Category Archives: Philosophy

Discussions about PHILOSOPHY. Because everyone needs to wax poetic every once in a while. This category will contain everything that interests me about PHILOSOPHY.

Is The Generation Gap Part Of Satans Plan?

One of the more amusing concepts to me when speaking with younger individuals is the idea of ‘you don’t know me’. It’s the idea that I can’t possibly understand someone if I haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. Given the definitions that we want to apply to these scenarios within our lives it is a wonder that anyone knows anyone at all. Of equal wonder to me is that the (so called) ‘Generation Gap‘ is a one way street. I never hear parents talking in terms of their children ‘not getting them‘. It is always the younger generation that feels misunderstood, unappreciated, or pressured beyond what anyone has ever faced before in history.

Some of these scenarios have been greatly discussed within society. The idea that my generation did not go through World War II, and therefore did not experience the hardships and struggles that my parents and grandparents did. Or the idea that we did not live through the Great Depression and thus do not know true hardship in life. We always talk in terms of our own experiences and allow the idea that those that did not walk the path with us are out in the cold and alienated. It is the idea of ‘you don’t know me‘. It is the (once again, so called) ‘Generation Gap‘.

My biggest problem with the ‘Generation Gap‘ is it invalidates Scripture. The very idea of a ‘Generation Gap‘ is an attack on God’s Holy Word. I would like to ask all the younger generations out there (for me that would be (Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, or Snowflakes – at least according to this chart) a few questions. Especially if you were raised in the Church or have a Judeo Christian background.

If you are a Gen X, Millennial, Gen Z, Snowflake – Have you ever been driven from the Garden of Eden because of your sin? Have you ever had to spend a night in a lions den? Have you ever spent 40 days and 40 nights drifting on a raging sea? Have you ever faced a giant named Goliath? Have you ever spent 40 years wandering in the desert? Have you ever been thrown into a fiery furnace because you refused to bow down to a golden idol? Have you ever spent 3 days in the belly of a great fish?

Because if you have not, then I ask you How in the world do you know Adam & Eve? How can you identify with Daniel? How can you possibly know what Noah and his family went through? How can you identify with King David? How do you know what the people of Israel went through? How can you possibly learn a lesson from Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Or what is the significance of Jonah to you? There is a huge ‘Generation Gap‘ between the stories of the Bible and all of us today. Are we to say they have no relevance?

And I have another question for you – Do you think Adam & Eve, Daniel, Noah, King David, the people of Israel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, or Jonah know you? Do you think that Adam & Eve could possibly understand what your generation is going through or is facing in life today?

Herein lies Satan’s lie. If I can’t understand you, then you don’t want to listen to me. Why would anyone listen to someone who doesn’t get them. Someone who is alienated from them, or someone who just doesn’t have the understanding of having walked a mile in their shoes? And if you make your generation out to be so unique, so special, so alone in the world, then you actually alienate yourselves from all of the wisdom God has to offer you.

Here is the other side of the coin to Satan’s ‘Generation Gap‘ lie. Each generation reads the stories in the Bible and they think they have understanding. They hear the stories of World War II and believe they have learned from history, they believe that they understand all that has gone before them, but that all that has gone before them cannot understand them. And in their great wisdom, they don’t even see the irony in that.

I have friends within younger generations that believe in their hearts that they know God, they know the stories of the Bible, and they know history better than I know it myself (much better in most cases). And it breaks my heart that they are wondering in darkness and and are blinded to the fact that there is no light in their life. It also breaks my heart that they have no understanding of the understanding I have of them.

My understanding of the world, and thus all the generations that have inhabited the earth, comes from God. My understanding and my wisdom begins with the Lord. And where it does not, it is not understanding or wisdom. I seek to see through God’s eyes. For His eyes see all, and He knows all, even you who think you are not understood.

And I understand that these Biblical stories are not just stories to inform me of days gone by. They are not for my entertainment or so that I can weave them into a nursery rhymes for those younger than myself. Those stories are life lessons. They are a guide. Not to tell me of the heroics of others, but to show me what Faith, and Strength, and Love, and Hope are made of.

You see, once you’ve spent a night in the lions den, once you’ve lived 40 days and 40 nights on a raging sea, once you’ve walked into the fiery furnace, once you’ve faced a giant named Goliath … that is when you know that God is Faithful, that is when you know that God is Love, that is when you know that God brings hope into a hopeless world.

I embrace the lion’s den, and the raging seas, and staring down Goliath in my life. And I pray that God would show me His Glory, not for my sake, but for His Honor. And unless I can pass that on to those that come after me, then how are others to see Christ in me? And that cannot happen with Satan’s lie of the ‘Generation Gap‘. Consider it.

Can You Be A Christian And … ?

My last post, unsurprisingly, generated some questions. Which is great because it exposes me to different world views. But they also alerted me to the fact that perhaps my real point was misinterpreted, particularly by the younger generations. So I’d like to address a couple of questions here that were thrown my way in the hope of being a little clearer and to take the opportunity to expound a little bit on my own world views.

The first thing people usually take issue with or question is generalities and absolutes. These mostly come from younger generations, but older people sometimes take offense at them as well. As a simple example someone might say “Do you have any proof that all have sinned?”. Or someone might just say “You can’t say all.” But of course I can (and did – and do). Whether you find truth in it or agree with it is up to you, not me. As proof I could simply ask the world the question “Can anyone who has never committed a single sin please speak up?” Because I’d like to have a conversation with you. But I don’t have to generate any proof (really) because God said it (in His word), I believe it, and that’s that. It is an absolute.

The real tragedy here is that we’ve taught people you can no longer speak in absolutes. Of course you can. The Bible speaks in absolutes all the time. And it starts in Genesis Chapter 1. For the sake of brevity I’ll need to break this into a couple of posts, but allow me to point out one Biblical absolute in great controversy within our discussions today.

Genesis 1:27 says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” KJV

That is an absolute. God created male and female. Not males that were cheated and belonged in a female body or females that were cheated and feel like they belong in a male body. You were created (made) a male or a female. You may feel like you are something else, but that is your choice. And your choice does not negate God’s creation or how he made you. And it doesn’t matter how many surgeries you have or hormone treatments you’ve had or whatever else you’ve done. You were either born a male or a female. That is God’s design. Even in cases of genetic mutations which are simply a result of sin in the world. Sin does have consequences in the world but God’s plan is still absolute.

So the Bible talks in absolutes and so can we. We may not like absolutes because it seems to exclude those that don’t want to be included in the absolute, however it does not change the fact of the absolute. The only thing that changes is our position relative to the absolute. My position is to accept the absolute.

And yes, sometimes I extrapolate those absolutes. Because there are divisions in the world. I acknowledge the grey areas, but encourage people to not be lukewarm. Pick a side and stand by it.

Which brings me to the second question people ask “Can’t Christians be Democrats?” Well obviously they can. Can a Christian be a murder? Sure they can. But is that in violation of God’s law? I believe it is. Is that a problem? We all know it is. But a Christian should be on a journey to placing Christ foremost in their life. And that does not mean perfection. It means walking closer and closer to Jesus each and every day. It means acknowledging His preeminence and not your own. And I would argue that it means not calling out all the sins of others in the world but being a little more concerned with your own. I’m not here to condemn the murders in the world. I’m simply echoing God’s word which says murder is sin. And your sin is between yourself and God. I’m right there with you as my own sins are great and I am the least of God’s servants. And neither does this mean that there are not consequences to sin. There are. And I have to deal with mine, and I’ll let you deal with yours.

So can a Christian be a member of the Democrat Party in the USA? Well of course they can. But I choose the Republican platform because it most closely aligns with what I find to be important in light of what aligns with my world view and Biblical understanding. Is it perfect? No. Of course not. But it is the best choice I can make. The weight of the evidence for me is who protects human life and who does not. The Democrat Party Platform does not protect human life. It seeks to murder unborn innocent children:

Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. We will repeal the Title X domestic gag rule and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides vital preventive and reproductive health care for millions of people, especially low-income people, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, including in underserved areas.

You may argue about all the other things the Democrat Party has planned, but will it really matter killing our children at the alarming rates we do? And are you willing to compromise a stance on murder for all of your other beliefs and ideals? Because by aligning yourself with the Democrat Party that is exactly what you are doing. You are providing them numbers, credence , an a louder voice.

I wasn’t saying that you cannot be a Christian and belong to the Democrat Party in my last post. I was saying if your are a Christian I’m sure you value life as the very gift from God, and that is greatly at odds with the Democrat Party Platform. And I just asked that you think about that.

Is America At War?

Why was Jesus Christ crucified on the cross? And yes, I know, because He is the Son of God and He gave up His life at the will of the Father in order to pay for the sins of the world that you and I might be saved. But what reason was put forth at His sham of a trial? And yes, He threatened the power base of the religious rulers of the day. But what was the crime he was charged with? Essentially it was heresy, was it not? His claim before the religious rulers of the day to be the Son of God and the fulfillment of the prophecies of the magi that came before Herod seeking “he that is born King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:1-3). Notice that all of Jerusalem was troubled along with Herod. It was troubling times. And this is born out in the written charge that was placed over his head on the cross:

37 And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews. (Matthew 27:37)

So essentially Jesus was crucified for his speech. His teachings. What he claimed. You might even come to believe he was charged with civil unrest and inciting riots if you study hard enough. He wasn’t charged with performing miracles. That would not have been looked upon very favorably by the masses. What He was charged with was performing those miracles on the sabbath. Heresy. And then His answers to the religious rulers when questioned about it. If you boil it all down, Jesus was charged with walking around the country and talking to people.

And I want us to ponder that. Consider the fact that Jesus was doing nothing but exercising free speech. He was talking about ideas. Ideas we know some of the people scoffed at and ridiculed while others embraced and sought to learn more. But Jesus never forced anyone to accept His ideas. Or even to listen. He just exercised free speech. It was the religious rulers that practiced censorship. It was the religious rulers that demanded their ideas be listened to above all else.

And why is that? Well I have a theory about that. We know that the word of God produces results and will not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11). And if you consider that Satan is also aware of that fact, then it is not that big a leap to believe that Satan will do everything in his power to diminish free speech. In other words, Satan desires to control all speech. He doesn’t want the Word of the Lord to be spoken. He knows that would produce fruit for God. So he does everything in his power to censor, to quell, and to control speech. Satan wants his message to be on the tongues of men, not God’s message.

And it is not like we have not seen free speech controlled throughout the world and throughout all of history. It is always a battle for the message and the control of ideas. It is always a fight over free speech. Who can put forth an idea and who cannot. Countries like China and Iran go to great lengths, even putting people to death, to control speech. But here in the United States of America, we cherish the First Amendment to our Constitution. Prohibiting Government from interfering in our right and ability to free speech in any way, shape or form. But what happens when we do it to ourselves? What happens when we the people begin to limit and control the free speech of others? When I try and control your speech and you try and control mine, then we are at odds. Because I no longer agree to hear your ideas and you no longer agree to hear mine. And that is when the Nation dies. It can no longer thrive and flourish because it is under the control of tyranny and oppression.

And that is happening within the United States of America today. Those in control, and those in power, are using their positions of power and control to censor and direct the message of free speech. Just like the religious rulers did with Jesus. And trust me, they are out to crucify.

Companies (monopolies I might say) like Apple, Google, Twitter, and Amazon (along with others like Simon & Schuster, and FaceBook) are using their positions of power and control to ensure that only their versions of truth are presented and all others are heresy. Where is this happening you ask? Well for one example they are using it to control the narrative of Parler, a company dependent upon their infrastructure for business. In other instances they are blocking posts, tweets, and blogs of those they do not agree with. The war against Parler may be found in numerous news articles here.

And meanwhile our Government leaders, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, are engaged in an all out war, essentially over free speech and the exchange of ideas. Ms. Pelosi is even seeking a second impeachment of President Donald Trump (story here). Why? Because she doesn’t like a few tweets. Nancy Pelosi is the most vile, heartless, vengeful, hateful, and controlling Speaker of the House to ever sit in the chair. And I am careful with my words. Any reasonable person would realize that Donald Trump has barely 10 days left in office and would turn their attention to the affairs of the next administration. But Nancy Pelosi does not have the grace for that. She is driven to put the final stake through Donald Trump’s heart because of her sheer hatred and her vengeful drives. And that is both heartless and vile.

So is the United States of America at War? I believe so. We are not engaged in a physical civil war with guns and bullets and swords, but we are engaged in a war over free speech, the arena of ideas, and who is to control the thoughts of others. And that is because of the age old war of Satan trying to control the Word of God. Think about it.

Which Side Are You On?

Yesterday I passed along my thoughts on the two different cultures manifesting themselves in America today. I said that I didn’t have a question, only an observation, but that was not entirely accurate.

I do have a question. The point of the observations, naturally, was to cause you to consider which culture you fit into and whether it is the right choice or not. In other words Which Side Are You On?

The second phrase of the opening sentence of Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities (see yesterday’s post) reads:

it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,

A Tale of Two Cities, Chapter I. The Period

And if that doesn’t describe today’s America, I don’t know what does. One side of the culture screams about the foolish tweets from President Donald Trump and then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi makes the totally nonsensical statement:

“a wall, in my view, is an immorality” and “the least effective way to protect the border and the most costly.”

Fox News Story

A view not exactly shared by the rest of her party.

But it is crazy, right? One view is shared and the opposing culture hears it as total foolishness but yet the agreeing culture hears it as great wisdom.

One can certainly understand the pain, anguish, and shear lunacy Charles Dickens was attempting to describe in his book A Tale of Two Cities.

But what if I were to tell you I believe this division has happened much earlier in history? Consider the words of John:

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

John 18:37-39

Pilate was completely frustrated with the foolishness of the day. On the one hand he could find no fault with Jesus but on the other there were cries from the people for his crucifixion. In his frustration he asks “What is truth?

It is this very same struggle for truth that is plaguing all of us today. It is the confusion on one side of the culture when #BlackLivesMatter calls out for the destruction of (so called) racially offensive language, monuments, and the erasure of American history itself. And the other side of the culture is confused because these exact same people align themselves with Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and the mayor of New York City Bill de Balsio. If these people were actually intellectually honest with themselves and us they would be calling for the abolishment of the Democrat party itself rather than aligning themselves with it.

It was the Democrat party that championed slavery and racism. It was the Republican party that freed them. It was the Democrat party that voted for Jim Crow laws and segregation. It was the Republican party that fought for inclusion and the idea that ALL people are created equal. It is Democrat party members that held positions within the KKK while the Republican party did not. It is the Democrat party that continues to this day to enact laws and policies that disadvantage more people of color while the Republican party has established a record of providing more jobs and opportunity to all of Americans. If #BlackLivesMatter is really so incensed with being reminded of the history of slavery in America, then they should be for the complete abolishment of the Democrat part as well.

There are so many that have fought to bring the light of truth to this history. Alfonzo Rachel for one. Dinesh D’souza for another. People of color who would certainly have no agenda for furthering “white supremacy“. And there are so many others that continue to educate, inform, and offer alternate points of view. But our culture is divided. And people ask what it is divided over. The answer is quite simple and is very plain. We are divided over the TRUTH.

This is why I am passionate about the state of our country today. Not only for the very survival of America, but for the souls of so many people who are lost without TRUTH.

For you see, there is another interesting phrase in Charles Dickens opening to a Tale of Two Cities. As he sums up his setting he notes:

“… we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”

A Tale of Two Cities – Chapter I. The Period

And as another champion of American History, Rush Limbaugh, would say – “for those of you in Rio LInda” Charles Dickens reference to those “going direct the other way” means Hell. And that is the real crux of the problem with Which Side Are You On? Because one side leads to Eternal Life and the other side leads to Eternal Damnation.

As for me, I chose the side of TRUTH. Because there is only one person in all of history that could (and can) credibly claim:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6

And that is the person of Jesus Christ. And I believe the TRUTH because only He, the creator of all the universe, can establish TRUTH. The only thing that remains (for both the survival of American history and people’s souls) is to determine which truth you will believe. Which side are YOU on?

A Tale Of Two Cultures

In 1859 Charles Dickens wrote the historical novel A Tale of Two Cities. A story centered around London England and Paris France before/during the French Revolution. It has been referred to as the best selling novel of all time (and certainly must be in the top 10, assuming it is even taught in schools these days) and it opens with the iconic line:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

You can find an online copy of the work here (at Project Gutenberg).

Today I do not have a question, but rather an observation of how little things change and what great opportunities we (as a society, as a Nation, and even as a World) have before us to learn Truth and to apply lessons from history in order to help make all of our lives better.

One might consider the similarities between the events of 1789 in France and what is occurring in the USA today in 2020 (231 years apart) in that both are predicated by social and political unrest that affected (and affects) everyone in the land. In other words, it was a National, social and political upheaval. Oh sure, there were pockets of events, within cities, small towns, and even neighborhoods, but the prevailing mood was not just contained in small areas. It was felt Nationally and was seen around the world.

And before you get too far down the path trying to pick the analogy apart, let me just point out that it is not all that original of an idea. This story from the Daily Signal references a tweet from Senator Lindsey Graham with the same observation.

And No, I did not know of Senator Graham’s tweet when I started authoring this post, but I generally like to do a little due diligence before I post something. And even with Senator Graham’s tweet, I decided to go ahead with the conversation because I believe it is relevant.

And yes, I also realize there are those that are simply going to dismiss the analogy because it is Senator Graham‘s tweet. Because those of you who hold such wisdom have been elected to (what is arguably) the most significant legislative body in the world today. Right? Perhaps you might want to rethink your ability to assimilate and interpret data.

And whether you agree with the analogy or not, there are a couple of very interesting comparisons. You might say that today is “The best of times”. In all of human history we, as a people, have more than has ever been had before. Which is pretty funny when you consider that the #BlackLivesMatter revolution is being fought out of air conditioned homes, run off an abundance of fine food (and I don’t care if we’re talking McDonalds hamburgers here, compared to what the French were eating during their revolution, that is pretty fine dining), enjoying the benefits of social media, and traveling around in air conditioned autos with Dolby stereo systems in them. The French revolutionaries had it much harder I assure you. You might also say that today is “The worst of times” in that there is more political and social upheaval in the country than any of us has known within our lifetimes. Another interesting comparison is that both periods tried (and are trying) to remove perceived ills from the world. When the French tore down the Monarchy, they ended up with a Dictator (in Napoleon) before they got to the desired democracy. Let’s certainly hope that history doesn’t repeat itself there.

But the comparisons of the French Revolution and the state of social and political upheaval in the USA today are not what I want draw your attention to. They are merely illustrative of how history repeats itself and how we can learn valuable lessons if we only open our eyes and our minds and seek wisdom.

What is a little closer to home is the sheer lunacy that is occurring with the #BlackLivesMatter movement ripping down statues of Christopher Columbus, Frederick Douglas, and our founding fathers (stories here, here, here, and here – search for ‘statues torn down’ if you want to read more). The argument for all of this wanton destruction and terror is that they depict ‘white supremacy’. We cannot know the pain that a black person feels when they walk past one of these statues or memorials.

Well guess what? You cannot possibly know the pain that I feel when I visit a WW-II memorial, or an American Civil War battlefield where #WhiteLIvesMatter fought and died just so #BlackLivesMatter could have the privilege today to tear down all the memorials because they are too painful to walk by. But I don’t want to tear any of them down. Rather the contrary. I want my children’s, children’s, children to see them and to understand that freedom isn’t free. It is bought and paid for with a price.

What my friends over at #BlackLivesMatter might want to consider is the consequences of their actions (and I mean for their children’s children). Take another group, #JewishLivesMatter. Do you think the Jewish people want to erase all remnants of WW-II and the holocaust? Quite the opposite. They build memorials and museums all over the world to remind people of what they went through. Why? Because they don’t want people to deny that it ever happened. They don’t want history swept under the rug. And if you think that #JewishLivesMatter are being a little too paranoid, consider these kooks here, and here, and the fact that it is a prevalent enough theory to warrant a Wikipedia article (here).

And the sheer irony of the matter will be, that one day, when slavery has been erroneously erased from American History, it will be #BlackLivesMatter that will have been the cause and will have brought down the consequences upon themselves.

So before the protesting continues, before more statues and memorials are torn down, before we rewrite any more of history than has already been rewritten, perhaps #BlackLivesMatter might want to take a page out of #JewishLivesMatter playbook and consider:

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

Deuteronomy 4:9

How Do I Know If You Trust Jesus?

The other day in my last blog post I talked about people at the George Floyd protests carrying No Justice No Peace signs (as those found here) and I mentioned how ridiculous I find that slogan. I also mentioned these people don’t know peace and that peace dependent upon justice is worthless peace. But I left it at that because my previous post was a comparison of the circumstance of George Floyd and those of Jesus Christ and why I found it both ironic and sad that people would jump to champion the cause of George Floyd, but not so many jump to champion the cause of Jesus Christ.

Today I’d like to expound on those comments a little because I don’t want to just make a blanket statement without others understanding that I actually have thought about it, prayed about, studied it, and drawn some conclusions about it that I believe are in line with the Holy Scriptures. That and I really do think it is something for all of us (especially me) to consider.

But the way I’d like to explain those comments is by answering a question that anyone might ask of me. So I’d like to propose that a question one might ask of me is how do I know if you (or the person asking the question) really and truly trusts Jesus Christ? I could have titled today’s post “Do You Have Trust Issues?” but perhaps if I explain it from my perspective it will ring a little truer.

So lets start out with the answer before I get to the logic and explanation. The answer is simple. By observing your level of PEACE with life. However, allow me to explain that by trust I don’t mean the way you trust your bank to keep your money safe. I mean a faith that is unwavering and unshaken. A faith that cannot be moved. The trust I am talking about takes all of your heart, and all of your mind, and all of your soul, and all your strength (Mark 12:30). The trust I am talking about takes place on God’s terms and not on man’s (or our) terms. And likewise, when I say peace I am not talking about the human definition of mutual harmony between countries, friends, and neighbors. The peace I am talking about is inexplicable. We are told it passes all of our understanding. It is literally incomprehensible peace. And it is peace that comes from God (John 16:33). Your level of TRUST in God (the person of Jesus Christ) is directly proportional to the level of PEACE you experience within your life.

So how do I know this? Well first of all allow me to debunk the myth that peace is somehow tied to justice. If I am to assume that those who brandish this slogan mean that we cannot have peace without justice, then clearly they are wrong. Justice is indicative of a moral or righteous code of conduct. And there are injustices all over the world each and every day. How about the injustice of abortion? Something that bothers me greatly. But my peace is not dependent upon it. By point of reference, those that brandish the slogan are usually talking about what they would define as justice not what would necessarily be just within the eyes of God. If by their slogan they mean we cannot have peace without first having their brand of justice, then I submit to you it is a lost cause and we will never have peace. As long as justice is arbitrary and defined by the whims of man then peace will be elusive. We are told that vengeance belongs to the Lord (Romans 12:19) and that we are not to be given over to wrath. So clearly my peace isn’t (or shouldn’t be) tied to whatever justice I find or experience here on earth.

On the other hand if if those that brandish this slogan mean that they will not allow peace without justice, then once again I would submit to you there will be no peace here on earth. How can there be when we’ve tied it to some warped sense of justice? I am almost positive that those that brandish the slogan would have a problem when I tell them that I find those that call for the destruction of Israel, unjust. I am sure they would have a real problem with my views on abortion and how I find that practice unjust. I’m sure they would have a problem when I point out the unjustness of a cake decorator in Colorado (story here) being taken to court for not making an LBGTQ cake because it is contrary to his faith while at the same time they are calling for the tearing down of crosses (an example here) all over America. So whose justice are we talking about before we make peace not war? Certainly not what I (and hundreds of thousands of others) find to be just. Are we to go without peace for the sake of others? Or have these fools mistakenly tied peace to justice because it furthers their world view? (Just to be clear, I’m going with the latter).

So peace is not dependent upon justice, but what is it dependent upon? I would submit to you that peace is dependent upon trust. So how do I know this? Well I believe it is born out in Holy Scripture. Take Psalm 18:2 for example. What is your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your very salvation, if not your peace? Is He not your place of refuge? Where all your needs are met? Where you find tranquility and where you are safe from all terrors? Is He not your PEACE?

And how do you obtain that PEACE? Through TRUST of course. You observe this almost everywhere in life. Missionaries exhibit this behavior every day of their lives. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Missionary friends in seemingly impossible circumstances. And yet totally at peace. They look at you and say “God WILL provide.” And they know this because they trust Him.

I don’t lose my peace because God is my VENGEANCE, God is my FORTRESS, God is my SALVATION, God is my ROCK, God is my EVERYTHING and I TRUST Him. And when my trust wanes, and worry creeps into my life, and it seems like terror is closing in, I cry out to Him to help me in my unbelief (Mark 9:24).

So how do I know if you trust Jesus? I look at the level of peace you exhibit in your life. The more peace, the more trust. And the more trust, the more peace there will be. Try it yourself and see if I’m right.

What is your cause?

Pastor’s are not supposed to have a “cause” other than preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was always taught that you preach TO the people not AT the people. Unfortunately, even preaching TO the people (or just being a prophet in your own time) is more often than not interpreted as preaching AT the people. But fortunately we have the Holy Spirit and it is between you and him as to what you do with the Holy Word of God. My calling is simply to expound on the Word of God and leave the rest up to him (and of course you – of which I am included). The Word of God is the Word of God and it stands for all of eternity. I’ve actually had people come up to me in the past and say “give us a word from God”. As if people cannot get their own word from God. It doesn’t exactly work that way. God gives a word (wisdom) to those whom he chooses. Even with the prophets of old (Biblical times) God rarely gave a personal word for an individual to a prophet (unless it was to another prophet).

And don’t believe for a minute that I do not believe in preaching Hell Fire and Brimstone. I do. People need to understand that there is a great destiny in life. And you can either spend that destiny in Heaven or in Hell. But it is not my place to preach AT the people. Even Jesus Christ himself made it clear that God sent his Son into the world to save the world not to condemn the world (John 3:17). Which is why I try to be careful not to care about your sin, but only to point out that there is sin and that I am included. Indeed, I am chief amongst sinners.

But I must confess that indeed I do have a cause. I’m only human (which is just a fact not an excuse) and there are a couple of things that raise my ire more than anything else. And the biggest cause that gets under my skin is ABORTION.

I just do not accept that abortion is a woman’s right to choose. It is not their right to do with their body as they see fit. That fetus is a human life. It is not some forming mass of tissue. It is a life formed by a Holy and Righteous God that has all power and authority over life and death. And the reason we (humanity) fall into this trap is because of my second top cause – the lie of evolution. The lie of evolution has tried to teach us that there is no God and that everything we see and experience is just happenstance without any Devine providence or guidance. And I’m sorry, but that is just a lie. I believe possibly the biggest lie ever told. The lie of evolution allows us to believe that God does not form a life in the womb and that a woman has a choice over her body and the life that it contains. Which simply is not true and I’m sorry, if you believe that a woman has a right to choose you are just wrong.

Abortion is murder. It doesn’t matter what any of us believe. The simple truth (and it is simple) is that there is a God and he does hold all power and authority over all of human life. And when we unjustly take a life, including through abortion, it is by definition murder.

And this bothers me greatly. US President Ronald Regan said that if you could not state for certain when human life begins (and I can, it begins when a Holy and Righteous God forms it in the womb. On day one.) then we owed them the benefit of the doubt. And we should give this cause the respect that it is due. None of us can definitely prove when human life begins. Neither science nor religion nor philosophy can definitively prove the start of human life. Science struggles with the conundrum of human life and denial of God. They can’t explain the miracle of life to begin with let alone Define the exact start of it. Religion obviously defaults to a God creating that life and has no choice but to accept the moment of conception as the definitive start of that human life. Philosophy tries to find a happy medium that fails on both fronts. On all fronts humanity has no choice but to accept human life beginning at conception. And by not doing so we allow for the murder of hundreds of millions of unborn babies worldwide every year.

Rush Limbaugh wrote that his problem with abortion is that it cheapens human life. And this is an excellent argument. Abortion takes a human life created by a Holy God and formed in his perfect image and reduces it to an inconsequential event of less than the miracle it truly is. And this is having severe consequences on our societies worldwide. It is tearing our world apart.

However my reason for carrying abortion as my cause is that it brings evil incarnate into our world. If a Holy God is the author of life, then the undeniable enemy of life is none other than Satan. Life is the gift of God and that makes Satan it’s number one enemy. Satan is the antithesis of life and his hatred would have him destroy it at all cost. And abortion is a huge lie that allows him to further his cause.

And if I’m not being plain spoken here, let me just state that the people that participate in this industry are godless, evil people driven by the forces of darkness to include Satan himself.

And if you think I’m being overly dramatic here, may I bring your attention to this story that recently emerged in the news. An abortion (so called) doctor (the irony of referring to these individuals as medical professionals makes my blood boil) for years stacked up human remains at his home and he wasn’t found out until his death. If this isn’t an atrocity on a par with the actions of the Nazis during WWII, I don’t know what you could use to make an argument for what is.

Planned Parenthood and the (once again so called) doctors that practice under their umbrella are the agents of Satan and they represent evil manifested in our world. An abortionist who collected over 2,000 human remains and kept them at his personal residence is sick, evil, and disturbing on all levels. As an ambassador of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry this doctor shows us to what depths of human depravity we’ve allowed to grip the world. It is horrifying to realize that we have come to accept this culture in our societies and the world.

Obviously my desire is that your cause would be that all would be saved and come to know Jesus Christ as Lord of their life. But if there were one (or two) causes that you had to take up, how about carefully considering the lies of abortion and evolution? I truly believe that if anything could make a dramatic change on our societies and bring the world closer to a Holy God, it would have to be honestly and ethically dealing with the lies of abortion and evolution. With the evil that abortion manifests in the world (as demonstrated by this recent story) I pray you would join me in my cause (and that you would forgive me for having a cause).

Who Are You?

We all want to be somebody.  And we all want to be somebody special.  We want to be somebody unique.  We all want to know that we are the most unique human on the planet.  Beyond our fingerprints, beyond our DNA, beyond our talents and our personalities, we want to be unique.  And we want others to know just how unique we really are.

So Who are you?  Are you an American?  Are you Asian?  Are you Indian?  Or Middle Eastern?  Are you African or from the Himalayan Mountains?  Are you rich or poor?  Gay or straight?  Are you a transsexual?  Do you want to be everything or nothing at all?  Here in the United States we might ask if you are a Conservative or Liberal.  Are you adventurous or timid?  Are you a doctor or a lawyer?  Are you an artist or an engineer?  Are you a rock star or a country music star?  Or perhaps a little of both?  Do you have tattoos or piercings?  Do you color your hair or shave your head?  What is it that makes you, well … you?

We all want to be somebody.  And we all want to be somebody special.  So who do you want to be and how do you want to be that person?  And to what lengths will you go to be that person?

It has occured to me that given our three base world views, the vanity found in who we want to be takes on a different meaning and significance.  By that I mean we should consider the impact and worth of our desires to be special through the lens of our world view.

If your base world view is Atheistic, then you are clearly trying to be whatever person you are for yourself and noone else.  After all, what does it really matter?  Given enough time you will be forgotten and any small impact you may have made on the cosmos will have been so insignificant that it wouldn’t even be distinguishable within the annals of time.  There is no higher purpose, no afterlife, no worth, no rhyme or reason.  For the Atheist we are all just one great big cosmic accident and whatever you can grab in the here and now is the sum total of significance you can apply to life.

If your base world view is Agnostic, then I’m not really sure why you care.  For the Agnostic, the true Agnostic, one wouldn’t care how special or unique someone else is; so why should we care how unique you are?  An Agnostic trying to stand out in a crowd has got to be one of the most confunding things you would ever come across.  The Agnostic is supposedly indifferent.  Uncaring and just wanting to be left alone.  The Agnostic could either be special or not.  As long as they are happy and they aren’t bothering you, you shouldn’t bother them.  So for the Agnostic world view, why even try to be unique or special at all?  None of the rest of us really care.  Any more than you care about how special we are.

But if you are Theistic in your world view, then your uniqueness or specialness takes on an entirely different prespective.  A Theist will claim to be created, and that they are made them special.  I’ve heard a lot of people make this claim; “Well that’s just who I am.” or “Well that’s just the way God made me.”.  When in reality, they are just doing what they want to do and God probably has nothing to do with it.  At least the Theist understands (or should understand) that they are a uniquely created being even before they strike off on their own to prove to the world just how special and unique they really are.

For the Christian though, who you are should take on a slightly differnt perspective.  When talking about who they are, most Christians will use words and phrases like: “Saved”, “Redeemed of the Lord”, “A soldier in God’s Army”, “Of the Family of God”, “Saint”, “Sinner saved by Grace”, and “Joint heirs with Jesus”.  When describing who they are, most Christians will describe themselves as “who they are IN CHRIST” first and who “they used to be” secondly.

Let me preface what I am about to say with I think knowing who you are IN CHRIST is vitally important.  There is nothing wrong with knowing who you are IN CHRIST and you should strive to understand the new position in all of time and creation that he has afforded you.  However, what is interesting to me is that we know more about who WE are in Christ than we do about who CHRIST is in us.  There is a subtle distinction here.  And that is where the preimminence is placed.  Knowing who we are in Christ is all about US first.  It is all about me.  Knowing who Christ is in us is all about Him first.  It is all about the Lord Jesus Christ, and actually nothing about us at all.

When I consider all of who Christ is, I am simply amazed by His Glory and His Splendor and His Wonder.  Sure, I can tell you all that Christ has done for me.  The many times he has watched over my life and carried me through the fire.  But we have the Gospels.  We have the Old and the New Testaments.  They speak for what God has done in an indivdiduals life.  You don’t really need mine.  What I really want you to know is “WHO CHRIST IS”.  And I want you to know that I can sincerely and honestly tell you WHO CHRIST IS because I know who Christ is in me.  And that is much, much more important than who I am in Christ.

My desire today is that I would decrease and that He would increase.  And that means it is not all about me but it is ALL about Him.  I don’t need to be special or unique, but I do need to tell you how Special and Unique God is.  And I can tell you He is Special and Unique IN me.

The Greatest Teacher

Psalm 119:33 (NASB)
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall observe it to the end.

The most transformational, defining moments of my life have been when the LORD has reached down, enlightened and taught me.  All the great teachers I’ve been privileged to hear, and my best times of study and seeking don’t compare.  Those defining times with Him have always been the most memorable and they’ve moved me forward in His purposes in and around me.

The Psalmist most notably cries out for God’s personal, private instruction as the life changing impetus he needs to keep moving godward.

Psalm 119:17-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Gimel.
17
Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
18
Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.

Psalm 119:33-34 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
He.
33
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall observe it to the end.
34
Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law
And keep it with all my heart.

Psalm 119:65-68 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Teth.
65
You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.
66
Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.
67
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
68
You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.

Thomas a’ Kempis, in his noted work “The Imitation of Christ” writes: “Oh Lord, with the Prophet Samuel I humbly and earnestly beg, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant listens….’  I am your servant; grant me understanding that I may know your testimonies…Incline my heart to Your words.  Lord, who inspires and enlightens the Prophets, let not Moses or any of the Prophets speak to me but rather YOU speak.  YOU alone can instruct me without their aid, but without You, they can do nothing.

The Prophets can preach the word, but they cannot bestow the Spirit.  They speak most eloquently, but if You are silent, they cannot fire the heart.  They instruct in letter, but You open the understanding.  They set forth mysteries, but You reveal the meaning of all secrets.  They teach Your commandments, but You help us observe them.  They point the way, but You grant us strength to follow it.  Their action is external; You instruct and enlighten the heart.  They water… but You make fruitful.  They proclaim…but You impart understanding to the mind.

Therefore, let not Moses speak to me, (or any other) but You, oh Lord my God, the Everlasting Truth, lest I die and bear no fruit if I am warned in word, and not kindled in heart; lest it turn to my condemnation, if I hear Your word, but not obey it;  know it, but do not love it; believe it but do not keep it….  YOU have the words of eternal life.  Speak to me, comfort my soul: order my life to YOUR praise, glory and eternal honor.”

May HE indeed increasingly grant us all of His Spirit, Who has promised to personally “guide us into all Truth“…for His words are truth indeed.

Amazed,

Mitch

What is the status of your unbelief?

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

There are many things in the world that we believe in.  And there are many things that we do not believe in.  And these beliefs and unbelief’s permeate every one of our lives.  From social, to political, to science, and even our theology.  But have you ever stopped to consider how much easier it is to not believe than it is to believe?

I personally believe that the USA sent men to the moon and that they walked upon its surface.  This is as much a fact for me as the house that I live in or the clothes that I wear.  But there is an entire subculture that does not believe this.  No matter the evidence put before them.

I personally believe the earth is round, like a ball, hanging in space.  But there is a considerable subculture today that believes the earth is flat and not round.

I personally do not believe in Global Warming, Man Made Climate Change, or the data and extrapolations that come from such theories.  But there is a considerable number of people who do find this line of reasoning credible.

I personally do not believe that the current US administration colluded with Russia to alter the 2016 election results. But there are many people who do believe this.

I personally believe that abortion is murder and takes the life of a living human spirit.  But there are many that do not believe that and view abortion as an acceptable practice.

I personally believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and that He came to earth to die for the sins of the world and that on the third day He rose from the dead proving his deity and solidifying His claims.  But there are a vast number of people who do not believe that.

In all of these, my belief is much harder than my unbelief.  It is easy to not believe something. But it is hard to actually believe something.  This is because our nature, our very human nature, is bent towards questioning and a need for proof.  And what I may require as proof is probably different than what you may require as proof.  We all want to be masters of our own destiny.  We want to be the ones in control.  And we all want to be our own judges of what is true and what is not.

Oftentimes we blame our skepticism on lack of faith.  We say that we have a problem with something because we do not have any faith in it.  We lack faith in our political systems.  We lack faith in our in our scientific methods.  We lack faith in our society.  And we certainly lack faith in our theology.

But how much faith does it take to effect changes in these areas in the world around us?  How much faith do we really need to make a difference in the world?

The disciples had this problem when they tried, on their own, to accomplish a task.  That of casting out a demon.  And when they failed, they came to Jesus and he told them that if they had but a very small amount of faith, that of a single mustard seed, they could move mountains.  At least that is what we usually focus on.

What we miss is the reason why they failed.  Jesus told them the reason they failed right up front.  See it there?  He told them the reason they were not successful is because of their unbelief.  Unbelief is a powerful thing in our lives and it will weigh heavy on our beliefs, dragging them down.  And then he told them that if they had a very small amount of faith they could move mountains.

From this we can learn that it is not the size of our faith that hinders us, it is the size of our unbelief that is important.  We are way too busy running around trying to increase our faith when what we should really be doing is working on our unbelief.

As further evidence of this I would submit God’s one requirement for entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, that of belief on the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.   God did not require us to first have great faith.  That naturally follows once we take care of our unbelief. Rather God requires us to believe.  Belief is where we must start and dealing with our unbelief is a foundational piece of that.

When a troubled father came to Jesus asking for healing for his child, Jesus asked him if he believed (Mark 9:23-24).  The father emphatically proclaimed that he believed and then immediately asked for help with his unbelief.  Jesus had just told him that all things were possible to those that believed, and the father so desperately wanted to believe.  But he knew that there were still doubts that were in his heart and he asked Jesus to help him with his unbelief.

I can assure you today that I have great faith that God is upon His throne.  He is in control, whether I believe that or not.  Faith that could move mountains and that I will stand for even though I walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  And yet mountains are not moved, lives are not changed, and there seems to be little difference in the world around me.  Why?  Probably because I’ve been asking God for great faith when I should be asking him to help me with my unbelief.

How about yourself?  Are mountains not moving in your life?  Are you failing to make a difference?  And do you double down on your efforts because of your great faith only to no avail?  Perhaps it’s time for us to work on our unbelief.  Jesus, help me with my unbelief so that the faith you have given me in my life may move mountains for Your glory.