God is not a Republican!

I’ve been shocked at myself over the last few years. See I am a very conservative person who has voted republican since 1986. Recently however God has been dealing with me over this. See my tendency is to believe there is salvation for my nation in the republican party. Oh sure if you ask me I would tell you that the only hope for America is Jesus, but then I would expound the virtues found in the republican party as the path we need to take.

Here is what I’m coming to realize God is not a republican, but neither is he a Democrat. So I have abandoned both parties in favor of the Gospel. Real hope and change isn’t found in the face of Obama, Mitch McConnell or any other elected official. It’s found in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in Him only.

I have come to believe that the biggest mistake the church has made in the 20th century was the moral majority movement. I say this because during this period the body of Christ in America quit relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to effect change, and instead relied upon the arm of flesh found in men and women who used us for political power.

As hard as it maybe to hear we need to realize that we forgot the power of God through His proclaimed word, and embraced a political ideology that replaced the call of daring faith for financial security and peace. So we aligned ourselves with men and women who give lip service to our beliefs while accepting bribes, kickbacks, and political favors.

We need to abandon our faith in these men and women and reestablish it in the gospel of Jesus Christ as the source of true security! As long as we are in Christ we are secure regardless of how the world treats us. I’m not saying don’t vote, rather I’m saying seek God first before voting. Keep politics in perspective and remember that we can bring about real change only if God is working with us as we spread the gospel of His son Jesus Christ!

Mark 16:20 They went out and proclaimed everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs

I am still a conservative both socially and economically, only now I’ve decided that spreading my faith is more important than my political views. Because you know what? Socialists go to heaven if they believe in Jesus as Lord and savior!  Because socialism is an economic philosophy that has nothing to do with saving faith!

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Out if what?!

I was recently at a certain fried chicken establishment named after a state that starts with a K. Here is a hint…It isn’t Kansas and they still have Colonels.

Anyway, I pulled up to order dinner for my family at 5:30 PM, placed my order and then was informed by the voice emanating from the sign that they were currently out of chicken.

Of course me being me responded with “seriously?” realizing that the little girl who owned the voice probably wasn’t responsible I said “Mam…I thought I was at #FC isn’t chicken what you do?  I mean it’s in your name.” ” I think I’ll go get some pizza”

This little incident got me thinking though. How many church’s put in their name or mission statement things that they are out of?

For that matter as individual Christians are we out of Love, Joy, Peace?

What about forgiveness are we out of this as well? I see church’s splitting, and Christians never trying to reconcile with those they are at odds with. Grieving God to His core.

Do we not realize that the reason God hates strife among His people is because His nature is perfect unity? God is a trinity God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit one God in three persons all in perfect harmony and unity.

So when we act in disunity we are ultimately rejecting God and His nature, and the love of God is not in us. 1 John 4:20 “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

When we love one another we tell the world that we love God and follow Jesus. John 13:35″Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” The sad thing is though anymore it seems we are out of chicken in the church. We need to repent and seek out forgiveness from both God and our fellow man. Then we’ll have what we need to reach America with the gospel!

Marriage and the Divine Image

When God made man he spoke these words ” Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness” , this statement is followed by a description of how God made them “God created humankind in his own image,  in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them”. This is vital to our understanding of marriage.

It’s vital because when we go to Genesis 2 and read the more detailed account of the Creation of Man there is an interesting statement from God. “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.””(Emphasis Mine)

This statement is interesting and important, because everything up to this point God had pronounced as good. However man being alone was not good. So God made a companion or helper for man to do what man could not do for himself. Man was alone he could not be fruitful and multiply. The divine blessing upon creation he was unable to enjoy by himself, man needed a companion he needed woman to fully walk in the divine blessing upon creation.

So man was incomplete, his completion was found in the one taken from him, his flesh of his flesh, or bone of his bone. So it could be said that woman completed the divine image of man. This is seen in this passage of Scripture:

Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.”
1:27 God created humankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them. 

This then allowed Man and Woman to receive the divine blessing of “Be fruitful and multiply” found in verse 28 of chapter 1.

So why is this important in the current redefinition of marriage?

Because a rejection of the Biblical definition of marriage is a rejection of not just a definition, but rather God’s original purpose of creation of man and woman. It’s a statement of extreme rebellion against God and His word. Man and Man can not be fruitful or multiply, neither can woman and woman. I realize that they can adopt, or use artificial insemination to increase, however this doesn’t change God’s original purpose for humankind. Rather in a way it affirms it, because adoption and insemination requires the opposite sex.

As I’ve said in the past Marriage is a divine institution and is not to be redefined by man.
Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Ge 1:26–27). Biblical Studies Press.

Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Ge 2:18). Biblical Studies Press.
Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Ge 1:27). Biblical Studies Press.

Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Ge 1:26). Biblical Studies Press.

Marriage Reconsidered

I’ve been thinking of marriage lately, or more to the point the purposes of God behind it. So I guess in a way… I am reconsidering marriage. I started this reconsideration not because of the current redefinition of marriage, but rather because I am working on a wedding ceremony with a young couple. (Man and Woman)

As I reconsidered marriage I began to see more clearly a scriptural view point on marriage, and since the Bible is the rule of faith and conduct for all mankind, regardless of whether they accept it as such or not. (We do not decide the validity of the law of gravity but all of us on earth live under it’s rule, and so it is with God’s word). We do not have the right to decide it’s validity and all mankind live under it’s rule.

So with this in mind I began a thoughtful reconsideration of marriage in light of God’s word. I asked for guidance in prayer, and then started my journey. By the way it’s not finished, my journey I mean, I’m still reading, meditating, and praying for the ability to communicate what I’m learning.

So far I’m realizing that as Christians we often hold marriage in a low regard. because of this our views are often contrary to the intent and purposes of God’s for the marriage covenant. We leave the covenant of marriage as if it’s a temporary contract that can be forgotten, and done away with.

Yet, this is not God’s intent at all. As a matter of fact, It more often than not shows the hardness of our hearts toward God and His word.

I realize that divorce can be a complicated and messy issue. However, I also know that it is often easier to get a divorce than stay and work on the marriage. But this series is not about divorce per say. It’s more about God’s Biblical will for marriage.

I’m not sure how long this series will be, nor am I completely sure of what it will look like. I just feel the need to share some thoughts upon Marriage and God’s purpose for it, and then maybe…just maybe provide some insight and direction for those of us who want to reach for God’s best in our marriages.

You are here!

Back in the day before cell phones, and GPS, you would be in the mall or at a truck stop and see a map that had a marker that would say: “You Are Here.” It helps you to understand what direction you need to go, and how to get there. In Second Timothy chapter three the Apostle Paul gives us a you are hear marker.

3:1″ But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 3:2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. 3:5 They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.” NET

The above description is an accurate description of the days in which we find ourselves in. We are here!  We are seeing this played out before us in full color. If we stop to think about it we can become disheartened and feel like giving up. This description Paul gives us is found even in the Church.

Here is what I’m getting at. Now that we know where we are, we can decide what we need to do. Some like Rob Bell, Brian Mclaren, Rick Warren, and others will turn to embracing other religions as just as valid, exchange the truth of God for lies, accuse those of us who hold to the truth as being hate filled, and mean spirited. Others will turn from their sin and cry out to God to purify them and draw them close to Himself.

The question for us as people who love God is this. Will we compromise the truth of God by embracing those that do? Or will we stand in the truth and change our lives according to it? The truth of God’s word is just as real as the truth of gravity. We don’t decide the validity of gravity, it’s real, and if we decide not to embrace it and jump off of the empire state building we will die. The Word of God is the same if we reject the truth that salvation is only found in the name of Jesus Christ we die and spend eternity in hell.

So as Christians we need to first face the fact that we need God, and His Spirit at work in our lives! We are not above the pull of this world. We must seek the face of our Savior daily for the strength to stand. Because none of us have the strength in our own power to stand. So let us get into our word, and pray for God to pour out His Spirit upon us so we can receive strength to stand.

Skip the Beer

While watching a talk show one morning, I saw country music artist Thomas Rhett singing his song “Beer with Jesus”. As I listened to the words I couldn’t help think as he sang the chorus “You don’t have to wait for the answers to the questions you are asking, because Jesus answered them already.”  Allow me to parody how this conversation might go in a question answer format.

 Q: How’d you turn the other cheek, To save a sorry soul like me?  

A: Because I love you, Listen to my  word. John 3:16 “For this is the way 36  God loved the world: He gave his one and only 37  Son, so that everyonewho believes in him will not perish 38  but have eternal life. 39  3:17 For God did not send his Soninto the world to condemn the world, 40  but that the world should be saved through him.” My love for you drove me to turn the other cheek and lay down my life and pay the penalty you deserve.

 Q: Do you hear the prayers I send?

A: Yes, I do hear them especially the ones you whisper when you don’t think any one can hear. I hear your prayers, see your tears, and long to save your soul if you would only believe in me.

 Q: What happens when life ends?

A: That’s an easy one. When you die if you have believed in me as the Lord of your life repented of your sin (Repentance is turning from your sin and walking in my ways) then you join me in heaven. If not then you are judged for your sin an sent to hell. Again hear my word: John 3:18 “The one who believes in him is not condemned. 41  The one who does not believe has been condemned42  already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only 43  Son of God”.

 Q: And when you think you’re comin’ back again?
A: I’m not telling you this. I am coming back so get your life right and be ready. Because after my return for the Church, and the 7 years of tribulation there will be no repentance and you will be eternally condemned. Mankind will be judged and punished for sin. My grace is here and now so repent and believe.

 Q: How’d you change a sinner’s heart?

A: I shed my blood and apply it to their hearts when they repent of their sin and believe in me. At that moment they become new! All of what they have done and what had been done to them is washed away and they are new creations! HAHA! Listen to my the words I spoke through Paul:  “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away 32  – look, what is new33  has come!” 2nd Corinthians 5:17 I love doing this! It’s so much fun!

 Q: And is heaven really just beyond the stars?

A: Don’t worry about where heaven is just worry about getting there.

 Q: What’s on the other side?
A: Heaven or Hell.

 

 Q: Is mom and daddy alright?

A: They are fine, they want you to be with them here.

 

 Q: And if it ain’t no trouble tell them I said hi.
A: No trouble at all.

The end.

I’m of course making up the end, however I believe Mr Rhett would be better off to skip the beer and pick up his Bible, and so would we.

Again this is a parody of what might take place during this supposed conversation. I take a strong stance, and believe Christians should not drink because of the appearance of evil it gives.

Swallowing Camels

I wonder sometimes if we aren’t swallowing camels and straining out nats.

funny-camel--lala-4

Jesus accused the religious leaders of his day of doing just that by referring to the practice of straining wine, and other drinks through linen, or another filtration median in order to strain out small insects that might make them unclean by swallowing on accident. They would tithe the smallest amount but neglect the most important, and just like them we sometimes neglect the more important things like justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Oh sure we’ll tithe, attend, and sing with gusto, but then forget to show kindness to the store employee, waitress, or gas station attendant afterwards.

My full time job requires me to work half of the Sundays in a month, and I have discovered something about my brothers and sisters in Christ. They are extremely rude and condescending to people who work on Sundays. For example One Sunday afternoon a fellow coworker received a cussing from a person whom he knew was a deacon in a local church, then was given a gospel tract by that same man a few days later.  (Gulp, Gulp, Gag! I wonder how many calories were in the camel that the dude  had just swallowed!)

Here is what I’m driving at. You can tithe, sing, and pray all you want while in church, but if you don’t truly care about the more important things like justice, mercy, and faithfulness, your slamming the door of heaven in the face of the unsaved.

Your swallowing camels.

So quit choking them down, because camels don’t taste good, and aren’t heart healthy. I know this because just like you, I’ve choked down a few myself. So may God in His grace help us to realize that we’ve got a camel in our glass.

 

Matt 23:13 “But woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven!

Matt 23:23 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others. 24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel!

 

 

Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Mt 23:13). Biblical Studies Press.

 

Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Mt 23:23–24). Biblical Studies Press.