I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.
Chronicles of the City
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The Road I Travel and A few Of The Places I Visit
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Christian Sites I Frequent
Sunday, May 31, 2009
I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.
Monday, May 25, 2009
There are those who claim that these and similar Scriptures prove that God is the author of evil.
The biggest defenders of the idea that God created evil are followers of John Calvin's teachings. Seems to me that there is a bit of a schism in the ranks of the Calvinist movement.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
With the recent success of proposition 8 in California, and the polls showing a majority of Americans across the country opposed to giving marital status to homosexual couples, one would think that the same sex-marriage debate would have faded away. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Every week we hear of another state either passing laws that allow gay marriages, or judges of those states ruling by fiat to force it upon society.
As a logical Christian, I look at the many prophecies God has given us throughout the Scriptures, and I can see the writing on the wall. In the near future we will be living in a society that not only allows same-sex marriage but also accepts it as a normal way of life. It really should not surprise anyone, especially when you consider our society has allowed its high court to banish God from the class room and rule a woman has a right to abort her children.
While I admit this is a battle we will inevitably lose, it is still one we must fight in the hearts and minds of every man and woman in America and abroad. As a Christian I stand behind the Bible that clearly states, homosexual behavior is a sin. It is this battle line we must make our stance upon as we continue to fight and advance the truth of the gospel in America and around the world.
Paul told the believers in Rome, that we have all sinned and thus fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 ) So if homosexuality is considered a sin, then an explanation of what sin is would be needed. The best definition I have ever heard to describe exactly what sin is would be, “anything that falls short of the perfection of a perfect God” I bring this up because many churches and Christian leaders allow those caught up in the gay lifestyle to believe they are not sinning. These false teachers are under the assumption that God has made them the way they are so obviously He would condone their behavior. They also teach that the Bible does not really condemn homosexual behavior or that Jesus would not condemn this behavior. The reality is that these claims are just more lies by Satan to convince an individual to continue practicing behavior that keeps them away from God. However, if they insist upon twisting Scripture to justify their behavior, it is our duty to point out their errors.
The Bible contains nine specific references to homosexuality: four in the Old Testament (Genesis 19:1-25); ( Judges 19:22-30); (Leviticus 18:22); and ( Leviticus 20:13) and five in the New Testament (Romans 1:24-28); (1 Corinthians 6:9-10); (1 Timothy 1:8-11); ( 2 Peter 2:6-10); and (Jude 1:7) Paul wrote the passage in Romans in such a simplistic manner that one would think he wrote in anticipation of the debate we are having today on homosexuality. Unfortunately, those who wish to lead others astray go through quite a few twists and turns to convince others of their beliefs. Along with the above mentioned Scriptures there are other references that can help the reader understand God's view upon marriage and family, promiscuity, and sexual purity. These Scriptures are as follows,( Genesis 2:18-25); (Proverbs 18:22); (Mark 7:21); (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5); (Romans 6:13); (Romans 13:13); (1 Corinthians 6:13); (1 Corinthians 18-19); (Galatians 5:19-21); (Colossians 3:5); (Revelation 21:8); (Revelation 22:15).
Throughout history, Christian theologians have been consistent in their interpretation that the Scriptures consider homosexual behavior to be sinful. We even derive our modern word sodomy from the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah. It should also be stated that while the act itself is condemned by the Bible, personality traits such as feminine feelings on the part of a man or masculine feelings on the part of a woman are not. There has always been and there always will be men and women who have traits that could be misconstrued, but it does not change the fact that we are created as man and woman and can only reproduce by the union of a man and a woman. God said be fruitful and multiply, and there is only one way to achieve that goal. (Genesis 1:28) & (Genesis 8:17 )
There are those who attempt to use the Scriptures I listed above to prove that God did not really mean to condemn homosexuality. These false teachers attempt to distort the plain meaning of Scripture by taking ancient historical languages and reinterpreting them with the mindset of today's hedonistic views. However, their arguments fall short, and with a minimal amount of study it becomes clear that they only wish to confuse their followers into believing they are not sinning. We must avoid interpreting Scripture in light of our tendencies and desires and instead interpret our desires and tendencies in light of the Scripture. God's word is the rule, we must not make our rule God's word.
Another way they obfuscate the truth is by claiming the biblical view of sexuality is not valid in the modern word. They point out that the law in Leviticus was intended for the ancient Hebrews and does not apply today. By claiming the Levitical law was intended for the ancient Hebrews, they use examples of many things condemned as evil in the Old Testament that are commonly accepted in the modern world, like eating pork. While I do admit that civil or ceremonial laws do often change from country to country and year by year, moral laws do not change. The New Testament may have repealed various Old Testament ceremonial Jewish laws like eating unclean foods and circumcision, (Acts 10:12-15); (Colossians 2:11-16); (Romans 14:17)), but the Bible is consistent throughout the Scriptures on its teaching about morality, which includes the practice of homosexuality.
Those who advance the gay agenda attempt to normalize their behavior to the public by claiming Jesus never mentioned homosexuality in any of His sermons. Obviously, they reason, we cannot ascertain His position on it. However, Jesus never mentioned other blatant sexual sins like rape, incest, or pedophilia either. Now does anyone think that Jesus would condone any of those behaviors? I think not. Just because Jesus does not mention them, does not mean that it is all right to commit these offenses against God and each other.
There can be no mistaking about the teachings of Jesus when it comes to the proper marriage relationship of a man and a woman. In (Matthew 19:4-5) Jesus reiterated the same thing about marriage and family that Moses taught when He wrote the account of creation in the book of Genesis. (Genesis 2:24) It is very clear from both Moses and Jesus that any sexual relationship outside of a committed marriage relationship between one man and one woman not only demeans the institution of marriage, but also insults our heavenly Father.
Besides being quite clear in his contempt for sexual immorality (Mark 7:21), Jesus was even more strict than the teachings in the Old Testament. He went so far as to state that sexual immorality extended to even the lusting in ones heart. (Matthew 5:27-30) These were very tough standards compared to what Moses taught, and He knew we would find it difficult to accept them. Throughout His life Jesus met people who were caught up in different sinful behaviors, yet nowhere does He ever condone the behavior of those that sinned. After Zacchaeus had spent some time with Jesus, the tax collector pledged to pay back fourfold all he stole from his fellow Jews. (Luke 19:1-9) These were very tough standards compared to what Moses taught, and He knew we would find it difficult to accept them. Throughout His life, Jesus met people who were caught up in different sinful behaviors, yet nowhere does He ever condone the behavior of those that sinned.
When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Him, Jesus forgave her, but also made it clear she was to sin no more. (John 8:1-11) Also Jesus specifically stated that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, (Matthew 5:17) and Jewish law was quite clear on homosexual behavior. So to suggest that Jesus would have condoned homosexual behavior is twisting Scripture for personal gratification and reasons of political correctness.
In our attempt to show how God is a loving and forgiving God we must not forget that He is also a God of justice. Justice means that there will be punishment for those who do not obey His precepts. Jesus says more about hell and eternal punishment than anyone else in the entire Bible. The teaching comes from his own lips and we must take it with utmost seriousness. (Matthew 5:48) Examples of the wrath of God's judgement: (Genesis 2:17); ( 2 Kings 17:18); (Psalm 74:1); (Psalm 79:5); (Psalm 90:11); (Proverbs 10:16); (Micah 7:9); (Zephaniah 3:8); (Matthew 5:29); (Matthew 7:13); (Matthew 25:46); (Romans 1:32); (Romans 2:8); (Romans 6:23); (Acts 3:19); (1 Corinthians 6:9); (Galatians 6:7-8); (Philippians 3:19); (2 Thessalonians 1:9); (James 1:15) and (Revelation 20:12-15).
Those who attempt to mislead others about what the Scriptures say, suggest that God is a God of love and accepts people just as they are. This is a very dangerous thing to teach, because it leads people to think they do not need to believe in Jesus so be saved. However Paul specifically told the Romans that all have sinned and thus fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 ) and Jesus tells us that no one but God is good. (Luke 18:18) We are an unclean people who sin continually, and God demands that we repent of those sins. (Acts 2:38) When we create a god that fits our lifestyle we are in direct violation of the Second Commandment, “Thou shall have no other gods before Me”. (Exodus 20:3)
Regardless of the excuses we use for our sins, sin is still sin, and we will all be tested throughout our lives by our flesh and the world in which we live. Some of us will be given a thorn in our side to remind us of God's grace which allows us to look to Him for the strength we need to defeat our weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:7- 10) Those weaknesses can either lead us to find pleasure in the world, or comfort in the knowledge of Christ and His power to save us. The question we all must ask ourselves is, can we sacrifice those pleasures that keep us from God upon the cross with Christ, or will we risk eternal damnation because of our desire to practice behavior the world has legalized?
I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
In the last 30 years, the American people have been fed lie after lie that the homosexual lifestyle is a normal way of living and that there was just a matter of time before scientists would even prove that a person was born gay. So the idea that the gay lifestyle is natural has been successfully propagated by promoting a "victim" image and by the pseudo-science alleging a 'gay" gene. We were fed report after report that scientists are getting closer to proving a gay gene exists.
Then in a well publicized report put out by the APA in 1998, it was stated,
With a crescendo of approval the MSM touted this report while the left used it to make major inroads with the public to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality. There were those whom the media and politicians catered to who claimed this proved that homosexuals are victims of a society that will not allow them to be what they have no control over being. After all, they were born that way. Just as a Black person has no control over the color of their skin, neither can a person born to love another of the same sex.
The only problem is that in all the so called scientific reports that science is getting closer to proving the existence of a "gay" gene, not a single one ever survived scientific peer review. Now in a complete reversal the APA has backed off their previously held stance that there was evidence that abhorrent sexual behavior is genetic. Now the APA has revised that statement and omitted the above sentence. The newest APA brochure, which appears to be an update of the older one, is titled, "Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality." The newly worded statement is as follows;
So now the APA is in agreement with those who have said time and time again, there is no "gay" gene. However, I will admit that study after study have shown that homosexuals are victims, but they are victims of their own perverted behavior.
Something most people do not think about when considering homosexual behavior is the very unsanitary behavior they practice. Typical homosexual behavior includes regular contact with fecal matter from oneself and from sexual partners, tragically reversing several centuries of learning about cleanliness. It is the better understanding of germs and sanitary practices that have led members of our society to live a longer lifespan. Thus homosexual behavior, through the very nature of achieving sexual pleasure, reverses the advancement of longevity among those who practice it. All available evidence indicates that the lifespan of practicing homosexual persons is drastically shortened by their behavior. There is no reliable study that indicates otherwise. Added to this is the sad reality that the shortened lifespan of homosexuals is taboo subject among homosexual advocates. The evidence is damaging to the case that it is as normal as heterosexual behavior is.
This is what the Scriptures tell us about why men and women practice the behavior of homosexuality.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Inevitably, this would lull her into a calm, relaxed state of mind until I thought she had fallen asleep. I would stop pampering her, and pick up my book to start reading again. That’s when she began pushing her head towards my hand in an attempt to take my mind off my reading. So, I would indulge her for a bit longer in the hope that she would settle down so I could read my book. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I would either have to give her what she desired, or else she would get down and go find someone else to scratch those itchy ears.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
A recent survey of Protestants was released in early March of 2009. The CVS (The Mainline Protestant Clergy Voices Survey) surveyed senior clergy from the seven largest mainline denominations:
Evangelical Lutheran of America,
American Baptist USA,
United Church of Christ,
Christian (Disciples of Christ)
The survey found significant differences across the denominations on religious and political measures.
What follows is their findings on social and political issues. The results will stun you.
Percent of women in the clergy:
Agree that "gay couples should be allowed to marry legally":
Women clergy: 58%
Male clergy: 27%
Agree that "abortion should be legal in all or most cases":
Women clergy: 78%
Male clergy: 44%
Agree that "the federal government should do more to solve social problems such as unemployment, poverty, and poor housing":
Women clergy: 90%
Male clergy: 76%
Agree that "more environmental protection is needed, even if it raises prices or costs jobs":
Women clergy: 80%+
Male clergy: 66%
Agree that "support the government guaranteeing health insurance for all citizens, even if it means raising taxes":
Women clergy: 85%
Male clergy: 63%
Agree that "social welfare problems, like poverty, education and health care are the most important issues in the country that the church should address":
Women clergy: 50%
Male clergy: 34%
In regards to politics, identify with the Democratic Party:
Women clergy: 75%+
Male clergy: 50%
In regards to politics, identify with the Republican Party:
Women clergy: 11%
Male clergy: 40%
In regards to politics, self-identify as "liberal":
Women clergy: 74%
Male clergy: 42%
After the last election we were all stunned at the numbers of Christians who voted for Obama and the Socialist agenda the Democrats offered. Now we no why this happened. the concerted effort to convince Christians That Jesus was a socialist and would have supported their Socialist agenda. What follows is the final statistics of how the Religious and nonreligious voted for president. You will notice I listed the numbers starting with those which John McCain carried to Obama in a sliding graduation
xx% McCain, 23% Obama - White Evangelicals age 30-64
75% McCain, 25% Obama - White7,10 Born Again Evangelicals
73% McCain, 26% Obama - Evangelical/Born-again Protestant
xx% McCain, 32% Obama - White Evangelicals age 18-29
65% McCain, xx% Obama - Weekly church-attending Protestants
65% McCain, 34% Obama - White Protestants
65% McCain, 34% Obama - White Protestant/Other Christian
62% McCain, 35% Obama - State of Utah
59% McCain, 40% Obama - Working-class whites
57% McCain, 41% Obama - White men
55% McCain, 43% Obama - Weekly mass-attending Catholics
55% McCain, 43% Obama - "White voters"
55% McCain, 44% Obama - Non-evangelical Protestant
54% McCain, 44% Obama - Weekly church-goers
54% McCain, 45% Obama - Protestants
53% McCain, 46% Obama - White women
52% McCain, 47% Obama - White "regular-mass-attending" Catholics
52% McCain, 47% Obama - White Catholic
51% McCain, 47% Obama - White college graduates
xx% McCain, 47% Obama - White independent voters
51% McCain, 49% Obama - White Catholics
46% McCain, 52% Obama - Non-Evangelical Protestants
46% McCain, 53% Obama - Protestant/Other Christian
xx% McCain, 53% Obama - Monthly church-goers
44% McCain, 54% Obama - "Young whites"
45% McCain, 54% Obama - Catholics
45% McCain, 54% Obama - Catholic
xx% McCain, 59% Obama - Semi-annual church-goers
38% McCain, 61% Obama - Occasional churchgoers
37% McCain, 61% Obama - Non-weekly-mass-attending Catholics
28% McCain, 62% Obama - Other faiths
30% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanics
xx% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanic Catholics
xx% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanic Protestants and other Christian
xx% McCain, 68% Obama - Don't attend church
22% McCain, 73% Obama - Other faiths
23% McCain, 75% Obama - Unaffiliated with any religion
23% McCain, 75% Obama - Unaffiliated
21% McCain, 78% Obama - American Jews and other faiths
21% McCain, 78% Obama - Jewish
xx% McCain, 94% Obama - Black Protestants
xx% McCain, 96% Obama - Blacks
Now you might understand the urgency with which we need to address the problem of truth about how Jesus believed and taught. If we cannot educate those who have faith on the truth, how can we expect to reach the unsaved with the truth?
Saturday, May 2, 2009
It has been the aim of the Democrat party since they lost the Presidential election in 2004 to subvert the Christian doctrine with the claim that Jesus was a socialist. Their goal is to convince Christians that their Social agenda is morally equivalent with the teachings and life of Jesus Christ. Considering the lack of historical and Biblical knowledge most Americans have, it is not surprising that many have fallen for the misinformation on what Jesus taught (and for whom the teachings were given). These Biblical revisionists have become especially adept at cherry picking Scripture to suit their agenda. Hence, many have come to misunderstand the gospel of Christ by equating it with modern day Socialism.
My first point of contention with the idea that Christ was a socialist, is His teachings and the example of His life. Throughout the time that Christ lived with His disciples, He never worked. Instead he was dependent upon the charity and good hearts of those who surrounded Him. Now that is not to say Jesus was lazy or a bum either. Jesus was always about His fathers business, and that bussiness was the salvation of mankind. You will find nowhere in the Scriptures, Jesus telling His followers to rely upon those who are not willing to hear the gospel or share what they have. If the people refused to hear the gospel or be charitable with them, Jesus told His disciples to rebuke them and go to others who are willing to hear the teachings, as when He sent them out by pairs. (Matthew chapter 10)
I must emphasize that all of the lessons Jesus taught were for those who followed Him, or would listen to His teachings. When a person asked for healing or for forgiveness, Jesus always told them that their sins were forgiven and to go and sin no more. As for money, there was only one time He mentioned the wealth of an individual and that was because that individual treasured his wealth over God. Jesus used the incident as a lesson to tell His disciples that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to get into heaven. Not impossible, but more difficult. He tells us elsewhere that where your treasure is there too is where your heart will be. (Matthew 6:21)
Jesus also taught that we should not let our charitable work be publicly known. (Matthew 6:1-4) Those who love to brag about all the good they have done for others through the Social programs of the government would not be true followers of Jesus or his teachings.
When Jesus did finally have His big chance to influence the government and it's rulers, he did not broach the subject of socialism or it's supposed glory. Not only did He not enlighten them upon the benefits of Socialism, He would not even share the Gospel with them.
If Jesus was the great Socialist leader the left wants you to believe then why would He not get the government to follow His lead. After all, the perfect time to influence the government was when he was in front of Pontius Pilot or Herod. He did not. The Scriptures tell us that He kept silent in front of Herod. ( Luke 23:6- 12) He said only a few words to Pontius Pilot. (John 18:33-19:11) That is because Jesus did not come to influence the government, but the people who needed salvation. He wanted men to believe in Him not some social agenda that would get the government to do what Christians were called to do. These are the lessons His disciples continued to teach after he was gone, and those lessons would come into play in the Book of Acts.
Most people have heard the story about the early days of Christianity, where everyone sold their possessions and distributed the proceeds to other Christians in need. (Acts 4:34-35) This is one of the main Scriptures used by the left to convince people that the early Christians practiced Socialism. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that this is something that happened mainly among the Christian believers. By taking into consideration the historical setting of the Book of Acts, you will begin to better understand the reason why there was a need for this kind of outpouring among the early Christians.
During the time when Christ walked among us and taught His disciples, and later after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into Heaven, Jerusalem was an economically depressed area. Most of the employment opportunities centered around the building of Herod 's Temple, and the only ones eligible to work on the Temple were Jews. The only Jews that were allowed to work on the Temple were those who were ceremonially clean. Anyone that was unclean or found to be unfit by the priests were barred from working on the Temple. There were various reasons one could be considered unclean or at odds with the Priests who controlled the work force. A Jew who openly confessed faith in Christ and followed His teachings, was automatically considered a Heretic and unfit for consideration of employment in the Temple. They were also ostracized by their close relatives and the community, and soon found themselves unable to support themselves or their family.
It was under these conditions that the first Christians came together and pooled their resources so that the many who lacked the basics to care for themselves could be taken care of in the face of such harsh treatment in their communities. These early Christians were not only shunned by society, but many like Stephen were stoned to death for their faith in Christ. All they had was other Christians to depend upon. So while we do read in the Book of Acts about communal living, where all things were in common, it was from the excess many had so that those in need could be cared for. That does not mean that all were equal, or that those who had means split those means equally with those who did not have means, but rather they provided for the necessities of those who could not do so for themselves. What the Book of Acts records is that the early Christians stepped up and did what Christ called them to do.
We can also see in the Book of Acts that a Christian could give as much or as little as they wanted, as in the account of Ananias and his wife Sapphira. (Acts 5:1-10) The Scriptures tell us they were put to death by the Holy Spirit for lying about how much they received because they wanted everyone to believe they donated all the proceeds from some possessions they sold. The lesson we learn from the incident is that they were not required to give everything but to be honest about their donation. Later when it was prophesied that a famine would come to the land, the disciples in Antioch collected money to send with Paul and Barnabas to be delivered to Jerusalem. (Acts 11:27-30) They did not ask Herod, Caesar, the Jews, or unbelieving Gentiles for help, they collected the money from other Christians.
Now for those who want to equate this outpouring of sharing with the idea of modern day socialism, I would suggest a short course in Biblical Theology. Christianity teaches that it is up to the individual to care for others, whereas, Socialism demands forced equality enacted by the government. Also, while it is the Christian's obligation to look after the widows and the poor, Paul specifically told the Thessalonians in his 2nd letter to them, that if a healthy able bodied brother will not work he will not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Socialism on the other hand, not only promotes but demands that those who work will feed those who are lazy and will not work. This is not what Christ taught. Jesus did not have the Good Samaritan in Luke's Gospel tell the injured man in the road to seek a government social worker. The Good Samaritan gave of what was his own willingly, not under the duress of the state. (Luke 10:25-37)
Throughout the life of Christ, He always emphasized personal responsibility and love. That is because Christ came to save mankind from the penalty of sin, which is eternal death. It is through the substitutionary death of Christ and His resurrection that we are provided with the means for justification and thus salvation. Jesus said that all who believe and receive Him through faith, will be born again and saved to become children of God. Christ could care less about the governments and their so-called compassion. That is why you will not find anywhere in the Scriptures a verse that says He died for the salvation of the state.
Jesus died for the salvation of man and it is men's hearts that will be judged on judgment day. No man will be judged according to how much he paid in taxes, or how many government programs he supported. We are told to pay tribute to our rulers if they ask, but charity starts and ends at home with each individual. That is why Christ said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Notice that He said, as you did, not as the government did. (Matthew 25:35-39 )
One last point that needs to be made, and that is for anyone who doubts that Communism and Socialism are two feathers from the same bird. Frederick Engels' wrote the preface to the 1888 edition of the “Communist Manifesto”, in which he declares that the Communist Manifesto "is undoubtedly the most widespread, the most international production of all Socialist literature, the common platform acknowledged by millions of working men from Siberia to California."
Socialism means economic control of the people by government. In a socialist country, the state is all-powerful. Such an all-powerful state views itself and not God as the ultimate authority. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Communist Manifesto calls for abolishing family, marriage, countries, and religion as well as private property. Under the socialist system the state determines what is right and wrong without any competing loyalties to God, family, or country.
Make no mistake about it, Jesus was not what politicians and their mimics in the media claim He was. He was not, and He did not teach, Socialism. He said I am the way, the truth, and the light, no one comes to the Father accept through Me. Christians are called to be the light of the world, we should influence the world through our lives and share the gospel with those who are receptive. If the Gospel, as Christ taught it, is rejected by those we whom we share it, then we are told to kick the dust from our shoes and go on. (Mark 6:11) We are not instructed to force them to be loving and charitable through the power of a Socialized government.
I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear His voice and call upon His name.