Carried By Christ

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. Psalm 139:1-4

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lunch with a Dear Friend - Joy of Christian Fellowship

By Douglas V. Gibbs

I called a good friend a couple weeks ago to see how he was doing.  After the loss of my dear friend Paul, it was nice to reconnect with another Christian friend through whom a few times I have experienced the joy of Christian fellowship.  It had been a long time since this friend and I have talked.  Today, he called me, and we decided to get together for lunch in Temecula.  The lunch was wonderful, and it was nice for both of us to just enjoy the company of a good friend.  I told him that my phone is with me at all times, and he is welcome to call whenever he wants.  He was appreciative.

The number of acquaintances I have is a large number.  The number of folks I consider a friend is a little smaller.  The number of people I consider to be dear friends is few.  Friendship is a special relationship, especially when one finds a friend who shares one's faith in Christ.  The time of fellowship is a wonderful time, and as I told the attendees of the funeral service for my dear friend Paul yesterday, the joy of Christian fellowship is the closest we get to Heaven in this life.

As friends we feel we can confide in each other, console each other, and minister to each other.  With Paul I was being discipled, but now my training wheels are off, and it is my turn to be as bold about my Faith in Christ as Paul was.  We must also, as Christians, recognize when fellowship is an opportunity to disciple, and when it is simply a time for fellowship. Today was simply a time to fellowship. . . to enjoy the joy of fellowship with a friend - a dear friend, who is always in my prayers, and my thoughts.

Friendship is a special thing, and the Lord wishes our friendships to be special, and for us to remember that when it is a gathering of two or more in His Name, He is surely with us.


Douglas V. Gibbs

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Are Gays Going to Heaven?

By Douglas V. Gibbs

On my Constitution Speaker Radio program I encourage listeners to submit questions. When questions are submitted, the ones that have to do with the U.S. Constitution are normally answered on the air. This weekend, in fact, we have two wonderful questions about presidential eligibility and the space program that I will be answering on the air on Saturday and Sunday. However, sometimes the questions have little to do with the Constitution, and more with the assumptions by listeners in regards to my personal positions on the issues.

Perry from New York asks: "Would you kick a gay person out of your church."

Perry assumes that since I am not in favor of changing the definition of marriage from one man and one woman to accommodate those that wish to hijack the institution of marriage as a means of justifying their perverted sexual behavior, I must the kind of person that holds vitriol against the gay individuals themselves. The premise of this question stems from the belief that Christians hate gays, or that we believe that because someone is a homosexual they are automatically doomed to Hell. . . in which case both assumptions are false.

There is only one unforgivable sin, and that is the rejection of Jesus Christ. Acceptance of Christ includes all He has to offer, including forgiveness. A part of giving your life to Jesus is repentance, or a turning away from your sin.

A gay person can accept Christ no different than an adulterer, an alcoholic, a habitual liar, a drug addict, a prostitute, and even a murderer. Christians come from all walks of life, all cultures, and all points on the globe. The offer of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord is available to everyone who is willing to accept His wonderful gift.

Salvation is a Gift of Grace, not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9), so even if the gay person refused to turn away from his or her homosexuality, if that person has truly accepted Christ nothing can bar him or her from Heaven. In John 10:28, Christ says of Christians, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand."

Once a person truly accepts Christ, the Holy Spirit goes to work in their lives, and to please God repentance begins to process through the person's life. We are all sinners, and we all fall short of God's Glory (Romans 3:23), and we are all sinners because of original sin (Romans 5:12), which is why God gave us the Gift of Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16) - for The Father wishes that none shall perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

If an adulterer claimed to accept Christ, but continued to commit adultery, defended his adulterous activities, and brought the person he was committing adultery with to church, he would not be kicked out of church, but concerns over whether or not he had truly accepted Christ would be raised. If his activities disrupted the services, the clergy may even have a talk with him. This seems reasonable, for how can someone claim to be a child of Christ, yet reject turning away from his sin of adultery?

The same would be so with a gay person in church. The person would be welcomed into the family of Christ, but if the person continued to wallow in the sin of homosexuality, and brought their gay lover to church and exhibited a public display of affection towards that person, there would be doubts that the person truly gave their life to Christ. And if their homosexual activity in church was disruptive to the services, the clergy may even have a talk with them.

Surely, any person will struggle with repentance. We all do. Surely, it will be difficult to turn away from the sinful sexual behavior of homosexuality, because the sin has completely eveloped their life for however long they have submitted to the lifestyle. But if the desire to turn away from the gay lifestyle does not take hold, it very well may be that the person did not accept Christ into their heart, but simply went through the motions for show.

Would I kick someone like that out of church?

No, of course not. I would, however, hold them up in prayer, and try to minister to them as much as possible. Out of my love for those around me, I desire that they all find Christ, and that they all yearn to become followers in the way of the Lord.

We are all sinners, and Christians succumb to the advances of sin on a daily basis. The difference is that Christians realize their sin, work to turn away from their sin, and recognize that through Christ our Lord, we are forgiven of those sins.

Perry, I hope that answers your question.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Friday, October 07, 2011

Post-Rapture America

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Flipping through the channels, a faith healer adorned my television screen. After he slapped some woman on the forehead and she dropped to the floor, a couple other pastors came on the screen and promised to pray for you if you sent them a monetary gift.

God is not a circus animal that is supposed to perform upon demand, and worshiping Him is not supposed to be some circus act like you see with these faith healers who seem to place their theatrics above The Lord.

I wonder how God views these people that make a mockery of Christ's Sacrifice.

As a Christian, I believe that the Rapture of believers in Christ is somewhere in the future. I don't know if the event will occur soon, or a hundred years from now, though the "you are saved" forehead slappers seem to think it is quite soon. The Book of Matthew tells us that only the Father in Heaven knows the date and time.

Political and geological events in recent years leads me to think that perhaps the Rapture may possibly be looming in the near future. One of the primary keys that suggests to me a sooner-rather-than-later Rapture is Islamism. The recent increase in Islamic fervor, and a few key events surrounding Islam, have served to answer a number of prophetic questions.

As global upheaval threatens to send the planet into chaos, terrorism has left even the most peaceful states in fear, economic failure in all of the financial systems is becoming a possible reality, a global organization has begun to exert more blue helmet control over various countries, and the world leaders are calling for global cooperation as the people begin to cry out for peace and safety. Nearly all of the pieces are in place. The world is ripe, and ready for the beginning of the end. While considering all of these things, I have wondered what the world would do if on top of all of the crises, suddenly millions upon millions of Christians vanished.

Chaos would ensue as the leaders began to search for a reason for the disappearances. Planes would fall from the sky as Christian pilots vanish from their seats, and cars would careen out of control with no driver. Piles of clothes on buses, in offices, on the streets, and in beds would remain as the bodies rose to meet Jesus. The children under the age of being able to decide about a life regarding Christ will also depart, as will every child in the womb.

The realization that much of the world population has simply vanished will lead to fear, and ultimately global unrest. Riots will no doubt flood the streets of metropolitan areas. Nations will militarily strike against each other, and some people will die just from the sheer panic of it all. And from the ashes will rise a charismatic leader to bring stability and order back to the shattered world. Armies will lay down their arms, and the entire globe will welcome his offer of peace, unity, and social sanity.

Thus will rise the leader of the caliphate, and for three and a half years the world will be at peace, putting the pieces back together, and gaining some sense of normalcy.

Then the peace treaty with Israel, and non-Muslims, will be broken, and the world will once again descend into terror.

Or, at least based on Scripture, that is what I think would happen if the Rapture were to occur today.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Worldview Infiltration of the Church

By Douglas V. Gibbs

While inside our homes we often don't see the interior in the way that those on the outside may see it. Sometimes, if the outside makes observations, we choose to change the inside of the house, despite the fact that we know it was fine in the first place.

The dirt on the ground outside belongs outside. We may sweep the sidewalks around our houses to keep the dirt from getting inside, but we understand that the dirt will always be there. Once the dirt gets inside our houses, however, we normally are quick to sweep it up, and toss it outside where it belongs.

In John 2:14-16 Jesus decided that the dirt on the steps of the house of God needed to be swept away. His passivity gave way to angry expression as he proceeded to sweep the money changers from the steps. “He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple.”

God opposes all sin, but He is especially passionate about it when it begins to infect His house, affecting His children, and soiling the interior of the church.

Internal corruption of the church is addressed by Paul in Galatians 5:12: “I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.” The intense response he gave due to the attacks on the church, and within the church, reveals his devotion to God, and his love of the church. The children of God feel the inappropriateness of God’s house being defiled with the filth of habitual sin.

As a shepherd believes himself to be responsible for guarding the flock, so is He when it comes to when God’s house is trashed and His people are deceived.

The world is of the flesh, and seeks to turn one's eyes away from God. We are locked in a spiritual battle, and the enemy has found a way to infiltrate the church. God's children have welcomed wolves into God’s flock simply because those wolves say that it is fair and equitable to be of the world.

The emerging heresy, though clinging to the love of Christ, has conceded to relativism and pluralism, tossing the standards of God aside for the rules of men, which in turn is leading these churches down a road to serious doctrinal and moral deviations that they bring into the house of God.

Just because someone claims to be something, it doesn't mean they are. Such is the same with Christianity. Believing you are a Christian, and claiming you are a Christian, means nothing if the fruits are not present. Salvation is by Grace, but they will know you by your fruits.

Christianity has been filled with people who think they are Christians, and even seem to seek the love of Christ, but also feel that they can straddle the fence, with one foot in the church, and one foot in the world. This dangerous tendency has reached up to the leadership, radically reshaping the church’s beliefs and practices to conform to the world's view, rather than Christ's view.

The world's view is not compatible with God's view, and instead rejects the central features of Christianity. The worldview searches for what it believes to be a more objective, and universal, viewpoint. The worldview is a secular one steeped in dualism and its assumption of the goodness of knowledge as prescribed by men. Humanity becomes the central feature of the system, and out of that arises a man-centered agenda that works to unite the thinkers, and rejects the standards set forth by God.

The worldview rejects the basic premises of God's Word, presupposing The Bible does not relate a technical view of truth, therefore it must be tossed aside. This is determined without studying the texts, or taking the Word of God as a whole, in context. The assumptions of the worldview's opinion of Christianity are based on using fragments of Biblical texts, out of context.

The worldview focuses more on the historical texts of the Old Testament, claiming these to be doctrinal when they are not. The historical text is present so that lessons may be derived from reality. The New Testament is largely ignored by the worldview, for the clarity of doctrinal passages in the New Testament is more difficult for the secularists to twist. This is not to say the New Testament does not find itself under attack, either.

In order to combat the Bible, today's worldview goes beyond the simple rejection of the text, and actually works to deconstruct the language by redefining the words and reinterpreting the texts to mean whatever they feel.

The worldview of men cannot blend with Christian faith. Faith is not compatible with humanism and the self-gratification philosophies of secularism. Some Biblical scholars, however, have decided to adopt elements of modernism, embracing the unbiblical theories and incorporating them into their methodology of interpretation of Scripture.

Since the worldview infiltration into the church poses serious practical consequences, one of which is that such a view leaves no basis for objective beliefs, or faith, such a system encourages theologians to construct a theology that has universal appeal, eventually forcing those segments of the church to succumb to skepticism or relativism. The teachings then alter, where the standards of truth or morality are disregarded. A failure to define what is normative then compromises the authority of Scripture, and the definitions of what is true or right become blurred.

Once this kind of generic spirituality is introduced into the church, any claim that God's Word is the exclusive claim on what is moral, and the truth, becomes thought to be arrogant and philosophically indefensible. The worldview believes absolutes, as taught by Scripture, to be an unacceptable attempt to manipulate others and exercise power over them. They view religion to be no different than a totalitarian state where the followers must follow the dictates of the church, or be excommunicated.

Of course, the blessings of Grace, and Faith, do not work that way.

Nonetheless, the worldview, in response to their view of any religiosity, is hostile specifically to the objective and exclusive claims of biblical Christianity. While Christians live in the world, we must not become the world, and instead must reach out to those in our culture. This interaction with the world must be on God's terms, and as a result the church needs to do what it can to ensure that we never alter the Gospel itself to fit the prevalent worldview of any given culture, in the hopes of somehow softening the faith for them.

Elements of Christianity are guilty of compromising The Word, while also embracing worldview philosophies, which includes epistemology (philosophies around the studies of knowledge on man's terms). There are concerted efforts to shape the church's teachings and behaviors in the hopes of accommodating the worldview, and becoming more acceptable to the prevalent culture, rather than working to reach the culture. This kind of compromise in the church leads to disastrous results, which will eventually result in the removal of biblical truth, faith, and the moral standards set forth by Scripture.

With no foundation or boundaries in the church, Christian truth or conduct finds no basis for the standards and definitions of faith. Belief in God would then become arbitrary, and any belief or standard could then be questioned or changed at the whim of the leadership, or the followers. A relativistic view of God would then become dominant in the church, where all beliefs would be seen as valid to those who hold them, regardless of the variation.

A relationship with the Lord is different from religion. Religion is man-made, and Faith is God-made. To become a disciple is much more than becoming a simple adherent to the Christian Faith, and finding Christ is a much deeper revelation than finding religion.

The worldview believes that all gods are the same God, and in the end it will all come out in the wash, so why not unite the religions so that the disagreements cease? Allowing this kind of compromise cheapens Christ's sacrifice, and leads to the removal of the foundation and the boundaries for the Christian faith. The Faith, stripped of the Truth, would then have no resort but to conclude that Christ is but a minor character. This kind of worldview thinking is fatal to biblical faith, literally stripping Jesus, and His sacrifice, of the significance He represents. Faith would lose any real meaning and open the door to substantial change in fundamental beliefs. The biblical concepts of atonement and judgment would no longer resemble the biblical teachings that are believed by Christians to be non-negotiable.

The infiltration of the worldview into Christianity strips the Faith of its definitions, the context of God's Word, and the Truth of biblical meanings. The result is a disarming of the church's ability to withstand external attacks, for if there is no fixed standard of truth, lies can have a deadly influence within the Church. Only the willingness of those that recognize what is happening to stand up and continue to proclaim the truth may save the church from this infiltration into the church, and this attempt to alter the Faith into something not recognizable according to biblical standards.

This is not to say that all influences on the church by the culture are not beneficial to the Faith. To recognize the benefits of some cultural influences, while isolating and discharging diverse elements that do not hold in common the foundations of the Christian Faith, the church must only examine these influences through the lens of Scripture. The faithful share many beliefs with the worldview, such as caring for the needy, acting in a loving manner toward one's neighbor, and fellowship. These commendable elements, however, differ when motives and methods are examined, and once again are in line with the standards of God's household when viewed, and put into practice, through the lens of Scripture.

To compromise in this manner, by inviting the worldview to influence the teachings and behavior of the church, is nothing short of sin. Sin on the surface is fun, appealing, and painted with all of the colors of the rainbow, but that does not mean that sin should be a part of our daily walk. Sin is unavoidable. We all fall short of the glory of God and commit sin daily. Habitual sin, however, becomes slavery. Habitual sin is often a sign that the relationship with Christ may not be entirely intact.

John 3:6 says, "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him." The word "sinneth" is used two times in this verse. The Greek tense of the word indicates continuous action, which means the verse could be understood to be saying, "He who abides in him does not go on habitually sinning as a way of life, for if one continually goes on routinely habitually sinning as a way of life he has not seen him, neither has known him."

Anyone who continues to live in habitual sin does not know Jesus, because the relationship with Christ transforms the new believer so that they may repent from the habitual sin. This is true of the individual, but how does one reconcile this when it invades an entire church body? If an individual never changes his nature upon accepting Christ, his soul remains lost. If a church body welcomes a worldview that questions the biblical stance on habitual sin, and the divinity of Christ, the entire church body becomes lost.

"Like produces like" is a biological truth, and it is a philosophical truth as well. As long as the body of the church remains faithful, and places itself in the hands of the Lord, so do the followers. When the body is poisoned with a worldview that is inconsistent with the very foundations of the faith, the poisoned body as a whole becomes ill, and is unable to grieve and sorrow for its sins committed. The compromises of the worldview violates the nature God implants on our spirits upon the reception of His Grace, and for the church to welcome that worldview into the body, the body will spiritually die.

John tells us that it is impossible for a person to continue in habitual sin if God's nature genuinely resides in his heart, therefore, wouldn't the same be true regarding a church body? The members of these congregations that have succumbed to the wiles of the infiltration of the worldview assume they are in the loving embrace of the Lord, and by coming to church week after week they assume they are protected by His salvation, but in the end may not really be saved at all.

The deception of the infiltration leads the followers to believe it is no big deal, and even masks itself as being biblical. After all, are we not to love our neighbor? Are we not to love our enemies?

The Presbyterian Church has voted to allow the ordination of openly gay and lesbian ministers. The church removed from its rules the requirement that all ministers, elders and deacons live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness," allowing the inclusion of gay and lesbian clergy.

The excuse, surely influenced by the Presbyterian church's inclusion of the worldview into its midst, is that they believe such a move would build a stronger church.

The Presbyterian Church is literally allowing male reverends who have sex with other men in bodily orifices not designed for intercourse, and female reverends who have sexual relations with other women, to stand at the podium in God's household and preach their version of the Word of God.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. -- Romans 1:26-27

The worldview influence on the various churches has opened the Faith up to direct infiltration and attack. The church is literally being besieged from within. How can any Christian attend a church that openly and aggressively uses propaganda in convincing their flock that such dangerous sexual behaviors are good for your body and soul? How can any Christian bring their children to a "House of God" presided over by sexual deviants who recruit the young and vulnerable into believing they are "born that way?"

Why are Christian denominations leading their flocks into the abyss of habitual sin, and damnation?

As an individual, the gays may practice whatever they desire, for we do have a free will, as well as freedoms in this country. But just because you "can" do something, it doesn't mean you should, and it is an outright outrage to then try to receive preferential treatment by the government by proclaiming homosexuality is a civil rights issue, or to force the public at large to accept the behavior as "normal," or face incrimination through hate crime laws, or comparable legislation.

To justify homosexual behavior the gay community is infiltrating the education system, the churches, and are working to convince the courts that they were "born gay" so they require protected-class status.

If their sexual behavior is so normal, why the need to justify it through such radical means?

Aren’t some people born gay?

Perhaps a predisposition for homosexuality may exist, but that does not make the gay lifestyle normal any more than it would make it acceptable for a person to steal just because he was born with the predisposition to be a kleptomaniac.

Besides, there are some who enter a life of homosexuality after marrying and having children with an opposite-sex spouse. There is no solid scientific evidence that has established a genetic cause for homosexuality, nor have they found the gay community's holy grail, a "gay gene." There is no DNA or medical test to determine if a person is homosexual. Sexual orientation is a matter of self-affirmation and public declaration. Homosexuality is a deviant behavior, and a self-chosen identity.

The worldview argues otherwise, and has decided to launch an assault against the largest opponent of homosexuality, the church. The infiltration has convinced some churches in this country to condone that which God has called an abomination. God's laws and what he commands us to do, has not changed over the passage of time. God is constant, therefore, the church needs to be as well. The flawed nature of humanity, however, has enabled the church to be infiltrated by cultural influences. It's easier to embrace sin than to live as our Creator has commanded.

Those that infiltrate the church have historically mocked God by willfully accepting a bastardized version of His word all in the name of political correctness and tolerance. Now, they seek to change the church by pushing into the body of Christ their sexual deviancy. This isn't about tolerance. It's about sin. It's about sexual deviants who have convinced their flocks they are above God and that sin is a thing of the past. That they have a "right" to mock His laws and you must accept such blasphemy or not be accepted into their circle of perversion they call church services.

Satan is an artist who paints sin in rainbow colors, and he has sought to compromise God's influence on Earth since the Garden of Eden. He seeks to normalize in human society immoral, filthy sexual behaviors. He wishes to integrate the worldview into the church, and cover this world in a cloak of sin.

God's Word represents truth, and in the end, despite the attacks, the truth will surface.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. -- John 8:32.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Camel, and the Eye of a Needle

By Douglas V. Gibbs

My wife and I were speaking with a woman at the store about dogs, and other subjects of life, and eventually the topic of church came up. The woman said, "Oh, I believe in God, but I don't go to church because I don't want anybody telling me how to live my life."

Of all my years attending church, I don't think I have ever come across a sermon where the pastor told me how to live my life. Very many times during those gatherings the pastor relayed the message of God's expectations from the Bible, not on how to live my life, but on how He wants to have a relationship with me and then it is up to me on how I wish to live my life, with the opportunity to live it in a manner pleasing to Him. In other words, how I live my life is my choice, but if I desire to have a relationship with God, my choices should be in line with His.

It is an interesting thing about being a Christian. I don't consciously try to do the right thing. Whatever my relationship with God is, when I place Him as a priority in my life, I naturally act in accordance. But when I place other things as being more important than Him, then my life and actions act in accordance to those things I placed ahead of Him. Our behaviors are directly related to our "gods." God wants to be our only god, so there are not to be any gods before Him.

If we put another god before God, such as the love of money, then our decisions become less Godly, and begin to become what's best for our love of money. This is not to say that we should not achieve, or that the possession of wealth is bad. But it can't be something that is placed above God. Whatever the worldly god, be it a sexual lifestyle, or money, or status, or the job, it can't become more important than God Himself. If they do, if your primary focus on life is not God, but instead an idol you worship aside from God, then your relationship with the Lord will suffer, and God would not be pleased.

So, to get back to the lady in the store, her reaction that she didn't want somebody telling her how to live her life means that she has things in her life that she places above God, and she doesn't want anybody calling her on it. Now, the preacher is not going to call her on it, but when the pastor relays the biblical passage to her, that is how she is going to take it. She will try to psychologically defend her iniquity.

I don't think it is too much for God to ask to be the number one thing in your life - for Him to not be brushed aside for other things that you worship. The love for those other things can become such that you try to justify them as worthy, as if it is okay for you to worship those things. That is why in Matthew 19:24 it says: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

That verse is not a judgement against the wealthy, but a recognition of the reality that when one is wealthy, one may more easily be drawn into the worship of one's wealth. When one is rich, a whole new crop of variables pop up. Obstacles that are determined to stand between us and God appear. With our human nature, it becomes very difficult to keep God at a place of higher importance when the temptations that come with money are present. It is a difficult road, though not an impossible one.

When I go to church I don't hear the pastor telling me how to live my life. I hear the Lord asking for a relationship with me, and for me to place Him above all other things in my life. . . including wealth.

When my children were young, and they were disobedient, it made the relationship I had with them very difficult. I asked them to follow my rules not because I wanted to control them, or restrict their liberty, but because I saw the big picture that they didn't see, and I was simply trying to protect them. I expected them to follow my rules because I wanted them to live happy and healthy lives - such as with the moralities that God would like us to follow.

Think of it this way; if God didn't love us, He wouldn't care what we did, and He would not yearn for a relationship with us. He would be nothing more than, as the secularists like to say, an invisible man up in the sky.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Wavering Church. . . The World Infiltrates the Church

2 Timothy 4:3
For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,

Folks that time has come. Just look at the junk that is being "preached" in so called Christian churches today. All the people want is what I call "Fluff and Stuff", not the hard truth of the Gospel.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Adam Hood: Jesus Saved Me From Homosexuality

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Romans Road, Grace, and Religion

The Comment:
That still doesn't make any sense to me. If he took the sins of all mankind, that's really irrelevant to each individual. I am my own person. I am not you, or anyone who came before me, nor somehow tainted by merely being born. You are always espousing the characteristics of "individual responsibility", yet are completely socialist when it comes to original sin. Why can there not be a human being born, and live a life without sin, without Christ, and still be "with" God in the after life?

You ever stop to consider that your god has all the characteristics of a human being? Chief among them is ego. God demands his worship. I've seen you say things along the lines that we are even required to "worship" him.

It goes even further than that. All Abrahamic religions have one god, which is a fairly novel idea in the history of humanity, which much preferred many gods. Your particular brand of it excludes everyone else who worships Yahweh, but not Yahweh on earth, i.e., Christ. Even though you and, say, Jewish people or Muslims, worthip the same exact God, you insist that they are to be "seperated" from God because they reject the "salvation" of Christ.

Doesn't ever seem odd to you that you are completely convinced that all of those other people are going to burn in a "lake of fire", or whatever metaphorical language you want to use for "seperation".. even though you all worship the exact same god?

How do you explain that?

I'm sure you know from simple demographic studies that people who identify themselves as Christian are less than the majority of people in the world. I'd have to look up the actual percentage, but I know it's less than 50%. Would you agree with that? If so, then you'd also agree that more than half the people that die every day are going to spend an eternity "seperated" from God.

I've asked you that question in many ways, many times. You always delete the comment. I'd simply like to know how you feel about that? What is your opinion of a god that does that? What is your opinion of Christ, that allows that? Why is that such a difficult question to answer? I'm truly curious about that one.

When you consider the requirement that all must belong to one particular brand of religion, or burn for all eternity, doesn't that strike you as a man-made construct? If you wanted control.. real control.. over people's lives.. their property.. their money.. everything that they are about, would not the cleverest way to do that be giving them the answer to the ultimate question? Wouldn't it be a great idea to scare them into your church?

Doesn't religion (and God as well), seem totally human?

The Response by me:

I agree, none of us are alike. We all have individual concerns. One thing we all do have in common is sin. Romans 3:10 "There is none righteous, no, not one." There is no perfect human. The only person ever to walk the Earth to never sin is Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Since none of us are perfect, none of us have the ability to "earn" our way to Heaven. Our very sin is a death sentence. Adam and Eve were created to be immortal, but because true love comes with choice, God gave us Free Will. Adam and Eve, as with all of us, chose to sin (be disobedient to God). Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned."

God, being a "just" God, requires a payment to be paid for that sin. The payment is a blood sacrifice. Israel offered animal sacrifices for cleansing, for without forgiveness and repentence, a relationship with God is impossible, and the spirit dies - unable to commune with God. We are then, because of sin, to suffer two deaths: a physical death, and a spiritual death. However, Jesus was the ultimate blood sacrifice, and to accept His gift He gave by dying on the cross for all of our sins breaths life into our spirit because His shed blood blankets our sins, so that when God looks upon us He does not see sin, but instead Jesus' sacrifice. Our spirits are enlivened, hence the term 'Born Again Christian.'

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." God loves all of us, including you, and yearns for a relationship with us, but because of our sinful nature, He is unable to look upon us unless we repent and accept the Blood of Jesus as our salvation. This is why He sent Jesus - otherwise, we would be unable to have that relationship with Him. Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

The gift is a simple one. We must simply accept His gift. Acceptance comes with all of it, meaning we must repent (turn away) from our sins. This is not to say we will be perfect. As fleshy beings we will still screw up, but with Christ within us we will call upon Him for guidance, and hopefully live Godly lives. Romans 10:13 "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." It is a two part process of salvation. We must accept it in our heart, and then say so with our mouth. For Christians like myself, Baptism is a part of that proclamation. Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes untio righteousness, and with the mouth confession is make unto salvation."

Remember, however, Christians believe it is a gift. We cannot earn our salvation by living good lives. Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." In other words, you can't earn your way into Heaven, so God gave us the opportunity to gain access to Him through faith. This is not to say that our actions are not important. We can't say that since we are saved we can do whatever. The grace of God is our salvation, faith is the channel, not the cause. God alone saves. Salvation never originates in the efforts of people.

James 2:26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Meaning that if the conversion was true, the works of the person will be more Godly. It takes time, as new Christians we stumble a lot, but yearning to please God leads us in a direction of better works. If our works do not follow our conversion, then the conversion may very well have not been real, making the faith dead.

There is no "requirement" of religion. One must remember that religion was created by man, but faith in Christ is God-made. There are a lot of religious people that go through the motions, but unless they have it straight with God, all of that "religion" means nothing. Therefore, I do not believe people must belong to one brand of religion to be saved - all they have to do is accept the gift of the cross.

As for your statement about God having human attributes, we are, after all, made in His image (spritual image). But His attributes are a little different. For example, when God is jealous it is not a petty jealousy like we experience, but a longing to be our only God, so He does not want us worshipping false gods, be they idols, money, or whatever. In other words, He should be the most important thing in our lives. There is nothing wrong with being rich, for example, but if the money becomes so important that God does not remain the most important thing in our life, we have replaced Him with money (hence the "easier to thread a camel through an eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven" verse you are so fond of).

God desires us to worship Him (does not demand it, remember, we have the choice to reject Him - with consequence) and He created us for that reason. Jews worship the same God, but the church leadership and most Jews rejected Christ as their messiah. The Old Testament is written with over 700 references to the coming messiah, and they decided Jesus was not it. But remember, the first Christians were Jews, and then they were told to spread the message to the gentiles (non-Jews) as well.

My love for Israel is that I love God, and He loves His chosen people, despite their disobedience. Therefore, because of my love for Him, I share His love for Israel.

I have a number of Jewish friends who I talk about Christ to often. They understand my perspective, I tell them about Jesus because I love them and am concerned about their souls. They know I believe their rejection of Christ will land them into eternal damnation. One of those friends jokes with me, says when "Mr. J" comes he'll ask Him, "Is this your first time here, or your second? If He says second, I have some apologizing to do." We laugh at that, but he and I have talked about my Christianity and my tendency to sometimes witness to him, and he says he's glad I do, because he figures if I didn't like him, I wouldn't bother.

As for Muslims, they do not believe in the same God. If you take all of the descriptions of Allah from the Quran and compare them to biblical text, the individual they worship according to biblical text is Lucifer (aka Satan). It is a deep and complex study, so I won't go into detail here, but there are a number of good reads regarding this, one is "God's War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy, and the Bible" by Walid Shoebat (a former devout Muslim, and former terrorist, turned Christian).

It is unfortunate that most people die without Christ. The Great Commission is to share the good news with as many people as possible. Unlike Islam, the act of sharing the Gospel is not to build some big army to control the world, and create a theocratic government - it is simply to save as many people as possible because we wish none to perish without Him. My love for my fellow humans demands no less.

My opinion of God's consequences for those that reject Him is simply that He is a just God, and if there is to be a choice (because of free will), making the wrong choice must carry consequences. True Christianity is not about control, as you suggest. This is not to say that there are people who use religion for that reason. Be it Islam, the Morman Church, Cults like Jim Jones, or Catholicism, whenever men create an organization of centralized power, even in the construct of a religion, power and evil is sure to follow. In other words, big government attitudes within the church is just as dangerous as when such an ideology is used in politics. Therefore, as I stated before, I am not religious. Religion is man-made. I do attend a non-denominational church that is not a part of any conference, religion, or organization. It is an independent church. It does have a loose relationship with the Calvary Chapels, but even those churches are independent. They are connected sort of like the Tea Party groups are - with very little organization, and joined simply by shared beliefs. I believe that God looks down from Heaven and is disappointed in our tendency to make religion. Religion, I agree, is totally human, and can be evil.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Birth of the Savior

Luke 2:8-14 (New Living Translation)

The Shepherds and Angels

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christian Hypocrites

By Douglas V. Gibbs

I was talking to a woman recently at the store because she just had to go out of her way to give me a piece of her mind because of the shirt I was wearing. The shirt has the NOTW logo on it. NOTW stands for Not Of This World, and is a reference to Christ.

The woman walked up to me and said, "All Christians are hypocrites."

Steve May, a pastor I often listen to on KWVE, once gave me the perfect answer to that one, so I followed Steve's lead, and responded, "Yes, we are. We are not perfect, and we stumble constantly in our desire to be more like Christ. We fail to live the life we strive for more often than not. But if you think us Christians are a mess now, you should have seen us before we turned over our lives to Jesus."

She laughed, "So you are saying Jesus is a crutch."

My paster, Greg Laurie, once gave a great answer to that one to Larry King on CNN. I replied, "No, ma'am, not at all. Jesus is not a crutch. He's the whole hospital."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Search of Peace

There is peace in midst of turmoil,
There is joy when eyes are dim,
There is perfect understanding
When we leave it all to Him. —Brown

True peace is not the absence of war; it is the presence of God. —Loveless

Friday, December 11, 2009

When Chuck Missler Visited Joshua P. Allem

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Dr. Chuck Missler is one of my favorite voices on the Christian Front. As a man with an intelligence background, a background in the information sciences, and a background in computer sciences, Dr. Missler discovered after years of deep study that the Holy Bible is more than the Founding Book of his Christian faith. Because of the Scripture's structural design, and so many other properties within the text itself, he learned that the Bible actually showed evidence of being written from the perspective of one who transcends space/time. And this led to a personal adventure of passionate exploration that has never died. He's published several books on the design of the Bible itself as well as books monitoring our current history which seems to be setting up the stage for an event that's talked about all throughout the Bible, and culminates in the Biblical Book of Revelation. Today, Missler's Bible commentaries are a vital part of and are required course materials at Koinonia Institute which is a credited online college for seekers of Biblical education and college credited scholarship.

My good friend, and fellow Blog Talk Radio host, Joshua P. Allem recently had Dr. Missler on his JPA Program as his guest, and the interview is worth a listen. In fact, it is more than worth a listen. I urge you to listen. The program may change your life!

Visit Josh's site, and listen to the fantastic program. You will be glad you did. . .

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Light of the World

By Douglas V. Gibbs

I've made mistakes in my life, and I still make them. But, isn't it great that God doesn't expect us to be perfect? Sure, He wants us to be obedient, but when we foul up, He forgives us. And, because we are a child of God, we are repentant.

My heart breaks for the unsaved, for they do not have that same understanding.

It is by grace we are saved, not by works, lest any man should boast. But if we belong to Christ, our works should follow. And we must remember, our works are our message. If the multitudes see God, and not our flesh, they will wish to know Him.

Christ is the light, and it is our job to let it shine, not place a basket over it.

Deception is spreading like wildfire through the country, and the churches. Only His Word can combat that deception. Only the truth of Scripture can give this nation a revival.

We must take our eyes off of ourselves and pray for the people. The multitudes are potential people to spend eternity with. It is our duty to intercede in prayer for them, and to give them the opportunity to hear the message of Christ.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel, and neither should you be.

Your Christianity is not based on your works. But what good is all the rules of what you should or shouldn't do if your life if it is driven by your attempt to be righteous for the wrong reasons? What good is works if your walk with God is not right?

We do what we should, and don't do what we should not, because those things can interfere with our walk - not because it is some set of external rules we must follow to be a good Christian.

A hunger and thirst for righteousnous is in us because God puts that in us when we accept Christ. It is important as part of our spiritual growth.

The strategy by the deceivers is designed to knock you off your path of growth, and Satan will use any means necessary - including your family, and the enticements of the world.

The world is under the operation of the forces of darkness, which are opposed to Jesus Christ. The world system is in total opposition of Christianity. Doesn't the world show tolerance for all religions except Christianity?

Jesus told us that they will hate you because they hate Him.

The world desires to have us back because the world system was us before we became believers in Christ. Loving the world system destroys our walk, destroys our fellowship with God.

We need to channel our actions and emotions to His glory, not for the sake of rules.

Are you seen as a loving, compassionate person?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Offensive Christian

Many of my non-Christian friends say that one of the things they like about me is that I am not a "rammer". What they mean is, though I talk about my Christian Faith often, I don't try to ram it down their throat every chance I get.

But I have to ask myself, why is it that I am not a rammer?

Finding a proper balance by providing the non-Christian with the information, and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to them on His own terms, is a difficult task. Sometimes I wonder if I am too soft, or if I am achieving a proper balance.

After all, I don't want to "not-offend them all the way to Hell."

The End Is Near, Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

Been a while since I wrote on this blog. My political blog, Political Pistachio, gets the majority of my attention. God is mentioned on that blog often, but it is here that my inspiration is supposed to flow.

I just watched 2012 (movie) with my wife, I am reading book one of the Left Behind series, and on my radio show we have been doing a lot of topics regarding end times prophecy. On the movie front, in the movies regarding the end of civilization like 2012, they always give you one shot of the crazy guy on the corner holding up a sign that reads: "Repent, The End Is Near."

Except, as we enter this current phase of the age of humanity, the crazy guy with the sign does not seem so crazy anymore.

I am not suggesting that something catastrophic as depicted in the film 2012 is on its way anytime soon. What is nearly upon us is something more amazing, and more bone chilling.

The Bible uses the phrase "wailing and gnashing of teeth" seven times in the New Testament. In three of those passages, Matthew 13:42, 50; Luke 13:28, the understanding is that the phrase relates to the lost in the eternal separation from God (Lake of Fire), or at least their condition of regret. The other four relate to another location, of which there has been great debate.

Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30 references the same phrase, of which some would argue is in relation to the wailing and gnashing of teeth of those in God's Kingdom, feeling regret for inaction or sinful actions during their Earthly lives. Others might argue that the phrase refers to those still living on Earth when the End-Times take place. Throughout the birth pains there will be a number of events that will be so horrific that they will cause "wailing, and a gnashing of teeth."

I believe it is possible for all views to be correct. The unsaved in Hades will wail and gnash their teeth because of the anger, rage, pain and anguish. The saved in Heaven will momentarily wail and gnash their teeth because of the deep remorse and regret and sorrow of not sharing God's message with more people. Those on Earth as the End-Times take place will wail and gnash their teeth because of the great horror they are experiencing.

By the grace of my Lord, I am determined to share the Gospel as much as possible. I am not one that desires to wail and gnash his teeth.

In other words, if you think it's rough now as we enter the period of birth pains, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day, Honoring A Debt We Cannot Repay

More Than A Day Off, or a Day for Picnics and Bar-B-Ques

When I entered the cemetery I removed my hat out of respect and honor. The flags were waving in the slight breeze, each one placed on the edge of the plaque of the grave of each fallen hero. The resting place of my grandfather is at the Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California, a location of many graves of brave men and women who gave voluntarily for liberty, and the American Way. Line after line of simple grave makers mark the final resting places of the brave. The graves are alone, yet among their brothers and sisters in arms.

Standing over his grave marker, it brought back the memories of my visit to the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia near Washington DC, my visit to the tomb of the unknown soldier, and the rows and rows of crosses and grave markers I observed there.

My memories also harkened back to the first time I stepped into the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As with Riverside National, I removed my cap as I stepped upon that sacred ground. I read the names in silence, tears welling up in my eyes. The dead called to me, asking me not to weep, for they gave their lives willingly, so that others might live, and live with the promise of freedom.

There were those at the USS Arizona Memorial that were less respectful, leaving their caps on, talking loudly, letting their children run around the solemn place. It made me desire to shout out, "Hey, show some respect!" But I didn't. Perhaps they didn't understand. Maybe they didn't know the price for freedom that veterans like myself have experienced. Perhaps they didn't view the fallen as brothers and sisters, and as heroes that gave the ultimate sacrifice so that our liberty might live.

My grandfather fought in World War II, and though he survived the war to live a long life, many of his fellow soldiers did not. Many of his friends and fellow troops lie in foreign lands. Many lie in graves, much like my grandfather's, in National Cemeteries across America. All of these heroes are owed a debt of unspeakable gratitude by Americans, and Memorial Day is that opportunity to do so.

With the recent war against the Islamic Jihad, and the continuing service of our fine military personnel, yet another generation of those who have proudly served and died in the service of our country is owed our thank you, and deserves our prayers.

Some ask how we can repay this debt, and show our gratitude.

One way to thank these fallen is to pause on Memorial Day to remember their sacrifice, and to thank them with our prayers for paying the cost of our freedoms. After all, our liberty has been bought and paid for with the blood of these brave heroes.

1.2 Million Americans have given their lives for our freedoms across more than two centuries and in more than a dozen wars and armed conflicts.

At the cemetery a small American flag is planted in the ground next to each grave's plaque. May they stand tall, and wave reverently.

Never forget. Keep the faith. Remember those fallen in service to the country, and to preserve the liberty of you and I.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thanking Mom on Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day, 2009. I am the eldest of 3. I married my high school sweetheart 25 years ago, and despite the rough twenty years that began our marriage, in the last five years we have reached a level of happiness as a couple that cannot be explained in a simple blog post.

As the father of two, and the grandfather of two, hindsight is twenty-twenty. I now look at my parents with a set of eyes I did not possess when I was younger. Mom, after a very short marriage to my biological father, married a man that had just finished a tour in Vietnam as a United States Marine. He is technically my step-dad, but he will forever be "Dad."

Mom was an only child, and he was the fourth of eight kids. She grew up in a nearly typical suburban setting without brothers or sisters to fight with, while he spent a lot of time as a child on a dairy farm in Arkansas, and part of his life bouncing around suburban areas in California, nearly as if he was chasing mom during his childhood, meanwhile fighting daily with his siblings. They seemed like an unlikely couple, and sometimes they were. It was mom, though, that always held things together.

Dad worked hard, showing his love through his dedication to provide for the family. Often, that is how men show their love. Mom stayed at home, and though at the time I considered her limited (since my eyes were not as wise and understanding as they are now), I never realized she was more of a mother than I could ever realize.

Dad often worked long hours, sometimes more than one job, and his day always ended with his head slumped back (mouth open) while he slept in the recliner chair in front of the television. His daily labor provided food on the table, and the slow progression from apartment living in rough neighborhoods to a modest home in an outlying suburban area just south of Corona.

Mom was always there for homework, baseball games (practically the team mom every time, even if she wasn't technically the team mom), cross-country meets, and prayer. Every Sunday she ensured we were in church, even if dad preferred to stay home and dicker around the house, or watch the NFL. She bought us Bibles, took us to school, and hosted slumber parties full of rowdy friends from school. She was a referee when us kids began to fight, a detective when nobody owned up to bad behavior, and a chef when we were all hungry. He disciplined us, and she warned us she'd tell him of our misbehavior if we didn't straighten up. Dad rarely had a chance to sit and relax, until he hit the recliner at night, and mom rarely stopped cleaning, mixing Kool-aid, telling us kids to clean our rooms, and cooking to keep the home his castle.

As I grew up in that household, I watched mom with untrained and immature eyes. Not realizing the error of my understanding, I always wondered why mom didn't get a job to help dad pay for things. Most of my friends had moms that worked, and it seemed strange that my mom expected my dad to pay for everything. I saw how much he sacrificed to take care of his family, and mom not only didn't work, but sometimes it seemed like her emotions were always getting the best of her. He provided a great example for me to emulate, but I sometimes wished mom had a little more on the ball when it came to being a part of the big wide world. Her lack of willingness to participate in an ever-changing world that included working moms concerned me. I almost began to resent her, a little, for making the poor man work so hard, while contributing so little to the financial well-being of the family. Sure, she was dependable at home, there for us at all times, and she was the main reason we went to church, but from an economic point of view, I foolishly sometimes saw her more as a hindrance, than anything.

I married at 18, and my wife was a working girl, even if it was a job at a fast food restaurant. I appreciated the help as we began our lives together relatively poor, living in a difficult neighborhood, and struggling just to put food on the table. Because of our schedules we often saw each other rarely, and as a Navy man, when sea-time came, sometimes I would not see her for months at a time. But, we were both working, both contributing, and both happy with our careers of the moment.

My wife was not necessarily a feminist, but I suppose she was about as close as you could get to becoming one without actually being one. However, as she realized our son was needing her more and more, and it broke her heart having him babysat all the time, even if the folks watching him were trusted family and friends, she eventually asked me if she could stop working. At first I was bothered by the request. Was she trying to be more like my mom? Did she not wish to contribute to the economic stability of our family anymore?

I agreed to allow her to quit working, and immediately the changes in our lives became apparent. Our son was happier, now that mom was home, and I began to enjoy a cleaner home and the occasional meal on the table when I got home from a long day at work. Eventually, she got to the point where she was up with me in the early morning hours, making me breakfast and packing me a lunch. It was difficult becoming the sole bread winner, but her contribution to making my life easier as I worked my fingers to the bone to provide, was greatly appreciated.

It wasn't until many years of marriage passed when I finally stopped and began to analyze my childhood. I looked back at my mom, viewing her in a different light than I had before. Dad wasn't sacrificing as I assumed, because he actually wanted to provide for his family, and he did it by putting his best foot forward in every job he held. Mom, happy to do for him, made sure that none of us kids had to sacrifice anything. She made breakfast, packed lunches, and had dinner hot on the table when dad walked in the door. And her emotions were not as debilitating as I thought. After all, her tears she sometimes shed were not of anger, but of love, and sometimes frustration, as life changed, and her babies were babies no longer. It must have been difficult watching the children she had poured so much love and time into grow up, replace her with a spouse, and leave without really giving her a proper goodbye.

Mom provided us with faith-based foundations that included lessons in values, standards, and love. Her strength made childhood easy, and looking back I realize she was a much stronger person than I ever was willing to admit. In fact, to my surprise, I realized that she was the rock of the family. Mom was the one that could always be depended on. Her love and support was like clockwork. Her faith and love a solid foundation for a family that needed her dearly.

My folks are still married, and now for all those years of being there for him, Dad is doing more for her in the form of adding to the house, and buying her the nice things she could never have while kids were running wildly around through the house.

Now, as I watch my wife, and her growth as a wife and a mother, I realize that she has given me the same gift my mom gave Dad. She is always there for me, providing a home, rather than simply a house, and doing for me in ways that I never dreamed she would. We have become friends, cherished lovers, and dependable servants to each other - and it has made our marriage stronger. I no longer expect her to do anything, and in response, she does everything - just as mom did for dad. In response, it makes me want to provide all I can for her, to be a better man, to make her life as enjoyable as I can.

And I think I appreciate my wife more, as I look back at my childhood, because of mom. It was because mom provided an example of what a mom and a wife ought to be, that I recognize how wonderful of a mother and wife my wife has become. And it is because of mom instilling morals, values, and the love of God in me that I am able to truly appreciate all that my wife has become.

Thanks mom, for your courage, caring, and love. Thanks for being a cook, nurse, referee, detective, and cleaning lady. Thanks for scolding me, loving me, cheering me on, and telling dad when I went too far with my mischief. And thanks to my lovely wife, too, for continuing the example of what a mom ought to be. My love for these two women in my life is boundless, and I cannot thank either of them enough, other than to say it is because of them that my life is truly blessed.

Thank you, and Happy Mother's Day.

"She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates."

(Proverbs 31:27-31)

Monday, May 04, 2009

How Would You Introduce Jesus Christ?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Serving The Lord and Reading The Gospel

Warren W. Wiersbe in Chapter five of the book, What to Wear to the War, says this: When it comes to serving the Lord, we should always be on the move and making progress. However, when it comes to the Gospel, we need to be unmovable and inflexible. We need to stand firmly on the unchanging Gospel, for it needs no improvement.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Message of Easter

Happy Easter.

Interestingly, after seeing the cover of Newsweek proclaiming this is no longer a Christian nation, I read an article in my local newspaper today that said two-thirds of Americans are planning on attending church services this Easter. That’s a lot of people who are basically supposed to be abandoning Christianity, if you believe Newsweek.

Easter is one of those holidays that everyone enjoys. The kids love the egg hunts and candy, but Easter is not necessarily about bunnies or colored eggs. Easter is about the Resurrection of Jesus. Specifically, the holiday is about Jesus being crucified and risen again from the dead.

I realize that in these troubled times it is sometimes difficult to keep our eyes on the Lord. Easter, however, is one of those days out of the year that many folks who would not normally look to Christ decide to come to church and worship Him. Some folks are full of faith, and are regular attenders, and that is great as well. But for everyone, Easter is an opportunity to remember His sacrifice.

Today I am looking forward to joining my family and friends in celebration of the gift the Lord has given us. Afterward, we are going to congregate at my mom's house for a special meal, and an opportunity to spend time with some members of my family that I don't get to see very often.

For some folks, Easter may be a very different story for them. Easter might simply be a reminder, like Christmas, of someone who is no longer with them. And with every year that passes, these lost loved ones are remembered and missed. So, for some, because of this, Easter can be a bittersweet day.

Death can seem cruel and harsh. And to be honest, I believe that is exactly how the disciples felt when they saw the beaten, bloodied body of Jesus hanging on a Roman cross on Calvary. Jesus had been betrayed by one of their own, Peter had denied Him three times, and then, in addition to the crucifixion, a Roman soldier thrust his spear into Jesus Christ’s side, and out of it came blood and water.

When the beating heart of Jesus Christ ceased its activity the disciples felt it was over. They assumed that death was the end of Christ.

Imagine the surprise of the disciples when they found an angel waiting for them with good news. The angel said, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him." (Mark 16:6 NKJV).

They thought He was dead, yet this angel had proclaimed He Lived.

Jesus Christ's death and resurrection means that we as believers do not have to be afraid of death. It can be hard for us to accept that our bodies are wearing out, and that death is on the horizon. However, the Bible says we will have new bodies one day. "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:23 KJV).

You see, our bodies are not who we are. They are simply rotting shells. The real me is my soul, my spirit. Our bodies will eventually give up and die, but my soul will live on.

He is the resurrection and the life, and if we believe in Him, though we were dead, yet shall we live.

Happy Easter, and God Bless.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Easter Was No Accident

I remember watching a short film called The Bridge about a man that sacrificed his son in order to save many lives. He loved his son very much.

One day, he took his son to his job where the man was a bridge operator over a river. The bridge had a train track that ran over it, and it was the man's job to raise and lower the bridge whenever a ship came along the river that had high stacks and would be unable to sail under the clearance of the bridge. The son, at one point in the video, becomes trapped in the gears of the equipment as a train approaches, and the bridge is up. The man must make a decision. If he leaves the bridge up, his son survives, but the passengers on the oncoming train will all surely die. If he lowers the bridge, the people on the train will live, but his son will die a gruesome death.

Max Lucado refers to this tale in his book, God Came Near. He reminds us that though the tale is powerful, and a touching parallel to the sacrifice our Lord made for us when He was crucified on The Cross, there is a major difference between the two stories. The tale about the bridgemaster tells of events that occur that forces the man to make a terrible decision when faced with a horrible dilemma. The Bridge tells of an unfortunate accident that forced the man into making the difficult decision of pulling the lever, lowering the bridge, and allowing his son to die so that the many people aboard the oncoming train may live.

As did the man in the tale, God the Father twisted in grief as Jesus Christ was sacrificed on that cross on Calvary. All of the sinners of the world were given a gift through this sacrifice, though most of them didn't even realize it was happening as it occurred, nor are willing to accept it to this day. But the death of Jesus of Nazareth was no accident. God was not suddenly faced with a horrible decision, and had to pull a lever. The crucifixion was in accordance to God's plan. The cross was no accident. The moment Adam and Even used their gift of free will to become disobedient to God the wheels were set in motion. Our Lord intentionally planted the tree from which the cross would be carved. He willingly placed the iron ore in the ground from which the nails would be cast. He voluntarily placed Judas, who would betray Jesus, in the womb of a woman. Pilate was assigned to Jerusalem, Calvary was thrust up from the earth, and the tomb was at the ready long before the crucifixion took place.

Jesus was born to die on that cross.

When Easter approaches, Christians begin to talk more and more about the resurrection, as well they should. It is this glorious event that confirms all that Jesus said and did while He walked the Earth. He is the only historical figure to conquer death, to rise from the tomb and walk among his followers again. Oh, what a glorious morning that must've been. But in the celebration of Easter, we often fail to remember the terrible events that led to His glorious triumph over death.

The birth, life and death of Jesus Christ was prophesied over 700 times in the Old Testament. From Genesis to Malachi, his birth, life, and death is provided to us in vivid detail. We celebrate his birth and resurrection with Christmas and Easter, as well we should. But why is it that often Christians want to avoid discussing the crucifixion?

Jesus was crucified, and without the horror of the crucifixion, the Resurrection would not have occurred. Jesus Christ suffered through agony and pain, suffering in ways that Mel Gibson's Movie "Passion of the Christ" could not even capture in its gruesome depiction of Jesus Christ's final twelve hours. The horror of His death was worse than what the movie depicted, or anything they could ever depict. The suffering was greater than any of us could ever understand. He bore the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future, at that moment in time, and the weight of all that sin was so tormenting to bear that He cried out in torturous suffering, "My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me!"

On Easter, while you are singing during the church service, be uplifted, inspired, and remember that because He was victorious over death, we are saved. But while you are praising Him, also remember that there is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday. Worship Him, but spend time remembering what Jesus Christ experienced during those final hours before the spear was thrust into his side, and His human heart stopped beating.

The betrayal, the cries by the crowd to "Crucify Him!", the beating He received under the orders of Pilate that was so horrid that his inner organs could be seen through the openings of His flesh, the ropes that bound Him as He was led to the cross, the nails that were driven into His hands, the very existence of the soldiers that ensured He was dead on the cross, nor the tears shed by His followers - though each an important and integral part of the story of Christ - were not necessary. They were not necessary because Christ needed not be betrayed, He would have surrendered Himself if need be. He would have driven the nails into His own hands, if need be. He would have died the horrible death, no matter how the events that led to it transpired. He would have sacrificed Himself anyway. It was an act of Grace. A devoted plan of redemption set in motion thousands of years before. The Crucifixion, His lifeless body in The Tomb, and His glorious Resurrection on Easter was no accident. It was a plan set in motion from the beginning so that anyone that so believeth in Him may have salvation.

Pure Love. Pure Devotion. A Pure Lamb for Man's Transgressions.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Is the Lord Trying To Tell Us Something?

Ecclesiastes 10:2 (King James Version)

2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 (New Living Translation)

2 A wise person chooses the right road;
a fool takes the wrong one.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 (New King James Version)

2 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand,
But a fool’s heart at his left.

Fascinating coicidence that Liberalism, Secularism, and Ungodly Ideologies are considered to be "The Left" and Conservatism is considered to be "The Right." Or is it a coincidence?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Message of Salvation

Quote the Bible without full context as atheists do and you can easily paint God as a tyrant. For every reasonable argument you can come up with to defend the Scripture, the non-believer, who is determined to convince you that the Bible is not the inspiration of God, will come back with a never ending list of atrocities and injustices in the Bible. Their aim is to put you on the defensive, and trap you into believing that they have proven the Bible, of which they have misrepresented, and text that you may not have the full understanding of because in many cases recognizing the full context may take more than a casual glance at the Biblical passages referenced, as being in error.

I believe that the Bible is God's inerrant and inspired Word. I study its text constantly, continuously hungering for the teaching the Scripture offers me. But salvation is not dependent on how well I know the Bible, or whether or not I am capable of arguing against the attacks against it.

The message is about Salvation. Sure, it helps that over 25 percent of the entire Bible contains predictive prophecies that have been literally fulfilled (of which is true of no other book in the world), and I believe that Creation testifies to an intelligent designer that could be none other than the God I believe in. But what is most important is that the sins I remain in separates me from God, but because of His love for us, God did the only thing that could satisfy His justice, holiness, and love for us by coming to Earth in the Person of Jesus Christ and taking our sins upon Himself.

Once I accept that gift, and allow His Grace to envelope me, it is then that I understand the Word of God, and recognize that a Christian's Faith does not stand in the supposed wisdom of man, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)

In other words, I am not saved because of the message of the Bible, but because of the love of the Lord. Remember, the early believers in Christ were not converted by the text of Scriptures because the text did not exist in full form, yet, and most of them in that age could not read. They were saved by the spoken word. The foundation of faith is not written on a page, but exists in the person of Jesus Christ who then writes His Love and Sacrifice on your heart.

I am not downplaying the importance of Scripture. I am saying that while the enemy's poison darts are being thrust at you by challenging passages of the Bible without the full context attached, your response need not be an academic defense of a scholarly nature explaining to the poor soul the true meaning of the text they are challenging. The message should be the Cross. Salvation. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Christian Spectacles

In the movie, National Treasure, the characters had to wear special spectacles (The Ocular Device) to view the otherwise invisible clues on the back of the Declaration of Independence. They saw things, because of what they had available to them, that others could not see.

As Christians, in this choatic world of political upheaval, we see things different as well because of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Supporters of the rising global and socialist movements see a brave new world on the horizon. The opposition of the Obama Administration, and Democrat led Congress, sees idiocy and a downward spiral into the very socialism we defeated when the Soviet Union collapsed, and the Berlin Wall came down. As Christians, we see spiritual warfare coming to a head. The end times are upon us, and we are fearful, yet rejoice because The Rapture may be in the near future.

However, because we recognize the work of Satan in a world where moral principles have been abandoned, and people are setting aside personal liberty for the comfort of a strong, central government that claims they will take care of everything, it does not mean that we should, as Christians, lay down our arms and proclaim "It is the Will of God, and these things must come to pass." We are expected, in obedience to Scripture, to fight against evil when we recognize it. After all, the Armor of God described in Ephesians 6:10-20, notice, has no protection for the back - meaning that we ought not be the kind of Christian that exposes our back to the enemy, or runs away proclaiming that the existence of such evil is God's Will, and we should do nothing. Our spiritual armor is not designed to protect us when we run away for good reason. These are defensive weapons designed to confront the enemy, head on.

Despite viewing the world in a way that the non-Christian cannot, we must be aware that everyone is affected by what happens in society. Even though we may see connections to prophecy, or believe we are in the end times, it does not excuse us to accept these things because we believe there is nothing we can do about it. We are commanded by Scripture to combat that which is against God, and to do nothing is the ultimate in disobedience to Him. We must, as Christians, be involved, and battle the evil that is upon us.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jesus' Ministry Was Preaching, Teaching, and Healing

Matthew 4:23 (King James Version)

23And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Repentance and Salvation

2 Corinthians 7:10 (King James Version)

10For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Atheists, Darwin, Ray Comfort

No atheist is actually an atheist. Some of the actually recognize this, and call themselves deists, or agnostic. The question in an atheist's conscience is not truly whether or not there is a God, but whether or not that God is the same as the God represented in Biblical Scriptures.

In politics, this issue rises often, because without a relationship with God the atheist (or deist, or agnostic, or. . . ) has a need to feel the void in their spritual character. When government tries to do this, and be the "god" to all citizens, it comes across a major obstacle. Government can't be all things to all people when God is already filling that role. Hence, the reason that socialism is a Godless political ideology. To exist it must eliminate the competition.

Interestingly, when the "God Debate" arises in religious or political debates, the self-proclaimed atheist (or deist, or agnostic) often responds angrily, doing all they can to discount the very Creator that believes in them and loves them. Not all non-believers do this, mind you. Some recognize the principles of Judeo-Christian teachings. For a few it is just a matter of whether or not they are ready and willing to allow their "self" to die, and be reborn as a believer.

Pastor Ray Comfort, in his latest book (as well as others he has written) has taken the time to address the atheist's conscience. Ray Comfort's book, You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can't Make Him Think (available at, answers actual questions from atheists to Pastor Comfort's blog at Atheist Central.

The book is a "Darwin Day" gift to those people who reject the notion that there is a God out there that loves them.

Ray Comfort is the co-host with Kirk Cameron of the nationally sydicated TV show "The Way of the Master," as well as being a leader in the evangelical Christian Community. His ministry, Living Waters Ministries, is active in the evangelical community and hosts conferences and teaches Christians how to evangelize. Ray has been a guest on news shows like ABC's Nightline debating the existence of God, and now will be on Political Pistachio Radio tonight to do the same.

Come one, come all, atheists, agnostics, deists, and Christians alike. All calls will be accepted, all arguments will be responded to. Join us tonight at 7:00 pm Pacific Time/10:00 pm Eastern on Political Pistachio Radio as we welcome guest Ray Comfort, author of You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think.

Listen Live, or Catch The Archive Later HERE.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Deception Covering The Eyes Of Christianity

Satan is in full attack mode, and the Church is in his crosshairs.

Read about disturbing trends in the Lutheran Church HERE on the Christians Against Leftist Heresy Site.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Christian Nation

When someone says that America is a Christian Nation, shivers go up the spines of non-believers. They imagine that the statement must mean that the Christians desire a theocracy, not much different than the one our founding fathers fled from when they came to the New World from England. Images of The Crusades and Inquisitions appear. These people are unreasonably angry and bitter at God, offended by the very God that they claim does not exist.

It must be difficult to be these people that believe there is no God, or that He is just some force out there in the universe that can be channeled through some mystical, astrological method. But why would someone do so? Why would they deny common reason and logic that proclaims every building has a builder, and all of these miraculous things that make up our universe needed a creator. They would rather believe that the most complex systems, beings, and natural laws are a coincidence. All that we experience happend by chance.

They do not come to this conclusion by intellectual reasoning, however, or at least intellectualism may not be the driving force. The rejection of God is easier to accept for them because then they can justify their sin.

Even Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds in history, believes in God. He once stated, "It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just his way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us."

Of course, there is another driving force behind those that reject God. We have to remember that the battles against Christianity are really not just between flesh and blood. The war is against powers and principalities.

Our founding fathers, save for a few like Ben Franklin, were Christians, and though they did not want our government to be sanctioning any particular religion, as England did, they did desire that the American People be deeply religious. If that was not so, the references to God in the founding documents and writings from that era would not be present.

One last point, and this one is for you non-Christians: Why is it you don't have the courage to whisper to Muslims what you love to scream out at Christians?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Lord Never Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

Corinthians 10:13

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Life has been difficult of late, but the above verse reminds me that the Lord is there, and His Will may be a mystery to me, but He is in control, and will ensure I grow through it. The Storms of Life make us Stronger.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The True Meaning of Christmas

For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall
be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counselor,
The mighty God,
The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christianity Illegal / Outlawed in some Countries

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Attacked by Protesting Gay Activists

I have proudly displayed a "Yes On 8" sign on my big rig for weeks. I proudly display a couple of Christian bumper stickers on my car and pick-up truck. The thanks I have gotten for that is profanity launched at me from protesters, middle fingers pointed in my direction by motorists and pedestrians after viewing my "Yes On 8" sign, name-calling (often coupled with profanity), people slamming their hands on my hood and fists on my side window, and items thrown at me (and once hitting me on the side of the head since I had my window down) by members of the homosexual community here in California.

They call for tolerance as they cry out for me to denounce my faith so that they can justify their immoral behavior.

And they have the nerve to call Christians "haters."

Christianity, based on biblical text, determined homosexuality to be a sinful behavior long before the crisis we now face regarding gay marriage in today's society surfaced. As evidenced by the ongoing push for gay marriage, homosexuality is passing into the mainstream of an ever increasingly secular society. The gay lifestyle is even making inroads within some Christian denominations.

Sex is a creation of God. He pronounced in Genesis that all of His creations are good. Therefore, sexuality is not sinful, and is a wonderful part of God’s plan for a married relationship.

God put a limit on sexual activity, however: sex is meant to be enjoyed in the context of marriage – not outside of it. Specifically, sex is to be enjoyed within the context of a marriage between a man and a woman.

Genesis 2:24-25 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

The sexual sins of homosexuality, promiscuity, adultery, prostitution, et cetera, are sins simply because they do not conform to the limit of sex being a marital activity.

As much as the pro-gay agenda wants to proclaim that homosexuality is normal, or somehow an unchosen part of who they are, understand that God made men and women different, both emotionally and physically. He created mean and women to fit together anatomically with parts that match up. The homosexual is trying to justify unnatural unions in blatant disregard for God’s natural design!

God gave us sex, and the single rule of marriage for its use. To use sex for a purpose outside of God’s plan of marriage between a man and a woman is unnatural, and a perversion.

As a kid I remember when I first read the story of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah and how they rejected the offering of Lot's daughters because they wanted Lot's angelic visitors so that they could have sex with them. I shuddered with disgust at the thought of men being so blinded and twisted by their sinful desires that they would be pounding on the door like animals in heat demanding sex with a couple of strange and unknown men. I understood immediately the sinfulness of their perverted desires, and how, as also stated in Jude chapter seven, Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction was due to their sexual perversion.

Romans 1:26-27 - For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly. . .

I don't think it gets any clearer than that that biblical text proclaims homosexuality to be a sin.

Now, in today's secular culture, the gay subculture is using the media and the schools as their mouthpieces and tools for marginalizing those that take a moral, biblical stance on the issue. As a Christian it is wrong to act out violently or hatefully against homosexuals as has some in the Christian Community (Such as Phelps and his Westboro followers), but that does not mean that we should willfully allow the perversion to take hold in our society, either.

Remember, however, that these people are struggling with this sin, just as others struggle with other habitual sins - and in the end they are simply people who live without Christ.

God gave us his laws for our benefit, to protect us from the consequences of sin. We have free will, and often we stumble, but sometimes our sins affect more than only ourselves. As in the case of homosexuality, HIV and AIDS is no longer exclusive to homosexuals, though still much more rampant and spreading more quickly among the gay community. Now, as a result of homosexual and bi-sexual behavior, the disease is among the heterosexuals, and it places our children at risk as well.

Because of the impact this behavior is having on our children, and the impact it is having on the overall morality of the society we live in, we must not be afraid to stand up and champion the cause of morality. The homosexuals may be using names against Christians like "bigots" and "homophobes" for believing that homosexuality is a sin, but we cannot let their name-calling soften our stance on God’s moral code. The gay agenda can only weaken our stance, or shake our resolve, if we allow it. We must show love, and we must continuously champion God’s love toward the homosexual without condoning his or her behavior.

If Christ's love shines through us, our example of the morality God desires may speak to some of the people imprisoned by this perverted behavior.