Monday, October 5, 2020

We All Have Unclean Hands



Jesus said to them,  “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him...Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled? ( Thus he declared all foods clean.).....What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” - Mark 7:14-23 (ESV)

Jesus was exposing how the religious leaders of the time were putting man made rules as more important than God’s will as revealed in the Scriptures. Jesus and his disciples were handling many sick people at this time because people from all of the region were bring Jesus people that needed healed. They would have been touching many “unclean” people.

Jesus was teaching people unwashed hands cannot defile you or make you unexceptable to God. Nothing from the outside makes us unclean before God

It is the heart of humans that producers all manner of evil and wickedness an unclean ness. 

Jeremiah 17:9 the heart is deceitful above all things  and desperately sick

Where do we start in order to understanding what is broken in our world. How do we diagnose what is wrecked in ourselves and our culture? 

We always start inside the scripture and we work our way out. In the Scriptures we have the doctrine of sin and Jesus is just unpacked it for us. 

It’s not about what’s out there. It’s about what’s inside our heart. 

Every nation, tribe, people group, political party, institution, organization and man made system is populated by broken people who have sinful hearts were every form of sin comes from as defined by God in His Word.  

Even the best laid man made plans and philosophies are tainted by the sinful hearts of humans. This is the major difference between how fallen humans view the world and how the gospel explains the world. 

The new buzz words in our culture today are systematic or structural. These words are used to craft a certain political cultural narrative. We don’t wanna start out from sociology books. We start from within the scripture and work out. 

Sin is systematic in every individual human heart therefore because we are all sinners we carry sin into every social space. The closest social space we have is marriage. The husband and wife each bring their own sin into it and they have to deal with it. Every social space from a home to a nation is filled with sinful people that sin. These sins infect and pervade these social spaces. Some people want to emphasize one sin over another. Some people want to redefine sin in order to justify sin. The gospel tells us that the human condition is not just about one sin but the virus of Sin that produces every other individual sin. This is the doctrine of Sin. 

The wisdoms of the world try to tell us humanity is basically good. If so why do we have so many laws? The gospel of the kingdom of God tell us that humanity is not basically good. The law exposes this truth.

It’s not about political social structures were humanity is defined as basically good and these social structures that people live in are the bad things. 

No, the Bible tells us that these social structures are a wreck because people occupy these social structures and people bring sin into them and sin corrupts. Worldly political ideologies systems blame other worldly political ideologies for the brokenness and suffering of humanity and each system doesn’t want to take responsibility for the brokenness but the Bible says no way. The gospel says each individual is responsible for the brokenness. We are the sinners. Our hearts need to be fixed. Laws can’t fix the sinful human heart. 

Its not about deconstructing one human made social structure and replacing it with another human made social structure. It’s not one worldly political ideology social structure overthrowing another worldly political ideologies social structure that brings about effecting lasting change. 

The way the culture is changed is about the hearts of individuals being changed from the inside out. That’s the gospel. Evil is bond up in the heart. It’s not about the oppressor verses the oppressed. Why because the oppressed are just a wicked as the oppressors. They both suffer from the same condition, Sin.

That’s why the gospel is the only cure. It’s not a man made natural cure. It’s our Creator supernatural cure in the person and work of Jesus Christ. 

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, - Ephesians 1:7 .

The Truth About Critical Race Theory

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-truth-about-critical-race-theory-11601841968



Monday, September 28, 2020

The New Control Word is ‘Health’

 


The New Control Word is ‘Health’

Sep 25, 2020 by Gary DeMar


There are different ways to control people. Rarely do you find a tyrant begin by lining up people in front of a ditch and executing them. Many small steps led to the final solution. At first, the Jews were denigrated by being forced to wear a badge that identified them as Jews. Then they were publicly maligned:


Nazi propagandists exploited pre-existing images and stereotypes to give a false portrayal of Jews. In this false view, Jews were an “alien race” that fed off the host nation, poisoned its culture, seized its economy, and enslaved its workers and farmers… Germans viewed as genetically inferior and harmful to “national health,” such as people with mental illness and intellectual or physical disabilities [were to be eliminated].


For the Nazis, it was all about “national health.” Jews were compared to rats that carry contagious diseases. What do you do with rats? Exterminate them!


Presently in the United States, physical health is being used as a control agent. Long before the news hit about a virus that originated in China, government officials were passing laws to control our health.


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented a plan to keep large sugary drinks out of restaurants and other eateries. Sounds harmless. Fortunately, a state appeals court ruled that Bloomberg “had overstepped his authority in trying to impose the ban.”

 

Even so, government officials keep trying.


The latest example of a government using the health argument to control people is coming from Berkeley, California, once the home of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s. See if you can spot the sinister detail in the new law:


Berkeley is gearing up to become the first city in the nation to ban junk food from the checkout line in grocery stores. In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council passed the “healthy checkout” ordinance.


Come March 2021, when the measure is set to take effect, large grocery stores in the California city will be prohibited from selling food and beverages deemed unhealthy in a 3-foot radius from the checkout. “It’s not really a ban, it’s a nudge,” co-sponsor of the ordinance Council member Kate Harrison told FOX Business. “What we have discovered is that this law enforces good behavioral economics and facilitates better choices.”


That last line should send shivers up and down your spine. Do you think the food Nazis in Berkeley will stop with food if they can pass a law that “enforces good behavioral economics and facilitates better choices”? (Fox Business)


Who will ultimately determine what’s “good behavioral economics”? If this can be done with food, then what’s to stop politicians from implementing a system of governance over beliefs and ideologies? Actually, they are already doing this. What we are seeing on university campuses is a curriculum designed to more than “nudge” students to adopt unquestioned ideologies.


Anyone who questions, for example, the operating assumptions of the Marxist ideology of Black Lives Matter, homosexuality, transgenderism, and abortion will rarely if ever secure a teaching position in today’s universities. If an existing professor tweets a contrary opinion on these and other sacrosanct dogmas, he or she will be immediately vilified as something worse than vermin.


Forcing people to wear masks during outdoor gatherings in the name of health when there is no health emergency is a current example. The Mayor of Moscow, Idaho, and the City Council ordered a new mask mandate that continues into January 2021, and there’s no guarantee it will be lifted then. Remember when we were told that we needed two weeks to “flatten the curve”?


When a church group decided to defy the draconian and arbitrary order, those gathered received citations and three people were arrested and taken away in handcuffs.


And just to put an exclamation point on the preposterous frivolousness of all this, the very same deputies who arrested [Gabe] Rench [of Cross Politic] for not wearing a mask were seen by him after his two-hour stint in jail hanging out in the police station — with no concern for social distancing and not a mask worn in sight. (Steve Deace)


Then there’s the incident of a woman with family members not wearing a mask watching her middle school son play football in an outdoor stadium with a sparse crowd who was assaulted, tased, and handcuffed by a very large policeman and hauled off under the control of two police officers, one a woman who was not wearing a mask!


She had every right not to wear a mask since Ohio law states that a person does not have to wear a mask if you are sitting with family members and can maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members. The video shows she was complying.


So, what starts with “we’re only interested in your health” becomes comply or you will be arrested and taken to jail in handcuffs.

 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Jesus on Murder of Innocent People

 


Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” - John 8:44


Jesus said this to religious people that claimed to do and know God’s will and that God was their Father. However, these people wanted to kill Jesus. It was not God’s will to commit murder, “You shall not murder.” - Exodus 20:13. These religious leaders and their supporters knew murder was against God’s will. 


Jesus calls them out. Since Jesus was an innocent man and they wanted to kill him unjustly it was no longer a question of them wanting to do God’s will but Satans will. If they claimed to be following God’s will then their God was Satan or the Devil. Wow! Jesus didn’t mince words. He didn’t put up with people that claimed to know and follow God’s will but were in truth leading people away from God’s will and into Satan’s way. 


Today we have religious people advocating and supporting the murder of innocent people. People that claim to follow Jesus and desire to do God’s will in one breath then in their next breath support the murder of innocent unborn image bearers of God. They support these murders by supporting people that approve of and advocate for aborting children in the womb, partial breath abortion, allowing babies that survive an abortion attempt to die outside the womb, giving money for this murder and strengthening the laws and putting judges in place to keep this murdering practice going. 


If abortion is ok today, it was ok yesterday. If it was ok yesterday then they would say it would’ve been ok for Elizabeth to abort John the Baptist, they would’ve been ok with Mary to abort Jesus the son of God. 


Supporting murder is not God’s will but the Devils will unless your God is Satan.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Jesus and the Politics That Divides the Body of Christ Today

 

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  - 2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV) 

What does an ambassador of Christ look like today?


For sometime I’ve been taking meals to people in need, shut-ins, disabled, elderly, sick. It’s been an amazing blessing. During theses times I’ve come to get to know these people and they have gotten to get to know me. As a result they know I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and this has given me opportunities to share the good news of the kingdom of God and to pray for them. 


There is this one elderly gentleman that always wants to chit-chat. The other day when he came to the front door to receive his meals one of the first things he said to me was “I’m voting for Trump.” He then gave a few reasons why. Then he asked me who I was voting for. I’m sure in your minds eye you can hear the piano bass keys “Da-Dun” and the question what do you say or do? I told him it was a private matter with me. He didn’t like that answer. But I explained to him why and he was ok with that.


Here’s how I approach situations like this. 


First and foremost I set-apart Jesus as Lord over my reaction and my response. Paul an apostle said this to us who call on Jesus as Lord and Savior, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” -Colossians 3:17 (ESV). 


Second is this person reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. His eternal destiny takes precedents. One thing I cannot do is allow for obstacles to be put in place where this person will not receive the good news of the kingdom of God in Jesus Christ thereby possibly shutting the door for this person to receive the gift of grace which leads to eternal life. This person’s eternal destiny is way more important then any worldly political ideology. One thing is for sure secular political opinions will shut down communication and even create anger and hatred. 


Romans 12:18 “if it is possible, as far it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” 


I could have indicated to him that I was going to vote for Trump thereby making sure the door was open for me to be able to share Jesus with him. However, in my experience the conversation usually leads down the road of invective towards other people I don’t even know personally. In other words gossip. I have found that people usually get their information from second or third hand sources that align with their particular political ideology. In others words it’s just gossip pretending to be facts.


I once went to a Bible study the year before the 2016 election. I got there a little early and was sitting on the couch reading a book. A brother in the Lord came and sat next to me. He was an acquaintance not someone I had intimate fellowship with. The first thing he said was “Isn’t Hillary just an empty headed person?” I told him I wouldn’t know because I don’t know her. He got up and walked away. Whatever fellowship we could have had that evening, whatever time of prayer that could have been between us, whatever words of exhortation or encouragement in the Lord we could have share were now gone because of a particular political secular ideology. Whatever fellowship that me and this brother could’ve was now broken. It was broken because of his particular political ideology got in the way of our communion in Christ together. And if this is not a tool of the devil I don’t know what is.


Now on the other hand what if I indicated to him that I was going to vote for Biden? Well, from the list of things that he gave me as to why he was voting for Trump any door that would’ve been open for me to continue sharing Jesus with him would have been closed. Like most people and even some Christians that have strong political opinions usually express the idea “How can you call yourself a Christian and vote for so-and-so?” I know that there are some who profess to be believers in Jesus Christ who are so politically party minded that they have become no gospel good and would’ve blasted this guy back into his house. Here’s an example of what I mean. There was this person who profess to be a follower of Jesus wrote this on a social media account about Trump and people that would vote for him: “If you support a criminal, liar, manipulator, blackmailer, bully then I believe that you will do the same things as this man. So I trust you less than I did before.“ Wow! Talk about trying to silence people or a self righteous prejudging people through the filter of a particular political ideology. I ask myself this question, is this done in the name of Jesus to the glory of God the Father? 


On another occasion I was told by a Christian brother they thought Trump supporters were cultish and Trump was evil. I said I don’t know if Trump is evil I never met him. He told me I can’t deny it. Then this person told me about a news report that said xy and z about Trump to justify his political opinion. Now if we’ve been around long enough media sources are managed by people that have a particular political bias and they will report a story that will lean towards that bias, especially political stories. And on top of that people that have a certain political bias will gravitate to the media source that supports their bias and denigrate media sources that don’t agree with their bias. Someone else could reference a media source that says xy and z about Trump that make him out to be the best thing since sliced bread. 


One thing I’ve learned from being in ministry is that stories about people that come from second hand sources is gossip. When I told this person that his conclusion that Trump was evil was based on second hand sources that, he didn’t know personally, and not based on his first hand knowledge of him, it was gossip. The first thing they said was, “Then the Bible is gossip.” Wow! Here’s where the real truth comes out. It’s in intense situation that bring out what is really inside. Kind of like that fight or flight response we all have. Here is where when I say “we can be so politically party minded we become no gospel good” manifests it’s self. He was willing to through the Word of God under the bus in order to hold on to his political opinion. He wanted to make a false equivalence equivalent. God’s Word was equal to a man made bias news report. Let’s be clear, God’s word is God breath inspiration from the Holy Spirt; a news report is uninspired words of men. So this person has hatred in their heart about a person they don’t know from sources they don’t know. I’m sure Satan loved that.


Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, 4:22 “All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household.” Now imagine the person that is so politically party minded what they would think of Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ, an author of much of the New Testament if we changed Caesar with Trump. Remember the Caesar here was Nero. The guy that lit Christians on fire to light up his palace garden and used Christians as sport by feeding them to ravenous lions in a coliseum. These Christians in Caesar’s household served Caesar in such a way, whether preparing his meals to nourish him or washing his clothes so that he had something to wear or bringing him his parchments and ink for him to draft his orders. How could Paul acknowledge Christians in Caesar’s (Trumps) household or administration that did the same things. How could they even be called saints for supporting such an evil vile person? This is where the person that is so politically minded ends up. As the person above, in what they said about Trump supporters or Trump himself, if we applied their same reasoning standard, Paul and the saints he addressed in his letter to the Philippians would be considered as murders or supporters of murder.  


You see it’s really no longer about Jesus’ kingdom but about a particular secular political ideology in Jesus name. Where there is no reconciliation unless you adopt their secular political ideology. Where false accusation can be thrown around with no true justification except through the lens of a particular political ideology. Where there is no true intimate fellowship with believers because of the walls of a secular political ideology. Where we’re no longer ambassadors of Christ and His kingdom first and foremost but ambassadors of Satans kingdom where he rules over the secular political ideologies of the world. 


Luke 4:6-7 (NIV)

[6] And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. [7] So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”


1 John 5:19 (NIV)

[19] We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 


The goal of Christians and the body of Christ is to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ. Our mission is about God’s kingdom. He didn’t send the disciples out into the nations of the world to make them Christian nations. He sent them out to be ambassadors of His nation, His kingdom. He sent them out into the nations of the world to tell all who would listen the message of the gospel of the kingdom of God. A message that invites all to become citizens of a new Kingdom. 


Luke 8:1 (NIV)

[1] After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 


Luke 9:2 (NIV)

[2] and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 

 

A kingdom that is not of this world. A nation of people that is “other than” the people of the nations of this world. A nation of people that has Jesus’ mission on the mind more than the mission of some secular political ideology. A nation of people that loves their neighbor and their enemy not as a command but because they want to be imitators of God. Ephesians 5:1 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children”  


John 18:36 (NIV)

[36] Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”


We must stay focused. When we enter the new covenant with the Creator where Jesus Christ is Lord and King we have become citizens of a new Kingdom. We have taken an oath to a new nation. We have left behind the city of the dead and are living for the city of life. Hebrews 11:15-16 “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” If we then return to the city of the dead and take up the causes of the nations of the world, who do not want to bow their knee to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, our loyalties will be divided. We will be serving two master. This will result in unnecessary division between believers, leading to anger and hatred for one another which is what we see today within the body of Christ. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Nationalism and Patriotism



patriotism (noun)
1. devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty.

nationalism (noun)
1. spirit or aspirations common to the whole of a nation.

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)[9] But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. [10] Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Do the words Patriotism and nationalism apply to the body of Christ? Yes and No. Yes in the context of God’s nation. If Jesus is your King you belong to the nation of God, a holy nation. Then you should have devoted love, support and defend (apologĂ­a) God’s nation and be loyal to Him who has redeemed us. We should have the same aspirations common to all those who are citizens of God’s kingdom as revealed in God’s word, which is first and foremost the good news of the Kingdom of God as Jesus showed us. 

For followers of Jesus also No. This is when we take the message of the gospel of the kingdom of God and wrap it in the secular political ideologies of the nations of the world. When the country of the world we live and patriotism or nationalism of that worldly country take priority over your love and devotion to God’s kingdom and His will in Jesus Christ. We can recognize this when scripture is used to try and justify telling others to follow a particular secular political ideology in Jesus name apart from following Jesus. When these ideologies are directly or indirectly opposed to God’s will for the church and humanity.

Now as followers of Jesus show we disparage these nouns? No. French people love France, Germans love Germany, Brazilians love Brazil. If we vilify their patriotism or the pride they have in their nation then most will not being willing to listen to the gospel of the Kingdom of God. We need to be wise about not erecting unnecessary barriers for the gospel. 

Just like we should not disparage secular political leaders. These civic leaders and the people they govern, that do not know Jesus, love their nation. God’s will for those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ are told to pray for your civic leaders and those they govern. If you are praying for someone in one breath can you turn around and speak bad about the person your praying for in the next breath?  

James 3:9-12 (NIV) [9] With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. [10] Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. [11] Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? [12] My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

The body of Christ lives in every nation and the goal that Jesus gave us was to invite all people from every nation to be citizens of God’s nation. In doing so hearts are transformed, a new creation comes forth and whatever injustice or sins are apart of that nation will begin to change with every heart that God changes to be more like His Son.

We cannot be so politically party minded we become no gospel of the Kingdom good.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Jesus and Racism and Injustice


Jesus told those that were his followers that they are the light of the world. Light shines in the darkness and exposes what is hidden there. This is what Jesus did. He shined a light and exposed the Sin that dwelled in the hearts of all humans. Especially the Sin that dwelled in the hearts of the religious leaders of his time. Their sin infected the people that they were suppose to shepherd. One of these sins was racism. And a consequence of racism is injustice. Jesus came to turn things around.
We see this in the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:27), the woman at the well (John 4), the healing of the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:9), the healing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter (Matthew 15:28). 

Jesus speaking to his Jewish disciples said in John 10:16 (NIV) “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

Jesus’ follower after his resurrection continued in this anti-racist biblical worldview. We see it in the conversion of the Ethiopian (Acts 8), Peter’s encounter with Cornelius (Acts 10:23) and pretty much the rest the the New Testament. 

Paul’s said in Galatians 3:28 (NIV) “There is neither Jew nor Greek (race or ethnicity), slave nor free (economic status), male nor female (gender), for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Read what Paul said in Ephesians 2:11-3:6.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ racism and injustice have no place within the body of Christ and by extension within the hearts of those who claim to be Christians. Why? First because Jesus exposed this sins as not being God’s will for humanity. Second every human being is created in God’s image. They are image bearers of God. This is how God see us therefore can we look at each other any differently? 

If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus, He tells us we are to be peacemakers not fomentors of hate and violence. We are not to justify lawlessness as an excuse to fight against racism. The world may say this but not those who are citizens of God's kingdom. We are to hold out the  message of the gospel of the kingdom of God as a message of reconciliation not division. Do not become a tool of the enemy that comes to divide, confuse, kill, steal and destroy. In this world you will have division, racism and injustice however, Jesus said I have overcome the world. Now we who claim to be followers of Jesus need to live as overcomes. We follow Jesus through the Holy Spirit which gave us the word of God not the Zeitgeist of the culture which gives us the wisdom's and philosophies of the world. It’s not the Zeitgeist that leads us but the Holy Spirit.   

We are to hear the cries of the oppressed and give them gift of love in Jesus which is both the word and try to meet their physical needs. Not a water downed love; A love as defined by God. A love the tells the truth even if it’s uncomfortable. A love that sees people with the eyes of God. The church is lead by Jesus and Jesus tells us it is for all people who are willing to have a heart change from darkness to light. You cannot legislate racism out of existence. It's a heart issue not a system issue. Racism is sin and Jesus is the only cure. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Fear of Death in a Pandemic: What Would Jesus Say?


Bacteria, viruses, most any disease is no respecter of persons. The SARS-COV-2 is no exception. It’s as ubiquitous as sin. It will kill you if it can. You don’t know when it will come just like death. If someone ask Jesus what did we do to deserve this pandemic? He would probably answer the same way he answered people in the 1st century when they asked him a similar question.

In the Gospel of Luke, Luke records for us an encounter Jesus had with a group of people he’d been preaching to.

Luke [13:1] There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? [3] No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. [4] Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? [5] No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

People back then are not much different than people today when it comes to trying to understand death and suffering. Death and suffering were a sign of God’s judgment catching up with them because they sinned and thought they might have gotten away with it. In today’s culture someone might call it karma.

In the gospel of John we read this same sentiment. 9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

So these people that were talking to Jesus thought the Galileans who were killed by Pilate because of something they did wrong. How do we know they were thinking like this? Because of the way Jesus responded to their inquiry. “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?” Jesus then adds another example of people dying to the conversation, “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?”

If we’re paying attention we can see that the examples of people dying in the exchange are one by human hands and the other by accident or unforeseen circumstances. You see Jesus is wanting people to think differently about death and how it come to us. He wants to dispel the notion that God is taking part in these people suffering and death. Why? He says, "No, I tell you.."  We live in a fallen world. Things go from order to disorder. This was brought about by humanity rejecting God as their sovereign and wanting to go it on their own. In other words Sin. Sin brought death and suffering into the world and humanity suffers from the consequences of sin whether willfully or accidentally. It is inevitable. Death is inevitable.

Jesus tells them that these people died not because God directed Pilate to kill them or God reached down from heaven and flicked the tower with his big divine invisible finger. He said “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” 

In other words, whether on purpose or unforeseen circumstances death is inevitable so prepare yourself now before it's to late.

Jesus wanted them to see the conclusion of their argument: if God does punish sinners in this way, then they themselves had better repent because all people are sinners! The question is not, “Why did these people die?” but, “What right do you have to live?” None of us is sinless, so we had all better get prepared. Prepared for what? The final judgment that everyone will face.

In the same way viruses and disease that kill us are a result of a fallen and broken world around us. They are not some divine judgment that God has unleashed on the world however, Jesus would say to each and every person alive today REPENT because physical death is inevitable whether by a virus or some other means, after that the judgment. If you are not right with God you will be subject to the ultimate death, separation from God for all eternity in hell. Jesus said, “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” Luke 12:5

Don’t fear a virus, fear God and get right with Him through His son Jesus. That’s why Jesus came to rescue all from the final judgment, to rescue all from the fear of death. Jesus took on himself the judgment for all humanity on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to face God's judgment or what the bible says His wrath. Then He rose from the death to prove who he was and the message of the gospel of the kingdom of God. If you are willing to repent God wants to forgive and give you the gift of eternal life and pour out his Holy Spirit into you soul.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Conspiracy Theories and Christians


Conspiracy Theories and Christians

I’ve read some good and thoughtful articles on conspiracy theories and how they perpetuate “fiction or lies” and if you’re a Christian and you share these things you’re promoting these conspiracy theories and their “Lies” and that is not being a good Christian because Christians are suppose to be about the “truth”. I think that’s fair. 

I’ve had to change my mind on some things. Take down some posts. Here’s my struggle with most of these articles is they call out right-leaning evangelical Christian as the ones who mostly promote these conspiracies and all the while forget about left-leaning Christians promoting conspiracy theories. They come across as if they are the sentinels of “truth” and “facts” and “unity” but all the while blind to their own inconsistencies. 

It seems like they are running around wanting to take the speck out of other people eyes but ignoring the plank in their own. Here is an example of what I mean. 

Here’s a definition one of these article put forth of a conspiracy theory: “For the sake of my argument, by conspiracy theory I mean, “a well-organized effort initiated by an elite group of powerful men and women secretly working toward a singular goal or vision that often involves collaboration between government agencies and the media.”

When I read this my first thought was the Trump/Russia Conspiracy Theory. Left-leaning Christian posted articles, shared posts and went to war over the “truth” and “facts” of the Trump campaign and Russias Putin were working together to steal the election and undermine the constitution and the United States of America. I think all the elements of the definition of the conspiracy theory are in this theory. Even though this has been well disproven left-leaning Christian won’t give it up. 

Then I was thinking how these left-leaning Christians say it’s about representing Christ well by sticking to the “truth” and “facts” when it really seemed to me it’s about “my” definition of what is “true” and “factual” and if you disagree your are not a good Christian. 

I remember seeing people I know as professing Christians say that when Trump shut down flights coming in from China at the end of January that it was because of xenophobia. This idea was promoted by public officials and the media at the same time. Is this the “truth” and “facts” and “unity” they were trying to promote? When the “truth” and “facts” were it was because of covid-19.

I get there are anti-Trump and pro-Trump Christians. The question I ask myself is Does Jesus want His followers to be divided from one another over secular political ideologies? For me the answer to that question is no. I even take it a step farther and would say don’t cling to a particular secular political ideology or label like left or right, liberal or conservative. They divide more then “unite”

I didn’t support or reject Obama and I don’t support or reject Trump or Republicans or Democrats. But I do pray for my civic leaders. This is what Jesus wants from those who follow him. If it’s about “truth” and “facts” fine just be consistent and make sure the plank is removed from your own eye. Plus don’t give the devil a foothold in the body of Christ by dividing over horizontal issue. 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Who Would Jesus Vote For?



                                                     Who Would Jesus Vote For?
Someone asked me this question the other day. Does anyone remember the 1985 movie “Brewster’s Millions”? It’s a movie starring Richard Pryor. He inherits a fortune, 300 million dollars. But in order for him to get it he must first spend 30 million in 30 days but end up with no assets but the cloths on his back. One of the ways he spent most of it was on an election campaign. He didn’t want to be elected nor any of the other candidates. So his campaign slogan was “none of the above”.
I think this is a good answer for the question, “Who would Jesus vote for?”. Jesus’ message for us today would be the same one he had for people back then.
Jesus told Pontius Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. It was from another place. Jesus wouldn’t attach Himself to any particular secular political ideology back then nor today.
If we think about it, if He did vote one way or another this would then attach the gospel message of the kingdom of God to that secular political view. This in turn would alienate everyone that held the opposing political view point by erecting a barrier for people to receive the gospel of the kingdom of God which leads to the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.
You see Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. His focus was and still is His kingdom. If anything, He wants all people everywhere, from every nation to vote for Him to be Lord and Savior.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you are an ambassador of Christ. You are a Christian which means Christ like. You represent His kingdom not the kingdoms of humanity. We must be vigilant about attaching Jesus to a worldly kingdom or nation.
Jesus didn’t send the disciples out to restore the earthly nation of Israel. He didn’t send the disciples out the make the Roman Empire into a Christian Empire. He sent his disciples out into every kingdom and nation for the expressed purpose of inviting all people out of every nation and kingdom into His Kingdom, the kingdom of God.
Matthew 25:32 (NIV)
[32] All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Revelation 12:5 (NIV)
[5] She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.

Revelation 7:9 (NIV)
[9] After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

John 18:36 (NIV)
[36] Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world., .....But now my kingdom is from another place.” 
 
Now with all that being said, as Christians that live in a country that has the privilege to vote for people and laws that would allow us to live in peace and promote God’s will for humanity even if humanity rejects their Creator we should vote. 
We should keep our vote to ourselves except maybe for a select few in your personal inner circle. 
We should vote for people and laws that make murder illegal. For believers in Jesus Christ murder transcends politics because it’s not a political issue for us, it’s a character of God issue. Murder isn’t wrong because God commands it, murder is wrong because God is not a murderer. 
One thing is for sure, murder is against God’s will since the beginning of creation. It was the first sin recorded and condemned after the Fall. Then after the Flood it was one of the first commands God gives Noah and one of the reasons was that people were image bearers of God. 
We should vote for laws and people that will do God’s will in this area of murder. Jesus himself told those that wanted to murder Him, even though professed to believe in God, that their Father was Satan because they supported and wanted to murder Him, the most innocent person that ever lived. 
We should not vote for laws or people that support abortion which is the murder of innocent image bearers of God, or funding laws or organizations or people that commit this murder or judges or people that put judges in place to continue this sin of murder. 
To vote in support of these things would be, without reservation, against God’s will for His people and for all of humanity. To vote in support of laws and people that validate abortion would be carrying out Satans will not God’s will. 

We All Have Unclean Hands

Jesus said to them,  “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the ...