I believe in Global Warming

I know it exists but it is far more than an environmental time bomb.

Someday there will be one like no other, when “the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat.”  From pole to pole, east to west, there will be a conflagration that the world has never before seen.  It will not be human precipitated or caused.

It is a promise and a threat from the Almighty.

On that Day there will be two kinds of people living in the world.  On the one hand, there will be the majority among the “tribes of the earth” and they shall all collectively and universally “mourn.”  On the other will be the elect, the vast minority, the sanctified, those who will “lift up (their) heads” for their “redemption draws near.”

Those who desperately weep and cry out will be they who will see all they presently cling to; all that for which they have myopically spent their entire lives accumulating, go up literally in smoke:  their houses, their wealth: stocks, bonds, savings; their fabulous good looks, hairstyles, tattoos, gender choices, political aspirations and partisanship, perverted and sinful lifestyles and choices, their boozing and drug use, profane trash-talking, sports-worship, their pursuit of all things “flesh,” chiseled and sculpted bodies included.  They will have reason to cry, for when this warming happens all of that will disappear in a massive, one-of-a-kind, one-time-only, fiery, global, meltdown.  They will flee from the One from whose face “heaven and earth fled away” but there will be nowhere to hide, no place to go.

Those whose hands and arms go up, who “lift up (their) heads” and whose faces smile, tears of joy streaming down their cheeks (if only for a few moments), who have said, by life and word, “Come, Lord Jesus!” will not fear and will not mind, because they have lived lives declaring their allegiance to Him and not to the world.  They will do so because they have been treated as “strangers and pilgrims” in a world who did not know them because it did “not know Him who sent” Jesus.  They will embrace the coming conflagration because it means an exit to a world where they knew they did not belong, or hold citizenship in; where they felt like aliens because the rest of the world could not, or would not, see the beauty and sweet reasonableness in a suffering Savior who lovingly implored all of us to “Follow (Him)” as He led us back to the “Father of Spirits” that we might truly “live.”

If that day were today or tomorrow, in which group would you and I be among?  Have we “built our house on the Rock” or have we built on shifting sand?  Are we pouring our time, energy, resources, and affections into that which will be utterly destroyed or are we spending and using them wisely, preparing for the inevitable, when all that matters, all that is left to us, is a godly, holy, imperishable, life, one which we have enjoyed and led in the service of the King of Kings?

Global warming is real.  Believe it.  Are you and I ready for it?  More importantly, are we looking forward to it?  That, more than anything, will give us the answer to the question.

(Texts cited:  2 Peter 2:12; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7; Luke 21:28; Revelation 20:11; 23:20; Hebrews 11:13; John 1:10; Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Hebrews 12:9; Matthew 7:24)

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Put to Use

My father was a mechanic so he had lots of tools.  I remember seeing many of them; they were dirty, grimy, well-worn.  Very few of them went unused.  Mine, on the other hand, if they are not hand-me-downs (which most are), look much newer, much nicer, almost clean and grime-free.  A real mechanic could easily tell that I am no mechanic even if I am the son of one.  The tools, if not the lack of knowledge in a conversation about car repair or the like, would be a dead giveaway.

Put to use over time, anything or anyone will show signs of wear and tear.  Our bodies will and do, eventually, and maybe even our minds.  When we are in the Lord’s service we will show signs of wear also.  We  will be under near constant assault by Satan.  He will do everything in his considerable power to render us ineffective, seeking to neutralize us as a force against him.  He may attack in various ways:  health issues, hurting our loved ones, damaging our financial security and resources, loss of possessions, tempting our lusts and so on.   It may show on our faces, in our temperament, our demeanor, our speech and the kinds of daily decisions we make.  We have to be ready for it, accept it for what it is, but realize he makes us do nothing we do not choose to do and the Lord won’t allow him to go beyond a point without providing an escape hatch for us (1 Corinthians 10:13).

If you are feeling hurried, harassed, hampered, hamstrung, hated, homesick or horrible, then that may be because you are a tool in the Lord’s kingdom, making a difference, and Satan is doing his dead-level best to neutralize your effectiveness.  Pray for strength from on High, for the power of our Spirit-Comforter and the encouragement of the Word of God and fellow believers to rise above the noise and ugliness of the moment to fulfill your assignments in the Lord’s kingdom.  Cast aside the emotions that are holding you down or keeping you “navel-gazing.”  Revel in the onward and upward march, as a soldier of Christ, a tool in His service being put to use by the Master Craftsman and Builder.

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I Will Not Hear

The prophet/judge Samuel’s sons were not like him; they took bribes and perverted justice.  The elders of Israel met with Samuel in Ramah and demanded a king instead.  Samuel did not like the idea, but prayed to the Lord about it:

 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.   According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day–with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods–so they are doing to you also.  1 Samuel 8:7-9

Abandonment.  Israel had abandoned God and His prophet/judge Samuel.  God told Samuel what to tell them as a warning should they demand such a thing:

So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king.  And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots.  He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.  He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.  And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants.  He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants.  And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.  He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.  And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”  1 Samuel 8:10-18

Having been forewarned about every selfish, self-centered, self-aggrandizing, covetous motive and action exposed before them in detail they remained adamant, demanding a king.  And God heeded their wish; He allowed them to decide their own fate.  Thus their long journey down the path to destruction had begun.

This electoral season we have seen the selfish, self-centered, even criminal, behavior exposed to the world (via the hacked emails) of one of the candidates running for the highest office in this land and currently in the lead:  Hillary Rodham Clinton.  She boasts about her support for:

  1. Abortion on demand even in the third trimester.[1]
  2. Marriage between persons of the same gender (Homosexuals). [2]

Forget for a moment that she would tax the rich just because they are rich; something the Word of God reveals is inequity even among the laws of His people Israel (Leviticus 19:15; 25:47-54; Exodus 23:6; 30:15; Deuteronomy 1:17).  Not to mention that she seeks to bypass the Constitution and Congress to negate the second amendment; accepts donations from countries which murder homosexuals and non-Muslims routinely; supports trade agreements that will harm American workers; plans to open borders where felons and enemies of state can enter the country easier, the pathological lying, the blatant hypocrisies, the cover-ups, mainstream media’s two-faced collaboration and smear campaigning.  For those of us who are Christians, those first two should easily rate the highest as travesties of decency and righteousness which mark her clearly as secular and pagan to the core.

Consider that God may be doing for us as He did for Israel:  exposing to everyone the hidden secrets of a fearful, sinful, prospect (that such a one as she could actually be elected to the highest office in this land) so that when the time comes, when votes are cast and should the electorate choose her to run this nation; and later, as things begin to disintegrate worse than they are now, and people protest, He may, like He did then, turn away His ears from cries of deliverance.  He will have shown us what we are in for and let us decide our own fate as a nation.

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”[3]

I could not disagree more.  You see, I personally do not consider that men, or women, who stand by and do nothing to stop the “triumph of evil” are legitimately and inherently, good.  If we abandon our right to vote, it is possible we may be abandoning the one God-given opportunity to determine our future as a nation.  As a result, God may not listen later when we cry out to Him for deliverance from the evil we chose to ignore.  We surely will have no grounds to complain to anybody else.

Therefore, Christian, and fellow American whom God has given the right to vote by being a citizen of this nation, a blood-bought liberty defended by other Americans who even now are in foreign lands risking their lives and dying to keep us safe from tyranny – be sure you exercise that right come November.  Lend your voice to the cry against sin now, or it may not be heard later.

Addendum:  If you claim to be a Christian, then I urge you read the following article and consider the legitimacy of it in light of it:  http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2016/10/16/conservative-christians-be-assured-that-president-hillary-clinton-will-declare-war-on-you-n2232947

[1] https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/fact-check-of-hillary-clintons-support-for-day-of-birth-abortions-shows-bia; http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Hillary_Clinton_Abortion.htm

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2013/03/18/hillary-clinton-comes-out-in-support-of-gay-marriage/; http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/04/16/hillary-clintons-changing-views-on-gay-marriage/

[3] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/edmundburk377528.html

 

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Report Cards

Recently my sister gave me some things that my mother had been saving.  One was a large photo of me taken when I was a boy.  I distinctly remember I felt nauseous at the time and you can see my smile was a struggle.  My forehead is huge and I look like one of those bulbous headed aliens from Star Trek.  I may have to hide the photo; it might frighten little children. It’s scary.

Yet the really scary thing is the fifth grade report card my mother kept.  Of all the ones she could have saved, she HAD to keep that one.  Fifth grade was not a good year for me.  I did not care for my teacher, Mrs. Linton.  I truly believe she did not like me, but I am positive I gave her cause.

Back then (think 1960s), report cards were really “cards” not sheets of paper.  They were highly informative, detailing to parents what they were for, with sections for “Scholarship and Attendance,” “Explanation of Grading System,” “Habits and Attitudes,” and, on the back, a place for “Teacher’s comment and Parent’s Signature.”  It is to these last two that I will make comment.

Several of my “Habits and Attitudes” needed work. /understatement  There were six, 6 week indicator boxes and I had full check marks (meaning ’Improvement Needed’) all the way across in “Is attentive to teacher’s instructions” “Follows directions promptly” and “Assumes responsibility.”  Except for one six-week period, I had all negative marks in “Continues work until completed” “Respects authority” and “Is desirably independent.”  The last three 6 weeks, I had negative check marks in “Claims only own share of attention.”  In the section that said, “Makes good use of time” I had 5 out of 6 slots written with “talks.”  Apparently a check mark was too insufficient to describe her pain at my motor-mouthedness.  On the back, she continued with disturbing critiques such as, “Danny’s conduct this six weeks has been undesirable” (I know she had another ‘Danny’ in mind!) and “He is still idling too much of his time away.”  As I recall, I am not entirely to blame.  If my memory serves me correctly, I was madly in love with two girls at the time and one was my true flame, Mary Ann.  I am pretty sure they liked me too, so, really, what was I supposed to do – sit there grinning like an idiot while some other guy wrested their attention away from me? /smile

All levity aside, as much as that Report Card addressed my life during that time, there is one being kept that matters far more.  It is not being kept by a school teacher.  It is the account of “deeds done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians. 5:10).  There is one for each one of us.  It is not being kept by some fallible human, but by God Himself.  It is accurate and thorough.  Nothing important is omitted.  It will define where we will either exist in misery or enjoy life for all eternity.  If you or I could glimpse it today, what would it say?  “Needs improvement”?  “Wastes too much time”?  “Disrespects authority”?  “Does not continue work until completed”?  Might it expose our deepest faults and bring shame and humiliation to us?  Or is it one that would honor us and give us pause for a humble, yet thankful, glow of success at some small measure of spiritual maturity?

God is evaluating us all and keeping record.  I do not know how many “six weeks” we have, but let us make every one of them count.  Change what needs changing.  Improve what needs improving.  Repent as needed as often as needed.  Then, when the time comes for God to read that report card, it will bring us joy and not sorrow in His esteemed presence.

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Lost but Found

It is amazing how much drama, energy, anxiety, expense, and the like one may spend losing something and then looking for it.  This past week was a whirlwind of activity for me as I combed the area looking for my wallet presumably lost, or stolen, a week ago yesterday.

I am a creature of habit.  I put things in specific places deliberately to foil my natural absent-mindedness so when it was not where I normally keep it I didn’t worry too much figuring it was in one of those two or three places.  I didn’t need it Sunday, but on Monday when I got to work, I did not have it.  I figured it was somewhere at home.  The next morning when I went to get it before leaving for work, it was not where it should have been, in one of the few places I normally keep it.  A quick search netted nothing.  Panic set in.  I called in to get a day off.  Then the real hunt began.  I searched the house and my car all over several times.  I drove to Greensburg trying to back track, went to the last place I remember using it, a restaurant.  It was not there.  I scoured the church building, inquired at City Hall, the Police Station… nothing!

I fretted but prayed, asking others to pray too.  Fearing the worst, I canceled my debit card and got a new driver’s license.  I felt a keen measure of anxiety and, except for an appeal to God’s mercy that I might find it, tried to let it go.

Then, a few days ago, while looking for a slip of paper, as I was standing beside a chair at my computer desk, I glanced down at the chair.  Lying in a canted position, within a recess formed by the back of the chair supports and the padded seat, lay my wallet!   It had apparently fallen out of my pants pocket when I had laid them over the chair.  I was stunned.  I had sat on the chair numerous times.  My wife had pushed it around.  An examination revealed that one had to be viewing the recess in the back of the chair from a certain angle.  Any other angles would have blocked the view of it.  I could have sat there a hundred times, but had I not been standing where I was, and looking at that spot, it might have lain there for a long, long, time.  I praised God and thanked those who had prayed with me about it.  I thought about the woman who lost her coin and then found it.

I realized that the search for salvation often works exactly like that.  We can look and look and look for it in all the wrong places, spending countless hours, believing, thinking, and doing all we can think of to find it – all in vain.  We can use all the logic and intelligence we can muster, go to places, talk to people whom we think might know, read books and commentaries, looking far and wide, but unless we look in just the right place, we will never find it.  It may not even make sense to us when we DO find it, but that’s where faith steps in.  The New Testament is the source for the information.  God is trying to lead us to salvation there, to learn about the One Person who holds the Key to Salvation – Jesus Christ and the terms He has set to unlock that door.

Salvation is and has always been simply a matter of location, where we stand with God.  It is IN Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  There is only ONE WAY to be IN Christ Jesus and that is to obey the Gospel, the Good News (Mark 1:14, 15; John 8:24; 14:6).  The only aspect of the Gospel which we can possibly obey is the terms of salvation.  God’s part we cannot do.  God’s part is grace (Romans 3:24, 25; 4:16; 5:15, 21; Ephesians 2:8).  Without grace, no salvation is possible.  It is not by any human works of merit, no “earning” it (Romans 11:6).  The terms of the Gospel are these:  faith in Christ which comes only by hearing the Gospel (Romans 10:17), leading one to repentance “unto life” (Acts 11:18); prompting a public confession that Jesus is divine (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9, 10), followed immediately by water baptism, the act of faith which crowns it all (Acts 8:35-39; Galatians 3:26, 27), whereby Christ adds us to His Body, the church, all of the saved, whom He conveys into His Kingdom (Acts 22:16; Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13, 14).  Unless we respond in that precise way to God’s grace, we will NEVER find salvation for our eternal souls no matter how long or how hard we look.

We have to be at the right place, looking at exactly the right angle, to find it.  Even then it may take us by surprise because it was not what we expected.  God will lead us there by His Spirit through His Word if we permit Him – if we really want it.

Stop wasting time.  Like my wallet was, so is the truth about salvation and how to get it – it’s right under our noses, waiting for us to find it.

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Islam: Enemy of Christianity

Popularity does not concern me.  Truth does.  In a time when people are being told lies about a religio-political system which permits altering facts to cover its tracks, it is needful for me to write this as a warning.  I do not write it with any animosity or hate toward anyone.  Christianity is the antithesis of hate; it does not permit it to be practiced by believers.  Therefore, anyone who suggests that this article is ‘hate speech’ is merely muddying the water to distract from its purpose and point: to alert everyone, especially Christians, to what is looming over the horizon in the form of Islam and its insistence upon a world governed by Sharia Law.

“Know thy enemy” (Sun Tzu) is a sound tenet of military doctrine.  It is most applicable here.  Unless we know the differences in our religions we will be ill suited to tackle the task of debate, lacking the ability to be conversant when we attempt to bring Muslims to Christ or protect ourselves when and if Sharia Law becomes commonplace.  I therefore offer the following reasons why Islam is the enemy of Christianity:

1.    Islam’s master teacher, Mohammed, in the Qu’ran, affirms it:

“Regarding Christianity, however, the approach seems to remain static and constant. For instance, 5:14: “And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So we planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will inform them of what they used to do.” Soon after, 5:51 has: “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends to one another. And if any amongst you takes them as friends, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers.” And then 5:73: “Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ‘Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).’ But there is no god but Allah. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.”  Matters don’t improve for Christians, and as we move forward we read 8:39, which says: “And fight them until there is no more disbelief in Islam and the religion will all be for Allah Alone…” and then 9:23: “O you who believe! Take not for supporters your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the wrong-doers.”  [1]

If its own founder says so, then what I am saying should come as no surprise.  As a side note, early passages (some peace oriented) in the Qu’ran are superseded by the older ones which, when Islam had grown powerful, are militaristic and warlike.

2.    Islam teaches Jesus Christ is not deity (divine).

There is no Christianity (known in the New Testament) which excludes the confession that Jesus is the very Son of God.  The substance of that confession is what Christ’s visible Body on earth, the church, is founded upon (i.e., His deity) (Matthew 16:18).  To Muslims, Jesus is not divine but only another of God’s (Allah’s) teachers and a lesser of Mohammed.  The Apostle John makes this a huge distinction between those who are “of God” and those who are not and are branded as “anti-Christ” (1 John 2:22; 4:3).

Jesus warned that others would come claiming to be the Messiah (i.e., God’s anointed one) and that their testimony would be so convincing as to nearly deceive the elect, yet they were not to be believed nor followed as they were deceivers (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22).  Mohammed is surely among those of whom He spoke.

Jesus said, “…if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).  In using the description that God (Yahweh) designated for Himself (Exodus 3:14), which His detractors knew He was doing deliberately and wanted to kill Him for, Jesus makes it unmistakably clear:  He is the equal of the Father, Yahweh, and to fail to believe that as truth invites eternal damnation.  Islam not only does not recognize Jesus as divine, such an idea is, in their view, blasphemous.

3.    Islam is “another gospel” and is therefore a false one.

The Apostle Paul stated in no uncertain terms: “If we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel that that which we have delivered to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8, 9).  To ensure clarity and for emphasis he repeated it.  Islam is another gospel, another way of salvation.  Just as one cannot have two masters, one cannot have two gospels, two different ways of salvation.  One has to be wrong. and the other right.  One either preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ or that of Mohammed.  In doing so one is either correct or cursed.

4.    Islam is a legalistic system of salvation, one of works of human merit,  not of grace as is Christianity.

As with all other religions, major and minor, Islam is legalistic in nature.  It is a system of  justification by works defined by a religious code.  These activities are of merit and count towards effecting in the performer a measured righteousness.  Christianity is entirely different.  Righteousness is by faith in Jesus Christ.  Any “works” performed are those which are by faith (trusting obedience) and which believers are appointed unto (Ephesians 2:8ff).  Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, Him being the Son of God.  One cannot mix meritorious works and grace (Romans 4:4, 5).  Islam is entirely about a believer’s works of merit.  Christianity is about the atoning work of Jesus Christ whose selfless offering of His own blood is the only justification for sin (Hebrews 1:1-3; 10:38).  The two systems, therefore, are diametrically in opposition to one another and can never find common ground.

5.    Islam forbids Christian evangelism.

Christianity is the preaching of good news concerning God, humanity, sin and salvation.  Jesus Christ commissioned Christians to preach the gospel to all nations and then to baptize believers (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 1:8).  Islam demands Christians disobey what their Lord has specifically commanded them to do.  To that we must add our voice to that of the apostles “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  Muslims who convert to Christianity are widely hounded and persecuted unto death.  Christians in Muslim countries are persecuted also.  If Christians do not preach Christ in some fashion, they fail in their mission and purpose.  Islam seeks to assist them in that failure.

6.    Islam authorizes murder and deceit.

History is replete with barbaric episodes wherein “Christians” (so-called) have murdered, looted, and behaved shamefully in the Name of Christ.   There is no doubt about that.  Christ’s words were, and are, either ignored or taken out of context by those with manical, racist, xenophobic, and homicidal agendas.  One look at Jesus’ own words should convince anyone that Christianity is a non-violent religion in principle and practice (Matthew 5:43-45).  The fact is, Jesus Christ never authorized His followers to use violence to achieve His aims.  When He spoke of the use of swords, it was figurative (Matthew 10:34-39) or in fulfillment of a prophecy (Luke 22:35-38).  He specifically forbade violence (Matthew 26:52) as did the Apostle Paul (Romans 12:17-21).  Not so with the Qu’ran.  It specifically commands its followers to enslave, kill or destroy all who will not submit to it.  For Christianity it is universal love and peace between God and humanity, and humans to one another (Matthew 22:34-40; Luke 6:27-38).  Islam’s Jihad (holy war) stands in stark contrast.

Islam also authorizes its adherents to lie when necessary.  It is called Taqiyya.  This is akin to the Roman Catholic doctrine of  Mental Reservation [2].  Taqiyya is:

“Falsehoods told to prevent the denigration of Islam, to protect oneself, or to promote the cause of Islam are sanctioned in the Qur’an and Sunna, including lying under oath in testimony before a court, deceiving by making distorted statements to the media such as the claim that Islam is a “religion of peace”. A Muslim is even permitted to deny or denounce his faith if, in so doing, he protects or furthers the interests of Islam, so long as he remains faithful to Islam in his heart.” [3]

According to the New Testament there is no occasion for lying or deceit of any kind be it Taqiyya or Mental Reservation.  The Apostle John states:  “…and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire…” (Revelation 21:8)  One cannot find a more explicit denial of any right to lie than that, even for one’s religion.

We would do well to remember this when listening to Muslim spokesmen or organizations when they defend Islam or seek to stifle protests of Islamic terrorism and bigotry.  They may not all be lying, but this proves they well may be.

7.    Islam has females subordinated as virtual slaves to males.

Everything about Islam insists upon male domination of females.  Women are forced to wear special garments (Burqa) and participate in ritualistic mutilation [4] as deemed necessary.  Males have complete control in all walks of life with legal power of life and death over all family members.  In Christ, females have become liberated from ancient traditional roles in work and service (Galatians 3:26ff).   Only in certain areas of public worship were females required to take lesser roles than males (1 Corinthians 14:34-37; 1 Timothy 2:12-14).  It was Christianity which elevated females from a subordinated, inferior, position to men towards equality in religion which ultimately gave way (at least in some areas) to a measure of social equality and standing with males.  Had it not been for the teachings of Jesus Christ there is a very real probability that females would have continued to be treated as little more than slaves even until today.  Islam insists upon a male-dominated society with females as second-class citizens.

Other reasons could be cited, but these should suffice.

Do not foolishly and vainly imagine Islam can co-exist with Christianity.  They are religious systems which are in direct opposition to one another.  One must submit or convert to the other before there can be peace of any kind.  For Christians to “submit” to Islam means they get to keep their heads but lose their money [5] and not seek to make converts.  For Muslims, converting to Christianity means losing their lives, once for Christ’s sake (Matthew 10:39) and possibly their physical one for having betrayed Islam and Allah.

Islam is not and never has been the “religion of peace.”  Christianity, practiced by those who live by its pure New Testament form as we all must do, has held that title for more than two thousand years.  It has not been eradicated by famine, sword, nakedness, atheism, paganism, or perils of any kind throughout that time.  Like all other enemies of Christianity, Islam will fail and fall, but Christian, prepare yourself.

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”
(Matthew 16:18)

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.”

[1] http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3207/The_Qu’ran_and_Christianity.aspx
[2] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10195b.htm
[3] http://www.islam-watch.org/Warner/Taqiyya-Islamic-Principle-Lying-for-Allah.htm
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_mutilation
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jizya

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The Church and Politics

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Cor. 3:16-17 (NKJV)

In the context of the passage quoted above Paul is warning Christians against all divisive actions which might result in the disruption of the church’s effectiveness as the Body of Christ.  To do so invites serious condemnation.   What he states makes clear that no Christian should become a negative, divisive, abusive or hurtful force in championing issues which have no bearing on the mission, work, and purpose of the church.  It is an especially timely warning at this time for Christians.

As an aside, I quit Facebook not long after the last presidential election (2012).  What I read on it brought out the worst in me and others whom hitherto I admired.  I observed attitudes I wish I hadn’t.  I was shocked to see the enormous gulf between their mindset and mine; that those who claimed to be a Christian did not act like one.  (Judging is within our prerogative:  “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment”  John  7:24, that is, as long as we take an objective look at the facts before reaching any conclusion).  By their own words they condemned themselves, and I knew I had done it to myself too.  The hatred, animosity, lies, slander, and all manner of vile, venom spewing became revolting.  I repented and determined to avoid any part of it in the future.  Exiting Facebook seemed the best way to handle it.  (That was not the only reason I dropped out of it, but it was a big one).

This election cycle makes the last one look tame by comparison.  It is one of the bitterest, most confrontational, rabidly antagonistic, uniformly biased and nationally divisive ever known and it is not the fault of any one party or candidate.  Both have always behaved in a manner inferior to the least of all God’s saints.  The last thing we need is to bring the rancor associated with either of them into our midst.  The devil would be thrilled once more to parade our imbecility before the Father.  We need to ask ourselves, “Whom do we love more, a brother or sister in Christ or a political party—the Body for which Christ died or some human organization that has fooled us into believing it exists to serve us and our needs?”  Is the choice really that hard?   Are we so blindly absorbed in politics that we treat our brethren like anything less than what they are – children of the Most High God?  If so, we are doomed.

No doubt many of us have strong feelings about politics.  It is a righteous thing to deplore and condemn policies that are immoral and unrighteous, and rebuke those who promote them (Mark 6:18).  It is our right to do so in this nation.  What is not righteous is for Christians to sacrifice principles in the process.  We have every right to display our support for someone without painting a caricature of the opposition, demonizing them.  (The news media excels in this – beware of them; they only show you what they want you to see).

The last thing the church needs is to “bite and devour one another” over someone as worldly-minded as politicians and something as grossly self-serving as political parties.  Let us always remain the united family of God, focused on what really matters: the saving of souls and the building up of the Body of Christ.  We can do that well enough without politics.

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