Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Second Hand Yoke: F-Bombs and Such

Some people are yoked. They can't help themselves because what they do is an addiction. It's more than a habit because this is the way they have always been. In fact it's so hard for them to change that it seems improbable that they ever will!

To what are some, even Christians, yoked. It's contemporary language. In times past even the vile and crude honored the presence of women and gentlemen. Now even children are exposed to modern language.

Gentleman. What in the world is that? It's a cultured person educated in manners and deserving of respect. They are out of vogue for the present being replaced by "bad boys". Women seem to prefer crude paramours over amicable gentlemen. It's a sign of the times because men's (and women's) hearts are after immediate gratification.

I'll give an example of the "yoke" of which I speak. An elderly man in my former church accepted Jesus as Savior. Several months went by and he stood before the church and cried aloud. His words were "I have used bad language all my life and now that I'm a Christian I can't seem to stop." This old guy was addicted to filthy language and cursing. (What we as children called "cussing"). God freed him from bondage, but Satan didn't want to let him go without a fight!

A person can say anything they want to say in their own home and amidst their own kind. Nobody stops them. However, just as with cigarette smokers "second-hand smoke" hurting others; "second-hand yoke" hurts as well! The yoke of which I speak is contemporary filthy talk. Those who don't want to hear it are the recipients of it second-handed.

What are some of these contemporary words. Right now the "F" bomb leads the pack. It's as common, even in the company of women and children, that it has replaced "uh" as the refreshing (sic) pause in sentences. People fire off the F-bomb as fast as an automatic machine gun. It was at one time a word with shock value, but now the shock comes when the braggart fails to use it!

What business is it of mine? I don't want to hear it. It's a "second-hand yoke" because after a barrage of F-bombs, I go to church to pray and my mind is absorbed in F-bombs. How can I pray when Satan is corrupting my mind? I can't!

F-bombs are not using God's name in vain, which by the way, is the second most frequent second-hand yoke" with "OMG" and it's derivatives.  What in the world is wrong with F-bombs, then?

Proverbs 30:12 "There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness."
Psalm 53:3 "Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Colossians 3:8 "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth."
There are words when used in context that are not filth. Referring to an "ass" is nothing more than an animal kind. When used as an epithet, it's filth. There are appropriate words to describe a foolish person and appropriate words for a persons posterior. "Ass" is not one of those. Used out of context, it's filth!

Likewise, there are appropriate names for copulation. The F-bomb is not one of them! Likewise, the use of it as adjectives, adverbs and nouns is filthy communication. Those standing innocently by do not want their minds corrupted by the ignorance of others! Yes, that's right. People who have limited vocabularies are most likely the ones who use F-bombs to fill the void between ignorant comments!

When I went to the movie American Sniper, I was ashamed to be there!  It was filled with F-bombs. First off, I was ashamed that an army from this so-called Christian nation would talk so filthy. (However, I still thank them for protecting me.) What's worse was shame that I was there. Because of extenuating circumstances I wasn't at liberty to walk out, so I closed my mind and eyes to the movie and made a strong attempt to sleep through it. I was still agitated for weeks that I was even there!

George Washington made an order to his army against filthy lucre:
Washington's Order Against Profanity
"The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing, a vice hitherto little known in our American Army is growing into fashion. He hopes that the officers will, by example as well as influence, endeavor to check it and that both they and the men will reflect that we can little hope of the blessing of Heaven on our army if we insult it by our impiety and folly. Added to this it is a vice so mean and low without any temptation that every man of sense and character detests and despises it."
(Signed,) George Washington
It's a different army now because it's a different nation! Filth has infiltrated society and the army is a reflection of that. Who is it that wants filth to be part of our culture? His name is "Filth". His name is Satan.

If you are using the lexicon of darkness you are a pawn of dark forces. Whenever you throw out the F-bomb you have dutifully done the duty assigned to you by Satan. He has mastered you. Even Christians are attempting to serve two masters, and it seems the one they obey is the one who seeks to destroy!

Make a bequest of God right now! Ask him to deliver you from the yoke of filthiness. He can do that and he will! Not only will you be blessed, you will improve your communion with God, develop a better vocabulary and gain the respect of those who hear you!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Waiting On the Spirit

As I write my Daily Thought, I wait on inspiration from the Holy Spirit. I pray first that my inspiration is from God and that I'm not deceived by false doctrine nor be defending the self. I also pray that my thoughts are not for revenge against anyone or anything. Sometimes though, what bears on my heart are relationships with other people. Sometimes it's today's dilemma; and sometimes it's from a day long past. I open myself to reflection and then write.

Sometimes the astute reader will think "This is about me!" It may be, but it's likely not! For example, when I was a teenager and did wrong, inevitably the sermon that Sunday was all about me. The preacher knew all about my secret sins and attacked me mightily. Years later I asked "Brother Ralph, did you have a private investigator following me around when I was a teen?" He just laughed! Said he "I just preached what the Spirit laid on my heart!".

Ironically, the Holy Spirit just may have been his private investigator (smile). God uses what he knows to convict people of sins, and first off, there are no secret sins:
Psalm 44:21 "Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart."
What I did in secret God already knows even before I do them! How did Brother Ralph know about my spiritual condition? He didn't, but he knew that all men suffer the same temptations. He knew the condition of the sinner's heart. That condition was in mine. He preached to the church, many applied it to themselves, but Brother Ralph had not an inkling about who needed to hear what!  Scripture is used to rebuke sin and bring sinners to God for repentance.

If you sit there in church week after week and never feel any guilt, it means one of two things: 1) either you are without sin, or 2) your heart is hardened to guilt. A hardened heart is a sad place to be and no one is without sin!
 Proverbs 28:14 "Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief."
The mischief is sin. If anyone hardens their heart continually they become reprobate. Because they don't feel guilt, they don't respond and are damned if they're not careful.

When I write I'm like the preacher. I'm not ordained because I don't have to be! Christians are of the royal priesthood by default and our calling is to tell others about Jesus. I attempt to do that without judging. By that I mean that I write and hope it applies to someone out there. Much of the time I self-apply what I write because God deals with me through my cognitive activity. I reflect on what scripture says, not only as it's applicable to others, but for me.

This morning I had no idea what would be my Thought. This is what I write because I was inspired to write by God. Hopefully, it will have meaning for some. There are three responses to scriptural messages: 1) Get angry and reject it, 2) merely apply it to others, or 3) accept it (own it for yourself).

Sometimes after a good sermon I tell the preacher "THEY needed to hear that, didn't THEY?" We both laugh because it's so true. Christians often like the message, the one they think the others need, but if it's one addressing their own sin, they may choose to reject it and be angry.

On one occasion a couple's daughter and boyfriend came to church for the first time. The preacher was called to preach on cohabitation and abortion. Afterward the parents of the girl attacked the preacher for preaching on those topics. Their daughter was living with her boyfriend and had had an abortion! The preacher had no idea, but God did! She may have been angry right then and there, but later she may have grown that "seed' and repented.

I understand how God speaks. I know that when I feel guilty I am a target of the Holy Spirit. Guilt is God's method of bringing me to repentance. Guilt is a healthy thing! When I feel guilty I apply the guilt to me and feel sorrow. Because I feel sorry I repent. I thank God for the ability to be checked and seldom reject his slap on the hands. That's God's grace and even my sorrow is of God!

Over the years I surely have made people angry with my Daily Thought. Many people may have quit reading what I write. Others may think "What a hypocrite!" However, if only one person has a changed life as a result of what I write, then my writing serves a purpose. Just as I was ready to quit writing, I got this message from a reader:
"Mr Herrin after having read a handful of your posts I sit here in total awe of your talent and wisdom. Please continue to put out such marvelous and insightful work. It may feel like not many see it, but I can assure you of this, ONE person sure did. God Bless you". (Asher Jones; September 12, 2014 at 2:27 PM)
He flattered me and that is undue. That's not what I'm seeking. I needed encouragement and God sent him just at the right time! This ONE person got something out of what I wrote. That was the encouragement which I needed when I needed it. The devil was defeated that day and God inspired Mr. Jones to defeat him!  As for the flattery, it's appreciated, but what I write is God's. He inspires it and he gets the credit!

My vocabulary is limited as is my theological training. However, at times God astounds me with what he plants in my mind. He'll plant a word with which I'm not familiar or he'll give me an insight into scripture. That's not me. That's him. I don't say that God speaks to me, but I know that he inspires me! Who motivates me to write each morning when possibly no one will read what I write? God does! Mr. Jones knows that!

So as I sat here waiting on the Spirit to inspire me, he did! Someone somewhere needs to read this. There is somebody out there who holds me in contempt for some reason. Perhaps I have stepped on toes with what I write. Perhaps they think that I am self-righteous. Someone needed to hear why I write.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Life is too Short to Spend Outside Harmony

There are two commands made by God: 1) That mankind live in harmony and 2) that God is the One who harmonizes, and as such, we're to love the conductor (Luke 10:27 paraphrased). Psalms are God's lyrics to melodies he wants to hear!

In  none of God's compositions do we ever find encouragement to hate, nor have discord, antipathy, unforgiveness,  dissension, jealousy, blame, grudges, unfairness, ostracization ,  nor condemnation of fellow Christians, nor even sinners. We are to treat others as we entreat them to do us likewise. "Life is too short to spend outside harmony"!
Ephesians 4:26 "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath..."
Yes, sometimes people get angry! God recognizes that. Getting angry is not necessarily sinful, but dwelling in anger obviously is. When we're angry with another person, the anger is to be resolved before dusk! There are no "ifs" about it:

  • If the other person apologizes.
  • If the other person changes.
  • If  I get what I want.
  • Etc. 

We are to let our anger wane as the moon waxes! That's a demonstration of our love for others. Except for lying politicians, I attempt to make things right with everyone before I go to sleep each day. I especially would never want to go to sleep without making amends with my spouse! We all get lax with that, but it's God's desire for us; that anger doesn't rule in our lives!

"Retribution"  is the "off key" in the song where we're to harmonize. As we're to sing joyously, the wrathful alto gets even. The owl screeches a lone melody as sirens endeavor to harmonize.  The owl gets even for the "Ow!" it feels!  "Because I'm miserable, I'll make you miserable too!" is the song she sings. One can also substitute the words "guilty", "awful", "mean-spirited", "cantankerous", "resentful" and many others where "miserable" comes first in the quote!

Of all the things Christians must do, to be in God's will, is to be in unity. That's where many who are diverse in nature, come together for the will of God. Unity is the way Christians harmonize. However, just because we sing songs together doesn't mean the clarion plays boldly and with truth!   One sour note in a choir can demean the whole. One disparaging person in a church can sour the congregation. The same holds true for all institutions. Even families must sing the same tune and be in synchronization! An off-beat from the drummer can spoil the orchestra!

Life is too short to make ballads of despair. Life is too short to sing off-key. Life is too short to hold anger! Life is short anyhow and what life we have is lived more fully with joy. Wrath brings down the person with anger and stresses the one to whom it's directed. A person's goal in life should not be to get even or make life stressful for another person.  Let's just all get along! That's what I told Grumpy! That's what I tell myself. That's what God wants me to do!

We're all together in this life so let us all be in it TOGETHER! That's what God wills!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Judgmental Thoughts

Of course those who sin prolifically are those who most often say "Judge not, lest ye be judged"! They even quote it in the King James English! It's more official that way! However, the most ignorant just scream out "Don't judge me!".

We are not to judge harshly of course, but to witness to sinners, we are to "judge" (have the opinion) that they are indeed living in sin. Of course we leave it to God to save or condemn, but it's our obligation to tell those who we perceive to be unsaved sinners, that there is a better way; a Way with hope!

Given that, Christians do judge and sometimes we do too harshly. Of course if we use the same scale with them as we do ourselves, that's understandable:
Matthew 7:1 " Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
Here is how I judge me! This is the strong opinion I have of myself and it is condemning at times because I deserve it!

I've often said (about me and many other Christians) that "if a person could read my mind, they would scream!"  I'm not proud of the things which run through my mind. I don't put them in there, but Satan does. He plants horrible seeds mixed in with the righteous vines so that those fruit-bearing vines might get choked out.
John 1:6 "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
This is the parable of the vine! The one which doesn't bear spiritual fruit gets burned in the fire. Those horrible seeds planted in there by Satan, if they don't get weeded by doses of holiness, destroy the fruit thereon. That's why Satan plants ugliness where beauty should dwell.

I would like to say that there is no evil in  my thoughts. There is. Most of it is temptation. Being tempted is not a sin. However, it can rob a Christian of joy if those seeds are allowed to mingle with our fruit-bearing vine. For instance I stole things when I was younger. I'm not proud of that, but at times Satan puts a seed in there "Steal it! You've done that before!". This temptation brings up thoughts of my past. I have two choices: I can look forward to my hope or 2) I could look back with fond memories. The latter is what Lot's wife did:
Genesis 19:26 "But his (Lot's) wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."
I had thought God most unfair that he ended the life of a person for looking back at the fire and brimstone. Almost anybody would, right? God commanded that no one look back, but she did it anyway. It wasn't to see the explosions, but to remember the pleasant memories of sins which were rampant there. Lot's wife was already missing the sin which God had just saved her from! Her vine withered to such an extent that she turned to salt!

Now we have established that I battle with evil, as do all people. It's something that I don't have to do by myself because God offers protective armor (Ephesians 6:11).  With that said, I'm in no position to judge others, yet I do! It's human nature, but is a dangerous thing to do. If it wasn't for my born-again experience all these mind things would be held against me. Imagine if you will, me standing in front of God, judging others harshly! God would say "You like your scales so much let's use the same one for you!" Just as David did with Nathan, I would condemn myself! (2 Samuel 12:7; worth reading this chapter!).

As a young Christian I found it easy to quit the outward sins. I no longer had a problem with cursing, filthiness, drunkenness, rebellion against authority, carousing, etc. My problem then and has always been the inability to love others as they should be loved! In other words, my mouth does right, but my heart does wrong. My lips seldom speak evil, but my heart is engulfed at times with wrong UNLESS I keep that whole armor of God off the hangar and on my body!

Because of my own strengths and weaknesses, I judge others according to my own scales. I am quick to judge others by their behaviors. Their hearts may be more pure than mine, but I look at what I see. I can't see their most inner thoughts and emotions, so I judge them by what meets the eye and what I hear.

Yes, I admit it! I judge others unfairly many times by what my senses can detect. If I hear cursing and see drunkenness, my OPINION is that the heart is not right. Others may look at me and say "He doesn't curse or drink. Surely his heart belongs to God!" We are not always the book about the cover. I struggle! It's hard to put the righteous cover on the holy book. Not only do I struggle, but most likely you do too!
Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
My thinking all my life is that sin is wrong, but temptation isn't sin. That's right thinking and wrong at the same time. If we ponder what Satan uses to tempt, we are flirting  with sin. That's our weak flesh. In that case, flirtation with temptation will surely become sin. It's analogous to standing on a precipice in a strong wind. I may stand firm, but again, I may fall over! It's flirting with what Satan has to offer to stand where a Christian mustn't stand!

In the case of flirtation with sin, it may turn into full blown sin:
 James 1:14 "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
Sin, then, is a process which can kill! The first step in the process is allowing oneself to be tempted. That's the part we fail to realize! Even Jesus was tempted, and he allowed himself to be so! However, Jesus knew that he would not be "drawn way of his own lust". Are you sure that you won't be? Lust is the activity of allowing oneself to bask in temptation by imagining the pleasures forthcoming. The act may never be consummated, but the desire may still be there!

We ALL  wallow in temptation. It's original sin. It's what Adam did. Men will always do that. However, we don;t have to! We can chose not to. Given the fact that I, as you do,  succumb to temptation at times, I stood there the other night and judged fellow Christians harshly for what I was seeing, using a different measure than I use for myself!
Matthew 7:5 "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
In short, I did an idiot thing!  I condemned myself by being a harsh judge. My judging was mild. My accusation was that their witness wasn't strong, but I was standing in the mud myself. At times my witness is not strong! My flesh is weak and so yours can be as well. We need to be careful that we don't do what David did! David repented (Psalm 51). That should be our sorrow and repentance as well!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Your Sins are Greater than Mine!

People don't say this out loud, but in their head it rings loud "Your sins are greater than mine!" That's how Christians, and non-Christians as well, rationalize their own misdeeds. For instance when most people err, they say a short prayer, give a half-hearted excuse, then expect all to be well with their soul!

On the other hand when another wrongs them, they remit punishment forever. It may be in the guise of "in the best interests for all", but when one forgives another, it should be just as it (whatever it was) never happened. In other words Christians, after they forgive, should have a short memory. It's called grace and when God forgives, he is genuine in his forgiveness:
Hebrews 8:12 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
This is God's grace. God has the power to cleanse his divine mind of the rebellion from those who are contrite and ask for his pardon. Guess what? We don't have a divine mind, but that's no excuse. Since we are to be like God as best as we humanly can, we too, if we're merciful, are to "remember no more". However, people say they forgive yet hang that wrong over the heads of others until death parts them. If they erase that blackboard, remnants of sins past still show the sloppy washing!

Let's take a look at an example.
John 8:7b "...He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone..."
It's not our place to condemn other sinners! Jesus said "he that is without sin"! That's profound. If people were as they act in church many would step forward with their stone, all seeking to cast first. Jesus was making a point and a good one at that!
 Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..."
None of these folks, without regard to how good a Christian they are, could step forward! However, today Christians everywhere step forward, throw that first stone and continue to toss stones as long as their blinded eyes can see to throw.  Christians, just like non-Christians, often don't put their mercy in practice! By not being merciful, they're shortchanging the love they claim that they have!
Luke 6:36 "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."
I have many faults! I admit that.  I do wrong and if temptation was sin, which it's not, I'd not have enough time in the day to repent! However, one thing which I do have is love! I value other people and friends. Once I have a friend, they are always a friend and by definition that's what a friend is! I don't always agree with friends and some are hard to be around, but that doesn't diminish my love!

I hate worse than anything those who undermine God. Much of the time those are liberal people. However, I still love them! It's hard for me, I admit, but it's not their flesh which I despise, it's their antipathy toward Jesus. It's not my place to condemn them, though. That's God's judgement they face!
Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven..."
Looking at the flip side of this, people want forgiveness, but hesitate to forgive others themselves. Instead of forgive, they condemn. That attitude is the Bizarro Golden Rule: "Do unto others whatever they deserve, not as I would want them to do unto me!"

I attended a church some time ago where there with a person who just did not like me. I'm sure there was a reason and I tried to make amends, but this guy was hateful toward me even at church! Because I couldn't make things right with him, it killed my spirit. Before I sacrificed myself at the altar, I was to have a clear conscious:
Matthew 5:23 "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."
At one time I would think "I don't have any issues with anyone!" However, these verses go beyond that! My brother may "have ought against thee". In other words, I don't hold ill-feelings against this person, but he does me!

With  my nemesis at the other church, I just couldn't get him to forgive me for whatever it is that I did or didn't do! After a year or so of being despised, I just couldn't get joy in praising the Lord at this church. Consequently, I changed churches. The problem didn't go away, but at least I wasn't confronted with disdain every Sunday!

My wish for me is that I deserved to be liked by everyone, but knowing I don't deserve it, I wish that all people would like me in spite of me. That's what Jesus would like as well!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Run in with Lyndon Johnson

In Indiana, at the time I was growing up, a person could drive on a permit at 15 and six months of age. It's been a long time, but I believe that I actually drove without an adult before that time since my attitude as a teenager was "laws are made to be broken".

Regardless, I remember driving downtown Indianapolis on Oct. 8, 1964. Why do I remember that date? President Johnson gave a campaign speech at Monument Circle. I was there!

I was driving south on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis with my friends, Gary Nance and Eddie Hubble. I don't remember where we had been, but we were exploring with my new found freedom. Wheels meant that I was no longer dependent on my parents. Although I defied the authority of the state (thumbing my nose right now at old Gov. Brannigan), I was free from being under parental supervision. In those days teenagers were treated as adults because we had jobs and avoided being caught in mischief!  I did wrong things, but was clever about my parents finding out. Hence, I had almost unlimited freedom. That's why I was driving before my time.

As I was approaching Monument Circle I was amazed for several reasons: 1) I was driving in a large city for the first time, 2) I saw the grandeur of the monument, 3) there were thousands of people (I found out later 30,000) and as I slowly drove down Meridian, they parted for my car)., 4) and then there was the "old man".

I asked of my friends, "Who is that 'old guy' up there speaking?" I forget if they even answered before I said "It's Johnson!" I was within one block of Monument Circle and I could see him plainly! It was the President of the United States (who I didn't like) and I was driving right toward him... at least for awhile! As the people were providing room to maneuver, I could see several men in suits running toward me from Monument Circle. It was his body guards, the Secret Service!

"Oops!" I said as I turned a quick right right through the people onto West Ohio Street. (It's been a long time, but it may have been an even closer one now long closed.). I saw the Secret Service running behind me as I sped up in the crowd. As I drove through the sea of people, they flowed right back in behind me. I believe I escaped without my license number being seen because of the mass of people. At any rate, I escaped the Secret Service with no further incident!

If that incident had been replayed now, where would I be? In jail!  The Lord had grace on me. I could have been in a lot of trouble. I was driving illegally and stupidly and was being belligerent to authority. "Laws are for other people, not me!"

Unfortunately, most people still believe that laws are for others. Because each person has pride and thinks they're special, laws are broken all the day. Just as I escaped the Secret Service, people believe that they can escape detection. As a teenager I was "lucky" or better yet, "blessed"! God blesses stupid people. However, when we buck God's authority we don't escape. We are detected and we are punished unless we make amends. We deserve what we get, but God oftentimes gives us an escape route. We can feel sorrow and repent and he says in effect "Your contrition is sufficient..". That's because Jesus paid the fine even before we broke The Law.

So who says that Lyndon Johnson didn't serve a purpose? He opened my eyes to my offense and I don't think I ever pulled a stunt like that again! Now I endeavor to not do stupid things. I still slip up, but after 52 years God's grace is the same now as it was then!

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God: The Abrahamic Covenant?

Matthew 6:33  "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
While reading the verse above, it struck me! That is the Abramamic Covenant; the deal God made with Abraham many centuries before Jesus said this. Let's take a close look at what this verse means:

Seek - You have an obligation to DO something. It takes work to seek and by "seeking the kingdom of God" it's living Christlike by being righteous just as Jesus is righteous!

These Things - The second part of this passage is a promise "these things will be added unto you". What are those things? Clothing (verse 27), food, drink and clothing (verse 31) and your needs .(verse 32) which is food, clothing and drink  Ancient peoples would consider having all their needs met as being prosperous! (We're much more egocentric than they were because we've been spoiled because most westerners now consider "prosperity" as having most of our desires met!)

Therefore, Matthew 6:33 says (parphrased) "Be righteous and you shall prosper!" Is it obvious yet? Let's look now at the Abrahamic Covenant (AC). The actual covenants is as follows:
Genesis 12:1 "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Most theologians would say that the  AC is "unconditional" in that God offered grace without stipulation. I believe that those theologians are influenced by Augustinian and Calvinistic viewpoints called "unconditional election", that the individual plays no part in his or her election. Of course "seek ye first the kingdom of God" disputes that theology in the New Testament, so it is bad theology, since "seeking" is in fact "doing"!

Within the text of the AC are also things Abraham must DO: 1) Get out of where you are and 2) go where I show you! (i.e., seek my kingdom which we find out later was Canaanland symbolic of the kingdom of God.

After DOING these things God's part of the AC was "I will bless thee"! With God's "blessings' comes prosperity (needs being met), but even more importantly, the spiritual needs. Through the AC the seed of Abraham was blessed by the Savior who was to redeem us. That's the ultimate blessing and eternal prosperity!

In addition to the AC scripture, the following later adds more information to the covenant:
Genesis 17:9 "And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
Part of the AC is circumcision.  To seal the agreement Abraham and his line were to DO something! As a show of testimony and faith, they were to be circumcised!  What and why? Males were to have the foreskin of their genitals removed so as to "cut off the flesh", a small demonstration that they were sincere in their commitment to God. "Cutting off the flesh" is symbolic of the believer's baptism where the entire "creature" or "the entire flesh" is cut off by washing it clean.

The Abrahamic Covenant, then is (paraphrased): "Do these things and I will bless you!" which is much the same as Matthew 6:33 which is (paraphrased) "Be righteous and you shall prosper!"

You see, God had a plan for mankind. Nothing changed between the Old Testament and the New. God, being consistent throughout scripture, didn't have different rules for different times. Salvation was always by grace through faith and men always had to SEEK God's righteousness to enter the kingdom of God! There was never a Plan A and Plan B! God didn't need two plans in case the primary plan failed. His plan was always "grace through faith". God merely described it in different ways!

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Government of the Apocalypse

"Apocalypse" is a two-dollar word which means "the end of things as we know it", or more specifically, "the end of days".
Acts 2:19 "And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Before the earth is destroyed there will be a world just as in the day of Noah. However, the government of the pre-deluge world was anarchy and it's religion was the not even concealed. It was the blatant worship of the "self" where everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

Before the day of the Lord, I believe that the following will be world before it all ends:

  • Sharia Law will be the world-wide government. 
  • A prophet will arise in Islam who will proclaim himself God.
  • However, he will call himself Allah.
  • Christians and other "infidels" will be required to take the crescent mark, or what I believe is the mark of the beast.
  • All will be required to worship the global Islamic "God" and obey Sharia Law or they will be decapitated.
  • The Islamic Caliphate will be formed using socialist ideology to grow it.
  • That socialist government will be at the first 3-1/2 years of the tribulation..
  •  The latter 3-1/2 years of the tribulation period will be communism. 
  • People will be in complete "freedom" as long as they follow rigid law. (i.e., freedom is a deception).
I say this because Marxist socialism is at complete odds with Christianity and the first three years of the tribulation is a period of great things and social justice. After that the socialist government  has to use force to "convert" those who wont' take the mark. At that time the last 3-1/2 years of the tribulation will be a murderous dictatorship which shall purge Christians from the world. None of these things will happen suddenly. It shall creep in so slowly that few will oppose it!

Read Sharia Law,. Read the Communist Manifesto and read the Bible. I think I'm right, but hope I won't be here to know it!

People Differences

People come in different sizes, colors, shapes and quantities. Where do you "fit in" or "fail to fit in" whichever the case may be? "Normal people" are those who pretty well fit in, and that's most of the people. Of course they're not homogeneous in color for "normal" people come in all colors. However, we'll use purple to identify this non-homogeneous group.

Since you're thinking "What is normal?" perhaps we'd better look at that!
"Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural." (Meriam-Webster Dictionary).
Conforming is having the same characteristics as the standard. However, the standard is dynamic. What was "abnormal" at one time, when many digress, becomes the "new normal". The standards of society change!  Why is that so?
Luke 17:26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man."
Here is the same standard for two different times with an obvious variation in the standards in between the two times. The "days of Noah" was the time before the earth was destroyed and the "days of the Son of Man" will be the time preceding the rapture; when Christians living and dead will meet Jesus in the sky!

In between those times God was gracious. Few followed his standards (The Ten Commandments), but he allowed the earth to multiply regardless.  Society created new standards of behavior; a new normal, but God's standards are always the same:
Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) "Jesus Christ(the Word)  is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Whatever was abnormal before Noah is abnormal now and will be abnormal at the time of the coming of Jesus! Sins are always the same throughout time. It is never right for one generation and wrong for another!

The discerning person may say "But God allowed polygamy in patriarchal times, and now he doesn't!" That's true. However, it's not the standard that changed, but God's grace is variable. He's more generous with people when they worship him than when they do not. He does what he has to do to spread his word. If God had destroyed the Israelites for polygamy, no one would be left today to worship him!
Acts 17:30  (ESV) "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent..."
This passage doesn't mean that they failed to know that they were sinning, but failed to see that faith required people to obey. In other words, people took advantage of God's grace! People are again doing that more than ever!

By definition "normal" are those people who have the dominant numbers in society. It doesn't mean that they are the most "right" nor the most "wise" nor the most "beautiful" or the most "anything". It merely means that they are a member of the largest part of the herd. In fact there is in psychology what is called the "herd mentality".
"Herd mentality describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items." (Wikipedia).
People do things that trendsetters do. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!" "What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas". Those are two anonymous sayings about herd mentality. The "herd" are the "normal" part of the people, but again normal doesn't mean "right"!

In fact "normal" means "wrong"!  "Why so?" one of you normal people asks!  Because people have an inborn nature to do wrong!
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..."
In essence, this says that all men have failed to meet God's rigid unchanging standards. In fact even one occasion of "missing the mark" means not making it to heaven "glory of God" (without repentance).

We are all born "normal"! Were all born in sin. Things change though. Look at Figure #1. There is help! Some get worse and are "queer" (different from the norm).
Figure #1

Romans 1:28 "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient..."
The "inconvenient things"are behavioral sins. Sins just as in the days of Noah!

How were things in the "days of Noah"?
Genesis 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Genesis 6:11" The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."
In essence everybody (the normal people) had corrupted the standard. Society's standard before the flood was evil. At the coming of Jesus it will be the same and these corruptions are elaborated in the following:
 2 Timothy 3:1 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good..."
Welcome to "Barry's World"! (Obama's). This is the "new standard" for today. Men do "what's right in their own eyes" just as they did at all times when destruction came!  These behaviors are "normal" in society. Normal people do these things. Even if you don't perform them, normal people allow themselves to be entertained by them and influenced by this new norm. Most people are on the center of the fulcrum on this teeter-totter. Guess what? Some of these "normal people" who live these new standards are Christians!On the other end of "normal" even some "queer folk" are part of them because that's the new normal.

Before we get to peculiar people, let's look at "queer folk". By God's standards those are the people who are so far gone that there just may be no return! I'm not referring merely to homosexuality, but the other "abominations" as well. Those are the things most "disgusting" to the Lord. "Abominations" throughout the Old Testament (OT) are unclean things associated with pagans. They are mostly "sins of pleasure" and it's filthiness because many pagan god rituals had group fornication, homosexuality, and deviant sexual practices. Queer folk (in Figure #1) are the worst of the worst whose very eternity offers no hope"
Romans 1:28 "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful..."
"Wow!" You say. "Reprobate things are just like the things in the days of Noah and in the time of the coming of the Lord!" Sure is! The Old Standard for "the flesh" will be the "New Standard". It's when most people become "reprobate" and the "Queer Folk" (those with faults listed above) becomes the norm!

On the right side of the fulcrum. way to the right, and very few, are "peculiar" people! Who are those?
1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
These are the people who meet God's unchanging standard.  It's those who are obedient to and love God! I's the righteous people who are not part of the norm, but includes those who repent when they do what the world does. Unlike the normal nation, they are "an holy nation". It's a people within a people.  What is peculiar about them? They meet the "standard of God". They merely "love". The same old standard God always had!

Why do I show so few on the fulcrum board? Because there will be few!
Matthew 7:13 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
In effect I paraphrase this: "There are few "peculiar people" who will be rewarded with eternal life.  The normal expectation is that most people will die an eternal death." Within this passage lies "hope" for a few and terror for most! It's a choice. Any person can become "peculiar" and be lifted high!
James 4:10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
Or on the other hand, choose unwisely and sink:
Jeremiah 51:64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her:"

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Man with Two Brains

Steve Martin starred in The Man With Two Brains in 1983. It was about a doctor who fell in love with a disembodied brain, which was stored in a jar, and communicated with him by ESP. This is an unusual plot to be sure, but my point to make is that disturbed people act as if they have two brains!  Their thinking isn't contiguous and the gap between the stimulus and the response is humongous!

Two-brain thinking is as follows: One brain is for the protection of the "Self" at all costs and the other brain is for normal activity!  Let's call the former S-brain and the latter N-brain.

N-brain is rational and has knowledge which when applied becomes wisdom. It takes facts and actually makes decisions which are useful and tries to be just in its interaction with others. It's the brain which does homework, makes decisions at work and interacts with people who have a favorable rating with N-brain.

On the other hand, S-brain takes the same real input and applies it differently. It cares little about truth and facts, but twists logic and truth to keep S-brain from harm.  S-brain spins truth to keep itself from feeling inferior, immoral, inhumane, unloving or unaccepted. Imagine the times when S-brain feels guilt for something. To keep the emotional pain tolerable, S-brain starts the blame game!  How can truth be spun to keep the feelings of S-brain from being hurt? It is always the fault of another, or it's S-brains fault, but S-brain was misled. The truth is that S-brain cares little for truth and creates a new "truth" to allay unpleasant feelings.

There are victims when S-brain is in action. Other people get hurt! However, S-brain empathizes little with those who hurt inside because of S-brain's spin. As long as S-brain is secure in his or her myth, S-brain cares little that their security is at the expense of another's discomfort.

There is a biblical principle which, when applied, can make S-brain inferior to N-brain. Of course narcissistic people who read this care little about easing the pain of others as long as they feel no harm themselves! What is that principle?
Matthew 7:12  “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
What is it you wish that others would do to you? Let's look at a few:

  • Be fair to you.
  • Love you.
  • Treat you humanely.
  • Show an interest in you.
  • Give you the benefit of the doubt.
  • Realize that you make mistakes as well!
  • Forgive you. 
  • Help you.
  • Talk with you.
  • Be with you.
  • Laugh with you.
  • Empathize with you.
  • et al
What is it that you, then should do to others? Same list. Substitute "Joe" or "Sue" for "you"!

S-brain wants these things for the Self, but fails to do these things for Joe or Sue or whomever.

Remember that "S-brain" is the brain which protects it's Self? Well, S-brain also means selfish-brain!  It refuses to follow the Golden Rule which is Matthew 7:12.

For instance S-brain never gives "the benefit of the doubt" because by allowing that YOU may be wrong hurts YOUR pride. By allowing that YOU are not perfect makes YOU imperfect! S-brains don't listen to reason nor accept "reasons". It prefers to see everything offered as mere "excuses" because excuses can be ignored.  

S-brain has a defense mechanism. It dislikes, even hates, others they see as a threat!  If Joe can hurt Sue, then Sue's S-brain kicks in, ignores truth and defends Self (Sue) at all costs!

Let's take an example. Sue says " If you take my ball, it's all your fault!" Sue then displays the ball to tease Joe who in turn grabs the ball. Sue feels resentment toward Joe for taking her ball even though Sue provoked Joe. Joe gets the blame, and Sue, using her S-brain, seeks to protect herself by making Joe feel badly for taking her ball and then spinning truth so that others will see Joe as the instigator and bad guy. As such Sue is a martyr for standing up to bully Joe!

Psalm 52:2 (ESV) "Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit."
Those who stow away N-brains for a short time, while S-brain razor cuts truth, to protect the Self by destroying others, are workers of deceit. We are to build one another up, not put them down!
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV) "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."

But if your S-brain is not encouraging others as the N-brain would do, then you're not doing this. N-brain knows to do it, but S-brain is just too plain independent and stubborn! Those two brains will best you yet!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Arms Opened Wide

When I think of Jesus, I think of a pitiful man on the cross whose arms are spread wide. They're outstretched to receive the nails. However, those arms were always outstretched and the Romans adapted punishment by death to accommodate Jesus. That is to say that crucifixion was invented so that Jesus would die in his normal position: with outstretched arms! God had a secret plan for mankind and mankind adapted to that secret. Even evil men were used for the good of all!
Revelation 2:7b "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
This verse should be crystal clear to those who seek clarity! For those who "overcometh" (have enduring faith), they will be rewarded; "eat of the tree of life". Since salvation is through Jesus alone, and salvation is the Christian's reward, then "the tree of life" is symbolic of Jesus Christ. To validate that conclusion, the tree of life is in the midst of "the Paradise of God" (heaven) and was in the midst of paradise (Eden). It's the same  and only tree!
 Genesis 2:9 "And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Therefore, it's necessary for the Christian to understand since Jesus was there in the beginning (John Chapter 1), he had to be somewhere, and that "somewhere" was in the midst of the garden!  Why was he there? God had a plan!
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
That plan is "a hope". Not just hope, but A HOPE!
1 Timothy 1:1 " Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;"
The tree was in the midst of the garden was symbolic of Jesus who is "The Word" and was with God, and Jesus, The Word, is our hope!  God's plan all along was that Jesus would die for the sins of all mankind! How was he to die? With outstretched arms!
Exodus 17:11 (NIV) "As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning."
Moses, through the power of God, was the "savior" of the Hebrew people from the hands of the Egyptians. Upon approaching Canaan, Moses "saved' the people again with the raising of his hands. When his arms were outstretched the battle went in favor of the Hebrews. This signifies that by faith in the coming savior that the people would be saved. The outstretched arms were symbolic of Jesus whose arms were always lifted high welcoming his children to approach!

As I close my eyes, I can see Jesus as he ministered to those around him:
Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
I'm sure that he had those arms opened wide and outstretched as they would be on the cross! As he died his death was saying "Come unto me... I will give you rest!"

Jesus's arms weren't opened wide because he died on the cross. The cross was used to crucify Jesus because his arms were always outstretched!

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica the first record of crucifixion was by King Darius I of Persia in 519 B.C. This was before the Roman Empire was even founded in 27 B.C. As history reveals, crucifixion was invented as a means of capital punishment 482 years before the Roman Empire even existed.  In turn the Roman Empire used this type of punishment for criminals. However, an innocent man died on that cross instead of all of us! The cross was invented to accommodate the outstretched arms of Jesus. God knew how Jesus was to die way back when, and it was his plan that it was by the cross!

Jesus' arms opened wide beckoning all who will to come unto him, was the plan all along. Romans were merely were pawns in God's plan. The cross was made for Jesus!

On Reconciliation: Conflict Among Christians

A custom among Christians is to "go to the altar". It's there at the front of the church in view of everybody that we kneel and seek solace, assistance, supplications and forgiveness. In essence, it's right there that we humble our "self" and put our flesh in the hands of God where we ask for his mercy.

First off,  Christians no longer offer blood sacrifices, but have but one sacrifice to offer:
Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
The altar is where we present our gift to God! The only gift we have to give is our "self". Jesus has already bled for us; now all that needs to be done is to cover our Self with the blood which has already been shed. When Jesus shed his blood, it was an act of grace!
 Ephesians 1:7 "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace..."
As we are saved by the grace of Jesus in sacrificing himself, we are take our Self and offer it back to Jesus! As Jesus offered grace we are to offer the same:
 Hebrews 12:15 (ESV) "See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled..."
In essence this says "Because Jesus has been so graceful to us, those who claim Jesus as Savior shall offer the same grace to others!" If we fail to be graceful to others "bitterness springs up and causes trouble".

Offering grace to others is not a suggestion. It's a requirement because it is a demonstration of love. As Jesus showed unconditional love to us, that love is to be shown to others! Therefore, before we go to the altar with our own Selfish bequests, we are to present the Self to the Lord. It's a show of obedience! Foremost in demonstrating our love for God is loving others
 John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
The message here is to show grace to others just as Christ has been graceful to us! With that said, if there is something on our heart which is an obstacle to God's accepting our living sacrifice, it is to be made right!
Matthew 5:22 "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: ...23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."
The first thought here is to resolve our own anger by making amends with those to whom we are angry. However, it goes well beyond that! We are to make things right even with those who may be angry with us! Before we offer our living sacrifice, the Self, we are to rid that selfish animal of flaws. The main flaw is lack of love. God wants the best of the flock as a sacrifice and before we offer the Self to the Lord,  it must be the best Self which we have. He cares little about appearance nor deeds, but the condition of the heart. The only thing which men have to offer Jesus is the heart. It must be cleaned up, through him, in order to offer the love of a living sacrifice! We need to make restitution and be reconciled!

You now know what to do, then now all you have to "do" is to "do it"!
James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
I have went to the altar to pray with a brother who was already kneeling there.  Of course I wanted to do this out of love. However, before I can show love to my friend and pray for his sins, my own sins need to be forgiven. How effective is prayer if a guilt ridden sinner goes forward to pray for the redemption of another when his own sins have yet to be repented?

Before I could pray for my brother, I had to make things right with another. I had no resentment nor anger for that person, but I knew that the other person had anger with me!  Before I went forward to pray with person B, I dealt with person A (Me) and to do that, I made things right with person C. Person C may not comply with my attempt at reconciliation because of a hard heart, but it is obligatory for me to show that person love by making a contrite attempt to right wrongs.

The onus is always on the Self to make things right with others. However, we never are alone! God is with us when we do his will!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


"Downers" are medications which are depressants which slow down levels of arousal. Why anyone would want to be "down" on purpose perplexes me! However, I've seen people with little motivation to even eat, let alone be motivated to accomplish objectives.

However, the topic of this commentary is about what others do to contribute to feelings of being "down". Yes, people are "downers" too because being around them brings others down. Such people may be melancholic themselves or, on the other hand, be exuberant. However they are, their disposition brings others down.

We've all been around people who are down. It's hard to leave their presence with a positive attitude. Their lackadaisical non-caring attitude demotivates any who come in contact with them. When they are around, there is "no joy in Mudville"!  (Casey at the Bat, 1988).  However, wise people avoid others that bring them down!
Matthew 27:5 "And he (Judas) cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself."
Judas was the ultimate "downer". Because he felt badly, he hanged himself. My guess is that Judas was not very pleasurable for Christ's faithful band to hang around.  Although Judas did bring down Jesus, if he had lived, he could have brought them all  down.  Guilt made Judas depressed. Depression brought him down. There was "no joy in Apostleville that day"! If he had lived, the melancholy of Judas could have took the joy out of Christianity. Dissension in the church is how Satan endeavors to defeat Christianity.

We all know of Judas' in the church. One man I knew was nicknamed "Grumpy". When I was around him, I soon became as grumpy as Grumpy was! With negative Christians like him around, the church would soon become a dire place to attend. Of course my prayer is that Grumpy would get a little joy in his life and assist in making church a pleasant place for  him and everybody else!

In contrast to Grumpy are those who rob sanctuary from those who go to church for fellowship and peace. Let's call those overly exuberant people "Dopey". They seek attention and the minute they enter church the "Dopey Show" ensues. Dopey is disguised as another of the dwarfs: "Happy". Everything is always hilarious and Dopey is always ecstatic. They are attention seekers and attention they get. Church is all about them!
Mark 10:35 "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory."
These two apostles were "Dopeys". They missed the entire point of why Christ came.
 Mark 10:40 "But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John."
James and John were overly exuberant! They wondered "What's in it for me?" My impression is that they were the two that when they gathered in the upper room, the attention of the crowd was on them, not humble Jesus! Indeed, even John was popular with Jesus. He was the one whom Jesus loved! Because of their zeal, James and John wanted attention. Their attention-seeking ways was a "downer" for the others. "They began to be much displeased with James and John."

James and John were doers. They were active disciples. They made things happen in the church. However, from these passages, at least some of the time, they were zealots for themselves. Many doers in the church are attention-seekers if they do it for a special position. Of course hard workers in the church may be humble servants as James and John matured into, but others are flamboyant in their desire for recognition. We always need to be careful as to why we do things!

Those who are perceived to be seeking popularity in the church bring others down. Others become displeased because of the narcissism  they witness. Overly and falsely exuberant people bring others down just as do melancholic people! Both types of people are "downers".
Matthew 6:5 "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."
Those attention-seekers are those who are self-righteous. They do things to build themselves up at the expense of those who do their works in secret! If the hypocrites had been ordained by Jesus, church today, would be filled with glory-seekers!

Oh, what are we to do?
Matthew 9:29 "Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. 30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country."
We are to keep our eyes on Jesus and do what he says! Some spread the word of his fame because people have a tendency to glorify themselves to be the first out there with the story! I think Jesus expected that! However, the glory stops with him. Jesus didn't come to magnify people, but so that people would magnify God!

Monday, August 10, 2015

On Addictions

An "addiction" is a strong need to have something or do things on a regular basis which may be dangerous or cause harm to the person, or more specifically,  "A state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences." per Wikipedia referenced to six different psychological resources.

Are addictions modern? Not at all! Modern people have just recently started referring to them as "diseases"!
Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
"The flesh" is human desire. It's our instinct to provide pleasure to our self. It can be anything which causes one or more of the senses of self-gratification; it causes a person to "feel good". It's our addictions!
Galatians 5:19 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
 The most notable of these acts of self-gratification is drunkenness. This is one of the most practiced and acceptable forms of self-worship in existence. It, being linked to insobriety, would include drug use of any nature when those drugs are used to altar the state of consciousness. Throughout history drunkenness has been a sinful behavior. Now it's a mere disease! Oh, how we fool ourselves! Our gods are easily deceived.
"People with alcoholism — technically known as alcohol dependence — have lost reliable control of their alcohol use. It doesn't matter what kind of alcohol someone drinks or even how much: Alcohol-dependent people are often unable to stop drinking once they start. Alcohol dependence is characterized by tolerance (the need to drink more to achieve the same "high") and withdrawal symptoms if drinking is suddenly stopped. Withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, sweating, restlessness, irritability, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions.
Although severe alcohol problems get the most public attention, even mild to moderate problems cause substantial damage to individuals, their families and the community." (American Psychiatric Association [APA], underlines mine).
The American Medical Associattion (AMA) declared in 1956, and again in 1991, that alcoholism is a disease of the brain and as such is an illness.  It is "The Disease Theory of Alcoholism".

It seems odd that a behavior which God expected people to refrain from doing, suddenly, in 1956 becomes a disease. Many Christians accept  the disease theory as fact and by implication, minimizes the omniscience of the Creator!  Their god becomes the wise one and the One True God becomes the fool!

First off, "theory" is little more than a "guess". Scientists develop a  generalized "theory" based on an anecdotal situation and then proceed to test it by one or more hypotheses. Oftentimes, they just stand back, look at the body of knowledge and believe what they choose to believe based on observation, even without testing. At best, even if the hypotheses are "tested", the conclusions can be no more than "failing to disprove" one or more of the hypotheses.  In other words, theories are not provable, but yet, people accept educated guesses without question!

Secondly, if an addiction is a "disease" that is fatalistic. Many diseases can never be cured, but merely minimized so life can go on. "The Disease Theory of Alcoholism" promulgates the notion that once a person has that disease, they will always have it! In other words alcoholism is incurable and thus, is fatalistic in nature!

On the other hand "God's Declaration" is that drunkenness, as is murder and many other activities, is not a disease, but a sin; not withstanding that all men have a propensity to sin. This is human nature and is a result of "original sin". We all inherit a desire to satisfy or pleasure ourselves!
Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned..."
The "other god besides me" as I often attest to is our "self(s)". When we pleasure ourselves with fornication, lasciviousness, drunkenness, etc. we are appeasing our idol. Our "Self" wants things and we give things to our "Self". In comes to the point where our god gets greedy. He wants more and more and can't be appeased! Then we respond in kind. We give "the Self" more and more pleasure until our god is an addict! We may even come to the point where we tire of appeasing our god and want out, but he is a selfish god. He requires more and more tribute to keep the pleasure coming. What's strange is that those who live to appease their god, their "Self", are no longer free. They become slaves to their god and their entire life is all about providing pleasure to keep their god happy.

It's not just drunkenness, but any sin is slavery. Those who are slaves to any sin are addicted to whatever sin which their god prefers. Some gods prefer lasciviousness. Others prefer drunkenness. Some even are serial killers and get happiness from pleasuring their thrill-seeking god!  Any sin is an addiction when the sinner can't quit although he (or she) has a strong desire to quit sinning. "The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!"

Some say homosexuals are born that way. Not so! Like any other person, they are born with a desire to pleasure their god; their "Self". It just so happens that their god is a little on the queer side. It titillates!. For one reason or the other, this is the type of pleasure the homosexual god desires. They are born with rebellion in their heart. Their god must be appeased! It just so happens that lasciviousness is their addiction!  They are slaves to same-sex gratification to the extent that that's what they live for! It becomes of utmost importance because their god craves that pleasure.

Because God calls it a sin, homosexuality is neither specifically genetic nor is it a disease. It's an acquired behavior, and I will present "Herrin's Theory": "Since I have seen normal people 'turn', they weren't that way in the first place!" The body of knowledge is with me! "Girls Gone Wild" weren't all born lesbians; they merely seek to provide more intense pleasure to their gods. If they continue in their behavior, they become addicted to that behavior. Their Spirit might be willing, but their flesh is weak. Their flesh becomes their god and they must appease their god!

Nowadays, progressive apologists have labeled most sins as "diseases". People are no longer responsible for their behaviors. They are merely suffering disease symptoms. The thief is is a cleptomaniac, the adulterer has sex addictions, those who cause strife have anger management issues, and so forth! All they need to do, according to psychobabblers, is to quit feeling guilty and go through some ten or twelve step process and voila, they will never be cured, but can manage their disease!

On the other hand, with God all things are possible. He can cure the behavior of anyone, if that person has enough faith. God is a healer, but the disease he heals with grace is "sin". We all have that disease and we have our individual addiction of choice as carriers of that disease. This disease and all it's symptoms has a great prognosis! Everyone who believes can be saved from sin!  All disease is curable, but there is only one disease, but many addictions. Our addiction, whatever it is, is symptomatic of that disease!

Sin is not fatalistic and addictions are certainly not fatalistic because they are merely the symptoms of the disease!
Romans 3:25 "Whom (Jesus) God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God..."
The blood of Jesus is the cure! Addictions no longer are necessary to appease our old god, because as a new creation, our God is, well, God!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Out of the Closet

The kingdom of Judah, the city of Jerusalem and the faith of the Jews was about to die! It was the end-of-days for the Jewish people. Time was no more as they once knew it! Isaiah the prophet forewarned them of their ultimate destruction and how times would be before they were destroyed. (Note they were destroyed because they continued in their evil ways!)
Isaiah 3:9 (NKJV) "The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. 11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.."
God made a covenant with Abraham. It boiled down to this: "Obey me and you shall prosper. Disobey and you will not!"
 Genesis 12:1-3 (AKJV) "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Some say that this covenant is unconditional!  It's not!  Why not? Because when the Jews disobeyed God, he allowed them to be destroyed. Furthermore, they were required to do something! They had to get out of where they were! They were in a sinful place. They were in Haran, the home of the Maobites and Ammonites, two sinful idolater tribes. God said "Get away from these people!"

Before Abram could be blessed he had to get out of sin! However,  by the time of Isaiah, the line of Abraham was already devoted to sin again. Although God had already made a great nation under King David, now the last of David's kingdoms was going down the tubes. There was an unconditional aspect of it though. Through Abraham the nation of Christ still exists today! Although,  he allowed the peoples to be destroyed, he allowed hope in one person to live on!
Galatians 3:16 (NKJV) "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ"
That's the unconditional promise fulfilled! There were stipulations for blessings, but the main blessing, Jesus, was without stipulation. Hence, we find beyond a rebellious peoples, a person who fulfilled the covenant and offers hope to all people!

Now back to the times of Judah.  (Isaiah 3:9). The "conditional" part of the covenant is falling apart while the unconditional is still intact. The seed of Abraham, in their rebellion, are biting the dust. They were again as was the city of Sodom. How was Sodom before it was destroyed. It was reprobate!  There was no hope for most of its citizens, but a few were blessed. From that few the "seed" would sprout!

Those few became many. Those few became that great nation. Then that great nation, because they were Sodomites, were on the precipice ready to jump. The seed was to become a mere remnant all over again because of sin! Whenever people sin, they always turn to the same thing: sexual-gratification, and the most profound and despicable gratification is homosexuality, sodomy!

Here we go again: "...they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not..." They not only did deviant acts, but they came "out of the closet". The people accepted their sinful behavior, and the abnormal became the norm, the same as in the days of Noah and Lot!

Today, the abominable men and women again proudly display their deviancies. Many everywhere announce to the world "I am one and I'm proud of it!" There is no shame in their own eyes.
Romans 1:27 (AKJV) "...and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind..."
"Reprobate" is serious business! Those who did homosexual acts damned themselves. It was not God, but by doing that which is unseemly that did them in. They were victims of their own devices.

Again, this nation, the world even, is on the precipice. It's just like Sodom was and as Judah before it fell. People are unseemly, and their unseemliness came out of the closet. Same-sex marriage is now legal, and frankly, except for a few seed, the nation and the world is damned again. God will NOT BE mocked!

Before long, just as in Sodom, the faithful will be lifted out of this evil nation and meet Jesus in the sky. Those few who fled Sodom and Gomorrah, were walking through the narrow gate to prosperity and are symbolic of those few who will meet Jesus in the sky at his second coming! Everything in the Old Testament is about Jesus, and the fleeing of Sodom is symbolic of the rapture. The faithful few will be part of the eternal covenant of Abraham. They will be saved and taken to a better land by the "seed of Abraham", Jesus!

Think on the symbolism! Just as God created a new world from the sins and homosexuality of the pre-deluge world, out of Haran, out of Sodom, out of Egypt, and out of Judah; God will again do the same for those "out of the flesh" of this world! What hope they had! What hope we have! That hope is in the seed. That hope is in Jesus! Few will make it. Will you?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rewinding Life's Events

I have "Herrinisms". It's the saying or doing of things for which I am immediately sorrowful. Sometimes while I'm doing, I'm feeling bad about it! The feeling associated with Herrinisms is "I just screwed up, and I feel the acids in my stomach telling me so!"  I'm not unlike anyone else. You all have "Yournameisms"!

When a Herrinism occurs, normally I'm on a teeter-totter. The new Herrin is on one end and the old Herrin on the other. I'm not tottering with myself. There is an invisible being on the board with me. He can't be seen, is virtually without mass, but he's there. He has enough weight to effect the totter board!

Most of the time new Herrin is collected. He has read scripture that day, pondered God's word and prayed. Because the new Herrin is walking with God, that invisible presence jumps off that teeter-totter and goes to another board where conditions are not so unfavorable for him. He can play with Herrin another day when Herrin is occupied on himself!
James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Herrinisms occur when I am fooled into thinking how righteous I am, but I haven't truly submitted to God. Yes, that varies from day-to-day. Even after praying through, Herrin has strongholds which he fails to submit.
 2 Corinthians 10:3 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..."
If we look at the military, a stronghold is where the soldiers are behind earthen-works or in a trench. They just won't give up this position as long as they're dug in. That's the way our own strongholds are. It's a sin or sins which we just won't submit to God because we're so entrenched that we just won't give it up! I know... we're talking about playground analogies, but trust me, adults play war with dangerous forces as well. There is another army out there, and we must fight to win.
 Ephesians 6:12 "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."
We are in a war. We shoot from the trench, but if we don't let go of what we're holding onto, a fight with strong resistance, we fight in vain.

Likewise, the force on that teeter-totter is not flesh and blood. He is a powerful spirit who fights in the devil's brigade. He laughs as he moves toward the old Herrin and says "Remember the pleasure!" That is just enough weight to make the board teeter toward sin. When the powers are not resisted, the old Herrin does wrong. While he's teetering there is a dilemma.  "Is this pleasure worth the guilt and consequences?" The new Herrin want's to flee. The old Herrin looks back, as did Lots' wife, and longs for just a little more pleasure. When submission is made to pleasure, the moment the wrong decision is made is a Herrinism. The instant a new Herrin fails God, sorrow kicks in! Herrin feels sick because his stronghold wasn't submitted.

Have you ever missed a scene in a movie and want to go back and view it over? All we have to do, is rewind. The one thing that we all must remember, is that there is no rewind on life. Herrinims can't be rewound! No matter how hard we try to make things as they were before, things just can't be undone!

When we do things which are against God we can't go back and change that. When we do things bad against others, it's too late! God forgives the Herrinism, but the Herrinism is still there. When God forgives your sin, the affects of the sin are still there.

King David did a Davidism.  Not one, but many, because one Davidism leads to another. He was tempted and allowed the unseen forces move toward the old David on the teeter-totter. That temptation had just enough weight to pull David down toward unrighteousness. Then when David consummated his desire, he coveted. When he coveted the teeter-totter was weighted again. He murdered. Davidisms compound themselves because of those invisible powers on that teeter board. Yournameisms do that  too!

All is not lost. David could never rewind and make it as it never happened, but in God's eyes, the scene/sin can be rewound. His forgiveness is nearly as if David never did it! I say "nearly" because there are consequences to Davidisms. There are consequences to Herrinisms and Yournameisms. David's son died because of his grievous sins, even though Psalm 51 is all about David's sorrow and repentance!

Herrinisms can never be rewound, but the quality can be adjusted. The new Herrin can move on that teeter-totter. Perhaps Herrin can add weight so that the board balances more favorably for himself and God! Yes, Herrin, you can put on some armor:
Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
This armor carries so much weight that the devil gives up. He flees and the teeter-totter no longer teeters. How it teetered before doesn't change. That can't be undone, but with this heavy armor, it won't happen again! What is the armor? "Your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel, taking the shield of faith, take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; and praying always"!!

I believe that's enough weight to make the devil get off that teeter-totter. Why waste his time when the new Herrin has on so much weight in the armor of God?

Herrinisms stink! The minute Herrin gives in and submits to the devil, the Holy Spirit opens that check valve. Guilt comes on Herrin because he knows better and the Spirit is still in him. That's a hedge God puts around Christians to help overcome the devil and to crawl away from those strongholds. Guilt kicks in at the minute one is tempted. The instant that those powers move toward the old Herrin on the teeter board guilt begins to happen.Guilt continues even when the old Herrin makes room for the invisible power on his end of the board. He remembers the pleasure, feels guilty about it, then makes the decision: I think I'll do that just one more time. God will forgive me! Thinking like that is irrational and dangerous. God can forgive any sin, but we need to be careful, for our sorrow may not truly be sincere!

Right now I think of hundreds of things I'd like to rewind. They can't be! However, I can change the end of the movie! Yes, there are multiple endings and I can choose the one I want the most. For me, I choose forgiveness. That's a happy ending with hope. My ending which I choose is Psalm  51. God finds that pleasing too!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Moral or Social Issues

There is a lie out there! It's one of Satan's biggest whoppers. It has caused millions of people to die. It has caused turmoil in civilized countries. This lie will rent the fabric of civilized nations. This lie poisons the very elect! Satan smiles! No, Satan LOL at those fooled because he is the only winner.

Polls show that "the economy" always ranks high on what is important to Americans. Most place it in the top 30% On the other hand "social issues" is ranked as low as 2% in importance.Moreover, in recent times conservatives and liberals are trending together on social issues. What are some of the social issues?

  • abortion
  • sexual orientation
  • same-sex marriage
  • race relations
  • environment
  • death penalty
  • freedom of religion and expression
  • human rights
  • fair judiciary
  • immigration
  • poverty
  • geriatric concerns
Of course there are many more "social issues", but these top the list. All people are concerned with "social issues", but it's the DIRECTION of the concern which is of importance! What is "fair" in the minds of some is "unfair" in the eyes of others, and vice-versa.

Some believe that all facets of a nation are either "social" or "economic". In that case all issues are discreetly about money or morality. However, since social issue propagation most often require spending and the economy drives the ability to pay for issues, the economy and social issues are not independent. Polls do not reflect that people know nor care about that! Indeed, most people fail to understand that concept. One of the most often quoted thoughts is "I'm a liberal on social issues and a conservative on economic issues." which is how liberal Republicans explain their dychotomy.  

In effect incontinent thinking such as that is a classic case of "doublethink", the accepting of two contrasting beliefs by the same person and the same time! In order to doublethink the thinker has to put aside one belief to make room for the other and fail to see that he even disagrees with himself, if he knew the entire content of his thought. Although the most educated people seem to be those who doublethink the most, to accept opposing propositions is caused by shallow intelligence in that wisdom is secondary to bias!

The list above is referred to as "social issues" by those who are biased toward minimizing the impact of morality on government. "Social issues" are those things which effect and affect the quality of life of  the people.  It's things for "the good of society". This is a Marxist concept!
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." ( Karl Marx ;1875; Critique of the Gotha Program).
That means with the abundance of goods in a socialist society there will be enough to satisfy the needs of everyone. (Marxism is antichristianity). Of course the shortcoming of this principal is that half of society must work to nourish, house and cloth those who do not work! In practice entitlements even drive the expense of entertainment of those who won't work on those who do! Of course only a nation of idiots would work hard to provide comfort to those unmotivated to work! Of course a synonym for "progressive" just may be "fool" because it takes a fool to work hard for those who won't work!

How should these issues be referred? "Moral issues" is suitable nomenclature which fits the religious beliefs of everyone. When people fail to see "social issues" as important, the implication is that "morality" is of little significance. It's a shame that civilized nations confess to a lack of morality whether it be Christian, pagan or humanistic!  It's saying "I care about myself more than others!" because the economy is more about the self and morality is more about others! Americans are narcissistic! They worship themselves grandly!

Civilized nations should value "moral issues" more than anything else. Placing the economy over morality is how tyranny comes into acceptance. In 1933 the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party) had the 44% of the popular vote, and with alliances, became the ONLY party. Thereafter, that party had support of 98.8% in the 1936 German elections.  People cared little for his "social issues", placing sole importance on the economy. And the truth is, Hitler followed through with what he promised, a thriving economy, until it was squandered by World War II. Because people cared little for "social issues" (moral) it cost millions of lives there and the same later in socialist Russia!

Let's look at how people are deceived. "Social" is directed toward the "nature of society". "Morality" is directed toward obedience to a "higher power" or "thought" and the love shown by that obedience. While it's more positive to care for people because "that's the right thing to do", than do it merely because a voter happens to be a member of a civilization. With that bias, it's easier to minimize "issues which show care" because they are merely "societal issues"!

Most, but not all social issues are because of natural law; which follows from the Law of God, which are the Ten Commandments. As explained by Jesus, the first three of the ten are directed toward loving God and the latter seven toward loving others. (The Greatest Commandment and the one like into it). In the western world caring for others is from the Law of God, like it or not! By saying that "social issues aren't significant" compared to economic, that flies in the face of the Law of God! Other than loving him with all our hearts, loving (showing charity) to others is paramount! Of course the question remains "Who is it that needs to be charitable?" Scripture teaches that Christians are to provide an umbrella of support to the widows and orphans and only if the widows have no one to marry them and are elderly!

Where will the money come from for the widows and orphans? From the prosperity of the people! And what makes people prosper? Obeying God by loving him and others!

Genesis 12:1 "Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

In short "go with me and your nation will be blessed"! The promise is conditional: "Follow me" and if you do "you will prosper"! Note that God does not say that he will bless before he is followed. Abraham and the Hebrew people were to follow God, then he would prosper. Guess what? That makes "moral issues" more important than "economic issues". Without morality (following God) mankind will never prosper! With morality (obedience to God) the nation will prosper!

Because of our times "morality" in the United States is associated with "religion", primarily Christianity. Hence, when "moral issues" are the topic, that can be construed to be "Christian issues". The Law of God isn't in vogue right now in America and the "goodness" of  Jesus has been deemed "intolerant" by the citizens of Babylon-America. 

For example, if people are "pro-choice" that's considered to be "good" and "democratic". It's associated with "reproductive freedom". Therefore, abortion from their standpoint, is a mere "social issue" and legislation for that is expected because it's "goodness" is just a given. On the other hand people who are "pro-life", which they refer to as "anti-abortion" because of it's negative connotation of "being against" call that a "moral issue" (wink, wink) "Christian issue". For ungodly people it's more important to have the liberty of unprotected sex than the old Victorian, even Christian idea, of self-control! 

On the other hand "the sanctity of life" as taught in the Bible, for them, is a mere "Christian belief" although it is actually a Constitutional right!

Amendment 5: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
which comes from one reason for the fight for freedom:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (United States Declaration of Independence).
Any fool, (I'm sorry Supreme Court), can see that "the right to life" is a democratic freedom and that it is unalienable (impossible to take away, except by fools on the court)!

Whereas, progressives see the protection of life as "evil" the Christian right see it as "good". They are both "moral positions", but one must ask "By the moral law of whom?"  Progressives create their own law as disciples of "the Self". Moral people (Christians) follow the Law of God.  The Law of Self has always been in competition with the Law of God! Since day one, men have always desired to do what they wanted to do without regard to any supreme regulation.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.
Doing "what is right in his own eyes" is the mantra of both libertarians and socialists. For libertarians it's the anarchy of doing whatever it is that pleases, and for socialists, it's willingly doing what society allows you to do! Either way, both of these groups of fools are belligerent to God and victims to the supreme lie.
Genesis 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
All people know "good" and "evil". However, they too have "reason". As such, they rationalize that knowledge to suit their own purposes. Yes, their "eyes shall be opened", but they wear gray shaded glasses. They DO what is right in their own obscured eyes!

Satan deceives the fools who can be easily fooled. When it suits his purposes, his lie is "These are mere social issues". When it furthers his agenda he says "That's just right-wing Christians opinions!"  The "moral issues" are of first priority for us to prosper and they are more than moral issues; they're what's right in God's eyes!

If the nation wants a good economy all they have to do is for the nation to follow God as did Abraham. Abraham's line prospered. If we follow God, we too will prosper. If you believe that the economy is of utmost importance, the way to achieve a prosperous economy is by strong "moral values"!