The Censorship That Is Coming

One of my radio production clients, Jan Markell just had an experience with You Tube that will prove to be a warning for all truth telling ministries.  You Tube is owned by Internet giant Goggle, and when they don’t like something you will hear about it, and your account can and will be suspended. That is precisely what happened to Jan; she had two programs she re-ran over the Thanksgiving season that she had originally posted from earlier in the year. You Tube said the material had violated their standards and we would be sanctioned if we continued to be offensive. Here is the email she received:

Hi Jan Markell,


The YouTube community flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. After reviewing the content, we’ve determined that the videos violate our Community Guidelines. As a result, we removed the following videos from YouTube:

  • "Stories Of Hope" 

This is the third Community Guidelines strike your account has received within six months. Because of that, your account has now been terminated, and you won’t be able to access or create any other YouTube accounts.

For more information about account terminations, please visit our Help Center.

- The YouTube Team

The first strike that Jan’s ministry received was on the weekend of November 14, when there was a discussion about the paranormal, and the popularity of the Harry Potter book series.  Jan and her guests discussed the resurgence of the paranormal, and cited Harry Potter as an example of this interest.  Why this was tagged as inappropriate is beyond me. Then on November 28, Jan interviewed Tom Doyle, and author who wrote, “Killing Christians, Living The Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe,” where they talked about the genocide of Christians all over the Middle East.  There was no talk about retaliation against Muslims, they just told the audience about the truth of what is happening to Christians.

Late yesterday, World Net Daily called Google/You Tube to do a story on it and something happened. All of a sudden there was an apology, and an admission that a mistake was made. As of Monday night all is well for Jan Markell’s You Tube account. However it is still a warning that when Christianity challenges the status quo of culture, Christians will be a target of unmitigated retaliation. It was a dry run of what could happen at any time when we tell the truth about any issue.  For example, when Christians challenge the science and the conclusion of global warming advocates, will the same thing happen?  Will those who disagree with us pull our You Tube videos that have a differing opinion?

What about the gospel?  What happens when we who believe in a Biblical view of marriage, or are pro-life, will our point of view be censored? Will censorship be a common ordeal for people who are conservative in our political views?  We have seen that happen with Lois Lerner and the IRS when she targeted non-profits who were Tea Party aligned. Perhaps this is a small matter to some of you, but it will become a big deal as it influences the religious freedom in this country. What about those who object to the exclusivity clause of the John 14:6? Will Christianity’s claim to being the only truth be an offensive concept and considered hate speech against other religions? 

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

Even though this You Tube censorship is a small offense in the scheme of world events, it is a microcosm of what is to come. Jesus told us we would be hated by all nations for following Him, and in recent years we have seen more anti-Christian sentiment than ever before in the United States. As we look around the world, we can see how Christians are being killed in various nations and there is little outcry. 

Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. An average of at least 180 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. (Source: Open Doors USA)

Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ. (Source: U.S. Department of State)

In 41 of the 50 worst nations for persecution, Christians are being persecuted by Islamic extremists. (Source: Open Doors)

So, in light of these statistics, why isn’t there more concern about the plight of these Christians?  Where is our government on being pro-active on religious freedom issues in these countries?  I am sure our government assists many of these countries with foreign aid and other American support, so why is there so much silence about the killing of Christians around the world?  I don’t think it matters to the world if Christians are being killed, displaced, or persecuted.  The western church is slow to react about religious freedom issues, it’s almost as if we stick our heads in the sand and pray, ‘Lord let it never happen here!’

Life for believers who stand for the truth of the gospel will migrate from bad to worse in the coming years.  If you are silent in your witness for Christ, you might be left alone, because you are no harm to anyone. However, if you speak from your Bible, you may become a target of censorship, or even sanctioned as a person of hate.

On the positive side of things, persecution is always good for bring people together for survival, and the church in America could use some coming together. You can get a copy of Tom Doyle’s book “Killing Christians” from Jan Markell’s on line bookstore.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K


When God Takes The Anointing Away

1 Samuel 15:22-23

But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?

To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

Israel was more concerned about doing the rituals than they were about having a change of heart, and obeying God. Some things never change with religious people. We have a lot of religious observance in the Christian community, but are we satisfying God through our worship services?  Does he find that we are obeying Him over our religious ritual of worship?  Just going to church on Sunday doesn’t do much for Him, unless He sees a heart that is pursuing Him, and is living according to His Word.  It may do something for you, but unless it is bringing you to a place of a changed heart, I think you are wasting your time thinking you’re making God happy by gathering in His name at church.  What makes God happy isn’t singing Chris Tomlin songs, it is a heart whose desire is to know and follow Him without compromise. King Saul decided he would go ahead of God, thinking it is better to ask forgiveness than permission. The prophet Samuel had a harsh word for King Saul, “because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.”  I wonder if some of our disappointments as Christians haven’t been because we went ahead of God in our impatience to see something accomplished.  I know for a fact, I have been guilty of this, and only after falling upon my face in defeat did I realize that God was an after thought in the process of my decision-making. God is seeking for people who will pursue Him without reservation, and without doubt.

In a conversation I had today with a good friend who is struggling with forgiving people who have deeply hurt him, he realized that holding on to the pain of unforgiveness was detrimental to his own spiritual growth and happiness. It is never easy to forgive, but if we are obeying God, we have no other choice than to forgive. Living in unforgiveness toward others is an act of pride. Your pride is always affected by the offense, and you will never get over it without understanding how your pride was affected.  What happens is that your pride wants to be right when you’re wronged and no matter how you justify being the victim, it never justifies un-forgiveness.

That is why Samuel said, “To obey is better than sacrifice” because it takes real courage to stand up to your own pride, and obey God in forgiveness, than it does to hold a grudge in un-forgiveness. This is true for so many areas in our discipleship, but one other area that I would like to mention quickly is not telling the whole truth.  In my career as a pastor, and executive director I have notice that believers will often tell only a partial truth, but exaggerated the rest. I don’t think this honors God, nor does it bring us favor with fellow believers who will eventually find out the schemes of dishonesty.  I have been lied to more by believers than I have been by unbelievers, and the painful part of that is I expect dishonesty from those in the world, but I do not expect it from those who say they follow Christ.

God will remove His anointing from those who do not obey Him. Religious people are often like King Saul who think their traditional observances will suffice when it come to obedience.  It was not true for Saul, he disobeyed God and His kingdom was removed.  It is important that we pause more often in our day and ask the question, “God am I pleasing you today by living according to what I know you want from me?”  I know we will have days that will not go well for us, but that is no excuse when it comes to obeying God.  Bad days are not excuses for not forgiving, or for not telling the whole truth.  God expects us to be the salt and light for Him, and that means we have to work harder at being more concerned that we obey Him.

These are some sobering thoughts for you from the life of Saul who really had a successful reign until he decided to do it his way.  That is always a recipe for disaster.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K



Five Reasons For This Blog

Once a year I try to evaluate the reason I do this blog, and the reason is always the same.  I try to find new ways of supporting these postings, but I come back to the same reasons every time.  I feel compelled to say something most people are not saying in evaluating in the Christian community.  Some have told me that there is too much negative commentary, and that they like to read things that have a more positive bent.  Let me explain why I write the way I do.

1. You can never remove the negative by simply living in the positive. Countries have been taken over, and cultures changed by those who refuse to face up to the evil overreaches around them. It has been my conclusion that Christians need to be the salt and light in our world, and in order to expose the darkness, you have to know it exists, and then understand that it is encroaching upon all aspects of your life. This blog often warns about the danger of ignoring the signs of the times, and connects what is happening in the news, to what the scriptures say about the last days. The recent terror attacks in Paris is only the beginning of how evil is trying to control your life by fear, but as Christians we are not to live in fear, but by faith. Telling the truth is not positive when you are exposing what is evil, but in the end, our faith will result in the positive reality of entering into His Kingdom. 

2. Traditions and denominational underpinnings are not always Biblical. I have been purging myself for years of inept teaching that influenced the way I read and understand the Bible. The greatest revelation for me was realizing the importance of Israel in the last days.  Israel has always been important to God, in fact all the covenants, including the New Covenant (the cross/the church/the gospel) was not originally given to the church, it was given to Israel. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)  It is in Romans 11 where the Apostle Paul explains that the church (gentiles) were grafted in to the New Covenant.  Nowhere in my previous Christian teaching was this ever made clear. So much of the church today is following the teaching of replacement theology, and it’s not a Biblical view. There are many areas in the church today where people are dogmatic about issues that are not Biblical, and each one must be exposed and challenged by what the Bible says, and not what theologians have interpreted it to say.

3.  Preaching in many churches today has created an incomplete gospel. There is a focus on what best suites the lead pastor, and leadership team. I have been visiting churches over the past five years to find a church that really has a heart for Biblical truth, and is not afraid to preach it.  I have heard many talks about social issues, and how Christians need to be active in living out their faith.  Now, I would agree with that, however, there is a pre-requisite for any activity we do for Christ, and that is you have to know Him. One of the citations God brought against ancient Israel was that the religious leaders did not know God, yet they taught as if they did.  The religious leaders in the day of Jesus also talked a good spiritual game, but their hearts were far from Him.  The heart of the servant of God first must know the plan of God in order to be effective in sharing the love of God. Oswald Chambers reminds us of the importance of preaching the cross: “Forgiveness is a divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement.” Do we accept a message of grace without the cross?  Do we preach a cross-less gospel?  In my visits to three dozen churches over the past two years, the cross was rarely mentioned in the Sunday sermon.

4. Christian leaders need to be bolder, and determined to fight the culture on issues of immorality, dehumanizing the issue of abortion, and vocal about the issues presented in our political parties that are not Biblical or moral. There is no perfect party, but if a party stands behind abortion and gay marriage, that party is evil, plain and simple. The church is called to be the moral voice in our culture, and too often moral issues are too controversial for pastors to handle. However, if you are a Christian and you follow the Bible as the authority in your life, you can never vote for a candidate that represents support for moral issues that conflict with God’s Word.  Jesus told us that you would know people by their fruit, whether it is good or bad. The same is true with party platforms, and if any political party supports abortion, or gay marriage, it is not a party to belong to or vote for its candidates.

5. The church must become humble, firm, and bold.  Jesus told us to be as wise as serpents, and as meek as doves. We have too much pride in the leadership of the church today; everyone is trying to build a kingdom for him or herself.  They spend more time building around themselves than they do around the Lord.   God may be in the mix of the discussion, but when you look closer at what people say, and what they do, you will be in for a shock of your life. Exposing falsehood, pride, misconceptions, and out right lying is what the church is suppose to do. We are to be the conscience of society, speaking God’s Word into our culture and exposing the lies is a large part of what ministry needs to do in an age of lawlessness.

Okay, now you know why I write the way I do. I write with a discernment based upon these five concepts, and usually don’t stray too far from them.  If you enjoy the postings I hope you will further them by posting them on Facebook, sending them to a friend or family member you feel would benefit from some honest dialogue about truth.

I would appreciate your feedback as well.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K


The Misgivings Of Christianity

Misgiving defined as: doubt, reservation; suspicion; distrust, mistrust, lack of confidence, second thoughts; trepidation, skepticism, unease, uneasiness, anxiety, apprehension, disquiet.

The feel good generation has permeated everything in our Western society including our understanding of God.  Recently while visiting Israel I had a chance to engage in two conversations with Orthodox Rabbi’s who challenged our group on the presence of God.  They made a case that God’s absence in responding to us is often a lesson on trust.  For example, where was God during the Holocaust, and why didn’t He respond to the genocide of the Jews?  One Rabbi told us it was a lesson of the “favorite” being punished, like Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers because Joseph was his father’s favorite. This is the same idea when the Rabbi’s talk about Isaiah 53, they would say that the suffering servant in that chapter represents Israel, not Jesus. Israel is the suffering servant, and if you read that chapter with Israel in mind, you begin to understand the mindset of the Jews. Christianity however takes on a different view of God’s presence where He is always with us even to the end of the age. However, the misgiving of some who would say that the prosperity of the gospel message should give to you the best in the land, because He loves you. The “Kings Kids”  (believers) should get the best in the land and nothing should be off limits for their possession. However if someone is suffering in life it is because they aren’t following the dictates of proper belief. 

You can see that both extremes of the Rabbi’s and the prosperity preachers are misgivings, and both have large crowds following their way of thinking.  But what does God say about all of this?  What would be some of the things He would classify as a misgiving in the thinking of those who follow Him?

My wife found this on Facebook today: I thought it would be great way to illustrate my point on misgiving!

“The chief dangers that confront the coming centuries will be religion without the Holy Spirit:  Christianity without Christ: forgiveness without repentance: salvation without regeneration: politics without God: and heaven without hell.” 

                                                                                                           -William Booth

Our misgivings can be defined by the omissions of what we don’t place an emphasis on in our religious circles. We think that salvation is a word driven confession, and a simple raise of a hand, and a prayer of acceptance will make all things right before God.  

However if you don’t have some kind of changed behavior following your confession of Jesus, one could question the reality of that person’s salvation. Misgivings like this can be seen in many places in the church today, here are some examples:

  1. How can we talk so much about God’s grace yet never touch upon the judgment of God?  Grace saves you from what?  Isn’t it the wrath of God?  So why aren’t we talking about it?  Romans 5:9 says: Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”
  2. How about the law?  Most Christians think we don’t live under the law any more, yet Romans 3:31 says: Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.”
  3. How about suffering for Christ?  No one likes to suffer; yet suffering is a major theme of the Bible. Some people teach that anyone who suffers does so because there is something wrong with a person’s faith. Yet the Apostle Paul says suffering will happen to faith filled believers. In Philippians 1:29 Paul writes: For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.”
  4. How about our culture setting the interpretation of scripture, and using Christ as a means to present an agenda.  Too often race is used in the church to continue a segregated body of believers. Christ breaks down the barrier that is between humans, and Paul explains that all contrasted people groups are no longer separate they are one in Christ.  Galatians 3:27-29 says: For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.
  5. How about preaching the whole Word of God? We preach the scriptures according to our theological traditions and interpret them in the same manner.  Our traditions are not scripture, and they are not sacred, yet they become the bedrock upon which we practice our faith. In many churches there is a never a mention about the importance of the Jews, prophecy, and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Pastors have removed themselves from anything controversial because it goes against the trend of what builds churches today. Truth is denied in favor of more is better.  Acts 20:26-28 says: "Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. "For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."


We need to preach the whole council of God, not a partial gospel. There is a critical need today to revisit our structure of how we follow Jesus. There are many misgivings in Christianity, and until we begin to acknowledge them, nothing will ever change and we will remain adrift from the goal of Jesus Christ in making “one new man.”  (Ephesians 2:15)

Keeping it honest and truthful…K


Religion Is Deceiving

As I reflect on the week my wife and I have spent in Israel, I can tell you it is a land of religions. There is a spirit of religion that permeates the land, especially in Jerusalem, where religion is the main driving force in the city.  The Catholics, the Orthodox Jews, and the Muslims all have a big presence representing religion. Religion can never make you right with God; it only gives you a format and a structure by which you can pursue God.  No one standing before God will be standing there in heaven because of his or her religion. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 23, and here are the words He used to address religion.


Blind Guides

Blind Men

White Washed Tombs



Brood of Vipers

He used many of these words several times making the emphasis that religion doesn’t make you righteous, it makes you deceived. The prophet Hosea said in chapter 6, and verse 6, that God was looking for people who placed love above religious duty or practice, and knew Him in relationship more than the words of inspiration.

I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.

As I walked around Jerusalem, looking at all the religious sites, I was reminded that God looks for mercy, and He blesses the life of anyone who makes a difference toward others. The psalmist talks about how God considers a person to be righteous and in right relationship with His character.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?

Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous,

who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander,

who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others;  who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord;

who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind;

Who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.

Religion wants conformity to a standard they have set as a way to make a pilgrimage to God. Religion tells you things that will make you think God will accept you because of what religion teaches. However, that instruction can be far from the truth. For example, in my early years as a boy, I was raised to believe because I was a Catholic that all Catholics were going to heaven. I wasn’t introduced to the Bible, or the personal relationship I can have with Jesus as my savior until I turned twenty.  It was then and only then that I realized my religion was wrong, and even deceiving.   As a protestant born again believer I found the same kind of experience. There are religious practices that keep people believing things that are not consistent with scripture. The Church is suppose to live out their lives in order to inspire Jews to jealousy, and not to use theology (their understanding of God) to persecute them.  Israel is an important part in how Christianity was formed, and yet few denominations recognize their contribution.  In fact, if you were to look at the statement of faith document of most churches, you will find that less than 2% will have anything stating support for Israel as God’s chosen people. They won’t mention anything about Jesus returning to Jerusalem, to rule and to reign as a King of the Jews, and Lord of the Church.

Religion in time takes on a life of it’s own, and soon everything evolves around that religion, and not around the worship and love for God.

Nowhere better can you experience rogue religion than in Jerusalem. You can see how religion tries to present God through all the trappings of a religious system, but at the end of the day they are all substitutes for knowing Him.

The Jews are trying so hard to be heard by God, the Catholics are trying so hard to be seen by God, and the Muslims are trying so hard to power evangelize (intimidation) for God. In the end, they all miss who God is, and what God wants, which is for us to know Him.  In Matthew 9:13 Jesus said:

Then he added, "Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.' For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

The scriptures defines the true meaning of religion as:

James 1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Religion can be corrupting and deceptive if you allow the system of religion to be the basis for your relationship with God. Be careful that your religious beliefs don’t keep you away from knowing the true God.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

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