Archive for » July, 2009 «

July 31st, 2009 | Author:

If you are an American bureaucrat with an agenda and you want to change the behavior of the “citizens” without using guns, don’t bother appealing to their better side. Don’t mention morality, don’t mention the principles of a free society, and above all, don’t mention God.

Just throw money. [Read the rest of my latest rant at]

July 28th, 2009 | Author:

Welcome to the Word for Wednesday meme. You are invited to post a scripture on your blog each week that has current meaning to you, with as much or as little commentary as you choose, and leave a link here in the comments. You never know who God may touch with His Word.

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But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. (Matthew 9:16-17)

No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins. (Mark 2:21-22)

And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” (Luke 5:36-39)

A couple weeks ago I posted about a question in my heart: Given the apparent paucity of new born-again Christians, has God stopped drawing people in the United States? While I know I don’t have the full answer, I believe the Lord has lead me to a piece of it as I meditated on the above scriptures.

It occurred to me that while Jesus is clearly saying we shouldn’t put new wine in old skins, we can assume that God feels the same way. He isn’t going to pour out His Holy Spirit into old wineskins.

So what are wineskins? Whenever I’ve read these passages, my understanding was that the “new wineskin” was the new birth, which the Holy Spirit could then fill with new wine. Conversely, the Holy Spirit could not fill people who had not been born again. I think that’s still true, but it limits the application, implying that once you’ve been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, that’s it. These verses then only apply to the unsaved.

But there are several New Testament verses, mostly in Acts, that speak about Christians being filled again and again with the Holy Spirit. In most every case, the infilling occurred just before the Christians were given an opportunity to witness. So perhaps God only fills those who are willing to witness to the glory of Jesus Christ, which is supposed to be our true mission.

Another thing that really struck me is this verse from Luke:

And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new;
for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’

Our churches and our nation have been drinking old wine for a long time. It comes in many different wineskins: reformed, baptist, and pentecostal among them. For the most part, we say ‘the old is good enough.’ We cling to our traditions and our buildings – the old wineskins – and have no desire for new wine. We’re not willing to get new wineskins, which requires change on our part, so we’re stuck with old wine.

We’re comfortable. We know “how to do church” and, like the church at Laodicea in Rev. 3, we say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” – including the infilling and leading of the Holy Spirit. So perhaps God is viewing our nation as Jesus viewed the church at Laodicea.

Old wineskins generate nothing, as we can see in the many empty church buildings that litter our landscape. Will we continue to cling to the old wineskins of a once rich nation, or give them up for some new wine that generates new life?

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:14-22)

July 24th, 2009 | Author:

Betsy McCaughey, in an interview with former presidential candidate Fred Thompson on his radio show warned people to “protect their parents” from the measure and said the consultation is essentially an attempt to kill off elderly Americans.

She also stated in this report from LifeNews that the message to patients is “to do what’s in society’s best interests, and cut your life short.”

In other words, old people are a non-productive drain on the state. No wonder Obama says we’re not a Christian nation.

Category: liberty, nanny state, Obama  | 4 Comments
July 23rd, 2009 | Author:

The following post may be hazardous to your blood pressure. Consult your primary care physician before reading.

After months of Obamese about the joys of a federal health care system, it’s easy to get worn down and just ignore it. But some things just jump out and bite your butt, like the following.

Peter Fleckenstein has been (gasp!) actually reading the bill and posting tweets about what’s in it. Robert Wenzel at For Freedom’s Sake has collected “Fleckman’s” comments in a single post. Thanks to both, but DO NOT read the whole list if you have high blood pressure.

Here’s a sample:

Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benes u get

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose UR HC Benefits 4 you. U have no choice!

Pg 58HC Bill – Govt will have real-time access 2 individs finances & a National ID Healthcard will b issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access 2 ur banks accts 4 elect. funds transfer

Category: liberty, nanny state, Obama  | 2 Comments
July 22nd, 2009 | Author:

Welcome to the Word for Wednesday meme. You are invited to post a scripture on your blog each week that has current meaning to you, and leave a link here in the comments. You never know who God may touch with His Word.

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Given the choice between things we know are good for us – farm-fresh meats and veggies with a glass of cold milk – or junk food we know is not good for us, most of us choose a Big Mac and fries with a synthetic milkshake. Sometimes it’s because we’re too busy or lazy or lacking in know-how to cook for ourselves. Or maybe it’s simply cheaper. However we rationalize it, we often choose to ingest stuff that’s bad when good stuff is readily available.

Leviticus chapter 11 contains the dietary laws God prescribed for the Jews. Verses 46 and 47 summarize them this way:

This is the law regarding the animal and the bird, and every living thing that moves in the waters and everything that swarms on the earth, to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten.

We are to differentiate between clean and unclean, and select the things which are clean. The things which are unclean – including vultures and mice (yuck!) – are to be “detestable” and “abhorrent.” The thought of eating these things should make us sick.

Throughout the Bible, food is used as a metaphor for the spiritual things we “ingest,” and we often choose this type of junk food, too. From sleazy movies and TV shows, to selfishly-motivated sports and politics, and yes, even some Christian writing and blogs, we fill our minds and our hearts with the unclean, leaving no room for the clean.

Why do we do this? I can’t prove it, but I think it may be the same motivation that causes us to choose the Big Mac. “We’re too busy or lazy or lacking in know-how to cook for ourselves. Or maybe it’s simply cheaper.”

No doubt, there is a cost to eating the Word. When we gain understanding about an issue, we are accountable to God to act accordingly:

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

But eating junk food is still a bad choice. Perhaps this is why, like A. W. Tozer did, I find myself eating less and less political garbage these days.

Let us seek to know Him in the Word. It is in the Word we will find the Holy Spirit. Don’t read too many other things. Some of you will say, “Look who’s talking!” Well, go ahead and say it, I don’t mind; but I am reading fewer and fewer things as I get older, not because I’m losing interest in this great, big, old suffering world, but because I’m gaining interest in that other world above. So I say, don’t try to know everything. You can’t. Find Him in the Word, for the Holy Ghost wrote this book. He inspired it, and He will be revealed in its pages. (A.W. Tozer)

Let us choose the clean over the unclean. Let us lift our eyes above our worldly concerns and eat the food that lasts forever.

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. (John 6:48-51)