Friday, March 26, 2021

They're Coming for Oral Roberts University, and that Means They Are Coming for You, Too


Will Christian colleges survive? Will colleges and universities that hold to historical biblical definitions of gender and sexuality and marriage be forced into the academic wilderness? What about American collegiate sports? Will conservative Christian schools be ruled out of bounds?

These are real and urgent questions. Christians in the United States now face the reality that open hostility to our convictions is now leading to public calls for Christian colleges and schools to be marginalized and excluded from organizations such as the NCAA. . . .

Make no mistake, this may be about Oral Roberts University today, but the same will be said about you and your school, your church, and your organization tomorrow. You can count on it. All the scare words in this article, about bigotry and phobia and regressive sexist policies and fundamentalist morality and “wildly out of line with modern society and the basic values of human decency,” will soon be directed at any Christian institution that dares to defy the new moral order.

Read the entire article by Albert Mohler here.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Do Not Surrender, and Do Not Pivot!

 

This legislation would massively change our moral landscape and silence people of faith who do not agree with the secular values of the Left. But more than muzzling us, they want to force us to pivot—to change direction—instead of trusting God and standing on His Word. If we begin compromising on basic Biblical truths, it will lead to the end of Christianity in this country. We cannot surrender on our watch. We must not remain silent.

The Apostle Paul faced significant opposition and criticism while he ministered in the city of Corinth. The resistance could not stop him, however, and he continued sharing the Word of God. The Bible says many Corinthians heard the Gospel, believed, and were baptized. During that time, the Lord spoke to him, saying, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you” (Acts 18:9–10, ESV).

In difficult days, we must remember God promised He would always be with His people—those who believe in Him, according to the Scriptures, repent of their sins, receive Him into their lives, and follow Him in obedience. As our country continues to turn further away from God and the Bible, followers of Jesus must work to preserve His truth for future generations.

Read the entire article by Franklin Graham here.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Sweeping Madness


The following is my newspaper column for the week of March 21, 2021 . . .

“Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22 HCSB).

Perhaps no statement better describes our elite culture.


Rev. Franklin Graham warns, “Madness is sweeping our country. I am referring to the ever-widening spread of what has been dubbed cancel culture, the suppression and intolerance of people whose viewpoints differ from what our godless society has deemed fitting and appropriate. Not surprisingly, the overwhelmingly left-wing cancel culture has aimed its most vicious verbal darts squarely at Christians who hold a Biblical worldview founded on the authority of God’s uncompromising Word.”

Here's one recent example. A private, Episcopal, New York K-12 school released a 12-page “inclusive language” guide, recommending students stop using such potentially-insensitive terms like “mom,” “dad,” “parents,” and “traditional family.” Teachers likewise are not to address students as “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen,” but instead “friends,” “readers,” or “mathematicians.”

Yet another case in the downward spiral of abandoning reason, logic, and truth for feelings, irrationality, and the intolerant “woke” Left.

General Michael Flynn writes in his recent article, 5 Lessons I Learned when the Deep State Came after Me and My Family, “There is a reason why the forces of darkness are trying so hard to eradicate the family as we know it. They see how powerful the bond of family can be, so they want to redefine it, water it down and replace it with a dependency on the state. . . . Do not think of the fight to protect our families as distinct from our fight to save America. The fight to protect the family is the cornerstone of our fight to save America.”

As I write, the House of Representatives recently passed, by a narrow margin, a dangerous piece of legislation called The Equality Act. The name deceives. For decades, the outer-fringe proponents of the sexual revolution said, “Please just accept non-traditional forms of sexual choices and we can all get along.” What we see today is the “get along” means submit to an alternative way of thinking. Don’t even dare admit you agree with the view of sexuality held by most of history and every major world religion prior to the last few decades.

Scott Powell shares, “The Equality Act would override our Constitution and tear down a number of norms that are essential for the majority of our society and its institutions to function reasonably well. Fundamental First Amendment rights, such as the rights of free speech and individual conscience that have been the cornerstone and bedrock of our country and its people, would be overridden and forced underground with the passage of the Equality Act”(The Equality Act: The Next Step for the Cancel Culture?).

Just a few of the implications of this act: the government could force their positions of sexual orientation and gender identity on schools, churches, and healthcare organizations, threatening freedom of speech in everyday communication. Schools could be forced to teach that sex is not established by biology but a person’s choice. People would be forced to pretend some biological males are actually females.

Religious organizations could be stripped of their right to hire people who share their faith and values. Colleges and universities could lose their accreditation – and students not allowed to receive federal grants and loans – to schools that do not submit to the new “collective identity.” Medical professionals and hospitals could be forced to deliver treatments with which they fundamentally disagree – and hold back wisdom and advice they actually do believe. And, anyone or group who does not submit could be punished by the new Leftist government. (Remember Star Trek’s the Borg? “Resistance is futile.”)

Our Founders built “the structures and functioning of government on natural law. Law used to be thought of as a civilizing force to protect society. Now with society becoming increasingly unmoored from its moral heritage, new laws have focused more on new-found minority rights and less on protective obligations to the majority. And it seems with this unmooring, the legislative and legal agenda has been more driven by emotional appeal and experimentation than in circumspection more common in prior times. . . . As a result, if laws like the Equality Act come into being, they create uncertainty and unrest by undercutting long-held fundamental norms. What should also be clear is that when law requires the transformation of the peoples’ moral norms, it brings on mass confusion and social psychological dysphoria, which weakens society and even erodes the underpinnings of civilized behavior. Cancel culture has already done enough harm.”


We live in dangerous days with alarming ideas and hazardous leaders.

We need Gideons and Deborahs to arise, people of truth, conviction, compassion, and courage. We need people like Winston Churchill, George Washington, William Wilberforce, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and King David.

Again, Flynn writes, “America needs fighters today. We need those who will say as President Andrew Jackson did, ‘I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me.’

We need those who will stand against failed Marxist ideologies that have invaded the mainstream of our consciousness like a network of choking vines seeking to strangle the mighty American oak tree.”

 

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

 

Why Biden’s Blaming Trump for Border Crisis Has Zero Credibility

 "After just one month, Customs and Border Protection encounters ballooned to more than 100,000, the number of unaccompanied children has risen to 16,500 and continues to climb.

Three convention centers are opening to house those children because the Department of Health and Human Services cannot find enough sponsors for them. The secretary of homeland security has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist at the border and activated his own agency’s Volunteer Force to go to the border.

In perhaps the most desperate sign of the crisis, the Border Patrol in Texas is no longer issuing court dates to illegal aliens because it takes too long to complete the paperwork, and it simply needs to process individuals quicker. That’s a truly astonishing development.

This week, the president appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to oversee this crisis. Her appointment and the attempt to blame former President Donald Trump are tacit admissions that they have a crisis on their hands, but Americans know the blame lies squarely at Biden’s feet."

Read the entire article by Chad Wolf here at The Daily Signal.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Get the Facts

 

"Get the facts at any price, and hold on tightly to all the good sense you can get" (Proverbs 23:23 TLB).

We live in a day characterized by much disinformation. In recent years, many Americans realized we cannot take much of the mainstream media at face value. Wise citizens are learning to do their own research, network with other citizens, and find facts that traditional sources of information may not reveal.

Want to hear some facts about the COVID-19 virus and related machinations of powerful people that the mainstream media won't report?

Listen to Thrive Time media's Clay Clark here. Watch out - he shares lots of startling pieces of information and then starts sharing from the book of Ephesians and Revelation as they relate to current events.

Watch the interview with Clay here.

Don't be deceived. Liberty is at stake.

It's not time for skinny jeans and fog machines Christianity. It's time for some Daniels, Esthers, Gideons, and Rahabs to arise.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Coaching Cinderella: Meet Oral Roberts’s Paul Mills

 

This year’s favorite March Madness underdog is a Christian college in Tulsa, Oklahoma, named for Pentecostal evangelist Oral Roberts. But while Roberts preached prosperity theology, the coach leading his school’s winning basketball team does not.

Head coach Paul Mills tweets Spurgeon quotes, has a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, and says that hearing the Bible misused—especially in sports, where winning is often connected to God’s blessings—makes him “go bonkers.”

TGC asked him about Big God theology, growing up poor, why he took a job at Baylor months after one player murdered another, and more.

Read the entire article by Sarah Zylstra at The Gospel Coalition here.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Monday, March 22, 2021

The American People vs. The Democratic Machine

 

Earlier this week, I wrote about how Congressional Democrats in Arizona (and other politically mixed states) are going to have to make a choice about whether they will serve the people they represent – or the Democratic Machine that’s running Washington.


Specifically, I was pointing out provisions in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s H.R. 1 which are deeply opposed by most Arizonans. The bill is largely geared toward keeping Democratic politicians in power (and their allies well paid) in perpetuity – despite the will of the American people.

This got me thinking more deeply about how the American people as a whole feel about the broader agenda of the Democratic Machine – which is largely being hidden behind slickly named legislation and a complicit national news media that benefits more from helping the machine than informing the American people.

Read the entire article here by Newt Gingrich.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Gen. Flynn: 5 Lessons I Learned When the Deep State Came After Me and My Family


You do not have to watch the news for long to see that America is rapidly changing. The downward slide can be found not only in our leadership but also in the shifting definitions of right and wrong blindly accepted by many Americans today.

Our leaders would have us believe that these changing values are inevitable and that they are good. That is why they are called “progressive.”

Yet to those of us who still believe in the immortal truths upon which America was founded, their so-called “progress” is alarming, to say the least.

Read the entire article by Gen. Flynn here at The Western Journal.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Saturday, March 20, 2021

A SIMPLE WAY TO PRAY FOR PASTORS BEFORE WORSHIP THIS WEEKEND

 

Chuck Lawless offers 5 ways to pray for your pastors this weekend:


One of the most important things we can do for our pastors is pray for them, especially as they prepare to proclaim the Word. Use these Bible texts to pray today for pastors—particularly, for your shepherd—in preparation for worship this weekend:

1. Pray they will stand before God’s people with a pure heart.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:12  For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly wisdom but by God’s grace.

2. Pray they will speak the gospel boldly.

  • Ephesians 6:20b  Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Friday, March 19, 2021

The Equality Act: The Next Step for the Cancel Culture?

 

"The Equality Act would override our Constitution and tear down a number of norms that are essential for the majority of our society and its institutions to function reasonably well. Fundamental First Amendment rights, such as the rights of free speech and individual conscience that have been the cornerstone and bedrock of our country and its people, would be overridden and forced underground with the passage of the Equality Act.

As it is currently written, the Equality Act could designate any place that the public gathers, such as schools, healthcare organizations, private establishments and perhaps even churches as “public accommodations.”

Any such institution that is a public accommodation could be forced to accept the government’s positions and mandates about sexual orientation and gender identity. This would be highly invasive and wide-ranging, nullifying people’s First Amendment rights and threatening every day speech and parental rights, and even resulting in people being fined or losing their jobs for using the wrong name or pronoun."

Read the entire article by Scott Powell here at The Epoch Times.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Woke Left Dismantles Free Speech

 

America is moving closer daily to a totalitarian state.

Historically, the Left always suppresses free speech, pushing for one thought, opinion, and, as Orwell said, the collective identity.

Today, in America the Left largely controls public universities, mainstream news mediums, Hollywood, and the District of Columbia. Next to no dissent to Leftist views and values are tolerated in these arenas.

Mike Lindell of My Pillow has recently experienced massive retaliation from Left-leaning companies for one reason: he believes the 2020 election was massively fraudulent – and he’s not afraid to speak out publicly about the corruption.

Another example: Disney/Lucasfilm removed Actress Gina Carano last week from ‘The Mandalorian’ series following an Instagram post. She accused the “cancel culture” movement of using similar tactics to Germany Nazis when they began teaching people to hate Jews because they were different. Today, there’s an obsessive movement to vilify conservative people of a particular political persuasion. She previously criticized Democratic leaders’ COVID-19 policies, and this was the excuse needed to get rid of her.

Dennis Prager explains cancel culture: “the silencing and firing of anyone who publicly dissents from the left, and even ‘publicly’ is no longer necessary. The National Association of Realtors has just announced that if you express dissenting views in private, you may be fined and lose your membership in the organization — which effectively ends your career as a realtor.”


Conservatives do not silence dissent or debate. Classic liberals value differing viewpoints. But today, leftists – not classic liberals or conservatives – control the Democratic Party and are voraciously trying to hijack America.

Grassroots Americans are suddenly finding new ways to learn information. We are seeking out alternatives to the mainstream outlets, which are largely indoctrination tools of the Left. Independent sources like OANN, Gateway Pundit, The Epoch Times, The Geller Report, Newsmax, American Greatness, and others offer alternative views. However, Big Tech mind-control companies are hard at work with their “fact-checkers” (another word for censorship) to stifle and prohibit these independent voices.

Again, Prager writes, “Leftism is venerated by intellectuals. But there is little intellectual substance to leftism. It is a combination of doctrine and emotion. The proof? Those with intellectual depth do not stifle dissent; they welcome it. Now you know why the left suppresses free speech: because they have to. If there is free speech, there is dissent. And if there is dissent, there is no more left.”

Tony Perkins says, “Most Americans had no idea how bad it was until last year when Black Lives Matter was burning our cities to the ground, and how did Amazon and Pepsi respond? By sending the organization huge checks. But it wasn't just the money that bothered conservatives, it was the moralizing.”

Justin Danhof, general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy and Research, echoes this thought. "That's what a lot of Americans found so unpalatable -- that... these godless, soulless corporations like Disney and Apple are trying to dictate morality here in the United States by saying that this is a white supremacist nation, that our institutions are founded on white supremacy, that we all must bend our knees to Black Lives Matter." Then, in the same breath, these same CEOs turn around and do business with communist China. Suddenly, they don't care about racial justice. They don't mind that slave laborers from nearby concentration camps are stitching together their Nikes. It's a culture of corruption, and it's oozing hypocrisy.

In the 1930’s, part of Adolf Hitler’s strategy was to discredit the church and then control them. He knew he could not accomplish his agenda without suppressing the church’s voice. Nazis slowly and intentionally worked to make the church leaders afraid to speak against them. By the time Hitler’s agenda was in full-force, most churchmen fell silent. By the 1940’s, few clergy were willing to oppose the Third Reich. A handful did like Dietrich Bonhoeffer – and they paid for it with their lives.

Today, pastors and Christians need to stay alert. Instead of not speaking about politics and the government because it might “hurt our Gospel witness,” we are wise to engage the public square. If not, preaching the Gospel and calling people to repentance and faith will soon be labeled as hate speech and punishable by the Leftist government.

Arnn warns, “Totalitarianism will never win in the end—but it can win long
enough to destroy a civilization. That is what is ultimately at stake in the fight we are in. We can see today the totalitarian impulse among powerful forces in our politics and culture.”

Pray. Love your neighbor. Speak up. Speak out.

Resist the Left’s cultural narrative. If we don’t, we may lose the window of opportunity for good.


Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Here’s The Full List Of Every Lie Joe Biden Has Told As President

 

As President Joe Biden assumes the Oval Office, The Federalist will continue its rigorous coverage of the new White House, keeping the administration accountable with substantive fact-checking throughout Biden’s tenure.

When Trump implemented a travel ban on China in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic,
then-candidate Joe Biden railed against the executive action as “xenophobic” claiming such restrictions do not work.

Less than a year later, Biden has implemented his own travel bans on South Africa, Brazil, Great Britain, and 26 other European countries in the second week of his presidency.

Read the entire article here by The Federalist Staff.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

When the Lord Speaks Softly

Here's a great word from InTouch Ministries . . .

As a child, I often opened my Bible to the Old Testament. I wanted to read the stories of adventure and violence and greatness that weave through its pages. And I would linger where God chose to speak with His people—when His voice manifested to Moses in various ways—the bush, the pillar, on Mount Sinai (Ex. 3:1-6Ex. 13:21Ex. 19:18). Then at the foot of the mountain, Moses spoke and “God answered him with thunder” (Ex. 19:19). I’d pause to consider Job, who met God in a whirlwind and from a storm (Job 38:1Job 40:6).

As an adult, I am drawn to the calmer experiences of God. The stories that bring me comfort are the ones that demonstrate He’s an understanding God—such as when He came to Gideon in a time of war and said He’d deliver Israel. Even after Gideon tested Him over and over with fleece and water, God said, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” Even so, Gideon responded, “Why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:12-13). I like knowing that I can doubt as much as he did, and that God can have the same amount of patience with me.


Which brings me to Thomas. Though his fellow disciples had come to him rejoicing and saying, “We have seen the Lord!” Thomas replied, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:24-25). But when they were finally together a week later, Jesus greeted the room and then said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:26-27). Even though Jesus subsequently corrected him—saying, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed” (John 20:29)—I still marvel at the Lord’s empathetic response. He willingly exposed His wounds to Thomas, though He did not need to. I’ve lost count of all the moments over the years when I required more evidence from God. I’ve lost count of how many times I hoped to hear from Him—a simple word of comfort or assurance of His presence—though He appeared to remain silent.

Read the entire article by Aline Mello here.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Where Do We Go from Here? - Dutch Sheets

 


In today's podcast, Dutch gives his response to the recent 2020 elections. He answers some of the questions we are all thinking about and gives his honest and thoughtful responses.


Letter going out in the mail to KOHLS

 

Dear Kohls,

Regrettably, I am discontinuing use of my Kohls credit card and stopping my money going to your store. I have shopped at Kohls for more than 15 years, spending thousands of dollars through the years.

However, I was deeply disappointed by your company recently choosing to stop selling Mike Lindell’s My Pillow products – all because you disagree with his political stance. America is rooted in freedom – the freedom to believe according to your convictions, speak freely and share your ideas – even if they disagree with your neighbor’s.

You all have now joined the “cancel culture” movement, and I will not support it.

If you choose to reverse your decision and stop censoring certain people, I will consider coming back to Kohls. I will encourage others to boycott your store until you change your policy.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

President Joe's Reign of Divided We Stand Begins

 



Biden signed 17 executive orders on Wednesday and another 10 on Thursday. If they're not reversed by Congress or the courts, they are sure to hurt America and its people.

They will kill thousands of energy jobs in the Heartland, reopen our borders to waves of illegal immigrants and again subject us to the rules of the incompetent and corrupt World Health Organization (WHO) and harmful international agreements like the Paris (Climate) Agreement.

By his edicts on Wednesday, Biden immediately showed that when it comes to fostering national unity and building American back better, he's all talk and no walk.

Biden Logic is, to put it mildly, more like Biden Madness.

Read the entire article here by Michael Reagan at Newxmax.




Jonathan Cahn: Prophetic Message to Joe Biden!


 

Jonathan Cahn’s prophetic message and warning to Joe Biden 

and America re: the Presidential Inauguration 2020


Monday, January 25, 2021

Male Transjacking Will Ultimately End Women’s Sports

 

In 2016, Therese Johaug, a Norwegian three-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion, received an 18-month suspension from the sport she loved after it was discovered that the team-approved lip balm she was using to treat her badly sunburned lips contained a performance-enhancing steroid.

A devastated Johaug lamented, “I feel I did everything right. I went to an expert who gave me the ointment, and I asked him if the cream was on a doping list. The answer I got was ‘no.’”

But the powers that be were undeterred from their well-established hard line of fairness, and Johaug was forced to watch the 2018 winter Olympics from the sidelines.

Read the entire article here by Kaeley Triller at The Federalist.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


The CIA Has Become the KGB

 

The latest revelations from the Intelligence Community’s Analytic Ombudsman described in a memo from DNI John Ratcliffe is beyond shocking. Rather than tell the truth about Chinese interference in the 2020 Presidential election, the CIA opted to quash intelligence that would have proven Donald Trump’s claim that the Chinese not only interfered in the 2020 election, but played a hand in throwing the election to Joe Biden. . . .


Let me make this very simple–the CIA cooked the books because they did not want to produce the evidence that proved what the President has been saying since the election was true.

This is not a mistake. This is treason of the highest order.

Read the entire article here by Larry Johnson at The Gateway Pundit.


Picture used by permission from Pixabay.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

America on Life Support?


The following is my column in The Clinton Chronicle for Wednesday, January 20, 2021.


America, as the land of the free, may be on life support.


The propaganda is incredulous. The maneuvering better than any legal-thriller novel. The deception rampant.


Some Patriots exist, those who love America, understanding her historical greatness and the principles which work for liberty. One of those is Congressman Jeff Duncan. Several years ago, my family and I stood with Jeff on the Speaker’s Balcony at the Capitol Building, enjoying the city’s sites. We prayed with him in the George Washington prayer room. This past week, I’ve been exceptionally proud of his presence in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Before the breaching of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, which was a disgrace to our country – and wreaks of a planned set-up, Jeff was defending our Constitutional rights around 1:20pm: “Illegal ballots should not be counted and, therefore, the resulting electoral votes should be considered invalid. And what bothers me - is that so many of you are ok with that - that so many Americans, because ‘their person’ won, are ok with the manner in which that victory was gained!”

Later that day and the next, he, like every Republican Congressperson, unequivocally condemned the day’s violence: “[D]estructive protests that disrespect law enforcement are never the answer – that’s not how we should express ourselves.”

The events surrounding that week played out like a few chapters of a George Orwell novel. Through a series of lies, the Left immediately began spinning the narrative, like blaming the President and his rally for the very few people who invaded the Capitol Building (compared to the several hundred thousand of peaceful, happy protestors – some from Laurens County).

The next day, more than one video surfaced of Capitol policemen calmly removing barriers, opening doors, and welcoming these “rioters” in – many who walked through in a single file line. Like most acts of  violence, though, a few wackos in the crowd paint a bad picture of everyone. Even Democratic Congressman James Clyborn of South Carolina’s 6th district indicated people on the inside of the Capitol were complicit in getting them inside.

Then, the Left unleashed a tsunami of censorship through politicians and their comrades – the Big Tech 5 companies. Dennis Prager writes, “Like the Nazi regime after the Reichstag fire, the left immediately moved to further curtail civil liberties, specifically conservatives’ ability to promote their ideas. Twitter and Amazon made it impossible for the alternative to Twitter, Parler, to exist, all in the name of preventing another right-wing ‘insurrection.’ ”

Cal Thomas commented, “In another display of the double standard, the two social media giants still allow the Iranian leadership and people associated with the Chinese Communist Party to maintain their accounts.”


Again, Duncan said, “It’s clear what’s happening. This isn’t about violence, incitement, ‘fact-checking,’ or the big tech employees who define those terms and the degrees of those terms. It is about complete and utter control. It’s about stifling free speech and canceling conservatives. It’s about shutting people up like President Trump and others that disagree with the radical left-wing ideology and its dangers to our Republic.”

Then, Democratic Congressmen foolishly began discussing ousting any Republican who questioned the election’s integrity. Again, Duncan said, “A loud minority have called me seditious and a traitor to my country. They have suggested that I and some of my colleagues should be expelled from Congress for signing two amicus briefs in support of election integrity and for voting to object to electors. These accusations are revolting, politically motivated, and frankly, don’t even make sense. I am following a constitutionally prescribed process as a Member of the House of Representatives that Democrats have utilized the last three times a Republican president has been elected (2000, 2004, 2016).”

A large portion of this country believes the 2020 Presidential Election was a masterfully-organized criminal coup. A recent poll even said 30% of Democrats believe the election included fraud. To stifle the ability of conservatives to speak their mind on the matters will only make matters worse. When someone gags you, it only makes you want to kick and fight.

When I was a boy, a common phrase in American life was, “I may not agree with  you at all, but I will fight for your right to say what you believe.” That idea is a bedrock of American liberty, and it is seldom heard today. Without it, we will go down the road of Marxism and Communism, which leads to death.

The current Democratic-elite leadership may be the most dangerous group to acquire power in recent American history. Joe Biden is already calling for unity. However, unity requires an essential component: truth.


Monday, January 18, 2021

Flawed Heroes

 

History is full of flawed heroes, jars of clay – not of porcelain – who though blemished held great treasure.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day always awakens conflicting emotions within me. Granted, as a white male from the American South, that demographic alone would cause some people to immediately ignore my opinion related to MLK.

However, I don’t consider myself a racist. I believe God created everyone in His image. All races descended originally from one race through the bloodline of Noah. Racial, ethnic, and social diversity is one way God displays various aspects of his amazing grace.

My best friend in seminary was a black man – a former drug dealer turned to Christian preacher-evangelist. I invited him to preach in three different churches where I worked. The best neighbors I had in my life were a wonderful black couple in Laurens, SC. My wife and I enjoyed many summer evenings sitting on their back porch years ago.


A Mixed Bag

But Martin Luther King, Jr., causes conflicted responses.

Positively, who can deny he was a powerful force against the evil of racism in America? He and another son of the South – Billy Graham – stood against segregation and the ignorance of hating someone because of the color of their skin. And they both confessed the Lord Jesus Christ and preached from the Christian Bible.

Who cannot be stirred by the historic “I Have a Dream” speech that challenged people to see all people as being made in the image of God? A few years ago I took my family to the Civil Rights National Monument l in Birmingham, Alabama, to view the statues mindful of key figures in the Civil Rights movement. Thankfully, we live in a day when a black man can rise from obscurity and become the President of the United States.

Those are all things to be celebrated enthusiastically.

However, MLK was no spotless hero. Several aspects of his tainted legacy bother me. History records he habitually was unfaithful sexually to his wife. Known for his girlfriends and mistresses, this was not a man of God who practiced great self-control in the area of his sex drive. 

Old FBI documents released by President Donald Trump in 2017 reveal some extremely dark sides to MLK, including his penchant for orgies.

Yes, I understand some of the FBI files could have an over-arching agenda to discredit him. However, somewhat like Bill Clinton’s private life, MLK’s sexual promiscuity is well-known.

On another note, The King Papers, which reveal many of his inner-thoughts on theology and other matters, reveal a very unorthodox King: denying the virgin birth, questioning the veracity of the Scriptures, and holding some troubling views of the atonement, just to name a few.

Socially and politically, MLK was much more a socialist than a capitalist. Some would argue his theories resembled Communism more than democracy. For years he was on the FBI’s list of people with links to Communists.

Yet, no doubt, he is a towering figure in history. The annals of time contain numerous flawed heroes – biblical Abraham, Samson, and David, Martin Luther of the Reformation, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, and today, Donald Trump.

Yet some of the same voices who hail MLK as a worthy figure to be celebrated are the same ones who claim that Donald Trump is "evil" and should be rejected because of his past immoral sexual ethics. Or they are the same ones to embrace the removal of a statue or memorial to someone like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or Robert E. Lee because of their links to slavery.

Black and White

One vice of the Left is to paint people in broad black and white strokes. If they can find one flaw that goes against a leftist value, they attempt to make the media perceive the person as “all bad” or “evil.” This is a political tactic used with great success when trying to discredit an opponent.

Today, if something is dug up that was less-than-ideal from someone’s past three or four decades ago, a frenzied scurry begins to paint the entire persona as “bad.” The MeToo movement has used this tactic in some cases.

However, the real world is not that black and white. People are flawed with a combination of honorable and less than honorable characteristics. A society fueled by revenge or justice will eventually have no one left standing. All of the memorial statues will eventually be removed because no human can live up to a perfect standard.

A society oiled with grace, however, understands that we can learn from our flawed heroes. We can even celebrate them, remembering the good things about their legacies without embracing or excusing the bad.

I believe President Donald Trump is one such flawed hero. Like the Old Testament judge Samson, who had deep blemishes yet was raised up by God to help his people at a specific point in time, so I believe Trump was sovereignly exalted in a troubled time in our nation.

As author Eric Metaxsas has so eloquently stated, Donald Trump arose in American history not to be her savior, but to keep her from falling off of the cliff of no return.

Is Trump flawed? Yes. Should he be painted as completely evil and unworthy of respect and celebration? No more than Martin Luther King, Jr. and the aforementioned list.

We can celebrate the great accomplishments of a person, learn from their achievements, mistakes, and failures, without embracing all of the dark aspects of their life.

Wisdom allows us to remember with grace.


Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Out with the Old, In with the New!

 

We bought the television from Kmart in Taylors in 1988. Long before flat screens or digital technology, this set included the turn knobs and required the antenna wires to be wrapped around the screws on the back of the tv. I watched many a show on that set while I lived at home. My mother – not one to be abreast of the latest technology – just got rid of this set one month ago. I surprised her with a new flat-screen television in early December, and we unplugged the old set that served our family for thirty years. I left the set at the dump to be released into 1980’s household electronics after-life.

Moving into another year involves letting go of old things and embracing some new ones. For me, the first couple of week of January include getting my mind in gear as I shift from the holidays into the winter of another calendar year.
I love the sights, sounds, routines, and excesses of Christmas. And partly because of my melancholy temperament, I find my spirit somewhat deflated the week or two after Christmas as the decorations go down and the feasting turns into dieting!

I find it helpful to embrace disciplines early in January, turn my mind into preparing for a productive year, and set my spirit to seek the Lord afresh.

Here are five suggestions to help embrace a mindset of moving forward towards a successful year:

1. Make time to pray.

January offers a good time to retool my prayer life. Spend extra time in prayer and Bible meditation. Ask the Holy Spirit, Prepare my mind and spirit to walk with Jesus this year. Lead me in Your will and purposes. Let Your Word find a fresh home in my heart and your hands mold this clay as You wish.

Some Christians ask the Lord the first few weeks of January to put a word on their mind and heart for the new year. They ask, Lord, give to me a word, Scripture, or idea to be a theme for me in the coming days.

2. Make plans to grow.

I try and start my year by reading some positive instructional and motivational material. Stretch yourself with some plans to read.  By reading (or listening via digital audio resources) 30 minutes a day I can easily finish a book a week. Turn off the television and pick up some books! This week I chose five books to dig into this month:

The Power of Purpose by Michael Catt
A Resilient Life by Gordon MacDonald
On Reading Well by Karen Prior
Wilderness Wanderings by Bill Lawrence

3. Get organized.

As the decorations come down and a sense of tidiness arises, I decide afresh what in my life and family needs to be tackled organizationally. As taxes loom on the horizon, January always seems a good time to gather appropriate financial records. I loaded my Turbo Tax program on my laptop on December 29.


But, with a fresh surge of inspiration, I also ask what other areas need attention. This year I am diligently working to make sure my external hard drive backup is up-to-date. For me this includes tediously going through several saved and recovered backups from previous crashes and collecting everything I want to keep in one digital location.

This undertaking also involves deleting some of those unnecessary pictures (who really needs 30,000 pics of their family!!!) and organizing them into useful files. If I can never access them, they don’t help me.

Maybe you should work on a new system for your personal calendar, remembering birthdays of people you love, storing your addresses, planning for a family vacation, or preparing to shop in more efficient ways.

4. Review.

January offers a logical time to review some big-picture items from the previous year. I take some time to reconsider my journal entries from last year, asking the Holy Spirit to show me anything He wants me to remember.

You can ask questions like the following as you review: Are there recurring themes in my life from last year? What promises from God’s Word meant the most to you? What were your most meaningful moments with the Lord? What were you trusting God for last year? What was going on in your heart? What failures did you experience? Review any areas of neglect or disobedience. Did you let anything drop the Lord gave to you? Note any high or low points in your entries.

5. Set goals and move forward.

As you have done numbers 1-4, ask the Lord to help you set goals in various areas of life for 2019. Just like moving forward with a flat screen television meant I had to let go of the old set, we may have to let go of some things from 2018 – good and bad.

We didn't achieve every goal from last year. We made some poor choices. We have room to grow. But, we made progress in other areas and learned valuable lessons.



Where do I want to take my family this year? What books will we read as a family? What's a plan for leading some family devotions this year? How can I intentionally build into a meaningful relationship? What work skills do I need to add or improve? How can I better use my time?

As we learn from the past, let’s set our focus to learn new things from the Lord, trust Him today, and accomplish His purposes in our lives in this fresh year.

I’ve just started Michael Catt’s book The Power of PurposeIn the Introduction, he writes, “As long as God is on the throne, there is hope. . . . Whatever you are facing, look it in the face and look God in the face and ask Him what He wants you to learn. Wherever you are, it’s not an accident. God can take a setback and turn it into a stepping stone. . . . I believe hope and purpose are tired together. If I have a sense of purpose, I have hope. If I have hope, I have a sense of purpose. Purpose matters. . . . God didn’t place us here and wish us good luck. He didn’t make us in His image to be a victim of circumstances. He put us here to be overcomers.”


Pictures used by permission from Pixabay