Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another Clueless Clergyman

If you were hoping the homosexual marriage issue would just go away, forget about it. It isn't going to go away.

Part of the reason that the voices pushing it are growing louder is because of apostate clergyman such as the one in this news article, who is losing his church over the issue.

I applaud the membership of the church, who appear to have retained their biblical moorings more than their pastor, who uses the fig leaf of "civil rights" to cover his support of homosexual marriage—despite what the God he claims to serve and represent thinks about the issue. And on this issue, God's Word—the Bible—is abundantly clear. But then, we have to assume that the Bible is first being read and preached, and then believed. Here is what said pastor had to say on the subject when the St. Paul, MN, CBS affiliate interviewed him:

White said two-thirds of his followers left after he said he supported same-sex marriage, and said he was against the marriage amendment that will be up for a vote in November.
“I think people are scared — scared of change, and what has been in the closet is finally coming out, and too many people are not willing to accept it,” White said.
He argued they have to accept it, adding that it’s a civil rights issue.
“It’s time for our society to do as Rodney King did and say, ‘Can’t we all get along?’ That should be the 11th commandment as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We should not try to legislate morality, in terms of who should get married and who can’t get married.”

"Should not try to legislate morality?" Um, a significant chunk of legislation already on the books legislates quite a lot of morality. You know, things like "thou shalt not murder," or "thou shalt not steal." Those are in the biblical 10 Commandments, but they are also on the statute books of every state in the Union. A specious argument in my humble opinion. You cannot legislate race or gender, it just is. And that is really what is behind this argument over sexual behavior.

The activists are trying their darndest to move it beyond behavior and into the same category as race or gender. The gender thing is interesting, because those who insist that they were supposed to be other than the gender they were born in have to have themselves surgically and hormonally altered to achieve their goal (and as an aside, I don't think God buys into their forced change of the gender He elected for them). Homosexuals insist they were born that way, and have vainly tried through the years to find a "gay" gene to prove it. They won't find one. All they will find is that man has a sin nature that manifests itself in different ways in different people. Homosexual behavior is just one of the manifestations, albeit a more serious one in the eyes of God.

The hope of the Gospel is that we can be saved from our sins, and that we can be changed through the power of God to live lives pleasing to Him. But that involves recognizing that we are indeed sinners who need to change, and need a Savior. Denial means damnation. And "men of the cloth" who deny the clear teaching of God's Word will face double the condemnation.

It's sad, really. But altogether predictable. God's Word prophesies what those who would remain faithful to Him will be facing in these latter days amid growing compromise and apostasy. The Apostle Paul sends the message in his second and last letter to his beloved young protege and disciple, Timothy . . .

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2 Timothy 4:1-5). 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Squackett: The New Album

While I haven't been able yet to download/buy this new album (pictured right) yet, I plan to eventually.

The project is called "Squackett," an amalgamation of the names of its progenitors, former Genesis lead guitarist Steve Hackett, and Yes bassist Chris Squire. For an album review, you can go to this link.

Steve is without doubt my favorite guitarist, and Chris Squire my favorite bassist - no one can make a Rickenbacker 4001 growl quite like Chris can. From what the review says, those expecting a totally prog rock album will probably be disappointed as the songs are more straightforward. I'll have to decide on that when I hear it. Prog is rather hard to define - odd time signatures, breaking out of the pop three-chord formula, song length, varied influences combining classical, jazz, pop and other styles. I certainly find it more intriguing and fulfilling than most of what I hear on air these days.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Some Memorial Day Thoughts

Take a look at these two logos. It's hilarious. The first is the original logo of the International Socialist organization. The logo to the right is the new version. As if adding a rose to the clenched fist changes the goals of this organization.

Why am I posting this on Memorial Day? Because we have a whole lot of people out there who can't seem to understand that we have a whole lot of people out there who want international socialism. It doesn't necessarily have to be a carbon copy of the Soviet Union, but they want as much socialism as they can possibly get.

And I personally find that sad, because our military men and woman have sacrificed so much to allow the United States to retain our hard-won freedom from tyranny. Socialism, whether it's of the hard core communist variety or the milquetoast version of Western Europe, is NOT the kind of country our Founders envisioned. It is NOT the kind of country that the majority of people in the U.S. would have wanted throughout much of our history. But progressives know what they're doing. Get enough people dependent on the government for their livelihood, and it will be much easier to achieve the goal of a redistributionist society where "justice" prevails. Have a gander at the Socialist International website. They might have a red rose in their hand, but their overall goal remains the same. And if we're stupid enough in the future to fall for the lie of a socialist utopia, we'll deserve exactly what we'll get.

As for me and my house, we will not only serve the Lord, but will also hold to the American ideal as it was painstakingly assembled by faithful, patriotic men and women. And defended at a very high cost.

Happy Memorial Day, and thank you to our armed forces, past, present and hopefully future.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What the Bible Says . . .

Another Biblical Perspective on Homosexuality

To back up the previous post on this troubling topic, I want to give a shout-out to Dan Phillips, one of the Pyromaniacs team of bloggers headed by Phil Johnson of Grace to You Ministries. Their blog is prominently linked in my blogroll, but I want to call special attention to Dan's post today.

This is probably one of the best, most succinct posts on this subject I've seen yet, and worth sharing. No doubt it will make some people mad, but that's just what properly applied biblical truth does. And after the initial anger, hopefully and prayerfully the Holy Spirit will work through His Word and draw more lost sinners to Himself in saving faith—work only He can do.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another Big Mouth Obscures the Gospel

I guess it was only a matter of time. The ridiculous Fred Phelps bunch has been losing airtime, so the media had to go out and find some other ultra-fundamentalist blowhard to take Phelps' place. Once that search was completed, they had to do their best to make it appear that churches like this represent the entirety of conservative, Bible-believing Christianity. And it does NOT.

About what am I talking? I am talking about this viral video of a North Carolina pastor. He is an ultra-fundamental Baptist of the King James 1611 version only variety. And he speaks of getting rid of homosexuals by rounding them up in camps and keeping them there until they all die out (because gays can't reproduce). The good reverend must forget about those who will still be born - or are still growing up - who will decide to head down the homosexual path. If God destroying everyone on the planet in the flood except for Noah and his people didn't work to eradicate homosexuality, the pastor's camp idea won't work.

Beyond that, such an idea is the farthest thing away from the true biblical message that I can fathom. In this day and age where clarity is needed, and the true Christian message is so easily distorted, this was the last thing we needed. Dr. Albert Mohler and other conservative Christian Bible scholars have called this fellow out, and rightly so. Add my name to the list of those calling him out.

Yes, the Bible says what it means and means what it says. The Bible—God's Word—declares homosexuality to be an abomination, for several reasons. It violates the created order God established for male-female relationships, the home and the family. It also sullies what marriage is supposed to symbolically represent—the union between male and female becoming one flesh symbolizing the union between Christ and His Church - the Bride of Christ. It truly is a serious sin in the eyes of God.

But sin in ALL of its manifestations is what Christ went to the cross to deal with - willingly - for His people. All of us have the sin nature, but it manifests itself in different people in different ways. The Apostle Paul mentions former homosexuals as converts in Scripture when reminding them of how Christ set them free . . . "such were some of you. But you were cleansed etc." That is the joy. That is the hope that we as Christians are to proclaim as we lovingly share the Gospel. Yes, we need to call sin what it is. Boldly and without apology. But we also need to show the love of Christ and compassion of Christ, knowing that we are only beggars who know where the bread is (thanks Bob Bennett). We call all to repentance through the Gospel, and it is the business of the Holy Spirit to draw people to Himself in saving faith. That is His sovereign work.

He does not call us to round up sinners into concentration camps. This "pastor" needs sharp rebuke, because he is distorting and obfuscating the Gospel he is supposed to be preaching.

P.S. One final comment. Ultra-fundamental Baptists aren't known for their willingness to listen. If you don't embrace them in every jot and tittle, you are every bit as liberal as Bishop Spong. They exercise separatism to a sad, unbiblical and dangerous level. Legalistic to the core. And it breaks the heart of God as much as the Pharisees broke the heart of God.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Good Steak

Blame it on El Dorado and Arthur Hunnicutt.

Yes, I must have led a sheltered existence not to have known there really is a famous restaurant in New York City called Delmonicos. And they say the "Delmonico" steak is pretty much a ribeye cut, albeit probably cooked in a certain way by the restaurant.

The late Mr. Hunnicutt played the character of "Bull" on El Dorado, which starred John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. There's a scene in which they were trying to get Mitchum's character to take a bath, and Hunnicutt said the jail cuisine would never be Delmonicos, "but the food would taste a heck of lot better if...."

My discovery of this reality actually happened a few years ago when I bothered to actually look Delmonicos up (on the internet, naturally). But someone was discussing good steak and Delmonicos, and that brought the memory to mind.

I love a good, charbroiled, well prepared steak. Thus far, the best one I've ever had was at a popular regional restaurant in southern Wisconsin called "The Gun Club." The original one burned down a couple of years back, and they've recently built a new one across the state line in Illinois. Haven't been there yet to judge, but I'd be surprised if it was anything near the original. We'll see.

Why such an odd post on the Seventh Sola for a Monday morning? Nothing political, cultural or theological? Well, I'd say a post on Delmonicos and El Dorado could be considered cultural. But beyond that, it's the Seventh Sola, where I can and will discuss just about anything. Within reason, of course.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

1 John

Just a brief note today as I was away preaching then traveling home. I love the Apostle John's writings in Scripture more and more as time goes by. I love his Christocentric beginnings (both to his Gospel and to the letter, 1 John, which was intended to be read as a circular to the churches.

And I love it because it is timeless. John was confronting the same errors that the church is confronting today, although the enemy has dressed them up in different clothing. It was early Gnosticism then, and the false teaching became more fully orbed in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Now here at the beginning of the 21st Century (and possibly the end of the age), we find ourselves confronted again by some of the same false teachings confronted by John and his fellow Apostles.

And no matter what, the Word of God stands. It always will.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Here Comes the Grump

How about a little fun for a change on a Saturday morning?

Remember on Saturdays (people of my age group), we'd lay down on the couch or the floor and watch Saturday morning cartoons? My favorites were generally the old Looney Tunes cartoons, but now and then a newer one would come along to tickle my funny bone. Of course, the ones I liked never lasted long.

This cartoon review recalls "Here Comes the Grump," involving a very stupid dragon and his master, who chased a couple of teenagers around. Once in a while, the dragon would sneeze, causing an outburst of fire, and usually the poor Grump would be in the path of the flame. And this ubiquitous incident would immediately be followed by "Stupid dragon!!"

How about you all out there in cyberland? Did you have a favorite Saturday cartoon? Please, let's fill the meta this time and see how many fun memories we can recall. So much better than politics!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

G-8 and Obama's Re-Election?

Every now and then, you find something in the news that raises your eyebrows a little. I bet you'd never guess I'm being a bit wry with that statement! Maybe understatement.

Take a peek at this Reuters story. It discusses the question of whether the European economic crisis could end up being the thing that swings the U.S. presidential election one way or the other. I found the following particular paragraphs both interesting and amusing:

Against this backdrop, the Obama administration has been involved in intense, behind-the-scenes maneuvering to steer Europe away from the financial brink.
For the past two years, Treasury officials, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, have crisscrossed the Atlantic in pursuit of solutions to Europe's problems. The president has also been actively involved, speaking to European leaders by phone at key moments in the region's crisis.
His instant invitation to France's newly elected president, Francois Hollande, to White House talks on the eve of this weekend's Group of Eight summit is evidence of a central fact in the United States: The states that will do most to determine the outcome of November's presidential and congressional elections may not be swing states like Ohio but member states of the European Union.
On condition of anonymity, a senior EU official told Reuters it felt as if the Obama administration wanted the G8 to cooperate in the reelection campaign. "They see the debt crisis as the biggest likely drag on the U.S. economy between now and November," the official said, "and so they basically want to make sure that we find a way of muddling through."

Imagine that. G-8 cooperation in re-electing President Obama? Now that's chutzpah. And it wouldn't surprise me one little bit. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taking Flak for Obeying God?

This kind of story infuriates me. What story? This one from Fox News.

I'm not going to comment at length on it except to say the pastors who declined to play ball did exactly the right thing according to God's Word - the Bible. The bi-sexual pastor is the one in rebellion and he is the one who needs to repent. And the media needs to stifle itself. Like now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chris Mitchum for Congress!

There is a Congressional race out in California to which I'd like to call your attention. Chris Mitchum is a Reagan Republican running in California's 24th District. As you no doubt note from either memory of his films or resemblance, he is the son of the late, great actor Robert Mitchum—one of my favorites.

As you'll see from his website, not much is being said about social issues, but rather it focuses mainly on economic issues. I think that probably will be the main issue in the upcoming presidential election, although President Obama's recent embrace of homosexual marriage might alter that equation a bit. I am not a resident of California any longer. I lived out there in the early 80s working in radio—the Los Angeles area. The 24th District is up around Ventura and Santa Barbara, if I understand it correctly. I am hoping Chris and other Republican candidates can manage to take control of the state back, and help take control of the country back. The U.S. is heading over a cliff under our current leadership. At high speed.

Ultimately, readers of this blog will know that I believe God is the ultimate arbiter of who leads the nations, and He does raise up leaders and depose leaders. At times, He judges nations. America is in trouble, but I do not believe it's too late to save our country. GOP does not stand for "God's Own Party," but by and large Republicans since Ronald Reagan have held to the right principles on social issues and economics. We get in trouble when we try to out-Democrat the Democrats, both in embracing their liberal social positions and their liberal spending practices. Sometimes I think the current leadership of the GOP forgets that principle. I am praying that Chris Mitchum and other Republicans running for office (and even some conservative Reagan Democrats) will be used by the Lord to set things to rights. But it won't and can't happen just through the ballot box. Some national repentance is in order, or else the woodshed we're in right now will only intensify.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dreams (Not the Stevie Nicks Kind)

I typically don't dream very often. Some friends tell me that's bogus. You're supposed to have many dreams in the course of the night and you just don't remember them unless you're having one when you wake up. I've never bought that theory. I just normally don't dream.

I am also not one of those who sees every dream as a message from God or an attack of the devil. While God certainly can send dreams and one can have nightmares, we can also have dreams simply based on things which have been on our minds, or memories.

I had one last night, and I'll leave it to you to fish it out, pun intended. Before the death of my beloved uncle Ernie back in June 2009, I used to head south to his lakeside home in Arkansas to fish twice a year. The fishing wasn't the only reason, of course. Many hours were spent in that boat with him, talking, laughing, remembering, sometimes serious sharing. Naturally, I would share my faith. He spent many years taking care of my aunt Diane, who struggled with MS since the late 1950s. After her 2008 passing, Ernie (who wasn't well himself) seemed to go downhill pretty quickly. He came down with CMML Leukemia, and after a brief moment of hopefulness that he'd be able to control it, in truth he was too weakened.

I dreamed last night that I was standing at the lakeshore fishing. When I turned around to head back up the hill to the house, I was shocked to see the pier gone. The boathouse and boats were gone. I looked up the hill to the house and garage, and both of them were gone. All that remained was a barren field. And I woke up with an intense sense of forlorn emptiness. And that got me wondering about Bible verses dealing with dreams, and that led me to Ecclesiastes, written by wise King Solomon under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God (Ecclesiastes 5:7)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The President and Gay Marriage: The Truth at Last

President Obama came out (pun intended) today and backed homosexual marriage. This BBC story has the details in case you want to read up on it. They snagged it from an ABC News  exclusive interview.

The only thing I am surprised about is why anyone is surprised. No matter what he says, I believe this was Obama's view all along, and that he fully intended to come out with this view when he thought the time was right, and the only reason he didn't come out with it sooner was and is for solely political reasons. I don't think his views have "evolved" one iota. Yes, Virginia, I am that cynical when it comes to politicians and especially this disaster of a president.

This illustrates the ongoing juggernaut of the homosexual movement in this country. It truly is the mouse that roars. Despite being a very tiny minority in the population, because their sinful behavior is celebrated in the entertainment culture, by the educational establishment, the psychiatric profession and the bulk of the lamestream media, the homosexual movement carries much more clout than it should. Now it's official: a sinful behavior God condemns is given the full Monty endorsement of our head of state. A sexual behavior is now afforded the same protected class as a racial/ethnic minority. What behavior will receive this kind of status next? Knowing unregenerate human nature, I can only imagine, and I'd rather not.

I think the Christian community in the United States is going to have to wake up to a very unpleasant truth. This is no longer the country it once was. Traditional morality and biblical values—a Judeo-Christian consensus on right and wrong even if society at large didn't necessarily embrace evangelical Christianity—are giving way to the new morality of anything goes. Why? We could probably point fingers to a number of things, including a church that has grown way too accommodationist rather than confrontational on these matters. We have grown pragmatic rather than biblical, and we no longer proclaim a biblical Gospel. We no longer preach on sin and repentance. Instead, we try to market the church like a new brand of potato chips. The salt has lost its savor.

I am not surprised, because this was all prophesied long ago for our world. The world is going to become a very, very nasty, brutish place before Jesus returns as judge and ruler of the nations. Christians—at least the ones who still hold to biblical truth—are going to become a increasingly unpopular people. The question is whether we will continue to remain faithful despite the braying crowd, or will we give in and surrender our biblical values in the onslaught of popular culture? Will we join Jesus outside the gate, remembering that the world hated Him before it hated us? Or will we cave? Will we preach Scripture—preach an unwatered-down Gospel—and let the Holy Spirit do what only He can do in drawing people to repentance? Or will we Osteenize our message into spiritual cotton candy that tastes sweet for a second, but melts away fast and leaves a bitter aftertaste?

Above all, will love drive us do to and say what is right? Because remaining silent or caving in to this is NOT showing the love of Christ. Judgment is coming. And if we fail to warn of it, we are not lovers of God or lovers of our fellow men. We are haters every bit as rank as those who revile Christians now.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Europe: Chickens Coming Home to Roost?

Europe is a flutter with the defeat of conservative French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and the talking heads are wondering about the long-term ramifications of a Socialist regaining power.

To go along with this fun, I found this little article from Yahoo News wondering if "austerity" has now become a dirty word.

One reason this interests me is because of the humungous debate we're having here in the United States in this election cycle. Will we as Americans go the route of Europe and embrace a nanny state type of society and the level of taxation that requires, or will we retain our historic national character of limited government, restraint on taxes, individual freedom and individual responsibility?

It's hard for me to type "restraint on taxes," because we are hearing all sorts of hollering about the need to raise taxes so we can keep the level of social spending as is, or actually to allow for increasing it. And therein lies the debate. We're already trillions of dollars in debt, and the economies of several European states are beyond moribund. The cradle to grave, nanny state benefits cost a LOT of money - and in the long term it is unsustainable.

The hoo-hah also illustrates a maxim that the politicians who push for increased social benefits know cynically very well. Once people are accustomed to getting that government "benefit" or check in the mail, they are very loath to give it up and get very angry at anyone who wants to dry up the teat. That's why Social Security has historically been called the "third rail" of American politics—certain political death for any politician who wants to mess with it.

Luther Gulick of the American Society for Public Administration had a quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt that pretty much sums up the attitude of politicians who love giving out benefits to potential voters. I quote Gulick's memo below in its entirety, with FDR's statement in bold . . .


Beginning in June, 1941, I was working in the Treasury organizing the study of federal, state, and local government fiscal relations. My colleagues for this project were Harold Groves of Wisconsin, Mabel Newcomer of Vasser, and Clarence Heer of North Carolina—though Heer later withdrew from the staff and served only as a special advisor. The result of our work was published under the title, “Federal, State and Local Government Fiscal Relations," as Senate Document 69 of the 78th Congress, First Session.
As part of the study, Harold Groves and I came to the conlusion that federal enactment of a retail sales tax might prove to be a highly useful revenue producer, and at the same time something of a brake on the then mounting inflation. We also thought that a federal enactment would prevent the further spread of state legislation and that this would mean the possibility of repealing the retail sales tax at a later point in the economic cycle when counter deflationary measures might be required. Henry Morganthau showed no interest in the proosals and repeated all of the regular arguments on the sales tax ignoring the fiscal policy considerations arising at a time of high incomes and commodity shortage. I, therefore, discussed the problem with FDR when he asked me how I was coming with the Treasury study. He said to go ahead and explore the idea with Harold Smith, Marriner Eccles, and others.
In the course of this discussion I raised the question of the ultimate abandonment of the pay roll taxes in connection with old age security and unemployment relief in the event of another period of depression. I suggested that it had been a mistake to levy these taxes in the 1930’s when the social security program was originally adopted. FDR said, “I guess you’re right on the economics. They are politics all the way through. We put those pay roll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren’t a matter of economics, they’re straight politics.”
FDR also mentioned the psychological effect of contributions in destroying the “relief attitude.”

Of course we know that Social Security has ballooned beyond what the original intent was - supposedly. It was never intended (at least we were told) to be a pension program for seniors. It was supposed to be a "supplement." But in time, millions of seniors came (and still do) depend on Social Security checks as their sole source of income. And there is no motivation to supplement that income, because the more you get from another source, the government reduces what you get in Social Security. And then add on "Survivor Benefits" and a host of other government goodies that have been added on through the years, including Medicare and Medicaid. Food stamps. And on and on and on and on, with no end in sight. 

Rather than trying to get the economy humming on all engines, and trying to benefit as many as possible with good paying private sector jobs, AND letting people keep/save more of their own money, the only jobs that are being added these days are government jobs with fat, juicy pensions and other benefits that are bankrupting states  and municipalities. Government produces nothing. It takes, although it does provide certain "services." But as a revenue-generating entity, no. 

Europe is in trouble. They don't like austerity, and will riot over it. America is headed that direction. With riots no doubt coming sooner or later. 

And that's what some politicians are probably hoping will happen, although they'd die before they'd admit it. 

Sola's note: As you see, Blogger's system has messed up the font in the last half of my post, and despite me choosing the same font and size as the opening paragraphs, it still posts as very tiny and hard to read. If I increase the size while keeping the same font, it's larger than the original in the opening paragraphs. Very frustrating, but trying to get an answer about fixing it is like trying to get information out of North Korea. 

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Reserving the Right to Define the Church

I'm really trying not to be easily irritated in this increasingly irritating world, but some days there are challenges in living this determination out.

Ever notice that a growing number of unbelievers are eager to define the church and to define Christianity? They love to wax eloquent on what defines a Christian, even when they evince little knowledge of the subject, little knowledge of the Bible, little knowledge of church history or much else pertaining to the Christian life.

One little example I found one day was in reference to a well-known secular musician, who was described as a "non-practicing Christian." Excuse me? A "non-practicing" Christian is not a Christian. It's sort of like being a little bit pregnant. It's impossible. You either are, or you aren't.

Now, before you get your blunderbusses out, I know how this sort of terminology discussion generally goes. We know that there are nominal, or cultural, Christians. Their families might have had some sort of heritage in a particular Christian denomination. Maybe they went to church as children, and might show up as adults on Easter or Christmas wearing their Sunday finest. But they have never made a personal commitment to Christ. They have never repented of their sins and placed their trust in the shed blood of Christ on the cross as atonement for their sins. They have never given their lives to the Lord, or have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who is the one who spiritually regenerates the believer. As we like to call "Republicans in Name Only" RINOS, these can be called CINOS, or "Christians in Name Only."

I would like to see us get back to biblical definitions and standards of what these words actually mean as ordered by the Lord Himself and His Apostles. The Bible itself defines what being a true Christian is, and the Bible also defines what the true church is—those who are truly regenerate and possess saving faith in Christ. As a result of their faith and trust in Christ, there is a complete change in lifestyle and worldview. Not to say that new Christians don't have some growing to do, but there must be evidence of true conversion. There must be a true desire from the heart to live for the Lord, to bring Him glory, and the desire for others who are lost to come to saving faith in Christ.

This is especially important in the current political circus. A lot of people are running around wearing the Christian label, but their lives and actions suggest anything but Christ. Above all, we must not allow the secular media to define the church, nor to define what being a Christian is. The true Church must reserve the right to define itself, and not surrender that right to anyone else. And we need to stop being afraid to speak up and call politicians out on the subject when they're trying to use the Christian label to troll for votes. In other words, rather than loving and living for Christ from the heart, they're instead using churchy words to appeal to a block of voters because some focus group said it would be good to play up to Christians.

I could probably articulate this a lot better than I am. I'm writing in the heat of the moment, and knowing that I haven't contributed much of substance to my blog of late. But I think most of you will get what I am meaning to say- or trying to say.

Once again, I am not intending to play God and to look into someone's heart and determine whether or not they are true believers. Biblically, I cannot judge hearts and motivations. I can only judge actions. And very often, a pattern of actions over a period of time can give us a pretty good indication as to the genuineness of a purported Christian believer's faith.

We are not electing a theologian in chief. We are electing a president. But I believe the Lord gives a nation the leaders it deserves sometimes, especially when a very blessed nation is in nearly complete rebellion against Him. We are either going to be led by a cultist, or we are going to be led for another four years by a self-described Christian who adheres largely to Liberation Theology—a Christian heresy that in essence is Marxism with spiritual clothes on. This country is in trouble. And it's because the true Church isn't being the church and fulfilling its prophetic role to the people—prophetic in the sense of forthtelling biblical truth to the people.

One more aside. It would be nice if the news media would actually find and use some intelligent, articulate evangelical authorities to interview instead of the inflammatory rubes they usually go after on purpose to make conservative evangelical believers look like hillrods. They tend to use Roman Catholic priests, bishops or cardinals, or perhaps professors from a Catholic seminary as their "scholars," but use the worst possible people to represent Protestant evangelical perspective, if at all. When I use the quote marks around the word, "scholars," in this instance I am not intending to raise questions as to a Catholic spokesperson's academic background. I use it in the sense of how the media would use the term or think of it. There are true scholars in both Catholic and Protestant circles. But Protestant, evangelical scholars seem to get short shrift.

There are other Christian leaders out there besides Roman Catholics, and it would be nice to see one of them quoted instead of the ubiquitous Catholic bishops, cardinals or priests. They do not represent an evangelical perspective. Might I suggest Dr. Al Mohler, Dr. John MacArthur, or Dr. R.C. Sproul, just to name a few? There are others. I realize the TBN crowd might be more entertaining, but for the most part, they are theologically a mile wide and an inch deep, largely speaking from emotion rather than an articulate, scholarly response to serious issues at debate in society. In other words, leave Joel Osteen to the motivational circuit, and get a serious Bible scholar if you want to really have a biblical perspective on a controversial, misunderstood issue.

Sola's note: This has been edited somewhat from the original for clarity.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Al Mohler Takes Up Andy Stanley and Pragmatism

If you look back to the time when Andy Stanley left his father's church over Charles' refusal to step down from the pulpit following his divorce, this commentary by Dr. Al Mohler is all the more ironic.

I won't add anything to what Al says here. My hopes and prayers are that this situation will be rectified in a biblical, God-honoring way that is faithful to Him and to His Word.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Jimmy Kimmel's Millstone

It's getting to the point where I can't watch the evening news without having my blood pressure rise by 30 points, followed by an hour spent in high dudgeon. Tonight's offender is "comedian" Jimmy Kimmel, who was spotlighted briefly on tonight's Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News Channel.

A brief clip was shown showing a little boy who could not have been more than eight or nine years old. He was ostensibly at the White House where Michelle Obama was hosting a large group of children, no doubt for a tour.

Now, I am certain that this particular segment was taped by Kimmel and inserted into the released clip from the White House for comedic purposes, and didn't really happen at the event. But what was said out of the mouth of the child has me really steamed.

In essence, Mrs. Obama asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. This little towheaded tyke spoke up and said that he wanted to be a Secret Service agent so he could score hookers for $30. No doubt this generated plenty of guffaws from the young skulls full of mush who get their jollies on smutty humor, but this isn't funny.

Let me say it again. Scripting a little boy saying he wanted to grow up so he could buy cheap hookers IS NOT FUNNY. It is nothing less than the corruption of a young mind likely innocent of this kind of garbage. I have no idea of what Jimmy Kimmel's religious beliefs are, but the warning of the Lord ought to be taken seriously by those who think it's the height of hilarity to corrupt a kid and corrupt his speech.

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea (Mark 9:42).