November 28, 2007

A Nanny State Government Deprives of Life

I have been trying to imagine the reaction of Americans from another epoch to the cultural events of our day. When I consider the heart beat of the forefathers of this nation--I have been reading about them for the past couple years--and the resultant heroic scheme to break away from England, I wonder if such a revolution would ever again be possible. As I read what I just wrote the words "your mad" comes to mind but madness is what I see issuing forth from our so-called elected representatives every single day. (That's a 74 word sentence…)

The forefathers were willing to give their lives for the chance of freedom. It was a worthwhile sacrifice. But we have incrementally traded freedom for an imagined security insisting the government should care for us cradle to grave.

What I fail to see is what is so attractive–-even if it were possible-- about shedding my liberties with a mediocre lifestyle?

I want the freedom to soar which means I also accept the freedom to fail.

The "Nanny State" government has become so invasive that frankly, all that revolutionary flap about "taxation without representation," seems much ado about nothing.

After all is said and done, in our world of 2008, this "free" nation of ours has taken away a bazillion freedoms AND for the most part we still are under the task master of having little to say about how much, where, and on what our taxes are used.

But this is not a rant about taxes. It is a lamentation about how utterly ineffective, and insecure, our land of the free has become. Remember, for every law passed that is supposed to be for the "common good," several freedoms are usually forfeited. But you cannot have it both ways--a land of liberty and the demand that the government will cushion my fall when my freedoms don't play out well.

If there is one difference between those called liberal and those called conservative, there you have it. Guess which one is the liberal view.

November 14, 2007

"Turkey Day" Should go the Way of the Dodo!

Are you ready for tomorrow? It's Thursday I know but it is, as you are well aware--THANKSGIVING DAY, not "turkey day."

Now maybe you are in one of those pouting modes; you know, "Woe is me, poor me, sorry me, life has given me such a bum wrap. I deserve better! I deserve more!

Well, actually I agree--at least with half of that mindset. We all deserve MORE--but certainly not BETTER!

You see what we truly deserve is the condemnation of a perfect God who loathes imperfection. What we truly deserve is the wrath of a holy God poured out on unholy people. So, yup, we sure do deserve more! But instead, that holy God, that perfect God came to be our substitute giving us the perfection that God still demands from each of us and came as the substitute taking the condemnation we so richly deserve.

Now--do you have anything to be thankful for tomorrow?

Listen to the words of the Psalms:

I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness; Psalm 7:17

I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to Thee among the nations, O LORD, Psalm 18:49

O LORD my God, I will give thanks to Thee forever. Psalm 30:12

I will give thanks to Thy name, O LORD, for it is good. Psalm 54:6

I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord, among the peoples; Psalm 57:9

With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the LORD; Psalm 109:30

I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Psalm 139:14

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day--not "Turkey Day" so when you gather around the table whether you are with a large family or are seated by yourself at a forlorn restaurant remember--He has given us all cause to be thankful no matter what circumstances we are in--for this life is but for a moment and if you realize that and believe that in the words of the Psalmist--Then you will say on that day, "I will give thanks to Thee, O LORD; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me." Isaiah 12:1

Sexual Conduct Of A Sinful Nature Exacts High Price

When I was working as a Medical Technologist years ago, I used to receive the Morbidity, Mortality, Weekly Report; MMWR just to stay abreast of the latest statistics of diseases both nationally and internationally. It's not exactly fun reading but certainly informative punctuating the cause and effect realities of conduct-related consequences in all aspects of life. One aspect of particular interest to me continues to be in the realm of sexual immorality.

In a very expected outcome, it was reported by the CDC "more than 1 million cases of Chlamydia were reported in the United States last year — the most ever reported for a sexually transmitted disease, federal health officials said Tuesday." Dr. John Douglas, director of STD prevention at the CDC believes the real infection count should be closer to 2.8 million due to underreporting.

The total number of sexually transmitted diseases recorded last year alone was a staggering 19 million! But Chlamydia is of great concern because it is without symptoms early on and therefore is rampant. While people belly ache about the cost of fighting for our safety in the Middle East, you are paying, one way or another, about $15 billion a year for someone's sinful misconduct.

Why the increases? "Public-health experts partially blamed the increase on faltering public-health campaigns…"

That is pretty much code for, "We need to educate our children at still younger ages teaching them about, and providing them with, CONDOMS as well as other contraception.

We see the logical extension of such a mindset working itself out at the King Middle School in Portland, Maine where the school board voted to give prescription contraception to children as young as 11 years old and this, without parental knowledge.

All these years after public education consumed with sex education, few are educating the nation's children with real prevention information that is 100% effective. In so doing, the devil has warped the minds of the populace at large making them believe that to do so is unrealistic, judgmental and God forbid--religiously motivated.

So--Let them eat cake; and let them take a bitter pill to lessen the consequences of God's loving council for life!

November 09, 2007

Lazy Preachers Shirking Call to Study the Word

I have really been dismayed for the past several years over what seems to be an essential abandonment of preaching the Word of God. Understand I am not talking about what goes on in "liberal" churches but what goes on in supposedly Bible believing churches. Flip through the channels of the Christian stations on any given night and what you hear being preached is overwhelmingly "feel good" pap with little or no basis in Scriptural reality. And even when the Bible is referred to, it is done so in such a hap hazard way that it is little more than proof-texting with out of context passages used to suit the predetermined conclusions of the preacher.

The myriad of warnings in the book of Jeremiah about false prophets has never been more fitting than it is in today's world of lousy preaching.

So, I was encouraged to receive an e-mail about an organization that is asking preachers to sign "The Preacher's Pledge." It is an on-line pledge committing to the rigorous study of God's Word. You might think, "Doesn't that go without saying?"

Unfortunately, no it doesn't. You see with all the resources online now and with so many churches posting their sermons on line, many preachers are resorting to taking the easy way and "plagiarizing" ready made sermons. There are actually myriad sites where you can pay to obtain a fully developed sermon. In my book, that is unconscionable.

If God has called me to be the shepherd to feed his flock, then He has also equipped me to be the one to obtain the food to give them. The shepherd knows--or should know--the unique needs of the flock entrusted to him and beseeches the Lord of the whole wide world--not the world wide web, for inspiration and instruction. I am afraid that the still small voice for all too many preachers begins with

So if you're a preacher--I implore you to make your sermon your sermon. If you're not a preacher--don't be afraid to inquire of your pastor about the preparation of his messages. We all can get lazy but in this case, we cannot afford to become so.

November 08, 2007

More Lunacy From Our Public Schools

We know our world is going insane so this is just a redundancy of previous lunacy which places it in the "for what it's worth category." In the last three days I have heard of three suspensions of students ranging in ages from pre-kindergarten to junior high who have been suspended for "inappropriate touching." No problem with that on the surface until you find out what constituted "inappropriate touching" in each situation.

One was between friends who on leaving school on a Friday afternoon gave a typical kid friendship hug to their friends saying goodbye for the weekend. It was normal, it was harmless, it was innocent. The second situation pertained to a young lady who gave a friendship type hug to another classmate who had just experienced the death of a parent. Yes, I am serious; these were both reported on Fox News.

The third scenario dealt with a four year old as the "perpetrator" suspended for hugging a teacher's aide. (I'd really like to know if it was the teacher's aide who ratted out the perp cuz if it was, that aide has some serious sexuality issues) School officials sent a letter home explaining the infraction as, "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment."

The father--understandably irate--was able to get the school to change its wording of this heinous offense omitting the wording referring to sexual contact/harassment. I guess the four year old didn't quite fit the description of a sexual predator...

Now for ironic contrast; we revisit Portland 's, King Middle School, which approved a resolution to disseminate birth control--including prescription contraception, to children as young as 11 years old without parental consent or knowledge. Pile on top of that the nationwide pandemic of schools which allow, encourage and facilitate the use of Planned Parenthood information, products and facilities--most without parental consent--and you have to hold your eye balls from spinning out of their orbits.

The thinking behind the actions are irrational to say the least and at worst, it is starting to take on the appearance of judgment along the lines of Romans chapter 1 wherein God says, that a person can only ignore God--or pervert His existence and wisdom for so long--and then He will "give them up" to depraved thinking.

Need I say more?

Veterans' Day 2007

Yesterday was "Veterans Day." In case you didn't know the history of it here you go.

In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans. Traditionally, the observance occurred on November 11th, the significance of which being due to the fact that the armistice of World War I took place in the 11th month, on the 11th day, at the 11th hour of the day. It was known as Armistice Day but was changed to honor all veterans of all wars in 1954 under the signature of President Eisenhower.

On Memorial Day 1958, two more unidentified American war dead were brought from overseas and interred in the plaza beside the tomb of the unknown soldier of World War I. "One soldier was killed in World War II, the other in the Korean War. In 1984, an unknown serviceman from the Vietnam War was placed alongside the others. To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil."

In this era of anti-war, anti-military sentiment it is all the more important to extend our appreciation to the men and women who have served in the interest of the freedoms we all take so for granted. Were it not for a military and the great personal sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of people who gave their lives and millions more families who grieve their loss, this would be a vastly different nation. It is distressing that the cost of liberty seems to have become buried under piles of "peace at any price" slogans and politicians who fail to understand the intrinsic nature of the wickedness of the human heart.

As long as there are people on earth, there will always be a need for a mighty military and even mightier men and women who see clearly enough and magnanimous enough to offer the ultimate sacrifice for those who appreciate it so little. When you have opportunity, tell one of our warriors--"Thank you." May God have mercy on us all.

Yet Another Scandal Alleged

If you have followed my commentaries for a length of time you know that I am no great fan of government intrusion into the ministry of the church. But that being said, you have to realize that if ministries are expecting a tax exemption based on their 501-C3 status (non-profit) then you have to submit to a certain scrutiny by "Caesar." If a ministry finds that objectionable, the solution is pretty simple; forfeit your tax exemption from "The Man."

When I first heard of Senator Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa) investigation into several prominent ministries, my knee jerk reaction was to be perturbed; but after thinking about it, if we are "in bed" with Caesar, there are certain things we forfeit and one of them is, perhaps, the level of total independence that we might like.

Allegedly there have been complaints about the extravagant lifestyles of certain television ministers which include some respectable names like Joyce Meyers and Paula White. So Grassley--as a representative of the United States government which grants to ministries, exemptions as a special "favor" essentially, has every right--I think--to see that everything is being carried out according to IRS code.

That being said, this needs to be watched very carefully since there is a very thin line between law and how it is applied versus one's opinion about how a law may or may not be applied.

Ministers and ministry heads also need to be mindful of legal, but abusive applications of the tax exempt status of non-profit organizations. Spending millions on mansions, private jets, vacations, investment properties and the like, sheltering them from taxation was not the purpose of the exemption in the first place. And these ridiculously rich "ministers" will end up ruining it for the vast majority of ministers that "do it" right.

It is interesting to note that none of the ministries in question are part of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability--a watchdog organization that polices its own concerning financial practices.

So here we go again with another scandal about money grubbing, conniving Christians who are out just to fleece the flock. True or not, the allegation will stick; it always does. Let's tighten the strings of accountability before we are ordered to by law--with great financial repercussions on all ministries.