Don’t Embrace the False Gods of Liberalism

This commentary ran at the Visalia Times Delta on 12/21/2018.

Proverbs in the Bible says the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Jesus in the New Testament say He is the truth. If these statements are true claims of a deity (and they are quite true) then that tells us that there is a true God and so false gods must exist.

It is Christmas.

This is the time that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus who decided to pitch His tent among us for 33 years and then redeem us.

Since we rejected God in the Sixties our culture has become primarily that of false gods. Sometimes false gods are easy to see. The opioid crisis is an easy one to observe. People, because of one type of pain or another give themselves over to the opioid as a way of escape, or a transition from a milder drug, or as a way to deaden the pain. It is God’s desire to deliver people from such destructive devices. But the drug becomes a false god that demands everything. The results are tragic.

But the bigger picture is that our hearts are designed for worship. If that is too strong of a statement for some of you then let’s say that our hearts gravitate towards something that we put a good deal of time and energy towards.

The technical and Biblical definition of an idol is anything we put ahead of God, even if it is a good thing. The very first commandment says, “…You shall have no other gods before Me.” Just about everyone violates this commandment including Christians and it causes us a boatload of grief.

Liberals put self, government, sex and just about everything under the sun ahead of God. Republicans put power, position, a cheap and illegal workforce, and donations from Chamber of Commerce companies ahead of all other concerns including God. Often times pastors have congregation size and income as idols. Christians construct prosperity or morality as idols. The media have their share:  power, ratings, the desire to control the narrative and liberalism in general.

These concepts are beyond important in understanding life. God has two claims on our existence. First is that He created us. Second is that Christ is a ransom. So when we reject these truths or in ignorance let something besides God Himself consume our energy and time, in other words occupy the affections of our heart then we go astray even if it is very subtle or hidden.

Timothy Keller explainsthis so well. Lets say that you say a white lie to save yourself from being embarrassed about something. Well, the obvious close up idol is that you lied in violation of God’s commands, but the far-off idol is that your desire to please people or make yourself look good which caused you to commit the sin. I know this sounds like gibberish to some people but that is because our culture so indoctrinated with moral relativism and delusions rather than God’s revelation to us.

Race can be an idol, as in the cases of Hitler, skinheads and Jesse Jackson – a sad thing considering all of us are made in God’s image.

Pelosi and Biden call themselves Catholics. But since they both support abortion their real and functional god is liberalism.

A fascinating point about idols, false gods, is that they can be deadly. Examples are suicide bombers, unabated alcoholism, immorality that results in AIDS, and many other things that when practiced lead to an early demise.

But many other idols are far more deceptive and hidden.

If at this point your skepticism is sky high, then consider G. K. Chesterton’s comment, “The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.”

The big picture here is that our hearts are captured by the living God and the beauty of what Christ did to redeem us or our hearts are captured by something far less worthy. And since idols will always disappoint us because they are something infinitely less than the real God of the Bible, this might very well be the season to evaluate whether we have allowed these false gods to capture our hearts or if the Reason for the Season has a legitimate claim on our life.

Ron Hunnicutt

Visalia, CA

Answers When There Are No Answers: Las Vegas Massacre

If the media was not so deluded because they reject God and obsessed with attacking Trump then they would run Op-Ed pieces like this. Las Vegas

God wagers a great risk when He creates each and every human being. God refuses to violate our free will so the risk is that we will do significant evil instead of good. He also risks the fact that someone He created will never acknowledge His creating them nor the bridge that His Son provides.

And so we get both ends of the spectrum. A person like Mother Theresa chooses great good. And unfortunately a man chooses evil and the Las Vegas massacre happens.

Sin is a matter of violating the design and intentions of our Creator. God did not design one human being to take the life of other human beings in a wanton and malicious manner.

The Las Vegas massacre is a very nuanced matter. There are many factors to consider.

But in the mix is this axiom to behold, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,” which is a verse in Psalms in the Bible. And since these mass murders and terrorist attacks keep plaguing our country then that should give us great pause to consider why. It is false to say God would cause something like the Las Vegas massacre. But there is this dictum of God removing His hand of protection from a nation that has turned their back on Him. There is this deception and fatal consequence for a groupthink that supposes man can depend on his own righteousness, merit and self-sufficiency.

There is also this principle in the Bible, “yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” So if Stephen Paddock’s father chose the evil of robbing banks, broke out of prison, was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and had the diagnosis of psychopath, then we have a perfect and catastrophic storm brewing unless there is some sort of intervention.

Las Vegas and its surroundings are not known for producing specimens in right standing with God. So Las Vegas nurtures the son of a psychopath with the vices of gambling, “escorts” also known as prostitutes and alcohol. This elixir can produce nothing but evil.

As obnoxious and messy as they are, politics do matter, which is why we Christians keep proclaiming annoying but vital truths such as Second Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I am not saying Republicans have answers – they do not. I am saying God does. And modern liberalism is nothing but a strong delusion. Give no regard to the myopic subterfuge called “the separation of church and state” which is not in the Constitution. If you want answers that matter about the tragedy Las Vegas then ask the God of the Bible who gives wisdom to those who seek Him with all of their heart.

On Job and Suffering

I am not a theologian. The-Book-Of-Job

Job is a fascinating character on many, many levels.

His life was about 2100 years before Christ. That is to say Job lived his life without any revelation, as far as I can tell, of Christ.

And Job lived his life about 600 years before Moses. This means that Job did not have the Law  to guide him or give him direction.

So, Job lived a very close walk with God not having the law from Moses and long before Jesus came.

That is pretty amazing.

BTW – not saying that Job didn’t need Christ’s sacrifice – he did. He just lived before Christ’s sacrifice and needed it just as we all did and do.

But this is still amazing to me. And is might bring a bit more insight to Romans 1 which says God attributes are evident through nature and men are without excuse regarding God.

I would guess that God gave Job all of the wisdom that he needed to live a righteous life, but also Job had a heart that sought God.

It is pretty amazing what God said about Job in Job 1 saying he was, “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

Here is a second point I learned about Job from Timothy Keller. Not sure I can explain it as well as Keller despite the fact that I have lived it. The idea is that some say Christians serve God, love God because of what they get out of it. And some of that it true. I don’t want to end up in hell… so I seek God. BTW – yes I am saved by grace alone. But at one point Job lost everything, his health, his children, much of his wealth all because God tested him and Satan attacked him. So at some point you could say why serve God anymore? Everything is lost. Which is why Job’s wife says, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?”

But is the midst of losing everything Job still says, “Though He slay me yet will I serve Him.” So a Christian can lose everything that the world values, and that we all value, but Christians still know that God is still sovereign, That God is still out Creator, that Christ still died to redeem us, and even if our only consolation is heaven some day it is still right and proper for us to serve God and honor Him. We don’t serve God because He is a vending machine… even though there are things I might want or need.

So let me apply this to my circumstances. I have a chronic illness. I cannot work. I cannot live the American dream. I can’t really be prosperous. I am dependent on many, many people to stay alive and survive. I would guess that at least half of the people in the Third World live a better life than I do. I am not sure such a comparison is appropriate but I am just trying to explain my situation.

But, because I cannot get healed, or live a prosperous life, or work – which most men find their purpose in, does that mean it is pretty much useless to seek God or try and serve Him? Well I have to serve God for who He is and not because of what He gives me. At some point I have to serve God for who He is and not what I get out of it. And that is real Christianity. Satan told God that Job just serves God for what Job gets out of it. But that is a lie. And Job proved it was a lie and Job proved God right.

Yes I struggle greatly but there is no other ballgame. Jesus is the way, the light and the truth. So if I do not serve God then I will serve something false.

I hope I explained that in a way that makes it real.

Let me try this. Jesus said that He came so I would have life and have it more abundantly. I can promise you that most people look at my life and say geez… I don’t want to have to live like that. Chronic, never ending health issues… please spare me. But I am with Job… I have to be. And he was a really great man, I am not, but still, Job’s conclusion is the correct one. Though He slay me, though I have a chronic illness, though someone has cancer, though the disasters of life hit very hard, yet God is still God, He still created me, and Jesus still died for me and has a claim on my life, so against all odds, against all adversities, against all struggles, against anything that comes at me in this life, still I will serve God. And that is the very end of the matter.

The Surprising Upsides to Suffering

I am completely humbled by this lady’s words. She gets it… far better than I do. So I am re-posting it here. There is no question in my mind that we Christians… some of us anyway (including me)… as well as many in our culture suffer this “ontological lightness” and so the distractions, the, “hollow entertainment” and the business of life keep us from the, “weighty things.” There is a purpose to my suffering… and yours. BTW – I substitute suffering for sadness because that is what identify with more.

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The Surprising Upside to Sadness

Catherine Morgan / May 6, 2017

Depression. Discouragement. Sorrow.

 

Too often we find ourselves here. Waves of emotions overcome when we least expect them. While I’ve learned a lot about choosing light, daring to hope, hard thanksgiving, and spiritual battle, there are lessons yet to learn.

 

The more I consider these emotions I’d rather not experience, the more I see multiple reasons that depression—yes, depression—has been a gift to me. Here are five.

  1. Sadness forces me to depend on Jesus.

I am far more aware of Christ, attentive to Christ, and thirsty for Christ when I am discouraged. Trapped in a rough patch, the psalmists’ words suddenly spring to life: “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Ps. 42:1). “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26).

Only when I thirst for Jesus do I bend low to drink his living water. And so, paradoxically, in sadness I find the key to joy, which otherwise I might blithely miss.

  1. Sadness gives me humility and empathy.

Depression has a way of humbling me like nothing else, as God protects me from my own ego. It’s hard to feel you’ve arrived when you struggle to even get out of bed. In these moments I need grace like I need water, a knowledge that keeps me face-planted before the cross—a posture infinitely preferable to the kind of humiliating crash that often flows from pride.

Empathy lets me see the world from a brokenhearted perspective—it lets me borrow broken eyes. Am I compassionate? It’s only because I so deeply need mercy. How can I withhold this gift I’ve received and need more of each day? I meet homeless families, unemployed immigrants, teen moms, couples mid-divorce, suicidal folks, jilted sweethearts. Every one has the same needs, the same sinful soul, the same shy beauty of God’s image imprinted on their heart. When I see them, I see me. God redeems my sadness as he turns my eyes outward and fills me with compassion.

  1. Sadness rescues me from silliness.

As my seminary-nerd husband would say, my depression rescues me from ontological lightness. It’s easy to exchange weighty things for hollow entertainment. Unchecked, it can lead someone through 30,000 days only to face eternity with empty pockets. Isn’t this the spirit of Ecclesiastes 7:2? “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.”

Joy is not inferior to gloom—emphatically it’s not—but it’s easy in all the levity to miss the grand epic as it unfolds. Like hobbits happy in the Shire while Sauron advances, we can forget the stakes—life is short, eternity beckons, souls hang in the balance. A healthy dose of sobriety helps me see the world as it is: cursed and lost, in need of a Redeemer.

  1. Sadness prepares me for future struggle.

How often does a rootless faith blow away in adversity? A quick survey of spiritual giants indicates they have this in common: They’ve suffered. In various ways, to various degrees, they’ve driven those roots down ever-deeper into the love of God, so that when the storms of persecution or tragedy arrive, they’re prepared. They know from repeated experience where to find living water in a drought.

  1. Sadness is God’s way of strengthening me.

Jesus, who holds the galaxies together by his power, demonstrated another kind of strength as he was stricken, smitten, and afflicted. And in his mercy, he lends us a measure of his strength when we suffer. When we’re weak in ourselves, we’re strong in him.

When I fall into the pit of despair, I’ve learned to look up, to seek light, to cry out for deliverance, to long for home. It’s a struggle I may face all my life. That’s okay. God is at work, and I can trust him.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Pet. 1:6–9)

Thank you, Jesus.

Catherine Morgan is a church planter’s wife in Aurora, Colorado, and the author of Thirty Thousand Days (Christian Focus). You can read more at her blog.

July 4th 2017: A Time to Hate Evil

King Solomon wrote three books of the Bible. In Ecclesiastes he said there is a time to love and a time to hate.tumblr_l29yi3gag71qa8ix8o1_r1_1280

Paul in the Bible said we should hate what is evil and cling to what is good.

The New York Times estimates drug overdoses in America in 2016 were around 59,000. We have an opioid epidemic. The LA Times says this, “Last year, there were 20,792 homicides in Mexico — a 22% increase over 2015, and a 35% jump over 2014.”. These homicides are primarily drug cartel related. We need a wall for the health of both countries. Liberals hate the idea of a wall because illegal immigrants provide a dependent voting bloc. Republicans have zero courage. That is something to hate.

Now every June immoral men have parades taking “pride” in their evil behavior with even a President signing off on the wickedness. Obama in effect said sodomy is good – defying the very God who created him. Why is a good part of the world so enamored with homosexuality? Surely delusions run rampant on this earth. Homosexuals operate as if equality is the only worthwhile principle under the sun. Good men will hate such confusion.

Trump is hard to defend but he says he wants to make America great again. A good part of America would really like to see that happen. But the media and liberal democrats continually attack Trump with false narratives in an effort to derail his presidency out of sheer vengeance. Such an evil agenda must be hated.

The God of the Bible is the one who created you and all that you can see and behold. But this liberal nonsense of, “separation of church and state” that is not even in the constitution has been used by deceived men to drive God out of our society. That is a scheme of evil itself

Hillary committed a crime using her own email server and then lied to you about it. She also gave the Russians 20% of our plutonium for hefty donations to her foundation. There is plenty of evidence that the Clintons used Foundation funds for personal gain. Bill Clinton is an alleged serial sexual predator of which Hillary is an enabler. This low brow character is the person Democrats and the liberal media think would be a good president for you. Such delusions are easy to hate.

Any philosophy like liberalism that demands that Americans be snuffed out in the womb is surely the dung beetle of world philosophies. Fifty-Nine million dead Americans from abortion as a result of “sexual freedom” is incredible human carnage. Anyone who does not hate such slaughter has a leanness of soul.

While the liberal media and liberal democrats cook up false accusations regarding Trump, Obama gave billions of dollars to terrorist Iran, he used the IRS to attack political opponents, he used the DOJ to deflect responsibility regarding the fast and furious, and he used AG Loretta Lynch to get Hillary off of the hook. Add to all of that lying about Benghazi and having subordinates lie about a dead American ambassador all of which the liberal media gave Obama a complete pass on and the hate piles up like dead stinking rats.

Two caveats are in order for liberals. First is that we are to hate evil but not people. Second is that the typical liberal response is that we should not judge. Well, that is one verse in the Bible that paints a picture. Jesus also said we should judge with a right judgment and the need for discernment is thoroughly documented in the Bible.

There is plenty to be grateful about our country – the greatest civilization in the history of the world. First our great heritage is second only to God’s great providence in ancient Israel. Second, there are a whole lot of great people in our country who understand good from evil. Third, our appeals to our Creator do not fall on deaf ears.

If we continue on this foolish liberal path that says we are “evolving” beyond religion and our Creator then our decline will continue.

Jesus said He is the truth. This Fourth let us hate what is evil and embrace what is true.

Liberalism is Killing the American Soul

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This ran at the Visalia Times Delta on May 9th, 2016.

Liberalism is Killing the American Soul

This is in response to Haynes article, “Without LGBT Rights, Religious Freedom Fails.”

Why is liberalism so enamored with homosexuality? First, liberalism adopts an Enlightenment principle that says man is at the center of everything instead of having God at the center so God gives liberals over to very strong delusions. Second, liberals do not want to be held to a moral standard so they are sympathetic to anything opposed to Christianity.

There is a certain foolishness of men that has no regard for the design of God. Mr. Haynes advocacy is the kind of nonsense we get from those who have prestigious degrees but no wisdom because they do not know God.

If homosexuality is equal to one-man-one-woman Holy Matrimony then why are there are there over 30 million deaths due to AIDS – the genesis of which is sodomy? Why does Mr. Haynes advocate such carnage?

What kind of social justice is it to advocate for the, “B,” in LGBT which is bisexuality – the practice of which means that a man sleeps with a man and then he sleeps with a woman thereby giving her all sorts of nasty diseases. Why does Haynes promote disease for women?

The reason why God says homosexuality is a sin is because it is not His design. Why is this so very hard to grasp? The Bible also condemns thievery and drunkenness. My hands are designed for work to help myself and those around me. I can claim all day long that my hands were, “born” to steal from my neighbor but that is a lie. God did not design my hands to steal from others.

Alcohol has many legitimate uses. A glass of wine is nice. Alcohol is a great disinfectant and very useful solvent. But God did not give us our bodies and alcohol for drunkenness. To say that a person was, “born that way,” in regards to misusing alcohol is simply an excuse to sin.

I am not unsympathetic to a person’s struggles with sin. I have my own. My theory is that most men have some sort of fatal flaw that can take them out. The high challenge is in overcoming the flaw and attempting to be numbered among good men.

Trying to find common ground between such opposing worldviews is extremely difficult. Have you noticed that activist homosexuals, rather than living and let live, sue Christian florists, bakers and ministers over grievances? How do we co-exist with such antagonism? Bank robbers and law enforcement do not have compatible interests.

Everyone screams for equality but the hard fact is that equality originates with God. We should look to God to define good and evil and if we let man define right and wrong then the process is flawed because man is subject to error. We cannot claim the equality God affords us and then spurn the rest of His counsel.

The carnage of AIDS and STD’s should prove to liberals that God’s principles regarding the sacredness of sex are a matter of truth. We need religious freedom but we must realize that truth emanates from one true God and there are many false gods.

Obama – A Convoluted Mess

This article ran at Intellectual Conservative on February 7th, 2016

The unvarnished truth is that Obama is a convoluted mess because he claims Christianity, lives by liberalism for political power, but his heart is with Islam.”

Obama – A Convoluted Mess

This is a political essay.

I read an article about Obama’s, “Christianity” in the Washington Post recently.  The liberal media continually carries water for Obama, rationalizing his actions, spinning his dysfunction, and justifying his failures.  Churchill said this about truth: “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” In the American cultural wars the daily blast of white hot lies by the liberal media continually smoke-screens the truth.

Saul was a leader of ancient Israel.  The problem with Saul is that he tried to lead Israel in his own strength, by his own reasoning and by his own abilities.  God eventually rejected him as a leader.  This is a parallel for Obama’s type of leadership.

David in contrast led the Israelites by seeking God’s counsel with humility, much prayer as the Psalms attest, and he was described as a man after God’s own heart.  He was a type of Christ.

Read more here: http://intellectualconservative.com/obama-a-convoluted-mess/