America is already Great?

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Last week I listened to many politicians in this political season say that “America is already great!” President Obama who made this claim said “By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started.”

 If you use the Bible as a measuring tool- are those true statements? Let’s see…

~ In two landmark decisions – Engel v. Vitale on June 25, 1962, and Abington School District v. Schempp on June 17, 1963 – the Supreme Court declared school-sponsored prayer and Bible readings unconstitutional.

~ On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Roe v. Wade, a challenge to a Texas statute that made it a crime to perform an abortion unless a woman’s life was at stake.  The case had been filed by “Jane Roe,” an unmarried woman who wanted to safely and legally end her pregnancy.  Siding with Roe, the court struck down the Texas law.  In its ruling, the court recognized for the first time that the constitutional right to privacy “is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy”.

 ~ In 2005 The Supreme Court justices ruled 5-4 that the Ten Commandments could not be displayed in court buildings or on government property.

 ~ Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015, is a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

 ~ There are reports that federal marijuana legalization via a Colorado versus Oklahoma/Nebraska lawsuit could be voted on by the Supreme Court eventually… perhaps in 2017. Federally legalizing what several states have already done.

 I don’t believe that any of these decisions have made America great or stronger rather just the opposite. These are all actions that have occurred in my lifetime.  At a mind-boggling rate, the United States has relegated the Bible- God’s holy word to nothing more that fanciful, fictional  literature… all the while declaring that things are getting better

America today reminds me of the words of the Prophet Hosea (760-720 B.C.).

 Israel’s continued unfaithfulness is dramatically illustrated in a brokenhearted relationship with his unfaithful wife:

Hosea 8:14… For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; And Judah has multiplied fortified cities, But I will send a fire on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings.

  God’s love is also illustrated in Hosea’s willingness to buy back his wife after her harlotry had led her to be sold at the slave block

Hosea 11:7-8, 14:4… So My people are bent on turning from Me. Though they call them to the One on high, None at all exalts Him. How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled.

 Approximately 3000 years ago Israel and Judea’s political and religious leaders were telling the people that things had never been better. They had the Temple… they had fortified cities… they had alliances.

 All the while living rebellious, sinful lives before their Creator.

 Today, our leaders tell us that things have never been better. We have cities, armies, alliances, abundant wealth and possessions. America is great.

 All the while, we are turning our backs on everything that is holy and pure. To solely live lives of self-centeredness and self-gratification.

 God will not be mocked… we will reap what we sow. I believe to truly make America great is to repent from turning away from God and His word and returning to lives of holiness and not lustfulness. Only when this country returns to the Lord will there be Greatness. Greatness does not come from within, but from God Almighty.

Facts Don’t Matter…

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Today, in this age of instant communication, we as humans are being bombarded with information… some of it true, some of it incorrect and some of it disinformation. It’s getting to be somewhat difficult to decipher fact from fiction. But facts are important.

 Take for example Bill Maher- American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, media critic, and television host. As a television host, he uses his platform to mock, ridicule and belittle religions, and Christians in particular. He’s recorded as saying that if you are religious you are being by its very nature anti-intellectual…  not an exact quote, but a very close paraphrase.

 Oh really? Is that true?

 Let’s look at some Christians over the centuries, and see if they would be considered by any true seeking person as “anti-intellectual”.

 Nicole Oresme (1323–1382): Theologian and bishop of Lisieux, he was one of the early founders and popularizer of modern sciences. One of his many scientific contributions is the discovery of the curvature of light through atmospheric refraction.

 Robert Boyle (1627–1691): Prominent scientist and theologian who argued that the study of science could improve glorification of God. A strong Christian apologist, he is considered one of the most important figures in the history of Chemistry.

 Isaac Newton (1643-1727): Prominent scientist during the Scientific Revolution. Physicist, discoverer of gravity, and an alchemist and a Christian apologist.

 James Dwight Dana (1813–1895): geologist, mineralogist, and zoologist. He received the Copley Medal, Wollaston Medal, and the Clarke Medal. He also wrote a book titled Science and the Bible and his faith has been described as “both orthodox and intense.”

 Wilhelm Röntgen (1845–1923) was a German engineer and physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901.

 Sir Robert Boyd (1922–2004): pioneer in British space science who was Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He lectured on faith being a founder of the “Research Scientists’ Christian Fellowship” and an important member of its predecessor Christians in Science.

 These men of faith cannot in any way be considered “anti-intellectual.” This is fact and truth.

 Brothers and sisters… there is an aggressive attack on our Great God and Savior Jesus and His followers in the world today. But, I am reminded of the words of dear old Peter in his first letter:

1 Peter 4: 13-15… If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;   but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 

 So, do not be ashamed and do not back down. And pray for the Bill Maher’s of the world. They are lost and need Jesus!

Anchor for our souls…

Jesus, our anchorAs a man who has served aboard several navy warships, I have had some experience with Anchors and their purpose.

An Anchor is dropped by a ship to protect it. Protect it from running aground… protect it from other vessels… protect it during stormy seas. It’s sole purpose is to protect.

The anchor doesn’t get much attention when it’s being utilized during fair weather… in fact, you may not even realize you she has been dropped. Oh, but when the winds blow and the rain is pelting and the seas are raging… then you know beyond a doubt, the Anchor is working. You can see the chain taut- stressing under the weight of the ship and the forces of nature… but the ship remains in place… the Anchor is holding fast.

Today, as I journal on my blog… the world seems to be in the midst of a terrific storm. There are demonstrations taking place around the world… Brazil…England…United States. Authority is being questioned… and challenged.

Our own government here in the United States has publicly declared that  the law doesn’t apply to all equally. Yes, there is a storm a blowing across the land and around the world.

But Christian… you have an Anchor for this storm. JESUS.

In the book of Hebrews, the sixth chapter verses 17-20 tell us: In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Christians are the heirs of the promise spoken here. God who can not lie, has promised us a refuge that is Jesus… the Anchor of our souls. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus! He’s the answer in this storm.

 

Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many…

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Just before Jesus was crucified for sinful humanity, He and the disciples were visiting the Temple in Jerusalem. The disciples, being quite proud of the Temple and surrounding buildings asked Jesus to take note of their splendor.

Jesus replied in Matthew 24:2… “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” 

The rubble in the picture on the left is what’s left of that Temple. The literal fulfillment of Jesus words were completed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

Jesus went on to say in Matthew 24:6…You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.

And in Matthew 24:11…Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.

Today, as when Christ walked His creation, mankind has taken pride and comfort in the structures made from hands. These structures will fail.

The photo on the right is the carnage left from terrorist following a false prophet.

Last Saturday evening families were enjoying time in an upscale Café in Bagdad, Iraq. Feeling safe and secure, when terror struck. This act, and those like it are evil… but Jesus told us- it’s going to get worse.

If you put your hope in this world- its technologies, structures, sciences… you should be afraid, because all that is going to fail you. Period. Absolutely.

So, what can we put our faith and hope in that won’t fail? JESUS. See, Jesus did not come murdering women and children, and He didn’t ask His followers to do that either. Rather Jesus said in John 10:10-11… The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

Jesus is the exact opposite of what we see going on in the world today. He doesn’t murder- He rather, laid down His life. He doesn’t steal life, He gives it. He doesn’t destroy, He renews. He is the Savior for the world- to those who trust and believe and repent. Romans 10:9 explains it this way: that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

When you put your trust in Christ- and Him alone… perspective changes. You will see things from a heavenly perspective and you will trust, not in this world’s structures, but rather in the one awaiting you as described in 2 Corinthians 5:1… For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 

My house… My hope… is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!