Yet Another Vote

Yes, it is true. Today I went and took advantage of early voting in Texas. There is no surprise that once again my vote was for freedom. Honesty must prevail when I say that I did not recognize all the names on the list. It was a rather extensive list. That only goes to show that I perhaps should have done a bit more homework. Be that as it may, I did enough research to know that freedom was my ultimate motive for voting. Freedom is an issue that I chose not to overlook and is a matter that I made paramount as I pulled the lever. Freedom is a matter that deserves one vote and then another.

It is for this reason that voting should be done in more than one way. Yes, one can go to the polling place and carefully select issues that are important to him. This is part of what is called the democratic process. However, it is not enough to simply pull the electoral lever in favour of freedom. Freedom must be lived no matter where the voter is. This means that one action must be in line with the vote he made. Let me explain.

As a minister of the Gospel I implore people to live a life complimentary of scriptural teaching. This is a vote not so much in the proclamation of Christian virtues as it is in living out those virtues. The same is true when one casts his vote for freedom. One cannot simply say that his vote is for freedom. He must have a lifestyle emblematic of that freedom. He must know when to evoke such freedoms and know when not to evoke them. The fact is there is more than one way to vote and one such way is in action.

Some might recall the time I left Baltimore a couple years ago. The State of Maryland has proven to be oppressive and not wanting to adhere to the Constitution. I had had enough. So, when the opportunity presented itself I decided to vote with my feet. And, vote I did. I voted for freedom on a number of fronts. I did not use the ballot box; I used another freedom. I am free to live in any State in this union so I decided to vote with my feet. I used actions that afforded me the ability to live as a free man should. I made yet another vote.

Those calling themselves Christians also have opportunity to vote. The votes, though, are not made under the watchful eyes of state election judges. Instead, this vote is looked upon by a Holy and Righteous God. You see, there are many that make votes on Sunday mornings. They vote to let Jesus into their lives while they choose to lay aside the sin that separated them from God. They realize that “He who the Son has set free is free indeed (John 8:36). There is a longing for the freedom and words of repentance are made to that end.

Unfortunately many choose not to vote for that freedom by reason of their lifestyles. Some try to live a double life, secret service saints, as it were. There is a tendency to Christianity on Sunday mornings and one for hedonism during the rest of the week.  The true vote is not for the freedom provided by Christ. The vote is for diabolical celebrations proving only to widen the way of destruction. This is a dangerous double standard which only pulls from freedom.

Yes, in these United States we are in the midst of a heated presidential election. There is fighting on every side. Some are fighting for freedom while others seek forms of certain slavery. Yet, there is another vote. That vote has more to do with our lifestyles. This vote has to do with how we choose to live our lives. If we live for Christ and His standards then our vote is freedom. If we cave in to the sultry, seductive world of what feels good for the moment then our vote is for bondage. Choose you this day whom you will serve. As for me, I and my house will serve the Lord. We have cast our vote and we will live in such a way as to please the Lord.

Continuing to Stand

It is true that I watched the State of the Union address last evening. To say that I was impressed would not lead to the truth of what I truly felt. Nonetheless, the most troublesome thing that I heard was when our “Christian” President chose to uphold Islam and its tenants over the virtues of Christianity. Now, if one is Islamic it stands to reason that such individuals would further what he sees as just and honourable through Muslim eyes. However, when one is a Christian it should also stand to reason that such a person uphold the virtues of Christianity above all else.

The fact is that Christianity is not given to the weak and appeasing. It is not given to those that uphold its virtues so long as its standards do not offend. The fact is that the Gospel never seeks to appease. Instead, the Gospel has shown itself to be a stumbling stone and a rock of offence (Romans 9:33). This means that there are some who will not take too kindly to the standard of Scripture. Others will find reason to avoid it even if that avoidance means making cultic ventures greater than the Gospel. Well, Christians, it is time we continued to stand. It is time to take back the narrative from those who love not Jesus and stand on the very principles of the Gospel.

The hallmark principle of the Word of God is love. It was because of love that God sent His only begotten Son into the world in order to restore a broken relationship. It was because of love that Jesus humbled himself unto death; even the death of the cross in order to make things right between the Father and man. It is because of love that Christ remains on the right hand of the Father interceding for those that love Him. That love is furthered in Christendom to all that know not Christ might come to know Him. That love is extended to all – even followers of Islam. That love is perpetuated in the lives of the Christian whereby his life is one showing forth the love of God. Love is the hallmark of all that God is as God is love.

On the other hand Islam does not present in love. Now, some might say that all of Islam does not seek to be like what is counted as radical. Even so, contrary to the commandment of love found in the Holy Writ, Islam presents no such idea; not even amongst its own. Many Muslim men rape their women and other women. There are honour killings in the name of Allah for those who betray the teachings of Islamists. Many Muslim men take very young wives and often those wives are counted as property. Those counted as infidels are beheaded, burned and drowned. Yet, Islam is counted as the religion of peace even while the Prince of Peace is seen as a mere prophet to be subordinated to Muhammad.

This is not a time for Christian apathy. It is not a time to kowtow to the move of some political figures that seek to remove Christianity from the public arena. Instead, it is time to stand in the face of adversity. It is time to hold fast to the fundamental teaching of the Gospel. It is time not to give in to the feel good temporary gimmicks of the day. Instead there needs to be a continuation of the stand that was called for in Scripture. This stand is not a stand with calm waters in a peaceful pond. No, this is a stand when the wind and waters are contrary to what we know to be right. We started standing and that stand needs to be perpetual.

Ephesians chapter six uses the word “stand” three times. The idea of standing is central to the chapter and to Ephesians at large. However, the idea of standing is not specific to the church of Ephesus. Christians today are also faced with the wiles of the enemy. Christians today need to wear the entire armour of God. And, when one wears armour he, by necessity, must stand. Standing is not an act of apathy. It is an act of boldness and determination. Determination — what an idea from a determined God in order to restore broken relationships. Standing in love; what a way to present the truth of the Word of God without shame.

If Black Lives Really Matter

The continuing mantra of “Black lives matter” has been raised to a deafening decibel. It seems that no matter where one goes or what happens there are those that come out of the woodwork to declare the importance of Black lives. The deafening sound has been once again raised as a young Black male died while in police custody last week in Baltimore. Many of the facts of the case have yet been made public; yet masses of people have taken to the streets of Baltimore declaring the absolute importance of Black lives.

It is doubtful that the Baltimore police set out to target Mr. Gray because of his skin tone. The fact is that Mr. Gray, the reason for this latest uprising, was in an area of West Baltimore where drug sales and usage are prevalent. He was a know drug dealer and may have been caught in the act of selling drugs. Admittedly, this is speculation; still, if Black lives matter perhaps this young Black man should not been on the notorious corner selling drugs as had been his practice. Perhaps he should not have run when the police approached him. If Black lives matter perhaps those Blacks that choose to use drugs would think more highly of themselves and not do things that are harmful to their bodies. Additionally, if Black lives truly matter perhaps respecting law enforcement officials would bring many matters to just ends rather than having a person die because of wrong choices.

If Black lives really matter then perhaps Blacks should not put themselves in harm’s way. Perhaps, just perhaps, Blacks would stop killing each other. The outcry of police targeting and killing young Blacks is not supported by actual facts and numbers. Even so, the killings are not just on the streets as a result of gang and other violence. Blacks often kill their unborn for reasons that seem unreasonable. If Black lives really matter perhaps these killings would cease to be because even unborn Black lives should matter if Black lives really matter.

Now, this article is not one of political correctness and cannot be if Black lives matter. Perhaps those Blacks who are having babies out of wedlock would consider the negative ramifications of raising children on welfare. Of course, if these Black children are being raised on welfare there is a very good chance the fathers are not in the picture. If Black lives really matter perhaps having babies simply to collect an unearned checks would become a practice of the past. If Black lives really matter then fathers would be allowed not only in their children’s lives but also back in the homes of those Blacks lives that matter. If Black lives matter perhaps those things that tear at the family would be addressed so that the family unit is once again made whole.

It is true that Black lives matter which is why those Blacks that have chosen to live contrary to the law might make better decisions. Living riotous lives does little to promote healthy living. This is why if Black lives really matter Blacks that lie to collect social security or other “benefits” would cease the lies and pursue healthy occupations. There is no guarantee of ease. There is no one that should expect employment merely because of pigmentation. As such, Blacks might do well to better themselves. Perhaps trade school or other training might be in order. College is not a bad option for those who enjoy academia. If Black lives really matter then perhaps Blacks should do everything possible for self-improvement as well as aiding others to pull themselves up from the muck and mire which serves only to destroy them.

Generational curses of Black families are often perpetuated because many Blacks have turned their backs on the One that is the epitome of reconciliation. Blacks need to reconcile with God and seek to live in accordance to the way that Jesus taught. If Black lives truly matter Blacks would turn to the giver of life rather than seek to take lives. Jesus is surely the answer for those Blacks who would take to the streets repeating false narratives that seek only to tear apart the greatest nation on Earth. If Black lives really and truly matter the Blacks would stop whatever they are doing, repent and begin living a life pleasing to the Most High God. Yes, Black lives really matter and those Blacks need to raise their hands to a Holy God in complete surrender to His Majesty.

Are We Yet Slaves?

The annals of history show the early days of the United States fraught with slavery.  It was a time that tainted the flag of freedom showed as a cloak of burden. The slavery in the United States presented an institution that was anti-Constitutional, yet many fought to keep certain of the citizens downtrodden by hatred and selfishness. Slavery meant that segments of the population were under the control of the masters with no freedom to choose or live any other way except as instructed. The ever-present bondage meant that the slave was beholden to his master no matter the slave’s desire.

There were also instances wherein slaves were freed. The freed slaves were no longer beholden to their masters. However, some slaves chose to live in a state of slavery except they were often counted as indentured servants. They chose to stay because in the master’s house there was comfort. There was a place to sleep, and food to eat. There was no need to buy food because the master took care of everything. As long as they stayed with the master the master made sure they were well.

Not much has changed in these United States. There is still slavery except that the slaves are not bound by chains. Some have been freed from the harsh taskmaster, yet they have given him allegiance because of the things he provides. Often these taskmasters present all the comforts of that can be had. Fame and fortune sometimes come with giving in to a taskmaster that loves only what can be done to further his own mission. However, there is no true freedom. There is nothing but constant appeasing of the thing that seeks only destruction.

The fact of the matter is that there is no reason for anyone to be enslaved. This is particularly true when it comes to sin. While it is true that the sin nature of man is natural it is more natural for the Son of God to come and provide a path of freedom from the sin. His vicarious death on the cross meant that no one has to give in to the bondage of the yoke of sin. All one needs to do is accept the atoning death of Christ as atonement for his own sin. However, there are those that choose to live in the bondage of sin, even though the Messiah has shed His blood so that sin can no longer have mastery of its subjects.

Galatians 5:1 shows Paul encouraging the church at Galatia with the words “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The yoke Paul refers to is sin. Sin is a relentless slave master that promises all the world while doing nothing more than pulling the slave deeper into the abyss of death and destruction. Are we yet slaves to sin? Must we give our lives for a few comforts and a little pleasure?  Must we remain in bondage so as to seal our eternal fate out of the presence of a loving God?

The fact is that Christ did make us free. In His freedom, the liberty is without bounds. All we need do is shed the robes of sin and replace those robes with the garments of praise. The praise will serve only to keep sin far from the one singing praises while building that relationship between God and man. And then there are those that choose not to walk in the liberty provided by Christ. There are some who chose to stay with the slave master who will only use them until they can be used no more. Are we yet slaves? Must we where the yoke of bondage that serves only to choke the life out of us?

Living as a slave to sin is living to fulfill the lust of the flesh. Adultery, fornication, and uncleanness are tools of the slave trade. Must we give in to lasciviousness and idolatry? Are witchcraft, hatred, and variance so important that we must relent our freedom? Are we yet slaves to wrath, strife, and seditions? Must we give in to Envyings, murders, drunkenness, and reveling? Do we have to lay down our freedom for the temporary fulfillment of desire?

The death of Jesus served to set man free from the power of sin. Sin enslaves and separates while salvation joins and liberates. If Christ died for our sin are we yet slaves to sin?

He Didn’t Have to Do It

The story has been told time and time again. It would take little effort to examine the incarnation of Christ from an academic viewpoint. However, academia is not the reason for the incarnation. In fact, the only reason for Christ laying aside some of His attributes was because love was the impetus for the sacrifice. Love looked through the annals of time and realized that without the redemptive work of an incarnate Christ, man would be forever dammed.

Pardon my imagination. I am sure that a conversation took place in Heaven. The Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit engaged in a discussion centered on finalizing the plan of salvation. The Old Testament paved the way with multiple foreshadows of how the plan of salvation would play out. The time was ripe and the season ready for the Son of man to humbly present himself. And, so the Son of God took on the flesh of man and walked the earth. For the last three of His thirty-three years Christ worked tirelessly to restore the broken relationship between God and man. He sought to put to rest the consequences of sin. This is a work He didn’t have to do yet He saw reason for salvation.

At this juncture to rehearse the story Good Friday might serve to bore some while encourage others. To talk about the mock trials and the thorn of crowns would cause some to weep and others to repent. The fact of the Via Dolorosa might consider some to look at their own sorrows, or even consider the fact the Christ did not have to suffer unjust lashings. He did not have to suffer the lies and embarrassments of a false declaration of guilt. No, Jesus did not have to suffer at the hands of the man over whom He held ultimate authority. Still, nothing was to stop the King of kings from fulfilling the will of the Father.

No, Emanuel did not have to suffer the cross. He could have avoided the nails. The thirst He suffered showed that the God-man suffered as a man; yet, His determination to redeem man was born from the God He was. This Jesus, the One betrayed with a kiss, could have called ten thousand angels to come to His defense – but He stayed on the cross. His blood dripped from His torn and broken body. He refused to come down. The mission was not accomplished so He could not come down. He stayed on the cross because He sought to please His Father as He worked to heal man. The Saviour after much anguish, after considerable pain, and untold humiliation chose to bow his head and die. He died so that man would not have to die in sin. The death of the Anointed One meant that there would no longer be a separation between God and man as the Blood of the Saviour was now available to wash away the sin of the world.

The story, however, does not end at the cross. No, the story is just to begin and cannot be contained in the words of this essay. The torn veil says much. The darkened sky and earthquake was more than one soldier could take. Yea, the centurion indicated that this One on the cross must have been the Son of God. And, then there were those dead lovers of God that were freed from the grave. The confrontation of our Lord and Saviour with the enemy would have made headlines today. Death was not able to keep Him. The grave could not hold Him. The keys to death, Hell, and the grave were snatched from the hand of Satan. The victory had been won!

O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Christ did get up from the grave. He held the victory then and holds it now. Now He sits on the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me all because He wanted to restore that broken relationship. All He asks is that we follow His perfect example.

If Christ has not risen in your heart now is the time. Do not put it off until tomorrow as tomorrow may be too late. Don’t, I beg you, let it be said to late; let the Lord in. Now is the time of salvation. Now is the time to let Christ rise in you!

This Christmas

Over the more than five decades of my life, I have had more than ample opportunity to examine the way Christmas is celebrated. It has grown from the appreciation of Jesus becoming incarnate and early morning services to extreme commercialization. And while there is nothing wrong with the exchange of gifts and sitting around the table with for a well-prepared feast, I wonder what would happen if this Christmas there would be a focus on the true reason for the season.

John 3:16 clearly shows an expression of God’s love. There was a divide between God and man by reason of man’s sin. For centuries God worked on His plan to bridge that divide. It would take a sacrifice that only the Godhead could make. It meant that God would have to send His only begotten Son into the world as the way to restore a broken relationship. This meant that the Son would have to lay aside somewhat of His attributes of Deity in order to walk with man. This Christmas is no different than that first celebration of the Christ more than two thousand years ago.

So, this Christmas it might be prudent to consider the restorative power of the incarnate Christ. Consider how absolute healing can be secured if that same Christ was born afresh in our hearts. No, there is no suggestion that families should remain apart rather the converse is the case. You see Christ came to restore a broken relationship. In this is the ministry of Christ, restoration. It is also a ministry that should be celebrated within families as there are many broken families. These gaps need to be bridged in that the ministry of reconciliation should reside in us all. This Christmas can be a Christmas of healing which reaches far beyond immediate families.

This Christmas let restoration reach beyond families into our communities. Once the healing of restoration begins in families then communities will begin to feel the impact. The reciprocation will not stop there instead neighborhoods, cities and states will begin to understand what restoration is about. Now, this will not be an easy move in that it will require significant sacrifice. Consider the sacrifice of Immanuel. He had to leave everything He knew in order to restore brokenness. It was not easy yet the challenge did little to prevent this Holy One from humbling himself in order to reach out to man in the form of man. This is reconciliation. This is the story of Christmas. This Christmas let us reach out to heal and restore even when convenience is not in order. This Christmas let us keep the Christ of reconciliation in Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

And They Call Themselves Christian

Yes, they are out there, millions of people that call themselves Christians. There is no doubt that you have heard them and seen them. They have all the right moves and say all the right words. These people are very convincing if you only consider the very surface of what they say and see the feigned mannerisms of what Christians are thought to be in a society that expects Christians to be the all-accepting, all understanding, standing on nothing group of weak-kneed people that Christians are supposed to be. The problem is that these people that see Christians in this light are usually not Christians even though they may call themselves Christians for the sake of expediency.

Christians, by definition, are those that follow the tenets and teachings of Christ. This means that the Christian is one who has adopted a lifestyle of living according to the Word of God. Yet there some that choose lifestyles far from what is provided by God with excuses such as “God knows my heart” and “only God can judge me.” Well, with that being the case it becomes more than evident that those that choose to shack up rather than marry not only ignore the Word of God but also count God and His Word irrelevant and not a standard of morality for the day. Nonetheless Ephesians 5:3 addresses the matter of fornication among other things that were common then and now. The words, “but fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not once be named among you, as becometh saints” paint a clear picture of things not condoned by God yet are common practice for some that call themselves Christians.

And the discussions of sexual sins are rightfully abundant among Christian circles yet there are other discussions that need to take place that is not often heard. Consider, for a moment, some that choose to fight with the people of God. The fight need not be physical yet harm can be brought to the people of God in words and in actions. This is a very dangerous place to be in if you are the one that chooses to not only fight with but also to antagonize the servants of God. With this the principle found in I Chronicles 16:22 remains applicable today in that the text urges that the anointed of God be not touched and that the prophets of God be not harmed. Now, the anointed here is specific to those that God has placed in kingly authority such as David. The prophets are those that present the Word of God by preaching, teaching and prophesying. To harm any of these in any way can prove detrimental to the offender. Consider the account of Elisha in II Kings 2:23-25.

The list of issues that purported Christians bring to the table is certainly enough to fill a book. Many have forgotten that to be a Christian takes much more than a casual statement of belief in God. The fact of the matter is that mere belief in God is not the same as a Christian life. James states this clearly in James 2:19. The fact is that belief in God should be more than head knowledge rather the entire life of the Christian should be congruent with the teachings of Christ. This lifestyle includes not just what is done but also what is said. There are many that call themselves Christians that have no control over their tongues. James also addresses this matter by showing that “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26). The Carter Translation (this writer) would say that if any pretend to worship God and will not cease from cursing and profanities then there is really no worship of God.

The fact is there are hosts of people that hold their hands high during Sunday morning worship services yet their lives during the rest of the week are somewhat lacking. Scripture provides no recourse for lack of dedication to the Word of God. Instead, Christians are called to holiness. Holiness is not the negative attribute of being better than others with uplifted noses. Rather, holiness is the state whereby one’s lifestyle is wholly different than non-Christians. Christianity is not a popular movement backed by the mantra of political correctness. Instead, Christianity is a way of life that exemplifies the incarnate Christ. With that, if one does not adhere to the standards of the Word of God while calling himself a Christian it might well be suggested that this man’s religion is vain.

On Role Models

There is no big secret concerning the fact that I am not a fan of sports. In fact many that know me will quickly let you know that if I never saw another football, baseball, basketball or anything of the like my life would not be moved one way or the other. This is not to say that I am not concerned about some issues that surround sports and the athletes that make sports so popular. One thing that is ever present is the idea that sports figures serve as role models for much of the country. While there is little doubt that many of these athletes are wonderful and upstanding people I am not certain that I would hold any of them to the level of role model for me or those that I so care about.

I recall not long ago I was invited to an event in Baltimore. While I was not among the honoured guest it was an honour to be part of this event. One special person at the event was Baltimore football player Ray Rice. I remember there was much ado made about him before he entered the room. Frankly before he came I could not understand the uproar about this man that was to come. Still, I sat with some that I had worked with while eating some crabs (you must have some Baltimore crabs) and enjoying light conversation. Before long the announcement was made that Mr. Rice was about to enter and enter he did. Well, I expected a seven foot tall nearly four hundred pound man to break threshold as his massive being made it into the room. That was not to be as his body guards were larger than he was. And, being not more than five feet from him I dare say that impressed was not among the ideas that crossed my mind.

Now fast forwarding to events that Ray Rice wherein recently involved in presents the idea of an abusive man with a short temper. The fact is most of us know little about what happened that day in the elevator. One this is sure that Mr. Rice knocked out his then fiancé. That very act does little to promote the idea of what a good positive role model should be presenting to those looking up to him. And while I take issue with the idea that a sports figure is a role model simply by reason of him be a sports figure some see athletes as role models just because they are in the public view and play sports. Well, I have a different idea on what role models truly are.

I remember growing up in Baltimore having two step-grandfathers. Deacon Leroy Singletary (now deceased) was a hard working man from what I could tell and was a strong man on a number of fronts. I spent many hours with him and dare say that a bit of him has rubbed off on me. My maternal grandfather, the late Rev. William James Smith, is the person after whom I have been named. He was the pastor of a small Baptist church and one that I looked up to from as early as I can remember. Undoubtedly parts of him also rest in me and more than that name I am more than proud to bear. These two stately gentlemen were among the best role models of my childhood and have impacted me to the extent that I can and never will forget them.

Then the time came for me to enter the United States Marine Corps. To say that it was a challenge is to put kind niceties on things that were not always so kind. Early in my career I had the good pleasure of running into Master Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Witt. This giant of a man was not only a Marine’s Marine but also was a gentleman and a servant of God. He left this earth way too soon yet he impacted my life in ways that I cannot begin to spill in this forum. Suffice it to say that Tom was a man, a friend and a role model to make even the best step back and take a look of a man with tremendous stature and dignity.
Then there was my pastor in Hawaii. Dr. Wayne E. Anderson is a man that taught me the truth of Christendom. There were a number of things I would not have learned when I did except that this preaching, teaching, God loving man was found in my way. I can say with absolute certainty that the years I spent with this man were years of growing and learning. Yes, attending his church was much like attending book camp. There was much to learn and growing to be done. The good doctor was there for and with me through some good times and some bad times. Without him I would not have the Christian foundation I have today. Yes, Dr. Anderson served as another giant of men and a role model cannot be found in a better man.

My list of role models can go on and on yet I cannot ignore my current Bishop, Johnny C. Carrington, Sr. He is one of those old school preachers that grew up in the streets of Baltimore just blocks from where I grew up. So I had more growing to do when I returned to Baltimore and Bishop Carrington was there and remains there for me. He was there as I endured more difficult times and well as good times. Without him I could not have completed college. Without him I would not even be a member of the clergy. He is another man that stands tall and has pulled me alongside him. What a role model!

And there is another role model I simply cannot ignore. That is the Son of God, the Man Jesus Christ. Here is one that died for me and presented an example for me that points only to victory. My other role models have been wonderful and will be remembered until my last breath yet Jesus is the reason for my breath. Jesus was not with me just during portions of my life as those noted above rather He was and remains with me throughout my life. Jesus is in fact the pinnacle of role models. It is my hope that my examples to my children are enough for them to call me their role model as Christ is to me.

With this is becomes increasingly difficult for me to call people such as Ray Rice role models. It is not because of the negative incidents in their lives rather it is because of the lack of personal relationship. In order for one to be an effective positive role model the underlying characteristic must be relationship. Without relationship there is no one to look up to. If there is no one to look up to there is no role model.

A Father’s Love

     It has been shown time and time again that fathers are most important in children’s lives. The love and strength of a father becomes paramount in teaching, play, discipline and protection of young impressionable lives. Yet this present society has done much to force fathers out of the home with social handouts such as welfare and the like. With the forcing out of men from the lives of youngsters fathers have been marginalized and declared by some to be insignificant in the raising of children.

     Making matters worse some women wrongfully take advantage of certain woman’s organizations which purport to protect women from abusive husbands. While it is true that some men are abusive (as are some women) many of these organizations put forth the false notion that all men have the propensity to abuse whether or not they have committed any atrocities against their wives. As such silly women see men that are the head of the home as being controlling and abusive merely because he makes decisions and presents his point of view. The consequence is that these unlearned women seek relief from the marriage and go on to rid the household of a man truly seeking to be a father to his children.

     But the consequence goes far beyond the removal of a loving father from the home. Quite often young girls needing the love of their fathers turn to other males for the love they have been denied because of silly women. This sometimes results in promiscuous lifestyles and at other times the result is truly abusive relationships. Additionally young boys have need of strong loving fathers and when they don’t leadership is sought elsewhere. Often this need for loving leadership is sought out in gang activity and the like which eventually leads to death or imprisonment. Yet many in society still seek to remove fathers from households under the guise of protecting women and children.

     This societal abnormality is a type of what is going on in the church world. Many seek to serve God by removing Him and His standards from the Church. There are desires to have a form of godliness however the love of the loving Father has been replaced with some sounding off in order to fulfill the lusts of itching ears. It seems that there is an “anything goes” attitude in Houses of Worship” in the place of the high standards set down by the Father of love. And because God has been excused from the Church the consequences are dire. Instead of choosing honorable men as deacons drunks, liars and thieves have taken the realm. Heretical teaching has replaced good sound biblical teaching.

     The results are damaging. The organists, while skilled, have sometimes succumbed to homosexuality. The head of the children’s ministry and youth workers have sometimes turned out to be pedophiles. The ushers are no longer gentle leaders but rather have turned to para-police entities. Men no longer remove their hats in the sanctuary and it has become increasingly difficult to tell the males from the females by reason of dress and hair styles. The consequences are furthered because a double standard has been created in lieu of the Father’s love. The result of this is that the people of God have turned to idolatry, whoredom and backsliding from the love of the Father.

     During this most holy season it becomes important to note the love of the Father. John 3:16 clearly shows that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Now, that is love! His Son was provided so that man could have eternal life. The Father’s love stretched beyond eternity so that His children would be able to enjoy a relationship with Him. This is the same type of relationship that earthly father’s seek with their children. They desire not only to groom and mold them but also to be able to sit and talk with them. To have an intimate relationship wherein the love of the father is evident in every aspect of the children is the goal of a loving father.

     Such is the goal of the heavenly Father. It is not His desire to keep his children in bondage but rather to present to them liberty which affords them the choice to serve and return the love of the Father. Adam had such a choice and enjoyed a relationship with the Father for an undetermined period of time. Even while sin entered into the heart of man the love of the Father did not wax cold. Instead a plan was put in place to restore the broken relationship. That plan included the death of the Son of God which, by extension, resulted in His resurrection. This resurrection occurred because of the Father’s love and desire for unadulterated relationships with His children.

     During this Resurrection season it would do all well to consider the significance of loving fathers in the lives of their children while work is done to have the resurrected Saviour become paramount to the extent that the love of the Father is most evident in the lives of His children.