Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Supreme Court, Same Sex Marriage, Religious Liberty, & the Return of Jesus Christ

On June 26th 2015 the Supreme Court declared same sex marriage legal in all 50 states of the USA.  Much of America declared victory with intense, flamboyant demonstrations.  On one of the most viewed pages on the Internet there was a comment from Google indicating their celebration of the Supreme Court ruling with a link to gay pride content.  On Facebook stickers appeared on the emoticons of "gay pride."  A free tool provided by Facebook helped users to switch their profile pictures coloring to show the gay pride rainbow colors.  The United States White House adjusted it's outside lights to the colors of the rainbow to demonstrate support for the ruling.  #SCOTUS #Cares trended on Twitter.  On both Twitter and Facebook the same sex ruling trended at #1 all day and all night.  Obama issued an official statement, saying "prayers have been answered."

I was feeling a bit left out.  Everyone celebrating and all.  I was also kind of curious who President Obama was praying to.  Many Christians had been praying, daily appealing to heaven that the Supreme Court might actually make a quality ruling.  Unfortunately that did not happen.  So follows another terrible landmark ruling for the Supreme Court.  They just keep lining up.  I felt deeply disturbed by the ruling, and troubled by the reaction of the public.  When the majority is so powerfully behind something like same sex marriage I start to wonder.  What's going on in this country?  Has everyone lost their mind?  Or perhaps, simply lost the ability to think clearly.  Same sex marriage, on the heart level, when appealing as a parallel to racism is very appealing.  My heart jumps right to it.  But then my mind says "wait a minute, something isn't right here."  Why should society endorse a practice that is medically unsafe and known to spread illness?  Why should society endorse the practice of sexuality centered around a part of the body meant for waste deposit?  It's a reasonable question I think.  

As Christians we know that God views homosexuality as a sinful practice.  Homosexuality is described as immoral in both the Old and New Testaments (Leviticus 18:22, 1 Cor 6:9-11).  The Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Romans: "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done" (Romans 1:26-28 ESV). 

I'm not a biblical scholar, but that seems pretty clear.  I don't understand how so many Christians are able to equivocate on the issue of gay marriage and pretend that somehow it's no longer a sin because they have a friend who said they were born that way.  Many are born with certain drives toward sinful behavior.  God asks us to overcome those urges, and take up our crosses and follow him.  Talk about gross prevarication.  But the appeal is strong, to stand on the battle lines with brothers and sisters of a different orientation to fight for rights!  Just like Selma!  Except... not quite.  When we get our minds involved, we start to realize that the issue has been distorted, and portrayed in a way inconsistent with reality.   You can't tell that to anyone though.  They'll cut you off, call you a heartless bigot, and say something like "love is love."  And suggest that you hate them.  Disagreement does not mean hatred of course.  People disagree all the time without hating.  But it's all a battle for the moral high ground.  If they can pin Christians as backwards bigots and haters, then they've taken the high ground, as victims of cruel oppression.  Or so goes the current media narrative.  

Christians are wondering how to respond to all of this.  I've been reading a great many statements regarding this issue from media, and Christian groups.  Very little has changed.  Jesus Christ is still Lord.  God is still God.  The Supreme court ruling only means that if the left pushes hard enough they can force immorality into law.  It's been done before, in Roe v. Wade.  Here it happens again.  Abortion is still child sacrifice, a disturbing horrifying genocide against unborn Americans.  And homosexuality is still an objectively immoral practice perpetrated by those who need prayer, love, and support.  But not by encouraging unhealthy behavior.  But by welcoming them to right living in Christ Jesus.

In my area there was a church outreach placed right next to a gay bar called the Oz.  While attending events at this church outreach in the past two years I saw several homosexual men carefully step into the doors.  I saw them receive love.  And I saw them abandon their former practices, and embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ.  It was a beautiful witness, and it reminded me that love means love, but it also means wisdom, moral living, and genuine changes in life.  

Supreme court justice Scalia had something interesting to say regarding the same sex case Obergefell v. Hodges.  He said, "It is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage.  It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today's decree says that my ruler, and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast to coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court."  That is a very important point.  Perhaps even more important than you or I realize.  At the state level citizens have more direct access to their representatives.  The Supreme Court, and overall the Federal level has taken it upon itself to dictate more and more thoroughly to the states regarding laws and enforcement of those laws.  It is a disturbing trend.  In addition, many would call the same sex ruling an example of judicial activism, or a case of trying to legislate from the bench.  The Supreme Court judges are suppose to interpret current law, not make new law.  But politics and political correctness seem to have won out again.  

Many believe that the Federal government has become entirely over bloated.  They are looking to Article V of the Constitution, calling for a convention of states to deal with the federal problem.  Interesting proposal to say the at least.  Interestingly, several states have already signed on.  Learn more about that initiative here.  

But that brings up an interesting point.  Same sex marriage is not the issue I would prefer to spend my time on.  Liberals and conservatives alike know that we have much more severe problems in the United States.  But the media endlessly pushes the same sex marriage drama on a national scale.  Why?  Because it's a hot issue for people, and because it keeps people distracted from the larger issues.  I would prefer to be dealing with the 17 trillion dollar debt problem.  I would prefer to be dealing with the mass surveillance of Americans and erosion of personal liberty in our country.  I would prefer to deal with the corruption on Wallstreet.  I would prefer to deal with the lobbying and bribery going on in Washington D.C.  I would prefer to keep working on abolishing human abortion and cutting the sex trade industry to ribbons.  But instead, it's all gay marriage all the time.  And yes, it's an important issue for the reason of marriage, but perhaps more so in that the issue of gay marriage is used to attack the Christian worldview and caricature it as backwards, intolerant, and fundamentally flawed.

Christians ask, how do we respond?  For starters I would recommend signing the elegant and firmly biblical "Here We Stand" declaration drafted by the Ethics and Religious Liberty CommissionClick here to view and sign the declaration.   As far as "what next?" I would recommend an article written for Christianity Today by evangelical Ed Stetzer on just that very topic.  Click here to read it.  Stetzer outlines the response of dedicated Christians: prayer, love, and continued vigilance.

Unfortunately it's clear that in other countries where same sex marriage was legalized, what inevitably follows is a sharp rise in religious liberty violations.  Just the same has occurred in Canada, Brazil, and the U.K.  Here is an article on that topic by The Federalist writer John-Henry Western: Click here.  

It's important to remember that we need to stand strong even in the face of government sanctioned religious oppression.  Jesus taught us to render to the government what belongs to the government, and render to God what belongs to God.  What belongs to God?  We belong to God.  And God's standard of marriage supersedes that of the left, the right, the Supreme Court, and the U.S. government.  Remember if you face legal or cultural attacks in the years to come, there are Christian legal agencies that will provide legal support for religious liberty cases.  Some of those agencies include Liberty Institute, Alliance defending Freedom, and the ACLJ

Ironically enough my friends, this recent news may be a miracle for the Christians of western civilization.  In China is the fastest growing Christian movement in the world.  A traveling evangelist once asked a Chinese pastor for prayer requests.  The Chinese pastor said, "Pray for persecution.  When there is persecution people here come together, and work hard to spread the gospel."  Many on the western side of the church of Jesus Christ have seemed half asleep.  These attacks on religious liberty and the erosion of marriage may unite the American church and help her to stand up tall for the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ.  God often wraps blessings in the guises of persecution.  

The most important thing is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared with the lost of this world.  Is a terrible judgment hanging over America?  I'm not certain.  I know there is a heavy weight on my shoulders, and on the shoulders of countless other Christians.  It is the burden of sadness we hold for the fate of the country we love so dearly, our home, the United States of America.  Such a burden is reasonable to hold, and we have gathered under a banner known as the "Appeal to Heaven" flag to remind ourselves to continue to pray and cry out for the future of our blessed home country.  But the USA is not truly our home.  We are foreigners in this world, and our home is with God.  We are just traveling through this world. 

Is Jesus Christ returning soon?  I certainly hope so.  Mark my words, he most certainly will return.  And many will be quite upset on that day.  But on that day I will be so glad, I will be so happy to see my savior.  My heart smiles just thinking of that day.  

Many will laugh at us for that hope.  Just as in the times of Noah the people laughed at Noah, what a dope they thought, building an ark on dry land.  They taunted him I'm sure.  Maybe they called him a backwards bigot, or a hater, or judgmental.  Noah just quietly kept building.  And then the waters came, and the Earth was flooded.  After the flood waters finally dissipated, a rainbow appeared on the horizon as a sign from God that he would never flood the Earth again.  And today we see that same rainbow, touted in support of gay pride.  I'm reminded of the Bible verse that states "And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." (Luke 17:26 ESV)  Jesus was speaking of his return to Earth in the future.  Many will mock and say "Where is he?"  Or as 2 Peter 3:4 (NLT) phrases it: "They will say, "What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created."  Might all the rainbow flags be reminding us of verses like these?  It's hard to say for certain.  It's a speculative approach, but there is some sound reasoning behind it.

In any case, we must remain vigilant.  We must stand for our religious liberty.  We must stand for the biblical definition of marriage.  We must continue to share the good news that Jesus Christ came to Earth, really lived, really died, and really reclaimed his life.  He is alive today. Jesus Christ is the only single leader of mankind and he will literally lead this Earth one day.  The world will be placed on notice regarding this timeless truth.  It's not a metaphor, it's not a narrative, it's not a nice story, it's a solid actual fact of reality.  It will happen.  Until that day, we must continue to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is all we can do.  Here we stand.  We can do no other.  In Jesus name, Amen.   

 Related Posts:

  1. Christians in Politics: A Brief Analysis of Issues in the USA
  2. The Entrenched vs. the Minimized: Five Paradigms of Western Society
  3. Christian Activism: Can Christianity survive the new cultural attitudes?
  4.  Does man need God in Western Civilization: Young People are Hungry for the Truth
  5. Ten Great Minds, Ten Controversial Presentations
  6. Christianity in the Public Square: The Apologetics & Philosophy Renaissance
  7. The Great American Culture War: Religious Liberty, Gay Rights, Naturalism, & the Christian Faith
  8. Pray for the World
  9. The Topic of Liberty from a Libertarian attending Liberty University
  10. Christianity Falling: A Request for Heroes

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Spiritual Journey of Bill Wilson & Implications of the Genesis Mindset

"The door opened and he stood there, fresh-skinned and glowing. There was something about his eyes. He was inexplicably different. What had happened? I pushed a drink across the table. He refused it. Disappointed but curious, I wondered what had got into the fellow. He wasn’t himself. “Come, what’s all this about?’’ I queried. He looked straight at me. Simply, but smilingly, he said, “I’ve got religion.’’ 

I was aghast. So that was it—last summer an alcoholic crackpot; now, I suspected, a little cracked about religion. He had that starry-eyed look. Yes, the old boy was on fire all right. But bless his heart, let him rant! Besides, my gin would last longer than his preaching.

But he did no ranting. In a matter of fact way he told how two men had appeared in court, persuading the judge to suspend his commitment. They had told of a simple religious idea and a practical program of action. That was two months ago and the result was self-evident. It worked!

He had come to pass his experience along to me—if I cared to have it. I was shocked, but interested. Certainly I was interested. I had to be, for I was hopeless. He talked for hours. Childhood memories rose before me. I could almost hear the sound of the preacher’s voice as I sat, on still Sundays, way over there on the hillside; there was that proffered temperance pledge I never signed; my grandfather’s good natured contempt of some church folk and their doings; his insistence that the spheres really had their music; but his denial of the preacher’s right to tell him how he must listen; his fearlessness as he spoke of these things just before he died; these recollections welled up from the past. They made me swallow hard.

That war-time day in old Winchester Cathedral came back again. I had always believed in a Power greater than myself. I had often pondered these things. I was not an atheist. Few people really are, for that means blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. My intellectual heroes, the chemists, the astronomers, even the evolutionists, suggested vast laws and forces at work. Despite contrary indications, I had little doubt that a mighty purpose and rhythm underlay all. How could there be so much of precise and immutable law, and no intelligence? I simply had to believe in a Spirit of the Universe, who knew neither time nor limitation. But that was as far as I had gone.

With ministers, and the world’s religions, I parted right there. When they talked of a God personal to me, who was love, superhuman strength and direction, I became irritated and my mind snapped shut against such a theory.

To Christ I conceded the certainty of a great man, not too closely followed by those who claimed Him. His moral teaching—most excellent. For myself, I had adopted those parts which seemed convenient and not too difficult; the rest I disregarded. The wars which had been fought, the burnings and chicanery that religious dispute had facilitated, made me sick. I honestly doubted whether, on balance, the religions of mankind had done any good. Judging
from what I had seen in Europe and since, the power of God in human affairs was negligible, the Brotherhood of Man a grim jest. If there was a Devil, he seemed the Boss Universal, and he certainly had me.

But my friend sat before me, and he made the point blank declaration that God had done for him what he could not do for himself. His human will had failed. Doctors had pronounced him incurable. Society was about to lock him up. Like myself, he had admitted complete defeat. Then he had, in effect, been raised
from the dead, suddenly taken from the scrap heap to a level of life better than the best he had ever known! Had this power originated in him? Obviously it had not. There had been no more power in him than there was in me at that minute; and this was none at all.
That floored me. It began to look as though religious people were right after all. Here was something at work in a human heart which had done the impossible.

My ideas about miracles were drastically revised right then. Never mind the musty past; here sat a miracle directly across the kitchen table. He shouted great tidings. I saw that my friend was much more than inwardly reorganized. He was on a different footing. His roots grasped a new soil.

Despite the living example of my friend there remained in me the vestiges of my old prejudice. The word God still aroused a certain antipathy. When the thought was expressed that there might be a God personal to me this feeling was intensified. I didn’t like the idea. I could go for such conceptions as Creative Intelligence, Universal Mind or Spirit of Nature but I resisted the thought of a Czar of the Heavens, however loving His sway might be. I have since talked with scores of men who felt the same way. My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?’’

That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last. It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend. Would I have it? Of course I would!

Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough. At long last I saw, I felt, I believed. Scales of pride and prejudice fell from my eyes. A new world came into view.

The real significance of my experience in the Cathedral burst upon me. For a brief moment, I had needed and wanted God. There had been a humble willingness to have Him with me—and He came. But soon the sense of His presence had been blotted out by worldly clamors, mostly those within myself. And so it had been ever since. How blind I had been.

At the hospital I was separated from alcohol for the last time. Treatment seemed wise, for I showed signs of delirium tremens. 

There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch. I have not had a drink since.

My schoolmate visited me, and I fully acquainted him with my problems and deficiencies. We made a list of people I had hurt or toward whom I felt resentment. I expressed my entire willingness to approach these individuals, admitting my wrong. Never was I to be critical of them. I was to right all such matters to the utmost of my ability. I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I expect to receive. But that would be in great measure.

My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements. Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.

These were revolutionary and drastic proposals, but
the moment I fully accepted them, the effect was electric. There was a sense of victory, followed by such a peace and serenity as I had never known. There was utter confidence. I felt lifted up, as though the great clean wind of a mountain top blew through and through. God comes to most men gradually, but His impact on me was sudden and profound. For a moment I was alarmed, and called my friend, the doctor, to ask if I were still sane. He listened in wonder as I talked. Finally he shook his head saying, “Something has happened to you I don’t understand. But you had better hang on to it. Anything is better than the way you were.” The good doctor now sees many men who have such experiences. He knows that they are real. While I lay in the hospital the thought came that there were thousands of hopeless alcoholics who might be glad to have what had been so freely given me. Perhaps I could help some of them. They in turn might work with others.

My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that."

-Bill Wilson (1895-1971) quoted from The Big Book, Chapter: Bill's Story.

The change that took place in Bill's life is incredibly revealing.  He walks us through his mindset and the changes that took place in a very descriptive manner.  I don't normally include quotes this large, but Bill Wilson's spiritual journey is a fascinating topic.  He touches on so many thoughts that I'm sure many of us have struggled with in our own spiritual journeys.  

Whether you struggle with alcoholism, drug addiction, or just life on a daily basis, or if you're just an average Joe, I think we can all relate to the thoughts and reactions within Wilson's story.  Bill's situation was dire.  And whether we want to face it or not, each and every one of us face this same predicament.  

We have our current lives, day by day.  And eventually we face death.  It's true.  No one comes out alive.  The current death rate of all humans who've ever lived on Earth is 100%.  We get 70-100 years and then we're done.  Many don't even last that long.  More and more are dying in their 50s and 60s from cancer, heart disease, and other issues related to overeating and poor diet (among other issues).  We all face the death that Bill had come upon early in his life.  The alcohol simply sharpened the edge and forced him to face the full fury of destruction and death early on.  

So we all face it.  Many of the attitudes and functions of life and the society around us seem geared to help us ignore and push aside that face off.  But it's there none the less.  As uncomfortable and difficult as it seems to be.  

Every single human being born on Earth (aside from a certain Jesus Christ) begins a journey, after birth, headed in the direction of the first two humans, Adam and Eve post-fall.  They have an attitude of resistance to the correct nature of reality, which is man in connection to God.  There are three basic functions of the mindset of every human: 

1) A disgust for any God, a disdain for religion, and yet a quiet yearning for a perfection of existence and a penultimate relationship. 

2) A tendency toward wrong actions (sins) and a tendency to flee from God, and from the guilt of those wrong actions.  Yet a notable sense of a moral universe, that is, structures in which things ought to be "fair." 

3) A primarily selfish attitude, a concern for self and the glorification of self, and the service to self.  Included is a tendency to want to play god, and redefine good and evil to suit personal preference.

We live in a sort of tangent universe, a tangent reality, unsustainable and rushing into oblivion.  It doesn't appear that way at first though.  Especially in the United States.  Things are tough, but overall there are sunny days of laughter and balmy nights of passion.   

I get a picture in my mind of a person almost being "force walked" down a path to the left; a path that unwittingly leads to destruction, being rushed down that path... while the head slowly turns and the eyes track toward a path leading to the right, to peace and everlasting life, with an increasingly grimacing appearance to the face and an increasing resistance to the dismal march down the road to disaster.  

Is it any wonder that so many choose the wrong path?  Many, many do.  And I can understand why.  The default positions of the human mind, with what theologians call "the sin nature" tends toward selfishness, materialism, and an anti-God attitude.  Is it so strange that the world is just the way it is now?  I don't think so.  If the "sin nature" weren't enough, we're also told there is an evil kingdom on Earth that welcomes us into such derision and encourages us to proceed down the wrong path.  

Thankfully, there is also a Spirit.  A sort of Gandalf the White individual, fully God, galloping about the kingdoms beckoning people to come down the path of everlasting light, gathering the body of Light for battles against the growing darkness.  Or as C.S. Lewis pictured it, a sort of Maquis, a french resistance beckoning believers to acts of holy sabotage against the kingdom of darkness. 

There is a God.  And we see so clearly in Bill's Story how God will work on an individual.  We see how God will offer his path.  God kept Bill safe as he struggled more and more, and then made himself available to Bill through the words of a childhood friend.  Yet Bill had to struggle through his old ideas.  His old attitudes about life remained and he had to confront them directly.  

Recently I read the stories of two men, Chuck Colson and William Wilberforce.  Both of these men had to experience these transitions as well.  Just like Bill Wilson, and myself.  The old ideas, the post-fall ideas are there right when the conversion occurs.  We give our lives to Jesus Christ, but the old ideas are still in the mind.  I'm convinced the first few years after any conversion exist for the purpose of processing from the old self centered worldview to the Christian worldview.  

If the old mindset was 1) anti-God  2) tendency to sin and 3) selfishness, what does the new mindset look like?  Perhaps something like this:

1) A growing love for God, a growing level of forgiveness and grace for those of religious persuasion.  And a growing enjoyment of the newly founded relationship with God through Christ.  Also, a continuing yearning for a perfection of existence and relationship that is yet to come.

2) A growing tendency to live in a healthy (righteous) manner, while also struggling day to day with temptation and sin.  A tendency to begin to come to God in prayer when facing guilt, pain and daily struggles.  And of course a continuous yearning for the perfect moral universe to come when God repairs/renews the tangent universe.

3) A growing selfless attitude, or an approach to life that places Jesus Christ at the center.  Service to others begins to play a prominent role in life.  The default mindset begins to develop, that his or her primary purpose is to glorify Christ who in turn glorifies God the Father. The individual less and less turns to worldly views regarding reality and increasingly trusts the Bible for knowledge about the world (He/she stops playing god and let's God reign in their lives.)

As Bill Wilson put it "God-consciousness."  Theologians might call it "the process of sanctification."  In other words, becoming more like Christ.  Wilson was very severe on the fact that the religious experience was an entire life process that needed to be practiced and built upon.  

Another great Christian man named Chuck Colson also believed that the Christian life was much more than a "one and done" affair.  He firmly believed that being a Christian was akin to relationship, but also about holding a "Christian worldview."  Colson described the process of worldview change that happened in his life after he gave in to God, crying desperately in his car on a rainy day.  That change is an internal change, yet it's also an external change.  The Christian change is different from others in that in affects entire communities.  

Let's look at an example.  Suppose a man comes to the odd realization that UFOs must be real and aliens are certainly scampering about in the bushes.  As a result, internal ideas are altered but externally nothing really changes.  The people at the local diner may look at him funny.  When a man switches over to Jesus Christ, some may look at him funny, but lives are beginning to change around him.  I saw much the same happen when Jesus Christ entered my story.  I had gone on various crusades about the city, calling for political change, writing stories to inspire, but nothing had really caught.  Apathy reigned in general.  But after the Christian change, I noticed others beginning to rally as well.  After two and a half years I've seen a genuine spiritual awakening in central Wisconsin, based around the hard work of many young leaders in this area.  It's a beautiful thing.

We are human beings in need of an outside source of assistance, not something within us, but a force outside us.  We all need the massive overarching deus ex machina provision, the provision of Jesus Christ.  We need the heroic force from around the corner to enter and save us.  That process plays out in reality as the real God entering our stories.  We are in need of a hero, a certain Jesus Christ to help us to become heroes of our own stories.  

Until meeting him we're all playing it down, and living on the outside of our own stories.  We might be working decent jobs, selling vacuum cleaners or shuffling paperwork.  Or maybe we're smoking dope and hiding in lavender white walled apartments on the wrong end of town.  Yet glory and eternity call out to us, beckoning us come and die to self.  We must stop begging for pocket change in the ghettos of our stories, when we can be the conquering heroes.  Of course all for the glory of the Lord of life, Jesus Christ.  But we must first face down the problem, courageously.  

What is the root problem you ask?  The problem is our desire to rebel against God.  The solution is turning to God, and inviting him to full sovereignty of our lives.  Paradoxically from that submission comes the most profound power and provision.  Or as a certain European philosopher put it: When one makes the commitment, from the commitment flows providence.

Our problem goes all the way back to Genesis.  

"Did God really say that?" (Genesis 3:1).  

"You will not surely die" (if you eat of the tree) (Genesis 3:4).  

And of course:

"Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God."  (Genesis 3:5). 

Three lies told by a rogue angelic being.  And they believed him.  Now every person born on this planet is default with those false positions of the mind.  And it's only through a great deal of suffering that we are broken of them.  

Fascinating isn't it, that those three views are so prominent today?  Think about it.  

The authority of the Bible is constantly attacked... "Did God really say that?"

Sin is good, it doesn't matter, there are no consequences, there is no God anyway!  Sex whenever, drugs, alcohol, materialism, do what you want, live for the moment.  "You will not surely die."

Self help, self enlightenment.  Ah, and the New Age movement: We must all wake up to the fact that we are gods and our minds control the universe.  "Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God."  

Red pill or blue pill.  We can go on believing lies, or we can wake up to a hard truth: "I do need God, and I can trust his Word.  Sin is bad (just look at the suffering in the world).  I'm not God, but I can be his friend."  

The struggle of Bill Wilson played out through alcoholism, self achievement, and deprivation... is all of our struggles.  His journey simply magnified the process.  It really jumps out in alcohol or drug abuse.  Yet we can all relate to that process of searching for self achievement, falling short, and being left feeling empty and excluded from something beautiful that we can't quite grasp.  

The spiritual journey hinges on Jesus Christ. We come home to Christ.  He embraces us as his children, adopts us into a new family.

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit." -Ephesians 2:19-22 (ESV)

The promises become a reality, yet so important is the fact of continuing forward in the Christian life.  The daily practice of the faith is vital.  The spiritual awakening must be built upon, or it fades and diminishes.  They call that "backsliding" in church lingo.  Bill Wilson built on his spiritual experience.  He began helping others.  He began studying and learning about faith.  He made amends to those he had harmed in the past.  He made frank examinations of his past, and outlined his character defects.  He dealt with those defects in quality changes, and attempts to practice the opposite.  As a result he became a giant of faith in God, triggering several massive movements, based around the twelve steps which he designed to harness the spiritual experience and build upon it.  

In conclusion, God is God.  We can trust the Bible, from cover to cover, every book of it.  We must trust it, completely, because the world is vying for our trust, in it's false belief systems.  The spiritual awakening that has happened in my life, in Bill Wilson's life, in the lives of Wilberforce, Colson, and so many others; It's open to everyone.  It's open to you.  Simply begin pursuing it.  The apologetics are sound.  The reasonable arguments are powerful.  The expert testimony provided by the greats of history is astounding.  And the magnificent figure of Jesus Christ told of in the gospels is a worthy God to follow.  Most importantly: God is real.  And he has made a way home for us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Believe it.  It's real.  Peel away the false reality, see the truth.  

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 
-Psalm 148:18  

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 
 -John 8:32

Related Posts:
  1. The Information Age & the Christian Worldview: Is God real?
  2. An Appeal to Heaven: The Movement
  3. Who I was and Who I am: A Poetic Observation
  4. Books and the Joy of Reading: George Washington, Helen Keller
  5. Christian Activism: Can Christianity survive the new cultural attitudes?
  6. Ten Great Minds, Ten Controversial Presentations
  7. Noble: The Life of Christina Noble & her ministry to the Children of Vietnam
  8. What is prayer?
  9. Liberty University Graduation, Young People, and Great Minds
  10. How does God communicate with us?

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Information Age & the Christian Worldview: Is God just a delusion? Or is God real?

What does it mean to believe?  What does it mean to follow Christ?  How is this applied?  What is the process involved?  How does faith stack up against the modern views on life?  Is God just a delusion?  Or is He real?

The late Charles Colson put it well:

“It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn't want our success; He wants us. He doesn't demand our achievements; He demands our obedience. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross, a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.”
Charles W. Colson

 Yet many do not believe in any God.  They don't think God exists.  Or they don't like the idea of God.  Or they think all truth is relative.  

I personally have come to believe that God really is.  I really believe that God is actually real, and actually exists and that Jesus Christ was a real person that was born.  I believe, in audacity I suppose, that Jesus Christ was who he claimed to be: the son of God.  I also believe that Jesus Christ, this man, the carpenter, while on Earth did not make a single sin in his life.  He lived perfection, 100%, the only person to ever do so.  How could he?  Because he was God, yet also a man.  

And after living the perfect life, he died the perfect death.  How does one die a perfect death?  Well, for one he must be guilty of nothing.  He was completely innocent.  Secondly, the immortal words that Jesus uttered on the cross seal the deal.  Do you remember what he said?

As they beat him, mocked him, spit on him, Jesus spoke his last prayer to his Lord: "Father forgive them, they don't know what they're doing."

That very simply is how one goes about dying perfectly.  I believe these events were recorded by eye witnesses in written form.  Much like how we get most of our history: through written reports.  I believe those reports survived accurately in the gospel accounts.  Why?  It's very reasonable to believe the gospel accounts are accurate, given the manuscript evidence (over 25,000 fragments) which tend to be highly cohesive when compared to each other (about 99.5%).  

Finally, I believe that after Jesus Christ died, that three days later he reclaimed his life.  I believe that Jesus Christ bodily resurrected, through the power of God.  Aren't miracles impossible?  I don't believe so.  Miracles are reasonable, given an omnipotent God.  If God could create the universe, raising Jesus from the dead isn't really that difficult.  

All of these things I believe tend to go hard against the grain.  That's alright.  I've always been one to go against the stream.  Dead things tend to ride down stream, afterall.  Modern people don't tend to believe the things I believe.  They tend to believe many different things.  Not all, but some.  

They believe in ideas like evolution, relativism, and naturalism.  These are what we might call idealogies, or presuppositions.  They are sets of beliefs, surrounded by facts, not 100% proveable, yet adhered to.

Christianity is similar, it's adherence to a certain worldview.  It's not 100% proveable, yet I adhere to it.  Now I tend to think that the evidence supports Christianity to the point that it can be reasonably believed and adhered to.  I tend to think that Christianity can be investigated to the point of being true beyond a reasonably doubt.  

Many agree with my analysis, including some of the greatest minds in the history of man kind.  Just to name a few: 

Chuck Colson, lawyer, politician, famed for prison reform
Sir Isaac Newton, famous scientist
Jackie Robinson, famed baseball player
Martin Luther King Jr, civil rights activist, Christian preacher
Mother Theresa, altruistic servant of the poor
C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia series
J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings series 
Helen Keller, philanthropist, author
George Washington, first U.S. President
Francis Collins, scientist, founder of the Human Genome Project
William Wilberforce, famed for leading fight to abolish slavery in England
Eric Liddell, Olympic gold medal winning runner
Sir Francis Bacon, known for establishing the scientific method
Galileo Galilei, famous astronomer
Robert Boyle, famous for his work in chemistry
Max Planck, well known for his work on quantum theory

That's just off the top of my head in a few minutes.  This is the part that just doesn't fit into the modern narrative.  It doesn't fit the narrative of the new atheists.  It doesn't fit the narrative told in public schools.  It just doesn't fit at all.  But I never knew this stuff.  I had to research it myself.  

Christianity has very effectively been stereotyped and mocked into oblivion in western civilization.  Why is that?  There must be something to that.  Well, if I were coming at it from the Christian worldview, it would be very natural to say that there is a battle being waged for the hearts and minds of all people on Earth.  And it's a spiritual battle, not necessarily a physical one.

Or as Jesus accurately phrased it: "The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil."

It's a battle of mind.  And there are two primary competing worldviews duking it out in the west.  The Christian worldview, within the realm of Protestant, Lutheran, Catholic, and other orthodox faiths all surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

The apposing worldview over the past 50-100 has gone under many different names: modernity, materialism, naturalism, scientism, and most recently post-modernism.  None of those views tends to be the prevailing mindset today.  The modern mind tends to be highly varied among those views.  For sake of time we'll just call this mindset the info-age man.  

The infoman tends to believe these suppositions:

You only live once.
Life is what you make it.
Science is our best test for what is true.
Believing in God is ridiculous.
I need a good job, a family, and to save for retirement.
Truth can't necessarily be known.
Ethics are relative.
Tolerance is the most important value.
Who am I to say what's true?
Jesus didn't exist, or he was a good moral teacher.

We've all heard those one-liners haven't we?  That is the modern mindset.  It's very prevalent today.  In stark contrast is the Christian worldview:

We are eternal beings.
Life is ordained by God.
The Bible is our best test for what is true.
Believing in God is reasonable.
I need to pray hard, work hard, and live in service to others.
Truth can be known.
Ethics are fixed and universal.
Love is the most important value.
Who am I to say I know better than God?
Jesus is the son of God, he existed, and he lives today.

Is the modern mind correct?  Is God just a ridiculous delusion?  I tend to think the modern man hasn't thought through his suppositions.  

The modern thinks humanity has surpassed any need for God, and charges into the future as a basically good creature ready to claim his destiny as all powerful.  Yet the modern man tends to forget that World War II was only a short 75 years ago.  The modern man tends to think the west must be above that now.  Yet the modern man forgets that racism and racial violence in our country was only 50 years ago.  The modern thinks he has surpassed all of that though.  I guess just recently?  Very recently.  For it was only 20 years ago that somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million were exterminated in the Rwandan Genocide.  Well perhaps man has ascended very, very recently then?  Yet today the sex trade industry flourishes worldwide, including within the vaunted borders of the United States.  

Doesn't quite fit the enlightenment narrative does it?  The facts are plain and simple: humanity struggles just as much today as it did during other dark periods of human history.  The malady of the human soul has not been overcome by modernity, materialism, or scientific and technological advances.  In fact it may be indicated that man has simply found more efficient ways of destroying one another.  

Has science really removed the need for God?  If that's so, then can science explain how the universe could pop into existence from nothing?  Can science explain how time + chance equals humanity, in all it's complexity?  If a bomb goes off in a junk yard will the result be a fully assembled car?  Perhaps we haven't thought through the science under-girding that assumption.  

Are ethics really relative?  Well, 2+2 = 4.  In math 2+2=4.  2+2=5 is an incorrect answer.  2+2=3 is also incorrect.  Math is not relative.  Neither is history.  The United States declared independence in 1776.  To say we declared independence in 1775 would be incorrect.  The same with saying 1777.  There is a simple correct answer, historically.  If I go to my bank account and ask how much is in it, and the clerk says $5.25, do you think she will let me take out $250,000.00?  Maybe $5.25 is true for her but not for me?  In monetary systems, truth is not relative, but objective.  In history, archaeology, math, scientific law, politics, and religion truth is not relative, but objective and absolute.  Why should ethics be different?  Hitler's concentration camps were evil, always, for everyone, at all times, in all places.  Whether Hitler exterminated Jews in Poland or France or Russia, it was always evil all the time.  

The apologetics are quite sound to me.  The science for God.  The history for God.  We've gone over it a hundred times in this blog.  Click here to view some of those discussions, if you'd like to learn more about the reasonable evidences for the Christian faith. 

Let's jump forward.  Given that the modern man's suppositions don't seem to hold up, there is only one direction to turn.  We must turn toward the roots of western civilization: Christianity.  The west was built by Christianity, by it's stabilizing moral function, in Europe as well as the United States.  

How does God come to us?  How do we come to him?  The experiences are extremely diverse.  Paul saw Jesus on the damascus road.  Today much the same is reported in areas of the world like India and China.  Christ appears to them directly.  Yet for many over history, it's been quite different.

For William Wilberforce, it was a ride in a carriage with a believer who shared his faith along the journey.  For Charles Colson it was on a drive home after being told about Jesus, and sobbing uncontrollably until he had to pull his car over because he couldn't see well enough to drive.  For Ravi Zacharias it was coming to faith in Christ after a suicide attempt at age seventeen.  For C.S. Lewis, it was reading G.K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man.  For G.K. Chesterton it was investigating the arguments for atheism and finding them severely lacking.  For the NFL football player Deion Sanders it was winning a Superbowl, ordering a Lamborghini and feeling desperately empty at the moment of his greatest achievement.  For Bill Wilson founder of the twelve steps, it was a bright flash of light in his hospital room after he called out: "If there's a God out there show yourself!"  For author Eric Metaxas it was a dream of pulling a golden fish from a frozen lake of consciousness.  For rock musician Brian Welch (leader singer of Korn) it was being addicted to Meth and reading the scripture which read: "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  For Annie Lobert it was calling out to Jesus for help in depths of prostitution and drug addiction.  For journalist Lee Strobel it was investigating the historical Jesus.  For Mark Driscoll it was walking into a fraternity party and feeling himself stopped at the door by a voice telling him that such a life wasn't meant for him.  For Nabeel Qureshi it was fighting to defend his Muslim beliefs and being convinced by the love presented by a friend who was a Christian.   

And then there's me.  God presents himself in a million different ways.  Naturally an omniscient God would do just that.  There isn't really a set pattern.  It's very often quite different for everyone.  There are many roads to the cross of Jesus Christ.  Much of my work on this blog is to draw roads to the cross.  And to let people know that they don't have to be a khaki button up shirt evangelical to know Jesus.  You can be an intellectual, a scientist, nerd, goth, hipster, indie rocker, college professor, architectural engineer, occupier, libertarian, liberal, conservative, skidrow bum, rich banker, poor garbage truck driver, American, eastern mystic, western new ager, southern baptist, northern materialist, and anything else you could imagine.  God doesn't require joining a stiff church congregation, taking up frisbee golf, or agreeing to be boring or listen to cheesy Christian rock, or convert to being a thin lipped judgmental bore who lifts their nose and says "I don't believe I'd wish to do that, that looks like it might be fun."  

God simply says, come to me and give me your heart, believe in my son Jesus Christ, and follow him.  

He bid me to do the same, in a special way.  He saw me in trouble.  He saw me believing a lot of lies.  He saw me addicted and troubled.  He saw me self sufficient maybe, but entirely empty.  God put a Bible in my hands.  He gave me dreams that made me want to search for the truth.  He taught me how to be a seeker.  He guided me along the path.  And he stepped into my writings, and showed me a way out of the wilderness.  God put the gospel of John in front of me, which I watched, read, listened to, and observed hundreds of times.  Finally it broke through my skull: Call out to Jesus for help.  And I did just that.  I called out to Jesus, and abandoned myself to his care in a very real way.

Then everything in my life changed.  I know it sounds cliche.  But it's true.  

There was of course a long progression to that point, over years.  Up until age 20 I had absolutely no interest in any amount of higher learning what so ever.  You might say I was a materialist, but I wasn't really anything.  I just did whatever felt good.  And screw the rest!  Eventually I started attending college, and learned to love reading and writing.  After daily journaling regarding philosophy and life and reality, and morals and principles and the human condition it wasn't until 2007 that I began to accept that perhaps there was something to spirituality.  I started off as a sort of esoteric new ager, dabbling in whatever felt right.  Tarot cards, zodiac signs, all of that stuff.  It wasn't until 2011, on a quiet morning watching humming birds buzz about the front yard flowers that I came to the revelation that "God is everywhere."  From there I began exploring the various faiths, and then in 2012 I called out to Jesus Christ for help.  It wasn't a short road to get there.  God meets us at many points in our lives.  He is the grand weaver.  And as it has been said: His brush is time.  

The Christian worldview.  It's reasonable.  It's right.  The evidence is everywhere.  The witnesses are many.  I've been touched.  So can you.  And you should.  We should all know the meaning of life: Coming to know the creator of life.  Coming to know the one who made the world and you and me.  That is the meaning of life itself, coming to know the God who made humanity, through Jesus Christ the savior who sets us right, because let's just be real: We all need a savior.  The world is a rough place.  We all need a savior.  That one should be easy to tell.  

Redemption is the meaning of life.  Jesus Christ is the way.  Is it really such a stretch?  Is it really so hard to believe?  We're all hurtling through space on a rock, yet we can't believe in miracles?  We've all heard of the genocides and world wars, yet we can't believe we need a savior?  We've all felt the emptiness without him, yet we can't seem to see that we should know God?   

Pray to God.  Talk to him.  He is available now.  Not later, now.  Talk to him!  Say something!  Begin that journey!  It's worth it.  The answer to the riddle of the meaning of life was not what I necessarily wanted to hear.  But it was what I needed to hear.  Trust me, it's real.  Ask God to reveal himself.  Be a seeker.  Pursue the truth.  He will reveal himself.  Thank you for reading.  

Heavenly Father, I pray you would reveal yourself to the one reading these words, who seeks to know what the truth is about you.  In Christ, Amen.  

Related Posts:
  1. Expert Testimony: The Existence of God, the Problem of Evil
  2. Expert Testimony: The Anthropic Principle, Anthropology, and Historicity
  3. Expert Testimony: the Demise of Evolution, Complex in DNA
  4. Expert Testimony: Intelligent Design, Archaeology
  5. Seven Objections to the Bible and Seven Reasonable Responses
  6. Does man need God in Western Civilization: Young People are Hungry for the Truth
  7. Real Christianity: Clothing, Buildings, Money, & Extravagance
  8. Ten Great Minds, Ten Controversial Presentations
  9. Christianity in the Public Square: The Apologetics & Philosophy Renaissance
  10. How does God communicate with us?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

25 Jesus Images to Share on Social Media

Share your faith with passion and firm conviction.  Share the faith with love and affection.  Share it with quiet confidence and resolve.  We share our faith on a daily basis in person.  But we should also be sharing out faith on social media.  In many ways the Internet and social media have become the public square of today.  Discussions take place, bloggers stand about the roads of the internet super highway giving lectures and thoughts on life.  I enjoy sharing images on social media, like Facebook prominently and also Twitter.  Images have a way of drawing our attention and making us think.  Here are some images I've discovered during my journeys about the internet super highway that I would suggest you share as your leisure.  I do not own these pictures, but I freely share them.  Please feel free to do so also.  

Related Posts:
  1. Christian Activism: Can Christianity survive the new cultural attitudes?
  2. Christianity in the Public Square 
  3. How to trigger a Great Awakening 
  4. What is the will of God? 
  5. Am I called to Ministry? How can I know? 
  6. Quick Fact Sheet: Four Points to Consider 
  7. 10 Answers to Common Questions Raised by Skeptics 
  8. Pray for the World
  9. The New Christian Activist
  10. 24 Awesome Images to Share on Social Media

Saturday, June 6, 2015

An Appeal to Heaven: The Movement

As Tea Party patriots and Libertarians have adopted the Gadsden flag, a new Christian movement with a heart for political change has adopted the "Appeal to Heaven" flag.  

The "Appeal to Heaven" flag was first used during the American revolution as the flag for the first American fleet of battleships.  During that time in history the British empire was the single dominant sea power in the world.  Even more powerful than her ground armies were her mighty fleets.  One can imagine why the small American fleet would adopt a theme like "Appeal to Heaven" as they attempted to do the impossible.  In much the same way Christians of today stand to do the impossible once again.  The political situation in the United States is very troubling indeed.  But a growing movement of culturally and politically minded Christians are rising to stand against the tide of tyranny and immorality.

I've seen some articles regarding the new movement.  There are two books that came out recently focusing in on the "Appeal to Heaven" movement: The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening by Jennifer LeClaire and An Appeal To Heaven: What Would Happen If We Did It Again by Dutch Sheets.  Dutch Sheets is listed as the founder of this movement, and he tells his story in a Charisma Magazine article here

"The phrase “An Appeal to Heaven “was created by John Locke from England in the mid 1600’s.  Locke was one of the great philosophers of his time, he like other English Philosophers were also influenced by the Iroquois in America. "An Appeal to Heaven" comes from his studies on “Natural Laws", a system of right or justice common to all humankind and derived from nature rather than from the rules of society and the only judge is that of our creator. It is in these laws where our unalienable rights come from and the foundation on which this country was formed. The phrase "An Appeal to Heaven" connotes that when all resources and justices on earth are exhausted that only "An Appeal to Heaven" remains. And so is the example of our country when our rights were taken away by the tyrannical acts of King George that we as nation after countless attempts to resolve, Appealed to Heaven as our final judge before breaking ties with the crown.  " Quoted from ATH.US.COM

We find ourselves in a troubling situation in the United States.  There are many problems.  Some of the important ones are as follows:

1. Abortion, the genocide of children, citizens of our country being exterminated because they are considered "not human" while being inside the body of a female.

Solution: Abolish abortion legally.  And culturally re-embrace God's ethic for sexuality, as reserved for the marriage covenant.  Abortion is the logical ethic for people who consider sex as a casual everyday affair.  When a child is conceived, kill it, for the sake of convenience.  

2. Corruption in both political parties and government at large.

Solution: All citizens need to get involved in politics.  This means abandoning the "entertainment lifestyle" many of us have come to embrace.  We've abdicated our duty, and we all need to re-embrace a firm hand in politics.  This means turning off the television, and redirecting time and effort to political causes.  In addition, it means embracing liberty, the Constitution, and jettisoning the idea that government needs to solve all our problems.  

3. God has been removed from public schools, government, and business.  

Solution: The United States was founded by a deeply religious people.  The Constitution itself was designed for the governance of a deeply spiritual people.  When all references to God and ethics are removed from public schools and government, depravity and sin begin to take over.  We've seen the growing immorality in media, music, television, and movies.  This is an outworking of such decisions.  The solution is to re-introduce the Bible to public schools, government, and business.  Does this meaning forcing religious beliefs on others? Absolutely not.  But it does mean offering that option, without exclusion.  Our society has quietly ejected any mention of God from every area of society and study.  This is unacceptable. 

4. The redefinition of marriage to include homosexual relationships.  

Solution: Lobby the Supreme Court and Congress to continue defining marriage as between one man and one woman.  Many churches in our country have already gone into apostasy on this issue.  This decision is still very much up in the air.  But the culture is lobbying very hard to redefine marriage, and calling anyone a "bigot" who stands for traditional marriage.  In fact many Christians have lost their businesses and jobs due to these hateful "gay activists."  Religious freedom is under attack as well, all within this issue of gay marriage.  Churches are also beginning to embrace gay marriage.  Many things hinge on this issue, more than we might realize.  It's important we stand up and speak out on this issue.  Not by condemning people, but by standing firm for our convictions, while loving the people who suffer from issues of sexual confusion. 

5. The Constitution continues to be eroded by Republicans and Democrats.  

Solution: We need to get involved in politics, and recognize that this is not a red vs. blue issue.  Both parties have walked all over the Constitution in the past twenty years.  George W. Bush was just as bad as Barack H. Obama.  Many Christians like to think that the Republicans are the good guys and the democrats are the bad guys.  That is not the case.  There are loyal Americans in both parties, and disloyal Americans in both parties.  Unfortunately the majority tend to serve special interests, big banks, big business, and their own agendas.  We need to be very careful to vote in candidates who support liberty and the Constitution.  Unfortunately the mainstream media can't be trusted to provide us with the proper information anymore.  We need to dig deeper.  We need to know the Constitution, and stand up for our rights within it.  The Constitution was designed to restrain government, and the Supreme Court has often walked on the bill of rights to support it's big government agenda.  All three branches of government have walked on the Constitution, it's our job as the people to restore it and strictly adhere to it.  Our liberty, our economy, our future are all upheld by the Constitutional restraints on government.  

Given these five issues, and many others we wonder how things can possibly change.  There is so much money, so many powerful people supporting the corruption and authoritarian changes happening in our government and society.  How can we possibly turn the tide?

What can we do?  It seems hopeless.  

This is the moment.  The deck is stacked against us.  Big banks control our economy through the privately owned Federal Reserve.  Billions from special interest groups flow into Congress.  And the information media networks have betrayed us, and now support the agendas of big business, banking, and the political agendas of the rich.  Child sacrifice has been legal for years now.  Sex is a joke to kids and adults a like.  Depravity reigns on the television channels.  Alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide are on the rise.  The culture has embraced the LGBT agenda.  Christianity is in decline.  What do we do?  

Our ancestors in 1776 stood against the most powerful nation on Earth.  They faced massive well armed forces.  They faced the most powerful navy on the planet.  The British commanders had the best training money could buy.  Meanwhile the colonies were divided.  The Continental Congress debated the issues endlessly, caught in a deadlock over the issue of war with Britain.  Many colonists considered themselves "loyalists" and actively attempted to help the British and subvert the patriots.  The British had massive armies, and they had even purchased Hessian mercenaries by the thousands to join them.  On top of all of that, the colonial armies didn't even have enough gun powder for their weapons.  Many were deserting.  Most of the colonial troops had no experience at professional soldiering.  Yet despite all of those massive disadvantages, our patriot ancestors had one thing: God.  

They appealed to heaven.  And a new nation was born.  A nation where men had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  A nation that recognized no government has the right to take away anyone's right to due process, freedom of movement, and freedom of speech.  Why?  Because those rights do not come from any government, they come from God.  The United States prevailed in 1776, despite facing the greatest nation on Earth at that time.  The appeal worked.  God granted his people liberty.  And he will again.  

Pray.  Appeal to heaven.  Appeal to God.  He can and does do the impossible.  Today.  Hang an "Appeal to Heaven" flag on your wall to remind you and your family to appeal to heaven for the future of our country.  Pray everyday.  Weep and pray.  Cry out in prayer.  Cry out to God.  Appeal to heaven, it is our last hope, and our last resolve.  God is enough.  In Jesus name, Amen. 

Related Posts:
  1. Christians in Politics: A Brief Analysis of Issues in the USA
  2. The Entrenched vs. the Minimized: Five Paradigms of Western Society
  3. Christian Activism: Can Christianity survive the new cultural attitudes?
  4.  Does man need God in Western Civilization: Young People are Hungry for the Truth
  5. Ten Great Minds, Ten Controversial Presentations
  6. Christianity in the Public Square: The Apologetics & Philosophy Renaissance
  7. The Great American Culture War: Religious Liberty, Gay Rights, Naturalism, & the Christian Faith
  8. Pray for the World
  9. The Topic of Liberty from a Libertarian attending Liberty University
  10. Christianity Falling: A Request for Heroes