Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Thanksgiving

This article is more selfish than the others.

I will not write about all the obvious persons, places and things that should be brought to the bar of God’s glory. I am certainly glad for God’s showers of blessings upon this sinful nation: political peace, cultural stability and economical prosperity. We do not live in tribal-torn Africa, socialism-to-the-hilt Europe or poverty stricken South America.

I will not focus upon the wonders of technology that have made our lives easier, smoother and efficient. We have farming equipment and methods that yield so many foodstuffs that the leftovers are repackaged as competing “cheap” food at the supermarkets and the grocery stores have doubled and tripled the number, type and brand of foods.

The list could go on. God’s gifts are almost endless. I leave it to your imagination and a future assignment for your children.

For me, one of the most amazing gifts of God is a child.

The doctors told my wife and me that we would probably never have children.

And now my wife is pregnant—15 weeks pregnant! We have been childless for thirteen years and the Lord has heard our prayers—hallelujah!

Now, my thanksgiving list will include all the obvious persons, places and things and one more blessing—a covenant child. And one day, Lord willing, I will give that child a thanksgiving assignment too.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Worn Out by Haggard

I'm tired of hearing about Ted Haggard.

Does that make me heartless?

It is sad that he sinned. It is a blemish on the Bride of Christ. He has repented--of sorts--without specifics, partially blaming a childhood incident, then lambasting the church--that is some cause for concern. But that is not what I tire of--Christ can repair that.

I tire of people missing the point. I tire of his false teachings.

He's a charismatic--they have direct revelation from God. The Bible then becomes second-fiddle in many decisions (I was a charismatic myself).

He is too liberal theologically--he allows that Benny Hinn (a flaming heretic) is an Evangelical: "from Benny Hinn to R.C.Sproul."

He has no theological discernment--he does not see that most Evangelicals need more Gospel teaching--even saying that he really can't find anything wrong with Evangelicals.

He also has a low view of sin or a high view of himself. An interview with Issues, Etc. in 2005:

Haggard: people don't necessarily repent every day... because people have not necessarily sinned ever day... Christians can obey the Ten Commandments...Certainly, you haven't murdered anybody today.

host: but in my heart, Jesus says if I harbor hatred or animosity in my heart, then I am a murderer--

Haggard: yeah, did you hate someone today?


Haggard:you did?

host: yes.

Haggard: then you need to stop that.

host: absolutely I do.

Haggard: Now, I haven't.

host: You've not had any animosity, ill-will in your heart today for anyone whatsoever--

Haggard: No, and I even watched Joseph Biden grilling the new Supreme Court nominee...and incredibly it was a manifestation of God's grace in my life.

host: Commandment, so far, pastor far you've kept that Commandment perfectly today.

Haggard: so far today, that particular one, yes.
(32 min.)

Rich young ruler anyone? I could go fifty different ways with this interview!
Then one year later he is outed as a pastor. Perhaps he's learning about the depths of sin.

After hearing this interview again. I am worn out. No more. Anyone asks, have them read this posting.

Prayerfully, they'll get it and more people will turn him off.

(All quotes from Issues, Etc. interview, Sept. 13, 2005, .wma audio here).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Media Bias Finally Recognized

Fourth-generation journalist, Michael S. Malone pens a surprisingly frank column about the increase in biased media coverage at ABC news.

You know it's bad when some in the media itself speak out against it. The poor man was even shouting at his computer.


Friday, November 14, 2008

WhoWhatWhenWhereWhy of Homeschooling

Dear reader (all two of you): if you or someone you know homeschools their children, could you please help me out? By God's marvelous grace, my wife and I will have a baby this Spring. And we plan to homeschool....but:

1. Why homeschool?
2. What should be homeschooled (all topics?)
3. When (how far and often) should children be homeschooled (through college? :-)
4. How should we homeschool (ala unschooling? classical? hodgepodge?)

Just wondering what other people think.


Monday, November 10, 2008

2012: The Year Evangelicals Owned America

Recently, Focus On the Family mailed out a letter (pdf here), as reported by the AP wire, "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America." It paints a bleak, scary picture of homosexuality run amok and terrorism increasing ten-fold.

Knowing that culture is religion externalized, the importance of the church is put into proper perspective. With that truth in mind, here is my version of 2012:

2012: The Year Evangelicals Owned America

Church tyranny expands 100-fold: More churches are run by a single pastor, laymen vote less, and innuendo and unlawful trials multiple due to no appeal courts.

Christians grow spiritually ignorant--94% have an unbiblical worldview.

Christian divorce rates equal pagan rates.

Christians get bilked by the millions from false prophets and tv evangelists.

Christians become more liberal: 57% believe there are other ways to heaven than Christ.

Christian worship turns more pagan: women worship leaders, images of Christ, convulsions, foreign tongues, puppet shows, 15-minute pep talks.

!!! Waitaminute....that's today!

Now that's scary.

Hos. 4:6: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Too many conservative Christians decry the rise of a secular culture when the churches themselves need to clean up their act--beginning first with their biblical ignorance. God will not be mocked nor His Christ degraded.

Judgment begins in the house of the LORD.
1 Pet. 4.17

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The End of the World?

As I write this piece, the Democrats are winning. They will have their domination in American politics. And Republicans and Conservatives alike are quaking in their boots.

"What will become of America?" they ask.
"Is this the End of the World?" they bemoan.
Not in so many words but that is the sentiment.

Not quite. The Church of Christ has been through worse. Note, I did not write "America has been through worse" (a jingoistic theme found in both campaigns). It is the church that I worry more about.

America has turned her back on God generations ago. That was the end of the world for her. There were no sirens and bewailing, but it was the end nonetheless. The question is, has the Church in America turned her back on God?

The liberal mainline churches have certainly done that.
But what of the Evangelicals? Certainly they are still faithful?

Unfortunately, the Evangelical Church is forgetting basic truths. And that offends God. 57% believe Christ, the Son of God, is not the only way to heaven. 3-6% have a Christian worldview. Which means 97-94% have some sort of pagan view. Certainly God is not pleased with that.

The Evangelicals in the 80s stood up politically and said: "Enough is enough!" I am glad that they became more politically aware. It was too bad that they became correspondingly theologically unaware. They strained at a gnat while swallowing whole heresies and false worship practices. That was the End of the World for the weak Evangelical Church. And the nail in the coffin for America.

Unless lackadaisical Christians repent of this ignorance there is no human hope. Yet, dear reader, this election is not the End of the World. It is a time to reflect upon our political lives and realize that the spiritual is more important. If the church fails in America what hope does America have? But God has promised that His church will withstand the End of the World—the very Gates of Hell.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

McCain's Jingoism

I've critiqued Obama.
Now it's McCain's turn.

The tact will be different. I'll ask you the reader to evaluate the quotes below. They come from his acceptance speech. Use the Gospel filter and I can say with great confidence that the quotes speak for themselves...

"I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God."

"...and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach."

"Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history."

"We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington."

"we're going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace."

"These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future."

"I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills."

"We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential..."

We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself. "

"Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity...I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasn't even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That's going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We're going to help workers who've lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.

We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower-paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage."

"...and help bad teachers find another line of work. "

"We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It's time for us to show the world again how Americans lead."

"Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life...I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence...The good man in the cell next door, my friend Bob Craner, saved me [telling me to fight for America]...I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's."

No, McCain, I am my Savior's.