Biblically Thinking

Critics say that in order to be a Christian you have to check your brain at the door. They say that blind faith requires giving up critical thought and replacing it by mindlessly following church dogma. But, as a person who has been a thinker my whole life, and not just believed but studied those beliefs, I know that claim about Christians is simply not true.  

When I say I have studied my beliefs, I mean that I have studied the Bible, because it is the authority for what I believe. Believing that the Bible is God’s revelation of himself to the whole world does not require that you stop questioning. Just the opposite is true. In order for me to understand Scripture I’ve had to ask many questions: What does it mean? How can it be? How have others reacted to Biblical claims? What were the reasons for their reactions? How do we begin to understand or relate to ancient peoples, cultures and languages? How are they relevant to us today? These are just a few of the questions I have asked over the years.

What I have found is that God himself wants us to use our heads. That’s what he created them for. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Contained in this invitation to reason with God is his promise to cleanse us of sin.

Right away, such a statement will likely anger those who can’t accept the idea that they are sinful. They probably just don’t want to think about it. And that’s the bottom line with Christianity. Jesus defeated the power of sin by dying on the cross, defeated death by his resurrection and is now enthroned in heaven beside our Heavenly Father. We worship Father, Son and Spirit because we have been saved from sin, adopted into the family of God and are even now, citizens of heaven. If you don’t think you are sinful, you just don’t get that. The Bible says:

And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:13-14   

You see, it’s not that Christians stop thinking, it’s that we begin to think differently, because being a Christian makes us different from what we were like before we believed. We don’t just take on a new religion; we are fundamentally changed:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18    

This change involves a lifetime of growing and learning — what theologians call sanctification. This process starts simply enough. 1 Corinthians 10:31b tells us, “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” And that of course would include the thinking we do. Romans 12:2 explains it this way, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he answered (quoting Deuteronomy), “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” ~ Matthew 22:37 (see also Mark 12:30 & Luke 10:27). In other words, God wants us to love him with our minds — something most of us don’t readily understand.

Most people think of love as something we do with our heart, not our minds. So, there is something different and beyond the norm about Biblical thinking. Scripture calls all believers in God — that is, the God of the Bible — to love him with our minds, which is a form of devotion. Actively loving, worshiping and glorifying God requires that we use our brains.

When a person receives Christ, they have a personal relationship with God. John 1:12-13 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” This new relationship is a mystery because it is spiritual in nature. Many passages of scripture teach that believers are in Christ, as in Ephesians 2:6 which says that God, “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” But at the same time, he is in us. My favorite Scripture describing this mystery is John 17:21-23: 

that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 

Because of this mystery of our relationship to the God of all creation, Paul was able to write in 1 Corinthians 2:16, “‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” Ooh, but what does this mean? I can absolutely say it’s not like a magic smart phone with every possible app at our fingertips that we can use however we want. Far from it. We can only begin to grasp the mind of Christ through walking obediently by faith, spending time in prayer and in the holy Scriptures.

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. ~ Psalm 51:6   

As we follow Jesus, acknowledge the Father and depend on his Holy Spirit, we discover how he wants us to think. The Bible has much to say about how we think, meditate, learn, gain knowledge, get understanding, seek wisdom and use good judgment. Let’s examine some.

Finally Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8   

By focusing our thoughts on good things, this list implies that we maintain a positive and productive attitude. On the one hand, these instructions are inspiring. On the other hand, it demands a great deal of discipline to accomplish because the world is constantly presenting us with difficulties and things to complain about. We are challenged to be proactive, rather than reactive, in our thinking.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. ~ Proverbs 3:5

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. ~ Proverbs 28:26

Biblical thinking means submitting our thoughts to the Sovereignty of God and placing our trust in him — not in ourselves. God gives us a wisdom that is not a product of our own intelligence. As James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” The important point here is that wisdom isn’t simply understanding. Wisdom has to do with our actions (how we “walk”).

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~ Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. ~ Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. ~ Proverbs 15:33

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. ~ Proverbs 3:7

Biblically speaking, our thinking is to be submitted to God. “The fear of the Lord” means accountability to him, the humility to accept his authority over us by demonstrating our obedience to him. Biblical thinking is not passive, but has purpose and moral compass. It goes directly to the issue of sin. Sin is rebellion against God’s authority disguised as thinking I am smart enough to figure things out and “do it myself”. The fear of the Lord, reminds us to avoid sin in our thinking.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:9

Human intelligence is inferior to God’s intelligence because he is infinitely all-knowing and we are not. David acknowledged God’s intimate understanding of every aspect of his life by confessing, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” ~ Psalm 139:6. But for those who will not humble themselves before God and acknowledge his omniscience, there are warnings in Scripture:

For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” ~ I Corinthians 1:19

For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:19  

So, how does Biblical thinking differ from any other kind of thinking? It’s all about attitude. I’ve heard it said that all knowledge is God’s knowledge. Whether or not that is true, not all knowledge is worthwhile. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” So, as we saw in Philippians 4:8, we should be using our minds for positive and morally upright purposes. 

Attitude is everything. Or perhaps I should say attitudes. 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs us to, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” And as we endeavor to do that, we discover much about attitudes. We are admonished not to fear, not to worry, not to be double-minded, and more.

But even beyond telling us about the negative attitudes we are to avoid, the Bible is rich in teaching us what Christ-like attitudes we should be cultivating in ourselves. Here are some attitudes that God wants to influence our thinking. Perhaps you can find others. The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I find.

Love

Humility

Thankfulness

Praise

Worship

Fairness

Giving

Serving

Prayer

Stewardship

Responsibility

Honesty

Integrity

Mercy

Forgiveness

Justice

Acceptance

Encouragement

Loyalty

The “wisdom of serpents” and the “innocence of doves”

Obedience to the commands of Jesus

All of these begin with an attitude that pleases God as we learn to humble our thinking before him.

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A Call To Revival

The fallen world is falling apart, and Jesus Christ is the only real hope for the future. So, we try to boldly proclaim the gospel, reach more people for Christ, and build the kingdom of God in obedience to the Great Commission. We certainly need to do that. Yet, no matter what we do, that’s still only half of the equation. The other “half” is what God does in his sovereign will. Revival is one of those things that won’t happen without both “halves” fully engaged.

Revivals — also called awakenings or spiritual renewals — are very real. The church in America has a history of these movements that have impacted our society as they drew new believers to Jesus in great numbers. In an article entitled, A Brief History of Spiritual Revival and Awakening in America, Patrick Morley writes, “In describing what happened in Jonathan Edward’s Northampton, Mass., church in 1734, observers said, “It pleased God ..to display his free and sovereign mercy in the conversion of a great multitude of souls in a short space of time, turning them from a formal, cold and careless profession of Christianity, to the lively exercise of every Christian grace, and the powerful practice of our holy religion.”

In his message at the Washington National Cathedral shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Billy Graham said, “America needs a spiritual renewal”. Revival is a phenomenon driven by the Spirit  of God and marked by large groups of Christians being encouraged and reinvigorated in their faith as they wake up to the real presence of Jesus Christ and his lordship in their lives. And it is significant that these movements cut across denominational lines.

Revival excites believers as they tune into God’s presence and God’s power. It is the polar opposite of the lukewarm church at Laodicea or those Paul warned of who have the appearance of godliness but deny its power. Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. That’s God’s power, but he allows us to wield it by simply sharing the gospel. Being on fire for God is what revival is all about. Hebrews 12:29 tells us that our God is a consuming fire. So it makes sense that if we are in him, we also should be on fire.   

I believe God is calling us to revival: calling us out of division and into unity in Christ; from judgment and condemnation to compassion and forgiveness; from fear and hatred, to hope and love; from weakness and complacency, to living by faith. He is calling all of us, especially those who have drifted from their faith, whether by hurt, disappointment or worldly distraction. Will you pray for revival? Please pray that God’s people will respond to the urgings of His Spirit. 

  • Pray for a spirit of repentance and openness to God.
  • Pray for an infilling of the Holy Spirit in all our service to the LORD.
  • Pray for the world. America isn’t the only nation in need of revival.
  • Pray to set the captives free, those who sit in darkness and do not know Jesus.
  • Pray for the bringing down of the enemy’s strongholds.
  • Finally, rejoice in the LORD. For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised!

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The Right Emphasis

For some time I’ve noticed at church that our emphasis is on what we, as believers, should be doing, in order to be the best Christians we can be. Yes, we glorify God. But on balance, most of our focus seems to be on ourselves and how well we are serving and living out God’s call on our lives, as opposed to praising God for what he has done, will do and is doing in our lives. While there is nothing wrong with learning, serving and growing in grace, we seem to overburden our worship with concern for what we must do, while giving less emphasis to the infinite love and power of Almighty God.

Perhaps this is not the perception of others, but I want to try to explain how I see it. Our faith is really about who we are. Religion is about what we do. While I feel it is unproductive to separate the two, I find that most of us tend to focus on either one or the other: either what we believe or what we do. It presents a philosophical dilemma: Is being a child of God a matter of who I am, or what I do? So, despite the fact that this should not be an either/or proposition, we all tend to gravitate toward one focus or the other.

Biblical Christianity is about relationships: how we relate to God and one another through our faith in Jesus Christ and his redeeming work on the Cross. Those relationships are expressed as we follow the example of Jesus. Because we love him, we obey his commands. We love and serve him by loving and serving one another, as Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me.”

Many, especially James, have tried to rectify the apparent contradiction by reminding us that faith is an action word, and specifically, that faith without works is dead. Yet, it is equally true that works without faith are dead. If we focus too much on our works, it can lead to the pharisaical trap of spiritual pride in the performance of religion. This can be just as problematic as making the claim of having faith while failing to act on it. 

Much of society today thinks along pragmatic lines: it doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as you believe in something — an idea that encourages ecumenicism, waters down the gospel and blurs the line between truth and error. We must always keep before us the reason why we do what we do is that we believe what we believe. And that reason is spelled out for us in the holy Scriptures.

The core question is one of emphasis. Which part of our relationship with God deserves the greater focus? Between what we do and what God does, it seems to me that our emphasis should be on him. What we do can be ascribed to religion, but what God does can only be understood by faith. And our faith should be focused on him: who he his, his nature and character, his wisdom and understanding, his omnipotent power and justice, his infinite love and grace, his ultimate justice and forgiveness, etc.

Who God is and what God does is what we should be trying to mirror when we consider the question of who we are and what we should do as his children. But when we look at ourselves, we see that we are limited in our ability to do the things God asks us to do. It is only because of his presence in our lives that we are able accomplish his will. We can only do what God enables us to do. Without him, we can do nothing.

At some point, human beings will always fail. But God never fails. Even though some may reject him, he is always open to receive all who humble themselves before him. Only when we emphasize him and focus on him can we humble ourselves sufficiently to be of service to him. Jesus said we are to deny ourselves. Even though we are to run the race to win we should not become so focused on how we are running that we discard our humility. Like the song says, we are to lay down our trophies. Luke 17:9-10 says, “Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” 

Rather than separating who we are from what we do, I think it is better to humbly downplay what we can do while exalting our Savior. Faith is better than religion and looking at him we will see more than looking at ourselves. Focusing on Jesus will help us to be united in him, seeking his infinite joy and perfection. He leads and we follow. Our emphasis should be on him.

There is greater power in bowing down to God the Father and praising Jesus, acknowledging his Holy Spirit in us than in perfecting ourselves. What we specifically do is not as important as Who we are doing it for and why.

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Thinking Of Freedom

The 4th of July always makes me think about freedom, and what freedom really means. 

Central to the mind-set of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was the idea that social ideals like equality, justice and freedom were to be thought of in the context of how individuals chose to live their lives. Freedom was seen as a personal right, as well as a personal responsibility, not a privilege conferred to any particular group of people. This principle is based on the Biblical concept of freedom. 

Passages such as Revelation 7:9 describe those in heaven as, “…a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes…”. These are individuals who chose to receive Christ, not groups that were chosen by God. God doesn’t grant freedom to any group. He grants freedom to whosoever will receive Jesus Christ. And the multitude of those who have is beyond numbering.

The 6th chapter of Romans says we were slaves to sin before receiving Christ, but by being baptized in him and crucified with him, we become slaves to righteousness. It describes the former state as death and the latter as eternal life. The 4th chapter of Galatians explains that we were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world (verse 3), but that God sent his Son to redeem those under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons (verse 5). Therefore, verses 6 and 7 describe our freedom in terms of becoming precious children of God:

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So, you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

We hear this truth echoed in 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Galatians 5:1 (NIV) says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” In other words, being slaves to righteousness isn’t really slavery at all. It’s true freedom, the greatest expression of which is summed up in a command that Jesus gave us: 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

Such was the world view of the founders of this nation. They set out to design a government based on God’s laws…that is, the God of the Bible. Being human, our history includes some regrettable failures. However, we have made tremendous strides toward realizing the ideal with which we began:

…that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In Christ we have the power to choose to live this way. But even so, whatever freedom we enjoy on this side of eternity is but a shadow of the perfect heavenly freedom we will experience in the Father’s presence. And until then we can join with Paul’s confession of Philippians 3:14 to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

And then on that day when I pass through the gate, I will surely recall the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty we are free at last!

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The Face Of Religious Persecution In America

Arthur Goldberg, was co-founder and co-director of Jonah International, (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing – formerly Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality). This faith-based project “provided resources for those with unwanted same-sex attractions, pornography, and sex addiction” See article at https://stream.org/the-southern-poverty-law-persecutes-orthodox-jews/ . For this “crime” Mr. Goldberg continues to be persecuted by none other than the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Please keep in mind that Jonah International never forced its views on anyone. And the materials they provided were based on their religious and moral values. But in today’s politically correct moral climate, the Left vehemently opposes freedom of religion and freedom of speech for anyone who opposes their political correctness, especially the LGBTQ agenda. So, since Jonah International was helping individuals leave their unwanted homosexual lifestyles, the Left decided to destroy Mr. Goldberg and his organization.  

On May 11 oral arguments are scheduled in the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.

Please pray for and, if you are so moved, help Arthur Goldberg financially in his legal battle with the Southern Poverty Law Center by donating to the Natural Law Defense Fund https://naturallawdefense.org/about/mission-statement/

For more information, see:

http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/on-the-hook-for-millions

https://stream.org/its-a-free-country-not-anymore/

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Care Enough To Pay Attention?

As society rests in the comfort of following the advice of “experts”, the act of questioning their authority or the orthodoxy of their policies has become an intolerable attack on “The Way Things Are”. Freedom of speech and other Individual rights are an unacceptable threat to the fantasy world views being sold to the public by those who see themselves as the ruling class. Since they know better than we do, we are stupid, dangerous and evil to argue with them.

Most of the media, big tech and a slew of politicians (on both sides of the aisle) are working hard to craft a society in which people do what the government allows them to do — as opposed to the vision of our founders, which fostered liberty, individuality, self-restraint and personal responsibility.

The first step in controlling what people do is to control what they think, which is accomplished by controlling what information is available to them and restricting the discussion of anything contrary to the official policies and opinions of the “experts”. What that boils down to is getting rid of freedom of speech.

Today’s educators are teaching the idea that only “inoffensive” speech can be free — that “haters” should not be allowed to be heard. In other words, whoever does not go along with the majority has no right to speak… which means, there can be no freedom of speech in the perfect society they purport to seek. Basically, there can be no disagreement, no debate. Everyone must conform to government demands, because they know best.

If you care enough to pay attention to the fact that this is really happening in the “Land of the Free” and “Home of the Brave”, I invite you to examine two resources. The first is an article by Scott W. Atlas in the February 2021 issue of Imprimis: Science, Politics, and COVID: Will Truth Prevail? The article can be read at science-politics-covid-will-truth-prevail

Please examine Dr. Atlas’ bona fides. He is eminently qualified to speak on COVID specifically and health care in general, and yet he has been attacked, misquoted and lied about by mainstream pundits — simply because he does not parrot the approved dogma. His article ends with this statement: “It is not at all clear whether our democratic republic will survive — but it is clear it will not survive unless more people step up in defense of freedom of thought and speech.”

The second resource I urge everyone to examine is the documentary, No Safe Spaces, with Dennis Prager and Adam Carola https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8363914/ It discusses current attitudes toward freedom of speech among college and university students today and shows how official school policies are actually a threat to the free exchange of ideas and the pursuit of truth. No Safe Spaces is available from a variety of sources, including Amazon Prime and iTunes.

The importance of being informed and being free to exchange information and opinions cannot be overstated. Too many folks seem quite comfortable with the current restrictions. But that “comfort” will certainly lull its victims into dependency. And dependency means the end of freedom.

While God wants us to be free (Galatians 5:1) the socialist movement does not. It wants government to take God’s place, except without his mercy, grace or compassion. The promises of Big Government are lies and deceit. And they do not tolerate dissenters. I hope people care enough to pay attention.

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The Equality Act

Perhaps the greatest hallmark of Western Civilization is the idea of individual freedom, as opposed to the collectivist view of group rights. The most important freedoms are individual: freedoms of belief, thought, speech and association. These freedoms are the logical consequence of seeing every human life as a precious and sacred creation, redeemable by God, a view clearly given to us by the Holy Bible. 

But the anti-constitutional crime family who now occupies the seat of government wants to throw that all out. They don’t care what you think. They don’t want to hear what you have to say. They only care about shoving their totalitarian agenda down everyone’s throat. Following Al Gore’s lead, their attitude is that “the debate is over”. 

John Hawkins recently wrote, ‘We are in what Jeff Deist calls, “post persuasion” America. Most people believe things today because their “tribe” tells them to, not because of logic, proof, or good arguments…What that means in Jeff Deist’s words is that politics is now more “about mobilization rather than persuasion.”’ https://bongino.com/after-20-years-in-politics-here-are-20-pieces-of-political-advice-for-conservatives?fbclid=IwAR0BMF7KfzPYqlwVvfo7poFzyddVr_M25eCHB4yNZWziICKvrlCV8umQWDI

The so-called Equality Act is the latest example of the radical Left’s attempt to trash the time-tested and honored values of Christianity and Western Civilization. The very use of the word equality in the title brings to mind what Napoleon Pig said in Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” And in this case, the LGBTQ animals are the most equal of all.   

Take, for example, a boy — and by the way, for those who might be tempted to chant, “Science is real” in other scenarios, an individual’s gender can be scientifically identified. And as the Bible teaches us, “God created them male and female”. So, as an example, take this boy. Contrary to reality, he thinks he is a girl, he says he is a girl, and The Equality Act requires that everyone treat him just as if he were a girl, despite the fact that he is a boy. He now will be allowed to freely and unfairly compete in girls’ athletic programs — programs that were specifically designed to allow girls the opportunity to fairly compete with other girls.

But now, instead of fairness and equality for everyone, we have thrown out both science and common sense in order to foster the LGBTQ madness of saying, “I have the right to define myself however I want”. The rationale of this madness is that being a girl (or any other imaginary gender) has nothing to do with physical reality. Your sexual identity is strictly a matter of an individual’s “right” to choose whatever gender they want. 

The most irrational part of this insanity is that society will be required to pretend that boy’s aren’t really boys and girls aren’t really girls. We will not be allowed to point out obvious discrepancies between the sexes that make mixed competition inherently unfair, such as the fact that boys’ bodies are on average larger and more muscular than girls’ bodies. That would be like letting a heavyweight boxer fight in the lightweight division. How is that fair? How is that equal?

And what would prevent us as a society from applying this same absurd notion of “equality” to other areas of life? Why shouldn’t I be allowed to be any race I choose to be? Why should anyone be forced to accept their racial identity because of an accident of birth? That’s the same reasoning we are being fed to justify a person’s so-called right to select their gender.

For if there is a “right” to choose one’s gender identity, surely there is an equally justifiable “right” to chose one’s racial identity. And why stop there? Since we are denying scientifically provable facts anyway, surely we have the implicit “right” to choose our age group! If a boy can insist he is a girl, then a 40 year-old man should have the same right to insist he is a teenage girl. He too should be allowed to go back to school, play on the girls’ volleyball team and join them in the showers. Or if your birth certificate says you are 30 years old, but you are tired of working, you should have the right to insist you are of retirement age, so you won’t have to wait to start collecting social security (at a reduced rate, of course).

Interestingly, federal and state governments have already used this kind of madness to allow the same kind of voting “equality”. If you feel it is your right to vote, you can vote, regardless of whether or not you meet residency requirements, citizenship requirements, or even are alive. The 2020 election demonstrated that whoever wants to vote, gets to vote — even multiple times if you’re special. The voting system is designed to make sure that “some animals are more equal than others”

But to my mind, the worst thing that could happen as a result of the so-called “Equality Act” is that Churches, religious schools and other faith-based organizations will be told by the government that they must hire LGBTQ individuals regardless of how that may violate the very beliefs of those organizations. This, of course, is a violation of the Constitution, which says that Congress shall make no laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion. I find this truly devastating because it attacks the very heart of freedom itself for Christians like me.

I have an inherent, God-given right to believe (among other things) that LGBTQ lifestyles are morally wrong. Other people have the equal right to disagree with me. But they don’t have the right to force me to surrender my beliefs and live according to theirs. Any church that is forced to hire LGBTQ employees — contrary to its own convictions — is being denied the free expression of religion. That is not equality. That is totalitarian dictatorship, not to mention, unconstitutional.   

But the godless forces in our government don’t care about our Constitution — not one whit. They twist it and pervert it, saying it means something other than what it actually says. If they cared about the Constitution, they would have followed it during the last presidential election. But unauthorized officials made last minute changes in election rules, contrary to the Constitution which clearly gives State legislatures that authority. And courts refused to do their duty in examining massive evidence of election fraud. 

On paper, the Constitution requires the government to represent the people. But the godless, lawless government has turned its back on its accountability to its citizens, and now they are simply trying to control us, whether or not we approve or agree with their agenda. The debate is over. It’s not about persuasion any more. It’s about mobilization.  

If you consider these current trends distressing, please also consider once again that Jesus offers salvation that no government or person can ever take away. It is never too late to receive Jesus, believing in his name. Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33); “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28); and “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10).

Regardless of how you define your identity, God created you. The most wonderful right you will ever exercise is that of becoming a child of God (John 1:12). And when you do, you will be made new for eternity (“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17).

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)  

  

  

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An Ugly Week?

For years I have been part of my church’s Intercessory Prayer Team. Most recently we were asked to pray for “our country, and for healing from this week’s ugliness,” referring to the massive protest that turned into a violent assault on Congress, killing at least 4 and injuring more than 50 police officers. The very constitutional process that Trump supporters had hoped would correct the election fraud was disrupted. In the end, the mayhem and desecration of our seat of government silenced their cries for election integrity.

“This week’s ugliness” isn’t really accurate. Take that one ugly incident away and you still have a history of ugliness that goes back decades. Almost ten years ago I posted an article https://retiredday.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/fly-the-flag-at-half-staff/ about flying the flag at half-staff when mourning for our nation. I was upset with the Obama administration.

The America I had been taught to believe in was only a memory — and a politically incorrect one at that, as we were being told that they were going to fundamentally change America. So, I went into mourning. The last update on that post was on January 2013, by which time I had finished mourning, was ready to accept reality as it was, and move forward with my life. I felt at that time that my beloved America was dead.

Little did I realize then that in four years the American dream would be revived when unexpectedly, an outsider by the name of Donald Trump would become President and point us once again in the direction of the constitutional principle of the consent of the governed, rather than on an increasing dependence on the oligarchy of the Nanny State and a turning away from national pride to embrace the ideals of globalism.

There were two sides to this coin: heads, to those who valued individual liberty and resonated with the values of the populist movement; tails to those who saw nationalism in general as evil and American nationalism in particular as a racist, white supremacist anathema.  

For four years, starting even before Trump’s inauguration, those who saw themselves as an elite ruling class in government and media did everything to destroy Trump and his presidency. He (and more importantly, the so-called “deplorables” who supported him) represented a real threat to the personal money-making power of those in big government, multi-national manufacturing, commerce and finance.

Trump called these kinds of people “the swamp” and “the deep state” — both Republicans and Democrats whose concern is not representing the needs of their constituents, but maintaining their own power base and using the economy to their own benefit. 

These people hated Trump because he challenged their right to control us. He exposed them for the criminals they are. But when their lying, criminal behavior was exposed, and apparent to anyone willing to be honest, they made no attempt to hide it, and took every (illegal) measure to protect their position of power and influence. They blatantly stole the election. 

Despite the fact that Trump received more votes than any incumbent President in history, Biden got even more votes. In some areas, there were more votes counted than there were registered voters. Dead people voted. Ballots appeared from nowhere. Chains of custody were nonexistent. Ballots came in late or were pre-dated. Ballots did not have signature verification. Ballots were counted multiple times. Computer systems were not secure, and designed to allow for the manipulation of election results. Worst of all, the Constitution was violated when state and county officials took it upon themselves to make last minute changes in how voting would be done. Only state legislatures have this authority.

Any moral person should not only want to avoid doing the wrong thing, but avoid even appearing to others that he is doing the wrong thing. Especially, if a person holds a public trust, they cannot expect to earn the trust of others if they appear to be doing wrong. That is why trustworthy people make every effort to openly demonstrate to all that they are being honest and above board.

But this has not been the case with those intent on destroying Trump and his presidency. Rather than prove themselves to be genuine and authentic, they have chosen to mischaracterize Trump and his supporters. They lie and deny, accuse and abuse. And led by a crime family, they have wrested power from the people. 

I am 75 years old. The longer you are around, the more you see. Biden will be the 14th President in my lifetime. I’ve seen them come and I’ve seen them go. If you think this last week was ugly, stay tuned to the next four years. Everyone will soon know what ugly really looks like. 

Yet in the midst of ugliness, there is still the beauty of God’s holiness. Hope in him goes beyond the ugliest things of this life. And that hope is the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. No government has the authority to save you. Jesus has all authority (Matthew 28:18). In Matthew 11:28 he says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” And in Revelation 3:20 he says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

 

 

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STOP THE STEAL!

This is nothing new, but Facebook has been bending over backwards to control what people post in their personal Facebook accounts. They are primarily concerned about things that conservatives post. We’ve seen recent congressional hearings on this very subject. Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook take advantage of the protection they are afforded by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which basically allows them to prevent the expression of conservative viewpoints and censor any information they so choose.

So, recently, Facebook has been removing things my wife has posted on her page and inserting their little self-righteous messages that their fact-checkers have determined her postings to be in error. Of course, these self-appointed truth police don’t want any discussion of the matter. They simply declare the posts to be false — according to their infallible ability to make such a determination.

I guess this kind of thing intimidates some people. I’m sure Facebook believes they are molding public opinion, anticipating that most people will just back off and cower in weakness at the great big, powerful, professional “experts”. Not me. The people who created the United States were people just like me — people with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, who mutually pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

The so-called “Independent fact-checkers” hold no position of respect with anyone who thinks for themselves. We aren’t lemmings and we won’t fall into lock-step with political correctness just because someone thinks they are more or better informed than we are.

If these so-called fact-checkers had any credibility or integrity, they would would be open to a free and open debate of the facts. But that is the last thing they want. They don’t want discussion because they don’t believe in the market-place of ideas. They do not believe in freedom of speech. They only believe in the power to control what you think by controlling the information you have access to.

The Bible says you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. But if you don’t choose freedom, you choose obedience to the tyrannical mind-set of those who would be your masters. The right to have the freedom to live as you choose, believe as you choose and speak as you choose is what led to the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the struggle to preserve those same freedoms throughout our history.

We don’t need, nor do we recognize the authority of any self-declared “independent fact-checker” over any statement we choose to make. We take full responsibility for what we believe in and for what we say, and will defend to the end our right to our freedom of speech.

The 2020 election is the most outrageous scandal in the history of the United States. If there are any people who still insist there is insufficient evidence of massive voter fraud in this Presidential election, they simply are refusing to see it, because it is being made known to anyone who has eyes to see, ears to hear and minds to understand. Basic honesty, decency and integrity demands that the 2020 election results be closely scrutinized and that illegal voting practices be prevented from ever tainting our election results again. STOP THE STEAL!

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The 1619 Lie

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.   ~ George Santayana 

The leftist rewrite of history called The 1619 Project has been criticized by many leading historians, but that hasn’t stopped progressive school districts around the country from adopting its thesis as their curriculum, teaching that our nation was founded on the issue of slavery in 1619. The premise is that the slavery of Africans in America began when the first ship of slaves arrived in 1619. 

At the heart of this revisionist history is the racist mistrust of so-called “white, capitalist” historians on the part of people like project director, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who seem to base their entire narrative of reality on the perceived victimhood of blacks.

That very attitude is, to my way of thinking, racist at its core. It assumes there is a “black experience” that dictates to all blacks the right way to interpret socio-political events. Even presidential candidate Biden appropriated this attitude when he told a black man if he didn’t vote for him, “You ain’t black”. 

While it doesn’t take much effort at all to discover prominent black Americans who do not buy into the group-think of the Left, whenever the likes of Walter Williams (who just recently passed) or Thomas Sowell credibly refute theories such as the 1619 project, those on the Left simply label them as “Uncle Toms,” meaning to discredit them, discard what they have to say and ignore them as if they were irrelevant anomalies.

The ignorance on the Left is astounding. The pejorative term, “Uncle Tom” comes from the Christ-like character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Published before the Civil War in 1852, the book made Americans aware of the horrors of slavery and served to galvanize the abolitionist movement. Uncle Tom represented the kind of man everyone can hold in the utmost awe, love and respect, particularly Christians, who are told to deny themselves (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23), even to the point of death: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

The entire premise that America was founded on slavery and racism is preposterous. I often cite a favorite book of mine that clearly demonstrates the prevailing principles that led to the founding of the United States were those of freedom of worshipping the God of the Bible and the spreading of the gospel. That book is One Nation Under God, Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About the Founding of America, by Dr. David C. Gibbs Jr. 

I don’t imagine many young people know who Ben Kinchlow was. Sadly, many young folks not only haven’t been taught their own history, but they aren’t even aware of what happened a generation ago. Ben died last year at the age of 82. He was an evangelist who came to my attention as the co-host of the 700 Club in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Once I heard him speak in person at a large Christian gathering. When he was introduced, the audience burst into applause for him. When it seemed as if they would not stop, he asked the audience to give God all the praise and glory and everyone spent the next few minutes praising Jesus. In that moment he had taken the attention off of himself and placed it rightly on Jesus, in whose name we had gathered.

As a young man Ben Kinchlow was into black nationalism and Malcom X. But that all changed. He served in the Air Force for 13 years, earned an MBA, found Jesus and became an ordained minister. I am giving this brief background information on him because I think it shows that Ben Kinchlow had what is called “street cred”. I respect what he had to say, and if you called him an Uncle Tom, he would probably have taken it as a compliment.

In his 2008 book, Black Yellowdogs, The Most Dangerous Citizen Is Not Armed, But Uninformed, Ben Kinchlow lays out a very interesting historical perspective. Page 1, chapter 1 begins:

The first Africans to arrive at Jamestown, Virginia were not slaves, but indentured servants, having specified periods of servitude. Indentured servants were not slaves. This distinction is critical. In 1619, indentured servants, white or black, received precisely the same treatment. At the conclusion of their period of servitude, each was entitled to freedom, citizenship, and a land grant of fifty acres. On page 3 he adds: 

According to British law, every Christian was equal before the law at that time. Judgement was based not on race, but upon being Christian or non-Christian. Blacks, if they became Christian, and were baptized, were allowed, as were other British citizens, to earn their freedom. These bound servants – black or white; male or female – were considered simply a source of cheap labor, and once the term was served no stigma remained.

This information should be enough to discredit The 1619 Project, but Kinchlow’s book goes even further to set the record straight on “racism” as being the origin of slavery in America. Pages 3 through 7 recount how a court case in 1654 established “the first legal sanction of slavery (not for a crime) in the new world” (p. 5).

The man who won his case and was allowed to hold another human being as his slave for life, was himself a black man, Anthony Johnson, who himself “had been captured in Angola and brought to America as an indentured servant”. In other words, the person who established slavery in America by becoming the first slaveholder was black! And this story of a black slave owner is not an aberration. According to the official US Census of 1830, “3,775 free Negroes owned 12,740 slaves” (p.7). 

So what do we do with this information? Dismiss it? Rewrite the history we don’t like? I am not defending slavery. It was a horrible part of our past. But slavery was ended and problems of racial inequality have been and continue to be corrected. Racism is not systemic in America. But those who assume the role of victimhood and play the blame game are guilty themselves of a form of racism designed to divide Americans and destroy our freedoms which are established and preserved by a Republican form of Government, not Democracy. https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/08/28/new-york-times-1619-project-has-key-error-about-our-founding/ 

Stand united and reject the trouble-makers who want us to fear, hate, resent and mistrust one another. Can we please focus on “the content of one’s character” as preached by MLK, rather than focusing on the melanin content of our skin?  

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