Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Explaining the Left, Part III: Leftism as Secular Religion


Intellectual, author, lawyer, and conservative talk show host Dennis Prager understands the greatest threat to America is not conservatism nor liberalism but Leftism.

In his third part of his series, Explaining the Left, Prager explains how Leftism is actually a form of religion. He hits the nail on the head and highlights how Leftism is the antithesis of Christianity.


"Leftism’s guiding principles — notwithstanding the principles of those Christians and Jews who claim to be religious yet hold leftist views — are the antitheses of Judaism and Christianity’s guiding principles. . . .

Judaism and Christianity believe God and the Bible are to instruct us on how to live a good life and how the heart is the last place to look for moral guidance. Leftists have contempt for anyone who is guided by the Bible and its God, and substitute the heart and feelings for divine instruction.

There may be a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam, but the biggest clash of civilizations is between the West and the left."

Read the entire article here.


Also, read the first two parts of this series:





Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Trey Gowdy Shares a Great Word




U. S. Rep. Trey Gowdy speaking at Second Baptist Church, Woodway, Texas, on Augusty 14, 2018

How wonderful to have godly, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving men and women influencing
and serving our country.

May the Lord increase their number!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Remembering Mom-ee at 101


I wrote the following post in honor of my grandmother's 100th birthday in 2017 . . .

People look forward to heaven for various reasons.  No pain.  No more crying.  No more traffic jams.  No more wasps.  

One of the biggest reasons I look forward to heaven is the fact that I will once again get to spend time with Virginia Hendrix!  She was my grandmother, and we affectionately called her "Mom-ee."  To this day, she is one of the grand characters in my life, one of  my favorite people I have ever known.

She exuded grace, characterized by many of the best qualities of a charming Southern lady during her era.  

When my grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1988, I remember my mother praising her mother.  Mom told Mom-ee the quality that stood out from her life was her "joy of life."  A happy, joyous person, she brought love and joy to many people. 

Born on August 10, 1917, Virginia Gullatt lived in Columbus, Georgia.  Virginia had two sisters, Martha and Dorothy "Dot."  At age twelve, their birth mother died.  Their father eventually remarried, and they gave Virginia a half-brother named Edward.

"Ginny" fell in love with and eventually married her sweetheart, Marion Howard Hendrix, also known as "Monk."  I never heard my grandmother call him anything but "Monk."  My grandparents married in 1938, enjoying a 59-year marriage.

A devout Christian and faithful Baptist, Mom-ee had a simple but strong faith.  She believed the Bible as God's Word, she believed Jesus Christ was God and that He provided a way for her sins to be forgiven. She believed we should love, obey, and follow Jesus Christ.  She served in their churches, sang in the choir, and taught adult Sunday School classes into her eighties. Cedar Spring Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, eventually named the class after her.  She read the Bible every day, prayed for missionaries, and sang praises to God.

She loved her husband, she loved her family, and I think she probably loved every person she met.  When she was a young senior adult, she went to the nursing home every week. Stopping by the dollar store, she loaded her trunk with trinkets and small prizes, so that she could reward the seniors who played Bingo with her.

What a great cook was Mom-ee!  We still miss her fried chicken, potato salad, Christmas divinity and coconut cake.  One of my cousins dubbed her house a "snack bar."  She always had a stash of Coca-Cola, gum, and ice cream.  She often said, "Shu-gah [the south Georgia way of saying "sugar"], do you want a Co-Cola or a snack?"

She exhibited true Southern charm.  She showed hospitality.  She respected authority. Patriotic, she believed in American exceptionalism.  She gave kindness and grace.  She laughed and loved.  She loved her BBQ (sliced from Sugar and Spice drive-in), sweet tea, and banana pudding.  

She believed in traditional family values and the difference between right and wrong. She believed in a biblical worldview.  Though she lived during the turbulent time of the sexual revolution in America, she believed in a traditional view of marriage.

The Bible says that when society embraces sin and forgets truth, "they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush" (Jeremiah 6:15).  She, however, knew the fear of God, understood the reproach of sin, and practiced the need for submitting to God's Word in the paths of life.  Many times I have thought that she would blush to see in our day the loss of respect and civility, the unfiltered world of social media, and the disorientation of gender confusion when wrong is often heralded as right and what was considered shameful for millennia is now trumpeted as normative. 


The prophet Jeremiah issued a warning during a similar time:  "This is what the Lord says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.' But you said, ‘We will not walk in it’ " (6:16).  Mom-ee walked in good ways and the ancient words of the Lord, and she found rest.


As a child, I sat next to her on her couch and listened to her read and tell stories like "Goldilocks and The Three Bears" and "The Three Little Pigs."  When my head itched, she would take those strong fingernails and scratch my scalp.  


I watched her snap beans in the summer. She took the grandchildren on occasion to Hardee's to play on the old metal playground and then to K-Mart to buy some fun surprise like a Match Box car.  I remember the smell of her lotion on her hands and the smell of her hairspray.  She religiously kept her Friday morning appointment at "the beauty parlor."  She liked to have The Price is Right on while she began to get ready for lunch.  And she knew that the meal you have after church on Sunday about 12:30 was called Sunday dinner.


A woman of her times, she cooked three meals a day - no microwave or instant food. One time she laughed and said, "My husband was a wonderful man in so many ways.  But he was no help at all in the kitchen!"  And I remember how she cried and grieved the months after he died.  After his death, for several months I called her weekly.  One day she said, "Thank you so much for calling and checking on me.  It makes me feel good."

still have postcards in my files she mailed to me from the Golden Gate Bridge, the Amish Country, and Walt Disney World.  I could always count on birthday cards, and in adulthood, I always received a gift certificate or gift card from Red Lobster for Christmas or our wedding anniversary.

My wife remembers her bragging to my mother about our infant son.  Mom-ee exclaimed, "Oh, Marian, isn't he just dah-lin'!"  On his birth date, she came to the hospital, spending much of the day with us telling stories and laughing.

I pulled out my file folder titled "Mom-ee and Pa-Pa" today.  Wiping back tears falling down my face, I read old post cards and notes written in the 1980's and 1990's.  In one mailed on January 16, 1990 she wrote . . .


Will write you a note so I can get it out for the postman.  I am thinking about you and praying for you this morning - I know you are in exams and will do real good.  Also wanted to send you a little money to take on your ski trip this week. Maybe it will get you a good hamburger, fries, and a coke!

I thought about you Sunday night and know you did a great job with your solo.  Wish we could have heard it but maybe we will get to hear you another time soon.  

I went to see my blind friend a little while yesterday and took her some beans, cornbread, baked sweet potato, salmon croquettes, and fruit.  She gets so hungry for vegetables and is afraid to do any cooking much  because the smoke alarm goes off so easy in that little trailer.  I just took her some of what I had fixed for our dinner - also a bowl of chili.

 Love you, Mom-ee

I found a long one written to me when I moved back to seminary in January of 1997.  In it she wrote, 

Your mother came over to see us last Friday and brought us a good BBQ sandwich for lunch.  She's so good to call us every day and sometimes twice.  She is a precious person! Dave called us Saturday night - said it had been so cold there [Cincinnati, Ohio] too but not much snow.  I think it has been cold everywhere!

Take good care of yourself and know we are very proud of you and love you very much.

Mom-ee and Pa-Pa

Her four children and seven grandchildren were blessed because she was a part of our lives.  My wife and I gave our daughter the name "Virginia" as a middle name in honor of Mom-ee.

Her life spanned an incredible time of change.  World War I raged the year of her birth as President Woodrow Wilson led the United States.  In 1917, Albert Einstein published his first paper on cosmology.  T. S. Eliot's first collection of poems came to print. William "Buffalo Bill" Cody died.  Best-selling books of that year included Anne's House of Dreams by L. M. Montgomery, The Lost Princess of Oz by L. Frank Baum, The Sovereignty of God by Arthur Pink, and His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.


Mom-ee experienced a massive stroke in the fall of 2010.  I vividly remember hurrying to Mary Black Hospital and walking into her room that evening.  She struggled to talk to me but could not get any words out.  I wrapped my arms around her and we both just had a big cry together.

She believed in heaven.  She knew God personally through His Son.  She trusted Him for her salvation, she repented of her sins, and she invited Him personally to live in her life and be the Lord, Master, and Shepherd.

We love and miss you, Ginny.  I look forward to laughing with you again!


On my grandfather's 100th birthday, I wrote a tribute to him as well.  Click here to read My Grandfather: 100 Years Old Today.

Also, when my grandfather's sister Frances died in 2014, I wrote a tribute to her called God Will Take Care of You.  Click here to read it.


Would you like to know God personally?  Click here.



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Trusting God for the Next Step


God provided in an unusual way.  The summer following college graduation, while preparing for seminary, I worked as children’s minister.  God would challenge me in the coming years to learn to trust Him financially step by step.  He created an experience that summer to prove Himself faithful and teach me that I could trust Him to provide for my present and future needs.

Read my entire article at the Inspire a Fire blog today.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Rahab, Dagon, and Trump


Weekly I enjoy receiving David Lane's insights. The founder of The American Renewal Project, Lane reminds American Christians that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. In today's article, he shares how the Supreme Court in 1963 embraced secularism as the official religion of America . . .


Striking the keynote for all scrutiny regarding Donald Trump’s standing among Evangelicals, Winthrop Poll director Dr. Scott Huffmon said: “The fact that fewer than half of Evangelicals overall would describe Trump as ‘Godly’ or ‘Moral’ suggests that his strength with these groups comes not from modeling pious behavior, but from them viewing him as a bulwark against a culture that they feel is increasingly hostile to them."

BACKGROUND


In 1963 the secular Warren Supreme Court “made a god that was no god” by establishing Secularism as the official religion of America (Abington School District v. Schempp). The 8-1 decision “led not to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism,” as lone dissenting Justice Potter Stewart correctly foresaw.

The Obergefell vs. Hodges case in 2015 perfectly exemplifies the bane of judicial overreach, embodied by five arrogant Justices placing personal preference above existing law. The fraudulent 5-4 Supreme Court decision     was particularly insulting to social conservatives who had voted - in 31 states and by wide margins - to ban same-sex marriage.

Fraudulent is the right word to use. The legislative branch writes the laws, the executive branch signs and carries out the laws, and the judicial branch reviews them to ensure their concurrence with the Constitution. Which legislative branch passed homosexual marriage? Which executive signed the legislation? The ruling was an affront as well to the American Founders, who established the Bible as the paragon for judging society. “God will not tolerate the rebellion of men against Himself.”(1)

From the mid-20th century until today, American secularists have puffed themselves up with their paltry wisdom and false strength. The glory of a nation, however, resides in her righteousness, not in her military prowess, GDP, or intellectual elitism. Virtue is a key component of freedom. Present-day America reveals the hollow inanity of Secularism with secularists dominating education, academia, newsrooms, sports, the courts, big business, Hollywood, and medicine.

2018

President Trump may be equated with Rahab in the Book of Joshua. Although a Canaanite by birth, Rahab stood by faith for the unseen God against a pagan culture. She showed by her actions to be the mouthpiece of God. Francis Schaeffer puts Rahab’s political environment into context: “Surrounding Rahab, however, was a hostile (Deep State) … impregnable, or so its inhabitants thought … surrounded by a monolithic mentality (empowered by) a (pagan) worldview … Rahab was pressured by a powerful city and (profane) culture. … At (that exact) moment she could see nothing with her eyes which (would indicate a) fall.”(2)

The portion of Evangelical and pro-life Catholic Christians who support President Trump do so because he stands firmly against a culture that is increasingly hostile to Biblical Christianity. As one Christian said, “I didn’t elect him to be my pastor.”

The deterioration of a once Biblically-based culture is often cited as the reason that Evangelicals decided to roll the dice with Donald J. Trump in 2016. Having had a year and a half to take his measure, President Trump turns out to be a Samson, willing to do what God’s people have not done. Even Samson’s “parents did not know that this was from the LORD,” on the occasion when Samson was confronting the Philistines.(3)

Here are some of candidate Donald J. Trump’s campaign promises in 2016. (Note that President Trump has fulfilled most of them.)

• Defend Religious Liberty.

• Represent the unborn.
• Defund Planned Parenthood.
• Appoint conservative jurists to the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts.
• Reinstate the Mexico City Policy (block U.S. federal funds for abortion).
• Rescind the Johnson Amendment.
• Sign the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (2018).
• Move the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Additionally, minority unemployment is at a historical low, the economy is soaring, and ISIS is defeated. There are tax cuts for all. The Courts of Appeals and SCOTUS are being returned to interpreting the law instead of making law, policy, and new rights out of thin air [for example, Obergefell vs Hodges]. Given all this, one particular question still requires an answer from both Democrats and moderate Republicans: “Is the take down of Trump 45 more important than the success of America?”

First Samuel describes the capture of the Ark by the Philistines, and its subsequent placement in the House of Dagon, the Philistine god. While making their rounds the following morning, the Philistines discovered that Dagon had fallen on his face. They set Dagon upright. The next morning Dagon had again fallen over. This time, however, his head and hands had broken off.

God wants us to think about this. Unlike Dagon, the Living God doesn’t need an entourage following Him chanting, “You da champ, you da champ …” It is true that in God’s unending order He defends Himself and His creation. In light of that, how would the five Supreme Court Justices, who took it upon themselves to redefine marriage in 2015, hope to defend what they have created? 

Let us neither be daunted by obstacles we find on our way, nor disheartened by failures. Almighty God made a promise to His children, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”(5)

Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.

David Lane
American Renewal Project