Friday, June 30, 2006

Dr. Gleason Takes On Anne Lamott

One of the writers often spoken of in glowing terms by those consumed with the Emergent Church is Anne Lamott. She is considered a Christian writer, yet she is living out of wedlock with a boyfriend and has a real potty mouth. Sounds like genuine fruit of the Spirit, doesn't it?

Well, Anne has really stepped in it this time, as my friend, Dr. Ron Gleason, so ably illustrates at his blog. The link to it is below. Read it and weep that this woman is taken seriously by Christian people who ought to know better.

Christianity: Doctrine and Ethics

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Get Rid of Bob!!!!

This morning's irritation comes from the world of television advertising. I don't know about you, but I am sick to death of the ubiquitous, tiresome "Enzyte" commercials and "Bob" ..the guy with the idiotic Stepford grin and plasticine wife. Commercials have been increasingly shameless for some time, but the "Bob" commercials are too much. It's bad enough that they have to even talk about erectile dysfunction on television, but to couple it with very tasteless, irritating television ads makes it worse. You really can't watch television with families any longer during prime time. Every other commercial, a parent ends up facing questions they'd rather not answer yet due to the ages of the children. Years ago, such a commercial would never have been permitted to air. If a man has trouble engaging in flagrante delicto, he could chat about it with his doctor rather than subjecting the rest of the country to his flaccid problem.

Another commercial I would love to see someone stilletto is the Video Professor. John Scherer's face can greet one several times in the course of a half hour and I am sick of it. Besides, think about this one for a moment. Why in tarnation would I need to buy a Video Professor CD to teach me how to buy or sell on Ebay? Especially since Ebay's website has instructions to do just that...for free. There's a sucker born every minute, I guess.

Anyway, all this is one more reason why I am growing less and less enchanted with television except for Turner Classic Movies. At least I can watch that commercial free.

You might remember me in prayer, too. If I see "Bob" walking down the street someday, it will be with supreme difficulty that I resist the temptation to "bob" him...Lorena style.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Joel's Outrage of the Day (Edited Version)

This morning, I was watching Fox News Channel when they reported a story about government workers using their government credit cards for outrageous personal expenses. One fellow even paid for his girlfriend to have breast implants with a government credit card.

Stuff happens like this, and those in government wonder why those of us outside the Beltway hold them in such contempt (Yes, I know that there are good, conscientious government workers..goes without saying). This is yet more evidence of a once great nation in slow, steady rot, decline..whatever you'd like to call it. It will take a monumental miracle to turn it all around. And that brings me to another point that might not seem related, but it is.

We have an entire generation that has been raised with a self-centered, entitlement mindset. I am not just talking government social programs, either. These government hacks seem to think that the money they spend is something that is theirs by right, whether it belongs to someone else or not. Beyond that, we have a generation who thinks that the whole earth revolves around them.

I recently attended a wedding (something that always sends my system into dysentery). After the ceremony, the bride, groom and wedding party chasseed off driving around in a limo taking pictures, leaving a whole crowd of people waiting for them at an outdoor reception for two hours in high heat and humidity. While I did not attend the reception as my elderly mother needed to get home, I heard about it afterward and was told that the wedding party couldn't do much at the reception until the bride, groom and their team got there. Apparently they forgot they had guests waiting for them, although it does seem a bit hard to forget a couple hundred people. When something was mentioned to one of the parents, the complaint was dismissed as "that's the culture they are in."

I am beginning to dislike the word "culture." It reminds me of something you'd scrape off the bottom of a petri dish. No matter what "culture" is present, there is no excuse for this kind of thoughtlessness at best, or rude and selfish behavior at worst. There were elderly people present who really do not tolerate high heat well. But did that make a difference? Nope. Of course, I don't think they MEANT to offend anyone. They just didn't bother to think. However, I do wonder at what their reaction would be if confronted directly. Would they be defiant (probably) or offer a mea culpa? (Probably not) If parents can be so unconcerned about bad manners or behavior, there's no mystery why some in the under 30 crowd are clueless when it comes to social graces.

When such a mindset begins working its way into the church, you know we're in trouble. But alas, our approach to church and worship is "what makes ME happy and comfortable," not what pleases the Lord. I have gotten to the point that every time I see a church in town remodeling to put in coffee bars, donut shops, couches etc. - I have to suppress the urge to pray for a rupture of the New Madrid Fault to send it all tumbling down. Sermons focus on self help rather than "to obey is better than sacrifice." Books, videos, you name it..what have You done for me lately, God?

Ultimately, I have hope..of course. I know from Scripture what the denouement will be. However, I suspect that we'll be in for a very rough ride before we get there. More than suspect, actually. I'm expecting it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Outrage of Redefining Deviancy

The airwaves and print media were hot with outrage this week at Chicago baseball great Ozzie Guillen for using a purported homosexual slur to refer to a sports columnist. Mr. Guillen has since apologized for his choice of word. He was also fined for what he said by Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Aside from the issue of whether Mr. Guillen's remark was appropriate or not (I don't think it was in the context, surroundings or circumstances given) there is something else behind this controversy that ought to trouble us even more deeply, especially in the Christian community where speaking God's truth in love (not to mention proclaiming His Word) is a command.

I certainly do not advocate being needlessly crude, vicious or insulting to people. I do not think ethnic slurs are appropriate, nor is vulgar language, blasphemy, or any other language purposely designed to cruelly insult. However, when it comes to sexual deviancy, there is a bit of a different issue aside from supposed slur words.

To a large extent, the gay rights crowd has succeeded in redefining itself from a deviant behavior group to a protected minority status in the same fashion as a racial group. They have managed to secure redefinitions beginning with psychology, and then trickling down into the educational establishment, Hollywood and much of the news media. To radical gay activists, any criticism whatsover of their lifestyle is tantamount to hate speech. In some places, they have managed to secure legal sanctions against any who speak against their lifestyle, even ministers of the Gospel who are merely preaching traditional biblical morals. This is sad, and it is an outrage. To compare homosexual behavior to civil rights for blacks and other minorities is reprehensible.

Regardless of the political winds of the day, we are bound as believers to think what God thinks of the subject. This is defined for us in Scripture in several passages:


"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."


"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them."

NOTE: In the New Testament age, Christians are no longer under the Law of Moses as far as the penalties for breaking the Mosaic Law are concerned. However, the moral strictures still remain.

ROMANS 1:26-27

"For this reason, God gave them over to degrading passions, for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."

1 TIMOTHY 1:9-10

"...realizing that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching."

There are more Scriptures I could cite, but you get the idea. Neither God, His prophets or His apostles think much of homosexual behavior. They clearly call it sin. More than that, an abomination.

Now let me be clear. Sin is sin. All of us are sinners. We all have the old Adamic sin nature. Sin manifests itself in different ways in different people. Not all are homosexuals, but some might be liars. Some might be thieves. Some might be adulterers. Some might bear false witness. Some might have hot tempers. Some might be drunkards (another sin they've managed to redefine into a disease). But we are ALL sinners and are commanded to repent. In Christ alone is there freedom and deliverance from our sins. That is not to say we won't have struggles against our old nature. Of course we will. But we are to recognize it for what God recognizes it as, and repent of it.

However, the radical gay activists will have none of it. They must be accepted as normal, and accorded the same status as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington, Nelson Mandela and other civil rights figures of history. Many in the civil rights camp are also incensed at this "co-opting" of their righteous cause by a tiny minority of the population whose raison d'etre is their sexual habits. But that is what is in the water these days, and it will have to be dealt with by those who refuse to be cowed.

As Christians, we do indeed love the sinner but hate the sin. All sinners, regardless of what their sin is, are called to repent by God, who alone has the right to declare and define what sin is. We Christians are no better than anyone else. We have been called out of and delivered from many of the same sins. However, we are forgiven by God's grace and mercy because we have repented of our sins, and placed our trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for our sins. To remain faithful to the Lord, this is the clear, unadulterated truth we must proclaim, no matter what the cost. We must not be intimidated and cowed into silence by a tiny, loud minority.

This does not mean for a moment we should advocate cruel treatment of those caught in a deviant lifestyle. They have the right to housing and a livelihood, and ought to be treated in a civil fashion. However, they have no right to force acceptance or approval of their lifestyle on the rest of society. If they had merely wanted "tolerance," as they put it..nine chances out of ten that's what they would have gotten. But tolerance is not enough. They want acceptance as normal, and approval. No way. Here is the Lord's condemnation of that concept, again from the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:32-

"..and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but give hearty approval to those who practice them."

If we are Christians who truly love the Lord and His Word, we can do no other but to bow to the authority of God on this subject. The world at large might well scoff, censure or worse, but stand we must.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Exponential Apostasy

I am still not fully recovered from hives and assorted other illnesses, so this will be brief. However, I must make some comment.

The liberal end of the Presbyterian Church (I once referred to it as the Lesbyterian Church on air in a Freudian slip) has decided that we can play games with references to the Triune God. Mother, womb..and whatever the heck else they said.

The American end of the Anglican Communion (Episcopal) continues to thumb the eye of not only the Communion at large, but also the Lord Himself and His Word in trying to play the game of saying homosexuality is just fine and dandy.

We look at stories like this, and while they might make positive applause in the news media, these "churches" (and I use the word loosely) continue to hemorrhage members and attenders right and left. But they don't care much, do they? They would rather seem trendy and popular to society at large (especially if there are Hollywood connections) rather than being faithful to Scripture or to the Lord, who bought the salvation of all who trust in Him through His own shed blood. They are taking His sacrifice for sin and spitting in His face.

There are times when most of us get angry enough against this kind of evil to long for the days when public flogging was permissible. However, I am reminded by God that "vengeance is Mine..I will repay." And that is His right. Let us show mercy and grace. Let Him show His wrath, which He will do in due time unless there is repentance.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Job Was One Tough Hombre

I am sorry that I haven't posted new material in a few days. Unfortunately, what was intended to be a brief break from everything ended up in a serious case of non-allergic idiopathic hives. I am now ingesting predisone to get rid of them.

Needless to say, it is hard to write or even think when you are scratching yourself bloody. If this is even a teensy fraction of what Job's sore boils felt like, I bow my head in respect and the deepest sympathy. I had hives once as a child, but had forgotten how miserable it really is.

I hope to be back to posting soon. In the meantime, God bless and keep up the good fight.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Who Cares What God Thinks?

Below is a link to an article in the June 13 edition of USA Today. The title is "God and Gays." This article is probably one of the best illustrations on what is wrong in the Christian church as a whole today. Not only is it illustrative of the spirit of postmodernism, but it is also a clear indicator that the heart of man has not changed since the Fall. Selfishness and rebellion, even among those who pose as Christian clergy. In reality, these men and women of the "cloth" are apostates and false prophets. They will be held accountable by the God they claim to worship. They only want to worship Him on THEIR terms, not on His. The Lord will have none of it.

Especially telling are the words of former Episcopalian clergywoman Barbara Brown Taylor. The headline to her little section reads "Ex-priest rethinks Bible's authority." That really says it all. These people don't love God. They don't revere His Word, much less even believe that the Bible IS God's Word. "Reverend" Taylor asserts, "Jesus knew the Hebrew Scriptures and he departed from them. He was not faithful to the Scripture of that time, and today the Bible teaches me the book is not the final authority. The spirit is moving; Scripture is not the only measure."

The "spirit" is indeed moving, sweetie. However, it's the spirit of Antichrist and not the Spirit of the Living God. Jesus had the sovereign right to do as He pleased because He is God the Son. He didn't have the low view of His own Word that you claim. In fact, He upheld biblical authority because it contains HIS authority. Not one jot or tittle will pass away from it. No matter how much you try to ignore it or redefine it in true Alice in Wonderland style.

The long and short of it is that God's Word stands and always will. The authority of God's Word stands. The clarity of God's Word stands. His identification of homosexuality as sin stands whether these "reverends" or "faithful" like it or not. So this makes you feel "unwelcome?" This makes you feel sad? Well, boo hoo hoo. Cry me a river.

I have a sure cure for you. It involves two actions, really four. Believe, repent, obey and trust. Try that some time. You might even find deliverance.

USA Today

Monday, June 12, 2006

Emergents and Holiness

I am posting an article by my ministry colleague, Rev. Kevin S. Johnson of The Institute for Christian Apologetics. He was spurred to write this after reading a related article by Rev. Ken Silva. Kevin's article is thought provoking and I am reproducing it here unedited.


The Holiness Problem and "Emergents"

Holiness comes from the Hebrew root "Chodesh" which means to separate for a special or anointed purpose of God. Jesus called the Pharisees "children of the devil" and "children of this age," and His own people "children of light." Jesus used the term "Born Again" in reference to something essential for salvation. It seems that these biblical designations are not in favor with Emergents if they call for ANY separation from the world on the part of believers.

There is nothing more separating or holy in the life of a person than the separation that takes place when he or she is BORN AGAIN in an instant of time when they trust Jesus to come into their hearts. One is separated from his former destiny of condemnation that would lead to hell, he is separated from his old nature and is given a new nature and heart, he is also separated from the family of Satan known as the world system unto the family of God and finally he is separated from the rule of his old sin nature.

"Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?"—2Co 6:14

( ". . . wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience;—Eph 2:2)

Holiness is important!

Diversity With A Slap On The Back

The Emergent leaders seem to be saying to the world; "Come as you are and we won't challenge you to be BORN AGAIN in a particular instant of time, we just hope you will gradually morph into a born again person." You don't notice Christians usually being called "Born Again" or "saved" by Emergent types because this shows a "Chodesh" or "Holiness" that is contrary to their desire to make people feel welcome to belong to their "tribe" or church. This is idolatry in that it is making unsaved people's "feelings" more important than the biblical urgency of confronting them with the gospel.

They will not address people from the pulpit as Christians or believers since it accentuates this glorious separation or holiness truth. For communion you won't hear them say "If you are a born again believer in Christ you may participate" or If you "know Jesus as your Lord and Savior" you may participate. Anything that allows for a holy separation is frowned upon and yet this holiness is essential biblically. For this reason I believe this dismissing of biblical language is a lie from the pit of hell and all shrewdly done in the name of compassionate outreach.

Truth and Certainty: Another Great Divide

These people seem to be very cagey in taking their sweet time in incrementally eroding true Biblical attitudes about absolute truth and the CERTAINTY that comes from God and God's word. Some talk out of both sides of their mouth in order to cover or obfuscate their true plans and/or nature. They snipe at those of us who do have the confidence in the ability of our God to be able to impart certainty into the soul of man at the new birth by name-calling and saying we are ARROGANT or worse!

"For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?" —1Corinthians 14:8

Ge 3:1* Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?

"Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"—1Peter 5:8

This hatred of certainty hearkens back to Satan's subtle insertion of doubt within Eve in the Garden (in Genesis chapter 3) when he said "Hath God said?". Since they feel that people in our apostate (they would prefer "postmodern") culture HATE certainty and knowledge we must equivocate and let our God given certainty be trashed and put aside because they don't have the faith to believe and receive it. There are those "who believe", those who don't but "pretend to", and those who "believe they believe" but really don't. We need to have our spiritual antenna up and be sensitive to ANY statements from others, especially in the pulpits (it can be mixed in with good or true statements), that would serve to undermine Biblical absolutes and the believers' ability, through the Holy Spirit and Scripture, to know the truth and to know the Bible's "Big Picture" or as they would say, its "metanarrative" with CERTAINTY. Be alert for your enemy the devil is still roaming about "seeking whom he may devour." Certainty about Who and what one believes creates confident Christians and THAT is something the devil really hates!

Rev. Kevin S. Johnson

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Argh, Argh and Double Argh

Well, here I sit at a regional Ford dealership some 40 miles from my house. Remarkably, they have an internet terminal for the use of their customers, so here I am. If you find errors of either a grammatical or of a spelling nature, realize that I am writing on the fly and am rather agitated at the moment.

I was out trying to unwind a bit and take care of some business, and what should happen but my truck decided to die the death of 1,000 screams. I had just fueled up at a Mobil station and was in transit at highway speed when the "check engine" light came on, and the truck began shaking like the New Madrid Fault.

As tempted as I was to pull into Menards, buy a cement maul and began sledging until the Ranger resembled something from the hands of Salvador Dali (if he had sculpted metal), I pulled into the closest Ford dealer I could find. As I had no appointment, people were ahead of me and it was a Saturday, I looked forward to a long, tedious afternoon - boiling with rage that I had to waste time like this AND spend money on unplanned repairs. I shouldn't complain. The truck has 137,000 miles on it (it's a 2002 model!) and has rarely given me any trouble. It's just the timing.

I find a funny character flaw in myself during times like this. The worst of catastrophes can happen and I am fairly unflappable. However, let something like a minor inconvenience happen in the course of human events, and I am ready to push the button on the whole planet. I mean, I get truly irritable. Odd. I have often imagined that if my doctor were to tell me I had cancer, I'd either shrug and go to bed, or go bowling. However, let my truck break down forcing me to spend a few hundred dollars, and I am ready to put on sackcloth and ashes. Followed by retreat to a remote mountaintop where I would sit smouldering and sulking in high dudgeon.

Obviously, this isn't a post that I would have normally made here. I had actually planned on something spiritual. Perhaps there's something in that for me (and my readers) to ponder. The Lord is concerned even with the petty things of His children, and doesn't allow things to happen to them without a larger purpose. I am convinced there is either a lesson or a spanking involved in this. Perhaps both. At least I am showing my very evident humanity for all to see. What a wonderful thing to have a Savior and Lord who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead for my justification. What a wonderful thing to contemplate God's promise to complete the work He has started in me, and to conform me into the image of His Son. How wonderful to know that in eternity, the trials - major and minor - of this life will seem so petty and small. In my present mood, it's hard to focus on that wonderful truth.

Anyway, enjoy Solameanie's crabby mood. Like a kidney stone, this too shall pass.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Obnoxious Rev. Phelps

There are many news events broadcast in the course of a week that have the potential of raising my blood pressure. The contemptible hijinks of the so-called Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers usually don't merit my notice, but now I am incensed.

Undoubtedly most have heard of this self-styled hyper-fundamentalist pastor whose most well-known slogan is "God Hates Fags." It is this idea that is driving "Reverend" Phelps and his "church" (largely made up of family members) to stage protests at the funerals of military families who lost loved ones in combat. He thinks because America supposedly tolerates homosexuals, God is sending our boys and girls home from Iraq and Afghanistan in body bags. He shows up at the funerals, yelling at the grieving families that their slain loved ones got what they deserved. Phelps has done many other outrageous things in the past, but this takes the cake.

This shouldn't even have to be said, but I must - because enemies of the Gospel like to take idiots like Phelps and lump him in with mainstream fundamentalists and evangelicals. Sorry. He doesn't belong in that category. He doesn't speak for me, he doesn't speak for the vast majority of conservative, Bible-believing Christians, and I am certain that he doesn't speak for God. He only speaks for himself, and in the most repugnant, grating way possible. If he has a problem with decisions made by our national leaders, then he needs to protest to those leaders. Barging in on a FUNERAL of all places and verbally assaulting grieving men, women and children is beyond contempt. It's evil, vicious, cruel... even Satanic in a sense.

Yes, the Bible (and God) condemns homosexuality and calls it an abomination. God will eventually judge those involved in this lifestyle unless they repent. As Christians, we indeed have the duty to call our culture to repent of ALL sin. This ought to be motivated by compassion for the lost, not hatred. And hatred is all false "prophets" such as Fred Phelps know. They know nothing of the love of Christ. I am reminded of Jesus' rebuke to James and John, the "sons of thunder." In Luke 9, the duo wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans because they didn't receive Jesus at the time. Jesus rebuked them and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of."

I am also reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in his letter to the church at Corinth. "Love is not rude." Fred Phelps could profit by both of these reminders, but I have a hunch he won't listen. Self-righteous blowhards like him are too proud to repent. Regardless of what sins or evils our elected leaders in Washington make, it is not right to lay them at the feet of those honorably serving their country - service not condemned by the Scripture Fred Phelps supposedly reveres.

I am afraid that one day, there will be a group of guys at one of these funerals who decide to deal with Phelps and his ilk in the way such outrages used to be handled - by administering a good, solid beating. I hope not, as that will only feed the "martyr" complex many of Phelps' stripe have. They've "suffered for Jesus." What a crock. With every protest, they're only making a mockery of the Lord and bringing Him into shame. They will be held accountable by Him, and He is capable of punishment much more severe than a good old hiding.

In the meantime, let us all who truly love the Lord stand with these families and uncategorically condemn theological Harlequins like Fred Phelps.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Global Warming? You Ain't Seen Nuthin Yet!

Forgive the shot of winter taken from my front porch. I know scenes like this in summer aren't appreciated in general. However, I can't help taking a shot at the global warming crowd today.

Global warming is the new crisis what crisis. Listen to the news and you hear nothing but hand wringing on this subject. Never mind that the jury is still out about global warming and climate change. For every expert you hear warning of coming peril, just as many others say the whole thing is just cyclical and the current hysteria is just that. Hysteria. I have a friend who is a meteorologist, and he is convinced that the threat of global warming is very exaggerated.

Christians are often accused of not caring about the environment. Curious, as the Lord tells us to be good stewards of His creation. We do care, but just because we don't agree with the wacko greenies on every point, we're up there with the polluters, don't you know? Well, here's something you can take to the bank. This world and all that is in it will be burned up. But it won't be because of another Exxon Valdez. God Himself will destroy it. "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10)

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't care about polluting the earth. We should care. I often ask greenies if they really think conservatives WANT to breathe polluted air, drink contaminated water and bask in radiation from a nuclear accident. Ridiculous, of course. Let's be good stewards without falling for the apocalyptic rhetoric of the envirowackos. I prefer to let God handle His own apocalypse. He can do a much more spectacular job than I.

EDITED TO ADD: I have just received a story with comments by Dr. William Gray, the University of Colorado meteorologist and climatologist who issues the hurricane forecast every year. It was in a column from the Denver Post. Dr. Gray calls the way global warming is being sold "a hoax." I am sure his comments will engender rage and frothing from the mouth (not to mention a hissy fit from Algore) - but he will be hard to ignore or dismiss.