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Showing posts from January, 2006

The Upside-Down Candidate

An interesting phenomenon appears to be taking shape in American politics where in the state of Ohio, a Mr. Ken Blackwell is running on the Republican ticket for Governor of that State. Mr. Blackwell played a pivotal role in the 2004 Presidential Elections, where as Ohio’s Secretary of State, he shepherded the Republican Party through several attempts by the Democrats to try and get George W. Bush’s victory in pivotal Ohio overturned based on unproven voter fraud charges. That Mr. Blackwell has taken an early lead in the upcoming Governor’s race is heartening to Republicans since Ohio will probably remain close to ground zero in the next Presidential campaign in 2008. What makes this development additionally interesting is the fact that Mr. Blackwell is black and running apparently as a social conservative with no apologizes, pretensions or attempts to pander to the historical race-driven rhetoric of the minority base.

Mr. Blackwell’s candidacy in its current form raises some needed is…

…about that “Roadmap to Peace”

In the continuing one-sided dialogue between God and the Middle East “Peacemakers”, God once again spoke very eloquently yesterday. In the Palestinian elections – which was pushed very hard by the Bush Administration as a key component to the peace process – God allowed not the so-called moderate political party (Fatah) to win, instead He allowed the most brutal anti-Israel terrorist organization Hamas to achieve a landslide victory…thus throwing the so-called “peace-process” into total disarray.

Hamas has been responsible for countless suicide bombings inside Israel, and has as its core intent “the destruction of the state of Israel”. Now they become the official ruling government of the Palestinian people.

It will be interesting to see what the so-called “peacemakers” try next. They will be best served to realize that the true roadmap to Middle-East peace lies not in their man-driven diplomacy, but in God’s written Bible. The Bible is clear: God is working on His Israel project, and p…

Aliens...Because of Faith

One of the more common themes that arise out of horrific events in life is the “how could a loving God allow that to happen” syndrome. I usually find it interesting that many of folks who take this position are the same people who claim to have no belief in or regard for God either directly (atheists) or by behavior (the uncommitted fence-sitters). The latter group intellectually believe in the all powerful God, but refuse to bend their knees to Him…which will inevitably occur at a later point either in worship or in unimaginable fear - prior to their final judgment: Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NLT).

The most disheartening group however who also ascribe to the “how could God…” syndrome described above ar…

My Own Sin

So I’m on an airplane looking through one of those in-flight magazines, and I happen to come across an article on a well-known actress. As I’m reading the article I happen to glance over more closely at the picture of the actress, and it is at that point came the epiphany that became this post.

With her dress comes a relatively revealing v-neck, and like a human lapdog, my eyes are drawn to her cleavage, which was (for the times we live in) customarily visible in the middle of her dress.

It is there that I notice just above her cleavage, a cross dangling from a chain. Immediately, my first thought was…this scene just doesn’t add up. What is the religious significance of a cross being displayed prominently a mere inch or so away from the very revealing private area of a woman. My righteous indignation immediately kicked in. It was then that the Holy Spirit invaded my sense of defending His honor with this rejoinder in my ear: “why were you looking at her cleavage in the first place?”. As…

A "Chocolate" Sermon

Why did it seem so ‘natural’ when New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin broke into a “Pastor’s” sermon this week in stating that he wants New Orleans to be built into a “chocolate city”? His oratory, replete with the accompanying “amens” and other participatory responses from his audience however lacked backbone, as Nagin later backtracked from his comments because of public indignation to the racial overtones.

Sermons should never be viewed as a “performance” or theater. When given in the right spirit, it is a heartfelt and earnest attempt at delivering Godly wisdom and insight to the audience present.

That Mayor Nagin broke into this genre with his insensitive and inflammatory rhetoric says something about the effects of the misuse of God’s pulpit in modern American history. I pray that Church leaders will consider the humanistic effects of church becoming performance art, and as a result allowing it to be co-opted by others because of it’s crowd pleasing effects.

"And God Said To Me…"

As a general rule, we live in a world that is made up mostly of people who either a) believe that God exists, but will not submit to his commands as stated in the Bible; b) does not believe that God exists; or c) believes that God exists and have accepted God’s Word as truth. Group ‘c’ comprises the smallest percentage of these three groups and is made up mostly of believers in Jesus Christ. The task that believers have in life is to present their belief to the other two groups in the hope of persuading them to change. Many do so to varying degrees of success, but oftentimes their methods and more importantly their motivation is a hindrance to true evangelism.

One character trait used by some believers that appear to be an instant sign of non-credibility with unbelievers is the utterance of the phrase “…and God said to me” or “God told me to say…” The continuation of any statements after the use of these phrases is usually met with extreme pessimism or ridicule by a non-believing world…

Dr. King: A Brilliant Man of God

Tomorrow the nation celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King day. It is a fitting memorial to one of the most significant men in American history. By the sheer force of his will, intellect, love for his fellow man and (by today’s standards) an uncharacteristic adherence to the Word of God, Dr. King blazed the trail for the social and economic improvements that African Americans now enjoy. He rightfully should be honored by an entire nation whose sense of self was made better due to his efforts.

As I read the transcript of his 1968 speech “I See the Promised Land” it was remarkable to feel his eloquence and humility as he addressed a public audience for the final time the day before his assassination. His was a movement grounded in the ways of God. His call for social justice for African Americans was based on the spiritual law of God that all men are created equal in the eyes of God, and as such should be treated equally without regard to race. But I am sure that the freedom that Dr. King esp…

Satan’s Counterfeit World

As one who loves reading God’s Word in the Bible, I find it fascinating to see the ultimate conflict that plays out from Genesis to Revelation between The Lord Jesus Christ and Satan His enemy, for the soul of every human being. Historically, for those who even give this topic any thought, it is usually assumed that God’s direct adversary is Satan, but that is clearly not the case. Satan is God’s indirect enemy, but it is with Jesus where the battle is truly played out.

In the Book of Matthew, Satan knowing Jesus’ reason for being born into the world tries immediately to subvert him with three temptations (Matthew 4). Each time, Jesus rebuked him with the phrase “It is written”. Where is it written? In the Word (the scriptures). Who is the scripture? The disciple John answers this question in the Book of John Chapter 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing …

God Uses a Fortune-Teller

I did a post on God’s Holy Spirit a few weeks ago and received a very interesting email from one reader:

“Wow This is Deep...I know all of this sounds good but if you really want to change yourself or someone important to you. If you need online tarot in your life. If You can say no to all this (tarot reading weblink deleted)...I am changing the way I live today ...Think it and believe it... You can Change Your Life and Start Living Your Dreams Today…(tarot reading weblink deleted)”

Signed Anonymous


I must say I’m not terribly surprised that this particular post generated this particular response, given that the Holy Spirit is in fact the power that is at work here on earth in the lives of God’s people, and is the restrainer that God uses to hold back the complete work of the devil. The Apostle Paul wrote about this struggle in 2 Thessalonians: Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the ma…

Fear of a Theocracy

A television interview with a Jewish Rabbi last night highlighted a growing fear among many in the United States of the possibility that the US government may be moving ‘dangerously’ towards theocratic rule – where religious fervor (of the Christian bent) becomes the dominant form of public policy. This ‘fear’ harkens back to the pre-US era where migrants fled religious persecution from colonial Europe to make a home of freedom from government-imposed religion in the United States.

The new concern stems primarily from the rise of red-state dominance in recent US politics particularly during the administration of George W. Bush and the resulting influence of Christian oriented groups such as James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. The interesting note here is that groups opposed to religious influence in society are having difficulty defeating such influence at the ballot box. Rank and file Americans (those in inconsequential fly-over country) don’t seem to share their concern about the ves…

The Pat Robertson Effect

This week’s controversy regarding Pat Robertson’s comments about Ariel Sharon has exposed a very pervasive problem among us Christians as it relates to the compassion and respect or lack thereof that we show to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. We (myself included) are oftentimes no different than non-believers when it comes to embracing the impulse to vilify others with whom we disagree, and to do so with far reaching and negatively influential consequences now that we live in an Internet-driven mass communication world.

Was Pat Robertson’s statement theorizing about the reason for Ariel Sharon’s stroke compassionate or loving? Certainly not! To some it could be construed as being almost hateful. But to be fair, there was a Godly context in which it was being made, and from this writer’s point of view, the weight of Godly context must at least be given credibility and equal time amid the “bashing” of the speaker.

A useful example to Christians regarding the ‘proper’ way to …

US Navy vs. In Jesus Name

As of today, Navy Chaplain Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt has been under a hunger strike for 18 days because the US Navy will not allow him to pray officially with the concluding “in Jesus Name” salutation with his prayers. Mr. Klingenschmitt indicates that he will fast with only intakes of water until death if necessary unless the Navy changes their policy. Pretty heavy stuff for a pretty heavy cause.

However why does anybody pray? Presumably to God the creator who by definition has control over all things. But if God has decreed certain “rules” governing how He will accept prayer, it seems foolish and counterproductive to ignore these rules. In the end you are simply talking to yourself. A position that Atheists think you are taking when you pray anyway. Lets have a look at what God decreed as it relates to approaching him in prayer: Jesus said in John 16:23-24 “…I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in m…

Ariel Sharon and Biblical Consequences

This week’s news that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has suffered a massive stroke which has left him in critical condition and unlikely to return as Prime Minister has created another the opportunity for a Pat Robertson initiated controversy in the United States. During a broadcast of his The 700 Club program, Robertson indicated that Sharon’s stroke was a “punishment from God” because of his decision to partition Israel and give the Gaza strip to the Palestinians in a “land for peace” deal. (See related post dated 1/2/06 – which was written before Mr. Sharon’s stroke).

Not surprisingly, virtually all of the major media in this country has vilified Pat Robertson for his remarks, with some calling on the President to repudiate him.

The only problem that I see is because of his history of sometimes reckless statements, anything Mr. Robertson says will immediately be written off as the ranting of a religious lunatic, but amid the noise, the possibility of his statements actually bein…

Coal Miner’s Error – What Kind of God?

The unspeakable tragedy that was endured by the families of the men who died in the coal mining tragedy in West Virginia will undoubtedly expose their faith in God to ridicule and scorn by some unbelievers, and may even shake the faith of some believers. How could a loving God allow the chain of events to occur in such a cruel way where the families were led to believe that their loved ones were alive only to find out that all except one was dead?

This has to be one of the mysteries of God that is hard to figure out. However what kind of faith would we have if we are to turn on God because we don’t understand?

Man has an enemy in the devil who is trying to destroy us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. His relentless attacks never cease. Yet by and large we get though each day unscathed! We do so only by the hand of a loving, protecting and faithful God.

Always remember, man is what is wrong in the world, not God. We are directly or indirectly responsible for the tragedies th…

Israel's Land For Peace: God's View?

In the summer of 2005 Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (with the encouragement of President Bush) agreed to forceably withdraw Israeli citizens from the Gaza strip and turn the area in southwest Israel over to the Palestinian Authority as part of the state of Palestine. This was hailed by many governments as a critical step towards ending the war between Palestinian militants and Israel. "Land for Peace" was the slogan of choice.

Given that Israel was established by God as documented in the Old Testament of the Bible, I wondered what God would think of this arrangement brought about by modern day wisdom. Some history would be useful here: When Joshua (the leader of Israel) was old and well advanced in years, the LORD said to him, "You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over. This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites: from the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the no…

A Generational Slide Into Oblivion

When I was a brand new Christian and first studied the Book of Revelation one section of scripture jumped out at me as being very odd – in a book full of very unusual situations: The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. (Revelation 16:8-9 NIV) Here was God pouring out his wrath on mankind during the last days on earth, after repeatedly judging them with twelve previous plagues and yet they still cursed him rather than bow before Him to ask for forgiveness. At the time I found this behavior quite inexplicable because I thought how could people be so obstinate and rebellious in the face of obvious displays of God’s reality and power? It's not like they could argue anymore about the actual existence of God!

Over the years I’ve pondered how the heart of man could get so harde…