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Tuesday
Jun262018

The God of the Bible is not what is preached in America

Everyone knows that if you comment on an issue on Facebook you might get your head bit off. I know this, so I stay away from any communication on social media sites. It seems Facebook is a place where you post your opinion, run down the President, and wait for someone to disagree with you to begin your tirade. Well, I made the mistake of commenting on the situation happening on our Southern border in response to someone else’s comment. My opinion did not trash anyone; I just had an opinion like everyone. Well, that was not the thing to do. I got told I was off my rocker, insensitive, and not compassionate toward people coming to America illegally. 

Okay, I get it that there are many points of view, but once upon a time that was okay. It was the idea the Bible teaches about iron sharpening iron to make a better end product. That is no longer the case and that is why I have such a problem with left leaning people. They just can’t disagree, they aren’t happy until you are made to feel stupid and out of touch with the reality that is now in America. Okay, the reality in America is definitely not the reality found in the Bible; in fact, the reality of the Bible is often not found in most churches today

Let’s go down the list:

  • God is okay with living together before the consecration of marriage. That is not the God of the Bible. 
  • God is okay with homosexuality because He made you that way. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God has removed a variety of the gifts of the Spirit because they are no longer needed. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God is done with Israel; the Church now gets all Israel’s blessings – and replaces her. That is not the God of the Bible. 
  • God is okay with abortion. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God is okay with greed and asking for 54 million dollar jets so you can be in comfort as you preach the gospel. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God will not share His glory with any person or ministry, especially those who consider themselves “anointed”. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God is okay with the belief that we will take dominion over the entire earth before Jesus comes back, and then we will hand over the planet to Him. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God is okay with arrogant theologians who argue they have the ultimate truth and all others are heretics.That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God is okay with making the gospel all about social justice at the expense of the message of the cross.That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God is okay with preachers changing the message of the gospel to avoid the uncomfortable aspects of being a disciple. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God is okay with His preachers living like the rich and famous. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God wants us to replace truth for tolerance. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God will twist His word to facilitate a lie. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God is okay with traditions of the Church that violate His Word. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God gives us a spirit of freedom to live as we please; it’s all covered under “free will” so anything goes. That is not the God of the Bible.
  • God created many different races so that people can exploit them for their own purposes. That is not the God of the Bible. 

As you can see there are lots of things that get preached in the American Church that have nothing to do with the God of the Bible. Every disciple of Jesus Christ should ask themselves one question when they go to church, watch a TV preacher, or read a book with a Christian theme: “Is that the God of the Bible?”

The Bible teaches us to test things and question things so we do not find ourselves traveling down the road of deception and delusion. 

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

In 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 we find Paul exhorting the Christians to “not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.”

I am not anti-church, I am just disappointed in what I now experience in the Church. The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ so it is about Him, His purposes, His values, and His thinking. I don’t care what preachers think if they don’t base their ministries upon Him. That also means that ministries are not to promote hatred, bigotry, or an elitism that separates them from the world. They are separate from the world because they love, follow, and obey God. 

Just a reminder as I close: 

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

This is the God of the Bible. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K 

 

Tuesday
Jun192018

When Kids Are Used To Divide A Nation

I am so mad at what I hear in the news these days that I could spit nails.  Some politicians have been calling what is happening at our southern border with parents and children “evil treatment”, which is just plain wrong.  HEY POLITICIANS, YOU BUNCH OF HYPOCRITICAL LAWMAKERS, you strain out a gnat and swallow camels. Isn’t that what Jesus said of the Pharisees? These politicians are so upset about these kids being separated from their parents at the border, but they don’t mind supporting laws that kill babies in the womb. I think they desire the same reaction Jesus gave the Pharisees. These politicians who are given the right to represent Americans in Washington should be the first group of Americans who support the laws of the land, and not advocate against them. The United States has laws governing illegal entry into this country, and those laws are finally being enforced. This immigration problem is a politician’s problem; they created it, and they also refuse to fix it. How many administrations have come and gone who swore they would fix the immigration problems?  President Trump is right - it is the job of Congress to write laws, so why haven’t they fixed our Southern border? Let me be blunt. Our politicians are not worth listening to nor are they worth voting for, because they aren’t doing their jobs. I am like so many Americans who are sick of the sanctimonious rhetoric in Washington on immigration reform. We can’t seem to agree on anything and meanwhile more tension builds over something that could be fixed with a little cooperation from everyone. Everywhere I look I see division so tense that it appears that we are in another civil war. It is a war of ideology with hateful people wanting to destroy America for the sake of their political agendas. I am sick of it, however, I have a solution!

Split American in half using the Mississippi River as the dividing line. Give all the land West of the river to the liberals, and all the land to the East to the conservatives and let them rule their domain according to their ideology. All liberals will live in the West and all Conservatives in the East. These two countries can govern their parcel of land by their ideologies and everyone can be happy ever after. 

Of course it won’t work because the liberals will have total chaos and the conservatives will be overly restrictive. Perhaps it would be fair to say that we need each other in order to have a reasonably balanced form of government that works together in finding the best solutions for the people they govern. Not all liberal ideas are from hell, and not all conservative ideas are brainless and hateful. I think it is time we become Americans again, and not Democrats and Republicans. We need to stop the bi-partisan politics and get back to helping Americans agree on what is best for our country. We may always disagree, but we don’t have to use our disagreements to manipulate the process so our party can win the next election.

Jesus told us this:

Matthew 12:25 “Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, "Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.

So unless we pray for a different spirit in our land, we will destroy America. You may not acknowledge it, but we are in a civil war in America today. Unless we are willing to make some concessions to getting back to the country our founding fathers established, we will no longer be a nation for the people, by the people; we will be a nation of divided people. 

Divided people will not prosper, nor will they survive. Perhaps that is the reason America is not mentioned in the prophetic scriptures, we were so divided that we destroyed ourselves… 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

Thursday
Jun142018

Discipleship Transforms our Character

Discipleship sounds so boot-campish doesn’t it? Discipleship however is the process of God’s Word, Holy Spirit mentorship, and the Church - all coming together to bring transformation that is the next step within the salvation experience. 

For example, I know many people who, before coming to Christ, lived a cheating, lying, life and they were always looking for a way to overcome a problem by their craftiness. When this kind of person comes to Christ, that basic nature needs time to be transformed into the image of Christ. In fact, sometimes even if they experience salvation by faith in Christ, they still hold to the tendencies of their former life. That is why it is very important to be in a fellowship group that accents on discipleship, with spiritual growth as an outcome. I even know older, more mature Christians, who have never had any serious discipleship training and as a result their current day theology is often questionable.

There are several signs of poor discipleship, let me list a few: 

  • ·     Negative attitude toward others
  • ·     No humility 
  • ·     Lack of forgiveness
  • ·     Greedy and lacks a spirit of freely giving to others
  • ·     Argumentative know-it-all attitude
  • ·     Lack of discipline in working with others
  • ·     Poor relationship building skills and superficial relationships
  • ·     Often sees other races in a negative light, including immigrants coming to America
  • ·     Careless about theology and is naïve about Bible doctrine
  • ·     Has no mercy on people who make mistakes, or is highly critical of people down
          on their luck
  • ·     Has a tendency to accept all religions as equal
  • ·     Has no interest in Israel or the foundations of the Old Testament
  • ·     Independent attitude that is at odds with the Church

Well you get the point. The question you have to ask yourself, what part of that list represents Christ? What aspects of this list are even good character traits? 

Discipleship is not taught in many Christian circles today, and that contributes to the lack of spiritual knowledge in the body of Christ. One of the big short- comings in the character of Christians today is the depth of relationships. This will be painful for most of you, but it is the truth. 

“People love what you do for them, but they won’t love you.” In other words, relationship is made only as long as you are supplying a need. You as a person do not matter as long as you continue to supply the need.  

I can say a hearty AMEN. (This was supplied to me by the way by one of my podcasters. He also said AMEN.)

I call it the truck syndrome. When you have a truck in a neighborhood where people need you to supply a HAULING need, you are loved. However, get rid of the truck, and you no longer have a relationship. 

Discipleship is the transformation of your character into the character of Christ. It is a critical mandate for the Church and without it we will lose sight of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. 

Read through that list again, and ask God which ones you represent.  It might be painful…

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jun132018

Silence is not a Strategy

Dietrich Bonhoeffersaid: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

If we have eyes to see and ears to hear, silence is not the end result of ministry. It is my personal belief that the last days will try to silence or twist the truth into something that does not represent the God of the Bible. This is what the bill AB 2943 in California is trying to do. It will legislate against Christians’ freedom of speech to tell the Biblical truth about gay marriage and homosexuality. The bill is based on a psychological mindset, which insists that gay people are not sick, they do not have a disease, and that homosexuality is a normal human function. The bill will make it illegal to promote, teach, or counsel any gay person to reject their gay lifestyle. In many countries this is the same intent of laws that prohibit Christians from evangelizing. 

As Americans we have always had freedom of speech as our core freedom. Now because of an agenda where a protected group wants to place a muzzle on the kind of speech that can be spoken, we have entered the stage of censorship.

This is more than just the idea of having the freedom to speak - it is about the silencing of God and the imprisonment of truth. This is the kind of legislation that will make or break the Church. Pastors will either avoid the homosexual issue altogether, or they will be civilly disobedient to the dictates of the law.

Most of the Church has been conditioned to avoid issues that divide people, but that is not the counter cultural nature of the gospel. The scriptures teach us that we are not to accept, tolerate, or avoid evil; we are told to resist it and push back on it. The Church is the only institution that majors on moral issues, and if we go silent in our defense of what is right, we will lose the moral war in our society.  Some would say we have already lost that war, now it is simply a survival mode for most believers. 

I think we can take a lesson out the playbook from Bonhoeffer and resist the temptation to be silent and not create any waves. This however is falling into the category of being a worthless and tasteless organization. 

Matthew 5:13 “"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

Sunday
Jun102018

The Bottom Line of our Day

I write a lot about our day and how we have been in a spiral downward as a country and as a Church. People do not want to face the reality of where we are going and refuse to admit we are in trouble. They go to church on Sunday and hear messages that are inspirational but not life changing. Christians today want to sway to the music, lift their hands in praise, yet never sense the need to discern our age and see with their eyes and hear with their ears. 

I believe Jesus gave us the bottom line on how every generation lives without God in Matthew 13.

 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,hear with their ears, understand with their heartsand turn, and I would heal them.’

 It is fascinating to me to watch religious communities tell their stories about God and yet their stories don’t represent the God of the Bible. I have written about this repeatedly in this blog on how we have invented a God that is part Bible and part culture. When you look at the message of Jesus, it was about self-reflection, becoming aware of your greatest need, and then pursuing that need without hesitation and without excuse. 

Listen to his message from Matthew 3:2

Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near."

My point is simple, do we have eyes to see what the scriptures tell us to do, and do we have ears to hear God speaking to us about what He wants us to change in our lives? If we are going to church to hear a message of happy endings, and stories that inspire us to be better people, we are clearly blind and deaf. 

To become better people requires that there is a change. It reminds me of what people do as they repaint over an existing paint problem. Scraping and stripping the layers of paint off the object to be painted is the best way to assure that the new paint will take hold and not peal. 

Our lives are similar to old paint, before a new life can successfully begin there needs to be a removal of the old life. This is the message of repentance, removing the old and turning to God for the new. The new life in Christ comes about becomes there is a change in our understanding of life and we accept the offer of the gospel.  Many churches do not teach this and I am seeing this trend even in churches that used to make it a regular theme in their ministry. 

Repentance is the key to opening eyes and ears to God. Seeking Him means you are willing to put your life on the line for what He has for you. There are too many of us that think making a commitment to Christ is enough - but that is only the beginning. Following Him requires that you are willing to change and make adjustments in lifestyle and attitude that are becoming of honoring God. 

Those adjustments as leaders will not be easily made. Some of us have traditions and theology errors that will not be easy to overcome as they hold us back from telling the truth. I was speaking with a preacher today about how many pulpits are governed by the budget. Some preachers are told to inspire people but don’t convict them. Why? The budget is directly tied to the pulpit presentations. If the preacher gets too convicting, people will stop coming. I asked my preacher friend a simple question. “Would the message of the pulpit be any different if the budget of the church/ministry was not at stake?” It was a sobering question, and was not readily answered. Today, there are two aspects of most churches: the teaching and the budget. One feeds the other, and together they need each other. However, if the budget is the bottom line to what is preached, then the eyes are blind and the ears are deaf. 

Some may disagree with me, but I think most leaders who run a church or a non-profit ministry are required to provide a service that people will support with their tithes and offerings. If the truth gets too much in the way, that may not happen, thus a great dilemma arises. 

What do you do?  Good question - that is where eyes that see and ears that hear come into play.  What do you think God says? 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K  

 

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