Where have all the Christians gone?

This is a lengthy excerpt.  I recommend you read the entire piece here.

A generation ago pop star Bonnie Tyler famously asked: “Where have all the good men gone?”

Since then, the situation has only gotten worse, Bonnie.  As C.S. Lewis noted, men in the English-speaking world have largely been emasculated, and men in the Church are seldom an exception to this decades-long trend.

To stand strong for one’s faith in Jesus Christ and push back against a culture that, in the words of Isaiah 5:20, “call[s] evil good and good evil” is to be “divisive,” “unloving,” “bigoted,” and “intolerant.”

This is because evangelicals have confused Christ’s command to love others with being likable, as if that were an attribute of God. (It isn’t.)  As such, they endeavor to be, above all else, inoffensive and polite.  This doctrinal malpractice has given us a generation of men who are what Lewis called “men without chests.”  …

I urge you instead to be offended by the way our God’s name is blasphemed in our country every day; by the 54 million children murdered in the holocaust of abortion since 1973; by the sordid sexual agenda that is eroding the very fabric of Western civilization; by the fact that Christians are dying for their faith, largely at the hands of Muslims, at a rate of 100,000 per year; and, most of all, by the reality that these things are being ignored, trivialized, or celebrated.  These are things that offend me deeply, and I hope they offend you, too.  Righteous anger has a place within the Christian life.  Tap into it.  In the words of Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin.”   …

Evangelical Christians comprise a hefty 26 percent of the U.S. population. I fully believe that if they were to find their voices, their courage, and were to dispense with candy-assed Christianity, that we would see a Great Awakening in America.

Agreed.  Christ himself on several occasions was contemptuous with the authorities of the day, and felt no need to be “nice” to the those who wore the trappings but denied the Truth.  The Church should worry less about getting along with the world, and more about challenging that world, whatever the cost.  We need Paul’s persistence, not Osteen’s opulence.

What have we become?

After a very busy day, I made the mistake of checking the news before turning in.  Dallas is the latest reminder that our nation is coming unglued, beset by enemies without and within.

Earlier this week I was leading my family in prayer, and found myself breaking down in tears as I confessed to God I don’t recognize my country anymore.  I’m a student of history, so I know full well we don’t live in the roughest of times.  Yet.  As one commenter put it this evening, “1968 wasn’t fun the first time around.”  All the symptoms of another great storm are here, however.  The clouds have been gathering for some time, and only the grace of God can avert what seems to lie ahead for our land.  We don’t need new regulations… we need renewed repentance.  Policy tinkering won’t address the real issues… but prostrating ourselves before the Lord can.

Christians, are you in prayer?  Is your heart breaking?  Not just because of a sense of losing your country, but because it seems the Evil One is poised for another of his days, and his goal is the same as it ever was: to “steal, kill and destroy” — to keep away from God and destroy as many precious lives as he can.  If there is any good that can come out of the lawlessness and terror that is on the increase, it is that people may be jolted from the vanity fair long enough to ask in earnest: what have we become?

The Golden Rule and context

Once again the Left demonstrates their hypocritical position that religion doesn’t belong in public policymaking… unless it can be twisted or contorted to support their position:

President Barack Obama said that his understanding of the Bible and his Christian beliefs led him to issue the directive at public schools calling on students to be allowed to use the bathroom of their choosing regardless of their biological sex.

“My reading of scripture tells me that that [the] Golden Rule is pretty high up there in terms of my Christian belief,” he said during a town hall in Elkhart, Indiana, according to Breitbart News on Thursday.

One-world globalists would have you believe the Golden Rule is the common thread in all faiths and cultures, and thus the highest arbiter of law – a universalism of “be nice to each other.”  It is not.  Let’s go to scripture directly, shall we?

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Yes, God expects us to put others ahead of self.  That is clearly taught throughout scripture.  The basis for doing so, however, is devotion to God (the “great and first commandment”).  Such devotion includes respect for ALL of God’s nature and His word — including the part of scripture that clearly states: “male and female He created them” (and not 58 shades of in between as some today would have us believe).

I don’t profess to understand the psychology behind various gender confusion disorders.  I do know they all have this in common: they are but one group of symptoms of this fallen, sin-drenched world that is a distortion of God’s intended creation.  That world would have us all believe the so-called “Golden Rule” means we should never say or do anything to cause another to be troubled (unless that person holds to an orthodox, historic Christian worldview, of course).  That is merely Satan’s way of trying to prevent believers from acting as agents of conviction on behalf of the Holy Spirit.  NOBODY likes to hear they ‘fall short of the glory of God,’ whether their particular shortcoming has to do with something sexual (including inappropriate heterosexual expressions such as adultery) or is simply a lack of self control over anger, materialism, or other manifestations of selfishness.

Granted, many believers are less than loving when addressing such issues, and they become the gongs Paul warned of.  But how is it “loving your neighbor as yourself” when you fail to note there is something between them and the God who loves them–that could separate them from His eternal presence?  How is it ‘loving’ to play along with what used to be more honestly described as mental issues?  Remaining silent and playing along simply allows the emperor to continue making a fool of himself, not realizing he has no clothes.

Treating each other “nicely” is not the measure of salvation or devotion to God (though it is fruit that results from that right relationship).  As the prophets of old were often opposed (and suffered) for speaking uncomfortable truth to society, so it is for believers today.  And with our leaders twisting Scripture to justify their own assaults on reality, it’s only going to get more difficult.  There was a time our people were grounded well enough in Scripture to recognize when it was being used inappropriately.  Now the masses are ignorant, open to the age-old ploy of “did God actually say…?”

Though we hardly deserve it, may God grant yet another revival in this land.

Answering the question

Many people, including me, are asking frequently this year how our electoral choices came to be so ridiculously horrid.  Where is the honorable candidate?  The one who has been consistently honest and not self-serving?  Why are there no leaders we can trust?

We have to admit we ourselves are at least partially to blame.  Humanity is a lousy judge of character, because the “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick.  Who can understand it?”

Let’s face it, at least today of all days: when the Perfect Leader showed up, many centuries ago, this is what we did to Him:

Crucifixion-3-Crosses

We were offered the Bread of Life, and the crowd called for Barabbas instead.  It shouldn’t be a surprise to realize our choices have been ever-more problematic since then.  Just remember that Christ still wears the crown He won that day, and no matter who wins the Presidency, they will one day bow the knee to the One who is Faithful and True.

Reaping what’s been sown

A friend recently wrote in a conversation we were having that “Trump is simultaneously the worst thing we could do and absolutely the best outcome we deserve.”  I think he’s on to something there.  Or, as another writer put it (links below added by me):

The truth of the matter is that America is finally under the judgment of God. Our nation has been given over to what it wants. America is under a deluding influence. Such a deleterious condition cannot be remedied with better and more aggressive public policy arguments. The Scripture teaches that people can go so far in their sin that God finally removes His hand of restraint upon them and finally gives them over to what they want to do. …

Why do I believe that America is now at this delicate tipping point? Largely, it is because of the meteoric rise of a person like Donald Trump in American politics. The man is a moral and verbal sewer. He has no political resume. Rather, his campaign has been buoyed by empty promises devoid of any real substance or meaningful content. He merely repeats mantras that the voters want to hear similar to the types of statements that Barack Obama gave us back in 2008. … This type of rhetoric seems more akin to that of a used car salesman rather than that of a serious presidential contender.  …

The fact that all the evidence indicates that Trump throughout the course of his entire life really never believed all of the conservative positions that he now supposedly holds is really of no consequence to people. …

Further evidence of God withdrawing his hand from America might also be found in the recent deaths of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Theologian Dr. Charles Ryrie. Both of these men were similar in their ambition to honor authorial intent. They were both giants and sources of great spiritual light in their respective fields. What Scalia was to the field of Constitutional interpretation, Ryrie was to the field of biblical theology. Yet, within the span of a few days, as both men passed, these lights to the culture were removed by the hand of God.

My friend made an interesting analogy to the book of Judges, which details the descent of ancient Israel into increasing disobedience and hard-heartedness towards God’s law.  God rescues Israel multiple times from oppression and disaster, but the character of the judges He raises as His instruments declines steadily over time (a reflection of the loss of the nation’s character).  Just before the story of rebellious Samson (a seriously lapsed Nazarite and a horrible judge of women), we encounter the story of Jephthah.   My friend proposed in his comments that “If Reagan was Gideon Trump is Jepthath.” 

If he’s correct, may God have mercy on us.  For if our trajectory parallels that of Israel, we are destined soon for captivity and worse.  I do not know whether Trump can provide the temporary reprieve for America that so many seriously flawed judges did for Israel.  I have serious doubts he can, and even if he succeeds in some material relief he will be a spiritual disaster.  The story of those judges, though, are a reminder that God can use the most unlikely of people to accomplish His purposes.  That does not absolve the faithful of looking for spiritual character in our leaders, but it might be a hopeful thought in this time when so few seem to have any.  We also need to be reminded from time to time of our Lord’s warning that “not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Far too many of our politicians — sadly, now including The Donald — profess a publicly convenient faith when their lives show no evidence of the fruit of such a relationship.

I’ve said it before and will continue to say it: I don’t know where all this is going, but I strongly suspect we won’t like the destination.  We have lost discernment as a people, and that includes inviting ever-larger numbers of people to our land who are actively hostile to the faith of our fathers.  This is a time-tested recipe for conflict.  As the Philistines were first emulated by Israel and then enslaved them, our importation into the West of millions of Muslims may result in the same fate.

If ever there was a time for a people to humble themselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, it is us, and it is now.  There is much we need to repent of, individually and as a people.  And as we watch the rise of people like Trump the Con Man, Clinton the Crooked and Sanders the Commie, it’s enough to make me wonder if God feels towards us the exasperation He once expressed to Jeremiah:

“As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?”

Dear reader, are you ready for the storm?  We’ve sown the wind for far too long, and are on the verge of reaping the whirlwind.  Just remember, no matter what happens, ‘the journey does not end here.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Meet the new year — same as the old year?

It will be if Americans continue to fail to hold their ‘leaders’ accountable:

This ain’t your grandfather’s Democrat Party; nor is this the party of Tip O’Neill or even Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer of the early ‘90s who supported border security and religious freedom respectively.  This is the party of transgenders, illegal aliens, and the Muslim Brotherhood.  This is the party of licentiousness, totalitarianism, and post-Americanism.

And as the linked article shows, there literally is no difference between the establishment GOP and this radicalized Democratic Party:

Last November, Americans went out and voted for a GOP Congress. Out popped Democrat policies, much like the rigged ballot machines in Maryland that would render Republican votes as Democratic ones.  As Chuck Schumer jubilantly declared following the omnibus bill, “the bills we’re passing reflect Democratic values.”  He boasted that “even though we’re in the minority, we are passing a program that we have been for all along.”

Both parties need to be destroyed: the Democrats because they have become little more than a fifth column of godless, anarchistic anti-Americanism, and the GOP because it has assumed the role of enabler to the other.  Thanks to both elements of the bi-factional ruling party, Obama has had a clear path for “fundamentally transforming” America — and NOT for the better.

Those who love this country must realize the political process is primarily a charade, a means of providing a veneer of “consent” for things our elites plan to do regardless.  But do you really consent to a flood tide of immigration from regions whose culture and religion are so fundamentally different from ours that there is little chance of ‘coexistence?’  Do you consent to the continued collusion of government and big business, leading to bailouts that result in heads they win, tails you foot the losses?  Do you consent to policies that allow businesses to replace Americans with lower-paid foreign “guest” workers?  Do you consent to being told your daughters have no choice but to share restrooms with deranged individuals who can’t accept that God gave them a Y chromosome, and demand everyone else play along with their fantasies?  Do you consent to being forced to affirm every opinion, no matter how fact-challenged, or face the full weight of the State because you ‘offended’ someone (that wasn’t an orthodox Christian, that is–after all, we’re fair game in this current system)?

We have witnessed in this country a revolution by those who would call evil good, and good evil.    It will take no less of a revolution to heal this land.  The battle ultimately is not ours, but at the same time we each have to be willing to participate — and to pay a cost.  To be called names.  To lose opportunities, friendships, even family, because of the willingness to stand up and say “Truth is truth, regardless the wandering ideas of men.”  The individual fear of repercussions is the greatest enabler of the Enemy.  For you see, we outnumber them.  Even if ‘alone.’  The day we truly remember, believe and act on that, the Enemy must flee.

This year’s election will dominate many discussions, but we must remember that our battle is not merely with a corrupted political system.  It is with the nihilistic, self-destructive ideologies promoted by the principalities of this fallen world.  It is with a mindset that will equate climate change heterodoxy with the mass murder of Jews, but will not say a word about the veins of Islamic thought from which spring one mass murder after another.  It is with a pernicious lie that is lodged so deep in the human hope of creating our own version of Heaven that even its consistently bloody track record fails to dislodge it.  What good does it do to defeat Her Hillariness on the ballot, if the ideas and culture that animate her and countless others continue to hold sway?  This cannot be about personalities alone, loathsome or laudible as some of them may be at times.  It must be first and foremost about Truth.

The Truth that while we are created with equal worth in God’s eyes, we are not created the same.
The Truth that not all beliefs are created equal; that some lead to freedom and others to bondage.
The Truth that man is not the measure of all things, and there are moral laws that transcend our personal preferences.
The Truth that the Creator values all human life, and also holds us accountable for what we do with it.
The Truth that when we fail to hold each other accountable — particularly our leaders — the fallen nature of humanity always defaults to a course of self-destruction.

Happy New Year to all.  Remember: you’re only ‘just’ a pawn if you meekly accept the role.  There’s plenty of frustration with the way things are going today.  The question of the year is what are we going to do about it?

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