Now It’s Personal

Frankly, I couldn’t care less about the NFL or any other sports organization. In my view, many athletes are way overpaid for playing a game. When it gets down to it that is all athletes do is play games. Moreover, I don’t care about the personal views of any of the players. I have more to be concerned about than the political ranting of the privileged few who purport to care about the less fortunate all while doing nothing more than spewing hatred and disdain for the country which enabled them to be amongst the privileged. Well, I have had enough.

What I find really troubling is many of those pretending to speak for the “oppressed” are the oppressors. Riots are promoted just because some say things with which the “protestors” disagree. Knees are taken to bring attention to “social injustice” yet no one has clearly articulated what that injustice is. All this is going on while those who choose to take a knee in prayer to the God of all are punished for praying. This is not what I fought for. This is not why I took an oath. This is not why I continue to hold to more than one oath.

Yes, it is true. I took an oath a number of years ago. In part, I vowed that I would defend this land against all enemies. Yes, all enemies foreign and domestic. In taking the oath I promised that I would defend the Constitution which includes the Bill of Rights and all the Amendments. The 1st Amendment is included. If any has ought with the Government there are ways to redress the issues. It is those rights for which I donned the uniform. It is not so that the elite can wield power over the less influential. Instead, my service in the Marine Corps was to provide equal protection for all. This includes those who choose to pray to the God of all.

I have had enough. I am patriotic. I am also a Christian. Yet the lie is that in order for one to be a Christian he must lay aside his patriotism. I take issue with that very notion. I honor those who came before me allowing me to pen these very words without concern of governmental oppression. I worship and bow to God and Him alone. Further, this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian values. To my knowledge, it is the only country in the world with such founding. Now, I know some of our founders were Deists and some served not God at all. And, that is the point. The freedoms underscored by the Constitution means we are free to worship and free not to worship. The choice is ours.

I am more incensed at the fact of attacks on Christianity at large. Christians are called “judgmental” because they choose to point out and live according to the Word of God. All worldviews are accepted. All can practice as they see fit. All accept Christians. Well, I have had enough. It’s personal now. You see, I took another oath which is far more important than the oath of my military service. I took an oath to serve God for the rest of my life. I vowed that I would live out Christianity in private and in public. I will not relent. I will not kowtow. I meant every word I said then and I still mean every word.

If you think there are grave injustices in this country there are forums by which they can be addressed. Arguing to redress such injustices do not include the destruction of property and infringing on the rights and freedoms of others. The same is true of the Church. If you do not like the teachings of the Church you have no right to infringe upon the free worship of those in the Church. Further, no one is making anyone stay in this country. You don’t have to be part of the Church. The choice is yours.

Yes, it’s personal now. I have had more than I am willing to take of those attacking the country for which I put my life on the line. If you want to protest, get all the facts and learn the truth behind the issue. If you have an issue with Christianity, learn more about Christ and determine why He died for you. Many died for the freedom of many. One died for the freedom of all. Either way, you don’t have to participate in either.

One more point. Among the oaths I have taken I have taken the oath of an ordained member of the clergy. I vowed to preach the Gospel in and out of season. My job is to point men to the foot of the cross and let them choose or choose not to come to the point of salvation. Contrary to what some say, not all roads lead to eternal salvation. There is but one way to the Father and that is through Christ Jesus. There is no other way. Not all are the same and unless your stand is for Jesus in particular then you stand not on the Word of God. It is time we all stood. Either we stand with the law-abiding or we stand with the lawless. Now it’s personal and with that, I will stand with the Word of God.

 

 

This Thing Called Freedom

There is no point in time when man did not long for freedom. Freedom was an idea sought by the Israelites while they were being held captive by the Egyptians. More recently, King George sought to withhold freedom from those over whom he ruled. There was no such thing as freedom for individuals to worship as they chose. Instead, the people had to kowtow to the very wishes of the tyrannical monarch. Freedom was nothing more than a waning thought in the night. That thought though would soon become a plan of action.

Freedom is not as simple as it may seem, yet the concept is extremely simple. Freedom is nothing more than the lack of influence from external entities. The Jews sought to be relieved of the autocratic influence of the Egyptians. Those under the aristocratically charged ideology of King George sought to be rid of the chains binding them to the whims of the dictatorial leader. This is why both groups of people left lands of oppression in favor of lands wherein they were able to worship God without the influence of the ruling class.

Freedom would come at a cost. Those leaving King George’s charge would soon find themselves in battles with the kingdom they once called home. Blood would be shed so that the founders of the United States of America would have the liberty to worship God without the influence of a tyrannical leader. And, the battles for freedom would go on. There would be the world wars, The Korean War, the Civil War, and other wars were fought to secure the freedoms of a people.

As we remember those fallen to protect our freedom it becomes increasingly difficult to overlook the One who died for the freedom of all people. John 8:36 has the words, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  The freedom made possible by the Son is not the freedom to worship, while that freedom is enveloped in the freedom created by the Son. Nor is the freedom specific to the freedom of speech guaranteed in the United States Constitution. Instead, the freedom put for by the Son is freedom from sin. This means that those who choose to follow Christ walk in salvation. Salvation, theologically speaking, is deliverance from the power of sin.

If one is to be delivered from the power of sin, sin has no more influence over him. Deliverance from the power of sin means the one delivered no longer has to walk under the diabolical influence of the evil slave master, sin. It is much like the deliverance the Israelites experienced as well as the experience of those who fought to free a new nation from the oppressive hand of a dictatorial monarch. Freedom has a cost and that cost is the blood of those standing for freedom.

From the founding of the United States of America, many have raised the Star Spangled Banner as a sign of freedom. The colors are significant. The white is shown for the purity of a new country. The blue stands for the loyalty of those who fought and were to fight for the country. The red is for the bloodshed by those standing for the freedom the Star Spangled Banner represents. The price of freedom is far from cheap. Yet, the price must be paid. It is interesting that those paying the price for the freedom do not get to enjoy the very thing for which they laid their lives. Freedom, the one thing that is far from free.

The Son of God, Immanuel, also raised a banner. The Banner raised by the Son was a bloodstained banner. It is stained with His blood. The color of this banner is insignificant because the banner cannot be seen because it is covered in the blood of Jesus Christ. When properly applied the blood of Jesus washes away sin. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. Without the shedding of blood, there is no freedom from sin. Christ, the Son of God, did more than all those who died for this country. Yes, we honor those who served and gave their lives for the sake of freedom. Still, we must not forget to honor the One who removed His robe of glory and died a sinner’s death so that we could be free from sin.

This thing called freedom cost many their lives. It is not cheap nor is it free. This thing called freedom means we can worship God without the oppressive hand of the Government. This thing called freedom caused the Son of God to wrap himself in the body of humanity so that man would be free from the impact of sin. This thing called freedom would be nonexistent without the shedding of blood. So, as we honor those who gave their lives for this country let us not forget the One who gave all for all.

The Danger of the Fringes

preachercarter

     Have you ever noticed that at camp fires the best place to be is close to the fire? This is because the closer you are to the fire the warmer you become. In fact if you are so close to the fire that you are able to stoke it not only do you become warm but you will actually become hot by reason of the fire. And if you are not careful you can be burned by the flames. With this good reason dictates that the further you are from the fire the cooler you become. In fact you can be so far from the fire that you become cold. Yet you can be close enough to the fire to see the flames yet far enough away that it has no immediate impact on you. This is living on the fringes. You can see and appreciate the fire but…

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