The “niceness” handicap

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this article is very much worth your attention:

I have long observed that an alarming swath of public evangelicals seems to be driven by a consuming desire to be liked by the world. ((note: link added to excerpt by me))

Now, that is my characterization, not theirs. To their minds, they are trying to be good representatives of Jesus. They are focusing on “kingdom” issues. They eschew evangelicalism’s past mistakes of tying itself to various moralistic fads such as outlawing alcohol or opposing nylons and lipstick. They want to be sure that unbelievers know that they love them, that the GOP is not the Kingdom of God. They want to be seen as scholarly, cautious, nuanced, careful, measured, and helpful. They shrink from the thought of being seen as dogmatic, triumphalistic, or narrow.

Are those bad motivations? As stated and as far as they go, most of them are not.

However, I’ve come to fear that they mask fatal flaws. For starters,  these sorts are willing to let their motivations be judged and dictated by the reactions of unbelievers…

I can’t say it any better.  Read the whole thing here.

Disney and the Beast

The House the Mouse built has long been known for being supportive of the gay agenda.  It appears, however, the propaganda machine has been cranked to 11:

It’s the smooch reverberating far beyond the Magic Kingdom: Disney’s first gay kiss was featured in an episode of the animated children’s cartoon (!!) Star vs. the Forces of Evil.

“Just Friends,” a recent episode of the Disney series, finds characters Star, Marco, and Jackie attending the concert of their favorite band, Love Sentence. The music inspires most of the audience to lock lips with their significant others, and a few same-sex couples are included.

Meanwhile, having advertised the live-action movie version of “Beauty and the Beast” and built expectations among parents and children, now Disney announces a slight change in the classic plot:

Josh Gad is setting a milestone for Disney: His portrayal of LeFou in the live-action rendition of “Beauty and the Beast” will be Disney’s first openly gay character.

In the film, which stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, Gad plays LeFou, the eccentric sidekick to antagonist Gaston (Luke Evans). In a slight modification, LeFou will engage in a subplot of his own that deals with his sexuality.

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” director Bill Condon told Attitude magazine.

Disney is so committed to this hellish agenda that it is even willing to take a major hit in ratings to continue to push it (ABC is owned by Disney.  For an ideology that preaches ‘diversity,’ there isn’t as much in the entertainment industry as you might think):

ABC can’t be accused of underplaying When We Rise, its eight-hour drama miniseries chronicling the struggles and setbacks of LGBT activists in the 20th century.

Some thought the show, created by award-winning gay activist Dustin Lance Black and aired on four nights this week, goes out of its way to portray middle America as intolerant homophobes. When We Rise received saturation ad coverage during the Oscars ahead of its premiere this week, to the extent that one Twitter commentator joked that if he drunk alcohol every time he saw an advert for the show, he’d be dead by the end of the Academy Awards broadcast.

But part one of When We Rise flopped on Monday. As a result, ABC rescheduled Modern Family to run just before the second installment to boost ratings. However, viewership of the second part fell almost 1 million viewers from its premiere, netting an audience of only 2.05 million on Wednesday, which is pathetic for prime-time slot on a commercial TV network.

While the ABC ideological bludgeoning is more adult fare, the other two cases clearly show Disney is now aiming to confuse the next generation about sexuality.  The company has become a toxic mix of the Vanity Fair of “Pilgrim’s Progress” and a living out of the darker aspects that have long been an integral part of Disney’s storytelling.

For these and many other reasons, I would not be surprised to see the next Star Wars installment feature a gay character.  Indeed, the way Finn and Poe clicked in “The Force Awakens” gave me a sense of pointing in that direction.  Now that Disney owns that lucrative property, I can’t imagine it not using the franchise in its brainwashing efforts.

Christ once said it would be better that someone have a millstone tied around his neck and be cast into the sea than to cause one of His little ones to stumble.  The highly talented but twisted leadership of Disney will have much to answer for one day.  They now serve a Beast even darker and more dangerous than the one in their upcoming movie.

This is my shocked face (not really)

A survey finds most American Christians are actually heretics in their religious views:

A survey of 3,000 people conducted by LifeWay Research and commissioned by Ligonier Ministries found that although Americans still overwhelmingly identify as “Christian,” startling percentages of the nation embrace ancient errors condemned by all major Christian traditions. These are not minor points of doctrine, but core ideas that define Christianity itself. The really sad part? Even when we’re denying the divinity of Christ, we can’t keep our story straight. Americans talking about theology sound about as competent as country singers rapping.

The article notes that today’s mega-churches are a “Bible-less alternative version of Christianity.”  This should not come as a surprise:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

(2 Timothy 4:2-4)

This is not a new development; rather, it’s a rapid acceleration of a long-term trend.  Years ago I had an ongoing discussion with a coworker who claimed to be Christian but also was emphatic that “all people are basically good.”  Pointing out the Scriptural warning that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) didn’t dissuade her from her position (thus indicating what level of authority she attributed to the Bible).  I pointed out this was easily observable, in that babies are the most self-centered creatures on the planet.  If they’re hungry, they scream to be fed.  If they’ve soiled their diaper, they scream for a change.  They don’t care if you just worked a 12-hour shift, or have the flu, or are worried about something else.  Sometimes it seems they scream just because they can.  The point?  Such self-centeredness is our default setting!  Children have to be taught not to snatch toys from another, or to smack another child who said something they didn’t like.  I’ve even joked you can learn everything you need to know about international relations by watching a kindergarten class.

Sadly, nothing I said had any effect.  The same individual, right after 9/11, expressed amazement that Christian missionaries were in Afghanistan (and that several were held by the Taliban for a short while).  She asked why they would go to a place that clearly didn’t want them.  I simply said “maybe because God believes that’s the kind of place where the Word most needs to be heard.”

America needs to hear the Word again, too.  More importantly, it needs to believe the Word again.  Everything else is merely symptoms of this root problem.

Quote of the age

“…as God told us, the message of the cross is considered foolish by the unchurched. The gospel isn’t a bitter medicine that can be swallowed easier if enough pop culture sugar is sprinkled on top. Telling people that they are sinners before God who need to repent of their sins and bow their knees in faith before the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not going to be well-received by anyone apart from the work of the Holy Spirit.”

We have been warned: “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” (2 Peter 2:1)

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Christ, quoted in Matthew 24:24)

There is plenty of talk about “spirituality” today, much of it aimed at relegating the Christian faith to the status of just a “personal choice” that provides profit now, rather than a universal truth about eternity.  Are you being a Berean, fellow Christian?  Do you carefully compare the words of your local shepherd to that of the Great Shepherd?  If not, why?  Each of us have access to God’s Word for ourselves.  Don’t settle for mere excerpts that support a flawed human’s personal agenda.

It’s time to ‘Target’ back

Target is the latest company to jump on the “use the bathroom you want to” bandwagon.  (My family has committed not to shop there, and you can, too.)  All of this has come to a head recently (pun for my Navy readers) because North Carolina passed HB-2, which does several principle things:

  • Requires people to use the bathroom of their birth gender – not their imagined one
  • Prohibits towns from using local ordinances to force businesses to open their restrooms to “transgender” choice — though nothing in the bill prevents a business from voluntarily doing so
  • Protects businesses and individuals from being sued for refusing to participate in such things as gay “weddings” (a favorite ‘progressive’ tactic of late)

Opponents of HB-2 would have you believe this is all about people with varying degrees of gender dysphoria (a mental disorder) being allowed to pee in peace.  This alone, of course, ignores the impact on the other 99.7% or so of the population who would now have to put up with people of random genders in every public restroom, thus providing ample cover for sexual predators.  So where is OUR ‘safe space?’

In truth, it goes much deeper than that.  Under the meme of ridiculing the “restroom war,” these radicals are trying to protect their ability to use civil and criminal courts to bully and bludgeon people into playing along with their fantasy world, or paying a high price in legal fees and judgments if they refuse.  They are playing a long-term strategy that, if successful with such precedents, could eventually criminalize the expression of many Christian teachings.  Yes, I believe it is that serious.

Our current president (retirement be upon him) has been fond of telling his supporters to “punch back twice as hard.”  Two can play that game.  It’s time Americans stopped allowing a very, very small group of biology deniers to set the public agenda.  It’s time to stop the spiral of individual silence on our side that makes their voices disproportionately loud.  It’s time to confront them with their own ‘science denial.’ It’s time to remind businesses that their bottom line depends more on the products they provide, not the propaganda they promote on the side.  Poll after poll shows the majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, on this and many other issues.  So stop subsiding the people trying to lead it that way!

These radical advocates say they want compassion – how compassionate is it to be an enabler to someone who has issues they need to face?  How compassionate is it to play along with gender dysphoria to the point the public is more at danger from sexual predation?

And as for all these aging rock stars who refuse to play in North Carolina anymore, it’s time to ask: who cares?  The hypocrisy and smugness of being willing to play in Riyadh but not Raleigh should be apparent to all.

Protect Safe Spaces

Preaching another gospel

The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians (and through them, us):

“For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”  2 Cor 11:4

That certainly describes the USA, AD 2015, well enough.  Today we’re told that Jesus was ‘inclusive,’ that He would accept homosexuals for who they are rather than demand they repent, and that the Church needs to change, to “move into the 21st Century and get with the times.”  And many in the church (little “c”), seeing these wolves’ arguments dressed up in sheep’s clothing, follow right along.

We’re also told by many that the Church needs to overlook the flood of people illegally crossing the borders into America and Europe; that our compassion in Christ should trump a commitment to respect for the law.  On an individual level I agree we should always offer the grace and love of Christ to anyone we meet, neighbor or stranger.  I don’t believe that translates, however, into a requirement for the full Body of Christ to be roped into aiding and abetting what amounts to an invasion.  It’s no coincidence that the loudest voices calling for action by the church to aid this mass migration are many of the same voices demanding the Church seek “social justice” — a movement that includes many distinctly unBiblical views and goals (such as “including” and “not judging” homosexuality).  It’s the same error in action: emphasizing mercy at the expense of holiness and righteousness.  THE gospel includes both, and doesn’t raise one over the other.

Actions have consequences.  I read today of a church in conflict with its city because new residents of the neighborhood are less enamored of the church’s choir practices, and want the “noise” turned down.  As one of the church’s NAACP supporters said: “Those persons who are just new arrivals should not come and try to change the culture that existed before they arrived here.”

Yet this is precisely what’s happening on a national level with these mass migrations.  People have been moving, legally and illegally, into the U.S. and the West for decades, and rather than assimilate to their new home, instead demand it conform to their way of life — to conduct business in their languages, to tolerate their cultural practices (and to stop any of ours that ‘offend‘ them).  There is nothing inherently “Christian” in just being a doormat and accepting this steamrolling of the Truth, or our culture and values that are based on it.

It’s easy to forget just how unique our heritage is: how the Christian faith shaped and influenced what became Christendom and freedoms it has developed over the centuries.  The rest of the world is now seeking a reversion to the mean — to assimilate us back into the pagan, barbaric worldviews preferred by the ‘god of this world.’

These false ‘gospels’ are but one means of accomplishing that.  Give them no ground whatsoever.

The reign of the ‘god of this world’

“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  2 Cor 4:4

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”  Isaiah 5:20

From Thursday’s New York Times (caution: difficult reading ahead):

QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God…”

Tragically, it is — drawing him closer to the ‘god (lower-case “g”) of this world,’ who is running amok in our day.  Anyone who can look upon the atrocities of ISIS, or the holocaust of unborn children in the West, and state that evil doesn’t really exist–that the term is merely a social convention based on outmoded religious beliefs–is indeed “blinded.”  Fatally so.

There are many who look upon ISIS and others, like the Westboro Baptist Church, and conclude the problem is faith itself.  Sadly, they too lack discernment.  The Enemy is shrewd — whether you serve him directly or become spiritually indifferent as a result of those who do, either way he draws souls away from the salvation Christ came to offer.  Those who believe the elimination of ‘religion’ is the path to peace don’t realize that the evils of the linked article is the default setting of a world that is enslaved by sin.  They literally risk throwing out the baby–the Christ child, the only hope of redemption–with the bathwater.

But for those of us with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear,” we know there is only One solution for this.  While it may eventually involve physical confrontation, far above the mere dabbling with airstrikes and symbolic but ineffective gestures, the real solution involves seeking to draw near to Jehovah, our creator, sustainer and savior.  It involves praying for the Spirit to bring revival — and not just in America.

The battle lines are being drawn, both abroad and at home.  May the God (uniquely capital “G”) of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter and Paul watch over us.  Our nation does not deserve it, but unlike those who serve hellish spirit the Times unwittingly wrote about, we serve a God of love, mercy and grace.

And the battle ultimately belongs to Him.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”    Ephesians 6:12-13