Nobody wants to be too Christian.

Century Gothic – I’m trying out this future post thing. You see, I’m acutally in another state trying not to think about checking any possible response to yesterday’s post it’s not the thing that I usually post about but it is the side of ancient war that most people leave unspoken. In this world, we can profess to be Christians, we are in a nation that professes but doesn’t neccessarily posess Christ. Not like owning a computer, but having Him kept in our hearts. Nobody wants to be too Christian. After all, the people who stand on the street corners at death metal concerts are so judgemental and intolerant. The men who were arrested for reading out of the Bible during a homosexual pride parade were just out of line. Who wants to be that sort of Christian who protests at military funerals?

There is more than one sort of Christian. There are Christians who believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son God who died on the cross to forgive us for our sins. There are Christians who believe everything but what Christ did for us didn’t really happen that way. It’s a sad day when we can lead faith-to-faith events in the big cities, but Christian-to-Christian events don’t happen because we can’t decide on which type of worship is right or what exactly should be preached. Isn’t Christ Jesus the head of the body that is the church? When then does every other church building engage in a tug-of-war to get people into their building? There are few solutions: 1.) Consult God in prayer, He will hear you. 2.) Consult God’s Word, you will hear Him. 3.) Obey His Word, it’ll be a blessing in every meaning of the word. 4.) Really mean it to be a Christian by helping other Christians through their tough times. You’ll know that they’re Christians by their love, by their love, you will know that they are Christians by their love…

Instant Ticket to the Incenerator

Century – Like many, I sometimes find it neccessary to aquire books from places as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and garage sales throughout the area. From time to time, I’ll find the teaching books of cults, various anti-God best sellers, and the obsecure blasphemous texts of the hard core spiritual seekers who care nothing for God. Now there are a number of actions I can take, purchase the items and arrange for them to descend down the nearest incenerator chute, purchase the items and write down the Bible verses that prove the texts wrong, or leave the items hoping that people will have to good sense to let them collect dust.


Before you claim that some of these actions could be ridiculous, you should hear this true story. A fairly new Christian was having the time of her life, but she had one area that she didn’t know was dangerous. She and her husband would often spend their time playing the board with the name that is not spelled as it is pronounced. She wrote the pastor on the very first Halloween she spent as a Christian saying that her husband had locked her in and began to use that board. She felt like all sorts of evil spirts were overwhelming her. She was able to get to the computer to write another message simply asking for help. That pastor soon recieved a phone call in the early hours of the day after Halloween. The police told him that the young lady had comitted suicide. At the girl’s funeral, the mother wrested with the fact that she had given the board to the couple as a gift.


You know a thing is good if good things result  from it. You know a thing is bad if bad things result from it. That board is bad, but still is readily available. These are powers that we cannot comprehend but God can defeat. On the school bus, I remember setting some kids straight, it’s not a good thing to try to call up Bloody Mary, the Sandman, or whatever other ones there are. God and prayer may be absent from school’s teachings, but they can never be taken out of the hearts of Christian kids who are more on the front lines than they know. Kids at one of my former schools used to pass around spells instead of notes! What has happened? What will be the result? Father please give us the strength to stand against the enemy, bind up the strong man so that we may take his possessions, the people who have called up his servants!


“14Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.


 17Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. 19Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

 21“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.

 23“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.

 24“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.”

 27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”

 28He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” – Luke 11:14-28″

religion and state

Candara – Theocracy – to many it’s the scariest government that could come to pass in America. I was once watching one of my sister’s television programs in which the main characters return to their earth to find that it had completely changed. Failure to obey the laws could result in loosing a couple of fingers or a hand or even a tongue. In some cases, death was the sentence. People were happy and smiling and laughing. Then they went to the opposite of that earth. People were outdoing each other in being as bad as possible because what was good was actually bad.


Some tend to think by teaching creationism in schools that there will be a greater awareness of God. Then people will ask to allow prayers and our president will not sign anything without consulting God first. Then evolution will be considered a lie and then it would be removed. Then a theocracy is put into place. Movies have greatly helped our imagination on what a theocracy-gone-wrong would be like, such as the one in Escape from L.A., in which Americans are exiled for being run-aways, prostiutes, criminals, and undesireable to remain in the population. (Aren’t these the short list of the people Jesus came to seek and save?)


History has been filled with governments that tied into religion that resulted in death, both phisically and spiritually. After all, what does it matter to believe in God this way or that if every other soverign declares their way is right and sentences those that practice the other ways to death? America’s first colonists were escaping such state-religions. Rome itself was once converted to the religion it used to kill for entertainment.


What would a theocracy-gone-right look like? Have you read the last Left Behind book, Kingdom Come? (I think that’s the one where they’re in the millenial kingdom.) Are we afraid to get it wrong, or are we more afraid that we’d get it right?

In Their Own Words

Cambria Math – These days, the faith of the founding fathers is often questioned. Some, they say, believed in God, some believed in government. Why then, if they didn’t believe, did they write about Him in letters and speak of Him in speeches if they did not believe?


Patrick Henry: “An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”


George Washington: “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”


John Quincy Adams: “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”


Calvin Coolidge: “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”


Benjamin Franklin (among the least religious of the founding fathers): “Mr. President:
The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other — our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own wont of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their  Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.
In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. — Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.
I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.”


Many of the founding fathers believed in God. They followed the Ten Commandments as best they could. As we have seen from their own words and contexts, they weren’t afraid to talk about God. God wasn’t who you claimed to follow to get the Christian voters. He was the reason the settlers had come to the New World. He was taught in schools from day one until prayer was banned in school. Before states could join the thirteen colonies, they had to fulfill a number of requirements, some of which were no blasphemy laws and to teach God in school laws. Even if the founding fathers weren’t really Christian, this nation was built on a spiritual heritage from the ideas of the pilgrims.

Glory, Glory, Praise the Lord!

Cambria – (These days, nothing is safe from those who don’t like God. Not everybody who doesn’t like God is out to erase His name from from the public sphere, but there are quite a few that are. They are going to succeed, not because of hard work, but because God will allow them to for a short time. Already we are begining to forget the price paid to allow us to honor His name as we walk down the streets. The founding fathers, the first settlers, and many generations that followed them really did follow God. Their writings, the original, unedited versions, often made refrences to God. They were taught out of books that taught about God from their youth.


Hallelujah, do you know what you’re really saying when you say that word? Not everybody does. Wikipedia says: The word “hallelujah” mentioned in Psalms is the Hebrew word for requesting a congregation to join in praise. The best translation of hallelujah is “Praise Yah, you people”, usually worded in English versions as “Praise ye the LORD” or “Praise the LORD”.


In the Hebrew Bible “hallelujah” is actually a two-word phrase, not one word. The first part, hallelu, is the second person imperative masculine plural form of the Hebrew verb hallal. However, “hallelujah” means more than simply “praise YHWH”, as the word hallel in Hebrew means a joyous praise, to boast in God, or to act madly or foolishly.


The second part, Yah, is a shortened form of the name of God YHWH, sometimes rendered in English as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah”. In Psalm 150:6 the Hebrew reads kol han’shamah t’hallel yah; the final word “yah” is translated as “the LORD”, or “YHWH”.)


The Battle Hymn of the Republic:
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.


(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.


I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
Chorus
His day is marching on.


I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.”
Chorus
Since God is marching on.


He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
Chorus
Our God is marching on.


In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Chorus
While God is marching on.


He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Chorus
Our God is marching on.


 

Keep Up Your Guard: The Rear Guard a.k.a Who’s Got Your Back?

Calisto MT – Isaiah 52:12, “But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”


How many times have we seen it in the movies? Somebody has to go down a dark hallway in a huge house during a power outage. The camera shot is taken from the eyes of something in the hallway, probably out to get the unsuspecting people. With some encouragement and the phrase, “I’ll be right behind you.” Our adventerous and rightly scared actors creep down the hallway, jumping at every little thing. Then the lightening (from the storm outside) illuminates a shadow in the hallway and then the guy that was right behind is the first to flee. When the power returns, that shadow is nothing other than the obnoxious cousin with a tendency to play jokes. Well, it may not happen that way, but if that shadow had been somebody with an intent to harm, you would suddenly be left without somebody at your back, to support you when need be.


Isaiah 58:8, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. “


The same God that goes before you also has your back. You see, the rear guard is at the very back of any military formation. If they don’t have nearves of steel (or stronger) than they have the best vantage to flee from. If, on the other hand, your enemy attacks you from an unexpected angle, then the rear guard may soon be fighting on the front lines of battle. What do you put your trust in to support you if need be? Who has your back?

Request and Response for Transfer

Californian FB – (It’s all about perspective …)


TO: Commander-in-Chief Spiritual Armed Forces, Jesus Christ

Dear Lord:

I am writing this to You to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith present my reasons: I began my career as a private, but because of the intensity of the battle You have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer and given me a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex problems. You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only the skills of a private.

I realize that You have promised to supply all I would need for the battle. But Sir, I must present You a realistic picture of my situation. My uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and blood of those I have tried to assist. The soles of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked trying to enlist, encourage, and instruct the troops. My weapons are marred, tarnished and chipped from constant battle against the enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared.

You have promised You would be with me throughout, but when the noise of the battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear You. I feel so alone. I’m tired. I’m discouraged. I have Battle Fatigue. I would never ask You for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I’ll file papers or clean latrines. Just get me out of the battle — please, Sir.

Your Faithful, but tired, Warrior.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TO: Faithful, but tired, Soldier, Spiritual Armed Forces

LOCATION: The Battlefield

SUBJECT: Transfer

Dear Soldier:

Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present My reasons: You are needed in this battle. I have selected you, and I will keep My Word to supply your needs. You do not need a demotion and transfer. Besides, you’d never cut it on latrine duty anyway. You need a period of “R & R” (Renewal and Rekindling). I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there and I will give you rest. I will remove your old equipment and “make all things new.”

You have been wounded in the battle, My soldier. Your wounds are not visible, but you have received grave internal injuries. You need to be healed. I will heal you. Also, you have been weakened in the battle. You need to be strengthened. I will strengthen you and be your strength. I will instill in you confidence and ability. My Words will be rekindled within you, giving you renewed love, zeal and enthusiasm. Report to Me tattered and empty. I will replenish you.

Compassionately,

Your Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ