Sunday, October 28, 2018

THE SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING REVEALS THE SUPERNATURAL ORIGINS OF ANTISEMITISM

           
         This past week, a despicable crime was committed in the name of hate. Nazi sympathizer, Robert Bowers, stormed into a the Tree of Life Synagogue and opened fire, killing 11 people.  Bowers shouted, "All Jews must die!", before he gunned down worshipers gathered for Sabbath services.  

         So many are asking, "Why?"
  
          Throughout the world, Jews are hated, maligned and distrusted.  Today, many claim hatred of the Jews is justified because of the Palestinian crises.  This argument fails because the Jews were hated, maligned and distrusted throughout history, whether they were in the Land or not.



          Hatred for the Jew is Satanic to the core. One of Satan's many ploys to topple God's plan is to eliminate the Jewish people.

        Every one of the writings of the Major prophets end with pronouncements of the future glory and restoration of the 12 tribes of Israel.  What better way to thwart God's plan than to eliminate the Jews?  Suddenly the words of our deranged gunman take on a new context, "All Jews must die!"  Yeah, if you are Satan and you are trying to knock God off His throne. 

                I have often said, "if you want proof God exists, look to the Jew."  No other nation of people have ever been called God's chosen, on no other nation of people do the hinges of prophecy turn and no other nation of people have been given God's promise of future redemption and restoration.  Without the Jewish people, God's promises to all men fail and God is no longer God.

           The almost universal hatred for the Jewish people, throughout time, is strong evidence that God exists.  The universal hatred of the Jews is irrational and baseless as the Jewish people have never posed a threat to any nation in which they have lived.  

           In America, Jews do not proselytize, protest, or engage in organized crime yet they are, by some, blamed for all that is wrong in the world.  Senseless!  This kind of senseless universal hatred only makes sense in a world where God exists and God has an adversary.

             Speaking of the nation of Israel, the prophet Zechariah wrote: Zechariah 2:8 For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye:
         
              Clearly this hatred is of supernatural origin.   

               The antisemitism of the early church bears as much blame as Hitler and today's neo-Nazis.  Church history is rancid with hatred for the Jews, from the inquisition to the very foundations of the reformation.  Some of this is contributed to the persecution of Christians by Jewish authorities in the first century, which ended abruptly in 70 AD when Jerusalem was sacked by Rome.

         What many have lost sight of is, our faith, as Christians, is built on the foundation of martyred Jews who accepted Yeshua as Messiah.   It is very ironic how anyone can claim to hate Jews in the name of Christ when Jesus Himself was a Jew!  When I say ironic, I really mean idiotic...

          Antisemitism has no place in the church.  The Jews are referred to, in the early part of the first chapter of the book of Ephesians, as God's elect.  Later, in the same chapter, the Apostle Paul - a Jew -  refers to the Gentile believers as also being included into the promises of God through faith in Christ.

          The very foundation of our faith in Christ's sacrifice comes from the Jewish law which states:  Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.  In other words, without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.  

        With no Temple in Jerusalem, there is no place to sacrifice for sin. God did not leave His people without a sacrifice, Christ's blood was shed on the cross and serves as a once for all sacrifice, rather than the needed repeated sacrifices of sheep, goats and bulls.  

         Isaiah 53 clearly prophecies a suffering servant who would come and redeem His people Israel.  God loves the Jewish people, Jesus wept over Jerusalem, days before He went to the cross, lamenting: Matthew 23:37 -  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

           The Apostle Paul stated: Romans 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

            Nowhere in Christian scripture is hatred or violence against the Jews encouraged - in fact, just the opposite. If you are a Christ follower, know that the enemy of the Jews hates you as well. We must conquer love through hate.   

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Friday, October 19, 2018

DEMONS IN TATTOOS - MORE NONSENSE PRESENTED IN THE NAME OF GOD

     
What happens when you lose credibility?  Nothing you have to say matters.  How do you lose credibility?  Spout off,  as truth, some nonsense you have no way of defending.  Recently, I have been made aware of a small number of very vocal Christians who have decided Tattoos and piercings open doorways to the demonic!

       I have yet to see any Biblical evidence offered for such a claim, yet said claim is made all over social media as if it were established fact.   Here is a little exchange I had on one of the Google+ communities in which I post.  



             Michele decided to spout something she undoubtedly heard from some spiritual authority figure.  What Michelle failed to do was present any Biblical evidence for her position.  Why, because there is none!!

            Inevitably, as a tattooed Christian, I will be asked, "doesn't the Bible say tattoos are sinful?"  The Torah condemns marking oneself for the dead.  The Torah also forbids the eating of shrimp, bacon and lobster. The same Torah also forbids men from cutting off the hair at the sides of their heads.  It seems many people like to pick and choose the parts of the Bible which suit them to use as a weapon to condemn behavior with which they disagree.  

             In Acts 15, we find a meeting of the Apostles in Jerusalem where matters of the Law were discussed as they relate to the Church.  The Apostles decided, after prayer, these words, concerning the Law and the Church: Acts 15:19-20 - Therefore, my judgment is that we should not trouble the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood.  Lest you think this is taken out of context, please go read the whole of Chapter 15 for yourself.

             As believers, we must be very careful to properly represent God's word.  Once we add our own bias or pronounce nonsense as fact, we are in danger of losing all credibility.  

              This is not a post defending tattoos. The Bible tells us, "anything not done in faith is sin."  If you choose to honor God by remaining tattoo free, more power to you.  Your relationship with God is personal and probably the path God has you on does not include tattoos.  My relationship with God is personal and the path He has led me down does include tattoos, which have been used to spark some meaningful conversations over the years.

               Credibility is a trust issue, once lost, it is very difficult to restore.  If you cannot back up your belief with scripture, hold back until you can.  I had a teacher in high school who wisely asked, "what's worse than being wrong?  Being wrong loudly."  

               This is why we are commanded: 2 Timothy 2:15 - study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who needs not be ashamed rightly dividing the Word of truth.  Before you speak on behalf of God, be sure you are speaking from His word and not your personal bias.

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

                 

Friday, October 12, 2018

SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

            In 1990, Poison released the heart wrenching song, Something To Believe In.  Reaching number 4 on the Billboard Chart, this song was far more personal and meaningful to vocalist Bret Michaels than 1988's number one hit Every Rose Has It's Thorn.  Both songs were written out of personal loss, but Something To Believe In seemed to plumb the depths of the meaning of life while Every Rose was merely another song about love lost.
   

            Something To Believe In dealt with loss on a level that caused Michaels to examine life beyond the immediate, to reflect on the bigger picture. Poison was notorious for wild backstage antics and excess, living as if there were no tomorrow, yet, Michaels, like every one, eventually pondered the question, "what's it all about?"  

              In the first verse of the song, Michaels sings of Jesus, "Some say he was a good man, but Lord, I think he sinned, yeah."  Michaels rejects truth and then cries out, "Give me something to believe in."   How many, just like Bret Michaels have rejected the truth of the love of Christ only to search in futility for something to believe in?  

               Is the church somehow complicit in turning people away from truth because we refuse to confront and silence those who would use the name of God for personal gain?  The opening line to Something To Believe In: "Well I see him on the TV, preaching 'bout the promised lands, he tells me to believe in Jesus and steals the money from my hands."  Our loudest voices are sometimes the most corrupt.  Charlatans like Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar and Jesse Duplantis live lifestyles of the rich and famous, profiting off the name of Christ while the hurting and lost are going to hell.  

               Oh, should I have not named names?  Well, I could name many many more!  

               Ripping people off in the name of God is nothing new.  Before con men like Benny Hinn or Kenneth Copeland came along, a Medieval Monk named John Tetzel played on the emotions of the faithful through indulgences. Indulgences were payments made to the Church promising to help free souls from purgatory.  Martin Luther, a Monk himself, understood Tetzel was using the name of God for personal gain and opposed Tetzel and the Church while maintaining his faith in Christ. Martin in turn, sparked the great protestant reformation and forever changed the world.

              Michaels chose to reject the truth of Christ, presumably because of corrupt preachers, and ended up writing a catchy song which will most likely be forgotten in less than 100 years.  

             More tragic, Bret Michaels is in danger of damnation because he rejected truth.  Bret Michaels will continue to cry out for something to believe in until he understands Jesus' word: "I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me."

Please pray for Bret Michaels. 

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell

          

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

WHEN IDEOLOGY TRUMPS TRUTH

      
Proverbs 17:15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.

      Whatever happened to United We Stand?

     America is divided over ideology.  No event, except, possibly, the last presidential election, has demonstrated this truth more than the Judge Kavanaugh debacle.  All reason and discernment has seemed to have evaporated on both sides of the political divide.  Conservatives support and defend Kavanaugh with impunity, claiming him to be above reproach.

  Progressives have rallied to and supported Dr. Ford's allegations, even before any testimony was presented before congress.  Battle lines were drawn and sides taken before anyone bothered to get the facts.  Ideology, not truth, dictated, and continues to dictate, public sentiment.

     I listened, with trepidation, as conservative talk show and social media warriors attacked and maligned Dr. Ford without knowing any information other than an accusation had been made.  I watched, with bewilderment, as the same people who, just two years ago, dismissed every assault accusation made against Bill Clinton as politically motivated lies, attacked Judge Kavanaugh with abandon, simply because an accusation was made.  Before any evidence or defense was ever presented, ideological lines dictated the conclusions drawn. What a national tragedy!

       Truth is no longer important in the war of ideology.  It appears we have truly come to a tipping point in society where the end always justifies the means, no matter how damaging or destructive the means are.

       Dr. Ford trusted the Senators to protect her and investigate her allegations. Instead, they used her as a Hail Mary Pass in the final seconds of a political football game.  Dr. Ford's life will never be the same.  As the final play is under review of the officials, the country remains more divided than ever.  

       I am a conservative, I am a registered Republican (which may change) and I once supported the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the High Court. After having watched the Senatorial dog and pony show last week, I came away with a different perspective.

       Prior to hearing the testimonies of Ford and Kavanaugh, I was hoping the accusations were nothing more than a ploy of the Left to thwart Trump's conservative choice for the court.  Prematurely, however, many in the Christian community blindly rallied to the defense of a man we knew little about.  

       After hearing the testimony of both Ford and Kavanaugh, I have a different perspective.  I believe Dr. Ford. I detest the ideology of progressive politics, I support a strong constitutionalist for the Supreme Court but I no longer support Judge Kavanaugh  after witnessing his performance before the Senate. 

        To me, truth is more important than winning.  Some will say, "Did he possibly misbehave in high school and college, yeah, but he will defend our positions!"  As a follower of Christ, there is no "Yeah but..."  Right is right and wrong is wrong and a liar cannot represent us.  

       This position will make me wildly unpopular in my conservative Christian social circles.  Nonetheless, in Judge Brett Kavanaugh, I saw a man who lied about the contents of his yearbook, a man who evaded direct answers to uncomfortable questions and a man who appeared to me as a 53 year old adolescent.  I no longer have confidence in Judge Kavanaugh's character.

       Aside from Kavanaugh's ridiculous explanation for the meaning of the Ralph Club, one answer in particular told me all I needed to know about the honesty and character of this man: his explanation for the meaning of boofed.  I grew up in the 80's. I know this word is a vulgar euphemism which I will not define in this forum.  

       Dr. Ford came forth as a credible witness who lacked any evidence to support her claims.  If I were a prosecutor, I would have told Dr. Ford I believed her but would have no chance of proving her case in a court of law. There simply was no corroborating evidence. 

      Even if Dr. Ford proved to be a fraud, Judge Kavanaugh's performance before the Senate was disgraceful and juvenile. 

       What makes this political circus a national tragedy is the willingness of so many to defend someone because of an agenda rather than truth.  Prior to Dr. Ford's accusations, nothing in Judge Kavanaugh's judicial record nor his numerous background checks indicated he would behave in such a manner, yet, those who opposed his ideology immediately began to condemn him. Before Dr. Ford ever testified, those aligned with Kavanaugh's ideology defended him and condemned her.    

      The Bible says: Proverbs 18:7 - the first to state his case seems right until the other comes and examines him.  Simply put, we should never rush to judgment without all the information. That is, if we are actually interested in truth, rather than defeating our opponents at all costs.  

       What is the answer to the division tearing America apart?  Nothing short of a national revival and repentance.  Neither side of this confirmation hearing holds the moral high ground.  Both sides have disgraced themselves for their cause.  

       Change must start within the walls of the church, where we are not to be identified by political labels but by the seal of the Holy Spirit.  Scripture gives us strong warnings about making careful judgments: Isaiah 56:1 This is what the LORD says: “Be just and fair to all, do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display my righteousness among you.

Proverbs 18:5 It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent.

       If the church cannot stand for truth, we cannot stand.  The church must be the moral compass of the nation.  If the church is embroiled in politics and buys into an end justifies the means mentality the nation has no hope.  Remember, when you choose between the lesser of two evils, you are still choosing evil. Live according to truth and let God be glorified.

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!