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Glad Tidings

GT—Volume 13 Issue 8

5 Aug , 2016  

Rose-Colored Glasses

Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil

“Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil” is an unrealistic stance in life. The truth is that evil prospers when good men do nothing!

I started a book, “What the World Needs is More Martyrs”, citing the need to stand up for Christianity and morality, despite the cost of loss of jobs and friends and in the face of judicial penalties. That was several years ago when a wedding photographer was sued for refusing to photograph a homosexual uniting ceremony. While the book has been in process, the climate has gotten more hostile to morality and Christianity. We have seen punitive actions taken against a wedding cake baker and a florist for holding to their moral scruples against homosexual ceremonies.

Our state, Washington, has declared all bathrooms and shower rooms free for all. Now teen boys get to ogle teen girls in the shower and the toilet, whenever their lust desires. I do not understand the refusal to see the dangerous consequences of these kinds of rulings. Behind their Rose-Colored Glasses, promoters are blind to the logical end of their foolish policies. They have a very unrealistic view of human nature. Voyeurism is at least an invasion of privacy and at worst the prelude to sexual assault. All an objective observer has to do is watch a “Gay Pride” parade and see their degrading of humanity to know how bankrupt such rulings are.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”   George Santayana

God revealed to the Children of Israel that there was a moral way to live. When they lived accordingly, they prospered. When they violated His moral laws, nations that were more powerful defeated and enslaved them. Christianity, standing on the shoulders of their Jewish forebears in the Roman Empire, was but a minor religion in the polytheistic and immoral culture. The Empire was victorious in all its wars of conquest for hundred’s of years. Christianity began from only a single God/man with 120 faithful followers. They had no other weapons than faith and morality. They took on the Roman Empire.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6).

In less than 300 years, by the 4th Century, Christianity became the faith of the Roman Empire, (which became “The Holy Roman Empire”). In the ensuing decades they reverted to their immoral past and as a result they lost their edge and Rome was sacked.

However, Christian faith and morality transformed the pagan Franks, Goths, Picts and other European pagan tribes.   dove-vector-clipart

Frog in the Kettle

A number of times in the past I have quoted Alexander Pope.

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.”  Alexander Pope

There is a constant struggle against the self when a culture holds the line of morality against immorality. Our soul wants to enjoy vice. We want money without working for it. We want freedom without striving to keep it. We want sex without responsibility.

Therefore, to have a civilization that works over the centuries we have embraced morals that God handed to mankind. They restrict the nature of men and women, but are essential to the formation of the healthy individuals. Faithful monogamy laid the foundation for the reliable structure that forms a child into a healthy, responsible, reliable adult. That stability built character into the “Greatest Generation” that fought and won a two-front war and rebuilt both Europe and Japan after World War II. The stable families and the moral training built strengths into the soldiers that made them strong in the face of the horrors of combat and courageous in the face of degrading imprisonment as POW’s.

The deterioration of both faith in God and the strict morality of their parents became evident in mid 20th Century. Easy divorce promoted the breakdown of marriage (violating the Scriptural stance against divorce). The 60’s introduced a moral devolution, spawning rampant “free love” (violating the Scriptural prohibition against fornication). In 1973, the Supreme Court declared that murder of innocents in the womb to be legal (violating the sixth Commandment). In 2009, the Federal Government declared homosexuals a protected class (violating God’s prohibition of that perversion).

Here we have the warming, and then the heating, of the kettle holding the truths of the God who created us and then gave us a structure to live in a healthy way. We are approaching the point where the water is dangerously hot. We can still turn down the heat, but we must do it soon or we will kill our society.   dove-vector-clipart            

Fool’s Paradise

“If we make these changes, it will make a better, freer world.” Progressives use this logic repeatedly. “Restrictions on people are bad, so remove the restrictions and everyone will be happier.” By the same logic, we should disband the laws against bank robbery. The resultant spreading of the wealth that is stored up in banks would make the beneficiaries of that rescinded law very happy.

Those advocating these changes have an unrealistic view of human nature. They believe that century-old lie, “Down deep there is good in all people. All one has to do is relieve people from all hindrances; that will allow the good to surface.”

In the name of tolerance, the federal government has followed some states to mandate that all bathrooms and shower rooms in schools be freely accessible to all students. They cannot conceive (or do not care) that anyone would use that freedom for evil purposes.

Those currently forcing these changes upon us are living in a world that does not exist. In their world, all Caucasian people are rich racists. They contrast that with the belief that all other races are downtrodden and could not possibly be racist. In their world, all people who have money have stolen it from those who are down trodden. They see America as the greatest force for evil in the world, despite all the benefits America has brought to the rest of the world not only by their dollars generously given, but also by the blood of her sons on the battlefields of the world. Misunderstanding the character of mankind, in their delusion, they believe if the oppressors can be eliminated, love will predominate.

Billy Graham

Self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle. — Billy Graham

The sad truth is that each man woman and child (I know this is a hard and unpopular truth, but it is reality) is self-centered and will do anything he or she can to survive. To himself or herself, anything one can get away with is alright. Why otherwise do people take advantage of a riot about a perceived wrong to break into and loot stores unrelated to the controversy?

On my way to work, I see the vandalism of graffiti along the freeways. Watch a train. It is rare to see a train car that does not have graffiti all over them. Traffic signs are sometimes so covered with spurious paint that drivers cannot read the warnings. These pose a traffic hazard, but obviously the “artists” do not care.

Despite the destruction of property, defacing buildings, and requiring private companies and the government costly and time-consuming repainting and/or replacement, people gush over the “art’ and bewail the painting over. These foolish people have misplaced values. They are living in a fool’s paradise.

Mary Eberstadt

Mary Tedeschi Eberstadt is an American essayist, novelist, and author of several books of non-fiction. Her writing has appeared in magazines including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Review, First Things, The Weekly Standard, and other venues.

In her book, It’s Dangerous To Believe, New York, Harper, 2016, Mary Eberstadt states “Many progressive-minded Americans have absorbed the belief that they are heirs to Voltaire, Clarence Darrow, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and other apostles of secular enlightenment. They should know that a lot of what’s committed against religious believers in progressivism’s name these days shares no such dignified pedigree. It smacks instead of intimidation, condescension and vengeance.” (Introduction, pgs. xxv-xxvi).    dove-vector-clipart

Need More Martyrs

One must understand that believing Christians have strong Biblical warrant to oppose homosexuality and all other perversions of natural heterosexuality. Christian professionals who choose not to contribute to such uniting ceremonies are being faithful to the Lord God. Their faith does not allow them to participate in any way, even to provide cakes or flowers or to take photos.

About six years ago, motivated by the alarming trend to stigmatize believers I began collecting material for What This World Needs Is More Martyrs, a work in progress. I am beginning to think it is too late for such a warning.

The truth is we have Christian martyrs everywhere. We do not hear about them, because most news media choose not to report the great number of incidences.

  • National Review, September 7, 2015 “Always Ready To Give An Answer”, by David FrenchInterVarsity college Christian fellowship is being banished from college campuses across the nation. This began in 2000 with a Tufts University campus fellowship recent decision to deny a lesbian student’s application to lead the group. Not only did the student expressly disagree with InterVarsity’s teachings on marriage, family, and human sexuality, she also specifically stated that she wanted to use her position at the Fellowship to advocate gay rights. InterVarsity faced possible expulsion at dozens of campuses. It was de-recognized at all 23 schools of the California State University system.
  • Julea Ward was told to change her Christian beliefs or leave Eastern Michigan University’s counseling program. At the formal review before a panel comprised of three university professors and one student, Julea was grilled about her Christian beliefs with questions like whether she viewed her form of Christianity as superior and if she believed homosexual behavior is a choice. Julea again clarified her position that she would not be able to affirm a homosexual relationship because it went against her biblical convictions. A few days later, Julea was notified by letter that she had been dismissed from EMU’s graduate program.
  • A Pastor and his wife have been holding a Bible study in their home for five years. On Good Friday, 2009, an employee of San Diego County code enforcement officer came to their home asking questions. Upon learning they say, “Amen” and “Praise the Lord”, the County found they were conducting religious services and issued an order to either obtain an expensive permit or refrain from conducting religious services in their home.

Not all of these attacks ended unhappily. InterVarsity has actually grown because of the persecution. Julea Ward, at last check, supported by the Alliance Defending Freedom is still battling in court. In San Diego, when the code enforcement story became public the outcry it generated forced San Diego to reverse its ruling and permit the Bible study. Nevertheless, these are bellwethers clanging. We must expect that unbelievers will increasingly attack Christians for espousing their faith in public. Currently, Pastors are subject to personal lawsuit if they refuse to officiate at homosexual uniting ceremony, unless their church as a condition of employment forbids such officiating.  dove-vector-clipart

Who’s In Charge, Anyhow?

In my lifetime, I have seen society transform from Christ-centered to essentially Godless. I have seen the Federal government mandate first taking prayer out of schools, and later forbidding students to pray, carry Bible or even wear a cross. I have witnessed the barring of any religious symbols on federal and state property. I have seen a CEO of Foxfire fired because out of Christian principles he supported an initiative declaring the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

Christian believers must wake up to the harsh reality of the growing momentum to purge American society of Christian principles and Christianity as a faith.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist; then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist; then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew; then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.   —  Martin Niemöller

However, in Christ there is “Victory in Surrender”. Jesus surrendered to the hate of the religious establishment of His time, who tortured and killed Him. Jesus Christ triumphed over sin and death to pave the way for believers to triumph over their society in any century.

The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.  —  Church Father Tertullian, 2nd-century

Willing sacrifice of Martyrs’ lives lead to the conversion of others. In God’s economy, the voice of the dying martyr speaks in the hearts of people near to the execution and those distant in both time and space.

That means for some of God’s people, it is better to surrender one’s life than to seek to preserve it; better for God’s purpose and better for the individual. God instantly translates him into His blessed eternal life. That seems to the worldly wise as foolishness, because they have invested in this material world. Our material lives, so precious to us, are insignificant to God. What is significant in our lives is our relationship with Jesus the LORD God.

As for man, his days are as grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;   (Psalm 103:15-16)

Once Jesus establishes a relationship with us as Savior and saved; God, as Father and adopted child, then our eternal destiny is fixed. This life becomes a husk that we can shed anytime it is God’s time. When we hold our lives loosely, we have the greatest freedom. No one can intimidate us. No sacrifice in this life is too great. Loss of job is not a crisis. Loss of income is not a disaster. Ultimately, loss of life can actually be a blessing.

Looking at our lives from God’s perspective, all these setbacks are as small dust in the balance with our eternal security in Christ. He gave us this body to use for time. During time, we are to nurture it and be good stewards of it while we live. Nevertheless, God has given us a disposable model. When his time comes, we will discard both this body and this life, and then enter into an eternal realm of existence. “Oh that will be glory for me!” You see, Our Father God has a celestial body reserved for us. He has a spiritual life awaiting to replace one’s life in this world (the world itself is disposable and will one day be dissolved, leaving only, we suppose) God’s celestial world. It will be wonderful beyond our most exaggerating imaginations. The Bible intimates that believers will be invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We envision the Supper as a table groaning with its load of delicacies and the cups of wine overflowing, making our hearts glad, but not intoxicating our brains.

Therefore, although we see evil, hear evil, we speak no evil. We offer God’s grace freely. We do not take umbrage, because God is the one who is in charge. Jesus suffered greatly through the torture of the crucifixion, but…

…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Because Scripture states that the believers’ future will be a time of suffering and pain, we should not be surprised when they turn up the heat in the kettle. It does not catch us unawares.

But ye shall be delivered up even by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” (Luke 21:16-17)

While we wait for “Pie in the sky bye and bye”, believers are not living in a Fool’s Paradise. We are living in a reality that the world cannot perceive. God our Savior promised that we will have a marvelous share in God’s glorious Kingdom.

…so shall we ever be with the Lord.   (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

So, my brothers and sisters, with the world collapsing around us, catch hold of God’s promises and continue to praise and glorify Him! Hallelujah! We are victorious in Christ!   dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in one issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep you answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: Who is Melchizedek and what does he have to do with Jesus?

ANSWER: He was a Priest of the Most High God who was also the King of Salem. (Genesis 14:18) He was both a king and a priest.

Jesus the Messiah was both a king and a priest. He was a king by descent from the Tribe of Judah. However, since He was not a descendant of the Tribe of Levi, he could not be a priest of the Aaronic line.

The Letter to the Hebrews (7:2) points out that “Melchizedek” means “king of righteousness” and as King of Salem (meaning peace) he is king of peace. He was both a king and a priest.

In Psalm 110, Jehovah is speaking to Adoni. He declared to His Son, …

Thou art a priest for ever, After the order of Melchizedek. (Psalm 110:4)

Therefore, Jesus’ priesthood comes not from Aaron. It precedes the Aaronic priesthood, since He is in the mystical order of Melchizedek.

“without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God), abideth a priest continually.”  (Hebrews 7:3)

So, we have in three places in the Bible reference to Melchizedek. These three appear to converge in pointing to Jesus.

  1. Melchizedek appears and disappears in just three verses of introduction
  2. His lineage is assigned to the Son of God, Messiah
  3. The inspired author of Hebrews devotes a significant portion (ch. 7) to showing that Christ’s priesthood is in the order of Melchizedek’s; that Christ’s priesthood is superior to Aaron’s

Thus, the king of righteousness and peace and the priest of the most high God is spiritually the ancestor of the Messiah. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the Holy Righteous Son of God and the supreme High Priest that offered the perfect sacrifice for our sin. His own blood cleanses from sin, all who appeal to Him.

Now, we may surrender to Jesus on a daily basis, confident that not only does Jesus have the position, but also the authority to cleanse us from unrighteousness and sin. It behooves all believers to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”. We are saved to begin the process of opening our lives to the sanctifying process of the Holy Spirit. His job is to convince us of sin, righteousness and of judgment. He shows us we are sinners. He reveals to us the path of righteousness and He makes it clear that all will face the Judgment. It is vital that we secure our lives in Christ, and then seek out and confess all the sins of our lives, daily.

QUESTION: Why did King Herod slaughter babies under two years old?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

 Lord Jesus, Our nation and the world are in an awful mess. We have violated Your word and Your will. We are steeped in idolatry. We are sold under sin. There is nothing redeeming about us. We are lost without You. Save us, Lord Jesus, I pray. We are in desperate need of your redemption.

 Almighty, Lord God, we do not need remediation, we do not need a band aid. We need major heart surgery. Our hearts are sold out to sin. We are deplorable. We are despicable. Come, LORD Jesus and rescue us from evil and degradation. There is no help in us. Our sin disqualifies us from receiving any good thing from You. O, LORD God, have mercy on us and deliver us from the wickedness that makes our feet flee from Your path. Rescue us from our wayward hearts that cling to godlessness, immorality and love of self.

In You alone, we have hope. In Jesus, there is a slight possibility of rescue from the disaster that certainly awaits our world, our nation and me as a sinner.

Lord God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us. You have saved me by Your precious blood that cleanses me from sin. Now my God save our nation and the world. The need is desperate beyond calculation. In You alone is there relief from the suffering under sin, which in truth we do not recognize as such. Take pity on our ignorance and our blindness. Gracious Lord, You have taken the first step in saving each individual billions of times. You out of Love for lovelessness have reached out to us in our lostness. You, out of Your grace, have knelt down in the muck of this world and dirtied Your pure hands by grappling with me, and so many others like me, to draw us into Your perfect heart. You have patiently allowed us to besmirch Your glory by our poor praise. You have endured our slander and defamation of Your Character by claiming to be Yours, but living as if we were not.

Your love is the most magnificent in all the world. Your truth is the most pure in all the universe. Your Majesty is the most superb in all creation. I love You because You first loved me. I worship You because You chose me to be Yours.

 Glory be to God in the highest. All honor, majesty, power, dominion are Yours most Holy and Loving Father, Wonderful Son, Glorious Holy Spirit.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah! I worship You my God! Amen!

 

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