Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It is a tragedy when Godly people stand by while the right of free speech is taken away. People died for the right, and new laws represent the deepest hypocrisy. There is a thousand times more hate speech against me and my people than against homosexuals and other sexual minorities. Ironically, much of it is from the very people who push for these laws. Hardly a movie is made without hate speech towards me. Hardly a book is written that is not perjorative towards me and towards my people. Students are barred from testifying of me. Workers are barred from witnessing about me. Politicians who know me are pressured against acknowledging me in the public square. Yet, homosexuality is being force-fed in the media, in the entertainment industry, and everywhere. It is simply Satan at work. 

You know, I was in an Appleby’s Restaurant recently using the men’s room. Blasting over the speaker was a song by a girl graphically describing kissing another girl, complete with her guilt and her coming to catharsis.  Appleby's has a complaint in fewer than 24 hours.
We sometimes get used to outrage and resign ourselves to being marginalized, doing nothing until freedom is lost. Fight for freedom and do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Do the same thing in your churches. Sound doctrine and sound Bible teaching is being displaced by the purely experiential. Stand up for the truth. Insist that your pastor speak the whole counsel of God. Make an appointment to entreat him privately if he doesn't. Do not compromise the core truths of the gospel.  So many are intimidated and let people be led down a slippery slope without any challenge.  Paul directed Timothy in I Timothy 1:3 to COMMAND teachers not to preach false doctrine!  We tend to say Timothy was timid and needed boldness, but how many of us are willing to do that??? Don’t downplay the role of the Holy Spirit in your life and in the life of the church. Pray without ceasing. Weigh all teaching and all experience by the Word of God. 
Know that political and spiritual deception have similar causes – a lack of knowledge and for those with knowledge a failure of act on the knowledge they have. Be strong, courageous, and tireless for the truth. Too many martyrs have died for our political and spiritual freedoms to let narrow-minded sinners or Biblically-challenged spiritual leaders put you on the defensive – afraid to speak, afraid to act, afraid to defend the faith within you. Walk in the freedom for which Christ set you free.

Monday, July 07, 2008


As Christians, we know Messiah has come the first time to bring us salvation. Many so-called Messiahs came before him. They lived, they died. Jesus was different. He lived, he died, he rose again.  Now we are waiting for him to return in glory the same way he was taken up. We are warned in the Bible that many will come saying "I am He" and we are to reject all of them. Unless the Messiah comes in the clouds with great glory, anyone claiming to be such must be rejected. Problem is, not many people claim to be the Messiah. However, a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE attribute that to  those they see. I heartily recommend Frank Peretti's novel THE VISITATION where this very thing happens. 

When it comes to John McCain, absolutely NO ONE would confuse him with any Messiah. While a well-experienced Senator and long time member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he has few fans who enthusiastically support him. Hardly anybody agrees with all of his positions.  What political constituency, exactly, do the following satisfy? A pro-life voting record (except for embryonic stem cell research), opposition to gay marriage (but also opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment), favors drilling for oil by the Continental Shelf (but not in the tundra-like Anwar region of Alaska), cutting the gas tax to allow people to drive more in the summer (but buying into the man-made global warming junk science), attendance at a Southern Baptist church (but sticking his finger in the eye of every Christian of note including evangelical voters) and vowing to appoint strict constructionist judges (while compromising and basically adopting the positions of the other side of the aisle whenever he crosses it giving cause to wonder whether he will repeat the Reagan fiasco with Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor). He reminds us of leaders from other countries who form a government from disparate elements. Everyone has a piece of the pie, but no one likes the flavor they get.  People supporting McCain are doing so because they think he is more experienced and consistent than his opponent, not because they love the guy and believe he will bring a new era of righteousness to our land.  It is always dangerous to vote because you are AGAINST someone instead of voting because you are FOR someone.  No Messiah here. Hopefully an honorable end to Iraq, an increase of the domestic oil and gas supply until alternatives become available for the masses, a decrease in the rate of spending growth, and moderated taxes would satisfy most of those voting for him should he be elected. Some progress on the moral agenda and a couple of great Supreme Court Justices would enable him to exceed all expectations.  Yup, no confusion with a Messiah.
On the other side of the coin, Barack Obama has a sense of destiny. He attracted younger voters in droves and got votes where traditional stereotypes said liberals could not win - Iowa, Montana, you know the results. He presented a message of hope and going beyond politics. When I saw him along with 34,999 other people in Philadelphia, his introduction was simple and not laden with introductions by all the tired political cronies and hacks. He talked of bringing people together, of making the government accountable to the people and not special interests, and bringing to an end the racial divide that has plagued our nation. You'd be a fool not to be in favor of those aspects of his platform. Could this really be the political messiah we need? We have been waiting a long, long time.
You didn't have to wait long to discover that despite his refreshing attitude and pleasant style, politics as usual would raise its inevitable ugly head.  He performed the obligatory excoriation of President Bush at that otherwise uplifting Philadelphia rally and only selective castigated special interests.  Oil companies were bad, but trial lawyers who raise the price of a lot more than gas were given a pass - nary a mention. And so it went. You get the picture. I am not sure it is possible to be a major candidate today in this country without some pandering, but Barack was the one who set the high bar, no one else.
That high bar and unparalled idealism has caused many to attribute a messianic aura to Mr. Obama. I have even heard Christian-sounding "prophecy" that Obama is the Solomon for our time - the days of King David (President Bush) and Joab (the General) are gone.  We are in for a time of peace and unparallel prosperity. The world will be as one. Nice thoughts. Sounds like the Millenium in Isaiah. Hard to picture though with the state the church is in (see my article IS DOCTRINE DEAD (or simply different)? on http://JohnTheEvangelist.blogstream.com).
Actually, the Bible does prophecy that there will be a man of peace who will bring the world together, but that is not for good purposes.  I don't believe Obama is either a political messiah or the Anti-Christ.  Either would have to be far more experienced and treacherous. I believe Mr. Obama has some lofty ideals. I am in favor of many of them, properly and evenly applied. 
However, over the last few weeks, almost every position of the surging Democrat has been modified or muddled in some way. Even the usually predictable New York Times on July 4th was aghast at how quickly Mr. Obama was running to the middle.  I love the fact he is moderating some positions that troubled me when voting for him in the primary election. However, do we really want a President who has no eternal abiding principles (even if they are wrong)? I love for people to change - that is why I am an Evangelist. Repentance and change are the keys to God's will being done on this earth. But are these changes heartfelt permanent changes or simply a repeat of the old playbook - win the primary by running to the left and the general election by stampeding to the center? Do we want a President who follows the fickle people instead of boldly leading people to where they need to go?  I don't think so.
So what is an idealistic but practical person supposed to do?  Stay tuned.