Neutrality is Impossible…Lesson 1

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.(Matthew 12:30)

I am led to share a couple of “Spiritual War” stories, which have powerful lessons for the ones who have ears to hear….

First of all I will tell a sad story of young woman who came to one of our services, at Believers in Grace Fellowship, the church I pastor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

It was Palm Sunday. The Church was full of the lovely spiritual aroma of true worship. The sermon was an exposition of Psalm 118, in view of its fulfillment on Palm Sunday.

The people of Israel sang “This is the Day…” as they always did at Passover week. Little did they realize ,that it really was the Day that the Psalm anticipated. This was the Day prophesied by Daniel and the prophets, the calendar day predicted in Daniel 9, that the Messiah would present himself to Israel, but to be “Cut off”, executed, but, “not for himself but for the people”.

It really was a powerful gospel service, and I noticed our young lady visitor was crying, profusely.

After the service I sat with her and the couple who had invited her and asked of she had received the message (of salvation through Jesus). Dis she understand what the sermon was telling her?

“Yes” she gasped, in between sniffles and tears.

We asked her gently, “Do you believe that what we are saying is true and applies to you?”

“Oh yes”, she sobbed,“I believe what you are saying”.

Would you want to pray with us, asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and receive the gift of Eternal Life?”

“I wish I could, but I can’t..” she sobbed.

Why not? There is nothing you have done that it is so vile, tat it cancels out what Jesus did to pay for your sins!”

” I believe that, but the problem is that I have a lot of Gay friends, and I know that real Christians like you all do not believe that being gay is acceptable. I just couldn’t turn my back on them and become a Christian.”

With that she left sorrowfully, like the Rich Young Ruler of Mark chapter 1o. We have never seen her since.

The lesson here is, You don’t have to be a practicing homosexual to go to hell for homosexuality.She wasn’t ‘gay’. She was just loyal to her ‘gay’ friends to the point where she chose them over the salvation of her own soul.

Like millions of others her age (mid 20’s) she has been inculcated into a misguided, sympathy and even loyalty to a those who identify themselves with a perverse and unclean practice, which God utterly abhors.

Behold the power of propaganda! For decades now in the schools, and in the popular media, the youth have been baptized into an acceptance of this evil, to the point that they now consider those who would condemn it in any way, to be the perverse ones.

It has been a very sophisticated campaign, to “sell” this evil as normal and even wholesome. They have exploited the sense of fair play, and naive moral indignation of young people, by posturing homosexuals as Civil Rights victims. There is already a gap between the ages of confessing Christians; the wrongly indoctrinated young are sorely tempted to sympathize with practitioners of this sin, the older Christians know better for the most part.

We are not saying one shouldn’t “love” a homosexual. All Christians should love all sinners as Jesus loved us.

What we are talking about is the (wrong) idea that we can and should  love and accept them as homosexuals, as if that is just part of their personality and not ever to be judged.

I believe this incident serves as a warning.

One cannot be “Right with God” and “Saved” while at the same time being a supporter of something God says he hates and will utterly judge.Ye that Love the Lord,Hate Evil!

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.(I Cor 6:9-11)

This young woman was at least consistent. She knew she couldn’t be saved, and still encourage or promote homosexuality. I wish the many compromising churches, which are currently softening their stance on this issue would be as consistent as she was!

We must pray for this younger generation.They have heavily conditioned by education and the culture to gravitate to the wrong side of God on many of the issues of the day.

Posted in Christ and Marriage, Culture of Death | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

True Freedom; Our Exodus…Jenner pt 3

Bruce Jenner is an object lesson for my generation, a living parable of a failed philosophy of freedom, and the miserable and deformed end of it.

Who of my age doesn’t remember the powerful images of the Olympian Jenner as a kind of  symbol of virility, accomplishment, potential and achievement.

In that smiling, confident, all-American face grinning from the Wheaties Cereal box, a generation demoralized by the Carter Malaise, and by the failure of our politicians to uphold the victory in Viet Nam, and the seeming collapse of our culture into moral anarchy, we were encouraged that there was still much good to come from America.

Here we are, 40 years later, and the same man(He is definitely not even remotely a woman), has become a miserable representative of the end result of our cultural and spiritual apostasy, into false freedom,i.e. autonomy. It is quite a contrast to look into that same face and see those tormented and conflicted eyes of a very miserable man.

Jenner’s is the ‘freedom’ of the space walker, who has been released from the bounds of gravity, and the atmosphere of the earth, yet he realizes that he is still “Bound” to the space-capsule. He is not yet totally free, and this bothers him. That one tether, with its air hose supply, has got him bound still to the capsule. So he takes out his space Scissors and cuts the last binding tether, and begins to float away, free of North,South East And West, and of air, water, human company, and of a way Home.

How can a father of four children, who has renounced his very masculinity, ever get back to normal?

Fortunately God provides the answer, for there is a book in the Bible dedicated to the subject of freedom, called the EXODUS, (the Way Out). But we must first learn a new definition of freedom. Autonomy is not freedom, it always leads us to the floating space man, or to the mad man of Gedara.

“Let my people go that they may worship me”(Exodus 10)

Exodus is a book of freedom. Even the name Exodus proclaims liberty. The ‘Exodus’ is out of slavery and bondage in Egypt. The God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob is the God of liberty. His purpose is to liberate the whole world, using a liberator people, Israel. But before Israel could be used to liberate the world, Israel herself needed to be set free from her servitude.

Therefore God would raise up a vessel to set them free, Moses. But he himself was in a kind of bondage. There is the bondage of the lash, and servitude, and there is the slavery to the lusts and pleasures to this world. Hebrews 11 describes the personal Exodus of Moses,

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.(Hebrews 11:23-25)

It was only after Moses was liberated , that he could be used to set Israel free. The Exodus of Israel was necessary, that they could be used to become the stewards of the truth that would eventually set the world free

Here are a few other aspects of true freedom that I believe that the book of Exodus teaches us;

* Freedom is to be seen as a gift of God..As Exodus 20:1 says , I am .the Lord thy God that has brought thee out of Egypt, the house of bondage… True freedom is always and ever the result of grace, it is a gift of the gracious God. Only through the antitype of the paschal lamb, by the precious blood of Jesus can we be delivered from the guilt and power of sin, which is the deepest bondage of all.

* Freedom is not an end in itself...”Let my people go that they may worship me” (Exodus 10:3) Freedom to do what? True Freedom isn’t an end in itself, God would set us free that we may truly serve Him, that we may be free to be what He created us to be in the first place.

* Freedom is internalI am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me…(Exodus 20:2-3) Note how the deliverance by the blood of the Lamb comes first, then the giving of the law. The idea is that true freedom is a gift of God’s grace and can never be attained by self effort.

But Exodus 20 makes it clear that freedom is internal. It’s as though God was saying to the Israelites, ‘I am the one who delivered you from slavery in Egypt, now do you really want to stay free‘? The truly free man is the one, who only worships the one God. The truly free man is the one who fears God and would never take His name in vain, the truly free man is the one who doesn’t want anyone else’s wife, or things. True freedom is an internal condition, this is why James calls the law of God, “the perfect law of liberty’.

After all, the Law of God is also the very law of our being, we were not created by God to worship two Gods, or to be “one” with a series of women. We can only really be happy and true to our humanity when we are ‘content with such things God has given us’, (10th commandment), or when we love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus sets us free to be what we were created to be originally.

*Freedom from the group morality…A person who has been truly liberated, is inwardly directed, and not subject to the changing opinions ,and shifting doctrines of the day. “Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.”(Exodus 23:2)

*Freedom is an ongoing call…For this one we go to Galatians 5:1 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. We are all called to maintain the position of freedom, that came as a gift of the Liberator God. That means being vigilant to recognise and resist the various entrapments of false religion, temptation, conscience surrender, etc.

These are some of the marks of the “true freedom”, which Jesus promised and which is unto eternal life. In the next segment we will contrast this with the illusion offered by those who “promise you liberty while they themselves are the slaves of corruption”and which is dragging the world, especially the west, down to hell.

Posted in Culture of Death | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

False Freedom; Jenner Liberated Himself From Sanity

As I said yesterday, I am re-running these 2010 articles , in view of the Bruce Jenner Spectacle and the fawning adulation our sick and reverse culture heaps upon it. I hope for our sad, deformed culture, that “the Truth will set us free”.

“While promising them liberty , they themselves are the slaves of corruption, for by what a man is overcome, by that is he brought into bondage” 2 Peter 2

“Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles!” Karl Marx

“All the world over, so easy to see, that people everywhere just want to be free…”(The Young Rascals)

We live in an age of revolution. Everywhere on this planet people have been “breaking off the shackles” in one “liberation movement” after another in the quest for that elusive goal, which is freedom. The American revolution was followed by the French revolution, which in turn spawned successive waves of bloody reversals of the so called ‘existing order’, which ripple up unto this present day.

But almost invariably, whenever the “order” is successfully overthrown by the latest “Liberation” movement, the old order is replaced by something even more oppressive than the previous one. The French Jacobinist movement ended in the dictatorship of Napolean,The Marxist “liberation “, resulted in the 70 year slavery of Russia and the subjugation of her neighbors. Mao set the Chinese free into the nightmare of His own reign, Who can forget the brutal “liberation” movement that has strangled Cuba since 1959? There is a false freedom, that leads to bondage.

Culturally as well as politically, we have been subjected over the last 100 years to various forms of ‘liberation’ which is in fact bondage. The Women’s liberation movement, the sexual revolution, Homosexual liberation, and etc.,have all promised us liberty, but I dare say there is a lot less true liberty today than ever before.

Take the sexual revolution; did throwing off the norms and habits born of the Judeo Christian ethic really make us any freer? Sexual revolution promised us a loving, freeer world, but it has actually killed love, as well as romance. Where is the love in sexually transmitted desease? Is “hooking up” romantic? What about illigitimacy and the problems compounded by it? has the debasement of marriage, the encouragement of various deviancies liberated our society? The sexual revolution has enslaved millions and made everyone’s life uglier.

This is the bitter fruit Peter warned about when he decried the false freedom, which eventually enslaves. It would do us well to define it’s charachteristics, because the siren song of false freedom , luring people into the shipwreck of life, is one of the defining marks of our age.

* False freedom is an end in and of itself… The point of false freedom is the removal of all restraints. It is the freedom to “do your own thing”, providing no else’s freedom is impinged on. Therefore there has been a relentless war on any inhibitions, any restraints whatsoever, and above all , on any moral judgments. It is insistance on this false freedom which has given us the coarsened,balkanized, pornographic, in your face culture that we live in today.

*False freedom is not seen as a Gift from God…but rather as something to be siezed. There is a famous sculpture, in which the upper body of a man is seen using a hammer and chisel to emerge from a block of marble. In the modern world, we liberate ourselves, we make our own lives, we define ourselves.

That is why the various ‘liberation’ movements have had to foster a kind of ‘consciousness’. Blacks have to be kept angry at whites, women have to induced into resentment at the patriarchy, sexual deviants have to be encouraged to hate the churxh, etc. Satan as well, had to lure Adam and Eve into a ‘consciousness’ also, to get them to resent the limits the Creator had put on them.

*False Freedom is rebellion against the very laws of our being… Remember that true freedom, is liberation to be what we were made by our Creator to be in the first place. False freedom is actually rebellion against the Creator, therefore it often manifests itself as rejection of the God ordained uses.

Picture an astronaut making a spacewalk, and really having an existential experience in the process. There is no North ,South .East, or West not even Up or Down! No weight, no boundaries, nothing but pure freedom! Ah, but wait a second, not quite absolute freedom…for the astronaut is still tethered to the spaceship by his supply line, he is not quite 100 percent free…not until he pulls out the utility knife he carries, and cuts the tether that held him back from pure freedom.

Now he is free…free of air, water, companionship, a trip home…this is the end of false freedom. This is the sense that for example the sexual revolution set so many free…Woman were liberated from motherhood, from marriage, from nurture, care, affection, love and committment! Likewise men were liberated also… from virtue, responsibility, maturity, love, selflessness in short the liberation was from humanity as God intended it to be in the first place!

God didn’t make women to be man like, and vice versa. The liberation movement, has gone far past the adultery and fornication stage, now modern man and woman would free themselves of their most basic identities, the God assigned sexual roles. Now we know words like “Transgender”, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual. This is the spaceman, long cut free of the ship, without North,south,east or west, no longer a point of reference, no longer any boundary, taboo or inhibition, “free” to the point of insanity. And saving for the grace of God , with no point of return.

The most liberated man in the bible, in that sense, would have to be the Mad man of Gedara. He was so free, “that no man could bind him, not even with chains”. He was free of convention, free of civility, even free of clothes! And yet where does Jesus find him? “Among the tombs…crying and cutting himself…” a True metaphor for this generation.

Posted in Culture of Death | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bruce Jenner;The Sad End of False Freedom

In view of the tragic and deeply sinful spectacle of the “coming out” of Bruce Jenner, at one time the greatest living athlete on earth, but now a confused,self deformed, depraved and tormented soul, I thought it would be appropriate to re-release an earlier series of articles, called “True and False Freedom”.

Many are heralding Jenner’s perverse publicity stunt, as “courageous” and bold. ESPN is giving Jenner the ESPY award for “Bravery”. Jenner edged out a double amputee war hero who doesn’t let his serious war injuries keep him from foot racing and other sports.Of course ESPN executives and announcers never miss an opportunity to celebrate Sodomites in sport, such as Michael Sam, and Jason Collins.

What is sad about all of this is the fact that in other times a person as conflicted as Jenner would elicit deep concern and sympathy, because people would all agree that he obviously is undergoing profound mental and spiritual crisis. He needs prayer and counseling, not awards for “Bravery”. Those who loved him would have shielded him and sought help for his crisis, they never would have dreamed of just accepting it and even encouraging him in his madness.

What you are seeing is the sad end of the liberation movement which began in the 1950’s or 60s. The culture has come under the spell of mad men who seek to throw off all “Shackles and bondages” in the name of self discovery. First came a “free speech” movement, liberating people from manners and civil discourse, then came a sexual revolution, which liberated us from marriage, romance, and true love. Eventually we had a homosexual liberation movement, and now we have a “transgender” crisis, for those who would be liberated from their God assigned gender!

The Biblical figure who was perhaps the free-est in this false regard, was the mad man of Gedara, who was free from people, chains, conventions, manners, family and even clothes! But where do we find this tormented soul?

He was weeping and crying in the tombs, obsessed with death and hurting himself constantly.

Who will weep for this perverse generation? Who will cry for the ones who have seized this same kind of ‘freedom’ and are now tormented and disfigured, pierced and tattooed, and wanting to die?

Truly, the “tender mercies of the wicked are cruel”, as scripture says.

True and False Freedom…pt 1

“If you continue in my word you shall be my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”(John 8:32)

“Promising them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of corruption, for by what a man is overcome, by that is he enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19)

There is a true freedom, according to Jesus, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed.. And yet Peter warns us against the slavery of a false freedom. How can we know the difference between the true and the false freedom? Only by appealing to the only document of true human liberty. the Bible.

The Bible addresses the subject of human freedom right from the beginning in the garden of Eden. God created man in a state of freedom, but it was not autonomy. “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat for in the day you eat therof you shall surely die.”(Gen 2:17)

Adam and Eve were free to start a life, have children, build a family, they had meaningful work to do, they were free of want, strife, and need. they were free to walk with God and to know God, and free to worship God. However they were not free in an absolute sense. They were put under a limitation, there was a commandment to obey. They were not autonomous, their freedom was under God. But Adam and Eve were ‘free indeed’.

But we are told that the Serpent seduced Adam and Eve, into thinking they weren’t free after all. Satan led a ‘liberation movement’, and the first couple bought into it. He was going to set free, they were going to ‘throw off the shackles’ that God had imposed on them by the one prohibition that he put on them. “Promising them liberty… they became slaves of corruption, and so did we their seed.

The deepest bondage is not political, it is moral and spiritual. This is brought out in the context of Jesus’ famous ‘the truth shall set you free’ discussion. We are told that it was to those who believed on Him, that he directed this remark. But they didn’t believe that it applied to them,

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.(John 8:31-35)

Behold the power of self deception. They couldn’t see that even politically they were in bondage, “We were never in bondage to anyone!”, What are they talking about? what about the Babylonians, the Assyrians, not to mention the Egyptians, and in the context of that very day, the Romans! And yet the Jews of Jesus’ day are a microcosm of the whole world, Man is in bondage and his pride doesn’t allow him to realise it.

But Jesus goes beyond the political, and adresses the deepest bondage of all, SIN, and slavery to sin. But the promise is that the Son has the power and willingness to set us “free indeed” from the guilt and power of sin, and to allow us to “abide forever!’

Posted in Culture of Death | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Wisdom Cries Out…What Ireland’s Tragedy Demonstrates

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.  And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.(Luke 11:24-26)

Ireland has long been considered a throw back example of an earlier morality, being one of the last of the western nations to liberalize divorce laws and to allow abortion.As late as 1993, the movement to liberalize divorce law and abortion laws were only beginning to build, as this article from the New York Times illustrates,

Irish Began To Liberalize Laws

For centuries overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Ireland has clung proudly to conservative, even strait-laced attitudes toward sexual morality. Literary dissenters like James Joyce and Edna O’Brien were voices of a small minority.

But now, as a result of economic, social and political changes, the Government has begun to move steadily toward a liberalization of laws involving families and sex in ways that are generally opposed by the Catholic Church.

Ireland legalized Divorce in 1995, and abortion in 2013.

What held back the tide of the culture of death in this modern western nation for so long?

Part of the answer has been the fact that Ireland’s population is estimated to be 90 percent Roman Catholic.The Roman Catholic Church has long held sway as the predominant moral guide of the nation.

But that moral authority has collapsed after recent revelations of horrific sexual scandals involving children in the care and custody of Roman Catholic institutions, and cover-ups by Government officials.

This UK Gaurdian article gives  terrifying insights into the findings of an Irish Government inquiry into the scandal, which eventually rocked the nation, brought down the government, and obviously dis-enchanted millions of Irish towards the Church.

“The nine-year investigation found that Catholic priests and nuns for decades terrorised thousands of boys and girls in the Irish Republic, while government inspectors failed to stop the chronic beatings, rape and humiliation.”

“The high court judge Sean Ryan today unveiled the 2,600-page final report of Ireland’s commission into child abuse, which drew on testimony from thousands of former inmates and officials from more than 250 church-run institutions. Police were called to the news conference amid angry scenes as victims were prevented from attending.”

“More than 30,000 children deemed to be petty thieves, truants or from dysfunctional families – a category that often included unmarried mothers – were sent to Ireland’s austere network of industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930s until the last facilities shut in the 1990s.”

I believe that the parable of Jesus comes to play here. The “Irish House” was filled with Roman Catholicism, which forbade the obvious manifestations of the culture of death; the destruction of the family, through divorce, abortion and perverse expressions of sexuality. But the corruption and hypocrisy of the Roman Church and her collusion with the Government,have caused the former “moral authority” to collapse.

I think Irish people now despise the Church and the former government which colluded in such abuse with it. By voting 60 percent in favor of Homosexual perversity, the Irish  have repudiated the church and God, and now the house has been empty, swept and garnished .

But there can be no vacuum in nature, nor in the spiritual realm.

But with the recent referendum to approve so-called “Gay Marriage”, Ireland has demonstrated that “seven spirits” much worse than the former Spirit which inhabited it have come into her. Nations can be demon possessed, just like individuals.

To solemnize such a perverse parody as “Gay marriage”is an affront  to God the author of marriage. Marriage was designed to foretell the faithful and sacrificial love of the Messiah for the church. “Gay Marriage” by definition is a blasphemous insult to God.For a former “Christian” nation to do so seven more blasphemous.

As it is written, in the 9th Psalm, “The wicked shall be cast into hell, and all nations that forget God”.

Wisdom is crying out to one and all, through the Irish tragedy,

“Here is what happens when the false moral authority collapses, and the people turn away from God rather than to Him! 
“This is what happens when the house is swept clean of one evil, but remains empty(godlessness)…Seven Worse Spirits have come in and the last state of the house shall be worse than the first!”

Ireland is not alone, for most of the West is committing national and cultural suicide in this same fashion. Let us listen to the rest of Lady Wisdom’s warning…

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:

30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Posted in Wisdom Cries Out | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wisdom Cries Out In The Streets…On Stoning The Duggars

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.(Proverbs 1:20-23)

I believe that one of the ways Wisdom from God cries out in the streets, is through notable current events. Through the media culture we are instantly and constantly apprised of current events and developments ; be it in sports, politics, entertainment, or news, there is often a message beneath the event, for Him who has ears to hear.

The Duggar family has become a popular cultural phenomenon through the reality television shown “19 Kids and Counting.” Hundreds of thousands of Americans have  followed the openly Christian, homeschooling family through their daily routine of feeding, shopping, chores, building a large house for the family, family prayer, countless births, courtships,proposals, and even marriages.

There has been something fascinating to many, about this insight into a middle American culture of large families, Christian values, chores, sharing and respect that many  Americans and even others, thought was long gone.

The Duggars has been a larger- than- life witness to an entire subculture that is very much alive and even thriving in much of America.

But there is a new twist to the story.

Evidently, the oldest of the 19 children, Joshua, had to confess recently to molesting some of his sisters and a family friend, 12 years ago, when he was 14 -15 years old. He has expressed his regret and stepped down from his position on the Family Research Council. What can we hear Wisdom saying from this unfortunate episode?

1) That the True Witness of Christ is not a “perfect family” but Redemption. The subculture that the Duggars spring from is straight out of developments within evangelical Christianity in the 1970s and 1980s.Born again Christians rejected the “anti-child” , ZPG,(zero population growth) ethos of their time. There was also a tremendous evangelical reaction to the liberal indoctrination and usurpation of the public schools, resulting in the Christian school and Homeschool movement.

Out of this sprang a vast new emphasis on family, discipline, the biblical role of the Husband and Wife, biblical work ethic, the rejection of the dating culture in favor of courting, and the attempt to protect the children from worldliness in the toxic culture.

I confess, in the interest of full disclosure, that this is very much something I whole  heartedly agree with, and see as positive.

However it can lead to an unfortunate emphasis on the external . The temptation is to think that doing ‘family’ just right, and being a perfect example of a Christian family, each kid in submission and everything in order, is the ideal Christian witness.

The problem is original sin.Even if we deliver our children out of the abominable public schools, and get them to read the classical literature, and teach them to work hard children are still sinners.

There will be sin, and there is a Christian way to deal with it. The witness is Redemption, not external perfection.

The Duggars did deal with their sinning son, he was exposed, he confessed his sin.  Years later when his future wife and her parents were introduced to the family, Josh told them openly of his sin and that he had been helped by God to overcome it. “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” Duggar said in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.” What more can you do? Should Duggar be considered a danger? Should he be made a Pariah? But for those of us who have forgotten what the true witness if Christ is, this will be a severe trial.

2) Who says you are supposed to put your family on Television? I think Wisdom might be warning us of the dangers of setting ourselves up as an example. I realize that “we are the light of the world” and the “Salt of the earth” but I doubt that meant we should present our entire family on television for years on end. I  cringe when I see the Duggars and the Duck Dynasty clan, because I know that even the finest families are composed of sinners, and I also know that those who would viscerally hate all that these traditional families stand for, the sexually deviant, and the Feminists, would absolutely love to uncover “dirt” on either one of them to discredit the idyllic scenes of family prayer and faith and the public statements against the cultural transgressions. As a Pastor and Blogger I do live a somewhat public life, however on a very severely limited scale. I wouldn’t want my little ones or my grandchildren to have to live their tender, developing years on television for all to see. If I am attacked that is one thing, but to expose my wife and children to attack, is unthinkable.

3) The reaction to this incident reveals all we need to know about the Duggars friends and critics. There are some Christians and moralists who are already savaging Josh Duggar. They believe that he has damaged the gospel, by serving on the Family Research Council,knowing of his previous sin,  or by being on Television at all. But would anyone want their sins from the age of 14 to be held against them twelve years later? Is there not Redemption? Didn’t Jesus die for his sins?

The sexual deviants are rejoicing! So too are the rest of the Anti-Christians. They are so happy that , that “Holier than thou”, “perfect little family” has been shamed and their nakedness has been exposed! They love to see the dirty laundry of a pro-life, pro-family, pro-American Christian family. The Washingtom Post online article featured a video clip  showing Josh Duggar calling for Marriage as being between one man and one woman, as if his previous transgressions nullifies everything he has said.

What is their answer?Is it that there is no use protesting sin, we should just succumb to every evil proclivity? I would rather live among people like the Duggars, who though imperfectly, tried to stem the tide of evil in their own families, than among those who just “normalize” perversion as though it is inevitable anyway.

Then there are those of us who are grieved. Grieved for the Duggar family and the exposure of their shame. Grieved to be reminded that even in the most sanitized, and seemingly protected environment, Sin still destroys and rears its ugly head. We are grieved for the young women whom Josh touched inappropriately 12 years ago, and the willingness of sinners to re-open any wounds that have been healed.

If those who rejoiced over the Duggars shame ever thought about it, they would realize that the same God who allowed for the exposure of Josh’s sin, will one day call each of them to account for their sins. Jesus told us, “There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed, and nothing whispered in the ear that shall not be shouted from the roof tops”.

4) This little episode is a heavy warning about the power and danger of sin, and the fact that neither homeschooling, courting, manners, morals and ethics, are any substitute for the need of full Redemption through the blood of Jesus. All of us are sinners, we all need grace and cannot afford to throw stones at anyone. Being reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus is the only antidote to sin. Please pray for the Duggars and their family. Pray also for the outspoken deviants and moral anarchists who rejoice in their shame. Pray for the Moralists who are now tempted to hate this family, for their failure in the past, and for having the audacity to present their family as some kind of testimony.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.  All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.  They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;  To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.  Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.  The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.(Psalm 145:8-15)

Posted in Wisdom Cries Out | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Dragon’s Flood…Revelation 12 pt 10

 When And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.(Revelation 12:13-18)

What have we seen in this vision so far? We have seen the completion of Genesis 3. The woman in the garden has become a very pregnant Israel, the “daughter of Zion” and wife of Jehovah. She writhes in the agony of labor for to her was granted a great task, to be the receptacle of the Word of God and of the MEssiah.

The serpent in the garden has become a Dragon, with all worldly power; political, military, economic, media, put to his disposal.His identity is revealed in the same vision. He is “The serpent of old”,the fallen Angel who deceived our first parents, and brought about the fall of man and the ruin of the first creation.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.(Revelation 12:9)

He is also described as “the Devil”, a compound word Dia and Bolos– Dia meaning “to divide”” and bolos meaning “to throw”. He throws lies and innuendo out to divide people. He divided Adam and Eve from God, from each other, and has perpetrated every other division between people since.

The Dragon is also referred to as “Satan”, the adversary, for he brought constant charges against God”s people before the bar of Divine justice, like a prosecuting attorney.Thus he is referred to as “The accuser of our bretheren”.

Finally he is described in the vision as, the one that “deceives the whole world”. The entire world, except for the seed of the woman, are entrapped in the various lies of this arch liar.

The ultimate lie is that man can make it on his own without the God of the Bible, but for everyone on earth there are variations of the lie.Whether it be re-incarnation,(you shall not surely die), or the lie of Islam,or of evolution,or the apparitions of the virgin Mary, or Aliens, they all amount to some kind of deification of man and proclaim that humankind s advancing towards a godless Utopia.

However, the “seed of the woman” is born in spite of the dragon’s opposition. He is the man-child, destined to rule the world with a rod of iron, and to crush the serpent’s head.The serpent couldn’t dissuade him or stop Him. After the man-child did His saving work, crushing the serpent, at the cost of great personal pain, He ascended to Heaven!

Now the serpent is wroth with the woman and the remnant of her seed. The woman flees to the wilderness, but the serpent belches out of his mouth a flood, to destroy the woman.

What is the nature of that flood? There may be much more to it, but I already think I have an answer to that question, and that we are seeing this flood play our currently.

The devil is pouring out of his mouth a flood of…words.

That’s right, with all of the world’s Media at his disposal, The Serpent is pouring out floods of propaganda, turning the world’s opinion against Israel, implying things which are not true, and repeating the big lies over and over again, no matter how outrageous and far-fetched they are. Here is just a recent sampling of headlines coming out, slanted against Israel;

*“Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem”, was the headline of an AP story after a terrorist rammed a car into a crowd in Jerusalem, killing a baby and wounding 8 people waiting for train station.

*When two Palestinian Terrorists carried out a murderous attack on a Synagogue in Jerusalem, in November,2014, killing four Jews and injuring six others,

CBC news reported “Jerusalem Police Fatally Shoot Two After Apparent Synagogue Attack”

The BBC reported the same incident with this headline“Jerusalem Synagogue Kills Four Israelis” The story reports, “At least four Israeli’s have been killed and seven injured in what police say was a “terrorist attack” at a Jerusalem Synagogue”

When CNN reported on it, one was left to wonder who was the attacker? “Four Israeli’s,Two Palestinians Killed in Synagogue Attack,Israeli Police Say”

What we are constantly seeing, not just in News Reporting but in sermons, political speeches, street protests, University courses, theatrical dramas, tweets, blogs, television, Radio, and a host of other forms of media, is a steady stream of slanted, biased words, designed to change people’s opinions about Israel, and to elicit sympathy for Israel’s enemies.

Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler’s propaganda chief would have loved to have had the sophisticated social media, internet, tweet and other forms of modern communication.He is the one who gave us the adage, tell a lie often enough and people will begin to repeat it and accept it as common wisdom.

The Serpent is pouring out Words calculated to incite; accusing Israel as an Apartheid state(Preposterous), or that Israel has committed “War crimes” and that the Palestinians are an oppressed people.Comparisons are made between Israel and Nazi Germany, and the Palestinians and Joseph and Mary, Israel as Goliath and Palestinian terrorists as David.

Words are powerful, they work. Through well-chosen words, the serpent is deceiving the whole world.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for Israel, that they might see the Messiah whom (we) they have pierced!

Posted in A Woman Clothed In The Sun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments