A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Morality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morality. Show all posts

November 4, 2022

Our Chaos-Filled Culture

I hope you're in the mood to really challenge your mind and faith today. Because the subject of Chaos in our culture points to an ancient understanding that alleges to pre-date the Bible! In fact, it is directly implicated in the first two verses of Genesis. And that's the best place to start sharing my train of thought. Genesis 1:1-2 are usually read without any real attention because we Western thinkers aren't interested in the etymology of words. But here's how they read in the English Standard Version of the Bible ... In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Now consider the Living Bible's version of those same two verses ... When God began  creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was a shapeless, chaotic mass, with the Spirit of God brooding over the dark vapors. Furthermore, the Amplified version translates "without form and void", and "shapeless, chaotic mass" as formless and void or a waste and emptiness. Why am I spending so much time writing about the particular words chosen to describe the primordial earth? Because I want you to understand that with chaos there is no order; no accepted existence of authority; no rule or system of law [or regulation]. And who does that directly connect to? Chaos is a demonic tool of our Enemy to sow separation from God and His purpose for all men.

It is important to make these distinctions so that it becomes abundantly clear when I make the statement "In the six days of Creation, God made order out of Chaos." When we can understand that the earth had no discernible form, and was void [which is defined as a vacuum, emptiness, a chasm, a pit, and an abyss), then we get the idea that it truly was a "chaotic mass" and open to all the darkness of Satan, which includes distortion, mayhem, upheaval, deception, and confusion.

But the concept of Chaos is not exclusive to the Bible. In fact, my research shows that in the history of the religions of the world, the idea of the spirit of Khaos (spelled with a "K" in ancient history) was very much accepted. I was actually shocked to find that some believed Khaos was the child of deities that existed before God in both age and power! Obviously, these would be pagan deities and religions, but that doesn't mean their idea of what constituted Chaos wasn't incorporated into those ancient cultures -- and has survived thousands of years to still exist in our culture today.

See if you can detect some of these ancient pagan deities in our modern world as I share Khaos's "family tree" and geneology ... Khaos was believed to have given birth to many primordial deities who would later rule specific concepts of Creation. The most well known being Tartarus (Abyss), Eros (Love), Erebus (Darkness), Nyx (Night) and Gaia (Mother Earth). Gaia then brought forth Ouranos, the starry heavens and her male equal, to be her companion. With him she gave birth to the Titans and some of the other primordial deities.

But as we have seen in our own Biblical accounts, created beings can become corrupted and seek after their own glory. So, whether or not we can believe in the existence of an ancient deity called Khaos, we can certainly see that the essence or spirit of chaos is alive and well in our current cultural climate. The alarming rise of crime in our nation is a result of Chaos. The situation on our southern border is a picture of total Chaos. Our economy is in free fall, which is causing Chaos in the food, energy, and real estate sectors. And there is an ancient writing that quotes the primordial Khaos as declaring, "I am the darkness behind the stars, I existed billions of years before even the first spark of Creation was lit. God could not destroy me and neither can you". That is a very frightening and direct threat!

Sadly, the cultural reality of Chaos as complete disorder, confusion and turmoil is now making itself known among our children. And I believe it is because they possess the one thing that puts the fear of God into Chaos ... their innocence. And that innocence has made them a target for the demonic spirit of Chaos. An innocent child exhibits the very image of God ... His goodness, His innate truth, the offer of hope and trust to a heart that has not yet been corrupted. An innocent child represents the stark contrast between Harmony and Chaos, and when a culture has submitted itself to the insidious tactics of Evil and moral decay, then those that possess the spirit of Chaos must destroy that innocence. And so, we see the proliferation of ideologies like gender confusion and drag queen story hours into our culture as a means to destroy the innocence and identity of our most vulnerable. 

The spirit of Chaos seeks to cancel and nullify all moral principles. It seeks to promote the freedom to commit licentious acts on the grounds of self-discovery. It seeks to destroy a child's natural desire for purity and God. It is the state of our culture that tries to wean that out of our innocent children. It has been a long road since the beginning of the world that Chaos has traveled to get to this point in time in our culture ... shame on us for letting it get this far and jeopardizing the souls of God's innocent children! Pray that we can break this stronghold and restore moral decency and integrity for the sake of our innocent children and the generations to come.

#spiritofchaos #morality #protectthechildren #Godschildren #protecttheinnocent

Matthew 18:6    But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

January 28, 2022

We Are Guardians of God's Truth!


We're hearing a lot about "misinformation" these days, which is defined by our media culture as misleading and deceptive news. But we are also inundated with "disinformation", which is deliberate, often orchestrated attempts to confuse or manipulate people through delivering dishonest information to them. We see that in abundance in the political arena in our country.

And lest we think dispelling [or eliminating] truth is a new phenomenon invented in the modern age of technology, disinformation is as old as the Garden of Eden. Satan deliberately manipulated Eve with dishonest temptations to lead her astray from the will of God. In fact, among the definitions of "dishonest" is the word "cunning", exactly how Genesis 3 describes Satan as the serpent! And nothing has changed! Down through the centuries the Enemy of God has attempted to distort the Creator's Truth [with a capital "T"] in order to corrupt and defeat God's plan for reconciliation with mankind.

We must never forget that our Creator [who happens to be the Most High God] gave us the administration of this earth, so that it would be governed as He governs in Heaven. We are overseers and God's stewards; not only of this planet and realm, but of His Truth! The Bible calls us servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. But what is truth...  specifically God's Truth? Interestingly enough, that very profound question was asked by Pilate, an unbeliever, in response to Jesus's declaration that He had come into the world to testify to the truth. 

And here we are 2,000 years later, with the world still arguing over whose definition of truth [with a lower case "t"] is, well .... true. The world has rejected the one over-riding fact about defining truth. We learn from the Bible that truth comes from God. It is consistent with the will, mind, character, nature, glory and being of God. God is truth; it is His self-expression, and the  knowledge of who He is. All truth flows from God. And as His representatives on earth, we are stewards of His Truth. We are the guardians of how God is expressed in the world; we are the guardians in charge of maintaining and preserving what is left of Biblical truth. 

In case you haven't noticed, our culture is steeped in "moral relativism", which is the concept that there are no absolute truths about what is moral or not; whether something is right or wrong can change depending on opinion, personal or social context, culture, or other societal factors. The same is becoming evident when it comes to truth, itself. In other words, truth is now becoming defined by personal or cultural standards, instead of our God, who personifies both morality and truth! To far too many people, there is no foundational truth; it can be manufactured to suit any personal or group agenda. 

God's Truth and moral laws have been slowly disappearing from every aspect of our lives. Just consider how God's Truth is being redefined in the seven mountains of influence: family, religion, business, politics, education, media, entertainment/arts. How far have each of these institutions deviated from the expression of God in the Bible? We see the effects of this slow deterioration in the re-defining of family; the glorifying of evil in the entertainment industry; the further removal of anything Christian in our schools, centers of government, and social commentary.

We can see that what the Bible teaches us about God and His Truth is no longer sufficient nor tolerated by a growing number of the earth's inhabitants. When Jesus announced to His disciples that He would be going away to prepare a place where they can be with Him, Thomas questions Jesus about how to find the way to Him. Jesus's answer points to what we need to reclaim and promote as guardians of God's Truth... I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life...".

Furthermore, Jesus made it clear that He was not of this world, nor a part of it -- and He states the same is true of us. He prays to our Father, "Just as You commissioned and sent Me into the world, I also have commissioned and sent them (believers) into the world. For their sake I sanctify Myself [to do Your will], so that they also may be sanctified [set apart, dedicated, made holy] in [Your] Truth". That is what our Savior has declared over us! We are to be set apart to testify to that Truth! We are to be dedicated to protect that Truth! And we are to walk in holiness as we demonstrate God's Truth! 

Sadly, as I look at the moral objectivity on display throughout the segments of this society, it cannot be denied that the we, as the Church, and followers of Christ, have not always walked in our commission. We have not adequately stood for real Truth, which cannot be defined without recognizing that God is Truth! It's time we stop compromising with the world and trying to be impartial or neutral about what is Truth [with a capital T]. We are seeing the consequences of the concessions we've made; an undermining and weakening of what is God's absolute Truth -- His complete, perfect, unadulterated Truth -- which has resulted in the moral degradation of our country. It is evident in the rebellion and iniquity associated with all the ills of our society.

My final thoughts are this: it is God who has created and defined Truth. It belongs to Him.  And to rebel against it, or reject it, is to invite judgment. Let us agree to stand together to take back the definition of "truth" as the world sees it, and reinstate God's Truth as absolute. Let us execute our assignment to be a shield to safeguard it's trustworthiness and holiness. Just like our God, Truth should be constant and unchangeable. It is time to quit apologizing for believing in God's Truth, and be the very embodiment of it! 

1 John 4:6     We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.

November 20, 2021

Moral Neutrality Is Not An Option In The Midst of Societal Chaos

The title of this post is something that my spirit has become increasingly troubled with in the last couple of years. I sense Christian Americans wrestling with how to respond in the midst of personal and national crises, especially from a moral standpoint. Of course, at a Kingdom level, it should be obvious .. Micah 6:8 asks the following questions, and then gives us God's answer: What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Goodness ... righteousness ... virtue ... they are all words that describe Biblical morality; and all are essential qualities in the exercise of faith. In other words, as Christians, moral neutrality in the midst of societal chaos cannot be up for discussion. We must remain committed to godliness and fruitfulness in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, in recent years -- actually, in recent decades -- we have seen our religious communities falter in this commitment, and I am reminded of what the Prophet Isaiah says in Chapter 59, verse 9: Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We can't just "hope" for the light of God to permeate our country; we must overtake the darkness with our moral and just decisions. We cannot just sit on the sidelines and wait for God to make things right.

At the foundational level, this conflict is simply a question of Good vs Evil. It is as old as time; ever since the Garden of Eden, God has made His desire known for our obedience to His ideals and principles. Yet, centuries later, men and women, cultures and societies, still struggle to do what is right in the midst of upheaval and lawlessness. But why? Certainly, we can't expect to believe that "good Christians" were confused as to whether Good or Evil was occurring, can we? I refuse to believe that our consciousness has deteriorated so far that we are unable to distinguish the moral choice. But, yet, Christians looked the other way in WW II, as their Jewish neighbors disappeared. Through our silence, abortion laws were passed in 1973 that have resulted in the deaths of over 62 million babies. According to the website, liberatechildren.org, human trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms, and is expected to surpass the sale of drugs in the coming years -- and in 2018, over half (51.6%) of the criminal human trafficking cases in the U.S. involved only children! And on a more individual level, just a few weeks ago, there was a story in the news of a woman raped on a subway in Philadelphia while onlookers reportedly recorded the rape with their cellphones, while no one called 911, or tried to intervene. As is quite obvious, the consequences of taking a neutral stance in any of these events resulted in horrific costs to humanity. 

Why is it so important to acknowledge this phenomena in our societal disintegration? If you will allow me to give you a rather simple analogy, consider this: in the operation of a vehicle, NEUTRAL is a disengaged position of gears in which the engine is disconnected from the driven parts. Let's translate that to our spiritual relationship with our Creator... If we, as God's Heavenly Kingdom representatives on earth, remain neutral in situations or questions of morality, we are [in effect] disengaging ourselves from our positions as His children and co-heirs [of His Kingdom] with Christ. If we are disconnected from God, who is the engine [or power] that drives us to do good works for His sake, then the result is a society that morally disintegrates into chaos and lawlessness. 

I know this is nothing new in the history of man, but it is deeply disturbing to me in the history of my lifetime. I fervently believe in the goodness that is inherent in every human being, but my spirit also knows that Evil is looking for any open door that allows it to influence another human's heart. Have we become so conditioned to questioning our own moral meters, for fear of being criticized as biased, prejudiced, or exclusive? We must have the courage to stand up for Godly principles and moral laws! God is not impartial when it comes to fence-sitters! Remember, Jesus says in Revelation 3, that He would prefer Christians to be either hot or cold; lukewarm is not a state that gains us favor! 

So, I applaud my fellow Christians for having the courage to stand for justice and good and what's right in the eyes of God -- despite the criticism from those who bow down to political, social, or peer pressure. If we call ourselves Christians, then it is incumbent upon each of us to stand against immoral tyranny. For any form of tyranny is not conducive to the moral integrity God demands of a just society. Parents have a right to be involved in their children's education; truly righteous people need to stand against lawless mobs; and our children [and unborn] need to be protected from those who would prey upon their innocence -- all accomplished within the laws of this great land, of course. If the laws are no longer moral or righteous, then it is up to us to change them in a righteous, moral, and legal manner. I am heartened as I see the Body of Christ coming together in recognition that now is our time to consecrate ourselves to God's purposes on this earth; to be imitators of His holiness and righteousness, no matter the cost. 

Remaining neutral is no longer an option. As moral Christians, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in our actions. Refusal to make a choice, or choosing to sit on the sidelines in the midst of a moral conflict, IS a choice that is not desired by the Lord. When it comes to morality, we MUST be biased in favor of pleasing the Lord. Anything less is moral compromise, and we can no longer afford to be lukewarm. In the words of German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man I greatly admire, in his book The Cost of Discipleship, "The price we are having to pay today in the shape of the collapse of the organized church is only the inevitable consequence of our policy of making grace available to all at too low a cost. We gave away the Word and sacraments wholesale; we baptized, confirmed, and absolved a whole nation without condition. Our humanitarian sentiment made us give that which was holy to the scornful and unbelieving ... But the call to follow Jesus in the narrow way was hardly ever heard". Jesus followed a narrow, moral, disciplined, and righteous path in the midst of societal chaos. He never took a neutral position. May we imitate His life in the way we live ours; and may we defeat hate, darkness, in His Mighty Name!

Isaiah 59:21   And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: "My Spirit that is upon you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring," says the Lord, "from this time forth and forevermore."



November 23, 2020

The Bible and The Constitution: Still Relevant, Or Inconsequential?


I've been doing a lot of thinking about the state of our nation. I can only imagine that many of my fellow citizens are doing the same. It isn't too difficult to come to the conclusion that our historically unique plan of government [that the Founders of this nation constructed] is in very real danger of being dismantled, or at least drastically altered. This isn't the beginning of such a de-construct plan -- in fact, we have been seeing the development of such a plan for some years now. 

This realization has caused me to go back in the archives of this blog to revisit my thinking on this matter. In 2015, I wrote about a question that was presented to Dr. Ben Carson during his run for Presidential office. During a Meet The Press interview, Dr. Carson was presented with this question: "Does the Bible have authority over the Constitution?" Interesting question! The question is still relevant today, especially since I would venture that the intervening years attest to the growing truth that both the Bible and the Constitution have seen a decrease in their influence and authority among the citizens of this land. Just read the previous blog post or turn on the nightly news.

But I would suggest that it is incumbent upon those of us who call ourselves Christians and Patriots to consider our answer to that question, along with these subsequent queries: When it comes to the laws of this nation, how do you view the authority of both the Bible and the Constitution?  Is one superior to the other?  Is it possible for them to work together to govern this land? When the Constitution was written, did the Founding Fathers give any consideration to the Bible? 

I want to answer those questions in light of the influence that Marcus Tullius Cicero had on the thinking of the Founding Fathers.  Cicero was a Roman statesman who was born nearly 1900 years before the founding documents of this nation were written. Yet it was his commitment to establishing a democratic Republic as the form of Roman government that most influenced our Founders. It is in the eminently profound book The 5000 Year Leap, written by W. Cleon Skousen, a faith-based political theorist, that we find Cicero's own theory that good laws, sound government, and the formula for happy human relations rests in the existence of "Natural Law". We find the spirit of that term in the language of the Declaration of Independence ... When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

In his book, Skousen elucidates this idea of Cicero's influence when he writes, "To Cicero, the building of a society on principles of Natural Law was nothing more nor less than recognizing and identifying the rules of "right conduct" with the laws of the Supreme Creator of the universe." In his own words, Cicero wrote this: "There will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for He is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge." 

And these concepts were understood and endorsed by the Founding Fathers as they approached the structure of a new government that would be the law of the land in the newly formed United States of America. These concepts are interwoven into the declaration for our Freedom and into our Constitution, As espoused by author Skousen, "The Law of Nature or Nature's God is eternal in its basic goodness; it is universal in its application. It is a code of "right reason" from the Creator Himself. It cannot be altered. It cannot be repealed. It cannot be abandoned by legislators or the people themselves, even though they may pretend to do so. In Natural Law we are dealing with factors of absolute reality. It is basic in its principles, comprehensible to the human mind, and totally correct and morally right in its general operation."

These ideas and precepts are as sound today as when they were espoused by Cicero nearly two millennia ago; and they are emphasized in our founding documents nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago. But here is where we find ourselves today... our society is not in agreement that our Creator exists, nor that absolute moral authority exists in Him. In fact, Moral Rightness or Truth have become relative... they can mean something different to different people. And when God is not your authority of what is right or true, then it is far too easy to declare that any law or laws based on those concepts of law and government [or the Holy Book that proclaims them] can be ignored or changed. It will become far too easy to alter, repeal, overhaul, or abandon them by an immoral and unjust citizenry, or body of legislators. 

You see, our Founders believed that the common man should have control over his own destiny. And they believed that through Divine guidance men could live a good, virtuous, and moral life. But they were no fools -- they recognized that laws were necessary to curb the actions of immoral men. And they sought to establish a system of laws that operated similar to the laws God laid out for the ancient Israelites, with Leviticus 25:10 as the heart and soul of government: "Proclaim Liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants". [Note: This verse is inscribed on the Liberty Bell]. And then there is what is at the center of this astounding and unprecedented new form of governing ... our Founders deliberately structured a form of government with all the power in the people! 

And to be historically accurate, they didn't initially get it right. After much debate the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, which offered no executive or judiciary oversight; nor was there any taxing power to financially support the government, and no power to enforce laws. It came pretty close to operating under a system of anarchy. It wasn't until 1787 that our Constitution was approved and the ratification process began. The result was a document that was designed to maintain political equilibrium between the people in the states and the federal government. The emphasis was on strong local self-government, keeping the power base close to the people. There was a healthy fear of political extremists that could swing the needle of Liberty from monarchy to anarchy. And only the Constitution could protect the people from being subjected to the whims of such extremism.

I truly believe that God was involved in the creation of our Constitution through the men that He put in authority.  At that time, these men foresaw a nation of individuals who were generally governed by Biblical precepts -- checks and balances and a limited government were at the center of the Constitution, and would serve such a Biblically-minded society well.  Then, as now, I believe that the Bible has authority over each of us as individuals, and the Constitution has authority over the government.  That combination has worked for us, and contributed to a generally balanced co-existence between the two powers -- as long as we continued to embrace Biblical morals and principles. And that's where we find ourselves today.

But as God and the Bible have become more irrelevant in our society -- again, refer to the previous post and results of a national survey -- we have seen that both the Bible and the Constitution have lost their place in the governing of our nation.  In fact, there is a third player in the game, and it is Government, with a capital "G".  Since our society seems to want to eradicate the influence of both the Bible and the Constitution, is it even relevant to the masses to ask which has more authority?  Clearly, the Bible is being mocked, derided, and re-conceptualized to serve the needs of the ungodly.  And, in its tattered state, is there enough of the Constitution left to warrant any real authority?

Perhaps the more appropriate question is this: Is there enough of the Bible's influence in the Constitution to withstand its destruction by the Government?  Ultimately, as a faithful Christian, I have to go back to the one Truth that overrides all ... YHWH is Sovereign, Supreme, and the absolute Head of this State. His Word is authority over everything man-made ... whether it is a governing document like the Constitution, or a governing body of men.  That might not be the politically acceptable answer in this debate, but we are at the stage in this nation (and the world) where the individual freedom of men and women is at stake. It is time to quit playing the political game, and recognize Who has the real Power in this world. 

It is clear to me that God is the Ultimate Authority in this world that He created.  But I also know that His Word says that He appoints rulers over nations by His authority, and we are to be loyal to that government... as long as they are loyal to God's laws.  It is also clear that we have a spiritual Enemy that seeks to usurp God's authority in this nation. And now we find ourselves in a unique situation -- the leader of our government is still unresolved. So I pray that the goals of the Founding Fathers will be realized as they expressed their hope for the new nation .... I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends on her virtue (Samuel Adams) .... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other (John Adams) ... The sum of all is [this], if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves (Samuel Adams). 

 So, what shall be our destiny? The Bible proclaims the path to a righteous and prosperous nation. And the Constitution was designed for a moral and religious [faithful] people. Will we reap what we have sown, or will the cries of the truly repentant restore our nation to one that God will recognize and bless? I exhort the Ekklesia in the land to join with me on our knees, praying together as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God for a return to righteous government. And then rise, and staying focused on Jesus, our Authority in Heaven, we will declare a revival of morality and virtue in this nation, and it will pierce the hearts of all those in rulership positions -- that hearts will be turned away from self-aggrandizement and humbled in servitude to meet the needs of all people. Pray that if God determines that judgment is due our land, that it be swift and completely cleanses us of our sins. And finally, we find our strength and our truth in the Word of God. It is still relevant and it is still Light and Life to our souls and spirits. God bless each of you as you seek solace in the Word today!

Jeremiah 18:7-10      If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.

November 9, 2016

Can We Make The Church Great Again?

I wrote this post on the eve of Election Day, so I do not yet know who was voted in as our next President.  And, to be honest, the point of this post is not to comment on the 45th President and the changes that are about to come upon our country -- whether good or bad -- but to remark on the state of the country due to the absence of influence by the Church.  Let's face it, we are where we are because the Church has abandoned its moral obligation to the Body of Christ, and failed to honor God's will.  The question now becomes, "Can We Make The Church Great Again" and change the course of our history?      

     As much as I am inclined to treat the internet with disdain and contempt, it does give me the opportunity to read and hear opinions of others that I might otherwise never have the opportunity to experience.  One of my favorite sites to peruse is one called PassTheSalt.com, written by Coach Dave Daubenmire, and from whom I borrowed todays's blog title and subject matter.
     In case you are unfamiliar with Coach Dave, he is a veteran 35-year high school football coach, who was spurred to action when attacked and eventually sued by the ACLU in the late 1990’s for mixing prayer with his coaching. After a two year battle for his 1st amendment rights and a determination to not back down, the ACLU relented and offered Coach an out-of-court settlement.
    That event led to a decision to leave coaching in favor of encouraging the Body of Christ to enter into the cultural war.  Coach Dave developed PASS THE SALT to bring together the Body of Christ across denominational, racial, and economical lines to demonstrate to America the power of Biblical unity. His vision is to unite, organize, and mobilize the Army of God to be Salt and Light as stated in Matthew 5:12. 
     Coach Dave believes strongly in challenging the status quo of the modern Church, and in doing so, taking the fight to the cultural enemy.  He has become a recognizable voice in the media, and is an unashamed, articulate apologist for the Christian worldview.  So, it is with a nod of approval that I share with you some of his latest opinions, along with my own commentary on the subject.
     As you can guess by the title, Coach Dave is playing off Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again".  But as all of us who mourn the state of the modern world, we recognize that not only is America not great anymore, but neither is the Church.  Just as America's influence and power have faded in the wake of "political correctness" and compromise, so has the Church's.  Even in my lifetime, the Church used to be a powerful force in demanding morality among our nation's populace.  But today, the promotion of immoral behavior has become America's greatest export, and the Church is largely silent, and certainly not unified in calling for repentance.
     As Coach Dave points out in his blog post, "The greatness of America was that we once taught our children that real liberty was not doing whatever one wanted, but rather choosing to do what was right."  And that idea was supported and taught by the Church, which provided the moral compass of the nation.  Not anymore.  Today, there is no consistent standard of what is right and wrong.  It is all "relative" and according to "what seems right in one's own eyes".
     You might recognize that from a Bible verse in Judges, Chapters 17 and 21, and is a result of the sin of Micah in continuing in idol worship.  There were no judges in the land of Israel at that time to point out this sin, or restrain the people from it.  The law of God had been forsaken and replaced with subjectivism (the philosophical theory that there is no truth outside of one's own experience; or the idea that there is no absolute Truth).  This is exactly what we are seeing today in our postmodern, relativist culture.  It is to be expected that the world will act like this, but this attitude has also entered, and almost overwhelmed, Christendom as we know it.  Christianity is being remade in the imaginations of men.  The rules are being set by false teachers, and the Christian masses are quick to follow.
     But what does the Bible say?  In Proverbs 14:12, it says,  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.  So Americans are clinging to the idea of making America Great Again, in the hopes that we can turn the tide of wickedness, violence, corruptness, degeneracy, and immoral behavior that has come to define our culture and society.  But the truth is that America will not be great again, until the Church, or the Body of Christ, becomes great again and a force of righteousness in our land.
    It's really very simple to see ... there is a direct correlation between diminishing God in our land, and our turn towards immorality.  We have removed the Biblical foundations that the Church once embodied, and as a result, our families, our schools, our government, and our faith have suffered.  Coach Dave points out that, according to the latest Pew Research Poll, 71% of Americans identify themselves as Christian…a decline of 8% in the past 7 years.  Let that sink in a minute.  Only 4% of Americans call themselves atheist or agnostic, yet it is this very small minority of Americans who have THEIR religious beliefs represented in the government.  How have Christians permitted the values of the overwhelming majority of society to be banished from public discourse? How has the American Church, which was once the backbone of our great nation, permitted our government to become agnostic in regards to moral behavior?
     I believe the truth of our "lukewarm" foundation lies in the impressions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor, who came to America in 1939, hoping to wait out Hitler's oppression in Germany and who hoped to return to rebuild the German Church after the war.  But he was greatly disappointed in the American Church, as these comments display:  I now wonder whether it is true that America is the country without a reformation? There hardly ever seem to be "encounters" [with God] in this great country.  But where there is no encounter, where liberty is the only unifying factor, one naturally knows nothing of the community which is created through encounter ... Lively and original, but too much analysis and too little Gospel ... The separation of church and state does not result in the church continuing to apply itself to its own task; it is no guarantee against secularism.  Nowhere is the church more secularized than where it is separated in principle, as it does here.  This very separation can create an opposition, so that the church engages much more strongly in political and secular things.
     Sadly, Bonhoeffer's reflections have come to full-blown fruition these 76 years later.  And as Coach Dave surmises, it doesn't really matter who won the election, The Church should be held accountable for the direction the nation takes going forward.  Will the results look like we got a reprieve from God and a chance to return to a moral nation, or will the anti-Christian tactics of those who continue in power come to bare on anyone who dares to proclaim the Supremacy of God?
     I couldn't agree more with Coach Dave, who finished his blog post with the following statements:  "As goes the Church, so goes the nation. It is time for true believers in Jesus to call out the charlatans in the pulpits masquerading as pastors and demand a return to Biblical values as the foundation of this nation. We must actively oppose the self-centered Gospel currently belching out of the mouths of the hirelings who are peddling snake-oil Christianity in order to advance their own kingdoms".
     Pretty tough assertion, but nonetheless called for and necessary.  Can we, as a nation, be redeemed and forgiven by our God?  Absolutely!  The Bible gives us a picture of just that in the history of the Judean King, Manasseh, one of the most wicked kings that the divided nation of Israel had seen.  As frightening as it sounds, Manasseh's punishment by God was exactly what he and the nation needed:  "Therefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon. Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God". (2 Chronicles 33:11-13).
     Will that be the history of our nation?  Let us pray that it won't be necessary that we be defeated and taken into captivity.  Let us pray that we, and our next leader, have the heartfelt desire to humble ourselves and pray, asking for forgiveness.  But most of all, it is my prayer that God's Church will repent and ask for forgiveness; and that we, the people, will unite in obedience to our God and return to His righteous ways.  That is where our hope and our strength and our liberty truly lie.

Ezekiel 18:30-31    This is the declaration of the Lord God. “Repent and turn from all your transgressions, so they will not be a stumbling block that causes your punishment.  Throw off all the transgressions you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit"... 

May 6, 2016

Just A Few Cracks In The Moral Wall of America

     I recently ran across an article on a website called The Truth which outlined 100 Facts that have contributed to the moral collapse of America.  I'm not going to spell them all out for you; if you're interested in seeing the entire list, you can click here.
     But I would like to highlight just a few that I think we can all agree have led to the breakdown of our moral fabric, which in the end leaves us vulnerable to both physical and spiritual attack.  And I will admit that it is hard to think that this country, in which I have believed since I was a child, could ever be anything but the "beacon of freedom and an example of the best of humanity".  But all any of us have to do is look around us and we can see that our foundation of faith has been excoriated and criticized, which has led to moral compromise in order to gain ungodly acceptance.
     The truth is, we have been in the process of decay for a few decades now, and everything from our homes and family, to our forms of entertainment, to our government, to our military all show signs of degradation and degeneration.  We are simply in decline.  Here are a few of the things that have contributed to the cracks in our moral wall:
1.  Approximately one-third of the entire population of the United States (110 million people) currently has a sexually transmitted disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It's kind of funny really ... Disease is defined as "a disorder of structure or function in a human...".  And when it is sexually transmitted, we need to ask ourselves where and how have we, as a society, so disrupted the normal function of sex that it is making us ill.  To think that 1 out of 3 people in the entire population (and that includes infants, children, and the elderly) is suffering from our corrupted sense of the purpose of sex, well ... it is heartbreaking.  We have demeaned and debased this beautiful joining of two people to something that is for personal gratification only; the idea of beauty and respect as being involved in sex is nearly obsolete.  And that is why we have fact #2.
2.  Every single year, there are 20 million new STD cases in America. Obviously, we are not doing a good job of curbing our sexual appetites, and there appears to be no reversing the trend.
3.  At this point, one out of every four teen girls in the U.S. has at least one sexually transmitted disease.  I guess there is no point in asking, "What happened to celibacy?"  I'm afraid that having sex in the teen years is a given these days.  That should make for some sleepless nights for every parent or grandparent of teenage girls.
4.  According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, there are 747,408 registered sex offenders in the United States.  I'm sorry, but that figure is almost a joke! The obvious question for me is, how many unregistered are there?  Because we all know that the sex trade is one of the most egregious businesses in this country, and there are millions of vulnerable women and children who are trafficked throughout this country.  And many innocent children are victimized by sexual predators and it is never reported!  I am totally convinced that Jesus had sexual abusers in mind when He warned against anyone who would cause a stumbling block to be placed before one of His "little ones"; that it would be better for him to have a millstone placed around his neck and drowned in the depth of the sea... I think He knows exactly what justice He is going to bestow on them, and it will be on behalf of every single child who has ever been harmed.  I look forward to that day!
5.  An astounding 30 percent of all Internet traffic now goes to adult websites.  This is the by-product of the breakdown of our moral fabric.  Not only has sex become less personal and less private, along with being less healthy, but now it is public and for sale.  And these websites fuel the appetites of perverts, predators and the promiscuous.  This is a fact that does not exactly support a strong moral foundation for a country.  And here's a fact that should thoroughly disgust you...
6.  It has been estimated that 89 percent of all pornography is produced in the United States.  Not quite acting like the "best of humanity" are we?
7.   America has the highest divorce rate in the world by a good margin.   Although sex is readily available in a variety of arenas, that fact doesn't exactly lead to the enhancement of good and godly marriages.  When you've been sold the lie that sex is impersonal and about erotica and self-gratification, then what can the sanctity of God's marriage covenant offer you?  Especially if you don't even know the One who created it?
8.  At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father.  The moral foundation of any land or country is the family.  When sex outside marriage becomes acceptable in a society, it is obvious that the dismantlement of the family will follow.  The Welfare System began that journey, and now we've re-defined not only what a family is, but even what constitutes gender.  Confusion, chaos, and catastrophe are the end results when "father" has no absolute meaning.
9.  Without strong families, our young people are constantly in search of an identity.  According to the FBI, there are now more than 1.4 million gang members involved in the 33,000 active criminal gangs in the United States.  That statistic can be coupled with drug use, crime, and murder -- none of which can be classified as hallmarks of a moral nation.  How could we have lost our way so terribly that gangs become the substitute for a loving and supportive family?  That crack in our moral wall is becoming more dangerous every day.
10.  The number of American babies killed by abortion each year is roughly equal to the number of U.S. military deaths that have occurred in all of the wars that the United States has ever been involved in combined.  Can you even fathom that number?  How can we even think of ourselves as a moral nation when that is our reality?  Once again, I remind you what Jesus had to say about those who harmed His "little ones".
11.  One very shocking study found that 86 percent of all abortions are done for the sake of convenience.  What does that say about how we feel about God, the Creator?  If we can so effortlessly and callously destroy what the Creator of the Universe created  -- just because it's not convenient for us -- then we have no system of values which we can extoll.  Which leads me to a fact that shows exactly how far from a rational and moral sense of values we really have...
12.  A Department of Homeland Security report that was released in January 2012 says that if you are “anti-abortion”, you are a potential terrorist.  I don't even know what to say about that fact!  How can upholding the holiness of life be considered terrorizing?  I can't get there, no matter how hard I try to twist rational theories.  The use of the word "terrorist" is intentional and purposeful; posed to promote an agenda of child sacrifice as old as the abominations in the Old Testament.  The indefensible use of that word is applied to one who wishes to preserve the sanctity of a fetus's life, yet it will not be used to describe someone who kills innocent victims because of their Christian faith. Explain that to me, if you can!
13.  According to one absolutely shocking study, 22 military veterans kill themselves in the United States every single day.  And we still call ourselves a moral nation?  These men and women have sacrificed more than any of us will ever know, and we do not show them the respect, nor give them the care they deserve.  They return home to face their demons alone, and that, my friends, is just plain wrong and immoral.
14.  America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.  It's because we are in so much pain.  Everyone from our military veterans, to our elderly, to our hyper-active children are given prescriptions for anti-depressants... legal drugs to numb the pain of their realities.  But those prescriptions are often abused, and if you're not on a legal pain-killer, then there are the street drugs like heroin, which has seen the number of addicts more than double since 2002.  Whether legal or illegal, it's obvious we are a drugged nation.
15.   Nearly 20% of all U.S. adults have no religious affiliation whatsoever.  Back in 1972, only 7% of all U.S. adults had no religious affiliation.  I believe this fact should measure Faith rather than religious affiliation.  Because without Faith in God, you see what we get ... all of the other 14 facts I have mentioned, AND the balance of the 100 facts mentioned in the article on The Truth website.
     These are just a few examples of the downward spiral in morality that is consuming our nation (and the world).  When 46% of Americans never think about whether they will go to Heaven or not, then it is pretty obvious that nearly half of this nation thinks there are no consequences for immoral behavior or a lack of moral values.  In fact, we're continuously being told that morality is relative; in other words there is no absolute right or wrong, therefore we should simply tolerate all behavior.
     Yet, I dare say that no one would tolerate a new father putting his 6-week-old daughter in a freezer to keep her from crying, right?  (This horrific scenario is from an actual news report).  But when there is no concern about what happens to you one second after you are clinically dead, then it's perfectly understandable that concepts like "right" or "wrong"; or "moral" and "immoral" will have no effect upon how we live our lives in the here and now.
     Just glancing over the 15 statistics I have listed gives us a pretty good idea as to the direction this country is headed... and it sure isn't towards holiness.  We have become a nation focused on self-gratification and self-indulgence.  It's all about us and enjoying the things that bring us pleasure and fulfillment.  And whether it is the pursuit of money, sex, fun, or self-glorification, it will never satisfy our physical needs or bring us spiritual satisfaction.  It just leads to more statistics like those above, and more moral failures.
     I have to admit that I barely recognize my country anymore, and I shudder to think what new statistics will be recorded in the coming years.  And the worse it gets, the more I feel pulled from this culture.  But that doesn't bother me, because I know there are others like me; people who still cling to the Good Book and try to live their lives by walking in the footprints of our Lord.  We live within our own set of statistics and could care less about whether our moral values are accepted as mainstream or not.  We answer to the God of the Universe, not to the Prince of this world; and we are not afraid to stand for our principles.  So read over this partial list of statistics, and determine whether you are willing to accept them as defining your life.  If not, then join me in walking that straight line that leads us through the narrow gate and look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  We do not have to become a statistic when we live in the shadow of the Almighty.

Proverbs 4:14-15     "Don’t set foot on the path of the wicked;
don’t proceed in the way of evil ones.  Avoid it; don’t travel on it.  Turn away from it, and pass it by."