Sunday, February 28, 2010

Liberal Intolerance

Liberals always love to howl about the supposed intolerance of conservatives, especially those of the social conservative variety. The truth of the matter is that some of the worst hatred and intolerance you can see is on the left. In this column, David Limbaugh comments on this subject -- one that we've covered several times with David on my radio program.

As an aside, you might want to check out this little BBC story. Actor Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame is recording a public service announcment to try and stop homosexuals from committing suicide -- a laudable goal especially considering the eternal consequences. You can repent of sin before death, but after death it's too late. But Mr. Radcliffe isn't thinking of that eventuality. No, he's fine and dandy with homosexuality, and in fact demonstrates his tolerance with this remark . . .

"I have always hated anybody who is not tolerant of gay men or lesbians or bisexuals. Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it."

Never mind that many are opposed to -- or if you want to use the misunderstood word, intolerant of -- homosexuality on moral grounds, not hatred. There are certainly those out there who hate homosexuals as people, but that certainly isn't the Christian motivation. There might well be hate for sin, but not the individual, because we're all sinners. Sin just manifests itself in different people in different ways. In fact, that's why Christ came -- to redeem us and deliver us from our sin.

Unfortunately for Mr. Radcliffe, he hates people by his own admission.

How tolerant.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Living on the Fault Line

For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs (Mark 13:8)

Haiti is still reeling from the massive earthquake a few weeks ago, and this morning we hear of an 8.8 jim dandy in Chile. Reports of the damage and casualties are still coming in. On top of the earthquake, which did enough damage on its own, we also as of this writing have tsunami warnings for much of the Pacific basin.

No doubt these events rekindle discussion among Christians about the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. As you can see from our Scripture reference, the Lord Jesus said earthquakes would be among the signs of His impending return. Where the difficulty comes in is balancing biblical truth and the sure fulfillment of prophecy with wild speculation. There is nothing wrong with speculation in and of itself, just as long as we don't turn our speculations into "thus saith the Lord." It is also important not to go beyond what is written in Scripture, and to be sure we are not mishandling God's Word. Datesetting is a good example, yet people do it over and over again.

I make no apologies for being premillennial in my eschatology. We should look forward with expectancy to the Lord's return, and His Second Coming ought to be taught from the pulpit as well as in Sunday schools. But we also need to be careful and teach God's Word on the subject. Books and commentaries on the subject are just that -- books and commentaries. Some are excellent, some are marginal, and some might well be downright horrible in their handling of Scripture. When well-meaning Christians overspeculate, set dates and go to other extremes, we really hurt our credibility.

There's even a more important point that needs to be made. In Haiti, and now in Chile, eternity came very suddenly and terribly for some people. No one is immune from a natural disaster. The map above shows the New Madrid Fault system in the central part of the United States. Very large earthquakes have happened in this region, and probably will again. There's also a pretty significant fault system in the Appalachian Mountains, with significant temblors taking place in the Carolinas if memory serves me correctly.

And there's always the legendary San Andreas Fault in the West. This is the fault zone that produces the massive earthquakes in California, including the devastating San Francisco earthquake in the early 1900s. If there was an 8.8 magnitude quake in Los Angeles or San Francisco today, the casualties would no doubt be horrific.

Aside from earthquakes, we have tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning strikes, blizzards, floods and a whole host of other potential calamities that can claim lives unexpectedly. How about fires? My own house burned to the ground in 2003. Thankfully, our lives were spared. But there is no guarantee of that from day to day.

Jesus gave another solemn warning that we ought to consider . . .

Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:1-5).

I think that's pretty plain. All of us are only a heartbeat away from eternity. If you don't know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, His command is this. Believe on Him and repent of your sins, and place your trust in Him as your Savior. He is the only way to a right standing with God, and the Holy Spirit will not strive with men forever. You might not have another opportunity, and after death, it's too late.

In the meantime, our hearts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones in Chile and Haiti. As physical aid is rendered, I pray that many opportunities for the Gospel will also be opened.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mychal Massie and Elton John

In a published column over at WorldNetDaily, Mychal Massie took up the subject of homosexual singer Elton John and his recent comments trying to pin the gay label on the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thought about posting something to chide Elton for such stupid (and false) comments, but figured correctly that enough people -- bloggers, commentators, pastors and scholars -- would give him a chain-yank over them. However, Mr. Massie takes the subject up from a different angle -- highlighting the very "un-gay" life many male homosexuals lead, including rather serious health issues that are the consequence of such a lifestyle.

In years past on my radio program, I've had Dr. Stanley Monteith on to discuss this subject, some of it too graphic for air and to be in print. As a medical doctor, Monteith knows his subject matter. Isn't it interesting, though, that you won't hear much of this if any via the lamestream media?

God's Word makes it very clear that homosexuality is an abomination. However, God's grace and mercy as shown through the Lord Jesus Christ can redeem people in that sin, just as He redeems all sinners. Everyone has a sin nature, but it manifests itself in different people in different ways.

We need to pray for Elton John and his repentance. And we also need to pray that the hard truth gets told. Kudos to Mychal Massie for bringing it to light again.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Heavy" Casualties in Marjah

I debated with myself a bit before posting today, because what I'm about to say has the potential to be badly misunderstood. But I think we need to look at the issue anyway.

This news article discusses the loss of six NATO troops in the ongoing offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The headline reads "heavy casualties."

I think this illustrates one of the problems America has in sustaining a war effort in this day and age. Why do I say this?

Let's look back at World Wars I and II. Look at the daily losses then in a battle. That is what I call heavy casualties. Six combat deaths doesn't rank up there with heavy casualties.

Please understand. I am not in the least diminishing the loss of six soldiers. For the families involved, it is a heavy casualty. I support and admire our troops. My target is the way that the media reports on the war, and the impact it has on public support.

Since the Vietnam War, America has built a reputation that we are casualty-averse. What that means is this. Our enemies think if they hold out long enough, and inflict enough casualties, American public opinion will turn against the war effort and we'll demand that the troops come home. Headlines like this help add to that perception.

I really have to wonder if we would be able to fight a conflict like World War II anymore. Imagine a battle with thousands of casualties instead of just six. What would the media be reporting, and what would public opinion be? Do we even have the ability anymore to sustain a war, even if we are the attacked party?

Even worse, we are so hamstrung by the desire to avoid civilian casualties that we tie our military's hands even further. In Afghanistan right now, the thugs shoot at our troops, then put their guns down and come out of their lairs to wave mockingly at our troops, knowing that we aren't allowed to shoot unarmed men. It's a joke.

But such is modern, politically correct warfare.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dr. MacArthur on Market-Driven Church

When you get a moment, check out this post from Dr. John MacArthur, who is guest blogging today at Pyromaniacs. His target -- and what a target -- is the market-driven church mentality.

Thanks to Phil Johnson for posting this.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

America the Extinct?

I am in the throes of a kidney stone, so I don't feel like writing very much today. Here is a WND column by retired military officer Jeremiah Denton for your perusal. In it, he examines the state of our nation today and lays out some hope for holding on to our "great experiment."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Global Warming Meltdown

In light of these revelations from climate scientist Phil Jones, one does have to wonder where the flapdoodle over global warming/climate change goes from here.

One thing that has not changed is my own belief. I really think this whole climate change uproar has very little to do with genuine concern over the environment on the part of many of its advocates. It has much, much more to do with power and control, and building a globalist system to exercise that power and control over people's lives.

Lawmakers Jumping Ship?

It appears the list of lawmakers deciding not to run for re-election is growing. Today, Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh announced that he is not running for another term. And this despite apparently being ahead of likely GOP challenger Dan Coats in the polls.

Of course, an eternity exists between now and November politically, and that 20 point lead could evaporate. But this has happened enough of late to start me wondering -- wondering all the more so because it's not just politically-challenged Democrats deciding not to run. Several Republicans are retiring as well.

Is it possible that they see a humongous financial train wreck looming ahead, and they don't want to be in office to deal with it? A train wreck that will make the Great Depression look like a Sunday walk in the park?

It is very, very possible.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pray for the Olympic Athletes

It's not looking good thus far for the Olympic games in Vancouver. Here we have the American Deep South under winter storm warnings, and Vancouver has had a hard time getting enough snow. They did get some this week, which helped, but the weather isn't the only problem.

Earlier in the week, skier Lindsey Vonn received a serious shin injury that threatened her competition in the games. Now comes word of Nodar Kumaritashvili's death in a luge accident. The Georgian athlete lost control of his luge, ended up going over the track wall and straight into an unpadded pole. An awful event for a country still recovering from a war with Russia and never-ending political turmoil.

It's sad because by all accounts, Vancouver is a lovely area. No country or community winning the chance to host the Olympics wants a pall cast over the events. I'll never forget the Munich Olympics, which will forever be marred by the murders of the Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists. That's what people tend to remember first instead of the athletic competitions.

I hope and pray things get better. And as you pray this week, remember to lift the athletes before the Lord. Not only for their protection, but also that there will be opportunities for them to hear the Gospel while at the games. There are always believers present to share Christ, and with things off to a tragic start, there will be need for plenty of comfort, and the love of God.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Birther Controversy

To date, I've said very little about the so-called "birther" controversy, i.e. whether President Barack Obama is eligible to serve as president due to allegedly not being a "natural born citizen" as required by the Constitution.

Check out this rebuttal column by Floyd and Mary Beth Brown over at WorldNetDaily. They're a bit aggravated with Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Andrew Breitbart for being so dismissive of the controversy.

Whatever position you take on this issue, it does concern me when the conservative movement eats itself alive, especially when it could be on the cusp of ascendancy again. It also concerns me when so-called conservatives are so easily dismissive of a constitutional requirement. That in and of itself ought to be a wake up call that all is not well in our body politic. The U.S. Constitution is the only thing standing between freedom and tyranny, and anymore, it's all too readily ignored by politicians and pundits of all stripes.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Heroes Pay a Price

Hebrews 11 is the great chapter of past heroes of faith. When we read it or hear sermons preached on it, what are we focused on generally? I have to wonder if we tend to ponder the great exploits of these heroes while glossing over the difficulties many of them faced.

Down the whole litany of great biblical figures, we see that most died in faith without receiving the promises. That didn't deter them in their lives, nor did it cause them to doubt God's promises. Instead, having seen and welcomed them from a distance, confessing themselves as strangers and exiles on the earth. The Scripture goes on to state that God is not ashamed to be called their God, and He has prepared a better city for them. The idea of God not being ashamed to be called their God is striking.

Also striking is verse 25 of Chapter 11, where it says that Moses chose to endure ill treatment with the people of God rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin. He was looking toward the reward. Imagine what a choice that would have been, growing up in the household of Pharoah and knowing what would lie ahead with a people that had been enslaved.

Verse 36 begins the really difficult section, describing what many other biblical heroes faced. It's a daunting account. The thought of being sawn in two doesn't thrill me too much. But such was the experience of a biblical prophet, whose prophecies of God's judgment angered the people around him. All gained approval through their faith, and did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, that apart from us, they would not be made perfect.

Are We Ready to Count the Cost?

We live in such a spoiled age and spoiled culture. Do we know what really, really hard times are? When first starting out in broadcasting in 1978 and 1979, I made less than $7,000 a year if I remember correctly. We can’t think of living on such meager amounts these days, but even today, that amount would seem like vast wealth to someone living on $100 a month. They live on $100 in some countries overseas. Even less.

Would we be willing to endure substantially more hardship for our faith? Would we be tempted to give up? Or would we look ahead to the promise ahead, in faith, that something better was waiting for us?

Hebrews 12 begins with the great cloud of witnesses, and then begins discussing the Lord and His example. People often like to describe this passage as a crowd cheering us on, but that’s not exactly what's intended in the text, especially when looking at the Greek. The word “witnesses” is the origin of the English word “martyr” and means “testifiers or witnesses.” They are testimonies to God’s faithfulness and the power of faith. They are examples to inspire us.

Are we ready to run and finish our race with endurance? Short sprints don’t require much in the way of endurance. This is a marathon run. We need to avoid encumbrances and entanglements. Sin entangles us very easily. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. He also had a finish line, a goal that was set before Him. Remember what He said in Luke 12:50 . . . I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished.” But he had joy set before him also. When I am in distress, it’s hard for me to even think about joy, much less feel it But the Lord had such joy before Him, even contemplating that joy while enduring the agony of the cross.

I love how it says that Jesus was "despising the shame." Suffering is humiliating. When you think about the level of barbarity mankind is capable of, how would we react to humiliation? Our American heritage and/or attitude is to draw the sword and charge, and to demand our rights. We fought a revolution to prove it. Is it within our psyche to humbly submit to brutality?

Yet we had the Creator of the universe willing to absorb great brutality at the hands of His creation. If He had desired, He could have instantaneously vaporized those who were whipping him, plucking out his beard and nailing him to a cross. In Matthew 26:53, Jesus reminded His disciples He could call for 12 legions of angels. If He did, I don’t think the Temple guards or the Roman garrison would have been able to do much about it. But He didn’t call for the legions of angels. He humbly laid down his pride and His crown, and endured for our sakes. He is our example.

We are to consider Him, so that we do not grow weary and lose heart. We have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in our striving against sin. We often tend to spiritualize that passage, but I think in the immediate context it is talking about striving against sinful men. The people who were reading Hebrews at the time had suffered persecution and loss of possessions, but had not yet had to die for the faith.

Immediately after these passages, the writer of Hebrews begins talking about the discipline of the Lord. Verse 10 says that He disciplines us for the purpose of sharing His holiness. Fire purifies. Verse 14 talks about pursuing peace with all men, but it also talks about pursuing sanctification. James 1:2 says to consider it all joy when we face trials, a similar point to what is found in 1 Peter 1:5-9. Same exact thoughts as in our Hebrews passages.

Are We Like Esau?

I see a lot of potential Esaus in our culture. Esau thought of his creature comforts more than he thought of his birthright and blessing. If Esau could sell his birthright down the river because he wanted a bowl of soup, would Esau have been able to withstand much more severe deprivations? Would it have yielded fruit in him? His repentance was not sincere and of the heart. He only regretted his loss, not his actions.

In our churches today, how easily we seem willing to sell doctrinal truth down the river without any persecution at all. These are the ones who will not have any foundation on which to stand when and if severe hard times hit us here. The promises of God in His Word, including all the great truths of Scripture and the principles of holy, righteous living, are our treasures in advance of our final treasure. Will we sell out our birthright, paid for with Christ’s own blood, for a little popularity and the approval of our fellow man?

I hope not. Instead, I hope and pray that we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day (2 Timothy 1:12)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Freudian Slip for Obama?

Hmm. This is interesting.

WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush sees a little Freudian fun going on with President Obama, particularly his use of the term "Bolshevik" during a testy meeting with congressional Republicans. He was using the term to deride conservatives for seeing latent or overt Marxism in his policies. In so doing, according to Mr. Rush, Obama was actually giving the nod of confirmation that this is exactly what he's up to.

The sad thing is, people will get so hung up on the labels involved and start a food fight over them, all the while ignoring what's actually going on right under their noses.

It doesn't really matter what label you put on things. Marxist, Socialist, Fascist, Communist . . . yada yada yada. If the end result ends up in the loss of freedom and the end of our American experiment as we know it, it's awful. Call it what you will.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Caught Red Handed!

Many of us on the more conservative end of the political spectrum have long suspected that the left's love for giving amnesty to illegal aliens had more to do with political ends than grace, mercy and so-called "justice."

Thanks to union leader Eliseo Medina , we now have proof in the pudding.

Medina is international executive vice-president of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU. The SEIU is already notorious for their political shenanigans thanks to Fox News and other media reports. They really must be feeling their oats to come out and be this up front about their designs.

"Progressive rule forever." Just think about it.

Kind of makes me want to find a remote island out in the Pacific.