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

Showing posts with label Our Youth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Our Youth. Show all posts

May 4, 2018

The Enemy Has Stolen God's Omnificense!

     I know what you're thinking.... she has spelled the word wrong. Doesn't she mean God's Omnipotence, or His Omniscience, or perhaps she meant to say His Omnipresence. No, I want to talk about Jehovah God's Omnificense. You've never heard that word, let alone heard it used to describe God? Don't worry. I hadn't either until I listened to a teaching by Pastor Henry W. Wright, who is also a Doctor of Christian Therapeutic Counseling. The teaching was on the spiritual roots of Disease and Illnesses, but it was his use of that word Omnificense to describe God's Nature that intrigued me and has taken me on a path of discovery.
     You see, it is his assertion that this word was once included in Christian doctrine among the familiar characteristics used to describe God -- His Holiness (He is separate from all moral defilement and abhors it); His Righteousness (He will not tolerate sin); His Sovereignty (He is supreme above all things); His Eternal Nature (He is infinite and had no beginning; His existence will never end);  His Omniscience (He is all-knowing, all-wise, and all-seeing); His Omnipresence (He is present everywhere); His Omnipotence (He is all-powerful); and His Immutability (He never changes; He is always reliable and trustworthy). And there are many more desciptors of our Father in Heaven: Incomparable, Just, Divine, Faithful.... the list goes on and on.
     But when I discovered the word Omnificense and its meaning, I cannot ignore its implications for our Father in Heaven. It means "creating all things; having unlimited powers of creation".  Isn't that an appropriate description of our Creator? And although my research could find no instance of its use in English translation Bibles, I could find reference as it pertains to our God in -- of all places -- a website discussing the Super Powers of Marvel Comics! And if you're unaware, the superheroes of Marvel Comics have captured the imaginations of our children with box office megahit movies featuring Spiderman, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, X-Men, Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and antagonists like Doctor Doom, the Red Skull, the Green Goblin, Thanos, and Loki. Furthermore, according to the Super Powers website, these "superheroes" even have their own universe, and the characters that possess Omnificense "can create anything without limits, including concepts, existence, reality, and even the totality itself. They can also create from nothing or even create one thing from another, such as manifesting an image from a comic book, creating life from the dead, and duplicating anything. The user can create basically anything they choose on an unlimited scale".
     It is astounding to read what this counterfeit image of God as Creator in this counterfeit universe is believed to be able to do: create dimensions; generate energy; create life and matter; create portals, create universes; create weapons. There is even an ability called Omnificense Genesis, which is "the power to create an unlimited amount of anything from the user's own essence." By now, you should be seeing that the Enemy has found a way to capture the imaginations of our kids with images of false gods (euphemistically called super-heroes) by imitating the very nature of the One True God.
    And if you think I am taking this way too seriously, let me give you a run-down of the "Users" of Omnificense power in this false reality... at the very top, in the number one position is God, as noted in the Abrahamic Religions! In the number two position is The Dragon, followed by The-One-Above-All, Presence, Michael Demiurgos (in Gnosticism, Demiurge is a heavenly being, subordinate to the Supreme Being, that is considered to be the controller of the material world and antagonistic to all that is purely spiritual); God (as represented in Bruce Almighty - a human version); Haruhi Suzumiya (a popular female character in Japanese animation who possesses unconscious god-like abilities to change, destroy, and reshape reality to her desires); Users of the True Word; and the Choushin (a trio of super-dimensional deities responsible for the creation of the multiverse and all of the higher dimensions of existence. They are essentially Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent, only surpassed by Kami Tenchi. The Choushin consist of Washu, Tsunami, and Tokimi -- also Japanese animation). I could give you more names such as Demon Lord; Snake of the Festival; Spawn, the Mother of All Things; and Doctor Monty of Call of Duty and Black Ops III. But I think you get the idea.

     Is this giving anyone else the creeps? And can you see the design the Enemy has on our impressionable children? What kid, in this technologically advanced world where everyone is just trying to be seen, doesn't want to identify with a super-hero? The sad thing is this generation is totally unaware that the only authentic "User" of this super power of Omnificense is actually represented in this false universe -- the God of the Abrahamic Religions (Judaism and Christianity) is real. All the others are false. But unfortunately, the One True God has been reduced to just one of a couple dozen false gods. 
     The fact that the Omnificense of YHWH has been lost to our faith, while it has been resurrected in a false universe and reality, should give us all pause -- as well as alert us to the danger of this rise in popularity of Movie Superheroes. It shouldn't surprise us that the devil has found a way to imitate the very essence of YHWH as Supreme Creator, and repackaged Him in a plethora of tempting and exciting superheroes to feed our culture's addiction to entertainment.  
     Besides the obvious counterfeiting of and fraudulent imitation of YHWH's unique power, these movie characters are providing a door into the supernatural for those kids (and adults) who are looking for ways to escape their "boring" existence. Little do they know, that is a portal into the demonic realm. So I caution you to be aware of what may seem like a harmless movie or cartoon to stimulate the imagination. We must be ever vigilant to see the transparent schemes of our Enemy, and return the title of OMNIFICENT GOD to its rightful owner.

1 Chronicles 29:11    Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the Kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all.

April 21, 2017

The Loss Of Faith In This Generation

     Those of us, who are of a certain age, remember the famous statement by Ronald Reagan: Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction... The same can be said of Faith, which is its own kind of freedom, wouldn't you say?  And while I do not agree with Christian Apologist Ken Ham on his "Young Earth Creationist" theory, I am in full agreement with what he wrote on his website, Answers in Genesis.  Mr. Ham said, "Every generation has the same decision to make: Will I serve the God of the Bible or a false god? The “god of this world” may shift his seductions slightly from generation to generation, but the basic challenge is always the same. So, Christians must be ever vigilant. Every newborn must be taught the truth from scratch or else that soul could be completely lost. While statistics indicate that churches and Christian homes are failing to reach kids, God has given us all the resources we need to turn the tide!"     
     Sadly, I believe this generation of young adults is on the verge of succumbing to a most clever seduction of the Enemy.  Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., who serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, supports this theory by explaining, "When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism."  
     Exactly what are the foundations of such a belief system?  1) A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.  2) God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.  3) The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about one's self.  4) God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.  5) Good people go to heaven when they die.
     As you can see, this is a belief system based on the premise that "the self" is primary, and God is an appendage to the lives we live.  He's there, but only when we need Him; like a "Medicine Cabinet God".  And you can see touches of Gnosticism in these beliefs too: the goal is to be happy, and pleased with yourself; Faith is subjective (personal, individual, emotional, instinctive, intuitive); there is no recognition of God's superiority or Jesus's sacrifice for our sins -- all we have to do is "be Good". 
      In other words, this is very close to the same lies and seduction that Satan offered Adam and Even in the Garden: That the Word (Bible) is not reliable (allowing for doubt and distortion); That God doesn't have our best interests in mind, (if I follow His rules, I won't have any fun in this life!); and That your sin isn't all that bad (God knows I'm a good person overall and that's what counts).  In essence, our latest generation is believing the lie that Satan told Eve:  Be your own God!
      After conducting more than 3,000 interviews with American adolescents, the University of North Carolina researchers reported that, when it came to the most crucial questions of faith and beliefs, many adolescents responded with a shrug and “whatever.” As the researchers explained, “For most teens [and I would surmise young adults], nobody has to do anything in life, including anything to do with religion. ‘Whatever’ is just fine, if that’s what a person wants.”
     It's abundantly obvious -- most Millennials can tell you more details than you want to know about the lives of favorite musicians and television/movie stars, or about what it takes to get into a good college, but most are not very clear on who Moses and Jesus were.  And with this conclusion, it is equally obvious that our culture has not followed God's commandment to "train up" the next generation.  He says it over and over in the Bible ... when God miraculously enabled Joshua to lead the people through the Jordan River, the first thing He told Joshua to do was to take twelve stones from the riverbed to build a memorial. But what was the memorial for? God wanted Joshua to explain, "When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know . . . the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over . . . that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever” (Joshua 4:21–24).  The stones were to remind the parents to make sure they taught the next generation about the true God. They were instructed to pass on the knowledge and fear of God to their children.
     But, as a nation and a culture, I'm afraid we have failed to do this.  When we took God, the Bible, and prayer out of our public schools, [and failed to establish them in our homes], we are left with generations of kids who have no foundational knowledge of God and His Word, and once in college and living on their own, they are likely to abandon Him altogether.  What's even more sad to me is that both these kids and their parents have not been taught apologetics ((how to give a reasoned defense of the Christian faith) in their homes or churches, so they don’t believe it themselves and certainly can’t defend it to others. 
     In effect, this theory of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism boils down to a couple of ideas ... It's all about individualism (let's not be judgmental, and everything is relative to the individual); and just "being nice" is central to living a good and happy life and being a good, moral person. That means being nice, kind, pleasant, respectful, responsible, at work on self-improvement, taking care of one’s health, and doing one’s best to be successful.  Just like Satan taught:  Be your own god!
     As the researchers explained, “This is not a religion of repentance from sin, of keeping the Sabbath, of living as a servant of sovereign divinity, of steadfastly saying one’s prayers, of faithfully observing high holy days, of building character through suffering, of basking in God’s love and grace, of spending oneself in gratitude and love for the cause of social justice, et cetera. Rather, what appears to be the actual dominant religion among U.S. [young adults] is centrally about feeling good, happy, secure, at peace. It is about attaining subjective well-being, being able to resolve problems, and getting along amiably with other people.”
     But that's not what God commanded us to teach the next generation!  In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, He tells us, "These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Instead, we have allowed ourselves to be seduced by Satan:  Don't listen to God! He just wants it to be all about Him!  I'm offering you an easier, more pleasant faith that is way more tolerant and undemanding. Instead of doctrines of Trinity, holiness, sin, grace, justification, sanctification, church, and heaven and hell, I am offering you a life on this earth [now] centered on happiness, niceness, and an earned heavenly reward (but that's later, you don't have to worry about it now). 
    By now, it should be obvious that Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is a faith in "self", not Faith in God.  We tend to treat spiritual problems with a medicinal treatment plan.  Sin, and the Wrath and Justice of God, are terms that don't fit in well with our modern language and goal of self-actualization (the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities). 
     So how do we reach a generation that is falling away from Faith in Jehovah God, as well as a nation that largely considers itself Christian, yet has very little knowledge or experience in Biblical Christianity?  It is apparent that we need to return to the directives God has given us in His Word... We must be earnest and persistent in teaching our children what the Bible says about God, so that they know WHAT they believe, WHY they believe it, and HOW to defend the Faith against the attacks of today's secular culture.  Then we have a generation that can proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God with AUTHORITY, because they believe by Whose Authority it stands.  
     They must be taught what "Faith in Christ" means... to know what it means to "Be Saved" and to "Walk with God", and all from a Biblical perspective, using God's own words!  We must answer their hard questions about sin in our culture and what happens when you die without knowing Jesus as your Savior.  We cannot give them more tolerant and permissive answers.  They must be taught Truth as God presents it in His Word -- not what the popular opinion is.  Once they accept the Bible as true, and the Authority of the One who inspired it to be written, then the world, with all its challenges, will begin to make sense to them. They need to see the reality of sin, and know God's Grace and Mercy, as well as His Judgment.  
     Once this generation knows [and believes] the Gospel Message that Christ died for us, was buried, and rose again with a promise of salvation to all those who have faith in Him, they will know that the power of that Gospel to save sinners rests on the authority of God's Word.  They will then need to be encouraged to boldly proclaim that Gospel to a lost world -- something that we have failed to do for several generations, and our society and nation are suffering for it.  But it is not too late!  We must replace the religion of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism with a genuine Faith in Jesus Christ by committing to instructing our children and grandchildren as God, the Father commanded us.  If we plant the seeds of the knowledge and authority of God through His Word, our Father and the Holy Spirit will be faithful to water them. It may take only one generation to lose Faith, but we can begin today to raise up the next one in Truth and Commitment to God and for the salvation of the world.  With God and His Word instructing us and them, how can we fail?

Judges 2:10-12  All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.  Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger.  


July 4, 2016

The Power of God: A Personal Testimony

This post represents the reflections of a very good friend of mine, who just recently returned from a mission trip to Europe and the refugee camps.  She is a young Millennial and has such a heart for Jesus, vowing to go wherever He sends her in order to share Him with the world.  She began her journey in Brussels, went on to Moscow, and as God would have it, received an opportunity, at the last minute, to alter her itinerary before heading back home to the U.S.  It was here, the last five days that she spent in the refugee camps in northern Greece, that she says changed her life.  Considering my post from yesterday ... if you want to know how we Christians can be the salt of the earth, just read what she has to say:

     While standing barefoot on the gravel in between tents in a refugee camp in northern Greece, two little girls, Afghani sisters, walked up to me, gave me hugs, and eventually I had to say goodbye to them. Thinking about that moment [now], I am in tears because it is so hard to leave a place where so many people are living in devastation and so little is being done to help them.
     After spending six weeks overseas, five of those days in Greece, my perspective on life has shifted. Millions of people just like you and me are having to flee their homes (which likely have been leveled). These people are engineers, business men, and students who may never finish school; hardworking people who used to live normal lives, and now live in tents, lucky to have a bed.
     It's almost 100 degrees there, no air conditioning in the camps, the toilets and showers are filthy (for many the conditions are worse in the camps than they were in their home countries), they have limited clothes, and most are in the middle of Ramadan, fasting all day.  The borders are closed now, so these people are beginning to have to accept that they may never leave Greece. The thought of landing back in the States while these people are stuck in a situation that is not only uncomfortable, but deadly for many, is heartbreaking.
     I wish the world could understand that there are many people suffering on earth right now while the rest of us go on with normal everyday life without even a thought of those people. The refugee crisis is being called the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II, but somehow it still surprises people when I tell them why I was in Europe. It's my prayer that our eyes be opened and see people the way Jesus sees people.
     (One major takeaway from my time in Greece is that God is moving in the refugee camps. This shouldn't be a surprise since God shows us over and over again in the Bible that He is present and near to comfort those who mourn, and provide for those in need.)
      I had the privilege of being invited into the tent of a sweet Syrian family on my first day in the camps. The cultures that the refugees come from are some of the most hospitable I've ever seen. This family offered us coffee, water, tea, and fruit, when really they were the ones who needed it! One of the daughters, Zeinah, interpreted for us so we got to ask them questions about their lives, pray healing over her because she was sick, and then share with them a little bit about Jesus as we know Him.
     Near [the time] when we had to leave, with their blessing, we prayed for them all to encounter God (their hands in an open position to receive).  It was so cool that they let us do that because they knew we were Christians! As we were leaving, I asked Zeinah if she could ask the family if any of them had had a dream of a man in white before.  One of the other daughters, Rima, who is 22 years old responded that she had. She described the man as dressed in a white robe to his feet, standing on green grass, and handing her water. She could not see his face because it was too bright.
     I opened my Bible to Revelation, Chapter 1, and read to Zeinah the description of Jesus there ("like a son of man", dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.)  Zeinah translated it for Rima, and then looked at me with a smile and said, yes, that is who was in her dream! I excitedly told her that the man in her dream was Jesus, and that she must tell Rima that in the Bible Jesus calls himself the Living Water ...  and just how we need water to live, we need Jesus all the more. I had to leave then, but Zeinah assured me that she would tell Rima that her dream was about Jesus. My prayer is that Rima and her family would continue to have dreams of Jesus and come to know the Man who is pursuing them in their dreams.
     This is not only happening to this family, but Muslims everywhere are reporting having dreams of this "man in white".  Jesus is pursuing the Muslim people in their sleep, and entire families are getting saved across Europe because of it. The power of God is the only way that someone will have [such] an encounter with God, but He is using His people to convey the message of the Gospel ... the Good News of Jesus.
      I also got the chance to sit in a tent with seven Muslim-background men, six of which were Afghani, and one was a Syrian Kurdish man. One of the men was interpreting for us and we were just chatting with them. We found out that the Syrian man in the room had been baptized in the name of Jesus the week before, along with four other men and has been reading his Bible ever since! Another man in the room was holding a Farsi New Testament that he was going to start reading later that day. These people who have never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus as their Savior are hearing about Him for the first time.  And because there is nothing else for them to do with their time, they love listening to our stories about Jesus and are happy to read the Bible!
      As I've been reflecting on my time in Greece, and what God is doing there, and in all of Europe with the refugees, what I feel like God is calling me to do now is to pray for the refugees and the workers who are there, and to educate people here about the crisis through my direct experience.

     This is the testimony of my faithful young friend, who is able to set aside her differences with people of different faiths and nationalities to see people as Jesus sees them ... people that He created; people who desperately need to know Him as the world deteriorates into chaos and lawlessness.  
     She approached her calling from Jesus with no fear; only excitement, and as she wrote me, "an expectancy for what God is going to do in us and through us as we interact with the refugees."  Note that she didn't say she was "hoping" that God would work in her and through her, but she was "expecting" it!  That is more than youthful optimism.  That is faith in the power of God, and comes from a trust and confidence rooted in her spirit; a spirit that is supernaturally connected to her Creator.
     So, now we have to come to terms with the spiritual aspects of this world.  Can you see that the Enemy wants us to concentrate on the very real danger of Muslim extremists, who are used as instruments of wickedness and perhaps, judgment?  But at the same time, can you see that Jesus is still moving and ministering in the world; even in the midst of refugee camps that very likely contain men intent on carrying out more evil? The recent attacks on a restaurant in Bangladesh remind us that Evil is ever present. 
     And the Bible tells us that, along with this wickedness, mankind will not escape the humanitarian crises that my young friend witnessed.  Earth has become the battleground for the war in the spiritual realm.  And my friend is absolutely correct ... we must pray for the innocent refugees, and the workers who are ministering to them.  We must tell the world about the very real human suffering that is going on.  And, most importantly, we must praise God, who draws people unto Himself through the teaching of the gospel. Thank you, Lord, that people like my young friend answer your call.   It is exciting to hear, first-hand, of the drawing power of your Word to save! And we ask for continuous strength and revelation to do what You need us to do, in the Name of Jesus.  Amen!

Colossians 1:6    "In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace."

May 2, 2016

From Boredom to The Beast

     Can you contemplate the possibility that with all the distractions we have in this Age of Technology, that we could actually find ourselves "bored" in our day-to-day lives?  By bored, I mean that we have become so over-stimulated by Facebook and all the other social media avenues, that if we are not constantly hooked up to it, then we feel we are missing something.  By bored, I mean that our brains are so aroused by the highly visible special effects in action movies, or the explicit and graphic sex scenes in R-rated movies and TV, that our normal everyday existence can seem unexciting and discouraging.
     Basically, the more we are entertained, or stimulated, or engaged in sharing our every waking moment, the more we need of whatever triggers a sense of excitement in our lives.  In other words, we don't want to tolerate the average; we want more of the sensational.  That's why people are bored at their jobs ... sitting in meetings, or writing reports becomes intolerable and tedious.  Listening to a professor lecture, or studying for exams becomes monotonous and uninspiring.  Changing diapers, doing laundry, or preparing meals for your family becomes repetitive and mind-numbing.  We have become so accustomed to the instant gratification of our technology, and so reliant on it to take us outside our normal existence, that we cannot appreciate our "real" life.
     Dr. Sandi Mann, Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, writes, "Our attention spans are now thought to be less than that of a goldfish (eight seconds). We are hard-wired to seek novelty, which produces a hit of dopamine, that feel-good chemical, in our brains. As soon as a new stimulus is noticed, however, it is no longer new, and after a while it bores us. To get that same pleasurable dopamine hit we seek fresh sources of distraction ... Does any of this matter? Research suggests that chronic boredom is responsible for a profusion of negative outcomes such as overeating, gambling, truancy, antisocial behaviour, drug use, accidents, risk taking and much more. We need less, not more, stimulation and novelty."
     Of course, all of these negative side effects of boredom are alarming, especially when they result in keeping us from reaching our full potential.  But let me tell you about another side effect that secular psychologists like Dr. Mann may not consider. As a member of the pre-Millennial generations, it is pretty easy for us to see the consequences of our rapidly increasing technology -- in effect, we can measure it from a "before and after" perspective.  It is easier for me to see the negative ramifications of too much technology in my life because I have reference points ... I remember what it was like to actually engage in a face-to-face conversation, or at least telephone conversations with friends or loved ones.  So when I find myself avoiding that personal interaction in favor of non-verbal phone texts, I can recognize that I need to disengage from technology and make that human connection.
     Or, I can remember when the entertainment I chose to watch was more wholesome and respectful of human relationships and the family, so when I see something in a movie or TV show that transcends those older moral values, I can recognize that it is probably not something that I need to expose myself to.  But the Millennial generation has only known the continuous, highly suggestive version of the most creative minds in the technology and entertainment industries.  And here is the area in which I am most concerned ... when those two businesses combined forces, this generation of kids and young adults have been inundated with a steady diet of ever-increasing supernatural concepts.  They receive it in their video games, in online movies, in their music, on TV, and even in books (if they can take the time to read one).
     Harry Potter books, to Katy Perry's songs, to The Twilight movie series, to The History Channel, to The Terminator, Transformers, Aliens, Star Wars and Star Trek; all of which have spanned a couple of generations in successful movie franchises.  There is even a video game called Supernatural!  Our kids have been shown so much of the supernatural in movies, books, and music that they want to see a demonstration of it in their everyday lives.  It's become such a part of their psychological makeup that they instinctively know it is real, but it's never talked about.
     Think about it ... witches, and aliens, and demons abound in all those sources of entertainment that I just mentioned.  The Supernatural has been featured in everything from the
     Their parents don't know how to explain it; the Church can't address it, because it has nearly lost the supernatural sense of its own Bible and the God it serves.  So, out of boredom, or restlessness, or dissatisfaction, or just the sense that life has become too slow and dull, they begin looking for further stimulation, and sadly it often leads to the dark side.  I'm afraid that we have failed to recognize this in our youth.
     It can be something as evident as a young man or woman, who was raised in the Church, and begins to question the validity of God, and ask all the questions that are natural in our human frailty ... Why would God let a young child die tragically? Or, Is there really life after death?  But sadly, technology is expanding those questions and doubt.  They now begin to think thoughts such as This God I've been told about all my life is too restrictive, and following Him is not very exciting.  The internet is showing me that I can astral project and actually leave my body and experience supernatural trips.  I want to experience what's beyond this realm NOW! Maybe there's more out there than what God is offering me here. 
     During a trip to minister to our wounded warriors at The Fisher House at Fort Sam Houston, one of the chaplains shared with our ministry group that he was having a difficult time getting the young soldiers in the Army to attend Bible study classes he taught.  When he questioned a few of them, they said that Christianity was too boring; they preferred attending classes taught by the Wiccans or the Muslims because they were more exciting and stimulated their imagination.  We have gone so wrong in the Church by refusing to recognize, embrace, and teach that the Bible is a supernatural book about our Supernatural God!
     But the Enemy has not been so shy.  He has taken advantage of our reticence and twisted the supernatural aspects of our faith, and exploited it for his own benefit.  So our kids instinctively know that the supernatural exists, but they've only been shown the dark side's version, and with the help of technology, they have been convinced that this version is not simply the only version of the supernatural, but it is more real and true for their lives than the staid and conservative paradigm of their parent's theology.
     Those of us who see clearly what the Lord wants us to know for this time and age, are aware that the supernatural is about to collide with this realm.  And it is imperative that we strengthen our younger generations with the Truth of just what a Supernatural God we serve.  We cannot let the boredom that this generation perceives be used to lead them away from the most exhilarating and intoxicating and enthralling relationship they will ever have, this side of Heaven.  We cannot refuse to see the supernatural in our Bible and we must share the truth that Jesus constantly interacted with the natural realm supernaturally.  We can to, through the power of the Holy Spirit!  And that's anything but boring!

Acts 9:11-12    "God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them."

April 25, 2016

Satan and Politics: A New Revolution?

     If you are like me, this whole political cycle is becoming tedious.  I do not happen to believe that we can change the direction of this country -- or the world, for that matter -- with a political solution. I believe our problems are much bigger than the contested Republican convention that is predicted; or the scandal over Hillary's emails, Benghazi, and the threats to national security.  I have huge doubts about the ability of any newly-elected President to turn around our failing economy, our immigrant/border problem, or the encroachment upon our national sovereignty by any foreign powers or global institution.  I think our problems are the result of our spiritual deterioration; our rebellion and rejection of God; and the doors we have opened to Satanic influence in our homes, our culture, and our churches.  In short, watching Fox News or CNN to get the latest political update seems like I'm watching a carefully scripted mockery of the delusion that we have any say in the future of this nation.
     That bit of pessimism aside, my always alert husband discovered an article he thought worthy of our discussion.  I read it, at first, with a sense of sad amusement -- that people could be so deceived as to actually be a follower of such nonsense -- but that was soon replaced with the very real sense that there are people who are hopelessly lost, and convenient tools of the dark side of this world.  Let me explain....
     This all may seem laughable, and unrealistic, but keep in mind that Satan seeks to enter all facets of our lives, and politics is a very impressionable and powerful subculture of our society.  And we have a generation of dissatisfied, alienated, and discontented youth who, like every generation before them, think that they have the solution for the "perfect revolution" to change the world.  It's just that in this time of history, the Enemy has done away with subtle and muted messages, and is openly identifying himself as an alternative choice -- even in politics.
The Satanic Temple performs a satanic ritual at
the Michigan State Capitol in December 2015
     So, you may be familiar with the organization known as The Satanic Temple.  They have made their presence known by demanding the same religious rights and privileges afforded to Christianity.  You may recall their campaigns to create satanic coloring books for distribution in schools in Florida and Colorado; bids to erect satanic “nativity scenes” on government property in Florida, Michigan and Indiana; offering prayers to Satan at a high school football game in Seattle; and demanding that a monument to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma State Capitol be accompanied by a monument to Baphomet (a goat-headed idol associated with witches' sabbaths).
     I've always assumed that they saw themselves as an alternative "religion".  But you should know that the foundation of their "movement" is political, and they have stated as such on their website:  "The Satanic Temple (TST) facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty."  It is obvious they aim to make their presence known in politics!
     Their latest attempt to influence the political culture in this country came at South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual set of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas.  This event started out as a forum for talented, new, and independent artists, and as far as I'm concerned, has attracted far too many of the "fringe" and "bizarre" types.  But they open the venue to anyone, so what better place for The Satanic Temple to present a unique political message to the masses.
     First, you need to know that the TST political campaign involves the 2016 movie, "The Witch", a tale of a Puritan family turning on each other as they attempt to root out the supernatural evil plaguing their farm.  The film won the award for best director at the Sundance Film Festival – and even frightened horror master Stephen King, which is quite a feat, and enough to keep me from ever seeing it.  But the important fact, here, is that The Satanic Temple combined forces with A24 Studios, to promote a four-city tour called The Sabbat Cycle, which consisted of screenings of the film followed by politically driven satanic rituals.  I kid you not!  The stated goal of The Sabbat Cycle was to inspire a “satanic revolution.”  That got your attention, didn't it?
     Revolutions have always been about rebelling against the status quo, and who better than Satan, the first leader of an organized rebellion, to represent a burgeoning political movement?  But I think you should know exactly what The Sabbat Cycle is all about.  Obviously, it is meant to denigrate the Sabbath, a holy day as designated by God.  But in satanism it is also a supposed annual midnight meeting of witches with the Devil.  If you dare, you can click on this link to the website, but if you would rather skip the disgusting photos, then I can clue you in on their purpose and plan.  Here is the official mission statement:  "Inspired by the film The Witch, The Satanic Temple crossed the nation February 2016 to present a four-part cycle of interactive performances to reify the witch (to make something abstract more concrete or real) - and herald a new Satanic American era. A study of the pathology of religious hysteria, The Witch provides a glimpse into a dark period of our collective history, a  puritanical worldview turned parasitic.  Despite the mythology, supernatural forces do not inspire an attraction to the left hand path, rather it is the unnatural pressures of theocracy that ultimately produce a Satanic breakthrough. This is a timely film.  Nearly four-hundred years after the first execution of an American "witch," many in our nation still call for the establishment of an American theocracy and a return to the puritanical delusions of old.   In the face of relentless persecution, of unjust authority treading on our private, intellectual and sexual lives, we, the outsiders, the freethinking, and the godless have found ourselves strengthened.  We act now to righteously assert our American freedoms, for the edification of our communities and the future of the private citizen.  The Sabbat Cycle mirrors phases of "becoming" in the personal road to Satanism and is an invitation to join us in the Satanic Revolution."
     And to become part of this satanic political revolution, they apparently feel it is necessary to perform a satanic ritual.  You can read the full description, as provided by a reporter who decided to witness it for himself.  But here's the shortened version:  After viewing the film, the participants adjourned to a nearby bar where the entire area was adorned in black-and-white American flags, just like the ones that everybody in the room received as they entered. As all of this went down, a sermon played over loudspeakers, as a Christian minister described what Satan wanted from his followers—"Satan wants you to do what you want to do," a point that apparently both sides of the Jesus/Satan divide can agree on—while what the reporter described as "a punishing ambient soundscape provided by British electronic music weirdos Consumer Electronics" droned in the background.
     Then the head priestess or witch, whose name, believe it or not, is Jex Blackmore, came out from behind her black shroud and gave her own sermon.   "Who taught you to be ashamed?" and declaring that "satanism is the rational assertion of aggressive individualism." A naked couple, who were part of the show, got hoods draped over their heads, then removed them to chug down containers full of wine (supposed to represent blood). People in the crowd rushed to the front of the stage.  The priestess culminated her sermon by declaring, "We do not seek followers, we are seeking collaborators—individuals for a satanic alliance!" Then she instructed those collaborators to place their black-and-white flags outside of crisis pregnancy centers and the Texas governor's mansion. She ended the sermon by shouting "Hail Satan!" and raising her fist into the devil-horn sign, which the majority of the crowd of a hundred or so fired back, chanting "Hail Satan!" along with her, over and over again.
     Now, this might seem like an absurd exhibition, but we must never assume that it was nonproductive.  Anytime anyone praises Satan, or glorifies him, or honors him with worship, you can bet that our Enemy will take advantage of it and push his agenda.  He will use these willing dupes to present himself as a legitimate alternative to the religion of Christianity, as well as a genuine and different choice in the political arena.  But we must not forget that it is always a counterfeit option.  It is a false promise.
     Ms. Blackmore embraces her position as witch/political activist with relish. She sees the collaboration with the film, The Witch, as an opportunity to get more people involved and hasten their political revolution. She, along with the organization she represents (The Satanic Temple) want to challenge the popular belief that America is a “Christian nation.”  Seems like there are a lot of people in politics that hold that same belief system.  Can groups like TST and their occultic entourage change the landscape of our political consciousness?
     Are you willing to bet that they can't?  We have to face the fact that our culture and the nation's underlying foundation of the Christian Church has certainly changed in the last decade.  And Millennials now outnumber us Baby Boomers.  They don't see the big picture the way we do.  And if their picture doesn't include the reflection of God in their lives, their homes, our society, or our government, then they are inevitably ripe for deception and a counterculture that TST offers them.  We saw it happen in the 60s, when the youth of this nation forged new ideas of free sex, while protesting against the government, affluence, war, and any and all authority.
     Authority ... isn't that what Satan rebelled against, too?  God's Authority?  And now the youth of this nation openly hail God's Adversary by name.  But now that rebellion is moving from the religious sphere into the political arena, where the Bible tells us that Satan is ruler of this world.  Up to now, he has been able to work in relative obscurity -- most people are unaware that he is actually called the Prince of this world.  But now it appears as though he is coming out of the shadows and into full view amidst the corrupt, criminal, and immoral political landscape.  He should feel right at home.  And  now,  he's ready to get in the race.  Most of our spiritually protective walls have been torn down, and we already see the evidence of him winning court battles in Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado, Michigan, and Indiana.  When satanic rituals are allowed to be held in public, and are directed toward members of our government, then I fear that we have sealed our doom.  We are witnessing an unholy pact, and God help us!

Romans 1:32    "Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."


April 13, 2016

Beware A Boastful Tongue!

     Have you seriously considered why in the world all the young girls across this nation seem to be enthralled with sharing photos of themselves sticking out their tongues?  Is your spirit pricked with an uneasiness that tells you there is more to this than just frivolity?  Well, I'm here to tell you there is.
     I, like adults of every generation, have looked upon the entertainment industry as a possible instrument of the devil; a tool of temptation that will lead our youth astray.  When I was young, I laughed at my own parents' concerns, considering them to be out-of-touch and too old-fashioned.  Yet I can see where those suggestive lyrics and the loosening of sexual standards only served to encourage much of the debauchery in evidence today.  And I'm pretty sure that this generation feels the same way about our warnings as we did our parents.
     But what they don't know is this … they didn't invent this viral social media rage of sticking out your tongue in every photo you post online.  Actually, it can be traced to the Hindu goddess, Kali.  Furthermore, they don't know that her identity can be traced back to the Queen of Heaven/Mother Goddess worship.  One of the foremost promoters of this worship, which honored Baal's consort, was the wicked Phoenician princess, Jezebel, who married the evil king of Israel, Ahab.
     As I wrote in an earlier post, Jezebel influenced Ahab to fully establish Baal worship in his realm. In Phoenicia, Baalism included the worship of Molech with fiery sacrifices of children and the worship of Astarte, the Phoenician Ishtar, Queen of Heaven.  Jezebel caused altars to be erected to this idol in every part of Israel; and at one time four hundred priests attended the worship of Ishtar/Ashteroth.  She had such a powerful control over Ahab, that he built a temple to Baal, and the Bible records that he sinned against God more than any other king.  But here's the result of that idolatrous relationship:  The nation of Israel became so entangled with the Queen of Heaven/Mother Goddess worship that YHWH judged them by sending them into captivity by the hand of the Assyrians, and the nation of Israel was scattered to the ends of the earth.
      And how did this Queen of Heaven/Mother Goddess express her immorality and debauchery?  By sticking out her tongue!  And today, our young girls and women mimic her, without even knowing what they are doing!  It seems that everywhere you look now on television and the Internet, the craze of sticking out the tongue is rampant.  And the media stars of this generation are leading the way.
     It seems that with every performance, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and their peers can be seen posing for the camera with their tongues sticking out.  How in the world did this become something worthy of imitating?  Well, I don't have to tell you that there is a war on for the hearts and minds of our children, and we are losing this battle with each passing day. As a 2013 article in Before Its News reported, the Devil is so sure of victory that he no longer feels the need to hide what he is doing. He knows that we – even born again Christians – have gotten so cold, so lazy, we don’t pray, we don’t read our Bibles – that we offer little to no resistance.
     The essence of the tongue pose is sexual perversion, indecency, lewdness and promiscuity; and it has great spiritual value to the dark side.  Entertainment moguls such as Jay-Z boldly sport famed occultist Alistair Crowley's immoral motto, "Do What Thou Wilt" emblazoned on his clothing line.  And he parades his stable of willing young female entertainers (who seem to have sold their souls for fame and stardom), showcasing them flashing Illuminati signs and occult symbolism.  And our youth blindly follow, not even knowing that they are paying homage to wickedness in the spiritual realm.
     Furthermore, the erection of a replica of the Temple of Baal in New York City this next weekend, is openly inviting the spirit of that false god into our heartland.  What you might not know is this ... worship at the Temple of Baal involved public orgies and displays of unrestricted sex among all participants.  If, unfortunately, a pregnancy occurred, then the unwanted offspring of those liaisons were offered in fiery sacrifices to the god Molech.  Jezebel would be proud to know that once again the Temple of Baal will be bringing its ungodly influence to the world. Will God judge us as He did ancient Israel for our idolatry?  Will He hand us over to captivity and the fruits of our rebellion?  It remains to be seen, but I cannot imagine that He will delay His anger much longer.
     But, here is what saddens me, and to be honest, frightens me, as well.  I decided to ask a question of several young women whom I admire and respect; moral young ladies whom I know love the Lord -- yet, they too, have succumbed to the popularity of this viral pose.  I asked them, "What is the meaning of this pose?  Does it have a particular significance to your generation?"  Here are their answers:
     "That's a great question, actually!  Some think it looks cute and they probably do it to attract guys. They usually do it when they think they're hot stuff and think it makes them out to look even hotter, and more out there; like they want something from a guy.  And then there are some people who do it just because that's what everyone else is doing in pics.  So it kind of seems to become the norm for girls to do it in pictures they post, whether a girl is meaning for it to have a message behind it, or it is just an innocent pose to fit in [with the crowd.]"
      Another young friend said, " I wish I had a better answer, but as far as I know, it doesn't really mean anything more than just being a silly thing to do.  It's like when you're a kid, it's kind of a mocking thing to do, and as an adult, it seems almost self-mocking.  That's how I feel about it, but I could be wrong."
     And my third young friend told me, "I don't think it means anything specific.  I think it's more of trying to look cute or maybe just an "I don't care what you think" pose.  Occasionally, when it's done it means something sexual (when fingers are involved with the pose)."
     As you can see, all three have no clear meaning of what the tongue pose tells the viewer; although they all instinctively know there is something negative about it, even sexually suggestive.  But it was the last comment that made me do a little more research.  Obviously, there is an intentioned meaning when fingers are involved.  If young girls are imitating this pose -- and some innocently -- I wanted to know what message they were sending.
     I apologize if what I found out is offensive, but we cannot and should not ignore what is being perpetrated among our youth.  Let's just say that the Urban Dictionary's definition was too graphic, and let it suffice to mean the simulation of oral sex.
     Once again, I feel I'm screaming from the rafters, but technology and phones have become the tool of the devil!  I know that sounds like I am an uptight, straight-laced prude -- and believe me, I am morally incensed because I know how easy it was for me to be misled and misguided in my youth!  I am not pointing fingers, without having looked in the mirror of my own past.
     It just grieves me to see the beauty and innocence of our young women being distorted into something that is perverse, immodest, and defiling.  They are unwittingly paying homage to false gods and diminishing their own self-worth in the eyes of the True God.  And I cannot ignore the warning of Isaiah 57:3-5:  "But come here, you sons of a sorceress [raised in deception and superstition], Offspring of an adulterer and a loose woman [prostitute].  Of whom do you mock [make fun]? Against whom do you open wide your mouth and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of rebellion (sin), Offspring of deceit, Who inflame yourselves [with lust in pagan rites] among the oaks, Under every green and leafy tree, Who slaughter the children [in sacrifice] in the ravines under the clefts of the rocks?"
     After reading back over this, I realize that I will look and sound like a religious fanatic.  I do not consider myself either "religious" or filled with single-minded zeal over this topic.  Rather, I feel I am able to look beyond this world's interpretation of such actions, and see the consequences in the spiritual realm.  And whether they know it or not, our young girls and young women are in rebellion against the God that many profess to love.  They are being led astray by a culture that enshrines the immoral and the occult.  Pray for our youth!  Pray that they will be unblinded and detach themselves from the temptation that technology offers them.  And pray that it happens before they are completely enslaved to its alluring and enticing whispers of deception and debauchery.

Psalm 12:3-4     "May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, 'With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?' "

April 8, 2016

When Political Correctness Becomes Indoctrination

     You may, or may not be aware, but one week from today, April 15th, the welfare of our children will be under assault.  No, I'm not talking about Tax Day.  I'm talking about "The Day of Silence" that is being promoted by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
     The professed purpose of the GLSEN Day of Silence is that it is "a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT."
     First of all, I'm not sure that I believe this protest is "student-led" or even "student generated".  As with all social movements, you can usually find an instigator behind the scenes that is pulling the strings and pushing an agenda. In this case, as reported by Linda Harvey on Barbwire.com, The Day of Silence is meant to be "a day when students remain silent in sympathy for those who are born homosexual or born in the wrong sex body, who are victimized (so the narrative goes) by any message encouraging actual male/female biology, dating and marriage -- all scorned as hateful and homophobic."
     So, our children are being subjected to guilt and intimidation under the guise of an anti-bullying campaign, when in reality, it looks an awful lot like promotion of the homosexual and transgender lifestyle in our public schools.  Listen to the testimony of another writer at Barbwire, Linda Wall:  "It was several years after I was set free from homosexuality that I discovered the pushers of sexual perversion had made it into the public schools under the disguise of “diversity”. Imagine how horrified I was in 2000 to see that AT&T had sent pro-homosexual lesson plans to every middle school of America! These lesson plans presented the politically correct view of homosexuality."
     And as the title of my post indicates, this political correctness has crossed the line into indoctrination.  Ms. Harvey goes so far as to write, "The 'anti-bullying' scam is the cover used in many school districts to expose children to obscene, bigoted and pornographic presentations. If we object, it is alleged that more students may attempt suicide."  Students and teachers in Iowa have reported workshops filled with profanity; details about oral/anal sex; how gender-confused girls can bind their breasts and sew fake testicles into their underwear as pretend boys; and even a recommendation for reacting to a pro-marriage bumper sticker: “Slash the tires.”
     This event (which may be happening at your child's or grandchildren's school) is just the latest in homosexual activism.  By pointing this out, I'm sure that I will be labeled homophobic and a hater, but that is simply not the truth.  I have gay friends whom I love, and whom I know are every bit a child of God as I am. Would I rather they were living within the will of God?  You bet!  But I do not hate them, nor do I condemn them.  That is not my purpose on this earth.  But when I see gay activists who ridicule the dignity, innocence and modesty of children, while deliberately trying to coerce immoral behavior, then I will decry such actions -- no matter who or what they are promoting.
     In her article, Harvey goes on to report that our middle school kids are being taught CSE, “comprehensive sex education,” and how to put both male and female condoms on plastic models in mixed sex classes (female condoms are most often used by lesbians). It’s humiliating for 11- to 14- year-olds, and just another of the Saul Alinsky tactics designed to shock and assault innocence.
     Furthermore, these CSE classes are distorting the truth.  They teach that abstinence and protected sex are the same thing.  A program called Making Proud Choices, teaches that "To protect yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection, you should: Keep a supply of condoms on hand. Get used to condoms, so they are natural and fun. …” (p.92).
     While this indoctrination seems to be happening quickly and without opposition, I do want you to know that the ACLU has issued a statement emphasizing the limits of political activism during instructional class time: "You DO have a right to participate in Day of Silence and other expressions of your opinion at a public school during non-instructional time: the breaks between classes, before and after the school day, lunchtime, and any other free times during your day ... You do NOT have a right to remain silent during class time if a teacher asks you to speak."
     So, parents who are awake and aware of the cultural marxism/political correctness agenda being rammed down the throats of our kids in the public school system are being encouraged to call their kids out of school on April 15th.  They are being encouraged to stop the hijacking of our kids' education, and to actively oppose GLSEN's socio-political goals and its controversial, unproven, and destructive theories on the nature and morality of homosexuality.  The public school classroom should not be an arena for politicization of any kind of movement; especially for the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual exploitation of our children.
     But one more word of caution ... lest you think the ACLU is on the side of families of faith, and the traditional sexual roles in society, be on your guard.  There is a paper called Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools, which is a first-of-its-kind publication for school administrations, teachers, and parents about how to provide safe and supportive environments for all transgender students, kindergarten through twelfth grade.  It was written by staffers from the ACLU, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gender Spectrum, the National Education Association (NEA), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
     With statement's like "A student’s age and maturity — or that of their peers —should never be a basis for denying a transgender student an opportunity to transition in a safe and supportive environment", it is not too hard to see that transitioning away from Biblical gender roles is not only supported, but subtly encouraged; and gender confusion is seen as viable in children as young as kindergarten!  What has this culture become?!?!
     This post has barely scratched the surface as far as the assault on our children and their education systems.  And sadly, I would surmise that very few parents are aware of the indoctrination of their children.  I can't help but feel that this is one more nail in the coffin of our nation.  We have legitimized child sacrifice through abortion, destroyed the Biblical model of family and creation; and are now subjecting our children to perversion and deviancy.  How much longer will our righteous and holy God restrain His wrath?

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."

March 4, 2016

The Loss Of Critical Thinking and What It Is Costing Us

     I recently read an excellent article by Daniel Juster, an author and Jewish religious leader.  His topic explored the state of our higher education and this generation's loss of real critical thinking skills.  Like him, I have often heard that college students of today are among the most educated in history.  But what are they educated in?  If it is how to navigate the latest in electronic devices, or complex technologies, then I would have to agree.  But are those the skills that will make them good citizens of the world, or productive and moral leaders of tomorrow?
     It seems to me that there has been a "dumbing down" of our cultural history.  The cultural knowledge has suffered from a lack of teaching on how, as a nation, we have arrived at who we are.  And the history part of that knowledge is appallingly deficient.  Juster points out that students cannot even find China on a globe. They cannot grasp many important aspects of World War II, and know barely anything about literature. One young graduate was asked if she knew about Martin Luther. She responded by asking, "You mean the civil rights leader?" He opines that the cultural deposit of the West is simply being squandered. Why?
     To begin with, educators like to discuss the differences between Objectivism and Relativism, and throw words like egocentric and sociocentric tendencies around -- highfalutin words that, to me, just mask the failure of our education system to teach old-fashioned critical thinking.
     And what exactly is Critical Thinking, and why would the lack of it harm our kids and the future of our nation?  The definition of critical thinking is as follows ... the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.  There's that word objective, which is often disparaged in the halls of our universities.   To be objective is to believe that certain things (such as moral truths), exist independently of human knowledge or perception of them.  In other words, there are truths and values that are definite, unconditional, and unquestionable.
     But in this age of relativism, educators are more likely to teach a doctrine or philosophy that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.  What that means is that our kids are convinced that they should not judge any religion, culture, art or philosophy as superior to another.  They are taught a whole new set of values that have a sliding scale of relevance, depending on an individual's experience.  And depending on the religious, political, and social experience of a university professor, students may be taught a personally biased view of everything from the Founding Fathers as white male oppressors, to the nation of Israel as a colonial power who is oppressing Palestinians.  What is so hypocritical about these positions is that they will be defended as absolute truths, all in the name of relativism.  That reasoning is so contradictory as to be laughable! Do you see the lack of critical thinking?  The lack of any strict analysis or evaluation?
     As an example, feminist leaders of American universities will vote to boycott Israel, when Israel is the only country in the Middle East with full women's rights! Why? Their anti-colonialism simply blinds them to the women who are so oppressed in the Muslim world.  Furthermore, Christianity is despised as judgmental and restrictive, but Islam is to be embraced and respected!
     There is no effort made to study our cultural history and to discover that, yes, the Founding Fathers were slave owners.  But their writings disclose their desire to eliminate the abusive system.  Further study would reveal that they transcended the limits of their time and moved history toward greater human rights and freedom. It was a long historical process, and one that established this nation and its moral foundation.  Yes, at times it was rocky and ugly, but when carefully analyzed and studied, the bigger picture emerges and one sees a more balanced perspective.  But without the practice of critical thinking, and an established and accepted set of moral values, where does one find the real truth?  Isn't it then subject to one person's self-directed and self-monitored thinking?  Do you see that society could soon descend into a morass of confusing standards?
     But perhaps the saddest aspect of it all is that our kids are in danger of being unable to think for themselves and determine a distinction between good and evil.  They are being taught to submit to the herd; that they should not have an opinion that might offend someone else.  What is evil to one person, may be accepted by another, simply because he chooses to see it that way. After all, it's whatever is relevant to each individual, correct?  But here's the thing ... there IS a definite right and wrong in the world!  Not everything can be relegated to someone's self-determined set of moral codes (or lack thereof).  We must regain the ability to think for ourselves and to examine and compare our own decisions, and those of our leaders, to a high and uncompromising standard of righteous living.  I know just the place to start ....

Proverbs 1:7           “ The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. ”

February 10, 2016

Our Youth, The Socialist Message, and The Bible

     I have wanted to write about this topic for some time now, but I wanted to make sure that I would be Biblically sound in my assertions.  If you are paying attention to the platforms of the political candidates for President, then you are aware that Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders is an unlikely favorite of the young voters, especially those who will be voting for the first time in 2016.
     I say "unlikely", because unlike the last couple of elections in which "young" and "hip" were the enticements to vote, Mr. Sanders is 74 years old, and doesn't appear to be technologically savvy, fashionable, possess exciting energy, or any of the other things that would draw young voters like moths to a flame.  Yet, he appears to have become the Millennial Generation's new champion.  Why?
     I would assert that these young, emerging voters are in love with an idea they think is tailor-made for their generation ... Socialism.  Sadly, they do not know the historical significance of what that system has done in the world, nor do they realize how it will actually impact them.  They only know that it promises to unburden them from an alarming financial future.
     It is actually a good thing that college students and young voters are getting engaged in the political process.  We need the next generation to care about how our country is governed.  I know that there are many of my fellow Christians who believe that the political process will not save us from the rightful judgment that is coming upon this nation -- and I totally agree with that premise -- but until the moment that I see Jesus coming on the clouds, we have to continue to live within this world system, and to abandon all efforts to try and make it as pleasing to God as we can, goes against what I believe God wants from us.
     But all that aside, what is it that Bernie offers the Millennials that has them so excited?  First, of course, there is his promise of a free public college education.  But there other issues that has them flocking to his side:  promises of a $15 minimum wage; equal pay for equal work; health care as a right; promises that he will fix America's roads and bridges; reverse climate change; expand social security; and eliminate the "too big to fail" boondoggles that have affected the American economy.  All these issues are important to the future of these young voters.  And they all lead to Socialism, which is a word that has no relevance to these Millennials.
     They equate Socialism with compassion and fairness and equality.  As Robert Knight on Barbwire.com writes, "For the past several decades, government public schools and nearly all colleges have touted socialism’s principles of redistribution, racialism and class envy, while declining to connect the dots between socialism and tyranny, examples of which abound."  Bernie Sanders presents a sort of "moral prestige" to Socialism that appeals to the emotions of young voters, who just want to correct the injustices of the generation before them.  We can all identify with that, if we are honest with ourselves.
     But what Bernie does not disclose to these voters is the symbiosis between Socialism and Communism, and the historical facts that cannot be denied ... that there has been the extermination of tens of millions of people under socialist regimes such as Stalin in Russia, Mao Zedong in China, and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.  It always starts the same way ... a promise of redistribution of wealth and resources from the "haves" to the "have nots", and quickly spirals into loss of personal property, massive taxation, and ultimately coercion, tyranny, and death to millions to support "the State".  Because, we all know, that there is no way that the State can afford to provide for all those people, and so they must be eliminated.
     Sadly, Socialism even perverts the Biblical notion of charity.  It takes the Scripture presented in Acts, Chapters 2-5, and turns it into a twisted rationale for empowering the State.   It distorts the teaching of Acts to suggest that early Believers sold all their property and possessions and shared it with everyone, especially those in need.  There are those Socialists who will insist that this is a clear indication that the Bible advocates for redistribution of wealth.  It does not!
     A more careful examination of Scripture (and in context of the entire passage) notes that the believers continued to live and meet in their own homes, while engaging in periodic acts of charity as the needs arose.  So they clearly did not sell all their property or possessions.   In fact, Acts 4:34-35 says, From time to time, those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, which implies to me that the charity was voluntary, and they were generous with what they owned, donating when they could, out of the largesse of their households.
     I found an interesting article on a website called Institute For Faith Works & Economics, which pointed out that " this early sharing was voluntary, without state coercion, and did not necessitate that believers give up their rights to private property ... While this type of generous giving is a permanent norm, the particular situation in Acts 2-4 seems to have been a temporary response to a particular need [or situation]."
     I can understand the temptation that Socialism presents to this younger generation.  They are facing a dismal economic future.  Let's face it, the world is facing a dismal economic future.  And the danger is that Socialism is an old idea being touted as a new solution.  These young voters will not look to the distant past to see how Socialism leads to Communism, nor will they see the implications that are outlined by Robert Knight in his excellent article:  "In recent years, soft totalitarianism (confiscatory taxation and effective seizure of the media and private companies) has characterized socialist-led regimes in South America such as Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, where once-vibrant economies are floundering. In Europe, “democratic socialism” has weakened many nations, leaving them open to an invasion by millions of Muslim immigrants, some of whom openly advocate turning the former center of Christendom into a trophy of the Caliphate."
     Our youth is blinded by a natural, and very real, fear for their future.  And they are attracted to the empty promises of hope, financial aid, and a fair and equitable "system".  But it is the same old temptation of the Enemy, and I'm afraid that this time it will usher in the Biblical End Times "Beast System".  We must pray for the wisdom to impart to our children and grandchildren; to speak God's Truth into their lives.  It is the only thing that will overcome the world's lies and deception.

2 Corinthians 8:13-14    "For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness."


November 18, 2015

WARNING! Beware of "Mindfulness" and "Mindful Intervention"!

     As usual, in the busyness and chaos of my life, I manage to hear snippets of the world's conversations all around me, and sometimes the Holy Spirit will "zing" me with a "Pay attention to this" summons.  Such was the case when I overhead a Fox News announcer commenting that the Department of Education is spending upwards of $2.5 million to bring a "mindfulness intervention" to kindergarteners in Chicago, where kids can go to “calm spots” in the corner to watch nature videos.
     What the 10-second sound bite did not tell the audience was that this government program is in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, which has spent over $100 million studying this New Age meditation technique called "mindfulness".  What's more, The Education Department has introduced this “Calm Classroom” program into 3,000 schools through its Investing in Innovation Fund.  What?!?!  Exactly what are all these "government programs" that taxpayer dollars are funding, and what exactly is it that they are trying to accomplish??
     To begin with, Investing in Innovation Fund is "to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access."  And if you follow the rabbit trail, they propose that advancing student achievement can be accomplished through this theory based on "mindfulness intervention".  But what, precisely, is that?  According to the grant abstract, written to acquire funding, "Mindfulness is a secular, psychological mode involving non-judgmental focus on present-moment sensations, and has been shown to have a number of benefits to well-being.  Our project offers an innovative approach not only because mindfulness is unique relative to traditional social-emotional learning (SEL) programs, but also because of added elements designed to replenish children’s focus directly back into the content of school, including always-available ways to take very brief ‘brain breaks.' "  (Please pay attention to the words and phrases that I have underlined; you will see their significance shortly).
      So, if kindergartners in Chicago are the focus group for this grant, just what is the government hoping to accomplish or prove?  According to the written grant, the Chicago Public School System, along with various Institutes and a trademarked program called Calm Classroom, hope to employ a mindfulness-based intervention to increase the self-regulation and engagement in learning of young children in low-performing schools.  Furthermore, the grant states, "The need for this approach arises from two conditions. First, mastery of self-regulation skills during the early years of schooling has been shown to be as, if not more important to long-term academic competence than intelligence or domain-specific knowledge. Second, increasingly younger children are experiencing high levels of trauma, unpredictability, and toxic stress, thus arriving at school with tendencies to either act out or disengage, rather than being ready to participate productively in the classroom community and learn."
     That whole line about "increase self-regulation" says to me that they don't want any original thinkers, or kids who think outside the box, or who might challenge the teacher and other students with their uncontrolled imaginations.  What happened to the psychological motto of "not killing the child's spirit", that was so popular in the 60's?
     Besides sounding like a bunch of New Age hocus-pocus, it seems very clear to me that the public school systems have lost control of their students, and now need to engage in some kind of "brain games" to mollify and reduce classroom disruption.  I don't know about you, but a trip to the principal's office in my grade school days, was enough to keep me from acting up.  I knew that at the end of that hall might be the Athletic Coach with a paddle.
     But it's not enough to point out the lack of discipline in schools, or to lament the decidedly "secular", environmental, and mystical approach to maintaining classroom control.  You really need to know what is really behind this "mindfulness" movement.  Here it is:  The skill of mindfulness can be gradually developed using meditational practices that are described in detail in the Buddhist tradition. The Five-Aggregate Model, an ancient model of the mind and body, is a helpful theoretical resource that could guide mindfulness interventions.  The term "mindfulness" is derived from the Pali-term sati, which is an essential element of Buddhist practice, including vipassana, satipaṭṭhāna and anapanasati. It has been popularized in the West by Jon Kabat-Zinn with his mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program.
     Now, here is where it gets frightening for me.... Did you know that in 2012,  Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio published A Mindful Nation, and has received a $1 million federal grant to teach mindfulness in schools in his home district?  Or, in 2000, The Inner Kids Program, a mindfulness-based program developed for children, was introduced into public and private school curricula in the greater Los Angeles area?  Or how about the fact that The Holistic Life Foundation, a non-profit organization that created an in-school mindfulness program called Mindful Moment, is currently serving almost 350 students daily at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School and approximately 1300 students at Patterson Park High School in Baltimore, Maryland? At Patterson High School, the Mindful Moment program engages the school's faculty along with the students during a 15-minute mindfulness practice at the beginning and end of each school day.  They are allowed to practice an element of Buddhist meditation, but a prayer to the One True God of the Universe is illegal?
     And just to top off the widespread use of the Mindfulness Movement, consider this: One study involved enrolling college students in a course about mindfulness that included guided mindfulness meditation as part of the curriculum. After the semester, pre- and post-levels for different aspects of mental health were compared and students were found to have more non-judgmental stances towards their thoughts and feelings. This is believed to result in better stress-coping skills, improved academic performance and quality of life.  Furthermore, scores continued to improve for the weeks following the end of the course, demonstrating the long-lasting effects of mindfulness meditation.
     Do you see what I'm trying to show you?  For years now, our public schools and universities have been preparing our kids to become robots!  Let's not teach them critical thinking skills!  No!  Let's teach them all to hum a mantra and dull their minds so they are easily contained and mastered.  And it is now instituted from kindergarten to college!  If you really want to see the full scope of what I believe is a harmful movement to capture and control the minds of our kids, read the Wikipedia entry. I know not everyone thinks Wikipedia falls under the banner of incontrovertible truth, but if even a fraction of what they report is true, it should frighten all parents.  Don't be fooled by the claims that  "calm spots" and "brain breaks" are needed elements to help your kids learn better.  Just teach them Readin', Writin', and Arithmetic, and how to think for themselves!

Go to the article at The Free Beacon website for more information on what the Department of Education has in store for your kids.  
2 Corinthians 11:3    "But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ."