Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Revisiting Christians and Potty Mouths

In a moment, I am going to link to a post that I put up in the early days of The Seventh Sola. It was back in the days when the battle with postmodernism and the Emergent Church had just begun, and many professed Christians seemed to think nothing was wrong with having a garbage mouth. It was more "real" and "authentic."

Of course, I did not agree and neither do most serious, conservative Bible scholars, pastors and teachers. This is an article written several years ago by Eric Pement, former editor of Cornerstone Magazine and missionary with Jesus People USA in Chicago. While I might not go quite as far as Eric does with some words (shucks being a good example), his point is well taken and ought to be seriously considered by Christians who want to be good ambassadors of Christ, and to represent their Lord well before a fallen world.

If our behavior, actions, lifestyle, and speech are indistinguishable from the lost, then we might as well chuck it all out the door, shut up and go home. We need to clean up our mouths, brothers and sisters. People are watching, and above all, so is the Lord. Vile speech does not please Him or give Him glory.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Trip Lee on Rap and Hip Hop

While Rap and Hip-Hop is not my musical cup of tea, I know many widely embrace it. Like all forms of music and entertainment, it has its good side and its bad side.

I think you'll enjoy this post by William Lee Barefield III, known otherwise in the Rap world as Trip Lee. Trip is preparing for pastoral ministry through Boyce College, but has also released several Christian-themed Rap/Hip-Hop recordings. His discussion of the problems in some of the genre's lyrics and lifestyles of the performers is honest, forthright, and reflects an earnest desire to point the way to Christ.

Please pray for this young man as he tries to shine the light of the Gospel into what can be a very dark place.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bible School Sued over Sexuality Stance

I probably shouldn't have been surprised when a Twitter friend made me aware of this story from the New York Daily News. Grace University in Nebraska is a Christian college that takes a biblical stance on sexuality issues, as one would expect a Christian college to do. But now they're getting sued by a student who was expelled after her lesbian relationship became known. On the surface, the lawsuit seems to be over repayment of loans and grants, but I think we all know what the real elephant in the room is.

If you want to see what Grace University president David Barnes has to say about this, here is a link to his statement. In the end, the only thing to say on this subject is what God's Word has to say about it in numerous places. There are many colleges and universities out there where one can study. If you attend a Christian school, you had best expect your conduct to reflect biblical Christian beliefs and values. Of course, that assumes the school in question has not gone apostate. I don't think that is the case here.

Sadly, as Romans 1 indicates (plus other Scriptures), we are only going to see more of this as time goes on. When God lifts His hand from a people in judgment, it doesn't take long for things to deteriorate. His people must remain faithful to Him and to His Word no matter what society says.

Pray for the school. And yes, pray for these young women, especially that they will be delivered and set free from their sin. Homosexuality is just one of many sins into which we humans can fall. We all have the sin bug. It just manifests itself in different people in different ways. But God provided a way out through His Son, and He will deliver those who seek Him with all their hearts—those who have truly repentant hearts and are willing to acknowledge (and turn away from) their sin.

I can't close this post without a final point. A key problem comes when professing believers try to throw Scripture out the window or cherry pick it with a pair of scissors, excising out the parts they don't like. God will not tolerate people trifling with His Word. Those who claim to be theologians or Bible teachers will incur a stricter judgment. The penalty for mishandling the Word of God is severe. Yet again, we were warned by the Lord Himself that there would be apostasy in the last days. This story is just one more piece of evidence that it's happening. It grieves His heart and it ought to grieve ours.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Rev. Kevin S. Johnson (1955-2013)

In the past couple of years, I've asked you to pray from time to time for my friend and co-host of our former radio program "Perspective Underground," Kevin S. Johnson. He had been battling congestive heart failure and kidney failure for some time, and last week, his battle came to an end.

Kevin is now in the presence of the Savior he loved and served for most of his adult life. I was given the honor of co-officiating at Kevin's funeral this past Monday, and with Rev. Joe Whitchurch—another close friend of Kevin's—giving the eulogy.

Kevin, Joe, and others founded The Institute for Christian Apologetics back in 1984. I joined the board of the ministry in 1989, and we began co-hosting the radio program together in the early 1990s. While I had to step down from the board and program in 2011 due to work responsibilities and family health issues, Kevin and I remained friends, and I remained supportive of the ministry—equipping believers to reach out to those trapped in cults and false religions, and as the Lord presented the opportunity, ministering directly to these individuals. We had our ups, downs, joy, grief, laughter, and pain through the years, but always love in the Lord.

Because Kevin was a missionary who devoted his full time to ministry, there are not a lot of funds left. As the Lord leads, I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider making a gift to his memorial fund, which will help with burial expenses. Here is a link to the ministry website with a Paypal site set up for this purpose. 

Please also pray for Kevin's six children and extended family during this difficult time.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Illinois and Concealed Carry

This was a notable week in Illinois. The Democrat-controlled legislature finally passed concealed carry legislation. It's been a big fight to push it through, especially because anti-gun legislators from Chicago fought it every step of the way. Here is the actual bill if you want to read it in detail.

Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) helped lead the fight to get it passed. Yesterday, he issued a statement that I am posting below . . . 

We also have to understand the political realities. State government is run by members of the Democratic Party, and many of them, especially those from Chicago, are opposed to any kind of law permitting the carrying of a concealed weapon. This bill is not perfect, and I readily admit that. But, this bill creates a uniform statewide standard for the carrying and transportation of handguns. There won't be a patchwork of local ordinances making Rockford, Belvidere, DeKalb, and any number of cities around the state different from community to community. It has taken us years of work to get this far, and it will likely continue to take time to make the legislation stronger.

We must remain vigilant. There will be many anti-gun forces from Chicago who will immediately begin to try to undo all the progress we've made reaffirming this fundamental right. And, it isn't clear yet whether Governor Pat Quinn will sign the bill or veto it. If you want to call the Governor and encourage him to sign HB 183, please call his office at (312) 814-2121.

Dave is exactly right. Given the state of the legislature controlled by Democrats from Chicago, and because of Democratic Governor Pat Quinn - no friend of conservatives or our Second Amendment rights - and flip-flopper on the death penalty - and we got our 13th downgrading from Fitch under his governorship - it's amazing this much could get done. 

On this and many other issues, there are "purists" who will yell because they don't get the whole ball of wax immediately, and will criticize Dave and other lawmakers who are on their side for not pushing through the impossible. Please stop it, folks. Dave is right. This is the best that could be done given the political realities. But he is not giving up, other conservative lawmakers are not giving up - and those of us who believe in our Constitution are not giving up. This is a fight we're going to have to keep fighting until we win and get everything we want in the end. Dave and the others need our support and prayers. And more of us need to get involved in the fight and not just criticize from the sidelines. 

As an aside, are you a member of the National Rifle Association yet? If not, join.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

O: He's Doing it On Purpose

I haven't had time for much blogging today, but the news this week involving the Obama Administration was more than I could stand. And there's one particular aspect of the news coverage this week that drives me nuts more than anything else.

I keep hearing Republicans and conservative media/blog types keep calling the president "arrogant" because of his actions, most recently his appointment of Susan Rice as the new National Security Adviser despite the taint of her name with the Benghazi scandal. I think that's true enough. This action was basically Obama flipping off the American public. But they will also keep calling the president "naive" over the way he conducts both foreign and domestic policy. Now and then, we'll hear someone mention the fact that Obama is following the Saul Alinsky playbook, but for the most part, they just can't seem to wrap their minds around the idea that Obama's behavior is anything more than incompetence.

I have said it before and I will continue to say it. Obama knows EXACTLY and PRECISELY what he is doing. Everything his Administration does is done on purpose. They simply do not CARE what the American public thinks. They do not care what the media think, although by and large the media have been star-struck worshipping acolytes and propagandists for anything Barack Obama does. Congressman James McDermott's remarks this week were shameful defending the Administration's behavior over the IRS scandal, but that's typical McDermott. Some liberals are waking up to the implications of the IRS getting sicced on folks because of their political beliefs. Some have called Obama "Nixonian" because of the way he goes after those who oppose him. Very true.

But he is not acting as he is acting out of ignorance or ideological naivete. He is purposefully out to create as much havoc in this society as he possibly can, and to do all he can to wreck as much of the American system as it stands as possible. All par for the course for a hardcore leftist who used to teach "community organizing" and the Alinsky method to do that very thing. Obama wants chaos and havoc. He wants a systemic collapse so nothing can stand in the way of the little socialist Utopia his ilk think will solve the world's problems.

And even that gives these folks the benefit of the doubt that they have a "good" aim in mind even though misguided. I tend to think (and knowing the fallen nature of man and man's hunger for domination) that these folks are doing what they're doing for no other reason than gaining power. Power over everyone's lives, beliefs, actions, income, job choices, health care, family governance, everything. They arrogantly think they know best. They know better than anyone else, and they will brook no opposition.

Some think people—even some in the mainstream media—are finally waking up. I hope so, but I'll believe it when I see it. My cynicism is off the charts.