Archive for the Category » sin «

January 03rd, 2010 | Author:

The stench of death is everywhere for those who bother to notice.

  • Our economy cannot help but collapse at some point under the weight of a national debt over $12 trillion, or almost $40,000 for every man, woman, and child.  This number continues to increase at an average of $3.81 billion per day, and someday the Chinese will either quit investing in a losing proposition – or they’ll own it outright.
  • Al Quaeda has won the war on terror.  You won’t see that headline on the nightly news, but you can read an excellent article on the subject by Fred Reed.  Granted, the man is more than a little crude, but he’s honest in pointing out that the goal of a terrorist is to terrorize.  On that point alone, they have won hands down. [HT to Jim.]
  • So little is necessary to terrorize the world’s hyperpower. A free-lance dingaling secretes a bomb of sorts in his shoe, whereupon the US goes into convulsions and long lines of Americans stand comically barefoot in airports. Dingaling Two popularizes liquid explosives, and so Washington frenziedly confiscates toothpaste. Yes, the world’s hyperpower is afraid of Colgate, with fluoride. Dinglaling Three hides the infernal machine in his skivvies, so Obama makes Firm Pronouncements, and we will now have to undergo examination by panty scanners. Always, over and over, the terrorists have the iniative. The country reacts hugely and predictably.

  • We routinely kill and maim innocent men, women, and children all over the world, and can’t even be bothered to keep a tally, because as General Tommy Franks said, “We don’t do body counts.”
  • We have murdered over 50 million innocent, unborn babies in this country calling it choice, when in actuality it’s a result of the demand for freedom from the consequences of our personal actions.
  • The Bill of Rights is swiss cheese.  We willingly submit to arbitrary searches at airports, train stations, and driving anywhere within 100 miles of an external border – which includes more than 2/3 of the population; we have politically-correct hate laws to prevent Christians from speaking the truth of scripture; our every electronic transmission from private phone calls to internet searches are arbitrarily monitored and sold to the government; we need “permits” to gather in protest of the latest government outrage;  habeus corpus and the Posse Comitatus Act have become quaint historical traditions; and the list goes on.
  • Government officials at every level have run amok.  They ram every imaginable law down the throats of an unwilling populace; they defend bribery, blackmail, and coercion as normal political practice; and their personal, financial, and sexual “scandals” have become commonplace.

So how did this happen?  Why is America dying?

We can blame the public school system that is hell-bent on indoctrinating our children with feel-good, anything-goes secular humanism, but neglects the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the historical significance of these documents.

We can blame big business, who courts corrupt politicians to pass laws to give them an unfair advantage over the competition.

Or we can blame the power-hungry politicians, who care not about the people they are elected to represent, but only about their own positions.

Or … we can look a little deeper and recognize that the above are just symptoms of a much deeper problem, one that we have been warned about from the beginning:

… there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; George Washington, his first inaugural address, 1789

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams, speech to the military, 1798

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America . . . America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835, 1840

Above all, I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid. Grover Cleveland, Second Inaugural Address, 1893

We do not need more national development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen. Calvin Coolidge, President 1923-1929

The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself, is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted. Ronald Reagan, speech 1983

This sampling of wisdom is based, of course, on the Bible – that same Bible that is largely rejected or ignored in today’s America.  The latest evidence of this fact, and the one that prompted this post, comes from a recent Rasmussen poll.  These answers cannot come from Christians who put their faith in God.

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted December 30, 2009

By Rasmussen Reports

1*Some people say that there is a natural tension between protecting individual rights and national security. In the United States today, does our legal system worry too much about protecting individual rights, too much about protecting national security, or is the balance about right?

43% Legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights
17% Legal system worries too much about protecting national security
28% Balance is about right
12% Not sure

2* In light of the recent attempt to blow up an airliner as it was landing in Detroit, should the United States take full control of security measures at foreign airports so that anyone flying to the U.S. would have to go through U.S. security?

54% Yes
29% No
16% Not sure

3* Should the attempt to blow up the airliner be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act or by civilian authorities as a criminal act?

71% By the military as a terrorist act
22% By civilian authorities as a criminal act
7% Not sure

4* Should waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques be used to gain information from the suspected bomber?

58% Yes
30% No
12% Not sure

5* How do you rate the U.S. government’s response to the attempted airline bombing – excellent, good, fair or poor?

5% Excellent
29% Good
27% Fair
35% Poor
4% Not sure

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Whether you agree or disagree with the majority, understand that these attitudes do not reflect Christianity.  They do not reflect the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.  And ultimately, God will give us what we ask for.

If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God. If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1 Samuel 12:14-15)

Share
November 11th, 2009 | Author:

Fear not.   This is a common theme in the Bible,  and in subsequent songs, where God encourages His children to take their eyes off the things they fear and put their trust in Him.

But just what is it that we fear? There are many things, of course – from spiders to dying – but I’ve observed both in my own life and in the life of others that the root of much of that fear is the fear of pain.  Whether it’s physical or emotional pain, we expend a great deal of our energies trying to avoid it.

And those avoidance techniques often result in sin, from the time we’re little kids.   We don’t want our boo-boo cleaned and bandaged, so we kick and scream.  We don’t want a spanking, so we lie and blame our siblings.  We don’t want to get our shots (which is actually a good idea, but that’s another story) so we cry and try to manipulate our parents.

But we’re not little kids anymore.  We’re supposed to “grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” (Eph 4:15) and it’s hard to imagine Jesus kicking and screaming at His mother.  In fact, this incredible Savior of ours embraced His coming pain.  While his flesh would have liked a way out, His spirit said, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  (Luke 22:42)

So how do we get from here to there?  How do we grow past our sinful avoidance techniques and take up our crosses?  I can’t speak for everyone, but in my life this process has been furthered by suffering.

From the time I was first saved, I went through one emotionally painful betrayal after another, each time closer to the bone than the last.  I cried, and cried out to the Lord, to protect me from all this pain.  It didn’t stop.  Then I asked Him to help me deal with the pain.  He did, but it still didn’t stop.  After many years, I finally got to the point where I could honestly say, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  I had become willing to suffer emotionally if it would further His plans for my life or the lives of others.

From that point on, other people simply couldn’t cause the pain that they used to, and I stopped trying to protect myself from it. Near the end of this process, the Lord impressed on me this verse:

Because in much wisdom there is much grief,
and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain. (Ecc 1:18)

As I read this, I realized that all that emotional suffering had been an answer to prayer, because the cry of my heart from the beginning had been to know Him and His ways.  He is faithful to give us what we ask for.

Then one day I was talking and praying with a dear Christian friend who had watched and helped me go through much of this process.  We were talking about the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7), and I said that while the Lord had been teaching me how to handle emotional pain, I was a big baby when it came to physical pain.  I didn’t think I’d be able to represent the Lord when I was being stoned or fed to the lions or hung on a cross.

She said, “Uh, oh.”

Sure enough, before much time passed I started having back problems, which progressively got worse.  Then came hypothyroidism and chronic fatigue. Then I developed tendinitis and a frozen shoulder.   Then all my muscles started hurting with a pain that prevented me from sleeping.  I was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia, for which there is no cure and no definitive treatment

Being one who learns from experience, I skipped the prayers to make the pain go away, and went straight to the “help me deal with this” prayers.  I occasionally can say, “Your will,” with an honest heart, but this process is far from finished and my poor husband still has to listen to me whine – which he does with more grace than I give myself.

But I can say that the fear of physical pain is abating, and much of the time I can keep my eyes on the goal.

The goal?  I’m being prepared to represent the Lord while being stoned, of course.

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul;
but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Matt 10:28)

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons;
for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers,
then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them;
shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them,
but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful;
yet to those who have been trained by it,
afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:4-11)

Share