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.

Relenting is Not an Option

I have to say that it is really getting personal now. The attacks on Christians and Christianity are an unbearable truth. Christians in countries highly influenced by Islamic terrorists are being killed as though they are bugs on the floor. They are being beheaded merely because they are Christians. College students are also being attacked by those seeking to please Allah. They are shown no mercy only because they have chosen to worship and serve the One and only God. All this is going on while other Christians are forced to denounce the Holy One or suffer dire consequences.

As if this were not sad enough activities in the United States are not much better. Consider the Indiana and Arkansas laws which are but a mirror of Federal law instituted about twenty years ago. The laws have nothing to do with discrimination and all to do with the enforcement of the 1st Amendment. Yet many were riled by the gross misconception (or ignoring of the facts) that the laws were the target of homosexuals. Out of this the attacks on Christians were such that at least on pizza establishment was forced to close its doors at least temporarily.[1] And there are other attacks on Christians. These attacks are legal and political and serve only to shame Christians.[2]

Well, I have had more than I am willing to take. I am weary of the President bemoaning Christians while extolling Muslims.[3] If Mr. Obama is the Christian he purports to be why does he not defend Christianity? Why is the Muslim prayer at sunset the most beautiful thing that falls on his ears?  Why, does the good President, not extol the virtues of Christianity above all? Perhaps, and only perhaps, he enjoys Islam above the teachings of Christ. Well, I have had enough and I will not relent on the virtuosity of the Gospel. Relenting is not an option!

Scriptural texts clearly show that Christians will suffer persecution. Even more, Christians are not promised an easy time. The God-head new in advance these things would be which is, in part, why the Holy Spirit was sent. Nonetheless, Christians are encouraged to stand in the face of adversity. Ephesians 6:13, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” This text clearly shows that there will be opposition to Christians. The Christian is not to be unprepared rather; he is to be ready in the face of opposition.

Consider two significant words in this text, “evil day.” There is no doubt that these are evil days. Right is wrong and wrong has become right. The less than two percent of homosexuals in this nation are all but discriminated against yet they hold themselves as being beaten and downtrodden. Frankly, I am vehemently opposed to homosexuality even while I embrace those that are entangled by this unseemly (Romans 1:27) behavior. As Christians we are called to love and love has much to do with doing what is right even in the face of apparent wrongs.

Just as it is wrong to steal, cheat, lie and commit adultery it is also wrong to commit homosexuality. Furthermore the Constitution clearly provides Christians the right to celebrate Jesus without retribution.  However this has not stopped special interest and political detractors from doing all to silence Christians. Well, I will not be silent. I will not give in to the pressures of political correctness. I refuse to lay down the standard of holiness because some choose to live contrary to God’s Word. I will not give up and I will certainly not give in. Relenting is not an option!

[1] http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/04/01/indiana-pizza-restaurant-forced-close-after-backlash-refusing-cater-gay-wedding

[2] http://www.theconservative.info/html/war_against_christianity.html

[3] http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/dgreenfield/obama-defends-islam-attacks-christianity-at-prayer-breakfast/

Appearances, Appearances

There has been much talking here of late about appearances. Specifically much of that talk has been around President Obama and some of the latest optics of his administration. One such was the sending of three White House representatives to the funeral of Michel Brown who would have gone unknown except for the fact that he robbed a store and at minimal challenged a police officer. Unfortunately no representatives were sent to New York where two offices were killed as they sat in their car. Now there is much discussion about the recent show of solidarity against Islamic terrorism in France wherein at least forty Heads-of-State joined arms yet no one from the United States was sent to stand with the world standing against a common enemy.

There are hosts of other optics that can be pointed out such as this administration’s refusal to call Islamic terrorism Islamic terrorism. This goes to the point that appearances mean everything. For instance, if one were to go to the “block’ in downtown Baltimore around midnight and he sees a young lady scantily clad going into a strip joint (or out of one for that matter) he might deduce that the lady might be at least a dancer. Such is the case within Christianity. Appearances mean not just a temporary opinion or view but rather appearances mean everything. What one dresses like, acts like and who he associates with speaks volumes about who that person is.

For instance if a married “Christian” man were found in the same area of Baltimore without his wife and he was just a bit inebriated with young ladies on either arm it might be said that Christianity might not be his chief practice. The fact is that appearances make all the difference in the world. This is why the Christian is called to holiness. Holiness is not merely a state of mind rather it is the way of life of the Christian. This is why Christians stand in the face of that which is unrighteous and unholy. This is why preachers preach and teach against succumbing to the pull of that which turns against God. Appearances is why Christians walk and talk far differently from non-Christians.

With this Christians need to walk arm-in-arm in solidarity against the things that God calls sin and unite with the love of Christ. There are neither big sins nor little sins so that lies are just as dangerous as homosexuality. Stealing is not worse than reveling while drunkenness and the lack of a sober mind can be synonymous. These are matters in which Christians can rally together and be examples for all that choose not to celebrate the God of our salvation. Christians need to present the optics of solidarity from one house to the next so that our common enemy cannot penetrate the wall of togetherness.

It is very true that together we stand and divided we fall so Christians, I beg of you, let us stand together and present a picture of holiness which will serve only to please the Father as we continue to lock arms for the standards of holiness and against unrighteousness.

With Them I Stand

It is true that I have been told that I rail too much against homosexuality. And I do rail against the immorality and godless practice of not homosexuality alone but also against all things that are an offense to the Word of God. My cries will not soften as I see this nation emboldening a group of people that are less than two percent of the population and are setting the course to change the culture of morality in this nation. Consider, for instance, a fairly new law in Houston, Texas wherein the lesbian mayor seeks to employ tactics of “fairness” in discriminatory practices in favour of the local LGBT community. Among the fair things required are that those that feel they are a certain gender at any given time are allowed to use the bathroom of choice depending on feeling rather than actual gender (http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/18398-houston-city-council-passes-pro-homosexual-law-opponents-vow-to-fight).

This resulted in the people of Houston putting forth a petition in order to overturn the law. And of course the fair authorities declared that there were not enough names on the petition even though the numbers far exceeded the required amount of signatures. This did not sit well with the citizenry of Houston so that there was another legal uprising which included at least five pastours in Houston. Needless to say the lesbian mayor (whom I choose not to mention) decided that she wanted no dissenting voices from the clergy. With that decision it was further decided that the people of God had to turn over their speeches to congregants particularly in respect to discussions on homosexuality (http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/frighten-every-american-believes-freedom/). The clergy members continue to stand against the tyranny of a few that seek only to push an agenda that is largely unwanted.

I stand with these men of God. I, too, stand against the immorality of homosexuality. The law in place in Houston is an unjust law on many fronts. Among the ideas presented is the fallacious idea of illegal discrimination against homosexuals. Perhaps the, ah, good mayor of Houston should be reminded of the idiom coined by Augustine, “An unjust law is no law at all.” Wait a minute! This mayor is certainly not familiar with the teachings of Church fathers so perhaps she should be reminded of the constitutional amendments. Never mind, she apparently is not familiar with those either. Nonetheless the fact of the matter is that the few homosexuals not only in this country but also in Houston suffer no discrimination. They have jobs and are not denied housing. The Supreme Court, and other lower courts, have even chimed in and declared that States banning same sex marriages are acting anti-constitutionally. This seems strange to me as I have found no place in the Constitution that supports heterosexual marriage. How then can there be clauses for same sex marriages?

The fact of the matter is that this mayor does not care about anything except her own agenda. Her agenda has nothing to do with what she was elected mayor to do. Now, I really don’t care how homosexuals choose to live. Yes, it is an offense to God and directly opposed to His Word. Still God has provided choices if we will walk in a holy manner or live according to the rudiments of the flesh. Well, I choose holiness and so do those faithful ones in Houston. I stand with them and will not bend to the winds of perversion which seek only to destroy a nation whose founding is predicated on the freedom Scripture provides. I will not give in to the feel good legislation that causes only a few to feel good for but a moment of time. I will not give in and I will not give up!

If it sounds like I am taking this matter personally you can bet that I am. I am more than weary of political hacks telling me what I can and cannot preach over the pulpit. I am sick and tired of my fellow clergy members being threatened because they stand on the Word of God. I have had more than I am willing to take and I am fully in support of the First Amendment which affords me not only the right to worship God but also the absolute write to say what I will in respect to same. Yes, dang blast it, I have had enough and will not sit idly by while my country is being run over not only by illegal immigrants but also my rights are being stripped away piece by piece. Well, enough already! It is time for Christians to stand and to stand uncompromisingly.

You men of God down in Houston, I stand with you. No, I do not hate homosexuals I just love the Word of God more. And, it may as well be stated that I won’t marry some heterosexual couples never mind homosexuals. I simply will not go against the teachings of the Word of God because I fear God way more than I will ever fear man. No, I will not succumb to the threats of imprisonment or to ruthless tactics of the IRS. Yes, there are some that stand on the principles of God and it is with them I stand!

Taking a Stand

Some months ago I wrote the following article and posted on my blog. The more recent stand made by Ted Cruz provides more reason for those that stand for righteousness to get to their feet and relent not to oppressive opposition. It is time to stand not only for a country but also the Word of God.

 

Taking a Stand

 

     Recently Rand Paul, Kentucky Senator, took to the Senate floor in Washington D.C.  He did not take to the floor because he had nothing else to do. In fact Paul had no plans of filibustering. But he had had enough with lies, untruths and misleading insinuations in respect to the use of drones and the prospective Central Intelligence Agency director’s view of such practices. His stand on the Senate floor was a stand to return to The Constitution and the principles which it holds.

 

     After nearly thirteen hours Paul’s stand proved to be effective. Some have asked questions regarding the constitutionality of the use of drones at best the answers were evasive. So, Paul sought to take a stand for The Constitution and a victory was won. The report is that:

 

The filibuster was a tactical win. Paul delayed the vote on Brennan because he was seeking White House clarification on what limits they believe the law places on the use of drones to kill Americans. He got his answer. Attorney General Eric Holder promptly sent a response on Thursday. During his afternoon briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney emphasized that the administration had responded to Paul. “The answer to that question is no,” Mr. Carney reiterated.[1]

 

     With this evidence of taking a stand for what is right won out. But Paul is not the only one taking a stand for The Constitution. Many sheriffs are up in arms about the very idea that some politicians are working tirelessly to strip the rights of the people to “keep and bear arms” (U.S. Constitution, Article 2). The false premise is to protect the children in wake of the slaughter of many at one school. And while no one will argue against the tragic loss of all human lives had there been one person properly trained and armed those lives might have been saved. Nonetheless employing the Sandy Hook tragedy into the “gun control” discussion is within itself tragic. Even so many are standing for The Constitution.

 

     A number of politicians are seeking a number of ways to greatly limit this absolute right. For instance the State of Maryland presently has in place regulations stating that one needs to prove that he needs to carry a firearm before being given a permit. With this regulation in place the courts have determined that the requirement is too stringent and needs to fall more in line with The Constitution. As of this writing necessary changes have yet to be made but some are standing for The Constitution. So, too, are the sheriffs in Nevada. They refuse to give in to the political overtures of those that seek only to strengthen their own hands of power rather they stand firmly for The Constitution. The report is that “Stating they support citizens’ right to bear arms, the Nevada Sheriff’s Association last week issued a letter signed by all 17 sheriffs declaring their intention to uphold the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”[2]

 

     Along the same lines Sheriff James Singleton refuses to relent to winds that would tear at the very fundamental values that have kept this nation strong for more the two centuries. He is taking a stand by upholding The Constitution and has made that very clear with these words:

 

That oath has not changed, nor have I wavered in my promise to keep that oath. And as long as I am your sheriff, I will continue to uphold that oath. My deputies and I “will not support, assist or condone any unconstitutional infringement of your right to keep and bear arms as set forth in the Second Amendment.

Changes in our laws do need to be made to keep criminals and the mentally impaired from being able to obtain firearms. So many times people with mental problems wind up in jail on some petty charge until someone can find a place for treatment. Jail is not the place for persons with mental issues.[3]

     Many applauds are made for those that hold to the truism of a great and wonderful nation. Stands certainly need to be made and those that stand for what is right deserve utmost accolades. But whatever happened to those that are supposed to uphold the standards of Scripture? Where are those that confess that they trust in the Most High? Is there a reason unbeknownst to the general populous that would cause the otherwise brave-hearted to retreat to a world of passivity and apathy? While these are certainly rhetorical questions the fact of the matter is that it is high time for Christians to take a stand.

     Ephesians 6:12-14 reads, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” In this the evidence shows that the Christian will face certain contrary winds. The winds will come from the ungodly as well as the unrighteous. Opposition comes from the spiritual realm as well as the natural. Despite this the Christian is encouraged to stand and then stand again.

     Much like The Constitution the Word of God is under attack. There are many that want God out of the picture as they want The Constitution to be nonexistent. Yet God is not to be ignored. He is and will continue to be. Nevertheless Christians need to take a stand. The stand is upholding that which is true and right. It is not compromising because of the lack of popularity, or the appearance thereof, of the Standard rather it is holding fast in the face of what seeks to tear down that which is true. It is holding onto the vow to serve God even if it means our own demise. After all if the Christian is in fact a disciple of God then he is a martyr. Taking a stand means that there is none more important than that which is stood for. It is high time that passivity and apathy became things of the past and that the Christian put on his boots and take a stand!

 

Taking a Stand

     Recently Rand Paul, Kentucky Senator, took to the Senate floor in Washington D.C.  He did not take to the floor because he had nothing else to do. In fact Paul had no plans of filibustering. But he had had enough with lies, untruths and misleading insinuations in respect to the use of drones and the prospective Central Intelligence Agency director’s view of such practices. His stand on the Senate floor was a stand to return to The Constitution and the principles which it holds.

     After nearly thirteen hours Paul’s stand proved to be effective. Some have asked questions regarding the constitutionality of the use of drones at best the answers were evasive. So, Paul sought to take a stand for The Constitution and a victory was won. The report is that:

The filibuster was a tactical win. Paul delayed the vote on Brennan because he was seeking White House clarification on what limits they believe the law places on the use of drones to kill Americans. He got his answer. Attorney General Eric Holder promptly sent a response on Thursday. During his afternoon briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney emphasized that the administration had responded to Paul. “The answer to that question is no,” Mr. Carney reiterated.[1]

      With this evidence of taking a stand for what is right won out. But Paul is not the only one taking a stand for The Constitution. Many sheriffs are up in arms about the very idea that some politicians are working tirelessly to strip the rights of the people to “keep and bear arms” (U.S. Constitution, Article 2). The false premise is to protect the children in wake of the slaughter of many at one school. And while no one will argue against the tragic loss of all human lives had there been one person properly trained and armed those lives might have been saved. Nonetheless employing the Sandy Hook tragedy into the “gun control” discussion is within itself tragic. Even so many are standing for The Constitution.

      A number of politicians are seeking a number of ways to greatly limit this absolute right. For instance the State of Maryland presently has in place regulations stating that one needs to prove that he needs to carry a firearm before being given a permit. With this regulation in place the courts have determined that the requirement is too stringent and needs to fall more in line with The Constitution. As of this writing necessary changes have yet to be made but some are standing for The Constitution. So, too, are the sheriffs in Nevada. They refuse to give in to the political overtures of those that seek only to strengthen their own hands of power rather they stand firmly for The Constitution. The report is that “Stating they support citizens’ right to bear arms, the Nevada Sheriff’s Association last week issued a letter signed by all 17 sheriffs declaring their intention to uphold the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”[2]

      Along the same lines Sheriff James Singleton refuses to relent to winds that would tear at the very fundamental values that have kept this nation strong for more the two centuries. He is taking a stand by upholding The Constitution and has made that very clear with these words:

 That oath has not changed, nor have I wavered in my promise to keep that oath. And as long as I am your sheriff, I will continue to uphold that oath. My deputies and I “will not support, assist or condone any unconstitutional infringement of your right to keep and bear arms as set forth in the Second Amendment.

Changes in our laws do need to be made to keep criminals and the mentally impaired from being able to obtain firearms. So many times people with mental problems wind up in jail on some petty charge until someone can find a place for treatment. Jail is not the place for persons with mental issues.[3]

     Many applauds are made for those that hold to the truism of a great and wonderful nation. Stands certainly need to be made and those that stand for what is right deserve utmost accolades. But whatever happened to those that are supposed to uphold the standards of Scripture? Where are those that confess that they trust in the Most High? Is there a reason unbeknownst to the general populous that would cause the otherwise brave-hearted to retreat to a world of passivity and apathy? While these are certainly rhetorical questions the fact of the matter is that it is high time for Christians to take a stand.

     Ephesians 6:12-14 reads, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” In this the evidence shows that the Christian will face certain contrary winds. The winds will come from the ungodly as well as the unrighteous. Opposition comes from the spiritual realm as well as the natural. Despite this the Christian is encouraged to stand and then stand again.

     Much like The Constitution the Word of God is under attack. There are many that want God out of the picture as they want The Constitution to be nonexistent. Yet God is not to be ignored. He is and will continue to be. Nevertheless Christians need to take a stand. The stand is upholding that which is true and right. It is not compromising because of the lack of popularity, or the appearance thereof, of the Standard rather it is holding fast in the face of what seeks to tear down that which is true. It is holding onto the vow to serve God even if it means our own demise. After all if the Christian is in fact a disciple of God then he is a martyr. Taking a stand means that there is none more important than that which is stood for. It is high time that passivity and apathy became things of the past and that the Christian put on his boots and take a stand!