I love this video because Rep. Mike Kelly grills the outgoing IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. It shows the fact that the IRS has overreaching power and is virtually held unaccountable for their actions. As Rep. Kelly points out, the IRS Commissioner admitted the IRS is run in a shoddy manner, but when the IRS comes knocking on our doors, we don’t get to use that excuse. (Click on the link, for some reason, I’m having trouble embedding the video clip.)
For Phoebe and Joseph.
Phoebe has made the claim that the RCC is a cult. Joseph responded that it was not. Phoebe’s response is below. So that both don’t take over the comments section of the Top 10 Hymns, I’m posting Phoebe’s comments here, so they can respond on this post.
I welcome both of their input to the topic. However, I don’t wish to engage right now. This is not my battle.
Yesterday on Foxnews, they ran a story about a school in Alabama where the principal was trying to ban the term “Easter Bunny” from the vocabulary of the students in an attempt to keep anyone from being offended. Yes, this is political correctness run amok.
As Christians, I don’t think we should be the least bit offended at all. Especially given the fact that the Easter Bunny has nothing to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let the loon ban the term, and we should join her in doing so, given that the bunny is man’s tradition, not anything biblical.
I noted on my Facebook page the other day that golf is a great metaphor for the Christian life in that the more self-control you maintain during the game, the better it goes for you. In other words, playing golf well will not come about when you give yourself over to the flesh. The flesh screams at you every time you stand over the ball for the next shot. What does your flesh scream? “Hit the hell out of it!” But any golfer knows that hitting the hell out of it will lead to a hell of shot… out of bounds, into the woods, into the river, or even into the unknown. Very few good things ever come from hitting the hell out of the ball.
Too many things to be said about the new pope. Again, I am not endorsing this man as the head of the church. Only Christ is the head of the church, and any other man who puts himself in that place is an anti-Christ. This is a position held by Protestants since the Reformation. Since the RCC has not done anything to change their position on the pope, neither shall we. John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards and John Wycliffe have all agreed with this position. So realize it is not something new to me, and it certainly should not be shocking to anyone that a Protestant would actually be opposed to the pope and the apostate church in Rome. There is far too much at stake when it comes to the eternal souls of people, and Protestants who hold true to Scripture can never affirm Roman Catholicism that calls justification by faith alone in Christ alone an anathema! (Canons of Trent, p. 43).
Jody, a member of my church, mentioned to me today a conversation he had with a woman about sharing the gospel. Like many Christians, she was under the impression that she needed to live the gospel, be the gospel, and love as the gospel before she could actually get around to sharing the gospel.
She, like many others, has been duped because this is a lie straight from the devil himself that actually prevents the gospel from being shared. If we could live the gospel and be the gospel and love as the gospel, then we wouldn’t need Christ now would we?
OK brothers and sisters in the LORD, Jerry Johnson had done it now. He’s gone too far! He went so far as to say that the First and Second Commandments keep us from paying homage to the First and Second Amendments. In other words, the First and Second Amendment, are in the end, idolatrous.
How dare Jerry do such a thing! Doesn’t he know that the Bill of Rights were carved out of the rock at Mount Vernon? Doesn’t he know that the Constitution is the inspired word of God for America? We are, after all, God’s chosen people for the 21st Century? Doesn’t he know that?
If you recall, Team Obama had a Christian slated to make the prayer for the inauguration last week but it was discovered that Louie Giglio had preached against homosexuality some 15 years ago. Team Obama couldn’t have that so they brought in Myrlie Evers-Williams instead. She is a laywoman and when she prayed, she conveniently prayed without mentioning God’s name. She prayed to us and about us instead. (See Al Mohler’s comments here about the Giglio incident). This should cause those of us in the true faith to be alarmed, but we’ve seen so much turning away from the true faith, that it’s a daily occurrence.
I really like Bart Gingerich take on the entire incident. He shows us that Evers-Williams prayer and the belief behind it is the end result of those who invent their own religion. I think he nails the problem of so much of what is wrong in America today. Even those who are inside the “church” want to be inside the church apart from the religion given to us by a Triune God, and just want to have religious experiences apart from true repentance and salvation.
There has been so much in the news lately that deserves comment, my response to it all is to do something else. Let’s face it, we live in overwhelming times and I have to remind myself daily that even in these times, our LORD is stil sovereign over the lives of individuals as well as events in our world. I’m grateful that the Triune God is truly God, ruling over the events and lives of men, and we are not left to ourselves.
But given that, here are a few events that really caught my attention.
Al Mohler Reports on a New Moral McCarthyism that has led to a Christian pastor being disinvited from Obama’s second inauguration. The pastor’s crime? He preached against homosexuality some 20 years ago. Mohler reports that the sermon itself was full of grace and truth, noting that Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio called for all sinners to repent and trust in Jesus, not just homosexuals. But alas, this is too much for those on the left. They must push forward for more “inclusion and acceptance” by running off people who actually are Christians and believe the Bible.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White House have now declared historic, biblical Christianity to be out of bounds, casting it off the inaugural program as an embarrassment. By its newly articulated standard, any preacher who holds to the faith of the church for the last 2,000 years is persona non grata. By this standard, no Roman Catholic prelate or priest can participate in the ceremony. No Evangelical who holds to biblical orthodoxy is welcome. The vast majority of Christians around the world have been disinvited. Mormons, and the rabbis of Orthodox Judaism are out. Any Muslim imam who could walk freely in Cairo would be denied a place on the inaugural program. Billy Graham, who participated in at least ten presidential inaugurations is welcome no more. Rick Warren, who incited a similar controversy when he prayed at President Obama’s first inauguration, is way out of bounds. In the span of just four years, the rules are fully changed.
I found the same attitude on Facebook back during the Chick Fil-A incident in the summer. There were those who were saying that anyone who held to historic Christian values regarding homosexuality were members of hate groups. If the common man really feels that way, we Christians are truly out of bounds to what is normal in our world. Thanks be to the God of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. He warned us that men would persecute us for His names sake. I was hoping though that persecution wouldn’t arrive so soon.
There are some great lessons here. No matter how hard you try to please the world, it won’t work. Of course many of them hate the message. They are spiritually dead and will always hate it. If they aren’t properly offended then you delivered the message wrong. But you honor God by speaking the truth in love.
Randy writes concerning Giglio’s sermon:
If this message is “hate speech,” as it is called in some by some responders, then the Bible is hate speech, and no one can preach the whole Bible without being guilty of hate speech. Some people believe that and are honest enough to say it.
Journal News Proves Themselves Cowards — For those of you following the gun debate since the Sandyhook massacre, you know that that Journal News, which covers a couple of counties in New York, published the names and addresses of homeowners that has legally purchased guns with permits. (This is one reason why we should be opposed to permits. That is not a part of the Second Amendment).
Apparently in the aftermath, the people of the Journal News refuse to talk about and have hired people with guns to protect them. Wow! They went from being anti-gun to pro-guns in just a few weeks. More hypocrisy?
But I truly liked what Judge Jeanine Pirro on Foxnews truly had the the best response. She sent her producers to interview these people. They wouldn’t responds and Judge Pirro really rakes them over the coals afterwards. I do appreciate her passion, and please note that Judge Pirro was on the list.
Also, Rush Limbaugh pointed out that some bloggers published the names and addresses of the employees of the Journal News. They didn’t like it one bit. Journalists hate journalism being done on them.
Man Save Mouse, Hawk Eats Mouse — Here is a funny video clip of a man going to the trouble of releasing a mouse into the wild, only to have it eaten by a hawk. I guess you could say nature takes its course. Reminds me of nature’s lesson for poor Andy last week with his fish tank and Black Tamales (Mollies).
That video should give you a good laugh for the day. At least I hope it does.
Dr. Keith Ablow has written a truly troubling article for Foxnews this week entitled We Are Raising a Generation of Deluded Narcissists. He documents how a study was conducted of freshmen at universities across the nation showing that a majority of freshmen believed that they were gifted and driven to succeed even though their grades and test scores indicated otherwise. The narcissistic tendencies among young adults has been increasing for the past 30 years.
Ablow says that this is not surprising at all, given the culture that we live in truly caters to the exaltation of the self. Ablow writes:
I have been writing a great deal over the past few years about the toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.
On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have hundreds or thousands of “friends.” They can delete unflattering comments. They can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), “speak” in pithy short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and musicians they “like.”
We truly do live in a world in which each one of us is the center of our own stories. We have our followings on Facebook, blogs, twitter, chat rooms, and even the games we play on the internet. There is a real temptation to find meaning in all these things, but the reality is that in the end, none of these things matter at all.
For instance, video games really do give someone a false sense of self worth in playing them. I remember playing Age of Kings while in seminary. It’s a game in which the player builds a kindgom using little men and warriors and takes over other kingdoms and warriors as he grows in stature and power in the game. One can obtain great levels of “power” in the game itself and really create a name for one’s self. The problem is, the moment that you shut off the computer, is the moment that reality comes crashing down on the player. He or she is no longer the great warrior or conqueror, just someone who spent hours playing a game. The false realities do come to an end.
Ablow points this out as well:
False pride can never be sustained. The bubble of narcissism is always at risk of bursting. That’s why young people are higher on drugs than ever, drunker than ever, smoking more, tattooed more, pierced more and having more and more and more sex, earlier and earlier and earlier, raising babies before they can do it well, because it makes them feel special, for a while. They’re doing anything to distract themselves from the fact that they feel empty inside and unworthy.
Distractions, however, are temporary, and the truth is eternal. Watch for an epidemic of depression and suicidality, not to mention homicidality, as the real self-loathing and hatred of others that lies beneath all this narcissism rises to the surface. I see it happening and, no doubt, many of you do, too.
We had better get a plan together to combat this greatest epidemic as it takes shape. Because it will dwarf the toll of any epidemic we have ever known. And it will be the hardest to defeat. Because, by the time we see the scope and destructiveness of this enemy clearly, we will also realize, as the saying goes, that it is us.
I agree with him. We do need a plan ready for the countless people who come crashing down with the realities that their false worlds truly are nothing but from the land of make believe. We need something that will give them true significance and true meaning. These things cannot be found on the psychiatrists couch or the pharmacists bottle.
These things can only be found in the One and His Kingdom that doesn’t pass away. Unlike Age of Kings, the Kingdom of Christ is eternal and so are those who belong to His Kingdom. To embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ means becoming significant based on the significance of another, namely Christ. We don’t find significance in ourselves, ever.
This is because we are fallen humans to begin with. We lost our true significance in the fall of Adam and all the false pretenses of life will never return that significance. This is why Christ is so important. He restores what was lost by Adam so many years ago and gives that significance to those who trust in Him for deliverance from these false realities.
But we must start with the premise that sin is real. Sin is not something we conjure up in our minds when we feel bad, but a true offense against a holy and just God. The very things that our false realities have been trying to cover up, must be exposed and dealt with. This is why Christ is so important to lasting realities. He dealt with the believer’s sin on the cross in a real and lasting way. The sin and debt He pays for are truly dealt with so that we can be reconciled to the Father. This is why Paul calls the gospel a ministry of reconciliation.
Once we are reconciled, then we truly can live a life of meaning and contentment because our meaning is found in Him, and not ourselves. There is no on or off switch to the real meaning and lives we have been given in Christ. While our lives may lack glamor or popularity, they have real meaning because the simple things we do throughout the day are things we do for Him.
Yes, we may be ignored in the false world of Facebook or Twitter. But our heavenly Father knows the struggles we will have and He gives us His Spirit to deal with them. This is far more meaningful than the number of friends I have in the social sphere. In Christ, we have One eternal friend who will never defriend us.