Archive for March, 2009

Born Again American?? Class war and Civil Religion on it’s way?

A friend sent me a link to this Norman Lear sponsored “patriotic” website. It seems that Mr. “People for the American Way” now wants to make being an American and being out of work or unable to afford toys a religious matter. “Born Again” Americans? Talk about brainwashing of the masses! And using the “Bible” as a tool of commonality in a “patriotic” song?  Joseph Goebbels would be impressed!

See this link to an article about “Propaganda for the masses”.

truth

The thing that really bothers me is the tie in to “Born Again” and it somehow being equated with being an American, as if the two are mutually inherited by natural birth. And much more than that, it bothers me that so-called believers with absolutely no discernment at all are forwarding this to other Christians as something they should support and promote.

not-a-religious-symbol

Come on people!! We do not have any inalienable right to be fat, happy, and well paid. We don’t even have a scriptural expectation of this “American Dream” kind of prosperity. Unfortunately, many so-called Christians are in love with prosperity, not God or Jesus. Like the Pharisees that Jesus called “snakes and hypocrites” too many Americans think they are Christians “just because” of the lie that we are a “Christian Nation”! What hogwash!

No, what many fail to realize is that our nation is being wooed by the liberal left (Norman Lear is a first stripe liberal) into thinking that we are justified to start a class war between the “Rich” and the “poor”. That is entirely the theme behind this song and crusade: This land is made for ME, the government answers to ME, and all Americans (they even show a Muslim and a Jew singing “I’m a Born Again American”) are sick and tired of the greed of the rich CEOs and spoiled politicians. The song isn’t about doing good for the needy; it’s about making sure everyone gets a slice of the pie because….they’re American. How very democratic…and completely Socialist! And yet, people are buying into this secular version of religiosity by the millions! Last count was about 6 million views and a quarter million pledge signers.

THE REASON THIS NATION IS IN ECONOMIC STRAITS, is because this nation, as a whole, has rejected God and His laws. And that includes all the hireling “pastors” and ministers who have prostituted themselves to pornography, the Sunday go-to-church folk who prefer the lake or the golf course or the TV above the Word or hearing it preached. America is an idolatrous nation and very many of these church going “believers” idolize and worship a lot of things that have NOTHING to do with Christianity.

The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. The LORD has made himself  known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.

                                                (Psalms 9:15-17 ESV)

Obama will have most Americans falling right into line with his socialist and Uni-Religion programs. There just doesn’t seem to be any common sense skepticism or testing things against the scripture these days. I am sure some will think I am over-reacting, but I don’t care. It really grieves me how gullible and deceived many who claim to be Christ followers are really just crowd followers. God help us all!

 “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the RIGHT MAJOR CRISIS and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
– David Rockefeller, Sept. 23, 1994

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Jesus: The perfect man was God

I was struck today by two powerful thoughts:

We all know that Jesus said “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do” while He hung on the cross.

Now think about this… this is what God in the flesh said after He’d been spit on, rejected, His back looking like hamburger, wearing a “crown” of thorns, nails through His hands and feet, with people walking by and tempting Him during this terrible time to “Save yourself! He saved others, but He cannot save Himself!”

And yet, Jesus still says “Forgive them…” At this point, any of us would have been screaming at these people “I am innocent! You are all going to Hell!” and if we had the power to just chuck it all and say, “They don’t believe me. Why should I go through with this? What’s the point?”, we certainly would.

No, our LORD says “Forgive them Father….” when every particle of His human flesh had to have been screaming “Kill the ungrateful jerks!”

If Jesus could plead for forgiveness for people who did not even want to give Him the benefit of the doubt, who treated the Creator of all things like a rabid dog and a criminal, how can we for even aminute, think that He will not forgive any of us if we simply turn to Him and say, “I’m sorry Lord. Please forgive me.”

One of the great promises for believers is:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9 ESV)

Do you believe? God is so much more merciful and willing to forgive than we can even imagine. We can count of Him to do what He has promised. We just need to believe Him in all things.

Will you come in from the cold? Or die?

I walk about seven blocks to work each morning from my train stop. Today it was especially windy, cold and a bit wet. The wind is the worst part and as I walked briskly to my office building it occurred to me that if the predictions of Revelation that say “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. ” (Revelation 13:16-17 ESV) are literal then they are going to happen or have happened already.

What was on my mind was “Would I, as much as I hate the cold, be willing to live outside, be cold and be without shelter if it came to doing that rather than deny Christ?” And to be perfectly honest, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to bear it for long.

This brings to mind the suffering ana-baptists of the 16th century who suffered persecution and loss of all their worldly goods from the Roman church, some Reformation folk and their governments. These people ended up living communally in the woods and hardlyany shelter but what they made do with. They also shared everything they still possessed that they carried with them. And to top it off, they were considered rebels and were subject to arrest, imprisonment, and death without much more than a formality of a hearing.

One thing I notice a lot these days, including in me, is that we American Christians are far too fond of our pleasures, especially our comforts and our food. I am eating a bowl of my favorite ice cream while I write this and it makes me realize what a spiritual wimp I am, when it comes right down to it. I am not advocating an asceticism involving fasting or mistreating the body. But, I do believe that all of us are guilty, to one extent or another, of gluttony and lack of self control.

I thank God my preoccupation now is His Word, church history and the study of doctrine and theology. But, even in that I lack some self control, not always being obedient to the idea of getting the rest I need for the next day. But, I am glad that I am not in love with the things (toys, cars, sports, movies) of this world any more. And that is my greatest Ebenezer to the fact that I am a new creature in Christ.

That said, I am nowhere near the kind of believer and faithful servant I will need to be when and if (I think the when is much more likely) I am required to give up,the life of comfort for His Name’s sake. God help us all to be obedient, as Christ was, even unto death. He is worthy of that kind of faithfulness from us.

Grace and peace and especially Love from God to all my fellow believers.

The Devil really IS in the details!

I will probably be thought of as a double-minded and unstable person because of this, but you know….I am just a human being, flawed like all of mankind and I am just endeavoring, sometimes in a hard-headed fashion, to know and teach the truth.

The Devil really has used me lately and for that I apologize.

I have learned the hard way that there are some things I will never understand or be able to explain. But, if I apply the same rule to myself that I ask others to observe, then things are really this simple:

God said it, so I must believe it! We cannot pick and choose the verses that suit our comfort zone or fit into our measly human reasoning. If Peter had told the believers at Pentecost they should be baptized and that was the only time it was ever said, who are we to say “Once doesn’t count.”? Yet baptism is described as being done immediately following the belief of new converts in almost every instance of of conversion in Acts. Do the exceptions to baptism being mentioned make the rule?

I did clarify one thing today, speaking to the elders today about my “issues” with baptism. They satisfactorily persuaded me that they are only Christians and do not believe they are the ONLY Christians. Let me clarify that they still maintain that since baptism is required, it must be obeyed by any God loving and God pleasing person and that it is the end result of any true discipling.  God disciples each person His way, until they come to the knowledge of their need for baptism. Just as God sometimes seems to take months or years to bring some of us to faith, so it is with bringing people to the point where they want to be baptized. Remember scripture affirms we are being saved. Do not put off baptism just because someone tells you it isn’t necessary. Satan also told Eve, “You surely will not die.” and look where that got her and us! Baptism is as necessary as our confession of faith in Jesus as Lord.  It is a process and it is not finished until we are in the presence of Christ at death or His return.

I don’t know how it works, I don’t know why it isn’t clearer, and I don’t know why Paul didn’t always bring baptism into the picture every time he talks about faith. But, he does baptize the jailer and household immediately. He does baptize Lydia and household immediately and he also tells us he understood Ananias to say that baptism would wash away his sins.

Simply then:

If you believe and trust in Christ for your salvation and truly repent in your heart, there is no reason to NOT be baptized. So just do it…OK? Don’t over analyze it or ask all these “what ifs?”. Just know in your heart that Jesus commanded it, God is pleased by it, and it identifies you with Christ in a very special way and Peter said it “now saves you” and “for the forgiveness of sins”. Do you or I know more than Peter about the will of God and Christ Jesus? I think not!

Remember that Jesus also told us things like “If you do not forgive other, your Heavenly Father WILL NOT forgive you.” Is that a contrary scripture to ” Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24 ESV) ?

Of course not! We cannot say that God will forgive us even if we hold a grudge against someone and won’t let it go.  Not if you believe what Jesus said in the second example.

Let us all just do our best to follow Jesus in every thing He did Himself and asks His disciples to do. Does anyone argue that the Great Commission applies to all believers? Why then must we question anything God asks us to do?

Just do it, and glorify God in the act of pleasing Him. I am done debating baptism. Just obey God’s word. You do not need to know how baptism works or worry about whether it was done “just right”. Do it in faith and in simple obedience and God WILL honor it.I apologize to anyone and everyone that I have caused to doubt that doing the will of God is wrong or not necessary. I was presumptuously wrong to infer that and please forgive me.