripture that tells us to sit quietly by, and say or do nothing. The image I get from the scriptures is a warrior with the Bible in one hand and a shovel in the other. We are to be guided by God's Word, and use the shovel of courage and strength to change the world.

Will the Church be found guilty of subversive activity?  Yes if it operates as we are told in scripture.  We are not here to support a government system, we are here to be representatives of a heavenly kingdom, and when those two clash, and they will, we must stand our ground defending the truth of that kingdom.  Sorry pastors, but many of you have lost your heart, and your courage, you are more concerned about building some kind of kingdom here on earth that represents you, and your skills a leader. Who cares if you have a mega church, if you never teach them about being faithful unto death to the Kingdom of God?  That is the same principle Jesus told of the rich man. 

Luke 12:19-20 19

And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’  20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

 So, you have built a kingdom on earth that has no value to the Kingdom to come, congratulations. You have fit into a mold where you wanted a safe environment where everyone feels good, and is happy, content, and well adjusted. I am happy for you, you have created a paradigm that is unique to the Christian faith and practice.  It is a 21st century phenomenon and has never been known before in the history of the church. 

Here is what has been the paradigm. 

 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.  35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.  36Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—  38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

This doesn't look like anything we have today in the church, at least in America. I am not suggesting we all eat grass, and go be martyrs, but what I am saying is that we need a little more testosterone from our leaders in the pulpit.  I want to hear our pulpit leaders say what our founders did in the beginning of this country, "give me liberty or give me death." 

That needs to be the battle cry of those churches in Houston, and it should be the battle cry of every Christ honoring pulpit in America.  You can not face a world like ours with a passive, no contest attitude, or you will be swallowed up in the cycle of irrelevance and worthlessness. 

Give me the liberty to preach Jesus, and let me stand for the truth of the Kingdom that is to come, or give me death. 

Strong words, but I mean them. Stand strong Houston, we've with you!!!

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

 

 

Tuesday
Oct142014

Playing It Safe With Demons

I am an observer. I listen to what people say, and I watch what people do.  In listening and watching people in the church today, I am amazed that we don't talk about demons more, not because I am obsessed with the demonic, it's because I don't hear much about the supernatural anymore. I then wonder, "are we playing it safe" with demons by ignoring their existence in our world? When I was a young Christian in the 70's, we had a great deal of teaching on the demonic realm, including exorcism, and at the time I thought it was all normal for Christians to cast out demons.  After all, you read a lot about demons in the ministry life of Jesus and Paul, but today, not much is talked about their influence in the world around us. In Acts 19 is an example of people who were trying to cast out demons, without much success.

 11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,  12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.  13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus, whom Paul proclaims.”  14Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.  15 But the evil spirit answered them,“Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”

The supernatural is one of the cornerstones of early Christianity.  Many Christians today live their faith far from the idea that miracles happen, the sick can recover, and evil can be cast out of a person. I have said for many years, we have shifted to a Christianity of convenience, where we are play it safe with our faith, and stay in a comfortable zone within our belief structure. We love to talk about how faith helps us personally, and sets a course for our lives, but its always in a safe, reserved fashion. In fact, it was in a recent conversation with a national leader that I discovered why prophecy about the Lord's return is so neglected by many Christians. The reason we ignore it is because there is a lot more of this life to experience, and we don't want to miss out on it.  How's that for a self serving view of Christianity? As I observe the ministry of Jesus and the Book of Acts, we find a practice of Christianity that is risky and supernatural.  If you contrast early Christianity with what is practiced today, you will find a world of difference. The early Christian's turned the world upside down with how they lived out their faith. 

Acts 17:6

 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also

Jason and some of the brothers did not play it safe with their faith. Their lives were not their own any more, and it didn't matter if they were dragged before the city council for preaching Jesus. Today, we play it safe from our pulpits, don't create waves or cause attention to ourselves, and by all means, don't talk about demons. Like so many other things in life, if enough time is given in ignoring an issue, it will eventually be forgotten, and will go away.  This is tragic when it comes to ignoring a supernatural Christianity and replacing it with a play it safe benign Christianity that makes everyone feel good. Again, my observation is, "what do we do with the demons?"  Are they ignored too, since we don't acknowledge them or their work anymore in our play it safe spiritual lives?  All I am doing is asking the question, "does a supernatural Christianity exist anymore, and if it does, what does it look like?"  I can read the Book of Acts and see that it existed in the first century, but is there any resemblance of it today? I know why some people have chosen to run from a supernatural Christianity, because it can become too subjective, and weird.  Many of the hyper-miracle seeking groups, develop strange interpretations of scripture, and practice some bizarre manifestations. They make every experience seem like a three ring circus more than a ministry. I understand that dilemma, however, Christianity at its core is still supernatural and the Word of God helps us govern this supernatural dimension with the help of the Holy Spirit to maintain a Biblical perspective.  

Personally, I don't want just a cognitive understanding of God, where He is only a principle, or He fits nicely into a lesson plan for ministry. I want a Christianity that was reflected in the Book of Acts, an interactive, powerful influence that turns the world upside down, and doesn't play it safe with demons. How about you? 

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

Monday
Oct132014

A Question Often Not Asked

Acts 19

Paul in Ephesus

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples.  And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” 

I find this passage somewhat fascinating, because the Apostle Paul found 12 "disciples" of Jesus gathered together, and he was prompted to ask this question: "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" Strange question to ask if you are a follower of Jesus, isn't it?  I also have wondered what prompted Paul to ask such a question?  Where they acting strangely, or was their behavior worldly?  I meet new Christians all the time, and I don't think of asking such a question.  But, it got me to thinking about their response. 

And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”  

So were they only following Jesus only because of the message of the cross, and the story of His resurrection? They were followers of Jesus because of the hopeful message of the gospel, and they were quite convinced they had all there was to have in following Jesus.  Yet, they discovered that when Paul laid his hands upon them, something happened that was supernatural. 

And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.”  And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”  On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.

This was a supernatural outpouring and nothing could have helped them more as disciples, than being filled by the Holy Spirit. Now, most Christians believe that when you accept Jesus, you are filled with the Holy Spirit, but I would disagree. I would say, that the Holy Spirit brings you to Christ, and gives you an opportunity to believe in Jesus, but there was no infilling at just accepting the message. It must have been evident to Paul, that these were young believers who knew the message of Jesus, and accept it, but had no supernatural influence until this event.  

Most Christians have a faith in the name of Jesus Christ, but live far from their potential because they deny the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is what gives a believer the insights, knowledge and power to carry out the mission of the Church, and too often believers, like these men at Ephesus, are ill-equipped. Jesus told us that when the Comforter would come, He would do three things as recorded in John 16:

And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;  concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

1. Conviction of Sin:  Without the Holy Spirit, there is no discernment, and no conviction of sin. Today Church is stuck on the message that Grace is all you need. Someone has said, "today, is a day when discernment has died," I think it is more appropriate to say, "today is a day, when the Holy Spirit is left out."

2. Conviction of Righteousness:  Without the Holy Spirit there is no conviction of a standard of righteousness.  The Holy Spirit brings to life the power of the word of God, and the conviction of living a holy life in Jesus Christ. He guides the believer into a deeper understanding of what it means to put God first in everything, which translates into Jesus being our standard for understanding God.

3. Conviction of Judgment:  Without the Holy Spirit, there is no conviction of punishment, hell or judgment.  When Christians don't talk about the judgment of God, and the eternal punishment of Hell, are they operating within the definition Jesus gave of the work of the Holy Spirit among us? 

So, asking the question about being filled with the Holy Spirit isn't such an odd question when you think of the importance of His work in the Church. Perhaps when we only preach the grace message, and water down the idea that we don't want to offend anyone, what are we really saying?  Are we dismissing the "Holy Spirit" from our presence, and no longer desire His conviction on anything?  I watched a Catholic lay person protesting the Catholic stand against gay marriage say, "we are praying that the leadership of the church will listen to the Holy Spirit and change their minds."  You see, his view of the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with how Jesus described Him. 

You judge.  It is fairly straight forward, the Holy Spirit has come to convict us of sin, convict us of living a life in Christ, and convict us that there is a judgment day, complete with a God who will judge us. 

We are a weak Church, with a pitiful understanding of who God is and what His mission on earth is all about, and most of the time, I am afraid, we are making it up as we go.  Why?  Because we have refused to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work among us, and the irony of it all, we don't even know that there is anything missing.  

Keeping it honest and truthful.......K 

 

 

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