No Compromising!

I love Jesus because He is someone that has no grey areas. He is straight and to the point. In Luke 11:23 we see this clearly. “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” There is certainly no middle ground with Christ. You are either on board with Him, or you are against Him. This, again, speaks to the exclusivity of Christ that He taught to His disciples and us. There is no salvation except through Him. No Kingdom worthy of joining except His. No cause greater than His. When it comes to “all about Me!” Only Jesus can say that and have it be true. Life, the world we live in, everything is all about HIM!

As for me and my household, we will gather with Him! I hope you will do the same and quit trying to earn your salvation apart from Christ. Solus Christus!

Aggies Face Iowa State

It has been a while since I have done a sports update. Of course, the big news is that my Indianapolis Colts are in the Super Bowl to face the evil Chicago Bears. Never mind the fact that I have never been to Indianapolis or even care to check and see if I’m spelling it correctly. All I know is that Peyton Manning needs to get his Super Bowl ring to finish out his quest for… being one of the greatest quarterbacks of all times. I hope he gets it. As for me being their greatest fan… well, just like the loyalty that oozes forth from the NFL, yes, today I’m their greatest fan. Next week… it just might be the Bears if they end up winning the silly game. Loyalty and the NFL are oxymorons.

As for my prediction on who will win, I’m still sticking my finger up in the air… I mean, still researching stats and experts on the topic and will make a post on either Friday or Saturday. It will be interesting to see how Rush Limbaugh makes his prediction. But I’m squarely in the “Go Colts!” crowd. (BTW, part of my desire for them to win is because I have a friend that is a Colts fan, and for his sake, I would like them to win. I don’t think I know anyone that is a true Bears fan).

But what has me really excited is that my Aggies are ranked number 10 in one poll and number 8 in another poll for their men’s basketball team. This really is new territory. Last week, they were ranked as high as number 6 in the nation, and for a program that has a history of being mediocre in its best years, that was just too uncomfortable for us, so they went and lost to Texas Tech to make sure they didn’t remain that high. (Both times this season when they have reached that height, they have quickly lost… knowing we were way too uncomfortable being in the rarefied air).

Tonight, they are playing Iowa State. The Cyclones are on a four-game losing streak and A&M has another big game coming up on Saturday against Kansas. Kansas is ranked number 6 in the nation and the scare for tonight is that the Aggies might have their minds on that game, instead of the one they are playing. They need to keep their eyes on the Cyclones and worry about number 6 Jayhawks on Saturday.

But on top of that, they also have to play the Evil Orange Empire-Austin on Monday. The EOE-A is ranked number 22 in the nation. The Aggies have a real opportunity to prove themselves over the next week. First, beat the Cyclones. Take care of the weak teams like they should. Then, upset the Jayhawks. And finally, bury the EOE-A! Saw their darn horns right off and use them to barbecue the rest of the cow! Hopefully, it will be a big week in a good way for the Aggies. As we say: Gig ‘Em!

AFTERTHOUGHT

On my previous post concerning the requests for sermons, it dawned on me yesterday why it was such a good sermon. We prayed all week that the Holy Spirit would pour God’s mercy into our service on Sunday, and He answered. It truly is all about HIM!

Sola Gratia

I never thought I would get the reaction I got when I preached on the subject of Sola Gratia on Sunday. Quite frankly, I was surprised. What reaction? I had people wanting copies of the sermon on CDs so they could send to family and friends and other churches. One man asked for 25 copies. That has never happened in the 12 years I have been preaching. I would like to chalk it up to my superior preaching talents, but that would be taking too much credit. If there is any credit given, it is to the LORD, whom I pray, is speaking through me. I preach for Him, and if I do well, it is so that He gets the glory.

But I really think the reason so many wanted a copy of the sermon is because of the fact that Sola Gratia flies in the face of so much of what we call Christianity today. We live in a culture that is inudated with the mentality that we can pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Which is OK in culture, but not when it comes to God. When it comes to God, if we are saved, if we have faith, if we come to know Him at all, it is by HIS grace and grace alone. We do not add one twit of anything to our grace, so much so that even our faith is a gift from His Spirit (See Ephesians 2:1-10, with emphasis on verses 8 & 9).

To add even our own ability at all, to even our faith, is to allow us to boast and God will not have any of that. We come by His grace, because He called us and drew us to Himself. It is not because of our own free will, or our prayers or our walking some aisle. It is grace and grace alone.

I know from my time on the web that this thought is not talked about much in American Christianity. I know from my time in seminary that it is ignored. Christianity has latched on to Pelagianism with both hands and we like to think we can contribute to our salvation. But we cannot. To do so is to rob glory from God, and He will have nothing to do with it.

I believe this is the reason that Christianity is so weak in America and so ineffective. Christianity in America is nothing more than humanist activism with a touch of Christ to try and give itself so legitimacy. But God will have nothing to do with it. Therefore, the millions who claim to be saved, are probably not. After all, if you ask them why they are saved, they say something like this: “Because I said the sinners prayer,” or “I walked the aisle at my church,” or “I was baptized.” None of this is found in Scripture. The proper response is always: “Because of God’s grace. He saved me.” After all, the only thing we contribute to our salvation, is our sin. Jesus saves us from beginning to end. It is HIS work, not ours.

As for those copies of the sermon… well, the sermon wasn’t recorded. I couldn’t get the tape machine hooked up to our new sound system correctly before the service. Therefore, this one has to be for the LORD. But, the two predecessor sermons are posted on our web page. One sermon is Sola Scriptura, the other is Solus Christus.

Out of the three sermons, I think none of them hit us right between the eyes like Sola Gratia. Here are a few quotes I used from Kim Riddlebarge (yes, he is a man.) You can read the entire article here.

  • “There is no teaching in Christian theology that offends our contemporaries (especially our Christian friends and family), any more then the teaching of sola gratia. Americans hate to be told “no,” that they are helpless. Surprisingly, the greatest opposition to the biblical teaching on this point comes not from a secular culture, but from household-name leaders in the American Church. From contemporary figures such as Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel to Bill Bright and Campus Crusade, to virtually all forms of revivalism and Pentecostalism which spring from the loins of one Charles Grandison Finney, to Alexander Campbell and the Restorationist movement, to Joseph Smith and what later on became the cult known as Mormonism, to William Miller and the Adventist movement, and we can go on and on; all of these movements are based, at least in part, upon a denial of sola gratia, in direct opposition to Reformation theology, and the biblical teaching on this point. Americans hate to be told that God does not depend upon them and a decision that they make. And it is here, then, that we as Reformation Christians and historic Protestants run smack dab into our culture and to much of American Christianity. This is why our friends and families look at us like we have three heads when we speak of these doctrines. But this is the historic Protestant position, and the wholesale rejection of sola gratia demonstrates how far the “evangelical movement” has departed from the historic and biblical Evangelical faith.”

And of course, Riddlebarger had to attack Finney, the modern guru of the altar call and also the one that brought Pelagianism back into the mainstream of Christianity.

  • “Finney was born in 1792, and was a child of both the American democratic ideal as well as the frontier spirit. After studying law, Finney experienced a dramatic conversion in 1821, and then sought to enter the Presbyterian ministry. It was soon all too evident that Finney was not interested in the Westminster Standards, the basic statement of Presbyterian doctrine, and that his preaching was more or less combination of the New Haven theology – a radical modification of the theology of Jonathan Edwards, and common-sense case law typical of William Blackstone. It was Finney who invented the anxious bench (the fore-runner of the alter call), and established the protracted revival meeting. Interestingly enough, both Jesse Jackson and Jerry Falwell stand in Finney’s shadow, as both the liberal-left and the Christian-right trace their own activistic roots directly to Finney’s stress upon political activism and social reform. It is from Finney that we trace prohibitionism and the temperance movement as well as abolitionism. The danger in this stress upon Christian activism is, of course, that Christianity in Finney’s scheme, becomes activism. Reformation Christians would, on the other hand, insist that while Christians should be abolitionists and pro-life, abolitionism and being pro-life per se is not Christianity. Prohibitionism is, of course, right out! It is a pernicious error bequeathed to us by the Methodists!”[1]

    Riddlebarger goes on to write:

    “One thing I admire about Finney is that he is clear. In his Lectures on Revival (1835) Finney … states “A revival is not a miracle according to another definition of the term “miracle” ­ something above the powers of nature. There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature….A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle in any sense. [A revival] is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means.” Thus if we jiggle the lever in the right way, and simply use the right means, we don’t need the grace of God, at all. We have all the natural ability we need”


Ethanol is a Corny Alternative

Yup, pardon the corny pun there, but there is an article at Opinion Journal.com that shows the fruitlessness of switching to ethanol to help us in our quest for cheap and efficient energy, other than Big Oil. This push all came about because of what President Bush said in his state of the union address on Tuesday night. It was more of just a political ploy to play to environmentalist. The problem is, it doesn’t matter if he signs the Kyoto Accord, he will never appease or win the hearts of environmentalist, who are nothing but communists with no place to call a home, other than the environmental movement. Read the full article here.

The point is that the article shows using ethanol is not efficient, nor cost effecitve, nor enviornmentally friendly. Where it is being used, Brazil, they are having to cut down precious trees in the Amazon rain forest in order to have enough land to grow enough corn to help produce ethanol. The use of corn for Ethanol has also driven up the price of corn in this country and our third-world countries to the south of us. That makes life harder on the poor, who use corn as a primary supplament in their diets. Another draw back is that the energy that goes into producing ethanol is hardly efficient. By the time that all is said and done, the yield is hardly worth the effort.

The writer of the article goes on to say that without any significant break throughs in technology, switching to ethanol will do nothing for our country or the environmnent, other than to make us wish for Big Oil.

I say, why not go ahead a drill off the Gulf Coast, and up in ANWR? I know people always say we need to worry about oil spills in both, but have you noticed there wasn’t a single drop of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina hit? That was the uncovered story of the hurricane. All those platforms that went missing, some still have yet to be found, didn’t cause a single oil spill. Imagine that. Big Oil did something right. No oil spills after Katrina. They actually protected the environment. Gasp!

BTW, the other draw back to Ethanol… is that it causes your car parts to rust. So while you may be saving the environment by not adding pollution to the air, your car will make its way much quicker to the land fill, or junk yard. By golly, I just think there is a reason we are not using ethanol… it’s not that good of an idea. If it were, we would be using it in droves.

Call me a stick in the tar pit, but I say: “Let’s stick with Big Oil!

Ask the Pastor


I had a friend who is teaching a Bible study on discerning God’s will. He wrote the following question and my answer is posted after it.

THIS WEEK MY MESSAGE IS GOING TO BE ON THE RIGHT AND WRONG WAY OF DISCERNING THE WILL OF GOD. I WANTED TO ASK FOR YOUR HELP IN UNDERSTANDING HOW WE TEST AND TEMPT GOD IN OUR EVERYDAY WALK. CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF HOW WE SIN AGAINST GOD IN THESE WAYS?

If I understand you correctly, you are talking about the difference between God’s declarative will and His secretive will. Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

We must always let our decisions and actions conform to Scripture, so God would never have us do something that would be contrary to His will, even if it seemed right at the time, i.e., It would never be God’s will that I commit adultery even if it “felt” right. This is probably the hardest thing to convince people of, that God’s word is what dictates God’s will, not our feelings or inclinations. Our feelings and inclinations can be wrong and manipulated. That is why we are always to let the word dictate our actions and not our feelings. See David and Bathsheba. His feelings were that it was right to commit adultery, but it was against God’s expressed will. He suffered because of it, but God still used it even though David was in sin, (Christ is from that line) (Matthew 1:6 and Romans 8:28ff). This does not mean the God condones sin, but His goodness and mercy is such that He can use our unfaithfulness to show His faithfulness and goodness. Our sin is not enough to thwart His eternal decrees, for His will, will come to pass.

The other issue we must be careful with is in discerning the leadings of God in our walk. Paul tells us over and over again that we are to walk by faith and not by sight (Galatians 5:16). But what this looks like is difficult. If you look at what Paul is saying in Galatians, you can see that when we are walking in the Spirit, we are turning away from sin, to Christ, so that the fruits of the Spirit become evident in our lives. The problem is taking this to far towards the subjective and start saying things like: “God told me xxx.” Once this happens or someone says this, then they have moved into the realm of “revelation” from God. Yet we know from Scripture that all “revelation” has ceased (Jude 3). (What people often confuse with “revelation” is “illumination.” The latter is when I come to Scripture, read it, and understand it clearly or in a better way. The Spirit has illuminated the truth to my mind, so that I may understand it. Often times, people call that “revelation” when in fact, it is merely “illumination.”) Revelation from God has ceased with the closing of the canon. So to say: “God told me…” is a bit of a stretch. God may lead me or guide me through His word, or godly wisdom from other believers (key is believers), but He probably will not actually speak to me (not ruling out that sometimes He may do so, but that it is usually on the personal level and then very rarely).

For instance, God led me to take the present call at my church. He did not tell me to take this call, but through His providential hand, it became clear that this is where He led me to pastor. I know that I’m in the will of God because that leading was confirmed by others, and because I am here. There were other churches that I looked at, that seemed right at the time, but God’s leading was not there, and we know that it was not God’s will that I take any of those other pulpits. It takes a lot of prayer, patience and discernment to get to the point of actually taking the church. Had anyone from the congregation called me up and said, “You know, God told me this morning you are to be our next pastor.” I probably would have run the other way. For had He done so, then He would have told me too.

We see this happen all the time in zealous single Christians. One will say to the other: “God told me we were to get married.” The other party should run the other way, because God doesn’t speak in such ways anymore. He did so with the OT saints because He was bringing about redemption through a particular people of God. But that has been accomplished, so we now live by His word and on faith.

As for tempting God, I think we do this when we step out on supposed faith, because we want something, when it is not His will that we do so. Back in the 1990s, I worked for a man who built houses at one point in his career and he told me of a women who came and said God told her that He was going to give her one of the man’s houses. He agreed that this may be the case if she had enough money. Turns out, that she was in all kinds of debt and had a terrible credit rating and no way to pay for the house. She was from the “name-it-and-claim-it crowd.” What God probably wanted for her, was more humility and acceptance of where she was in life, not where she wanted to be. Often times, He wants us to accept where we are and be content there, and not demand something that He is not blessing us with just because we want it.

Now most adherents to this truth will turn to John 14:13-14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you asked anything in My name, I will do it. This however does not put Jesus at our beck and call. He is still God and we are not. We must accept the reality that often times what we ask for is not in His will, no matter how we may rationalize it in our minds. When Jesus made this statement, He was talking about the Kingdom and the Father. He was telling us about who He was, and the coming of the Spirit. All of these things have to do with the Kingdom, not our houses and cars, etc. We need to remember the attitude that Christ had in the Garden of Gethsemane: Not My will, but Thy will be done. That is the attitude that we should have when we pray. Our chief desire should be His chief desire, that the Father is glorified through the Son.

Again, there are no real clear answers on this, other than we should walk in faith by the Spirit (which will never lead us to sin), we should look to God’s word, we should pray about the issues of life, and seek the counsel of those more godly than ourselves.

Banning the N-Word

Ok, apparently the mayor of Brazoria, Texas want to ban the N-word. He is proposing an ordinance that would fine anyone $500 who uses the word in a way that is offensive. It would be OK to use the word in a non-offensive way. What? I guess, when one black calls another black an N…. then it’s OK. Read the entire story here.

I’m certainly OK with this idea of not using the word. But I think it should be banned in all instances if we are going to ban it at all. Let’s just do away witht the word all together. And while we are at it, let’s also ban the use of the terms “God D***” and “Jesus Christ” as cuss words. That is far more important than banning the N-word. In fact, if we do return to treating God’s name with respect and dignity, we might also remember to treat one another with respect and dignity and the use of the N-word would not be used at all. Remembering that those of all races, mainly the human race, are made in God’s image, will also remind us that even our enemies deserve respect and kindness. That would be the true answer to the N-word, not banning it, but remembering that all bear the image of God, and therefore are worthy of respect just for that alone.

What are your thoughts?

BTW, the article that I pointed you to, does have an alarming statement from a man who wrote a book on the topic. This expert on the N-word believes that our history is god…

  • Jabari Asim, a deputy editor at the Washington Post and author of the forthcoming book “The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t and Why,” has traced the American arrival of the word to 1619 when a Jamestown, Va., diarist, John Rolfe, noted: “We got 20 niggers today on a Dutch man-of-war.”

  • “That’s the first recorded instance of African captives arriving to British North America and that was the word used to describe them,” Asim said.

  • Over the last 25 years, the hip-hop community has sprinkled the word throughout its anthems.

  • “It’s really important for people to realize that the history of the word goes so far back that recent developments in the past 20 years [of] casual use,” Asim said. “There is no god higher than history and I don’t think recent developments are strong enough to overcome the centuries of hatred that are attached to the word.”

Emphasis added. Because of men like this, who are clueless concerning the true and living God, I believe that no progress will be made in this area because they supress the truth in all unrighteousness. If they would turn to the living and true God for solutions, then real solutions would be found. But alas…

Solus Christus

I never thought I would preach on the five solas of the Reformation, but here I am doing just that. I’m loving the work and the study, but I am having trouble in the way I’m preparing my sermons.

There is so much to cover and so much that is necessary in helping everyone see that we truly need another Reformation in our country. When the Reformers were shouting Christ Alone, that was a slap in the face of both humanism and multiculturalism. It was telling the priests of those religions that there was no other way of salvation except through Christ Alone! He is it. There is no other way, but through Him. Any other attempts at approaching the Father, while many may seem well intentioned, fall dreadfully short.

Why?

Because He is the only Mediator between God and man. We need somone to speak on our behalf before the Father and that is Christ Himself. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a high-school buddy after I became a believer. He told me he didn’t need a mediator because he and God were going to have a talk together, mono e mono! (Batman was popular at the time.) He said that he was going to set God straight on a few things (I imagine just like Job did there at the end of that book).

The problem that my buddy fails to see is that he has no right to enter into the court of God and spout his vectives in God’s face. He has no right to speak at all (See Romans 3:19) And he has no mediator, or one to speak for him. In fact, the only mediator available is Jesus Christ Himself.

John 5 tells us that Jesus will be given the right to judge all mankind. Therefore, either Christ is your mediator, or He is your judge. Kind of a tricky twist to those who do not believe in Christ. This makes the concept of Solus Christus all the more important for our day. Men like by high-school buddy, think they will be given a court in which to speak, but Philippians 1-2 show us that all will be silent on that day. Those found apart from Christ, will have no mediator to speak for them. Those there in Christ alone, will not only have a mediator, but will have the debt of our sin paid for. Salvation will be and is theirs for the taking. They are there on the merits of Christ, not their own merits and will be welcomed into heaven by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Those who rejected Christ on this side of glory, will have no rights whatsoever. They will be cast in outer darkness.

In view of that, let us shout to all the multiculturalist and pluralists both inside and outside of the church: Solus Christus! Christ Alone!

The following is from Tabletalk that echoes what I was trying to say.

“When Jesus the Judge confronts the goats with their lack of service to Him, they will not be able to defend themselves, because they have failed to honor Him and serve ‘the least of these.’ (Matt. 25: 41-46) There is no point in in trying to deny any wrongdoing, for He will know right away that they are lying. Sinful men will not be able to weasel out of their predicament; the only response they will give is silence. Romans 3:19 makes it clear that everyone who is confronted with God’s perfect law has his tongue stopped because his evident guilt makes any other answer impossible. All men know their transgressions render them unable to deny the omnicient Lord’s verdict. Ultimately, all people know how much they deserve hell, and so they must deny its existence or believe God will overlook sin in order to continue living a life opposed to the Almighty’s will.”

BTW, Fred the INTERN has made another post at the Ichthus Pub. Please check it out. Also, I posted again at the Family Site. Blessings…

Led Zeppelin and the Evangelist


The INTERN and I were laughing yesterday about the evangelists back in the late 1970s, and 1980s who would go around to small churches and try to convince the audience that you could hear Satan’s voice when you played Led Zeppelin music backwards. Their favorite song of choice for this was Stairway to Heaven (which helped foster the rumor that Jimmy Page didn’t write it at all, it was written by a evil spirit. Jimmy, after hours of frustration, set his pen down, and suddenly, the pen was picked up and started writing the seductively evil song. Of course, the song really stinks theologically. Sorry lady, you can’t buy a stairway to heaven, but musically, it’s a pretty good song.)

The point that we were laughing at the most was the stupidity of these evangelists in trying to get people to think that Led and the boys (I know, non of the members were named Led, but you know those evangelists), had secretly put subliminal messages in their music to stir up Satan worship. Now realize that I was NOT a Christian at the time, but I still saw the error in their logic right off the bat. If Led and boys wanted to put lyrics in their music to lead to Satan worship, they would have done so right up front. They would not have been clandestine about it. They didn’t need to, and in fact, much of their music is dark. They are not hiding the fact.

A second problem with these evangelists is that half of what Robert Plant sang in their songs in forward direction was unintelligible anyway. I never could figure out all the words he sang in Stairway to Heaven. This is the way some of the lyrics still sound to me in Stairway to Heaven:

And as we wind on down the road
blah, blah, blah, blah blah blah…..
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white blah, blah, blah blah…

You get the idea. The evangelists were trying to use scare tactics to get people into the kingdom, which brings up my final point on these bozos. If you are an evangelist for Christ, why not just preach Christ instead of using scare tactics? That is what the Bible calls for. Not clever scare tactics, but Christ crucified. It’s a very simple message that doesn’t need to be tinkered with: We are fallen sinners that are separated from God because of our sin, and the sin of Adam. We need perfect righteousness to enter back into a relationship with God the Father. God the Father sent God the Son to not only provide that perfect righteousness in living the perfect life, but also to pay the debt of sin that we owe to God. When we believe in Christ for Salvation, both the debt we owe is taken care of and the righteousness we need is given to us.

There, wasn’t that a whole lot better than trying to play Led Zeppelin music backwards and lying about the fact that Satan’s voice could be heard in it?

We Need the Truth!

I felt more like writing over at the family blog today, but did like this funny from Paul Nowak found over at Townhall.com.

BTW, I read in this morning’s newspaper that John McCain now wants to try and patch things up with James Dobson. Hopefully, Dobson will stick to his guns and not be wooed by the RINO who wants our votes. McCain has always been a RINO, and hopefully, everyone will begin to see that. Check out Dee’s blog on her reasons for not supporting McCain here.

BTW, I think I’m going to have a permanent link to Dee’s post on my site so that we always remember why we must never vote for him.

Little Stinker!

Yes, my son, the two year old, has become a little stinker. I was told about the terrible two’s, and while it is nothing that we can’t handle, it has been full of adventure. Everything from dumping his cereal on the table just to see what happens, to the grin in his face just before he splashes me from the tub, even after I have told, “no splashing!” Of course, he listens to me and then splashes me. Keeping a two-year-old boy from splashing is like keeping a fish from swimming. It’s not happening.

This morning, I dubbed him the little stinker, at which point he just grinned at me. I think he enjoys his new found status of toddler rebel in residence. It’s like every boundary is there to be challenged.

On Sunday, we had one of the families over for lunch and they brought chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We gave Andy a cookie, which he calls kukaa!, and his mother took two for herself. He quickly ate up his kukaa, and then very slyly slid his plate next to hers. Thinking no one was watching, he slid her second kukaa onto his plate, and then slid his plate back to its place and began consuming the kukaa! We were in stiches. He thought he was so sly, but I guess that was not the point. The point was: kukaa!

BTW, he is saying more words every day, or trying to. It’s fun to tell him something and knows he understands, even though he can’t say what we ask him to. He is learning a ton of lessons, most of them good, and a few of them bad. He thinks it’s ok to discipline Casey, the dog, because we do. At least he has the pecking order straight! Dad, Mommy, Andy and then Casey!

Also, the night terrors continue. For those who don’t know, a night terror is like sleep walking, only he is having a nightmare at the same time. His eyes are open, he sees us, but he doesn’t recognize us at all, and he screams and cries. It’s hard to watch, but according to the experts, he doesn’t remember anything when he eventually wakes up. They have been a challenge for us, but we are getting use to handling them.

McCain? No Way!

I got this tip at Dee’s Site, Little Miss Chatterbox. She is doing a review on the current season of 24, and since I won’t see it for several more years, given that I’m about to embark on season two of 24, I decided not to read her post and focus on Dobson.

Remember him? James Dobson of Focus on the Family, speaking as a private citizen and not for Focus on the Family, said that he could never vote for Senator McCain. (Read the article here). This really comes as no surprise. I didn’t think anyone who considered themselves a true conservative in any shape, form or fashion, would ever vote for McCain. McCain is far to Democrat for that. What makes him so? Well, the fact that he would sell out on any principle or value that we hold dear in order to get his name in the press or further the advancement of his own career. Principles and values are not important to McCain. His name and career are. That is why the press loves him so much. He is just like a Democrat. Do whatever, say whatever, pander to whoever in order to get votes. Principles be damned! Unless, of course, you one guiding principle happens to be tolerance, EXCEPT for conservatives, Christians and people you oppose. There is no tolerance for them, especially after what happened to him in South Carolina during the 2000 presidential election cycle (I need to check that out to be sure).

What gets me about McCain is that he is considered to be the front runner for the Republican nomination in 2008. By who’s criteria? I know very few Republicans who will vote for the fool. Yes, he may have name recognition, but again, that is because he has sold out to doing whatever it takes to get his name out there. My hope is that we give this press baby one final kick out the door in 2008, to never be seen or heard from again. But then again, he is a baby boomer. And like Clinton, he would never go away and quietly settle down like most respectable politicians do after their time has come and gone. I guess McCain will be used by God to help provide more sanctification to the believers in the country.

BTW, the Aiken County Republican Party (South Carolina) took a staw poll at their last meeting and McCain only got 10 percent of the vote. I don’t think he will do well. The bad news about the straw poll was that it show Mitt Romney getting 35 percent of the vote. Not sure I like that. The other good news is that Tom Tancredo got 16 percent of the vote. That is good. Maybe he can come from behind… BTW, there is a good interview fo Tancredo over at Foxnews.com. He is putting together an exploratory committee to seek the nomination. And he seems like a good conservative candidate. He thinks we should take common sense approach, as viewed by conservatives, to all the issues we are facing in this country. For instance, concerning the borders, he asked why are we having this discussion, the border should be protected. I agree. While he is not the front runner, maybe by 2008, he will be. (He may not be the right guy, but for now, he seems like it).

Here is the poll from the Aiken County Republicans.

2008 Republican  Presidential Straw Poll Results

Name # of votes Percentage
-------------------------------------------------
Newt Gingrich 4 13%
Rudy Giuliani 1 3%
Mike Huckabee 2 6%
Duncan Hunter 1 3%
John McCain 3 10%
George Pataki 1 3%
Mitt Romney 11 35%
Tom Tancredo 5 16%

Write In
Tom Coburn 2 6%
Dick Cheney 1 3%

Pelosi’s Bill

Toon Credit: Paul Nowak

I read over at Townhall.com that Nancy Pelosi introduced a bill that would monitor churches for the way they influence the outcome on important moral issues such as abortion, or judicial nominees. The bill would label churches that spend more than $50,000 a quater on such advertisements as lobbyists, thereby making the churches comply with lobbyist laws. This, of course, is a direct attack on the freedom of religion found in the First Amendment. (Why is it that the Liberals always claim conservatives are the ones violating our rights, when they introduce legislation like this all the time? O yea, I remember. Whenever a liberal accuses you of doing something you know not to be true, it is because they are doing it themselves.)

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Not that I don’t think the bill should go down in flames, but sometimes I think the church gets off base in the use of our gifts. The most powerful gift we have is prayer. What? Yes, that is what I said. The most powerful gift or tool we have is prayer. This is one of the most effective tools God has given the church. Not lobbyist, not advertising campaigns, not politicians who are Christians. Prayer is it!

Preaching is another tool, but preaching without prayer is ineffecttive as well. Evangelism is a tool as well, but evangelism without prayer is ineffective. Prayer must be central to who we are because it helps us communicate with the ONE that is the absolute center of who we are! We should do nothing without prayer!

That being said, the best way to change life in America is to start with prayer. Yet, prayer meetings are rarely attendend. Time in prayer is regarded as time that is wasted. Prayer, the best tool we have, is the one tool that is mostly neglected. If we want to change things in America, then let’s save our $50,000 a quater and start spending more time in prayer. Who knows, then we might even see Madam Pelosi come to know the Lord. That would be wonderful.

In Jesus Name!

WorldNetDaily reports that a Navy chaplain who prayed in Jesus name was dismissed for doing so because of Naval Policy against such “sectarian” prayers. What? You mean praying in a way that actually shows you have some sort of belief is “sectarian?” Read the entire article here.

Chaplain Godron Klingenschmitt was ordered to move out of his home on a Naval base and left without a career, even though Congress overruled the Naval policy which ruled against using Christ’s name. The policy prevented Chaplains from praying as their consciences dictated. In other words, they were working towards a sanitized religion that didn’t offend anyone, or a sanitized religion that was sanitized of Jesus Himself.

The reality is that we cannot, as Christians, ever remove this statement, “in Jesus name” from our prayers. To do so is to approach God without a mediator. The entire basis of Christianity is that we approach God because of Christ, who He is, and what He has done for those that belong to Him. He opens the door wide for us to enter into God’s presence and make our petitions known.

How?

By His righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own, and need an alien righteousness. The only righteousness that is perfect is that which belongs to Christ. When we believe in Him for salvation, we are given His righteousness before God. Therefore we are granted the right to enter into the Triune God’s presence and be with Him. Apart from that righteousness, we have no acceptance before God.

This is why it is so important that we pray in Jesus name. Not that we utter those words every time we pray. But we do say that we are entering because of Christ and no other. The prayers of all other religions fall flat on their own noses because they have no right to enter into God’s presence. So to do so, as a Christian, as the Navy was asking this chaplain to do, is heresy. It is saying in effect: “God, I do not need the righteousness of Christ to enter your presence. I belong here no matter what You say!” Quite presumtous!

No, we should never do that and Chaplain Klingenschmitt was right in standing his ground even if it cost him his career. The Navy has no right to make him pray any other way. To do so is to go against his conscience and the dictates of Scripture.

I’m glad Congress intervened, but I’m also sad for what has taken place in the meantime. They have tried to remove Christ from the Navy. That cannot be allowed to stand. They have no right to. Chaplains must pray and preach as their conscience dictate (yes, I know, some will want a Wiccan sooner or later, but wrath upon their heads for doing so). The point is that the Navy knew this man was a Christian when they hired him, to prevent him from believing as he is called to belive, is unconscionable! I pray that Chaplain Klingenschmitt is given ample provisions for his stand for righteousness’ sake.

Understanding Kwanza

I got the following letter over at Gayle’s site. It is written by Jerry Falwell and helps explains the black celebratio of Kwanza. Most people know that it is a made-up holiday. In other words, they just decided to make up a holiday and celebrate it, while most holidays actually are memorials to something great. For instance, Christmas is celebrating the fact that God became flesh and dwelt among us, a truly worthy holiday. Or we celebrate Easter because Christ was raised from the dead, the firstborn of the resurrection, showing and reminding us that Jesus conquered sin and death for HIS people. Or we celebrate St. Patrick’s day to remind us of the power of the gospel to conquer Ireland… or just to get drunk if you are like most of the mindless minions… but, you get the idea. Most holidays are celebrated to remind us of something great that has happened.

Not Kwanza. It’s made up to celebrate… well, I will let you read Falwell’s letter. He does a much better job…

From: Jerry Falwell
Date: December 28, 2006

Rethinking Kwanzaa

We hear a lot these days about a divided nation. So I began wondering this week why our nation has begun to embrace a relatively new celebration known as Kwanzaa, which is not as innocent as it appears on the surface.

Launched in 1966, Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven days, beginning December 26. The weeklong festival was introduced by Ron Karenga (AKA Ron Everett), a black author and Marxist devotee, who has a very dubious history. Mr. Karenga’s Marxist roots should be a warning signal right off the bat, but there’s more to be concerned about here.

In 1969, on the campus of UCLA, Mr. Karenga led a student group known as United Slaves, which, along with students in the equally radical Black Panthers (the rivals of United Slaves), actually attended classes with loaded weapons.

David Horowitz, in his book “Radical Son,” noted that Black Panther John Higgins was then “murdered — along with Al ‘Bunchy’ Carter — on the UCLA campus by members of Ron Karenga’s organization.” Later, female members of the United Slaves said they were tortured by United Slaves members, all at Mr. Karenga’s command.

Members of the organization have since reported being beaten and tortured by Mr. Karenga and his minions. He was actually convicted of felonious assault and false imprisonment in 1971, and sentenced to prison. At his trial, a psychiatrist’s report declared: “This man now represents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and elusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment.”

But the story gets more bizarre.

When he was released from prison, Mr. Karenga had earned his doctorate degree and soon was appointed to the Black Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach.

I’ll never cease to be amazed at the foolish gullibility of modern education officials.

Our nation, I believe, has also been naïve in accepting Kwanzaa without examining its roots and its founder. In our modern quest to embrace multiculturalism and diversity at all costs, I believe we are being duped by the founder of Kwanzaa.

I’ve watched several news reports on Kwanzaa in recent days and none of them have mentioned the dark history of its founder or its Marxist pedigree. The reports have simply noted that Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration rooted in African traditions, and even that is untrue.

Mr. Karenga himself admits that Kwanzaa is not fundamentally African, telling the Washington Post in 1978, “People think it’s African, but it’s not.”

In a recent column, Ann Coulter, never one to mince words, said of Kwanzaa: “[It] is a lunatic blend of schmaltzy ‘60s rhetoric, black racism and Marxism.” She added, “When Karenga was asked to distinguish Kawaida, the philosophy underlying Kwanzaa, from ‘classical Marxism,’ he essentially explained that under Kawaida, we also hate whites.”

Listen, I love learning about other cultures. At Liberty University, where I am the chancellor, this year we welcomed students from 83 nations among our 10,000-plus resident students. Further, nearly 14 percent of our student body is African-American. I truly enjoy meeting these students, hearing their stories and celebrating their life goals. It is fascinating to learn about others’ customs and ways of life.

But I cannot accept Kwanzaa as a legitimate American holiday. It is corrupt and wholly anti-American. There is danger in it.

I join with Ann Coulter in celebrating Galatians 3:28, which notes that the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ is available to all, no matter their race, color, background or heritage. It says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus …” (NKJV).

Therein lies real diversity and true freedom for all.

Allow me to add that I believe that God has only given us 52 holy days to celebrate, otherwise known as Sunday. All other holy days are manmade, even though they commerate great events, we should really only celebrated the days God has given to us.

Global Warming Snow Storm!

This was sent to me by one of my elders. It has to do with the terrible snowstorm that hit earlier this year in Colorado, another case of global warming.

The Denver Post

THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT.

Denver Post:

This text is from a county emergency manager out in the central part of Colorado after today’s snowstorm.

WEATHER BULLETIN

Up here, in the Northern Plains, we just recovered from a Historic event— may I even say a “Weather Event” of “Biblical Proportions” — with a historic blizzard of up to 44″ inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10’s of thousands.

FYI:

George Bush did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV .

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.

Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit – or report on this category 5 snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

No one looted.

Nobody – I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.

Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, No Bill O’Rielly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera.

No Shaun Penn, No Bar bara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water.

Sent out caravans of SUV’s to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.

The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn’t ask for a penny.

Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound families.
Families took in the stranded people – total strangers.

We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.

We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is “Work or Die”.

We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for ‘sittin at home’ checks.

Even though a Category “5” blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

“In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world’s social problems evaporate.”

It does seem that way, at least to me.

I hope this gets passed on.

Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a living.

Solar Flars

Yup, we get them all the time. Partly because the sun has it’s own cycle just as the earth does, and when we get more solar flars, guess what happens? The sun gives the earth more heat. If global warming is occurring, and I say “if” because I’m not sure of what the media and wackos are telling us, then the real reason is because of the sun. It doesn’t matter how many SUVs we drive, we have no way to control the sun and how much heat it gives us. According to the report found at NASA’s site, the sun goes through an 11-year cyle where at the peak, there are more solar flars than usual. We have been seeing quite a few flare ups in the last six months. This probably contributes more to global warming than anything else. Also see the BBC article here which states basically the same thing.

The only reason I point this out is that with this warmer than usual winter we are having (my trees started to bud last week), the wackos are about to come out in full force and start proclaiming: “see, see, we told you we were right. SUVs are causing global warming… Drive a Prius!” Never mind the fact that the process for making batteries for the Prius is more damaging to the environment than any SUV could be.

The real point is to realize that the earth, and all the heavens, are held in the palm of our Father’s hand. If we have a warmer than usual winter, it is because He has decreed it to be so, not because of something that we do or do not do. We are not powerful enough to effect our planet. God truly is in control, not man. We are small, and insignificant in relationship to the earth, and despite all the claims to the contrary, we cannot destroy the earth. Only God can do that and bring it about. He is the One that holds the sun in His hands, and the earth. Our hope is found in Him, even when it comes to global warming, not science or environmentalist wackos. Not that we should not take care of the planet, but let’s use our heads and His wisdom about it, not the junk science put forth by the liberal left.

Saddam’s Hanging…

OK, there has been a new video released of Saddam Hussein’s body shortly after he was hung by a rope. I know, not really nice news, or nothing worth watching. But in reading the article about the video, it was pointed out that there was a huge cry about those who taunted him before he was hung. A huge outcry? Over that?

Come on, they should have shown some dignity to the departing murderous thug, I guess, but their hatred for him was too much. But why the huge outcry? So what? Did Saddam give those thousands that he put to death, a dignified execution? Did he show them any dignity at all? Not at all. Justice was done on Saddam. We should rejoice in that. He is no longer torturing and killing thousands of his people, and is now having a close relationship with his Maker (granted, not a kind relationship, one filled with wrath, but still a relationship nonetheless).

As for those who taunted him, so what. Tell them not to do it again the next time they execute a murderous dictator like Saddam.

Vindication of Nekkid!

Yes, you read the title of this blog correctly. It is titled: “Vindication of Nekkid!” Of course, many of you from the South know that this word “nekkid” is simply a variation of the word “naked.” In fact, for some in the South, that may be shocking news since we in the South tend to always say it as “nekkid.” Well guess what? There is a reason we say it the way we say it. That is one of the original spellings of the word.

Now some of you may be asking, why is this important? It’s important because I have finally been vindicated for my use of the word “nekkid” from the pulpit at my church back in Arkansas. The strange thing about my church back in Arkansas is that we had an unordinarily large percentage of Yankees in our church. In fact, most of the local southerners had departed the said church over various reasons or another. One such reason that I heard was that the church had elected a Yankee for the governing board of the church (Shock, gasp, the audacity… a Yankee on the Session!)

But that is not the point. The point is that the said Yankee, from St. Louis, use to give us Southerners a hard time about the way we said things. In fact, he and his family really made light of the fact that people from the South like to say “fixin’.” As in, “I’m fixin to start my second sermon as soon as I git thru with this blog!” I later pointed out to said Yankee, who is of Scottish descent in the biggest way, that the word “fixin” is Scottish in origin. So is the word “yonder.” A lot of the terms that are often thought of as Southern, are actually Scottish, without the Scottish accent. Since the Yankee is Scottish, he now has permission to say the word “fixin.” I hope this makes his day.

Now the vindication comes from the fact that he wrote an email to me this week stating that he read in an issue of Crendeda Agenda that the word “nekkid” is one of the original spellings. Therefore it stands to reason, one of the original pronuciations. It is legit to say “nekked.” And given that fact that he is willing to eat crow over the issue, I feel extremely vindicated for my use of the term. No, I wasn’t saying something naughty, like … well, I’m not going to say something naughty here for an example. I will let your own minds do that.

I was using the term properly and of course, he and others in the congregation, had to tease me about it. I remember the words o so cleary. “I’ve heard of Phys Ed., and Driver’s Ed, but what is Nek Ed?” (Do you think I migh have issues with the teasing they gave me? Hhm?) Yes, those are the words and now the Yankee in question realizes that my use of the term is correct and acceptable. He wrote me to say: “So it is with a contrite heart I must apologize for acting so rudely. I feel necked and ashamed.

O to be vindicated. 🙂 But then again, the most pure form of vindication would have come if he had written, “I feel nekkid and ashamed.” But, I will take what I can get!

Working Like a 24 Series

Only, without the shooting. In fact, the most exciting moment today, or tense Jack Bauer moment, was when my son almost poured Hi-C down my shirt. Other wise, I’m as busy as an episode from 24.

Thank Dee for the reference to 24. She got me thinking about the episode because she said in her New Year wish list that if she could give me something, it would be a week in a cabin alone, with my commentaries and seasons 2-5 of 24! That would be a blast. But I think I would leave the commentaries home and take a Vince Flynn novel.

BTW, not only do I don’t have time this week for blogging, I have all kinds of trouble with blogger today. This is the first time I have been able to log in, and I typed this so fast my fingers are burning… like Jack’s desire to kill terrorists.

All right, four more pages of sermon one and then on to sermon two!

BTW, I do have a gamecock update coming when I get more time. I can’t let the New Year pass without a blog dedicated to our favorite chicken… OK, that was a cheap shot… our favorite Gamecock.

R.C. Sproul Quote

I liked this quote by R.C. Sproul and thought I would share it with you.

Sproul writes

“when we speak about the concept of revelation, we are talking about the basic principle of self-disclosure. The Scriptures come to us as divine self-disclosure. Here the mind of God is laid bare on many matters. With a knowledge of Scripture we do not have to rely on secondhand information or bare speculation to learn who God is and what he values. In the Bible He reveals Himself.”[1]

All the more reason to read the Bible. It is the only way to know God and be known by Him. We are not just to read for facts or a sense of self righteousness. In fact, if we read honestly, we will find the Scripture condemning us of our sin, and driving us to the Cross of Christ. God not only reveals Himself to us, but He also reveals to us our wicked and fallen state. We need to be rescued, and that rescue comes through Christ and Christ alone.

If you are not a Christian, then you need to consider this reality and trust in Christ for salvation. If you are a Christian, then you need to continue to trust in Christ for salvation and rejoice that you have heard His voice.


[1] R.C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture, Intervarsity press, 1977, p. 25.