Can a Christian Vote for Anyone?

VoteChristian

Does the Bible give us direction for whom we should vote?

Of course key here is whether or not one believes the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired, authoritative Word of God. Or is the Bible just a helpful book. Or perhaps it is a book irrelevant for life and living in our day.

The first means you prayerfully live by the Bible every day with the direction of the Holy Spirit which indwells every true Christian.

The second means you do what you want to do without real concern for what the Bible really directs.

In 1982 “under the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, in a Joint Resolution, both the United States Senate and House of Representatives declared 1983-The Year of the Bible (italics mine).”[1]

Today both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are in steep spiritual and biblical decline.

So, back to the question at hand, “can a Christian vote for anyone they choose?”

While the Bible doesn’t address America’s political system directly, it does give clear direction in this matter. So let’s see what God’s Word says.

Ephesians 5 tells us to “let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience (v6; NASB).”

What are empty words? Empty words are words spoken without belief or intent–lies. It is the case that the person has no intent upon acting on them—indeed they may do the opposite!

How do we discern whether a man’s words are empty?

It is not what a man says, that should tell us who he is, rather is past and present actions. Can a man or woman change—certainly?

An example may be useful here.

Ronald Reagan was a liberal Democrat. Not just someone who voted Democrat. He was a very active member heading committees and fighting against conservatives.

But he didn’t flip-flop all of a sudden and run for President. It was well over a decade before he ran for POTUS.

If someone has been politically active we can look at their voting record along with their rhetoric; has it been consistent?

For someone “new” to the political arena you can look at the actions in their business and who and what they have supported politically in the past.

In 2008 this country made a huge mistake by electing Obama. A secretive man—an interloper from Kenya, who was born to a Muslim father and whose stepfather was also Muslim.

A child born a Muslim leaves Islam only under the threat of death.

Even some very liberal Democrats are seeing the error of the Obama era.

But there are many Republican, RINO candidates on the “conservative” side that are more of the Washington cartel or who are interested more in their own agenda and power than righting the sinking ship of America.

This is our last chance; indeed I am not sure the train has not already left the station.

For the follower of Christ there is but one clear choice—Ted Cruz.

But who is Ted Cruz? You can see the truth here.

We have maybe one shot. Let’s not do an Obama error again.  End of an Error

 

 

[1] D. D. Edwards, Before the Final Trump ( Bloomington, IN:Crossbooks, 2010), 22.

The Christmas Sign

The Christmas Sign

The Old Testament is filled with many prophecies and miracles. These are signs God uses to show people He wants to tell them something or direct them as they travel through life; much like a One Way sign points OneWaySignthe right way.

Ultimately these Old Testament signs always point to Jesus Christ; the Messiah. The fulfillment of all these signs was itself a sign—the Christmas Sign.

An angel appeared to lowly shepherds and told them “not to be afraid.” Thus we read:

I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:10-14)

What was the sign? “a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger”? Yes that was the sign.

But the previous verse in Luke explains that this baby was God Himself come down to earth! Furthermore He was our Messiah and the Savior. Really?

Yes really! God buttressed this through the prophets and the angel who told us:

. . . an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. . . . and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Mt. 1:20-23).

Jesus himself declared:

No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man (John 3:13).

This little baby was the Creator of the Cosmos. He was the Son of God who put off His glory and came, not even as a full grown man, but a baby.

God came down in man’s most vulnerable and defenseless form; a baby. A baby born into poverty, a baby who had to grow up to manhood and face all the problems, trials, and temptations any of us do and more.

Yet throughout his entire life on earth Jesus remained perfect—without sin.

The sign wasn’t just a baby in a cow’s trough. The sign for us was this was Jesus and what He did for us.

He was beaten for us. He bore our sins for us and thus was crucified for us. They buried Jesus in a guarded, borrowed tomb; yet He rose bodily from that tomb, defeating death and the grave. He lives today—it was prophesied so.

He ascended to God the Father and sits at His right hand.

Christ also promised to return. He will return as King and Conqueror. He will return to take His Church home to Himself (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).

Jesus the Christ is the True Sign.

Follow that sign. Accept His gift bought by His blood for you by putting your trust in Him for your life and earth and your life in eternity.

Merry Christmas

Ted Cruz’ Town Hall

MyAcct-TitleMyrtle Beach NC, Nov. 14, 2015

Introductiontc_footer

The seats situated on the gym floor were full by 1:40 and by 1:55 the bleachers were full and there was SRO. The atmosphere was electric as everyone waited in anticipation of the arrival of Senator Cruz.

Our first President George Washington wrote:

Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. He then stated “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.

George WashingtoCruz & Me 2n was a statesman, not a politician; Ted Cruz is a statesman.

What is the difference? A statesman is a wise, skillful, diplomatic, constitutional leader versed in the principles or art of government.

A politician is someone who is professionally engaged in in a branch of government and whose main motive is self-advancement and whose methods are often unscrupulous. In this day and age they are partisan hacks and political prostitutes.

Ted Cruz believes in and has fought for the Constitution in Texas, as a Senator, and will continue to fight for the Constitution as President. I have watched Senator Ted Cruz closely and I have seen a man who always tells the truth. It is because his moral grounding is in God. It is a time for truth.

Cruz’s Presentation Highlights

Ted basically set out his actions his first days in office.

            ObamacareCruzSpkng1

He would first rescind all of Barack Obama’s unlawful executive orders.

He would then repeal Obamacare. Of course we have heard that promise from politicians for years without anything happening. Cruz promised that when he ran for the Senate. But Cruz has offered bills to do just that, but has no support from the hacks on both sides of the aisle to get it passed. But unlike the politicians Cruz has not relented; he fights on.

            Clean House

Senator Cruz believes “We should shrink the size and power of the federal government by every and any means possible. What does that mean? That means eliminating unnecessary or unconstitutional agencies.”

For starters Ted will eliminate five major agencies. He will “abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A Cruz Administration will appoint heads of each of those agencies whose sole charge will be to wind them down and determine whether any programs need to be preserved.”

He will also look at and eliminate many other wasteful bureaucracies.          iPhone-MakeDCListen

Immigration

Candidate Cruz also laid out the details of how he would also stop illegal immigration. He would build a wall that works and increase border patrol massively and deport those here illegally. Others maintain this is impossible. I personally don’t think it is at all.

  • Build a wall that works. The unsecured border with Mexico invites illegal immigrants, criminals, and terrorists to tread on American soil. I will complete the wall.
  • Triple the number of Border Patrol agents. Securing the border is the federal government’s obligation. I will dedicate the force necessary to do that.
  • Increase vital aerial surveillance and other technology along the border. Adding boots on the ground is not enough. Eyes in the sky and other equipment are necessary to find and detain all illegal entrants.
  • Finish the biometric tracking system at our nation’s ports of entry. It is disgraceful that our federal government cannot keep track of those who enter the country. I will complete a biometric entry-exit tracking system.

Necessarily tied to immigration is Kate’s Law authored by Cruz, but stonewalled by Mitch McConnell, Democrats, and the Republican establishment in the Senate.

If you’re astute you will notice you never hear Marco Rubio really admit to being a Part of the Gang of Eight pushing for amnesty. Amnesty seems compassionate, but it is NOT. It disregards the rights of those “waiting in line” through the legal process to become citizens and it is not fair to Americans who would foot the $2 Trillion bill.

Plus no other country offers such idiocy.

This is only a few of the highlights, but Ted’s plan is all laid out on TedCruz.org.

CruzSpkng2

            Israel and Islamic Terrorism

ISIS is only part of the problem. This administration purposely sits on its hands while thousands of Christians and others in the Middle East are murdered.

Obama has made a pact-with-the-devil with this unconscionable agreement with Iran. The leaders, the Imams have constantly and consistently called for the death of America and Obama sends them billions to help.

Cruz will aggressively fight our enemies with massive air strikes against ISIS, Syria and energize our allies to get in the fight.

Cruz will also stand with and fight for Israel.

Flat Tax Plan and the IRS

Ted Cruz is resolved to reignite growth in the economy. This is not just empty rhetoric for Ted. Ted’s plan that will absolutely be a win-win for America.

Don’t discount it out of hand when he says his 10% flat tax plan will grow the economy by almost 5 million jobs and increase wages by 12%. In fact he discussed his plan on Fox New’s Kelly File.

CruzSpkng3Ted declared that the “simple Flat Tax abolishes the IRS and replaces the byzantine tax code with a simple, fair tax. . . . [and it] is a critical first step to restoring the promise of growth and prosperity in America.”

Competition & Endorsements

As you know Rand Paul is running against Cruz. What you may not know is Ron Paul, Rand Paul’s father, has endorsed Ted Cruz for President, not his son.

The reason Ron gave were “Rand was “not a true libertarian,” and that he can’t understand why Rand endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 and Mitch McConnell in 2014.

Ted Cruz has also been endorsed by Congressman Steve King.

Fundraising is an indicator of a candidate’s strength. Ted Cruz announced at this Town Hall meeting that he now has 28 million dollars in his war chest!

Three million more than the GOP establishment candidate Jeb Bush.

He also stated that the average donation to his campaign is $73.

Conclusion

What are Cruz’s chances in reality? A recent poll by NRSC Cruz was tied with billionaire Donald Trump (Trump was .3% higher)!

He is an honorable, man with integrity and a passion for America, exceeded only by his passion for his Lord.

If you are someone who really cares about our country and its future and the future and the future of your children and you have not decided whom you will support and vote for I would give Ted Cruz a real hard look.

He can help bring America back.

A Pope for the World

Ahh yes, Pope Francis. Sure and what a grand and lovely man he is too.

How can you knock a religious leader who is on Rolling Stone? And Time can’t seem to get Pope Francis on the cover often enough.

Life, Fortune, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, but finally the BIG time–the Pope is on the cover of People magazine–the magazine for or to the celebrities!

.

All of these are sound theological publications, right? Maybe not.

Pope Francis, a Pope for the people–a religious Pope . . . but not too religious; a spiritual Pope, a man embracing all religions–“a new world Pope” as Time calls him. What’s not to like, right? He is also in there fighting for socialist causes, i.e. climate change and the environment.

All that notwithstanding the Pope, unlike Muslim leaders, gets no bow from our Muslim president (yes, small p) when he visits America–only a handshake.

Obama bows-or not

Of course Pope Francis has prayed and worshiped at the Blue Mosque himself so perhaps it really is meaningless who bows to whom and what their religious beliefs are when both are heretical.

But what is heresy, we are all the same, Christian, Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Muslim, Hindu, Confucian, Zoroastrian–we are all going to heaven, right?

Even Ben Carson, a man I respect, in April of this year posited on Facebook, that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same God!–Really??! Carson is a good man, but his theology is wanting.

Pope Francis has also stated:

In a National Catholic Reporter article entitled Church is essential for faith; there are no ‘free agents,’ pope says. The article’s opening sentence reads, “Christians are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the church, Pope Francis said.”

I can’t argue with that. We are commanded to be part of a local church body (1 Cor. 12:12).

However deeper into the article “Pope Francis described as ‘dangerous’ the temptation to believe that one can have ‘a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church (italics mine).'” This is clearly antithetical to biblical teaching. Christ, nor the apostles never taught such a thing.

Of course “the mediation of the Church” in the context of a pope and Catholic doctrine is the Catholic Church, not the Church Universal, and “Christian doctrine” is what the pope say it is.

Nevertheless God gave us His standard in the Christian Bible (not the Catholic Bible with the apocrypha). Man’s standard at the end of the day is meaningless. Now you may not chose to believe that and reject God’s free gift of eternal life with Him and that is your prerogative. But I can assure you, you are going to spend eternity somewhere, because the real you is your soul.

It is problematic too that the Pope also seems to believe God is not who God says he is. Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences the Pope proclaimed:

When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so. He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.

Tacitly he is saying God can create man, but he can’t keep the world going without an outside system, like evolution, to maintain it. In the Pope’s warning about imagining “God was a magician” Francis is in fact characterizing God as a magician, even as he acts as a warner. The whole thesis is a self-defeating statement. Also if one accepts the Pope’s supposition, then what do you do with the virgin birth of Jesus; what do you do with Christ’s resurrection?

But surely the most important thing in this milieu is to be relevant for today. There are no real heresies. As long as we feel good about ourselves when we walk out of our building of worship, be it cathedral, sanctuary, mosque, or the little brown church in the vale, that is what counts.

But there is the conundrum. Is all of this hoopla, this worldly religiosity; does it really bring us into a relationship with the Creator, the God of the Universe or is it all b_ _ _ s_ _t? (Four hail Mary’s and six up your’s Allah). Or is the Bible, God’s Word, true?

A.W. Tozer eloquently said:

The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater that its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God (A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy).

In the letter to the first century Hebrew church the writer stated:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:1-3).

So the Son God spoke through, Jesus Christ, who is called the Son of God by God the Father declared “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through me (John 14:6).

No the New World Order with its New World Pope is wrong–it is apostate. Catholicism has become a cult, if not an outright false religion.

How can I say that? I can say that because God said it:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, . . . (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

New Blog Post–Lost Salvation? I

Christian AssurancePart I

Prologue

 It has been my experience with fellow believers when seriously discussing important doctrinal, but perhaps non-essentials that sooner or later someone says something like “It’s a non-essential, it’s not a big deal and we don’t want to be divisive.” So unity becomes more important than truth.  I personally don’t believe truth should be subordinate to wrong headed thinking.

Now I am not saying we should be divisive, especially on non- essentials, but I am not talking about picking the color of the new carpet. The Bible tells us to admonish one another (Acts 20:30-32; Romans 15:14); we need to do that, especially in this day and age of rampant exegetical error of the Holy Scriptures. It’s kind of like shooting a rifle. If your sights are off 1/16”, then 100 yards down range you miss your target by 10 feet.

While most Evangelicals I know accept the doctrine that they can have assurance of their salvation. I have found it true in my life that there are the low times, when I have stumbled and I am weak or depressed due to sin in my life or circumstances I can’t control, that I do question my salvation. I think there is scriptural basis for this. Recall the story of Elijah in 1 Kings. He makes a fool out of the prophets of Baal and calls down fire from God to consume the alter, the water-soaked sacrifice and the rocks and then in the next instant he is trembling in his boots and hiding from Jezebel (1 Kings 18:17-19:3). We all have our down times and it is at these times of weakness or despair the questions come. Am I really saved? How can I sin like that if I am. Can I lose my salvation? Make no mistake; these questions come from Satan. (1 Peter 5:8)

I think it is critical that we be Biblically anchored in what we believe doctrinally, even in certain “non-essentials”, so when Satan challenges us and waves of doubt break over us; our faith, our witness and ministry are not capsized.

In Sperry’s book Major Bible Themes, he says, “While believers in Christ accept the doctrine that they can have assurance at any given moment in their experience, the question is often raise, ‘Can a person once saved, become lost again?’ Since the fear of losing salvation could seriously affect a believer’s peace of mind, and because his future is so vital, this question is a most important aspect of the doctrine of salvation.”[i] As well as, I might add, his sense of spiritual communion with God.

Why am I doing this study? I was involved in a Bible study at my church, a friend and a brother in Christ stated that he believed that a Christian could lose their salvation. He didn’t say it that directly, but as soon as his statement hit me, I did a mental double take. He went on speaking, but I interrupted him “Wait a minute”, I said, “Are you saying you believe we can lose our salvation?” “Yes” he stated I think we can lose our salvation.” I challenged this statement by quoting Jesus’ statement from John 10 where Jesus says “no one will snatch them out of My hand.” My friend’s response was, “Yes no one can snatch us out of His hand, but we can leap out of His hand.”

The Underlying Problem

I am doing this study as an argument to show that it is in fact impossible to lose your salvation. The question then becomes, can we, in fact “choose to leap out of God’s hand, as my friend stated? This is the question that this study will attempt to deal with. But it does not matter what Don Edwards says; what matters is what the Bible say?

It is my firm belief that the non-essentials so many Christians do not want to take a stand on in the name of unity, often have a big bearing on the richness, fullness and effectiveness of our lives, ministry and witness as Christians.

I was raised Presbyterian; my wife Betty, a Lutheran. Both congregations historically practice infant baptism. I do not believe it was a biblical practice 50 years ago, nor is it today. In fact, I believe it is a more dangerous practice today. Why? Fifty years ago the Judeo-Christian foundation, while crumbling, was still in tact. Postmodernism was not as prevalent in the U.S. or the church to the extent that it is today. Today people have a less of a grounding and understanding in scripture than in past decades.

Baptism, is a non-essential for salvation (Luke 23: 42-44), and saves no one by itself. Yet it is taught, overtly in some churches; covertly in many, that baptism conveys salvation all by itself or is needed in addition to Christ’s atoning death. Infant baptism, in itself, is not a big deal. It is arguably not biblically based and is not ever described in the Bible, let alone prescribed.

The larger issue I see here with infant baptism is that it is too often done in a way that tacitly, if not explicitly sends a subtle or not so subtle message, that the baby being baptized is saved and is now a Christian. This is totally opposed to what God’s Word teaches!

Too many people today are cultural christians (small “c”) at best and go to church only rarely. One time might be the baptism of their child or that of a relative or friend, and of course weddings and maybe Christmas and/or Easter. What they witness at church usually only enforces their erroneous views of Christianity and their own relationship, or lack of relationship to Jesus Christ. Following are some concerns that stem from this and from my own experience and observations.

  1. The baptized child is brought up believing that because this he or she was baptized as a baby, he is automatically a Christian, even though there was no act of the will on his part and no conscious effort to choose or reject Jesus Christ. (John 3: 5-7)
  2. The parents of the baby often believe he or she is now a “Christian” and is now protected with this “fire insurance policy” is destined to go to heaven no matter how he or she lives their lives.
  3. Then there is Confirmation Classes, but in many cases confirmation is just a rubber stamp and re-affirmation of the existing lie that the child is saved.
  4. Lastly at the root of it all is the lack of the Church to disciple its flock. When Jesus directed the Church to make disciples in Matthew 28: 19 it was not a suggestion—it was; it is a command!

Proof is that if you go into a majority of churches today on any given Sunday morning no one even carries their Bibles. When they do “study” the Bible many, so-called evangelicals, come to the Bible with their presuppositions firmly entrenched and wrench from the scripture what they wanted it to say.

A.W. Tozer posited this in his The Knowledge of the Holy written over 60 years ago:

The church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men. The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us [emphasis mine]…no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.”[i]

I believe Tozer is profoundly right and his admonishment is one we should not take lightly.

If you doubt what I say look what the Barna Research Group said in a poll from September, 2000,

“The United States has so many unchurched people that the nation has become one of the primary mission targets of Christians who live in other countries around the world.” [Emphasis mine]

Salvation Gained

 First I think we must ask…how does man gain salvation as taught by the Bible. How exactly does that happen; what does the Bible say?

The Bible says,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works…”       Eph 2: 8-9a.

The Bible says,

9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 13 for “whoever will call on the name of the lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:9-10, 13

The Bible says,

23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23  Period!

If God’s gift of eternal life and man’s true road to heaven is by and through the love of Christ, by confessing our sins verbally and believing in our hearts truly that Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was buried and bodily rose from the grave…then this gift comes by grace through faith and not by works.

Only God’s unmerited favor through Jesus’ death on the cross brings true salvation and eternal life with God. Therefore, can we lose this gift by works or by our actions? To do so would make a mockery of Jesus atonement. So we see in the verse above God’s Word teaches that we cannot lose our salvation by works anymore than we can gain our salvation by works. Salvation is by grace; through faith in Christ alone–period.

Below is John 10:27-30, the verse I quoted in part to my friend, only in full context.

27   “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28   and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

To interpret these verses in context when Jesus says my sheep hear my voice, he is talking about those that believe in Him; His followers. Then Jesus promises three things to his followers- 1. I give them eternal life; 2. They will never perish; 3. No one will snatch them out of my hand. No one will snatch them out of my hand!

Why is it no one can snatch them or to personalize it; why is it no one can snatch us out of Jesus’ hand. In verses 29 and 30 we see that, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”30 I and the Father are one.” [emphasis mine]

Now take note of the way John phrased these verses. He uses the phrase “snatch them out of my hand” twice. Why does he do that? Why not just use that in reference to Jesus; or to just God the Father? He repeats the same phrase twice, once in reference to Jesus and once in reference to the Father. Why didn’t he just say no one is able to snatch them out of God’s hand? John even says here in verse 30 that Jesus and God are the same, so why repeat it?

I believe it is for emphasis. We know that God is not a temporal being; therefore he doesn’t have an actual hand. Jesus tells us you cannot be snatched out of my hand and God the Father say’s you cannot be snatched out of my hand. So the hand of Jesus and the hand of God the Father guard us. Of course again, this is figurative language, but the Father and Jesus make up two-thirds of the Trinity and they are two different persons in the Trinity. What a bargain; two “hands” for the price of one salvation!

Verse 30 tells us in a direct way that Jesus is God. I and the Father are one. Did you get that? I and the Father are one! I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE!! And God is GREATER than anything, anybody, and any force. Therefore, if we think we can leap out of God’s hand that means only one of two things:

  1. We are more powerful than an Omnipotent, Infinite God, which means we, in fact, must be a God. Hello, is this Shirley McLaine? How scary is that?

Or

  1. If we are more powerful than God then obviously God cannot really be God.   God must be so weak, so feeble he can’t really save anyone anyway! What part of the Bible can we believe; the Bible is a book of myths and fairy tales. That also makes God a liar! Our faith is now worthless. Hello, Jesus Seminar? Hello, Rabbi Kushner!

If, as my friend suggests, we can leap, run, or walk out of God’s hand, an action we choose to do and by an act of our will and our works; then that means the gift we received by faith through grace we have now rejected by works. Jesus agonizing death on the cross was pointless and the power of The Resurrection, if there was a resurrection, is nonexistent!   The saving work that God ordained in Scripture was not consummated.

Jumping out of Gods HandIf you take the premise we can leap out of God’s hands to its logical conclusion then, we are in the wretched state expressed by Paul,

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (I Cor. 15 17,19)

Returning to John 10:28 Jesus plainly says, “I give eternal [forever] life to them and they will never [there is no way and nothing, NO-thing that can cause them to] perish”. In verse 29 He declares, “My Father…is greater than all, GREATER THAN ALL. God is the only infinitely existent, necessary, non-created being and no one [no person, no woman, no man, not ourselves] is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

It is sheer and utter hubris to believe we are stronger or greater than God. It is nothing less than the idolatry of the garden “Sin has many manifestations, but its essence is one. A moral being, created to worship before the throne of God, sits on the throne of his own selfhood and from that elevated position declares, ‘I AM.’ That is sin in its concentrated essence; yet because it is natural it appears to be good.”

God is outside of time. Therefore, His “hand” is also outside of time. We live inside of the time, space continuum, where there is a past, present and future; yesterday’s sins, today’s sins and tomorrow’s sins.

God , on the other hand, is in the eternal present outside of time, yet He dwells in and sustains creation (not in an animistic sense). Our minds are temporal and think sequentially. It is difficult for us to comprehend this.

[i] Tozer, 46.

Concluded in Part II

[i] All Scripture quoted is from the NASB, unless other wise noted.

[i] Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, vii.

[i] Chafer-Walvoord, Major Bible Themes, 220.

New Blog Post

A Letter from Amazonia

When I was Director of Missions at Southern Evangelical Church we supported and became friends with the Dawson family. Joe and Millie Dawson went into the jungle over 50 years ago to bring Christ to the Yanomamö Indians.  Their sons carry on their work in Venezuela today.

This is a recent etter in a day in the life, living in the jungles of Venezuela.

September 12, 2015

Dear praying friends, It seems everywhere I go, people are always asking me what a typical day is like working with the Yanomamö. To be honest, I never quite know what to say. Our days are always so non typical and the Yanomamö can take the most mundane and turn it into the most complex crises.

A case in point:

I had made plans to make a quick trip up to the village of Arata to take some medicine up to a young man who has a really bad case of lesmeniusus (my computer just says, “no guesses” on the spelling so I have none either, but it is a terrible disease caused by a living microscopic bug that literally eats the person away. In Javier’s case, it is in his nasal cavity and has already almost eaten his entire nose away and has now started on his upper lip).

Anyway, Javier lives in the village of Arata, a village that is about 250 kilometers up the Ocamo river and depending on the boat used, it can take anywhere from 8 hours to 2 or three days to get up there. Well, the boat I wanted to go in would take me 8 hours. But the day before I was to take off, 4 guys came to our village asking if they could catch a ride with me. I frowned. With the fuel I had to take, plus the two guys going with me, I could not carry anymore weight in my small boat, and I really did not want to change my plans of a quick trip. 

 “Who are you all, and how did you get here?” I asked them.

“We are Shitali”(a different dialect of Yanomamö) they told me.

“Our village is about 3 days walk inland from Arata, and we heard you were going up there. We need a ride, so we can go home. About 3 moons ago a helicopter landed in our village and we took the opportunity to come out so we could find some much needed axes and machetes for our village. The helicopter people told us they would give us a ride back on the helicopter but we have been waiting in La Esmeralda for over two moons now, and they are telling us it will be the moon of October before the helicopter comes back and we are already really tired of waiting.”

They looked at me expectantly, waiting for my answer. I did not have the heart to tell them I was in a hurry and only wanted to do a quick trip, since they had already been waiting almost three months and had another two or more months to wait, if they were waiting for the helicopter to take them home.

So I nodded my assent. “OK, you can come with me, but we are leaving really early.” I told them. The expression on their faces was almost worth the fact that I would have to take a larger boat and had just added at least two days and another barrel of gas to my own trip. 

 I decided to give myself the flexibility of being able to visit in villages along the way without having to stop the large boat by taking my small aluminum speed boat and getting ahead of the other boat and visiting as I wanted to. We quickly outdistanced the larger boat and were a couple hours up the Ocamo river when we passed another large boat making it’s own slow way up river. Recognizing people in the boat, we slowed down and pulled alongside at their insistent hand motions. 

 “Do you have any extra gasoline?” They begged, “We are still a long way from home and are almost out.” No, you know, these days, no one has any extra gasoline. Why didn’t you get enough before starting your trip? I am really sorry, but I only have enough to get up to where we are going.” I told them. 

 “At least let me and my mother get in with you, she is not feeling well?” A man named Pelayu pleaded. “OK,” I said. But then, along with his mother were 4 kids, and there was just no way I could fit Pelayu, his mother and 4 kids, two of which were not small. So I told Pelayu, “I have a big boat coming behind me. You and your mother can get in that boat. I don’t have room or enough power to put everyone in this boat.” “OK!” he said quickly. And we took off back up the river. 

We arrived at the first village and visited for hours. Enough hours that our big boat should have caught up with us. Remembering the big boat we had passed and Pelau’s quick agreement to staying behind,  I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Looking at the time, I realized we were not going to get to the village of Yojobä where I had wanted to sleep. Not willing to continue on up river without knowing what had happened to our big boat, I turned back downriver to see what was taking them so long, already figuring I was not going to like what I would find. 

 Sure enough! just up river from where we had left the other large boat, here came our boat, PUSHING the other boat. Oh no! I thought, How could my guys have done this to me? I pulled alongside. 

 “What are you doing?” I asked Ramon, the driver of the big boat. 

 “Pelayu said that you told him to tell me to push them up to Arata since their motor was not working good.” I looked at Pelayu and he grinned weakly. “You did say I could catch a ride with him.” He defended himself. 

 “Yes, but not your boat and everyone else! We don’t have enough gas to push both boats up there!  Where is your motor anyway?”

 “I sent it home, it was only borrowed.” But I kept three tanks of gas! He stammered.  

Ramon quickly pointed out that the motor had already been sent back down river before he had even gotten there, so when he saw them with no motor, he really had thought we had told them to stop him. I bit my tongue on the harsh words that came to mind. What should I do? What could I do? What would you do?

Remember, my 8 hour trip has already become a 2 day trip, now, with this other boat tied on, it is going to take us at least another day! But I decided sitting there in the prow of my boat, with all the people in the other boat looking at me with worried looks,  the most important question was “How would Jesus respond to people in this kind of a need?

Oh well, I thought, what did I expect anyway. Just another typical day with the Yanomamö!. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, it started to rain and Rain and RAIN!

 A MAF pilot and a great friend, used to respond to people with poor planning by quoting, “Your lack of planning, does not constitute an emergency on my part.” All fine and good, but even as well as I speak Yanomamö I have never even tried to translate that, as it would probably just give me worse heart burn, because I can just see them looking at me like, “What do you mean lack of planning? I am here, what are you going to do with me?” And you know what? It is in unplanned issues like this, that we have the opportunity to really show God’s love. Oh, but it is hard some days… 

 In the end, this trip turned out, I am sure, just how God wanted it to, because, over the next couple of days, we not only had opportunities to show the Jesus/Passion movie to different villages, but I was also able to spend time talking to the 4 Shitali guys.

These are guys whom have never had an opportunity to hear anything about the Lord and they listened very well. After having watched the movie a few times, they had a lot of questions and to make a long story short, they have invited us to come to their village to show the movie up there.

It is a long way, two days by boat, then a three day walk one way to their village, but Lord willing, we are going to try to make a trip in there in November or so. The 4 guys said they would walk out to get us and carry our stuff. Pray for these guys and their village. May the seed sown find good soil and give good and abundant fruit. 

 Thanks for your prayers and partnership with us.

Michael, Keila and Mia Dawson

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Dear Corp AmDear Corporate America,

I haven’t written to you in a while. At least not since my television broke down, my toaster developed a taste for human flesh and my phone company ran away with my phone number to Mexico.

Rachel Maddow says we’re both on the right and are really close together. But then again Rachel Maddow also says the Republican Party drinks the blood of small children. So she can be a little factually challenged on occasion.

Still I’m on the right and you’re occasionally sort of, but not really, on the right. I support lower taxes. So do you. At least for yourself. I support deregulation. You only support deregulation when it suits your narrow interests, but not when it lets smaller businesses and freelancers compete against you.

What you seem to want is a country with low taxes, your preferred forms of deregulation and the population of Mexico.

These things are not compatible. Mexico is currently governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party; a member of the Socialist International. It has a multi-generational teachers’ union whose members pass on their jobs to their children and whose riots have to be put down by armed force.

When it comes to ease of doing business, the United States is ranked 4th, Mexico is ranked 48th, coming in ahead of Kazakhstan. A Comparmex report showed that companies spend 10% of their revenue on bribes.

Is this what you really want for America?

Your lobbies and associations keep pushing for amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens even while your companies keep fleeing California.

If you don’t like doing business in California, which is turning into the American version of Mexico, why do you want to turn the rest of America into California?

You keep talking about how we need “immigration reform” to be more globally competitive. Are there superpower rivals desperately trying to import 12 million people whose great dream is to put their entire families on social welfare? Are there Chinese recruiting agents showing up at the border to urge the DREAMERS clambering over the fence to try Shanghai instead?

I understand why you would rather pay a Pakistani or Chinese programmer on an H-1B visa half of what you would pay a talented American programmer. And that’s your choice. And paying fifty bucks for the full version of that programmer’s work, instead of ten times as much on your licensed edition based on a program once created by American programmers but reassembled into an update by H-1B employees until it has more bugs than features, is mine.

That’s how the free market works.

But while those H1-B employees will forward all your confidential information back to Chinese intelligence and occasionally set off bombs while shouting Allah Akbar, they don’t threaten your ability to do business.

Sure one of your execs might be flying on the plane that goes down in a burst of exploding underwear and next month a bunch of programs that look suspiciously like yours will come flying out of Zhong Guan Cun undercutting your international market share. And the next time you’re negotiating with a Chinese company, they’ll just happen to have access to all of your corporation’s emails.

But you can live with that. Can you really live with full amnesty and the consequences of destroying the Republican Party as little more than a protest vote in a Socialist International America?

You spent the last election whining about how hard it is to do business in America under the Democratic Party. You hate ObamaCare, despite promoting it, and then you do everything in your power to make Democratic Party rule permanent through amnesty.

I’m not a psychiatrist and it would be hard for me to get all of Corporate America onto a couch for a session, but it seems to me that you’re suffering from a severe bout of schizophrenia.

You want workers who will take low pay without complaining about working conditions. And you can get that with illegal aliens who don’t speak the language and don’t know their rights, until they hook up with community organizations backed by the entire Democratic Party and then you’re up to your neck in lawsuits and minimum wage bills.

At which point you’ll threaten to move to Mexico or China… to escape a problem that you caused.

Maybe I’m misjudging you, but I don’t think you really want an open economy where deregulation cuts out the government bureaucracy and makes it possible for both workers and corporations to do business on better terms.

I think that Mexico is exactly what you want. Sometimes in business you have to take yes for an answer. And I think that in this case yes is the answer.

You want a closed system where there is no competition and cronyism is the only way things get done, where the corporate taxes are a bit lower, but the difference is more than made up by bribes, a society sharply divided between the vast armies of the unprotesting poor who are resigned to their fate and a small wealthy elite that enjoys its superiority in ways that it can’t on this side of the border.You don’t really want to build things. You want to keep other people from building them while you enjoy a monopoly on the things that someone innovative built twenty years ago before he was forced to leave the country.

Paul Ryan is your boy and few other politicians represent the complete disconnect between the economic and immigration policies of your kind better than him. Ryan wants to cut social benefits and legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. He wants to cut money for the “takers” and add million more takers to the voting rolls to ensure that any legislative changes he makes will vanish in a wink.

So what does Paul Ryan really want? Does he want to cut spending more or does he want amnesty more? He’s willing to sacrifice his budgets for amnesty, but not amnesty for his budgets.

Ryan may spout nonsense about how this generation of “family-oriented” illegal aliens will start lots of business and keep social security afloat, and how they, in a complete reversal of history, will be all for cutting social spending and voting Republican. But I doubt that he or McCain or anyone else is stupid enough to believe that nonsense.

Given a choice between America, the Republican Party and Amnesty, they’re willing to sacrifice America and the Republican Party, not to mention Conservatism, on the altar of Amnesty.

The real question is why. Not why Ryan is choosing such a course, but why his backers who claim to want legislative reforms and economic freedom are pursuing an aggressive and well-funded course that will ensure that America will never have any more economic freedom than can be bought by a bribe or a family connection? Why are the people who claim to be concerned about our debt and our unsustainable spending determined to take both up to eleven?

Maybe we’re all part of the problem. Maybe as a society we’re no longer capable of producing leaders capable of thinking in terms of long term consequences. We want what we want and we want it now.

Corporate America has decided that it needs cheap labor now and the tens of millions of unemployed and unskilled Americans don’t do. In the long run, amnesty will make America all but impossible to do business in for any company that doesn’t have General Electric, Duke Energy or Tesla in its name. But in the long run, the sun may go nova. That’s how people like that think.

Maybe it’s as simple as pumping and dumping America, cashing in on a few years of cheap labor and then heading somewhere else and profiting from selling the last remnants of the collapsing economy to Qatar or Saudi Arabia. It appears to be happening in Europe. Why not America?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for capitalism in the same way that I’m for democracy. As Churchill said, it’s the worst possible system except for all the alternatives.

Capitalism, like Democracy or Wikipedia, isn’t innately good, it’s just better because it’s decentralized and that allows people to pursue their own dreams, agendas and anything else they like. The sum total of this crowdsourced wonderland is sometimes good, sometimes bad, often in-between, but on average better than any tyranny of politics, economics or articles on breeds of armadillo would be.

Democracy gave us Barack Obama. Capitalism gave us GE. Wikipedia lists a blue armadillo that doesn’t exist in nature. All these flaws remind us that crowdsourcing is imperfect. It doesn’t give us good results. It gives us better results.

But dear Corporate America, despite what Rachel Maddow says, I kind of like you. You make decent toasters. Or at least you design decent toasters that China makes. And if you ever decided to dump the Green energy labels, the abstract art and the million dollar donations to gay rights groups and turn into the monstrous cryptofascist conspiracy that liberals claim you are, we might get somewhere.

But we both know that’s not going to happen.

You’re not conservative. You’re certainly not right-wing. There are exceptions, but they’re not the rule. Like most of our elites, you’re liberal. At best you’re occasionally libertarian, but in a limited way. You’re all for opening up the borders, but you’re all for requiring businesses to get permits if they’re in a competing line of work. And you feel guilty, about ice caps, black kids in the inner city and all the other stuff that comes in your mail.

But don’t feel too bad, Corporate America. You’re not uniquely awful. You’re just part of a society whose best and brightest have lost their way and whose proud and prosperous have spent too much time listening to them.

In a decaying society, you have learned to grab what you can without believing that the society and the nation are worth protecting as more than sources of loot. In your comfort zone, the transnational idea has come to seem plausible and the world and its many nations seem infinitely redundant to you. If America doesn’t work out, try China or Mexico or Qatar or Singapore.

That comfort zone in which you can thrive on transnational fantasies while still vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard is brought to you by a Pax Americana. The peace of the American mercantile empire that your forebears put into place with sailing ships and armed men enables you to sell and buy across the globe, to jump in a jet plane and pop from airport to airport and from luxury hotel to luxury hotel.

All this is not the fulfillment of some Tom Friedmanesque fantasy about the inevitablity of globalism and the flattening of the world. It’s not a new era of history. It’s the last days of a peaceful empire that  made your wealth and power possible. And that you are destroying the same way that the Romans destroyed theirs.

Yes, for a time you will have your estates in Gaul and compliant barbarians who will clean your floors and look after your kids at cut rate prices. The wine will be plentiful and the circuses shocking. And one day you will wake up and discover that your grandchildren have become barbarians, that the civilization you knew is gone and the virtues that made your way of life possible are gone with it.

I won’t preach to you about sacrifice.I’ll leave that to Elizabeth Warren and her ilk who will bleed you for every cent you have unless you pay her off first. I will tell you that actions have consequences and not just of the class action lawsuit kind. Power is not the same thing as control. That’s not only a lesson that Obama must learn. It’s a lesson that you must learn as well.

To build a thing, you must know what it is you are building, you must test the structure, practice with the tools and make it real. Destroying a thing is easier. All you have to do is tear down what works and replace it with a slipshod structure made out of poor materials and tools you don’t know how to use as cheaply as possible.

That’s what your amnesty push will do to America. And when it’s done, when America is California and California is Mexico and organized crime is indistinguishable from government and the only way to do business is with a handful of bribes, then you really will have built that.

On that day, there will be no Tea Party to save you and no Republican Party left to defend you.

You will flee to Singapore or China or Africa, only to realize that you are no longer a wealthy American, but the citizen of a fallen empire without protection in a world where the old rules made by the Pax Americana no longer apply. When the last bribes have been squeezed out of you and your company has been taken over and looted by the son of some government official, perhaps you will finally come to know the worth of the civilization you so foolishly destroyed.

Oh, and I’m pretty sure my DVD player no longer works.

best
Daniel


Reblogged from Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish