Category Archives: Commentary

God is Not a Tight Wad

For many years I’ve watched every slice of bread and cringed if there was ever a need to throw away food.  It was a sure sign I had been neglectful and sloppy.  Furthermore I couldn’t afford it. No eggs ever magically appeared in my refrigerator; no butter regenerated in a dish. So this summer when I was frequently forced to discard food, I blamed myself and tried to reform.  But it happened again and again.

When you have a repetition of something God has a lesson in mind. It had never occurred to me before, but He has quite enough food available for the human race, myself included, and perhaps I need to believe him for generous servings instead of 40 years of penny pinching.

I have a friend who never eats leftovers; that seems to me to be a conceit of ego rather than of food safety.  It must be nice to think that you do not need to lower yourself to the level of eating yesterday’s cold steak.  But the opposite is true. My anguish over food loss was just another form of faithlessness.

I am not supposed to be spending my life chasing every toast crumb, but neither am I to assume God can’t provide.  He certainly has on many occasions.  I can remember one year where I had fewer than 3000 dollars income. Looking back I cannot imagine how I lived at all.  In fact, when I made out my income tax, I added 2,000 dollars because I thought the IRS might believe I had lied.  Well yes, but I did not want them asking me any questions because I don’t know to this day how I survived.

Just as I once learned to live on little now I must adapt myself to the knowledge that God can be generous to a fault – that He can lavish attention on me and provide not just enough to get by, but more than enough, not just for me but for others as well.

I got so excited about the prospect of excess I paid out 20% in tithe!  Of course I can’t do that forever, or at least I don’t think I can, but when He said give to those people who needed it I did not say to myself, “That is not tax deductible.”

God is not interested in my tax deductible status – He’s interested in my obedience. And not doing His will when he makes His will clear simply because I don’t think He can replace the money or the food.  That makes me no better than the “wicked” servant to buried the talent in the ground. And I have enough faults without being called wicked.

Have You Signed the Manhattan Declaration?

About 10 years ago I signed this document. My signature means that even on the penalty of imprisonment in the United States of America I will stand behind the words of the Bible on the moral law and the sanctity of persons.

With the media shutting down Christian websites and calling them “dangerous” this declaration is more important than ever. Facebook and Google both censor Christian speech and belief; Quora, a question and answer site, blocks anyone who calls homosexuality a sin, or evil behavior.

Sign the Manhattan Declaration today:

The Manhattan Declaration is a clarion call to the church to take a stand on three vital issues:

  1. The Sanctity of Life.  A culture of death inevitably cheapens life in all its stages and conditions by promoting the belief that lives that are imperfect, immature or inconvenient are discardable.
  2. Dignity of Marriage.  Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Marriage is the first institution of human society – indeed it is the institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation.
  3. Freedom of Religion.  No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions.

Read the full Manhattan Declaration here.

More than 550,000 people have signed the Manhattan Declaration.  See a list of charter signers of the Manhattan Declaration here.

Sign the Manhattan Declaration here.  (NAME, EMAIL, and ZIP are required fields.) By signing the Manhattan Declaration, you will also receive the Manhattan Declaration newsletter as well as the Colson Center’s daily BreakPoint commentaries.

Please read this.

Bad Arguments vs. Skeptics

A guest blog post.

Fine Line between Faith and Politics

Guest essay for today.  Click below.

Why the “Illegal-Problem” is Wrong on Many Levels

God never wants us to take sides when personalities are involved.  Our decisions, personal and corporate, should reflect either  respect for the law or His grace, never defiance of either. His will, not the will of people or their politicians is the basis for good decisions, and when followed results in good laws and societies. From God’s view, the problem of immigrants has been mishandled not just for 2 weeks, but decades.

How did we mess up so badly? First, we’ve been lazy and disinterested. God expects a free people to vote for leaders who will represent the best management practices that please God whether they are Christians or not.

God expects us also to be watchful over our leaders and pray for them. That means we should pray for them, not curse or pray they get some courage and do the right thing – nor leave office!  Or curse them and their families in restaurants or on twitter, which applies to both sides of the aisle.

Second, God does not honor lawlessness, and neither should the government or any political group. The word illegal means just that.  There are only 2 valid reasons for anyone to enter the USA – legal entry or political asylum.  The former is hard and takes time.  The latter is easy to establish; my friend Karen and her mother and brother worked in the underground in their Latin American nation and all three have a contract on their lives for 20 years – yes even today. They had a provable case and entered quickly.  Every one else without a provable case is a lawbreaker.

The Old Testament urges us to accept refugees, but they must, must obey the law of the land.  They do not need to be Jewish. Even today in Israel Christians are treated well and live happily but they are not allowed to proselytize, just honor the laws of the land.

3rd, to encourage lawbreaking makes you a lawbreaker too.  In the last verse of Romans 1, the person who encourages another to sin is considered the bottom of God’s barrel.  You are free to pray for them and help them with legal entry, or with asylum if they qualify. But any encouragement of lawlessness falls on you too. Politicians who encourage illegals for personal profit have a double burden of guilt and shame.

4th, any toleration of lawlessness degrades America.  Why should newcomers be led to believe that they can disobey the law with impunity? How can your own American children take us seriously if we allow, encourage, even finance illegal behavior? We can’t expect them to be honest when we have demonstrated that we are dishonest.

5th, no one is ever helped in life by believing that if they cry hard enough they will get their own way. Cursing people who disagree with you and slandering them is not American, and the constant barrage of evil speaking needs to get to the Supreme Court.  I am personally sick of news media lying to me and then changing the subject when they are caught.  The nation needs to turn the channel on them from sea to shining sea. And when a Grade B actor slams the president no one should repeat it – it’s only free publicity for a coming movie. Then he gets a separate headline for an “apology.”

Finally, foreign governments learned that there are plenty of greedy politicians who will accept all manner of expensive criminals and disease carrying people if it can line their pockets. Legal immigration monitors such problems.  I am happy to have people come here, but not felons foreign nations dump on us. DACA dreamers account for 59,000 separate crimes in the USA..

When Nehemiah received permission from King Cyrus to rebuild broken down Jerusalem the first thing he did was build a wall. The walls are salvation; the gates are praise.  The church can raise them both.

God’s Three Basic Rules

The reason the Holy Bible has over 32,000 verses is that God has a lot to say to 7 billion humans about individuals, nations, animals, angels, Himself and the future.

First, He has one rule for the human race – free will.  If we don’t get that, we won’t get the rest.  The most common question people ask is, why did God let this horrible thing happen?  God does not have His thumb on the scale involving events or the actions of individuals or nations.  You do what you do because He has allowed you to do it.  If you perpetrate evil  against someone or something He is not involved.  That is your choice. He does interfere in response to prayer however.

If you generate good you are also rewarded.  This applies to the very smallest of tasks.  The diligent student in the projects will succeed; sociologists know this and they look for these students.  Dr. Ben Carson, the world’s expert on pediatric brain surgery, was raised by a single mother who could not read.  But she checked his homework every day to see it was done.  Pretty good actress too I gather.

However, God does seek for you a new relationship to Him.  Out of new, obedient relationships come national change, personal success, stronger laws, better armies, and creative new inventions and art.  While God does not pass laws against child abuse or create agencies to supervise, you can. While he cannot stop the drunk driver from getting behind the wheel, a person who is tuned into God can seek His will about whether to get into the car.

This same rule applies to nations. The world system is based on improvement, in spite of appearances, which brings about a superior life for nations and individuals.  The quality of life in the past 50 years has improved across the planet.  So even ethnic groups who were desperately poor many years ago are merely poor now.  We tend to see a small piece of the reality pie.  It is also true that there are more men than women worldwide. Another fact few people realize.

We marvel that Jews are far and away the largest group of Nobel Prize winners, but why not?  These are His people selected 3,000 years ago.  Where there is active disobedience to God and His will you have poverty, war, chaos and abuse of women and children.  Think Islam.

The 2nd law of the universe is the law of sowing and reaping.  Nations sow, nations reap.  Individuals sow, individuals reap.  And if your parent sows bad seed, you reap part of that crop too.  But you have no requirement to follow the patterns of bad families; you can always follow good.  A bad Congress sows bad laws; the people reap problems. This rule applies to all men at all times.

Finally is the Law of Change; change is not an option, it is a given. God said, “I am the Lord I change not.”  If you as a person want to come into God’s presence, you do the changing.

First you must charge your mind.  The Biblical word is repentance, metanoia meaning change your mind.  Young people today say they want to change the world. But first you must change yourself or be willing to let God change you.

Don’t bother trying to change other people.  It is a waste of time.

If you can’t change you can’t adapt or grow. You become hard and unusable. To be usable you must also be teachable. Make a decision to learn and grow every day so when your face the end of your life, you have learned to live profitably and happy.  Then you will also live longer.

Unhappy, rigid people can only die. It is all they have left.

Being in a Big Hurry Leads to Sin – and Worse

Modern translations offer many better explanations over the King James. For example, this little known Proverb: 19:2

KJV Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.
How about this much better version:
TPTThe best way to live is with revelation-knowledge, for without it, you’ll grow impatient and run right into error.
An example is World War 2: Hitler rushed around Europe occupying country after country, not listening to his generals. When he told the army to invade Poland one of his generals remarked, “Germany is lost.” That was 1939.
Then he ordered the army into Russia, not calculating that it would soon be snowbound and without adequate boots and winter equipment.  The war actually ended there, eventually taking hundreds of thousands of lives in the process – all because Hitler was excited about his wins and hurrying into defeat.
He also designed a tank so large – he wanted a tank to end all tanks – and it was so heavy it could not be transported over mud and other terrain.  They all rotted out. Ambition, self will and assumptions spell failure.
We do this too.  A hasty purchase , a quicky marriage or worse yet a quicky divorce, a college chosen for the wrong reason, a job taken because it was all that was available, a surgery with a substitute doctor, helping someone because they begged.
What the Bible advises is ask God first. He does not act on emergency or need. Mary, Jesus’ mother, had a good answer. She said, “Do unto me according to Thy will.” Let God decide what  you do and where you go and to verify or deny your choice. It’s called faith and it is not easy.
Over and over God makes time for us to do the right thing. We all have 70 years in theory to make the decisions we need for a successful life.

When God Withholds Information

Listening to preachers you might conclude that God is either ready to beat you up over your behavior, or over indulgent about anything you are doing. The Truth is somewhere in the middle and related to your willingness to obey Him.

Everyone starts at the point of salvation – forgiveness first, then repentance which means literally “change your mind” and then believing the gift of God  and allowing Him access to the rest of your life. Then your status changes – you become a disciple.

Here is the scripture: John 8:31-32

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

So here is the progression:

continue in my word means God’s word, the Bible, not the word of man, or churches or TV evangelists, or professors, or politicians. This can take years.

If you do that, then

are ye my disciples indeed.

In deed  not just talk but real results.

Finally, if you meet those conditions,

ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

When God keeps information from  you, most probably you still do not know His word. You will continue in semi information and ignorance until you return to His word in all matters.

That is why we make sure all new believers use the Bible first.

God’s Love is not like Human Love

For forty years now TV evangelists remind us how much God loves us, so much that millions of listeners have come to believe in universal salvation – that God loves everyone so much no one goes to hell.  Some even believe there is no hell.

First, God loves what He created – individuals. Like the potter who uses the medium of dirt (think of Adam here) to make a vessel.  Some vessels hold water, some oil and others are simply for decoration. The use of the pot does not give it any status.

Vessels don’t compete with each other for rank. At the same time, the Potter can throw the clay back into the mix if there is a problem. He has to remove as much air as possible or the vessel will be flawed. I know a lot of vessels with too much air in them.

Because we are His workmanship God loves us even when we choose to ruin our lives.  His role as creator is not changed by your role as a vessel.  Human beings are given the  opportunity, called grace, to live forever in His presence. We can reject that gift.  And if we do, God’s love continues, because it is Holy.

God loves us even when we choose hell.  Perhaps it is hard to believe that; how can God still love us when we are there? Because love is not dependent on what you do or what you choose.

He gave you the chance to choose right and you choose something else,.  He is not changed by your decision – saddened yes, changed no. In much the same way a woman who is cast off by her husband still loves him even though he goes after another woman. Her love has not changed. His, most likely, never was love for her at all.

But that is because Human Love does not have its root in holiness, at least not until we have a infusion of God’s Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5  “because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

God’s love in us allows us to love others in a new way. Without this there is no explanation for missionaries who endure all kinds if deprivation in order to leave the comforts of home for often dangerous, hostile areas of the world. This love is sacrificial, so God is willing to allow you to reject Him.  Either He sacrifices himself on a cross to bring you into His kingdom, or he allows you to leave His kingdom  for your own devices.  It is a sacrifice either way.

And because humans do not know how to do this, they also cannot imagine God would allow anyone to stay in Hell.  Right now some reader is thinking, but doesn’t God send some to heaven and others to hell? Some people teach that?

No, God sent us to earth to live our lives in decision – we decide whether God is central to our lives or Self. I love the early scene in Ghost, the movie. A street gang member kills a man and several black robed demons take the killer off to Hell.  It could not be more plain.  I bet some Hollywood type out there saw that in a dream. All life is eternal, only where you spend it is your choice.

Human love is bound up in time; God’s love is eternal. We are here for the long haul, not just a few short 75 years, or 80 or more. We have a time-date stamp.

Social Justice as a Picture of Intolerance

Here is one of many websites that promote ideologies that rather than support an idea, instead condemn anyone who disagrees with them.  This is an accurate definition of a cult, the worship of one own opinions.

I am using my vacation time to reblog or post places that support ideas which  present as political but are actually theologies. For example,  the gay lifestyle is a religion.