Thursday, November 10, 2016

I Think We Dodged That First Bullet



"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.  Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever." - Vladimir Lenin 




We have a newly elected leader, democratically elected by the citizens of the United States.  There are so many things that we could talk about, most of which have been discussed to bits, but I want to talk about something at which I believe we should seriously take a closer look.

These political demonstrations are showing us all something.  NOT that we have a great divide, much unrest, and a group of improvident young people, although we do have these things.  I suppose you can even chalk up the level of intensity to the great divide in ideologies, but let's look underneath.

Here, we have a group of people, products, Bolsheviks if you will; indoctrinated from the day care through twelve years of public school and then segregated into a college system that is rife with liberal divisiveness and anti-American, anti-white, anti-everything-you've-grown-up-with sentiments, who are steeped in the credo of the system, and are now despondent at the prospects of having to face defeat in the real world.  Their teachers and professors and the prophets of their dogma have left them nothing: no explanations, no alternative views, no "next step," no stability.

Everyone wants to sort of excuse them due to their lack of understanding, their immaturity, their young idealism, and the fact that they honestly feel abandoned, or orphaned in the wake of this upset, but are they leaderless?

No.

Did you know that these 'organic, spontaneous demonstrators' were bused in with fleets of buses?  Did these idealistic and passionate youth 'spontaneously' rent these buses?  No, in fact, they 'spontaneously' answered ads on twitter and other social media  to show up at these things, and were transported by these buses, right into the middle of it.

How about this: Why is the BM (aka: the Big Media) coverage about this particular group so salient?  Are the youth the only important people?  Are college campuses the only places where one's opinions are important?  Are these beautiful ones, these urbane and au courant people the only newsworthy group?  No.  The news herd has been told to be there, that something is about to take place.  By whom were they told?

These nameless leaders are now inciting these demonstrators to call for the deaths of other citizen human beings, calling for the deaths of those who simply disagree, calling for the deaths of others because they didn't get their own way.  CALLING FOR THEIR DEATH.  Allow that to register for a minute.  Indoctrinated American citizens are mindlessly, obediently taking up the call.

Who's calling these instructions to these pitiable, comfortless, ignorant, "leaderless" young people?

Big money.  Big political establishment sources and big globalist sources are paying big bucks to foment this hysteria and these increasingly hostile "demonstrations."

We should be considering something far more sinister than just this veneer: this thin little covering of young people venting their sense of abandonment by demonstrating.  There are people seeded into these crowds to fan the flames of discontent, paid for by money from seditious sources who have agendas: plans for a desired outcome.

I'm no scholar, but I'd wager that great empires have been toppled and terrible things have begun in this way.  Little Jimmy and Little Sally's immaturity and lack of self control is gross and embarrassing, but far more than that.  It is a distraction from the real issue and a vehicle for the furtherance of their agenda.  They are just a convenient channel for power mongers to exploit.

My best advice is to maintain a heightened level of attentiveness, personal DEFCON level 4.  I think they just tipped their hand again.  Stay vigilant, friends.
Just my 2.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

SHAME ON YOU!




(I originally had a picture here of six prosperity preachers and their annual incomes with some harsh criticisms and accusations thrown in at the end.  Somehow, the picture disappeared and the post doesn't make much sense if you can't see the photo.  I'll see if I can find it again.  This picture is a substitute.  Meanwhile, it should be understood that the idea was to paint a bunch of people as heretics and liars.  I *think* it was Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer and one other that I can't remember.)

SHAME!  I really hate this.  Please READ what I have to say.  I'm sorry it's long.  I'm just SO sick of this sort of thing.  THINK, people.  Think for yourselves.  READ your Bibles yourselves, not just the parts that your favorite preacher reads to you.  READ THE WHOLE THING.



We don't know these people or their lives, what they do or think, what their callings are or their relationship to God.  YOU DO NOT KNOW.  No matter what you think you know, YOU DON'T KNOW.  I've followed some and not others, I made a point to listen to them (and others) purposely to "catch them" in their great misdeeds, and you know what?  I never heard any of them say anything heretical when heard in context, except for maybe T.D. Jakes, who said some things I found questionable, but I'd give him another listen before I judged him so harshly.  

I'm the first to say I don't agree with all they say, but perhaps their calling is far different from mine.  I certainly don't have the heavy burden of that kind of responsibility to carry around, for which I am thankful.  They glorify Jesus and name him ONLY as  Savior and Lord, every time, without fail. Can we not disagree with the point by point stuff?   Maybe, just maybe there are things we don't understand.  If I were studying to be a bus driver everything I would learn from a culinary school would be foolishness to me.  Just go back to your driver's training and leave the cooks alone.  Let them do what they are here to do.

Where is that mercy and grace that we're always talking about?  Their FRUIT is what we are to judge them by, not their money, not the press, not video snippets, not what a bunch of do-nothing armchair critics have to say, not what other preachers have to say.  I'm FAR more suspect of a preacher who would use his very pulpit to point fingers and call out others by name.  They feign mercy to outsiders and crucify their own over matters of money.

I can tell you three of them (probably all six) give things away all the time.  Their charitable outreach is enormous.  Partner gifts without donations are common among them.  Some of them don't ask for money but to say pray about it, and then if you feel led to give they will receive it, but not to let it diminish your tithes and offerings to your own churches.  I have HEARD them.  I sat through hours of sermons just to be sure I wasn't getting things out of context or missing anything.  (Jakes is an exception.  I heard him say some things I didn't think were good, but, as I said,  I didn't listen long enough.  His topics were not something I like to listen to, and I lost interest.  I'm immediately suspicious of his affiliations with Oprah Winfrey, maybe he can help her, but we shall see.)

I did the research because it's so distasteful to me to constantly be hearing "Christians" trying to destroy other people because they disagree with means or methods or some point of doctrine.  WE did not call them.  WE are not the Holy Spirit, and WE will not be responsible before God for their lives, only for what WE do.  Even if they are "the tares" God will sort them.  He said let them alone til HE deals with them.

Money just pisses people off, and if God blesses a minister we assume he's on the take.  We don't know ANYTHING.  We have NO RIGHT to persecute them for it.  We don't know the details, no matter what we think we know.  They made most of their personal money by way of personal accomplishments-- hard work and time, such as book sales and businesses-- just like any other successful American. They sell their own books and their guest speakers books and teaching series and the like. Should they not?  That's a legitimate question.

Wouldn't you want to keep what you worked for?  Maybe you should not be allowed to, and you should never live a lifestyle any greater than the local homeless, by the standards you have set for others.  No?  Then at what point does it become "too much?"  It changes with your situation, and is unstable as water.  Of course, we don't value the "work" they do, since they are "just" preachers, so in our hearts we don't believe they should prosper.  I guess they should do all they do with no money.  Have them make bricks with no straw?

Now, if YOU start making money, suddenly your sliding scale of what "wealth" is changes.   Sickening.  It's so poorly thought out.  It's NOT scriptural.  It's always a bad interpretation of scripture that takes people to the place where they condemn other people that they don't know, based on suppositions and hearsay,  with wrongly interpreted laws to govern them that they would NEVER apply to any other people group, and to which they would never hold themselves accountable.

If you *really* believe what you say you'd better not prosper!  Never mind these guys in the picture... YOU!  Don't seek a raise or that better job. No investments, new cars, better clothes or upgrades for you.  That would make YOU a hypocrite. STOP TRYING TO PROSPER NOW before you become a heretic!

Your local missionary takes offerings and donations to stay in one village or town.  They send newsletters and ask for pledges so that they can do their work and not have the burden of living and travel expenses.  They take on work for income and give of their time and effort, but they ask others for MONEY.  They operate with MONEY.  If they grow into a mission that feeds the hungry, has an orphanage or expands to new villages, even cities, they will need MORE MONEY.  Is that bad, too?  Why not?  Then, how big IS too big?  Joel Osteen big?  How much is too much?  T.D. Jakes much? Your sliding scale, the abundance vs. opulence scale, is something YOU have created in your mind, that YOU have judged to be true based only on relative, temporary things.  Gods is not so limited.  

But it goes on from there... 

Some of these guys gave the proceeds from their personal gain back into their ministries.  These guys (and gals-- most of them) do more giving and humanitarian work than most organizations that were created for that purpose.  They sent plane loads and bus loads and truck loads of relief to disaster areas, foreign and domestic. They stay on after the rest leave, past the photo ops and news coverage.  Did you know about that?  No, because their detractors don't want to address the good things they do. They reach MILLIONS.  M.I.L.L.I.O.N.S. of people for Jesus in every continent on Earth.  Did you?  

Did you know that four of these six (along with a few others) were investigated by a senate committee?  One senator just couldn't stand these prosperous preachers and he got it in his craw to bring them down.  Though CLEARLY a hostile adversary, relentlessly trying to catch them in some extortion, theft or misappropriations, he was unable to produce ANYTHING.  Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa headed up a senate finance committee investigation into whether they had mishandled funds.  The probe found no wrongdoing.  Their records were crystal clear, and their ministries were above reproach.  Why is that never a part of your argument?

Don't just get angry at me and have the old knee jerk reactions you've learned.  THINK about what I'm saying.  Do your own research.  It's just as available to see as this negative stuff.  Why are you so excited to find all that negative stuff and overlook the rest?  That's a question you should answer for yourself.

I did my homework and I can tell you that I may not agree on every point of doctrine, I may not like their messages much, maybe their mannerisms bother me, and sometimes that's the case, but they are NOT "selling the gospel" any more than Zondervan or CDB, or any other pastor who is in full time ministry.  Full time ministry SHOULD be successful.  Maybe they simply seek God.   Hebrews is clear,  "God is a Rewarder to those who seek him out."  Maybe you simply don't approve of certain levels of success and how God chooses to reward His own people.  I call that attitude judgmental, and all that is, is manifest symptoms of jealousy and greed on your part.

Why don't Christians chose ENEMIES to target?  There are some REAL bad guys out there infiltrating, they don't even PRETEND at the Truth of the Bible-- but everybody wants on the ol' "televangelist/rich guy" bandwagon.  Benny Hinn acts weird.  Joyce Meyer's clothes are too fancy.  Creflo Dollar's car is too nice.  As often as I hear the name of Joel Osteen being trashed and thrown about,  you'd think he was the stand-in for the Devil himself. They name his name more often than that of the enemy of God and man.  Ridiculous.  Jealousy and greed have infiltrated the church and they don't see it for what it is as long as the "other guy" is there to indict.  YOU, Christian, are creating strife.  And where there is strife there is every evil work.  Shame!

On a final note:  If, having done your research, you still don't like these folks, is it good for the Kingdom and pleasing to God to publicly behave in this manner?  We are to be known by the love we have for one another.  If the answer to that last question is yes, because you feel compelled to expose them to the world, first, where are your scriptural instructions to do that?  Second, are you absolutely certain that you are correct in your assessment?  You had better be.  You had better be.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Church With *YOU* In Mind?

Church.

I'm sick of the program.  They all have the same format... everybody filters in somewhere near start time.  They sing one fast song while everyone finishes their coffee and cashes out of the book store with their mints and gum and trinkets with scriptures on them, and find their Bibles which they had earlier placed in their "regular" seats.  The band does an extra repetition of the last verse so everyone can stand where they belong long enough to signify that they silently acknowledge church has, in fact, started.  Next, they break from the music and everyone once again wanders about, inside the sanctuary this time, giving each other hugs (that I generally don't want) and exchanging pleasantries.  Intro: Check.

It's now time to do announcements about all the upcoming fundraisers and entertainment and such, conveniently affording the emcee an opportunity to bring the audience back to order, and, once again, have them ambling to back their seats.  Somewhere along in here you'll get a semi-apologetic plea for money mingled with a touch of guilt for those attendees who don't freely and happily give.  Then one more fast song while they pass the plate and to get people's attention back on the show.  Offering: Check.  Follow this with 3 slow, moody, minor chord songs-- repeat, repeat, repeat -- to cultivate an atmosphere where people can be whipped into a more emotionally sensitive frame of mind.  

(Oh, slightly off topic, and for the record, I really think if you need "worship practice" you've crossed over to a place I don't want to go.  What even can that be??  I don't practice worshiping, and I can't imagine it.  Let's call it what it is- entertainment rehearsal, just like any 'show.')

Cue the pastor.

30-45 minutes of a 3 point sermons, probably inspired by, if not downloaded straight from Sermons.com, followed by a felicitous prayer in their best "holy voice," then hurry off to lunch at Denny's with your friends before the church up the street gets there and moves all the tables.

OK, so I get it--  lots of the people there are doing all this with good intent and for basically the right reasons, but they are still following this pre-programmed "outline" of how we "do" church.  I can NOT do it, anymore, at all.  I can't.  I understand it, because I did it for years.  I've been sick of it for years, too, but like so many, I just tried to make the best of it.  I.can't.do.it.any.more. 

It's getting worse instead of better, and the whole production is like any other social club or gathering or group: clique-ish, shallow, desperate to seem sincere, trying to mean it, and having a carefully crafted image to sell to the public.  More and more pandering to a devilish culture is turning modern churches into festering boils on the butt of Christianity. Standing back and looking at it from the outside now, after years of seeing the inner workings, I can see that it's circling the drain.  

There are some who mean for it to work.  They are clinging to the shreds of what once was, hoping to build revival on the back of something long past.  They are being stripped of their freedom to speak truth by fear of what price they will have to pay at the hands of an increasingly hostile society, or by threat of governmental interference.  Many are caving in to the pressures and "embracing diversity" at the cost of The Truth.  And the will of the people rules.   

Where is God in this?  I mean that as a serious question.  I can't get a good answer.  In my case, I know that God was with me and a few others in my church.  He was there, because He came with us, but NOT because of "the church" I attended.  Not because they said, "Come to church Sunday and Jesus will be there to meet your need!"  Not because He was billed as a healer on Wednesday night service.  Not because the special speaker promised something new from God.  Where is God in this?  I have to say I don't think He's in it much at all but for the sake of a few sincere die hards that just don't know what else to do.

I think it is time for His people to come out from among them.  I've thought for some years now that the true church will be driven underground and that we'll be meeting in homes and other smaller, private locations.  I thought it was a bad thing, and it saddened me to see it on the horizon, but now that it's here I don't feel that way.  I know that the church grows most when it is persecuted.  I see it as a purge and a cleansing.  I see it as a time to truly seek God and a time when He will reveal Himself to us.  

We need to be prepared.  We need  to have wisdom and knowledge given by God in this hour.  I believe that we are going to see great things that we haven't seen in the church since the days of the Book of Acts!  This is a time that the Bible spoke of and all mankind has anticipated.  God Almighty saw fit to place us here, now, so I am certain He has equipped us for the task.

Guard your heart!  Stay in The Word!  It will be your guide and keep you safe.  Cast off all the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Disentangle yourself from the affairs of this life.  Gird up your loins, saints!  Be prepared.  And look up!  Lift up your heads because your redemption draweth nigh!!  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Can I Get a Witness?





I read several articles today about intelligent, educated, well traveled people who really want nothing to do with God.  They weren't necessarily part of the hateful anti-god crowd we usually see in the media, but they were just woefully, sadly, heartbreakingly ignorant of who God is.  On top of that, they don't want to hear anything more about it. They are worn out with the discussions and have closed their minds and hearts to the whole thing.

So many people base their lives and eternal destinations on wrong assumptions of who God is and what sort of a being He is.  If they think of Him at all they think He's brutal and cruel and unjust and they want nothing to do with such a God. Who can blame them?  They have no concept of the One True God except what they've been sold by the big media, Hollywood, pop culture and other sources who are basically hostile towards God.  Little bits and pieces from any old source are cobbled together by under-informed people to produce a bloody and vengeful god.  When they find a Christian to ask it's usually one of the ones I call "Jerry Springer Christians" who let their mouths run way ahead of their intellect.

These people don't dig and do research until they think it's worth their effort.  Those who are sincerely interested and seeking a Christian source to inquire of, are often stuck listening to people who are just as ignorant of who He is as anyone outside Christianity.  They watch some of the ridiculous displays by these unlearned Christians and then begin to formulate their ideas about God and Christianity based on that.  Once they've been exposed to what the world offers about God, and, sadly, what the bulk of the Christians have to say, they don't really care to search any further.  They reason that their initial concepts of God must be true... a God like that is not for them.

"Well, if they wanted to know they'd ask a pastor, not just any ol' body!" Oh, you think just because a guy has "Pastor" before his name that he's got it all right? I don't care if it's Pastor or Pope, ANYONE can mislead others.  Some  do ask Christians about things they don't understand.  Often, I'd say usually, either they don't have a decent answer, they offer a wrong answer, or they become arrogant or condescending, or even hateful sounding in their response.

Why would we we expect these people to behave any differently or be open to us?  Christians are doing the same thing!  Christians have some ridiculous ideas of who God is. We've taken the word of other confused people, well-intentioned or not, and created our God in that image.  STOP IT!  LEARN for yourself!  IF God is real, then isn't it far, far too important to leave the research to anyone else?  Christians-- YOU need to know your God!  For Him!  For yourself!  For your witness!  We don't need to know what the movies say about God, not what mama said about God, not what pastor says about God.  We need to know God.  Then, lift HIM up.  HIM!  Not your doctrinal points.  People don't need highlights of your superior intellect or your deep understanding.  They need Jesus.

Now, I realize some so-called interested parties are really only asking questions in order to start an argument, but we really shouldn't let them drag us down to that level.  Recognize that for what it is and walk away.   However, for sincere questions, we, of all people, should have some real answers or at least the common sense to simply say, "I don't know.  Let me try to learn the answer to that and get back to you."  Unfortunately, many will say any old ignorant thing in order to not look stupid.  It doesn't work.  They already know you don't know everything.  All you are doing now is providing the fuel in which they will burn your argument and giving them ammunition to aim at the rest of Christianity..

You can't show Him to anyone if you can't see Him yourself.  You can't see Him if you are constantly bolstering your own argument.  You won't search for Him if you feel you have arrived.  You haven't.  Keep seeking Him.  You might even be right about a lot of things, but, if you always feel the need to prove it, then you need to press into Him a little closer.  The closer you are to Him, the more He "shows" in you-- the Light that shines.  Then you'll see there's no need for all the arrogant and combative behavior.

Then, PLEASE stop running your mouth until you know what to say!  So many people are headed for eternal damnation and all you want to do is trade blows with one another about petty doctrinal points!    Nothing like muddying the water for the whole world see.  There are people watching that are just waiting to see this kind of thing and use it against us.  Most importantly, they are being repelled by your clever arguments and heading for an eternity without God because of you and your need to be heard and proven right.

Are Christians not supposed to be known for their love for one another?   We are supposed to be the salt and the light, and yet when I look at a crowd I generally can't tell the Christians from the rest world except they fuss amongst themselves more than most.  Sickening.


YOU-- KEEP seeking HIM!  It will change, fulfill and complete you.  When you reflect Him the world will run to you!

Ending on a positive note: there is ALWAYS hope.  People close their minds and hearts all the time because of hurts, misunderstandings, ignorance, weariness and countless other reasons, but the Holy Spirit can still reach in.  Please, don't make His job more difficult by helping to harden the walls people erect.