Since posting “Choices”, I’ve been pondering the nature of repentance, particularly since with every election, Christians renew the call for America to repent. Asked to elaborate, most cite abortion and homosexuality as their primary complaints. War, divorce, removing prayer from schools, and pornography are also cited, though typically with less revulsion than is reserved for abortion and homosexuality.
How I wish I could claim I’ve never been caught up in one of Christianity’s campaigns to stamp out sin in the world. Frankly, the world has every right to sin; a right granted by the Father. But when has scripture – the Word of Truth – ever stopped a religious person who was hell bent on doing a vain religious work? Certainly scripture never stopped me when I was headstrong to carry out some self-righteous work “for God”.
Let the one who does what is evil continue to do what is evil. Let the filthy person continue to be filthy. Let the righteous person continue to do what is right. And let the holy person continue to be holy.” (Revelation 22:11 ISV)
The operative words above? “Let them.” Regretfully, my youthful zeal was easily exploited by those who rail against sin and one day I found myself Continue reading
Every 4 years, the people elect a new king. Christians, Evangelicals in particular, look for their candidate to be a kind of King David archetype. Then there’s the neo-Apostolic-Prophetic camp and their so-called words of “prophecy” proclaiming God’s “anointed” choice, who will help stem the tide of sin, usher in revival and restore America to its constitutional and (ahem) Biblical roots. Often such “prophecies” carry with them a broad call for America to repent, for which “prayer warriors” and “intercessors” labor in prayer, while hedonistic Americans go right on living as if there were no God at all.
As often as America has managed instead to elect a King Saul rather than a King David, I see little point in voting for a man or woman to rule over the people. Certainly in my lifetime, every president has been a disappointment insofar as bringing peace and advancing the Kingdom of God is concerned. And yet every 4 years, regardless how poor the choices, Christians clamor to vote, admonishing one another to ignore the candidate and vote the issues or party platform, all the while claiming it is a Christian’s civic duty to vote. Frankly, I bristle at the notion that choosing between the “lesser of 2 evils” is my civic duty.
So what does scripture have to say about the matter? Continue reading
There’s this vague recollection I have of a comedy skit where Adam is in the garden with God and names the animals. The Adam character is a trifle lazy and, as memory serves, hillbilly-ish. In between laughs from the audience, Adam makes quick work of naming the animals; e.g., all birds are “flappers”, fish are “swimmers”, waterfowl are “paddlers”, and so on. I half expected God to point out that waterfowl are both paddlers and flappers, but He must have figured hillbilly Adam couldn’t handle such profound revelation. I thought maybe it was a scene from the musical comedy “Cotton Patch Gospel” but Adam wasn’t a character in that one. Anyhow, the way my mind works, I can’t help but remember that skit and chuckle to myself whenever I read the account of creation in Genesis.
Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field… (Genesis 2:19-20 ESV)
It’s one of many passages in scripture that leads me to Continue reading
Walking with the Spirit leads to revelation of the sort that exposes our fears and religious ideas. It startles me just how few words spoken by the Spirit have the power to throw down temples made by men and reduce them to rubble. Yet long after my own temple to man’s religious system was destroyed in my sight, there remain a number of buttresses and other fortifications within me that stand in opposition to the Spirit and Truth. As He pummels yet another of my religious relics, I’m reminded once more of Yeshua’s declaration in Matthew 24:2 “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Whether the physical temple in Jerusalem, or the ideological temples and high places within our minds and hearts, I believe He intends to throw them all down to ruin, that His Spirit and Truth would reign supreme.
It was in laying hands on my wife for healing from chronic leg pain and praying “… in Your name …” that He pummeled another of my religious notions, saying:
“You heal her.”
Say what?!? I have no power to heal anyone! Or do I?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with a separatist mind set in some things – me from Yeshua. Or perhaps I should say, there are ways in which I own the truth of being IN Him, and ways that I see myself as separate from Him. For example, with regard to salvation, I am IN Yeshua without a doubt. Where it comes to healing however, I often see myself on the outside, looking in. Thus on the one hand, I identify as a son of of the Most High; while on the other, my self view is that of a beggar. Continue reading
Not every post has to be a theological masterpiece (not that I’ve ever written one – masterpiece, that is). Nor some nugget of revelation gleaned from examining a scripture for the umpteenth time or an in depth word study of the original Hebrew or Greek texts. Sometimes, I like to simply let my mind wander – well, a lot really, but then responsibility calls or I pick up on the frustration in Karen’s voice when she asks me a question for the 3rd time.
“Uh, sorry, honey. You married a ponderer and dreamer. Remember, it’s that ability of mine to shut out all else and lay hold of the creative Spirit of God that lets me write songs like the one I sang for our wedding. Remember that? Should I sing it for you? What? What salad dressing do I want? Um, oh, uh, blue cheese, of course. No, wait, how about Tuscan Italian for a change. Thanks, hon!”
What an amazing woman she is; a Proverbs 31 wife through and through.
“Huh? What? What do I want to drink? Hmmm … how ‘bout a small glass of milk. Thanks, babe!”
Retirement is still new to us after 3 years. No longer driven by a list of responsibilities, schedules and appointments, busyness still consumes us at times. As first born children we were both proxy parents since the moment we Continue reading
A year ago, the Lord gave me and the misses a funny lesson about the power of personality. The small country church we attended for several months wanted to revive a helps ministry known as “Community Angels”. The woman spearheading the effort was bubbly and enthusiastic about it and my wife responded with excitement in kind. They met and discussed ideas, eventually coming up with a framework for the ministry and a presentation for the congregation to kick it all off.
The first sign of trouble came when the pastor suggested a change to the presentation; specifically from “What is your God assignment?” to “What is your passion?” The women bristled at the pastor’s suggestion – after all they’re both mature believers who’d prayed and talked at length about this ministry they would found and manage. When the women resisted his suggestion, the pastor tried to pull rank and direct them to change their presentation. The word-smithing tug-of-war went on via email and phone for a day and a half.
Finally my wife told him “Look, I’m passionate about Continue reading
I’ve had enough.
Television lost its appeal years ago when I began to recognize the repetitive and predictable story lines. Canned laugh tracks, musical crescendos and commercial interruptions timed to stimulate viewer excitement, annoyed me even more. And the news programs so obviously crafted to influence my thoughts and monopolize my attention, grieve me deeply. What little news I do get, is from the internet. But the agendas of news web sites are no different than broadcast news.
Not long ago, I read this:
Cable news is a cancer. It is not even news anymore. Whether it’s CNN … FOX, or MSNBC, there is almost no news. The programming is primarily designed to keep you angry and outraged and self-righteous. Cable news also manufactures an alternate reality that doesn’t exist out here in the real world — it’s a propaganda machine designed to influence opinion-makers and most especially lawmakers … Living in the cable news ecosystem completely skews your perspective away from reality and what actually matters — like jobs and security. (LINK)