November 28, 2006

Don't Trifle With God!

One of the common challenges I face in trying to get people to see the wisdom of God in their life’s decisions is that the determining factor in “God’s will” is not the outcome of the situation. In other words, a seemingly positive outcome to a clearly sinful decision does not invalidate God’s will.

How many times have I heard the justification for sin running something like this: “But I’ve never be happier.” “But ‘God’ has so blessed me in this job…” “But the loan went through when it looked like we didn’t have a chance.” “I am so at peace with my decision…”

Well sportsfans, “blessings” don’t necessarily issue from God; remember Paul’s words to the Corinthians; “Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light!”

There’s a great example found in Jeremiah 44. The people had been worshipping an idol called “The Queen of Heaven.” Jeremiah had come to them with a clear message from the Lord telling them to stop worshipping this false god. Here is their response.

“We will do whatever we want… For in those days we had plenty to eat, and we were well off and had no troubles! But ever since we quit burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and stopped worshiping her with liquid offerings, we have been in great trouble and have been dying from war and famine."

What was their bottom line? It wasn’t the revealed will of God, it was the “whatever works” factor. They were comfortable under the worship of this idol so it didn’t matter what God Almighty wanted.

The problem is, Satan may “bless” them for a while to suck them toward him and away from the Lord and God even allows that, but God will have His say sooner or later.

The passage continues:
“It was because the LORD could no longer bear all the disgusting things you were doing that he made your land an object of cursing... All these terrible things happened to you because…you have refused to obey him and have not followed his instructions, his decrees, and his laws."

God is merciful patient and kind, but He is not one to be trifled with and He is God and his standards do not change. Which means, we had better.

Embryonic Stem Cells Still a Flop

I assume you remember the controversy with Michael J Fox and his political commercial for Claire McCaskill. Fox is shown speaking as his body is moving spasmodically on screen and the clear intention of the ad was that if only we could do embryonic stem cell research, people like him, who suffer from Parkinson’s, could be helped if not cured.
The ad was misleading on several fronts not the least of which, and the most important of which, was scientifically. To repeat what I have said in these commentaries numerous times, there has not been one single success trial, cure, or even improvement in any disease process using embryonic stem cells while there have been many, many success stories using stem cells from other sources; other non-controversial sources.
Just last week it was reported in the journal Nature, scientist, Giulio Cossu, director of the Stem Cell Research Institute at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute of Milan in Italy reported successful treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This is a muscle-wasting genetic disorder that affects only boys and is the most common childhood form of muscular dystrophy.
Now the catch is the trial was done on dogs. The golden retrievers received injections of stem cells obtained either from the dogs themselves or from other healthy dogs. This sort of research goes on all the time and there is no controversial killing of babies in order to obtain these cells. Now just because this was successful with dogs doesn’t mean it will translate to humans but it is exciting news none-the-less.
The injections worked amazingly well and were so effective that the dogs, which were severely disabled prior to treatment, were able to walk faster and jump after stem cell therapy.
So again, don’t believe the hype about embryonic stem cells. It is purely political. It is beginning to look more and more as if God was going to make sure we didn’t start cannibalizing embryonic humans in the name of helping other mature humans.
So let’s go full steam ahead with ethical research and not sink to the level of Dr. Mengele using human beings, created in the image of God, for the purpose of easing someone else’s hardship. That is a prerogative that has not been left up to us.

Black Friday-Cyber Monday

Well this is it, You know IT! Yes I mean “IT!” Black Friday! The always exciting, always frenetic day of the year immediately after Thanksgiving named for the use of “black ink” on a ledger indicating a profit as opposed to red ink indicating a loss!

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day blitz when stores compete with gimmicks and ads and discounts, oh those sweet discounts, trying to lure you into their establishment of brain washing and immediate gratification.

It’s the first official shopping day of the Christmas—oops sorry—I mean winter holidays when the true spirit of the season--which is to buy a bunch of unnecessary, unwanted and unusable junk—kicks into full gear.

Wal-Mart has already announced that unlike last year, the word Christmas, which was an obscenity last year, is going to be on all employee’s lips, plastered on posters, bangled on banners and printed on packages like never before. Why they are even going to play—get this—“Christmas music!” I’m not even kidding!

Oh glorious miraculous season—has Wal-Mart has converted to Christianity?

Maybe this in response to the fact that they felt the disdain of Christmas loyalists last year?” Maybe this is merely a “money move” to bolster the bottom line. Or maybe this is in response to the fact that Wal-Mart, just a couple months ago decided to partner with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce?

Walmart has never been exclusionary but that wasn’t enough; as a "corporate member" of the NGLCC,this all American retailer has put their approval on the NGLCC's efforts “to abolish the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A Wal-Mart vice president will serve as an advisor to the NGLCC, helping them promote homosexual marriage.”

Well, Wal-Mart needs to take a look at Ford Motor Company. They did the same thing years ago and look where it has taken them…

So this year when you’re out and about, remember that the loudest, most powerful voice you have is your pocket book or purse. They sure don’t understand ethics morality and decency but they do tend to hear the siren calls of the Almighty Dollar. You want to send a message this year; you know what to do.

November 20, 2006

You Believe in the Sanctity of Marriage? SHOW ME!

A majority of states in America now have constitutional amendments protecting the natural definition of marriage.

This past election cycle, people with moral convictions were excited that seven more states passed marriage amendments bringing to 27 the number of states nationwide that have adopted amendments aimed at prohibiting "gay marriage." Arizona, at the time of this writing was still undecided after a close count.

The seven states passed the amendments with an average of 64 percent of the vote. In Colorado, people with moral underpinnings celebrated twice, watching the amendment win easily while also helping defeat Referendum I, which would have granted same-sex couples many of the legal benefits of marriage.

What I want to track on is a typical comment I read after the elections from conservative Glen Lavy, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund. Lavy said, "This shows that, nationwide, Americans still support marriage. "They know that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and they're willing to say so by their votes."

Certainly nothing surprising there and don’t misunderstand my comments that follow but people of so-called moral conviction need to honestly put up or shut up. What do I mean? We need to take our indignation against the bastardization of God’s plan for marriage beyond our intellectual commitment to a definition.

We can talk about the sanctity of marriage all we want but it rings just a bit hollow and hugely hypocritical when you look at the state of marriage by those of us doing the squawking!

Half the marriages today—even by Christians—end in divorce. Of the half of the marriages that don’t end in divorce, half of those are hardly relationships anyone would want and the rest are pretty much two people living under the same roof as roommates either out of financial convenience or for the sake of the kids.

So our rants about the sanctity of marriage just don’t carry much of a wallop and worse, even fuel the fires of those who want to reshape what everyone knows in their hearts is right. So do you support marriage; don’t tell me “Of course!” with a certain disdain in your tone simply by being asked the question, SHOW ME!

“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus. Did you hear that?

November 17, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Is Nearly Upon Us

It’s the annual celebration of one of our two big holidays that flow just a month apart. Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow which implies there is an object of one’s thanksgiving. But not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving anymore. Instead it has become “Turkey Day.”

I seem to hear it more and more; “Have a nice Turkey Day!” “Happy Turkey Day!”
Since when do we give millions the day off from work in honor of a fairly stupid bird whose reason for existence is to grace millions of tables as the main course two or three times a year?

Thanksgiving isn’t about gorging ourselves with the succulent meat of this flying bowling ball, accompanied by mashed potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce and the rest and it’s not the “kick off” to the annual festival of avarice and greed now known as the winter holidays.

Thanksgiving Day was supposed to be a time of “official thanks,” if you will, to God Almighty; specifically the God of the Bible, not some deity envisioned willy-nilly.

Rather it was an acknowledgement that the bounty of the harvest was attributable by the blessing of a God who took personal interest in the affairs of man including the mundane aspects of life like earning a living off the land.

Fortunately we have grown up as a civilization and we no longer need such superstitions to make us feel secure against elements of life we cannot control. (Please note the sarcasm…)

Since abandoning the childish fables of a mighty God who rescued people from the fate of hungry lions, rescued them out of prisons and pits and even assigned great sea creatures to swallow one recalcitrant sinner and spit him up on dry land, we have become a much more balanced and peaceful society haven’t we?

Playground bullies used to wash kids faces in the snow, now they blow them away with semi-automatic rifles. Divorce used to carry a stigma; it was something to be ashamed of and now it is the treatment du jour for an ailing or lack luster marriage.

Doctors used to only save lives. The same doctor who treats your flu now may be the same doctor who palliates you with morphine—in mercy of course—hastening your demise.

So, by all means, this Thanksgiving, pay homage to the bulging bird or do obeisance to the Creator of the world; it’s a free country; do what you want; but remember, there will be a day of reckoning—believe it or not.

November 14, 2006

Schumer Demands "Fairness"

Okay here we are and some are licking their wounds after the political battles of last week. There have been numerous quote worthy statements in the process; statements that are unbelievably ridiculous, preposterous, or hypocritical but they are too many to mention. Still, I will give one example which came from the mouth of the always deplorable Chuck Schumer. When it comes to the liberal agenda, Chompin chuck is the Yoda of liberal hypocrisy.

First to set this up, I just want you to remember back to the not so distant past of the year 2000 when the liberals were fuming, frothing, and drooling with rabid fury demanding recount after recount and after the recounts didn’t go their way, they demanded another recount a different way to see if they could possibly manipulate the outcome and when that didn’t work they still demanded yet more recounts? The fact is, every time a liberal loses, they can’t handle the fact that it’s because they are losers, but have to insist that they lost because of fraud, malfunction with machines, or someone’s profound inability to count.

Now back to Chompin Chuck. The race for the lone senate seat which would transfer control of the Senate to the Democrats came down to the race between porn writer Jim Webb and Conservative George Allen of Virginia. The morning after the elections, Webb was only leading by .3%, well within the margin for a legitimate recount even discounting all that is riding on the outcome. Concerning George Allen, Schumer actually made the following statement. “Do the right and gentlemanly thing and declare Jim Webb the winner.”

Even as I write it, I am fighting back the urge to purge. I am slapping myself in the head; knocking my noggin on the wall at such stomach-churning, bowel wrenching hypocrisy. You mean like Al Gore Senator Schumer? You mean like every Liberal politician who is already starting lawsuits at the very mention of an election claiming voter fraud and intimidation? Someone sedate me!

I know you’re in control God, but help me through these next years. God help us and have mercy on us all.

Post Election Autopsy

So what happened in this last election? It’s pretty simple really. But two aspects seemed obvious. First, many conservatives it seems, did the moronic and voted against people they would normally have voted for--to send a message. Now that’s brilliant!

And how do I know that. Because when you look at the type of social issues—typical “conservative” issues of morality and the like--many of them passed by overwhelming margins—70% and higher in some cases and yet the conservative candidate running was defeated. That is telltale.

The other aspect that played itself out pretty clearly was that the party of liberals nominated some their most moderate candidates. Why? Because they are more appealing to the masses than the rabid liberals who—although are in the minority nationwide--are in control of the party. And therein lies the problem.

People elect moderates but are not getting a moderate party. The Pilosi’s, Schumer’s, Rangel’s and Reids, and on and on are the real face of the party of liberals and it is their agenda, not the agenda of the moderates which will hold sway.

All of which means we are in for some nasty weather. But the sun will come out tomorrow! It just may be that the election of 2006 will accomplish something great for the big election in 2008. Namely, this will allow two years for the country to see what the liberal agenda is all about.

So get ready to pay out more in taxes; get ready for another catastrophic attack on our country; get ready for more excuses about why they haven’t accomplished anything positive—I assure you the President will be blamed for vetoing their liberal policies.

If at the end of the day, we are compelled to pray more, then this could be a good thing.
Only time will tell and one thing we know for sure, our nation’s health does not ride on policies enacted by a congress but by our observance to the rules of life issued by the Creator.

Remember it was only one month ago at the height of the Foley scandal, that the Democrats themselves admitted that they were not the party of values. But that will have all been forgotten in just another week. Maranatha Lord Jesus, Maranatha!

November 09, 2006

The Church Should Not Diminish the Fall of Christian Leaders

Another icon of evangelical Christianity has fallen and fallen hard. Ted Haggard, Senior pastor of a 14,000-member church, and president of the National Association of Evangelicals who had weekly access to the Whitehouse, has confessed—after being caught--to scurrilous activities. This prompted one writer of blog I read recently to comment; “No surprise that mainstream Christianity has the moral power of a flatulent gerbil in the wind.”

Even with my own battles, I am utterly bewildered by the nature of evil, wickedness and the blackness of man’s heart. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things and is desperately corrupt. Who can understand it?”

That is why we need a Savior; that is why He came. But I have to also sympathize with another blogger who, being dismayed by the hypocrisy of Haggard’s words versus walk wrote, “When you become again, a religion worth believing in, give me a call.” The church of Jesus Christ needs to understand the seriousness of the situation.

I fear that in our recognition that we all need God’s mercy and grace we may be too quick in dispensing what the late, Lutheran theologian, Dietrich Bonhoffer called, a “cheap grace.” I assure you I am not casting stones but merely trying to maintain a Biblical frame of reference.

For all that I have read since the story broke, I am troubled that people continue to identify Haggard as a “man of God.” Let us cease from using such confusing language for Haggard was obviously--for a long time--NOT living like a man of God.

Consider the following: Haggard did not suddenly find himself in a place of temptation and in a moment of weakness succumb to some isolated enticement. In other words, Haggard did not “stumble.” He has admitted—only after being caught—and only after first lying about it all, that this, has been a long-standing battle.

I can sympathize with the battle; believe me, I too am fleshly, carnal, in need of forgiveness daily. But Haggard accepted and maintained his roles of leadership and power knowing he was vulnerable; knowing he was a deceiver, knowing he was not qualified to be in Christian ministry. Biblically, that puts him in a different category than the average person who, like us all, is regularly tripped up by his human frailty.

Is it any wonder that our religion, our faith, and our God is not taken seriously and we have lost all credibility? So before all the talk of understanding and friendship, and forgiveness and support, which accompanies any mention of Haggard’s name, let us be clear to the curious masses as to how we view what he has done. Making public statements like “Well, you know we are all sinners; we’re all in need of forgiveness” is confusing and misleading to those who have no frame of reference of such complicated issues.

We cannot afford to diminish the incredible damage Haggard has done to so many people, the damage he has done to the lost who were being drawn to God; and the damage done to the work and mission of the Church.

Yes, we are all sinners and yes, it is true, “but for the grace of God there go I,” but that must not be allowed to confuse the response of the Church in salvaging the life of this fallen leader as well as the work of Christ on Earth. May God have mercy on us all.

November 02, 2006

New Anglican Head Beyond Heresy

When the Anglican Church in the United States announced the appointment of Katharine Jefferts-Schori there were audible gasps of shock heard throughout the convention hall.
This week, those gasps were heard again, and louder. The woman who will be installed as the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church doesn't believe Jesus Christ is the only way to God.
When Schori was elected on the fifth ballot, I predicted her appointment pretty much as a guarantee of future schism within the disunified denomination. Last week, I believe she sealed that eventuality by stating that Jesus Christ is not the only way to heaven.
After overcoming my anger at such blasphemous remarks, I realized this is a very good occurrence. The debate no longer revolves around some social hot buttons like abortion, homosexuality, and fornication. The issue is now supremely about Jesus; Immanuel God with us.
According to the Associated Press, Bishop Jefferts-Schori said, "If we insist that we know the one way to God, we've put God in a very small box.” She added that she doesn’t believe that "one person can have the fullness of truth in him or herself." Rather, "Truth is, like God, more than any one person can encompass."
With her statements the head of the Episcopal Church in America has formally revealed that she is an apostate and a heretic. It is not going to fly well, even with the socially left leaning congregants who are ignorant of comprehensive Biblical morality.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…” Col. 2:8-10

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Already, eight diocese have asked Rowan Williams, the Arch Bishop of Canterbury, to place them under a different leader.

Whether he does or doesn’t shouldn’t matter. It is long past time for God fearing people to abandon this wayward denomination and start looking for one that believes in and teaches Truth.

Cheating Is Now The Competitive Edge

I was watching an NFL game Sunday and for some reason noted the head coach covering his nose and mouth with what looked like a program for the game. This wasn’t something out of the ordinary; I’d seen this before; a lot. You can see it on any given Sunday when the head coach is shown on the sidelines communicating with his other coaches who sit up in a box somewhere looking at films taken moments before.

Or maybe you didn’t realize that black and white snapshots are taken on virtually every play so that seconds later, formations of the teams can be viewed and weaknesses spied. Those weaknesses are then radioed down to the field and the proper coach makes an adjustment wherever necessary.

Like I said, none of this is out of the ordinary and all quite legal, even expected. Everybody does it; really.

But it was the program over the mouth that caught my attention this time. I remember someone explaining to me that the reason the coaches now hide their mouths when talking is because the other team used to hire lip readers to view the coaches with binoculars or spotting scopes and then tell the coach what their opponent was saying.

Now call me square but I don’t really see this being any different than someone using a mirror strategically placed during a card game to try and get the upper hand on the opponent. We used to call this cheating; now it’s called getting the competitive edge.

Why is it accepted? I suppose because everyone does it, or at least would if they had the opportunity and the coaches weren’t hiding their lips. But what I note is that these kinds of things were not in the playbook so to speak in days gone by. Honestly, even if the technology were the same, I’m not sure that someone in the days of Knute Rockne or George Halas for example, would have even thought to do such a thing.

The game was fought on the field by honing physical skills and teamwork not by figuring out someway to short cut the system and find a loophole to the norms of competition.

So as I watched, it just saddened me a bit to realize again, what we have become, in all spheres of life.

Don't Sit This One Out!

Well tomorrow is the big day—election day that is! This is another big election as it could very well determine the course of our country’s destiny possibly for the foreseeable future.

The liberals who can’t stand a military that actually does what it is trained to do—namely, break things and kill people—have already promised to defund the war in Iraq if they have the control of the congress restored to them. I know they are blind, deaf and dumb but such determination will put this nation and the world in a peril like we have never experienced.

So what was that about sitting this one out? What was that about your frustration with leaders you thought were going to bring about near paradise but haven’t? What was that about teaching someone a lesson? What was that about giving Washington a wake up call?

Trust me, Washington is not where the wake up call needs to be given; remember everyone in Washington was put there by YOU and ME. If there’s a wake up call needed, its with YOU and ME and your neighbor and your co-worker. We need to vote people with no sense of what real service and real sacrifice is out of office and that can’t happen if you “sit this one out.”

If our national security is not motivation enough remember that we have two very aged Supreme Court justices who are ready to retire one way or another. While its true the President appoints the nominee’s to the highest court, a change in the structure of Congress can completely impede any pick the President might make.

So set those alarms and WAKE UP and go to the polls tomorrow and cast your votes.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” Ephesians 5:8-12

I know things are far from perfect with the candidates and party of your choice but get real; you can drink castor oil or hemlock. They’re both pretty nasty but only one will kill you. Salud!