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Liberal Versus Conservative


Authored by Dr. John Neihof | Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 12:18 PM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/faith/2017/03/liberal-versus-conservative/

For Christians, the clash between liberals and conservatives has an ominous history. Often, faithfulness is the true casualty of the conflict. / Liberal Versus Conservative

“Are we seeking political solutions to deep spiritual problems?” 

Dr. John Neihof

Ezekiel 22:26 

Her priests have violated my law and profaned my holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 

John 2:13-16 

Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And he said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 

Matthew 21:12-13 

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
 
Conservative versus liberal ideologies are nothing new. In Ezekiel’s youth, temple worship was polluted by compromising, tolerant priests—liberals—who refused to recognize the difference between the holy and the profane, the clean and the unclean, the righteous and the sinful, true worship and idolatry. These sins of the priests, along with the failures of the prophets and the people, were at the heart of Israel’s rebellion that landed them in oppression and captivity. They “profaned my holy things.”

During the Babylonian captivity, the Hebrews, under the leadership of Ezekiel the prophet, searched their hearts, the Scriptures, and their history to understand how they had violated God’s covenant with them. They started synagogues to study the Hebrew law. A conservative group of holy men, scribes and Pharisees, emerged from captivity as the spiritual leaders of the nation. These scribes and Pharisees were the leaders of a spiritual and national revival movement in Israel for the next 400 years. 

When Jesus appeared on the scene in the first century, two political factions dominated Hebrew life and culture. The Sadducees were the political moderates and liberals who practiced appeasement toward the Roman occupying presence in Israel, thus protecting their political party. The Sadducees controlled the high priesthood in the Jerusalem temple. Although they were the minority party of the Jewish ruling body, the Sanhedrin, the Sadducees rarely lost a battle they wanted to win against the conservative faction of scribes and Pharisees.

The scribes and Pharisees were among Jesus ‘chief opponents—lawyers, students, and scholars. Their scrupulous observance of the Hebrew ceremonial law reached far beyond the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, to include oral tradition, interpretations, and explanations of the law. Their addendums were massive, and carried the same moral obligation for the people as the Law of Moses. 

The chief priest and the Sadducees were in a struggle for the control of the Hebrew nation, doing battle with the conservative scribes and Pharisees, all under the watchful eye of Rome. This power struggle set the Sadducees and Pharisees up for a fight with Jesus, the Son of God.

Our Lord must have watched the exploitation of the people at the temple all His life. The liberal Sadducees controlled the position of chief priest. The chief priest turned this power into a money making scheme by appointing the inspecting priest who examined the sacrificial animals which people brought to temple for sacrifice. Animals had to be approved as being without blemish to be permitted to be slaughtered and burned as an offering on the temple altar. The complicit task was to disapprove a prescribed percentage of the perfectly acceptable sacrifices, purchase them at a deeply discounted price above the powerless protests of the inconvenienced worshiper. The rejected animal would then be introduced as the newest acquisition to the temple herd, only to be resold to a worshiper as an unblemished sacrifice a few days later.

The Sadducees had the scribes and Pharisees over a barrel. The conservative Pharisees were so dug into their rigid position that they had no moral authority to protest the enforcement of holiness, however corrupt, in the priests’ approval of the sacrificial beasts. The Sadducees could simply hide behind their claim that they were fastidiously enforcing the Hebrew law. At that point, the Pharisees’ protests failed, for legalistic enforcement of the Law of Moses was what they insisted. 

The Sadducees’ conflict with the scribes and Pharisees put the average Hebrew in a losing position along with the Pharisees. Only the chief priest came out looking the winner.

Jesus understood what was going on. He had watched the exploitative process all His life. He was probably first exposed to it as a twelve-year-old boy when His family traveled to Jerusalem for Passover (Luke 2:41-50). Perhaps, He and Joseph had even suffered the refusal of their unblemished sacrifice at the hands of the chief priest’s corrupt inspector. It could explain why Jesus was so incensed by what He knew was going on in the Temple. Not once, but twice, Scripture records Jesus’ cleansing of the temple at the beginning of His ministry in John 2, and at the end of His ministry in Matthew 21 and Luke 19. It is interesting that Jesus began and ended His ministry with cleansing the temple.

Jesus transcended the trap of the liberal v. conservative political continuum of His day by emphasizing holiness, prayer, healing, and spiritual power. He was not co-opted or compromised by political pressures. He rose above the entrapment of politics and spoke wholeness and hope into an abusive situation.  Think about that.

What does Jesus’ principled action have to say about how I should live in this present age? 

Jesus was not reactionary. He thought and felt deeply about the matter of His Father’s house for many years. He loved the Father, the people, and true worship. He opposed everything from the left and the right that limited access to the Father, especially the profiteering that had polluted the place of prayer for exploitative purposes.

  • What are the bonds that enslave and keep us from knowing our Heavenly Father today?
  • What are the barriers to prayer in life today?
  • Do we oppose barriers to the Father with the same urgency and persistence Jesus showed? 
  • Are we seeking political solutions to deep spiritual problems?

What about my temple? The temple of my heart?

Is my temple polluted with profiteering and self-interest so that true fellowship with the Father is compromised?

Am I so rigid in my emphasis of liberal and conservative, so idolatrous in my emphasis of right over left, so consumed with time above eternity, that my temple is polluted

My prayer: “Jesus, drive the double-mindedness from my heart and enthrone Yourself as the single object of my affection. Help me to transcend the political strife of my age so that I am truly Christian. Help me to speak healing and wholeness into the brokenness of our time-bound existence rather than being compromised by it. Amen.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. John Neihof President of Wesley Biblical Seminary – Guest Blogger More Articles

ISIS Magazine: Jesus is ‘Slave of Allah’


waving flagBy Tad Cronn August 2, 2016

ISIS, being the media-savvy monster den that it is, has numerous projects at any given time that help it get the word out about the joys of jihad. The current issue of Dabiq, ISIS’s English-language magazine, is a special edition aimed at converting Christians, and other non-Muslims, claiming Jesus is “a slave of Allah” and he will “wage jihad” at his Second Coming. It’s an educational look into the warped minds of the Islamic terrorists.

The special “Break the Cross” issue also contends that Jesus was never crucified, that he was only a prophet of Allah, and most of the New Testament is a “perversion” of the real story.

The mastermind behind this rewrite of Jesus’ story, according to Dabiq, is St. Paul, who was actually just a “treacherous Jew” who worked from the inside to destroy the early Christian Church.was

The magazine aims at all “Crusaders,” including atheists and skeptics, by letting them “read into why Muslims hate and fight them, why pagan Christians should break their crosses, why liberalist secularists should return to the fitrah (natural human disposition), and why skeptical atheists should recognize their Creator and submit to Him.”

This being an Islamic propaganda sheet, there’s a lot of stuff and nonsense about Islam’s compassion and mercy. Tell that to the countless people who have been maimed, tortured and killed for little or no reason by the compassionate soldiers of Islam — like the elderly priest in Normandy who was murdered recently at the altar of his own church, in front of nuns and parishioners.

That ISIS-celebrated incident included the re-dedication of the “captured” altar to Mohammed by the young jihadists, who had committed themselves and their actions to ISIS but were nonetheless called “wannabes” in some news outlets.

In case you’ve forgotten what the face of evil looks like, it’s all here in the pages of ISIS’s magazine. It’s slick, professional-looking and full of phony sincerity designed to suck in the gullible. If you’re not careful, at times it’s almost believable. Goebbels would be proud.

“And despite their wretched condition of ignorance and arrogance, we take this occasion of multiple massacres inflicted upon their citizens and interests to call them once again to the religion of pure monotheism, truth, mercy, justice, and the sword,” the editors write in the foreword. Islam is NOT

It’s a real piece of work that rails against all manner of Western decadence, including Freud, feminism and homosexuality, sections that liberals should pay special attention to. Liberals like to fantasize about Christians trying to control their personal choices. For them, there’s a section in the ISIS publication describing just how Islam will dictate everything from brushing their teeth and shaving their pubic hair to “snorting water then expelling it” (apparently, Kleenex is not allowed).

In between the glossy pictures of smiling children and dead bodies, the overall message is clear: The fervent promise of practitioners of the Religion of Peace is to take us down.

Except for Donald Trump, are any of our would-be leaders listening?America Never Forget

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tad Cronn

Tad CronnTad Cronn began his journalism career in 1983. While he earned awards for his work as a reporter and editor, his greatest joy is writing news commentary. Providing a conservative and often humorous outlook on current events, he now works as a freelance writer based in California.

 

 

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Commentary: The Idolatry of “My Jesus”


waving flagBy: Jim Shempert | Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2016

I wonder sometimes which Jesus people believe in”

– Jim Shempert

“Oh look, another social issue!  Let’s fight about it on Facebook!”  And off we go!  With righteous indignation we pound out soliloquies aimed at whoever dares disagree with us.  Our fingers pound our phones ever so harder with each word.  Then, in order to silence the opposition forever, we attach some Jesus possessive statement at the end.  “The Jesus I believe in…” “the Jesus I follow…” or “My Jesus believes…” are some of the ones I have seen in the last few days.  I can only sigh at such statements because many base “their Jesus” on something they have created in their mind as opposed to the Jesus of the Bible.

I wonder sometimes which Jesus people believe in.  Even in the Bible belt where I live there is a IMG_0879marked lack of understanding of scripture.  Many have created their own personal Jesus who is more like the Genie from Aladdin than the sovereign Son of God who died for all the sins of mankind.  They love to point out that Jesus ate with prostitutes and tax collectors but fail to acknowledge the Bible says “He came not to bring peace but a sword.”  They love, “Then neither do I condemn you,” but completely ignore the follow up: “Go and sin no more.”AMEN

I believe in the sovereignty of Christ.  The deeper I go in my relationship with Him, the more I see my overwhelming need for Him.  The Word was not made flesh for my slice of the American dream.  He did not come to Earth so that you could have that three bedrooms/two baths split floor plan in a quiet cul-de-sac.  He did not die on Cavalry so that one political party or another could stay in power. AMEN

Jesus did all those things because we are all terrible sinners.  We offend God’s holiness in our sin.  Isaiah 59 could not be clearer:

But your iniquities have separated you from your IMG_0963God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things. No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.  For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God, inciting revolt and oppression, uttering lies our hearts have conceived. So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey (Isaiah 59:2-4, 12-15).

Though God hates sin, He loves us more.  He made His Son be the perfect sacrifice for sin.  Sin is not acceptable to God.   Sin does not magically disappear.  Sin is either atoned for through the blood of Jesus Christ or judgment awaits the sinner at the end“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2nd Corinthians 5:10).

IMG_0961Sin is unacceptable to God.  First, it separated us from God, and then, caused the death of His Son.  God’s wrath was satisfied in Christ, and thus, anyone who has a true relationship with Jesus Christ will be spared His wrath because we are “clothed with Christ. (Galatians 3:27)”

Then there comes the “but.”  But, if you refuse the gift of salvation in Christ, you accept the wrath of God.  IMG_0937Revelation describes it as “pouring out the bowls of God’s fury.”  Reverend Paul Washer painted an even harsher picture:

 If you die unreconciled to Christ, the last thing you will hear when you take your first step into hell will be all of creation standing to its feet and applauding God with joy because HE has rid the earth of you.  We do not understand how vile sin is, and we do not understand how vile we are apart from Christ.

IMG_0888That is the Christ of the Bible.  He willingly sacrificed Himself for all who would come to Him.  He desires that no one should feel the wrath of God.   He has done everything possible to make a way for you to come back to Him.  But, He can’t be tricked or fooled.  You can’t pull a fast one on Him.  He knew down to the person who He was praying for in Gethsemane in John 19.

The next time you feel the need to draft a soliloquy to advance a social/political point, please realize the sovereignty of the One you reference when you say “My Jesus says.”  Make sure that you have not created an idol in your mind of who Jesus is.  If you are referencing the only Son of God who died at Calvary as the sin ransom for man, that’s one thing.  If you are referencing a weak, westernized, no consequences for our sin Jesus, you may want to pause and rethink. 

If your version of Jesus never disagrees with you, it’s not Jesus that you are worshiping. AMEN

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National Prayer Breakfast: Obama Preaches Against Gospel of Fear


waving flagby Charlie Spiering4 Feb 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/04/at-national-prayer-breakfast-obama-preaches-against-gospel-of-fear

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 04: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. The National Prayer Breakfast is in it’s 63rd year. (Photo by Shawn Thew – Pool/Getty Images)

President Obama warned Americans to stay away from fear, as the world grows more troubled under his leadership.

During his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. this morning, Obama spoke about the dangers of the “primal emotion” of fear – and how to combat it with faith.

“Fear does funny things. Fear can lead us to lash out against those who are different, or lead us to try to get some sinister ‘other’ under control,” he said, alluding to anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment in the country.

Obama added that fear was a “primal emotion” that could destroy community and feed mankind’s “selfish impulses.”

“If we let it consume us, the consequences of that fear can be worse than any outward threat,” he said. Obama announced that faith was the best way to defeat fear.

“For me, and I know for so many of you, faith is a great cure for fear,” he said. “Jesus is a good cure for fear.”dangerously delisional

He declared that Jesus helped Americans stand up “not just to our enemies but to our friends” and helped Christians to be more tolerant and accepting. Obama cited the recent terrorist attacks and the mass shootings in America as proof that evil was in the world, striking fear into hearts of many.

“Like every president, like every leader, like every person, I’ve known fear,” Obama said. “But my faith tells me that I need not fear death, that acceptance of Christ promises everlasting life and the washing away of sins.”

As he concluded his speech, Obama prayed for more humble politicians, perhaps referring to his presidential successor. “I pray that our leaders will always act with humility and generosity,” he said.

Christians! We Don’t Live Under Caesar


waving flagWritten by Gary DeMar, Feb 1, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://constitution.com/christians-we-dont-live-under-caesar

Every political year, religion becomes an issue. It’s been that way since the founding of our nation. There’s no escaping religion and politics. Everyone is religious. Every law on the books is an application of someone’s view of religion (the ultimate basis of a person’s belief system) and an expression of their view of morality.

What is the source of a person’s worldview, their ultimate commitment? It’s a question that’s rarely asked. And yes, atheists are just as religious as the most fundamentalist Christian. Atheists are fundamentalist materialists, and so-called Progressives are fundamentalist secularists. What they believe is fundamental to their worldview.

There are Christians who are calling on their fellow-Christians to disengage from politics or to acquiesce to the political status quo and suffer under its oppression because we are just wanderers in this world on our way to the next world. Secularists also want Christians to disengage, and will often quote Jesus’ words “to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

No doubt Christians prefer to live a quiet life, as the apostle Paul wrote (1 Tim. 2:1–4). They would prefer not to have to expend time, energy, and money to fight laws that one day could end up limiting their freedoms.

These instructions to the young pastor Timothy did not stop Paul from challenging political reprisals raised against him (Acts 22:23-30). He even appealed to Caesar in a time when the majority of Jews had no political standing (25:11-12). Paul made use of his Roman citizenship (22:28), something few Jews had, as we should take advantage of our own citizenship rights. Christians aren’t second-class citizens or subjects to a foreign power (at least not yet). We’re not devoid of a political right to act, either biblically or constitutionally.AMEN

What about the argument that we are to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Matt. 22:21)? First, this statement tells us that not everything belongs to Caesar. Second, Jesus also says that we are to “render to God the things that are God’s.” Caesar is equally obligated.

Third, we don’t live under Caesar, a king, or governors sent by a king (1 Peter 2:13-14). We live under the Constitution of the United States that gives us the right — as the First Amendment states — to speak, write, and assemble to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

It would not be inappropriate to render Matthew 22:21 like this: “Then render to the Constitution the things that are the Constitution’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”AMEN

The Constitution is our Caesar, and those who take an oath to uphold the Constitution must render to it. In addition, we have a right and duty to hold our elected officials accountable to their oath. And unlike most Jews in the Apostle Paul’s day, we have the ability to change our government (Caesar) every two years at the national and local levels.

Reverend Jacob Duché (1737–1798) and the First Prayer of the Continental Congress (1774)

There used to be a time when we did live a quiet and tranquil life because Christians engaged their world culturally and politically. The goal has never been to save the world through politics but to define civil government’s limited political role. Christians who refuse to engage politically by default turn over the reins of authority and power to those who believe in a secular theocracy where civil government becomes the new god, and the laws of this secular god are imposed on the citizenry.

What if a government starts molesting people for their beliefs or actions? What should a Christian do? The slave trade, the holocaust, and racial discrimination come to mind. The anti-slave trade was headed up by Christians. Study the life ofWilliam Wilberforce(1759–1833). So was the civil rights movement. Were Christians wrong to oppose these moral evils? Why was Israel judged if the people were not to be involved politically?: 

How the faithful city has become a harlot,
She who was full of justice!
Righteousness once lodged in her,
But now murderers.
Your silver has become dross,
Your drink diluted with water.
Your rulers are rebels
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves a bribe
And chases after rewards.
They do not defend the orphan,
Nor does the widow’s plea come before them (Isa. 1:21-23).

Resistance movements like those practiced by Christians during World War II have been accepted as morally justified by nearly all ethical thinkers. Thomas Kineally’s Schindler’s Ark (later made into the film Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg) shows the highest praise for those who defied what was a “legal” government policy.

Corrie ten Boom and her familycome to mind:

“Corrie ten Boom has long been honored by evangelical Christians as an exemplar of Christian faith in action. Arrested by the Nazis along with the rest of her family for hiding Jews in their Haarlem home during the Holocaust, she was imprisoned and eventually sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp along with her beloved sister, Betsie, who perished there just days before Corrie’s own release on December 31, 1944.”

In Give Me the Children: How a Christian Woman Saved a Jewish Family During the Holocaust, Pola Arbiser describes how her nanny defied the law and hid her and her sister from Nazi officers. The Jewish community of survivors has described these resistors as “righteous gentiles” ((As reported in Catherine E. Shoichet, “Christian nanny hid Jewish family from Nazis,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution (August 27, 2003), E1 and E6. See Pola Arbiser, Give Me the Children: How A Christian Woman Saved a Jewish Family During the Holocaust (Altona, Manitoba, Canada: Friesens, 2003).)) or simply “Christian rescuers.” ((David P. Gushee, “Christians as Rescuers During the Holocaust,” Must Christianity Be Violent?: Reflections on History, Practice, and Theology, eds. Kenneth R. Chase and Alan Jacobs (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2003), 71.)) These actions were considered to be moral even though they violated Nazi Reich law.

When the allied troops liberated the death camps and saw the atrocities, the soldiers went into the surrounding towns and forced the citizens to walk among the corpses. It was happening right under their noses and they did nothing to stop it. That wasn’t the “tranquil and quiet life” Paul was talking about.

AMEN

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Pristine Bible Page Found Fused To 9/11 Steel — What It Says Left Us In Awe


waving flagPosted on October 16, 2015 by Dom the Conservative

In March 2002, an unnamed firefighter discovered a fragment of rubble from the World Trade Center under Tully Road, a temporary truck route covering the remnants of the south tower, the New York Times reports.

Embedded in the metal was a damaged Bible, torn and singed from the horrific catastrophe. After he read the remaining words, he called over a nearby photographer, Joel Meyerowitz, to document the unbelievable message.

“Retaliation.”

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Pristine Bible Page Found Fused To 9/11 Steel — What It Says Left Us In Awe

 

Of all the thousands of message within the holy book, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel of Matthew, remained perfectly intact.

“This shredded, burned and rubble-covered Bible came to me from the loving hands of a fireman who knew that I was the record keeper of ground zero,” Mr. Meyerowitz said Thursday in an e-mail from Italy, where he now lives.

“My astonishment at seeing the page that the Bible was open to made me realize that the Bible’s message survives throughout time,” he said, “and in every era we interpret its teachings freshly, as the occasion demands.”

The chilling message not only accurately sums up the Islamic wrath upon New York City, but it prophetically warns America what will happen if it embraces its enemies — namely Islam.

Sharia law operates on an “eye for an eye” basis, as the Quran states that retaliation is commanded by Allah.

And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. [Quran 5:45]

The Islamic supremacy that spurred the event on 9/11 was in perfect accordance with Sharia law, Allah’s law. The retribution that the Muslim world felt was deserved came in the form terrorism against innocent Americans.

However, the Muslim world doesn’t see unbelievers as innocent. The Quran states numerous times that Allah has a hatred for non-Muslims and that the jihadists who fight with their lives against the unbelievers will be rewarded.

Although Jesus Christ preached and modeled a life a love, forgiveness, and peace, the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, who all Muslims are called to emulate, practiced pedophilia, racism, slavery, rape, murder, and conquest. The two doctrines are not only incompatible, they are complete opposites.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, this message serves as a warning to the U.S. We have invited in the very religious and political ideology that commands the overthrow of our Constitution and establishment of Sharia law.

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You Can’t Have One Without the Other


waving flagBy: Jim Shempert; Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2015

“What the world, mortally wounded as she is, needs to hear as she edges closer to the end is the message of the Gospel. There is right and wrong.”

– Jim Shempert

I am a great lover of history.  While most kids were poring over the latest comic book, I had my nose stuck in a history book. At first, it was American history, and that grew into a general love of all things historical.  Because a large portion of human history has been shaped by war, my particular focus seems to be based around the squabbles of differing kingdoms.  I’m a sucker for a cheesy Hollywood war movie, because I have hope, that one day Hollywood will tell a true war story, as opposed to the fairy tale that every war movie made turns out to be.  You know the scene I am talking about.  A mortally wounded soldier, being comforted by his friend, the five stages, and finally….the end.  The movie usually turns on what the one says to the other.  So, what should Christians tell a mortally wounded, dying world?

Some of my past blogs talked about America no longer being a Christian nation.  The conservatives decried me as weak and giving up the fight.  The liberals came with the same old tired line that “America never was a Christian nation.”  To the conservative camp, let me assure you that weak is not an adjective to describe me.  To the liberals, normally, I would try to point you to historical context, quotes by our founders, and other overwhelming evidence that though America was not meant to be a theocratic society it most assuredly was built around and meant to be based on Christian values.  However, I know that liberals’ entire knowledge base comes from themselves, and if they don’t agree with it, then it’s wrong.  Truth be told, history speaks for itself.

The same could be said for Christianity.  Far too often in today’s America, the Church is trying to “change things up” to attract a bigger crowd by raising more dollars to fill more seats.  Church leaders go to seminars on how lighting affects giving, which music to play at poignant moments, and how to court more givers. We sacrifice the Gospel and the eternal for public acceptance.  Sure, we talk about physical poverty, but not spiritual.  We talk about golden streets and harps, but nothing about flames, damnation, and endless torment.  We preach God’s Grace, which I am a firm believer in, but we don’t talk about God’s judgment anymore.  In doing so, we make Christ a liar.  If all those things didn’t await those who refused His sacrifice, then what was the need for Him to die?

I lost a few of you there.  I said that Hell is a real place.  I said that not everyone gets to go to Heaven.  Jesus says the same, and no “new-thinking” wolf-in- sheep’s clothing will trump the words of Christ in my book.  While on earth Christ said: “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:49-50.)  Later is Revelation, “They, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name (Revelation 14:10-11.)”

A lot of fair weather fans just jumped off the bandwagon.  Too much fire and brimstone, not enough grace.  Friends, you can’t have light without dark, the hope of Heaven is only fully appreciated by the fear of Hell, and you cannot have mercy without judgment.

If Christ is Who He said, and it is my belief that He is the Son of God who died for my sins, then judgment is coming.  Some say soon, some say at the end of our lives, but whatever the time, we will all stand in a place of judgment.  By our sin nature, we all stand condemned.   “There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10.)”  Whatever we try to do to change ourselves for the better, will not be enough, because you can’t be “good enough” to attain forgiveness.  If salvation could be earned then there would have been no need for Christ to die.

What the world, mortally wounded as she is, needs to hear as she edges closer to the end is the message of the Gospel.  There is right and wrong.  Unrepentance leads to damnation.

But…

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, saw you in your sin.  He loved you before you could ever love Him.  He was there at the beginning, and will be there at the end.  No matter how far we push him out of our government, we cannot push Him out of history, because He was there before history began, and He has seen when “history” will end.

We will stand before Him one day, and give an account of every word and deed that you have said and done while in this life  (Matthew 12:6).  That, to me, is enough to make my knees quake.  However, those who are found to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ will receive forgiveness. Those who are found to not be in

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