Thursday, April 28, 2016

Take a Stand on Key Issues: Addiction, Abortion, & Marriage

The silence of the church on key issues of our day is deafening.  By remaining silent on these issues, for fear of controversy, the church unilaterally makes itself irrelevant.  When it's just a social club, or even a Christian fellowship of worship, well... something very important is missing.  What's missing is true cultural engagement.  The church has the power to be a voice on key issues like abortion, religious liberty, and human trafficking.  Let's make sure we do so.  

These are not easy topics to discuss.  But when we do discuss them, ears perk up.  The most valiant churches of the past took on cultural issues.  Think of William and Catherine Booth of the Salvation Army.  They challenged the depraved culture of "darkest England."  They took the Christian message to the streets.  This very much offended the high society churches of that time.  In fact Salvation Army parades, open air meetings, and bands would be routinely attacked and pelted with rocks.  Why? They were stepping out of the mold.  I imagine to talk of the whoring, or the brothels, or the alcohol abuse of that society was quite taboo.  Most churches I'm sure didn't discuss such things.  They were afraid of losing money or becoming overly controversial.  The Salvation Army protested, they went out into the streets, they went to the poor and wretched those who society carefully ignored.  And they transformed the culture of England.  

Think of William Wilberforce's stand against slavery in England.  Think of the hundreds of thousands of Christian citizens who took a stand against slavery in America.  It would've been much easier to carefully ignore the topic, for fear of losing church members who owned slaves.  But instead they took a stand.  They formed abolitionist societies.  

Today there is a deafening silence, especially in the few dozen megachurches in our society that tend to stand in the limelight.  Lord help us!  They are so often silent on the following topics: abortion, homosexuality, religious liberty, human trafficking, drug addiction, pornography, and political corruption.  Why?  Why do these megachurches refuse to take on abortion or homosexuality?  Because those issues are "controversial" and "divisive."  They know they'd take a pounding from the mainstream media.  They know they might lose donations.  But these issues are at the core of our societal debate.  To ignore them is to render ourselves irrelevant pukes whose religion is a farce.  A religion to be practiced inside the walls of the building on Sunday, but impractical and unapplicable to life in the real world.  Is that really what our faith is?  Of course not.  

We as the body of Christ must find our voice on these issues.  We must find our solid rock positions, based on the scriptures, and stick to them.  That's what it means to be a Christian.  We're called to take a stand.  We're called to know the truth, and put it into practice.

Let's make sure though, that we don't end up taking knee jerk positions on these topics.  It's very easy to say to any one of these problems "government needs to fix it."  That is the knee jerk response.  We need to funnel tax payer dollars, or we need to enforce new laws.  But that doesn't work.  So let's think outside the box on solutions to these issues.

1. Drug Addiction - Why the silence on drug addiction?  Who could say!  Maybe the church just doesn't understand this issue.  Drug addiction is becoming an epidemic.  Personally in Wisconsin and Michigan we've seen communities where ten years ago the only problems were alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana.  Today those same communities have methamphetamine and heroin problems spiraling out of control.  Drugs are becoming a cancer on the young people of today.  The voice of the church must be heard in the realm of drug addiction.

2. Human Trafficking - We're starting to get our voice on human trafficking.  It's easy now, because it's becoming a more known issue.  There was the opportunity for the church to lead the way on this issue, but that didn't happen.  Instead we followed the gang, leading from behind.  The response of society as a whole has been slow on human trafficking.  This is no less than modern day slavery.  And in many ways much worse than ancient slavery.  This form of slavery in repeated sexual abuse, gang rape, sexual violence, and truly a life of unspeakable abuse for those forced into this trade.  It is pure evil.  We must disturb the present, and call out the evil!

3. Abortion - Many have taken a stand on the issue of abortion.  I think we need to get louder on this issue though.  We need more churches taking a stand.  We need to raise awareness like wildfire.  And it's starting to work.  In fact though millennials tend to be more pro-gay marriage, they also tend to be more anti-abortion.  This is a good trend.  Preach on abortion!  Take a stand on social media!  Get loud! 

4. Homosexuality - Oi vey, the great impenetrable issue for the church.  The megachurches are stark terrified of this issue.  The silence is deafening, once again.  Why?  Because we've seen the LGBT mafia strike time and again.  They've shown a powerful ability to bully Christian business owners and public figures into total submission, with the help of corrupt government officials and cultural cronyist big businesses, all carefully framed as bigotry by the secular drive by mainstream media.

The best way to target this sinful practice is not through silence.  And it's also not necessarily through slamming people with Bible quotes.  Actually, the best way to tackle this subject is with facts and evidence.  The facts are clear: homosexual marriage is harmful to society.  Gay marriage culture is not a healthy activity.  It's harmful to the people who practice in it, and it's harmful to culture in general.  There is a great apologetic out there by Dr. Frank Turek.  Check it out on Youtube titled "How Gay Marriage hurts Everyone." We have got to find our voice on this issue, despite the LGBT activists looking to bully and punish anyone who dissents.  The best way to turn the tide in this debate in not by going after gay marriage as wrong, but instead as framing the debate as one between LGBT authoritarianism and the cherished first amendment right of religious liberty. 

5. Religious Freedom - The cherished right to practice our religious faith without persecution is under attack by leftists, the news media, and big business.  The deck is stacked against Christians suddenly.  It's not looking good.  The church has to stand up with one voice and do something.  And keep doing something until we make sure this cherished right is engraved in stone for all time.

6. Pornography - The church is taking on pornography more and more.  It's a wonderful thing.  If you've got the pulpit, talk about it!  Encourage candid discussion.  You'd be amazed to see the statistics on pornography addiction in the church.  Many, many struggle with it!  Even pastors admit to pornography problems.  It's an epidemic.  The church must take a stand.  Keep it up!

7. Political Corruption - The USA is 19 trillion dollars in debt, Christians are losing their jobs for being Christians, children get their bible swiped by staff if they bring it to public school, gay marriage is now normal, the media celebrates LGBT pride, Congress and big business are together to screw over the general public, and we've got get involved in these issues.  We really really need to infiltrate the political system, take up positions of leadership, and lead the country to a sane future.  And we can. 

God is good.  He will help us take a stand on these issues.  We cannot be silent on these issues.  We need to preach on these issues, and encourage discussion.  The church must be the guide of the civilized world in championing great causes.  The church has always done that, at least until recent times.  Today the church is leading from behind, following the coat tails of the secular world.  That is not acceptable.  We must take the lead, despite the risks.  Yes there is a risk of controversy and media attack if we stand on these issues.  But God calls us to take a stand on these issues.  And He will bless our efforts.  Pray for our nation.  And raise awareness of these issues, and their solutions.  Pioneer causes of the future.  The witness of the church is blessed by champions who take on evils of their ages, whether slavery, education, or abortion.  

Related Posts:
  1. A Three-Fold Battle Plan to Redeem Western Civilization
  2. An Appeal to Heaven: The Movement
  3. The Supreme Court, Same Sex Marriage, Religious Liberty
  4. Thoughts on Public Schooling: Should Christians homeschool their Children?
  5. All those who Wander are not Lost: A Study in Nothingness
  6. Kim Davis is only the Beginning: Prepare your Ministry for Persecution
  7. A Cause Worth Dying For: Materialism, Millennials, & the Authentic Mission
  8. What is the Truth about Abortion? Fact, Fiction, Christianity & Humanism
  9. Faith in the 21st Century: The Seven Key aspects of Faith
  10. Christian Activism: Can Christianity survive the new cultural attitudes?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Politics & God: Should Christians be involved in Politics?

Should Christians be engaged in politics?  The answer to that question is "yes!"  Christians are called to participate in society as a whole.  Christians always have been deeply involved in politics in the U.S.A. The founders of the United States were deeply religious people including George Washington, John Adams, and many others.  51 of the 55 signers of the Constitution were declared as part of various Christian denominations

But politics as a category separate from Christianity is a misnomer. If one were to lay out a map of our Christian worldview as a massive circle, you'd see on that map our faith involved in culture, philosophy, art, music, science, history, education, and also politics.
Christianity is a worldview.  It's a way of seeing the world that is completely accurate.  There are many competing worldviews that are incomplete, many of them false and contradictory.  But our faith is a worldview based around how God inspired the writers of the Bible to explain reality.

Therefore, our politics are informed by our Christian faith.  We're called to interact in the realm of politics.  

Many have suggested a retreat into the churches, to solely focus on evangelism.  Evangelism is important.  In fact evangelism is our #1 priority on Earth.  We're called to carry the gospel to the lost and broken of our race.  But up in the top five categories of priority, I would place political engagement.  

Why?  Because politics can ultimately dictate whether we can share the gospel or not.  In over 50 countries worldwide you can be fined, jailed and even killed for attempting to share the gospel.  Or being in possession of a Bible.  Therefore, it is wise to be salt and light to our political systems.  

We're called to obey the government.  But in our system, a Constitutional Republic, we are the government.  Every citizen is tasked with participating in our participatory government system.  Therefore we as Christians must participate vigorously.  

It isn't always easy.  In fact it's downright depressing given the situation the U.S.A.  But we've got to do it.  We've got to protect our Constitutional rights, like the right to religious liberty, or we may find ourselves in a society where we can be fined or lose our jobs for being biblical Christians.  

Here is a list of 10 issues Christians should get involved in!  I recommend for involvement, getting active with the Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action.  The Heritage Foundation is a firm defender of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, gun rights, the right to life, and religious liberty.

1. Religious Liberty - This cornerstone of U.S. liberty is under assault by the progressive movement, in the name of LGBTQ rights.  Many are seeking to quash religious liberty and force pastors to marry gay couples or lose their jobs, same with Christian businesses.  We have to take a stand on this issue, now.

2. Abortion - abortion is nothing less than child sacrifice in another guise.  We're accustomed to it, but it's pure evil.  We ought to fight to end abortion forever.  I'm a big supporter of the organization "Abolish Human Abortion."  But there are many, like the Center for Medical Progress, who took the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives caught selling the body parts of aborted babies for hard cash.  Abortion must be apposed.  And on this issue we're winning.  

3.  Marriage - our society ought to protect the establishment of marriage as between one man and one woman.  The outflow of the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage is going to affect bathroom access, teachings in public schools, and Christian businesses.  It's scary stuff.

4. Political corruption - It's amazing the levels of corruption in our own government.  How can we change that?  Be creative.

5. Human Trafficking - slavery is alive and well.  Sex slavery, which is even worse than slaveries of old.  The church must take a stand, and do something special to help end this horrid, unspeakable trade.  

6. The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East - the mainstream media has been dead silent on the massacre of Christians in the middle east because it doesn't fit their agenda.  How can we raise awareness and lead the rally to help protect these people?  How can we call out the media blackout as corrupt?

7. Media Bias - How can we call out media bias?  Media bias is destroying our nation.  It's killing the minds of young people and swaying untold millions against the Constitution, religious freedom, and frankly, sanity.  The media is wildly progressive leftist.  How can we raise awareness?

8. The Depravity of Hollywood - The filth that flows out of Hollywood, Disney, the media, and the music industry is literally annihilating the minds of young people.  They have been devastated, and are being devastated into false worldviews and sexual obsession.  How can we bring a moral culture to replace this twisted one?

9. The Federal Debt - Our country is over 19 trillion dollars in debt.  That is irresponsible in the extreme.  Let's make sure we're supporting spending cuts!

10. Illegal Immigration - The Federal government and state governments are refusing to enforce immigration laws.  This is leading to crime and massive amounts of drugs flowing across our border.  How can we as Christians support enforcement of our laws?  How can we be loving, but also truthful and wise in our laws?  My great great grandparents came to this nation as Immigrants.  They did so legally.  It was tough, but they managed it.  I think we have a responsibility to encourage legal immigration, not illegal immigration.  

In closing, be active in politics.  Your presence is desperately needed.  Any Christian refusing to participate is abdicating his or her duty as a citizen and even more so, as a Christian.  I firmly believe that.  Our forefathers built a Christian nation that has prospered.  We unlike many nations, including now much of Europe, have the right to practice our Christian faith in the public square.  But if we abdicate our duty and sit on the sidelines mouthing cynical pieties, then we've in effect turned our country over to the lowest of the lowest, the Marxist leftist progressives who will finish off religious liberty forever in their mad quest to generate a Marxist utopia.

Pray for our nation.  Appeal to Heaven daily.  Your prayers are needed.  But do more than prayer: Get involved.  Take action.  And I don't mean over weeks or months.  I mean year in and year out, as an entrenched Christian activist whether in the shadows or in the light, standing boldly for Christian liberty, the Constitution, and this wonderful nation we call our home: The United States of America.  Please, please do so. Amen.

Additional Reading on Politics & God:
  1. Authoritarianism toward Christians in the name of Gay Rights
  2. A Movement of Millennials: The last hope of Western Civilization
  3. Take a Stand Like Daniel: Being a counter-culture Warrior
  4. Religious Liberty: The Great Struggle of our Time
  5. The War on Principles & the Hope in our Worldview 
  6. A Three-Fold Battle Plan to Redeem Western Civilization
  7. Five Political Presentations that will Change your Worldview
  8. The Great Pillars of Society: Morality & Religion
  9. The Illusions of Modern Society and the Gospel 
  10. An Appeal to Heaven: The Movement 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Authoritarianism toward Christians in the name of "Gay Rights"

On the national stage and in many smaller communities we've come upon a difficult debate.  This debate is the clash between LGBT rights and Religious Freedom.  This clash has triggered a philosophical conflict, what many view as discrimination vs. the 1st amendment right to free speech.  

Gay marriage has been forceably legalized by the Supreme Court, overriding the existing laws of all fifty state. This is a case of judicial activism, and sadly with the loss of Chief Justice Scalia, the highest court in the land is in jeopardy. Those in the LGBT community cheered the gay marriage ruling, they cheered "love wins."  What did Christians have to fear? After all, leftists had long promised that nothing terrible would happen once gay marriage was legalized. But just as soon as that victory was won, the attacks began mounting on those of religious persuasion. 

The attacks include fining Christian bakeries, shutting down Christian bed in breakfasts, media hit jobs on religious families, jailing Kim Davis for conscientious objection,viciously attacking Indiana religious liberty laws, big businesses boycotting entire states like North Carolina and Mississippi, idiot musicians and hollywood types pulling their business from states standing for basic liberties, and LGBT activists bullying legislators in Georgia into submission to their agenda.

The chief question is this: Should Christian business owners be required to participate in gay marriage wedding ceremonies? Should mom and pop baking shops and bed and breakfast inns be forceably fined, sued, and shut down if they refuse to participate in ceremonies they consider contrary to their faith? 

Many of us will recall the bakery in Oregon that was fined $120,000 for refusing a gay couple's wedding request. More recently a bed and breakfast in Illinois was fined $80,000 for refusing to host a gay marriage wedding.  There are dozens of other examples in recent months.

The mainstream media has decried these religious business owners as "bigots" "homophobes" and "backwards fundamentalists." They constantly call it discrimination in the press, and mockingly place "religious liberty" in quotations, as if such a thing were a myth. Well, the first amendment to the Constitution isn't a myth. It's law. 

Now, should a Christian working at a gas station be allowed to refuse to sell a homosexual person gas? Of course not. Should a Christian clothing store refuse to sell clothes to LGBT activists? Of course not. Should a Christian taco stand refuse to sell tacos to a homosexual couple? No! But, should Christian business owners be forced to participate in a gay marriage ceremony through baking a cake, doing the photography, or hosting it on their property? Should a church be forced to host a gay marriage ceremony or be charged with a crime?

No, I don't believe so. 

We have freedom of religion in this country. In addition, we have the freedom to practice our faith in all areas of public life, as long as it doesn't physically harm anyone. There are no laws to prevent people from being offended. Religious liberty is a cherished right of America. We are suppose to be free here in this country. We are not like Europe or Canada where equality of action and equality of thought are forced on the population.

We have the right in this country of conscientious objection. If an activity goes against our conscience and/or our religious faith, then we should not be forced to partake of it. But there are many on the extreme left that would prefer to force Christians to participate in these ceremonies or be fined and/or shut down entirely. Many on the extreme left would have pastors forced to officiate homosexual weddings or lose their jobs. Many would force Christians churches to hire LGBT persons even if it goes against their core principles.  If they refused, they'd be charged with a hate crime, fined, and shut down.  Is that freedom? Is that really what our country is about? Forcing Christians into submission? I don't think so. 

The American people have shown more and more tolerance toward the LGBT community. That's fine. Tolerance is OK. But this sort of authoritarianism toward Christians who simply don't want to participate in weddings that they consider immoral is not OK. And frankly its becoming kind of scary. 

Now they're talking about enforcing gender identity views in public schools.  Would you want your child taught that he or she can pick their own gender? They're also now trying to allow boys to use girls bathrooms and locker rooms based on what gender they claim to be.  Does that sound like a good idea?  Frankly, these possibilities are child abuse plain and simple.  Encouraging mental illness doesn't help anyone. 

This has gone too far. The average people of this country can see that.  I believe the American people will wake up to this war on sanity, and put a stop to it. Let's make sure we do the same in our communities.  We must hate no one.  We must love and care for those who are confused about gender issues.  We must help those who feel attracted to their same sex.  We must show love, and offer assistance.  But we must also stand in the public arena to make certain that our values are being taught.  And that the laws reflect American values. 

Most importantly: Remember our country is one of liberty, not enforced equality.  We are free in the United States.  We must reject the notion of hate speech laws, and reject censorship and attacks on people of religious faith.  We today have the right to disagree.  We have the right to say what we think.  Let's make sure that never changes.

 Related Posts:
  1. A Three-Fold Battle Plan to Redeem Western Civilization
  2. An Appeal to Heaven: The Movement
  3. The Supreme Court, Same Sex Marriage, Religious Liberty
  4. Thoughts on Public Schooling: Should Christians homeschool their Children?
  5. All those who Wander are not Lost: A Study in Nothingness
  6. Kim Davis is only the Beginning: Prepare your Ministry for Persecution
  7. A Cause Worth Dying For: Materialism, Millennials, & the Authentic Mission
  8. What is the Truth about Abortion? Fact, Fiction, Christianity & Humanism
  9. Faith in the 21st Century: The Seven Key aspects of Faith
  10. Christian Activism: Can Christianity survive the new cultural attitudes?

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Movement of Millennials: The last hope of Western Civilization

I'd like to tell you about a movement.  It's a movement of young people.  It is a movement to recover what has been lost.  And it has only just begun.

This is a movement toward redemption.  And toward hope.  But most importantly a movement toward the truth.  This is a movement to tear the veil over the truth in our society.  Great things are done not by mythic heroes, no, great things are done by everyday young people who take a stand.  They take a stand, even though they're afraid.

History like anything else is circular.  A pattern emerges for those who can spot them.  Generation by generation events take a familiar turn time and again, there is nothing new under the sun.

The first generation builds an economic empire, a Christian nation.  They stack up their bodies, die side by side to free themselves from cruel overlords.  Again they fight to banish slavery pouring out their blood for the cause of liberty.  One hundred years later men and boys die on the battlefields of this world once again, heaping up their bodies sacrificially with every ounce of strength imaginable to topple the great evil of the Nazi regime.  Not cinema, but reality.  Only 80 short years ago a genocidal dictator nearly took the world, yet he was stopped.  

The second generation builds on the advancements of the first, developing the Christian nation.  They build on the platforms of the first, wisely.  Economic prosperity ensues.  Innovation becomes an everyday occurrence.  Technology blossoms. Diseases are cured.  The people begin to live in real luxury.  They honor God, and preserve a moral structure within the society.

The third generation, having eyes that did not see the victories of the first, begin to systematically eject God from the society.  They don't need God.  They look down on the first and second generation as backward rubes, fools, war mongers whose religion destroyed the world.  Little do they realize that they live in the lap of the blessing provided by such faith.  The third generation is arrogant, rebellious, tired of the status quo.  They seek to remake reality in their own image.  

In their flight from Christianity they embrace the very ideologies that brought the world to the brink a hundred years ago.  They begin to teach those ideologies in schools, and bring them into every academic discipline imaginable.  They wage a quiet war on the faith of their fathers.  They abandon moral precepts.  They develop psychological phenomenon aimed toward liberating the "suppressed human spirit."  They declare God dead, and develop convoluted theories, philosophies, and sciences to explain away God.  They revel in their own glory and build altars to themselves amongst the cities.  

The fourth generation comes on the scene.  This is my generation, young people today.  Some call us "millennials."  The third generation stood on the Godly platform provided by previous generations as they tore down the structures.  The fourth generation is raised up in the lies of the 3rd generation.  They are children of the rebellion. They become the first to truly live out the full entailments of the godless ideologies.  The result is chaos, addiction, pain, sorrow, and brokenness for the fourth generation.  They are destroyed by it.  So a few of them wander, broken into quiet spaces, careening toward the darkness... away from the ruins, and something beautiful happens.  God finds them there.  They discover the God of their grandfathers.

"Millennials" is an interesting name for us.  I wonder, are we millennials of the new age of relativistic pluralism, self anointed gods of the universe?  Or maybe, just maybe could we be the children of God, glorified adopted children, part of the coming millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ? 

There are two roads before us. The first is that of embracing the ideologies we were raised on: modernity, materialism, naturalism, and more recently post-modernism and "democratic" marxism.  We can embrace the unification of all religions into one pot in which we proclaim ourselves demigods.  We can embrace the drug culture, sex, selfishness, gender-whatever, and all of this madness.  But where will it lead us?  The answer is simple, profound, self-evident: This road leads to total destruction, implosion, disaster.  It is the end for western man.

The second road, well, that's something special.  It's this movement we're talking about.  This movement is powerful, because anyone part of it quickly realizes that it could not have come about organically.  It's something that's been designed, and set forth by God himself.  That's the movement.  This unnamed movement of young people.  And it is a movement.  It's happening today.  It's doing the impossible.  Let me tell you about this movement... this movement that I'm a part of:

We are those raised in a society where the truth had been carefully hidden from us.

We are those who have found this world empty and wanting.

We are those who have perceived the darkness within and without.

We are those who have turned to the light.

We are those who rejected ideologies that suited our fancies, or give credence to our debased desires for sex and pleasure.

We are those in search of the truth.

We are those who have found the truth.

We are those who dug through the ash heaps, amongst the broken idols of naturalism, darwinism, materialism and all the rest, in search of an old book.

We are those kin of Josiah, searching through the wreckage of this empire; we have discovered the book of the law.

We are those who have been totally crushed under the weight of our own sorrow.

We are those selected by a loving God to do his difficult work on the Earth.

We are those who have come to realize that Christianity is the truth about life.

We are those who see following Jesus as a systematic worldview.

We are those who have gone back, and searched through history, science, theology, and government, pouring over old books in search of the truth.

We are those so filled to the brim and set a fire by the truth of Jesus Christ that we desperately seek to share it with anyone who will listen.

This is a movement of young people.  This is a movement of millennials.  This movement displays itself in many ways: through apologetics blogs, facebook groups, twitter accounts, at small churches, in recovery groups, on college campuses, in science departments, in academia, on websites and forums, and in politics.  This movement flies over dozens of banners: religious liberty emblems, appeal to heaven flags, the God's Not Dead movement, American flags, Gadsden and Moultrie flags, occupiers and protesters, anonymous activists, churches, political groups, Christian activists, libertarian hedgehogs, Freedom caucus patriots, on and on the list goes.  

We are those who have found the book of the law scattered in the wreckage of this falling nation.  And we're trying so desperately to set things right, to share the truth hidden by the media and secular academia.  

We're outnumbered.  We're constantly censored and minimized.  We're mocked and ridiculed by media organizations.  We're bombarded by advertisements and sensual stimuli.  

We are the exception to the rule of our generation.  We watch our brothers and sisters driven toward depravity, darkness, and hedonism through the mass production centers of public schools, secular universities, Hollywood and the mainstream media.  

We are truly watching millennials, our fellows, being force fed the debased ideologies of the rebellious third generation that turned from God.  They preferred sexual revolution, they preferred Tim Leary drug culture, they preferred evolutionary biology to intelligent design, they preferred secular self help therapy to healing in Christ, and they preferred revisionist history to the true anthropology of man.  

Yet we are rising up, attacked from every side, crippled and broken by addictions and sorrows, yet we are rising up, young people, like me, like you, we're fighting tooth and nail to save western civilization before it's too late.  

Our enemy is powerful.  They are dead set on ridiculing, outlawing and destroying the America their forefathers built.  They are seeking to replace it with an impossible marxist utopia.  Instead they've opened the doors to disaster, refusing to see that their ideologies have left western man addicted and destroyed.  They cannot face that truth, so they push forward unto total collapse.

Yet even if it's too late for western civilization, and it may well be, we have a greater challenge ahead of us: to share the Gospel.  We're fighting to share the incredible true gospel of Jesus Christ with a generation lost.  We're not just fighting for civilizations or countries, we're fighting for the souls of humanity.

We're fighting and amazingly we're winning.  They can't keep us hidden forever.  God's not dead.  He's truly alive.  Jesus is coming again, souls hang in the balance.  Join us today.  If your reading these words, you are the future.  You are the last hope of western civilization.  You are the resistance.  You are the body of Jesus Christ.  Share the truth, share the apologetics, share the real history, share the science, share the gospel!  Onward Christian soldiers, onward. 

Even if it's too late for the declining church, for western society, at least we fought to our last breath to proclaim the gospel, to share Jesus, and to redeem the world.  Don't give up.  I know your out there, hurting inside, burdened for the nations, crying out in the darkness toward God in heaven, interceding for the people.  You aren't alone.  Others are out there, standing strong in their towns and communities.  There is still hope at this the twilight of western man.  There is still a light burning brightly.  Let us continue until He returns.  Burn brightly. For Christ. 

Gideon chooses the 300, via Wikimedia
Related Posts:
  1. Journey of the Christian through the Forest called Earth
  2. What is the matrix?
  3. Living in the Suburban Sprawl (Mountains beyond Mountains)
  4. Ancient Doorways in the Brickhouse: Fields of Green in your Dreams
  5. Depression & Meaninglessness: Where is God in the depths of sorrow?
  6. The Awe of Dreams & the Surreal
  7. Big Picture: The Solution to all the Problems of Earth
  8. What is the meaning of Life?
  9. You Oh Lord are my Strength: The Manifold Provision of God
  10. Daybreak: Examining the Problem of Pain

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

10 Video Shorts on the Evidence for Christianity

These short videos are incredibly powerful.  So many facts have been hidden from us.  So many truths have been pushed aside and minimized by a radically secular education system and media.  We've been deceived, and driven from the truth by a atheistic agenda in our country.  It's madness.  These video shorts will blow your mind.  You'll be amazed.  Share these videos far and wide, share them with your atheist and humanist friends.  Share the facts, share the truth, because the world needs it!

1. The Kalam Cosmological Argument

2. Does God Exist? Four Arguments

3. The Fine Tuning of the Universe

4. The Moral Argument

5. Leibniz’ Contingency Argument

6. Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?

7. Evolution Refuted

8. Fossils and the Flood

9. Does Science argue for or against God?

10. God and Suffering

Consider these facts, and have a change in your mind. Facts are stubborn things.  The truth is powerful, it moves us and demands an answer.

Related Posts:
  1. Origin, Meaning, Morality, & Destiny: An atheist and a Christian on discuss Worldview
  2. Seven Objections to the Bible and Seven Reasonable Responses
  3. Quick Fact Sheet: Four Points to Consider
  4. 10 Answers to Common Questions Raised by Skeptics
  5. Believing in the Miraculous: The Work of Jesus Christ on the Cross
  6. Can you see through the illusion? 
  7. Philosophy, Science, Logic, and History: Presentations on the Truth of Christianity from Multiple Disciplines
  8. No Evidence for God? 
  9. Declaration of Worldview (What we Believe) 
  10. Reasonable Evidence for Christianity  

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Take a Stand Like Daniel: Being a counter-culture warrior in a post-Christian America

Thomas Cole, the Course of Empire: Destruction

The mallet strikes hard wood and there you are, in the defendant chair. A court has been convened, the judge sits high on the bench robbed in black, and you sit there with your defense attorney, terrified. For you know the charge is grave and there is only one penalty: death.

But unlike most courts, where your goal would be to be found “not guilty” today your goal is to be found guilty of a very simple crime. Though you would not die for this crime in the United States, in over fifty other countries on this planet, this crime is punishable by death.

The crime is to be found guilty of being a Christian, a follower of the Way.

If investigators were looking through your legal documents, browsing through your social media feed, if they were questioning your friends and family, if they were looking at your personal conduct, would there be enough evidence to convict you of the crime of being a Christian?

Because we’ll all face this question one day, before the judgment seat of Christ: Were we faithful? Or will Christ say that he never knew us?

Let’s look at 3 categories of how we could look at believers and non believers.

First category, you’ve got your everyday people. They don’t believe in God, they don’t necessarily firmly disbelieve in God, they just frankly don’t care.

Generally speaking they sleep with who they want to, when they want to. If lying will help, they lie. If stealing will get them something they want, they steal. They watch any movies they like, maybe even pornography. They may even use drugs. They gossip regularly, tear down others in private. Maybe they smoke cigarettes. They party at bars and occasionally take strangers to bed. Curse regularly, and take the Lord’s name in vain. Just average people, you see them all the time.

Second category, we have believers in the church. They attend church, twice a month, maybe even hit a Bible study occasionally. But in at least a few ways, they look just like the world. They swear, they cheat, they steal, they lie. They drink too much sometimes, sleep around with whom ever they choose, and live how they want to live. Some call them “cultural Christians.”

3rd category, we have the believers in Christ who are sold out for the cause. This believer is a beautiful thing to witness. Their relationships are marked by love. They are polite and kind. They are careful what they watch on tv, and what movies they go to. They don’t use drugs, or smoke cigarettes, and they use alcohol responsibly. They understand that abortion is murder. They understand that gay marriage is wrong. They understand that how they speak matters. They understand that their conduct before God must be holy, holy, holy.

This 3rd category lives out a biblical worldview. They see the world through the lenses of the Bible. And they understand that daily, they are partaking in a spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of mankind.

Are you really sold out for Christ? Does your life look like that of a follower of Jesus? Or are you more in the second category?

If so, now is the time you can resolve to say: You know what. I’m going to adjust things in my life and get sold out for Christ.

This isn’t uncommon though, many of the parables elude to a simple fact: God is allowing the wheat and the weeds to grow together. What does that mean? God is building his church, and within it’s ranks are many who don’t really believe, they are the weeds. And the true church is the wheat, soon to be harvested.

But this begs the question: Why do so many Christians live like God doesn’t exist? Let's look at some quick quotations:

“If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.” –Robert Jastrow, agnostic astronomer, author of God and the Astronomers

“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” –Francis Crick, biochemist and spiritual skeptic, shared the Nobel Prize for discovering the molecular structure of DNA

“There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all....It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature's numbers to make the universe....The impression of design is overwhelming.” –Paul Davies, an internationally known British astrophysicist and author

"Donald Page of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Science calculated the odds against our universe randomly taking a form suitable for life as one in ten billion to the 124th power! This is a number so large, it is safe to say that the universe did not come together randomly. It was created by an incredibly intelligent and powerful designer." –Charlie H. Campbell

“When you realize that the laws of nature must be incredibly finely tuned to produce the universe we see, that conspires to plant the idea that the universe did not just happen, but that there must be a purpose behind it.” –John Polkinghorne

“It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science, it is only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.” – Allan Sandage

Given that we know God is real and we trust in Jesus Christ, then we want to make sure we are living a Godly life in Christ Jesus. Broken down to it’s core: We’re talking about conduct. And for our example of Christian conduct, we look to the book of Daniel.

Daniel provides us a perfect description of our current situation, and how to respond to it. In the book of Daniel we see that the nation of Israel had been judged by God. God allowed the Babylonians to invade and take captive Israel, and they were forced to live in exile in the foreign nation of Babylon. When they were brought to Babylon, certain Israelis were selected to be brought up in the courts of Babylon. It's interesting what they tried to do, first they gave them new names, and then they tried to acclimate them to Babylonian culture, by feeding them fine foods and giving them fine clothing. Daniel was very wise in his response. He refused the food tactfully, by requesting vegetables from the guards, arguing politely that he would grow stronger by eating vegetables instead of all the fine foods of Babylon. He also did not keep the name he was given, but continued to use the name Daniel.

Daniel was a counter-cultural warrior. He took a stand against the prevailing orthodoxies of the times. We must do the same today.

Daniel 1:8 (NIV) says "But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way."

They’ve got some goodies on the tray for Daniel and his buddies. Maybe some malt beer, some fine foods, all the good stuff. Look at Daniel’s buddies. They’re watching him quite intently. How true is that? For you young people, you’d be surprised how closely your friends will be watching you, especially if you’re a sort of unofficial leader in the crowd. Most people out there are clueless, when they see a pit they jump into it, and bad things happen. But when they see just one person take a stand, it inspires them to take a stand as well. Be faithful in your conduct because others are watching. You could change the entire culture, at your school, at your college, just by taking a string of stands on things like sex, partying, making fun of others , lying, cheating, and caring about issues that really matter in the world. Courage is contagious.

So if they offer you something that just seems too good to be true.. like Daniel: Talk to the hand.

Is our situation so different than Daniels? Something happened in our country. The United States, a Christian nation began to fall away from God. And that falling away has grown, and grown, and really the children of today in many cases are those raised in a worldview devoid of Christian truth. I was one of those young people. Today many Christians leaders refer to the United States a post-Christian nation. And the evidence of that is pretty clear:

Today it’s considered normal to have sex before, during, and after marriage.

Today it’s considered normal for unborn children to be killed. It’s something the Old Testament calls “Child sacrifice.” Since Roe v. Wade over 56 million persons, made in the image of God, have been slaughtered, children, while still in their own mother’s womb. Think about that.

Today gay marriage is considered normal, though the Old and New testament are quite clear that the practice of homosexuality is sinful. You’d be amazed how many within the church can’t understand the truth on this issue.

Today, profanity is considered normal.
Today pornography is a part of everyday life.
Today, it’s all about the benjamins. Money is king.

America isn’t in the process of turning from God, America has turned from God. But there’s still a remnant of the church fighting to stay alive. That’s us.

In the same way, Israel had turned from God. They forgot God. Their leaders were corrupt. You can see this again and again in the Old Testament: God blesses Israel, Israel prospers, that generation fades away, the next generation forgets about God, turns to idols and sin, then God judges Israel, a time of darkness happens, the people are humbled, they cry out to God, God hears them, delivers them, then the cycle repeats. And isn’t it haunting, to see that same cycle repeating to this very day in our own country!

During the corrupt reign of King Zedekiah we see Israel on the brink of disaster. And if you recall, King Zedekiah was the son of King Josiah, who was a godly, good king, he recovered the book of the law from the ash heap and set Israel on a path of honoring God. But King Zedekiah and Israel turned away from God. God finally said, “Have it your way.” He raised up Babylon to conquer and enslave Israel. King Nebuchadnezzar sieged Jerusalem for over a year, and finally he conquered the city, destroyed the temple, and enslaved the population, bringing them to Babylon in chains.

Daniel was among those enslaved, but once in Babylon, he prospered by the blessing of God. And God blessed him because his conduct was upright, and he remained loyal to the God of his ancestors. Daniel eventually became counsel to King Nebuchadnezzar, then after Babylon was conquered by the Meads, Daniel became a chief counsel to King Darius.

He was so good at what he did that Darius, the king, planned to put him in charge over them. Daniel’s coworkers were not too happy with him. So they decided to try and destroy Daniel. But how? They couldn’t find any way to get at him and make him look corrupt.

The scriptures say he was faithful, responsible, and completely trustworthy. But they knew what they would do. They’d find a way to make his religious faith interfere with his service to the king. They manipulated Darius into signing an edict that no one could worship anyone for 30 days except to worship the King.
What did Daniel do? And what would we do in the same situation? Imagine this situation: Prayer has just been outlawed by President Obama. Imagine that situation, or maybe prayer has just been outlawed by President Trump. It goes out on all the news networks, CNN, Fox, NBC, ABC, and they laud this new law as just a wonderful thing. Finally the American people can be free from bigots pushing their beliefs on others. The talking heads on the major networks cheer the news, and pretty soon many of your friends and neighbors are talking about what a great thing this new law is. What do you do?

Do we obey the laws of God, or do we obey the laws of man?

It says in Daniel 6:10 “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”

He didn’t weigh the pros and cons. He didn’t exhaust over it. He just continued to pray steadfastly. He was found to be faithful in his devotion to God, at a critical moment.

Firstly, Daniel resisted temptation. Secondly, Daniel was faithful. He stuck with God, in the midst of a terrible, terrible trial. Recently when I had a surgery, I had a rough time with it. I really, really was not doing well. Got depressed. Imagine what it must’ve felt like, to be enslaved by your enemies. Might you be wondering if God had forsaken you? Might you be wondering if God still even wants you at all?

We stay faithful despite our circumstances. We have to. Our outward circumstances don’t reflect a disdain from God. They reflect the blessing to suffer for Christ.

In the same way, Daniel was faithful. Now, what did he get for it? What did he get in response to taking a stand for his faith? You take a courageous stand for something, you do something really tough, and you expect maybe a bit of recognition. Maybe even a ticker-tape parade of congratulations, and wealth and the respect of your fellows. But that isn’t what this world is like. If you were working for the devil you might get all those things. But we work for the Lord God Almighty. For Daniel’s trouble, he got tossed into the Lion’s Den.

There's your ticker-tape parade. The cold stone of the lion’s den. But the angel of the Lord closed the mouths of the Lions. Let me be clear here: God may close the mouth of the lions when your feet are to the fire. But then again, maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll bring you home to glory. Sometimes he stops the spear, sometimes he cures the cancer, sometimes he leads us into death and darkness, for his glory. And shouldn’t we be only too happy to go to dark places, in the service of our God, who saved us from the fires of hell?

Thirdly, Daniel was truthful. It says Daniel was found innocent in the sight of God. Aren’t we looking for the same as we walk through life, covered by his grace yet accountable for how we live?

The scriptures say Daniel was truthful. Daniel understood what the truth was. He lived the truth. One could say Daniel held a biblical worldview. He saw reality through the truth of God’s word. And he shared that truth. We are called to do the same today.

Our conduct will inevitably flow from the truth, which is our Christian worldview… which includes these truths. We must be so, so, so careful to make sure these truths are at the center of our daily thoughts, and actions.

Fourth and finally, if we are to be biblical in our conduct we must be careful. We must be cautious. Its astounding how easy it is to slip onto a bad path. It can seem so harmless at the moment. And it isn’t until later that we realize we’ve become addicted to a desire we can’t control.

In the book of Matthew it’s recorded that Jesus Christ commissioned his twelve disciples and gave them instructions before he sent them out to proclaim the gospel. One of the key instructions Jesus gave to his disciples was this:

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."

Where the Rubber hits the road: Are we really, actually living it out?

Are we literally on fire to share the gospel? Are we disturbed by the thought of a single soul going to hell?

We’ve got to apply this faith we have to every part of our minds, our emotions, our intellect, our daily life. When we look across the skyline, we must see the handiwork of God. When we look at the faces of our friends and neighbors we must see children of God.

When we gaze into the woods, or upon the mountains we ought be inspired by the glory of God’s creation. When we think of eternity we must tremble with the fearful fate of the many who fall into the grips of hell. We must be set aflame by the gospel of Jesus Christ, to carry the message to the lost in our own community.

Every moment is another chance to live it out, to live wisely, in conduct, innocent in how we live.

So we want to be wise, as wise as a serpent. And innocent as a dove. And ultimately if our conduct flows from the desire to serve Christ, we can be wise and innocent. Someone once asked Billy Graham “If Christianity is valid, why is there so much evil in this world?” To this the famous preacher replied, “With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world? Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is going to make a difference in our lives.”

We must apply our faith to every part of our lives. We must leave no room whatsoever for the sins that so easily corrupt. Radical adherence to holy conduct is what we need, stoic dogged determination.

In closing, maybe there is a sin in your life you want to give up. Maybe there is a part of your mind or your life that you want to turn over to Christ. Maybe you want to give your life to Christ for the first time today.

My favorite words from a hymn by Charles Wesley are as follows: My talents, gifts, and graces, Lord,
Into thy blessed hands receive;
And let me live to preach thy word,
And let me to thy glory live;
My every sacred moment spend
In publishing the sinner's friend.

Perhaps you'll make that your prayer today. Listen to the hymn, pray through it if you desire, click here. Song will also appear here:

Thank you for reading. God is good. He loves you. In response to his incredible love and relationship with you, please honor him with your conduct. We're called to live a different kind of life. I know what the world out there says, and they're wrong. We must live differently. Don't follow the crowd, instead, follow Jesus.

Here is a closing prayer. I hope you'll make it your prayer today. God will be with you always, and keep you spotless in Christ Jesus assuming you honor him in your conduct and remain free from sin. This is quite achievable in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lord God of Heaven and Earth, we thank you that you’ve empowered us to live in holiness. We thank you Lord that you’ve provided for us the ability to be faithful, truthful, and careful in our daily lives. We ask for your strength, your Holy Spirit to be with us, and your savior to uplift us. We ask that you consecrate us to your cause today, so that you may have our whole hearts, not just some of us. Help us to be courageous and hopeful for the future. Help us to be the sold out, radical, dedicated disciples you would have us be in Jesus name, Amen.

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  3. The Heart & Mind of Humanity: Reflections on Suffering
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  5. A Cause Worth Dying For: Materialism, Millennials, and the Radical Mission
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Friday, April 8, 2016

Religious Liberty: The Great Struggle of our Time

Part of the Oscar Straus Memorial in Washington, D.C. honoring the right to worship.
"Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom & no such thing as publick liberty without freedom of speech", Benjamin Franklin, 1722.
Our country was founded on the belief that we have the freedom to disagree with one another. That simple edict is not present in most civilized societies to this day. Many tend to assume free speech exists in Europe, Canada, etc, but that simply isn't true. In most other countries, if you say the wrong thing, say about Islam, or about marriage, or other contentious issues, you face the possibility of being fined tens of thousands of dollars, or being charged with a crime.

I'll be brief.  We're losing a vital freedom, a freedom that is dissolving across the face of the planet.  That freedom is the freedom to practice religious faith in the public arena.  

We're got to take a stand now, today, before it's too late. The last standing nations that still hold a certain amount of religious liberty are the United States and the United Kingdom.  But the United Kingdom is cracking down, just like France, and most other European nations.  Canada is also cracking down on religious liberty, and free speech itself.  

Hate speech laws are being enacted.  Who decides what is hate speech?  Well, hate speech may quickly become the core tenants of the Christian faith.  Or maybe in the future, the core tenants of any philosophy or ideology that disagrees with those in power?  This process can be seen in accelerated form on college campuses.

This isn't simply a Christian issue.  It's an issue of freedom of thought and word.  That freedom is cherished.  But social justice warriors don't mind knocking over the core pillars of our society as long as they can push forward their agenda of forced equality on all levels.  It's an authoritarian push, not really about LGBT rights, but at it's core about pushing a radical secular agenda based on transforming America into a European style Marxist utopia. 

It's a dangerous situation.  Thankfully there are organizations like Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Institute, Family Research Institute, and other groups willing to take a stand.  Thankfully we have the Media Research Institute to call out media bias.  Thankfully we also have some news sites willing to stand with us, like the Daily Signal, Conservative Review, and Life Site News.  Notice how the biggest names are missing?  The mainstream media in our country is radically secular, and consistently attack religious liberty as "bigotry" and "discrimination."

We have many supporters in radio as well, like the Mark Levin Show, The Ben Shapiro Show, and Louder with Steven Crowder.

Thankfully also, recently a movie came out called God's Not Dead 2.  This movie attempts to shine a light on the issue of religious liberty.  We need to raise our voices, and join the movement for religious freedom.

I've been amazed by the power and wealth of our adversaries.  Here are some of their names, those who support ministers being forced to officiate gay weddings or lose their jobs.  These businesses support Christian owned bakeries being shut down and fined tens of thousands of dollars if they refuse to service homosexual weddings.  These businesses are making war on states like Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina which have attempted to enact common sense legislation to protect religious liberty and keep boys out of girls bathrooms.  They are pulling their funding and businesses from these states in protest.  I think you'll be amazed who is on this list:

Wells Fargo
21st Century Fox
Time Warner
General Electric

Those are just a few.  There are two lists I'm aware of, a list of eighty businesses and another including over 120 businesses that have raised their voice against North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, South Dakota, and others.  I was shocked when I discovered the list of businesses making war on religious liberty.  I had no idea so many massive businesses were willing to make war on Christianity practiced in the public square.  It's truly disturbing.  

Consider becoming a faith driven consumer.  Every dollar we spend is a vote.  It's a piece of support.  Let's make sure we're spending money in institutions that support our values.  Visit Faith Driven Consumer to learn more.   

It's my firm view that we need to put pressure on these businesses to make decisions that reflect our values as Christians.  We have a great deal of power, if we'd realize it.  These businesses need to understand our resolve, and that we value our religious freedoms enough to fight tooth and nail for them. 

Conscientious objection and refusing to participate in LGBTQ ceremonies is not discrimination.  Businesses must have the freedom to deny services in situations where their moral beliefs are severely entangled.  Does that mean denying basic services like purchasing products or access to basic services?  Of course not.  But when accessing services requires participation in morally reprehensible activities then the religious business owner must be allowed at least some rights regarding participation.  

I recall a story that Dinesh D'Souza told about his movie 2016: Obama's America.  Costco at first refused to carry the movie.  D'Souza spoke out about it.  But he didn't take any direct action.  The word got out to the conservative community, and activists took action, calling Costco, tweeting to their accounts, emailing them, and protesting.  D'Souza had hardly done a thing.  But he got a call from Costco and he ended up walking into a room where he met the owner of Costco who looked D'Souza in the eyes and said,"Dinesh, you are destroying Costco!"

That is the kind of power we have.  We need to put pressure on these businesses.  Then they will rethink their attacks on religious liberty.  

I promised to be brief, so I'll conclude by saying this: The time is now to take a stand for your Christian faith.  It's time to take a stand for your Constitutional rights.  It's time to stand for religious liberty and conscientious objection.  It's time to get educated on these issues.  It's time to raise our voice in our communities, to our representatives, and on social media.  But it's important to remember: We're in it for the long haul.  Don't expect short term results.  Instead, dedicate your life to the service of these causes.  Fight not over days or weeks, but over years and decades.  We need to dig in, and fight for our values in the long term. 

The forces arrayed against us are massive and powerful, with deep pockets, so donate to Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Media Research Center.  And become an activist with the Heritage Action Sentinel Program.  It's time a stand for freedom, religious liberty, and the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Get educated on the Constitution, take a free course at Hillsdale College online. 

Let us assemble a coalition of businesses who will stand with us.  Let us assemble a coalition of charities for religious liberty.  And let us assemble a coalition of politicians and news media willing to stand for religious liberty.  The enemy is arrayed against us, pushing their authoritarian agenda at all levels.  We must stand like lions, charged with the fire of the Holy Spirit, in the authority of Jesus Christ, to stand against the night and make battle on the gates of hell. 

We must look upon the great struggles and act accordingly.  But don't stare too unflinchingly.  I often see the corruption, the horrors and evils of this dark struggle, and my heart laments bitterly.  Such is an easy thing to do. There is much evil outside of us and even more, there is much evil within us. So we must mind our focus. We must focus our eyes upon Jesus Christ, the glorious perfecter of our faith. If I look upon the world I become afraid, if I look upon Jesus Christ I am at peace. What a struggle to keep that focus; but we must be careful to remain filled with the real hope found in Jesus Christ our savior.  All is well with the Lord and one day soon that wellness will be the rule, not the exception.  Until that day, God be with you.

“Indifference, timidity, compromise, and nonresistance are all ruled out as options for Christians when the gospel is under attack.” –John MacArthur, The Truth War, p. xxv

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