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Thursday
May262011

Whose Perspective?

With the advent of the internet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the like, every person now can has a say. In some ways that can be a good thing, that is to be heard.  However, it's a lot like throwing a snow ball into a snow storm, not going to stick out to much.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, my opinion really isn't important when you compare it to the perspectives that Jesus gave to us.  I know that all religions have some of the same moral values as Christianity, but none of them make the claim of John 14:6.

6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Now that is a perspective that is unique to Christianity, but this distinction is being lost in the church because of the influence of the post modernism that has infiltrated the foundations of our faith. One person I talked with recently said, "I don't want to be called an 'Evangelical' anymore, because I am not sure what that tag represents today." I can understand that, because, everything from the virgin birth, to hell has been questioned and given a different meaning from what most believers grew up understanding.  I am not against questioning tradition, or it's application to the practice of Christianity, because I would be the first one to get on that band wagon to ask, "WHY DO WE DO IT THAT WAY?"  But what is being questioned today is not the practice of faith, but the faith itself. Many of the popular teachers/authors have a perspective they think is so valuable they sell books to others making their case, yet it's only a perspective that is subjective to the author. I read less of what popular Christian literature is saying, because much of it is about the publishers and authors whose perspective is  promoted as more important than the founder of Christianity. I am sorry, but at 61 years of age, my experience with most believers has been an emphasis that is more about them and their issues, than it is about the call and purpose of Jesus Christ in their lives.  In the old days of Christianity we use to teach about less of me and more of Him, today it's more about me, because I have a Facebook account. Give me a break. I realize that God uses the body of Christ to be His hands and His feet, but if we really are going to be that, we had better get back to making our emphasis in life about His perspective. His perspective by the way is  ABOUT HIM, and not on my perspective about HIM....... 

Of course it's only my perspective...grin.

Glenn Beck has become a conservative icon, and his perspective not only is formed around his politics, but his religion. If you didn't know he was talking about Mormonism, you would say he was an Evangelical...because he is saying everything an Evangelical says. This is how a deception gets accepted by the general Christian population, the formula is quite simple: popular personality + personal  lifestyle values=acceptance. 

Really?  Sure judge for yourself, this clip could be used to promote any Evangelical Church in America. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USpeolBTKIo&feature=related

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

Wednesday
May252011

My Words Do What?

Proverbs 12:18

 18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Recently there was a minister who gave a prayer before a legislative body whose words were politically harsh and inappropriate for the occasion. It created an atmosphere I am told that left people wanting more godly insight by someone praying for wisdom, and not delivering a political opinion. Being truthful and honest doesn't have to make you harsh or insensitive to your surroundings.  There is a tendency by many who want to take a stand against the liberal policies of government to say things that can harm their cause of righteousness rather than help it. I think there is a time and place for honest dialogue and face to face debate, but there are times we stand before God with an open heart and mind and we simply ask Him for His wisdom and guidance. 

I have been outspoken about the slippery slope the church is on as it pertains to holding on to the teachings of the Bible vs the cultural interpretation of scripture. I have been critical of a pastor in our area whose involvement with the environment, immigration issues, and poverty, all the hot buttons in our society, and at times have passed judgment on this leader with my words. What I have questioned is the comments made by this leader about the environment where this leader said, "global warming is the most important issue facing the church today?"  I am sorry, global warming may be an issue of pollution but it can be controlled, but that's not at all the most critical issue facing the church today.  The greatest issue facing the church is indifference and apathy toward the preaching the gospel. Its the deconstruction of what the scripture teaches, and re-constructing a different paradigm for the post modern audiences.  It is this kind of interaction that makes my words more harsh and critical. However, just about the time I get on my high horse about this pastor/leader, I see a commercial from his ministry during the local  evening TV news. The message is that salvation can be found in no other name other than in Jesus Christ. Now, my whole argument, my defense mechanisms all melted away and this once slippery slopped Christian leader has now redeemed himself in the scope of my opinion.  God wants us to be honest and not dodge the harder questions facing our culture, but I think we can do so with words that can heal as well as challenge the heart and mind. We must always keep in mind that our opinions  really don't mean in light of eternity. The only perspective that really matters is the perspective of Jesus Christ, because His words are the words that eternity hang on. So when I stand before a legislative body, a congregation, leading my small group, or leading my team in the market place, my perspective has to take into consideration the people I am trying to influence with my life.  Does it matter what my political opinion is?  Does it matter what theology I ascribe to? Does it matter what church I attend?  No, because if you line up all these issues and compare them to the call each believer has on his or her life which is to influence others to accept the message of Jesus Christ, it doesn't matter. You can nit-pick your way to being ineffective and judgmental and never accomplish anything for the Kingdom of God.  Our call is to draw people to the truth, to instill in them the hope that Jesus gives to all human beings.  

Watch your words today.  Let them be honest and truthful, but always season them with grace, it will go further than your anger against unrighteousness. 

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

 

Tuesday
May242011

The Right To Exist?

I think England should declare a statement like, "America doesn't have the right to exist, because they took the land from the native people who were living there, and they broke away from British rule to become their own nation."  If this seems to be so incomprehensible, why does it seem okay that America should dictate to Israel how they should divide their land to give to another group?  America took land from those who occupied it before the nation was formed, why shouldn't we have to do the same thing we are expecting Israel to do?  I think Europe should go back to it's pre-world war one boarders, and see the response you'd get out of Europeans. If America had to give land back, they would have to give Native Americans Minnesota and the Dakotas so they could have a sovereign nation. (Oh by the way, California and Texas should go back to Mexico  while we are dividing up land)  Israel has tried giving land back before, the land for peace deals, and there still wasn't peace.  In fact, there will never be peace no matter how much land is given back, because the Arab world does not want Israel to exist, period.  Israel could give away 95% of their land  for a Palestinian State, and it still would not be enough.   Recently President Obama stated that Israel needs to go back to the boarders it had back in 1967, and in a recent speech Israel's president had this to say:

In a speech before the pro-Israel lobby in Washington on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared such borders to be "indefensible." Influential U.S. lawmakers hold that same opinion and have faulted Obama for staking out his position.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/24/supportive-congress-hear-israeli-peace-vision/#ixzz1NGTME5CY

Israel will be seen as a nation of defiance, and the support for her right to keep her boarders and her sovereignty will disappear. In many Christian circles there is now more support for the Palestinians than there is for Israel.  We have Pastors who will argue against Israel for the sake of the poor Palestinians. When I was in Israel the last two times, I have witnessed  areas under Palestinian control and they are simply ghettos. The Israeli government bends over backwards to be fair to all of it's citizens not only Jews, but the Palestinians do not share that same attitude toward the Israeli government.
However, rather than trying to justify or lay blame on any group of people, I would rather state what the scriptures declare as Gods perspective. 

Joel 3:12

12Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat for there I will sit to judge
all the surrounding nations.

Amos 9:15

15 I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the LORD your God.

What we see here are two distinct Biblical thoughts.  

1. God is orchestrating His plan of judgment on nations who have come against Israel

2. Once Israel is back in the land, they are there to stay in the land that God has given to them. 

The gathering of nations against Israel is a sign of the last days, God is doing it, and we will not change it. We need to prepare for it, by being more aggressive with the gospel to both Jew and Arab. 

Israel has a right to exist, because God says they do. Israel will survive, and any nation that comes against this right will meet with the judgment of God.  This is what the Bible teaches. 

Keeping it honest and truthful. ...K

`http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XcA9lGkRa8

 

 

Friday
May202011

No One Knows, Period!

An Open Letter to Harold "the world is ending" Camping.

Dear Harold,

Are you aware that everyone is making fun of your predictions? The news media and bloggers are sure having a field day with you.  Harold, in my opinion, I think these kinds of predictions make a mockery of the Bible's prophetic voice and it certainly distorts the words of Jesus who said no one knows the hour or the day. So, let me ask you a question: "If Jesus says, 'one one knows the hour or the day, except my Father,' then why are you trying to predict the day and the hour?"

Is that a fair question?  Let me say it again from scripture.

Matthew 24:36

 36“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

Hey Harold, did you see in this verse that Jesus doesn't know the day or the hour, so don't you feel a bit foolish right now?

I believe God designed it this way for a reason.  It is to keep people like you from exploiting the purposes of God and messing with His plan.  Listen Harold, this isn't about you, or your ability to predict anything. You are old enough to know better, especially if you have been in your Bible. However, with these kinds of predictions it makes me think you're into something other than the scriptures.  I am sorry Harold, but here's my rebuke. "Get over these predictions, and go do something that will attract people to Jesus and get them saved so they are ready for when the real end of the world happens."

Harold, another suggestion to occupy your time before the end comes. why not talk about the issues we know are happening that are leading to the second coming of Jesus Christ?  There are plenty of tangible signs that Jesus Christ is on the verge of coming back. So, why pick the date and be wrong?  Why set yourself up to be ridiculed by the very people we as believers are trying to reach for Christ?  

Isn't it our job as believers to attract non-believers to the Christ we love and serve?  Why should we let you, Harold Camping, ruin it for those of us who want to promote Bible prophecy as a viable source of evaluating the future?  It is true this world will end as we know it, but the future doesn't belong to us Harold,  nor does it belong to our predictions.  It belongs to God, and He alone will end it in due time. God is not on our time table, thank God, but His schedule will come to pass once every person has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. By the way here is what the news media is saying about your predictions tomorrow.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/19/rapture-movement-predicts-end-world-saturday/

I don't know about you Harold, but I like to think God has this one under control.  God also told us that the day of His Return will be swift and undetected. If that is the case, then why would He tell someone like you Harold about that day? 

So really Harold, sign up for a short term missions trip and get your priorities right. 

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

 

Wednesday
May182011

Okay, Can People Be in Heaven Without Accepting Jesus?

I was at a family funeral this week, and heard things that made me realize how wishful thinking can influence how we think about heaven.  In several public declarations, people talked about how family members who have passed away years ago would greet the latest family member who just died.  Now, I don't know who will be in heaven and who won't, but I thought there was a lot of wishful thinking going on which was not based upon the scriptures. I grew up in a religious tradition that told me if a person dead without baptism, or confession, they would go to purgatory. Now purgatory was a place where the dead person would stay and we the living could pray them out of purgatory and into heaven.  Nice try. This is the kind of stuff that leaders in the church made up over the course of time trying to diffuse the heaven and hell issue.  Maybe only mass murders go to hell, but all others get a second chance in purgatory. 

Well, again, wishful thinking. The scripture says:

Hebrews 9:27

 27And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

So we don't get a second chance once we die!  God will judge the way we lived our lives first to the Christian.  This judgment is about how we lived for Christ, and God will reward us accordingly.  For the non-Christian the judgment is about the absence of faith, and eternal punishment that awaits them you rejected Christ. However, in either case, we don't go through a reincarnation of any sort, we simply face God.

Many people think their departed loves ones are in heaven, awaiting the opportunity to greet other family members when they die.  What makes us think that God is going to hand over His kingdom without any recognition of Christ, who is by the way, the ticket to get into heaven?  Many Churches have by-passed the message of Christ's participation in getting people into heaven, so no wonder people think heaven has an open door policy.  Jesus told us it is difficult for many people to accept the plan of salvation and come to Christ in faith.  (Broad is the way that leads to destruction, but narrow is the way that leads to life)  

So, you can't get in to heaven without the proper attire and that attire is being clothed in faith.  Jesus told about it in Matthew 12:

 11“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.  12And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.  13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Don't follow traditions that can't deliver what they proposed. The scriptures are the only sure bet about how we can get into heaven, and they say, YOU NEED FAITH IN CHRIST.

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

 

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