Archive for July, 2013

Why Do The Nations Rage?

July 26, 2013

Title: Why Do the Nations Rage?

Text: Psalm 2:1-12

Time: July 2nd, 2013

Well, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of homosexuality and gay marriage as a result of what can only be seen as one of the biggest propaganda wars waged upon any population. Through media outlets the homosexual lobby has taken a fairly traditional population, a generally Judeo-Christian consensus, and in just a few short years changed a majority opinion against same-sex marriage into a majority in favor of it. Sensing the changing social wind currents, the Supreme Court, always eager to be out in front of social change, conformed to peer pressure and overturned the standard definition of marriage, one man and one woman, that had formed one of the pillars of society. Now whether a real, true majority of Americans actually think so-called homosexual marriage is the equivalent of heterosexual marriage is hard to know, but the perception is, the media message is, that a majority, and therefore the majority of people, think so. And in a democracy, a majority, the majority, is huge, because it basically decides what will be. Like I said, I’m not sure an actual majority thinks so, but the perception is that they think so, that is, that homosexuals should have the right to so-called marriage. So then the Supreme Court and its majority progressive members are all too eager to participate in the revolution. What did the Court do? It struck down DOMA, which defined marriage as between a man and woman. The Court said it wasn’t fair because homosexuals want to marry to, and to deny them a right to marriage makes them feel like second-class citizens. They didn’t address the problem of polygamy, and whether DOMA makes polygamists feel like second-class citizens too. No, this was all about gays, nothing more, nothing less. The Court seemed so worried about homosexuals feeling left out, excluded, marginalized. But it didn’t give any thought about how God Almighty might feel about his moral commands against homosexuality being violated at a national level, or about the consequences of violating a basic moral and spiritual law. They didn’t seem to pay God any mind, or think about the possibility of angering Him or that their decision might trigger divine judgment. No, all they cared about was throwing off any vestiges of the old Judeo-Christian moral framework for society. That was the DOMA decision. The Prop. 8 decision was basically a refusal to do anything about that issue one way or another, thus, effectively letting a lower court ruling against Prop. 8 stand – essentially clearing the way for same-sex marriage in California (which is now a reality as we speak). In ruling the way it did this last week, the Supreme Court basically rejected all Judeo-Christian morality as a foundation for social policy. In so doing, it essentially rejected God as well, despite what we say on our coinage, “In God we trust,” or in the Pledge of Allegiance, “One nation under God.”  But there are consequences for such actions. I’d like to explain this a little further by using a passage in the Old Testament of the Bible, Psalm 2:1-12 (read). (more…)

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Financial Survival for Christians — Using What You Already Have

July 10, 2013

Title: Financial Survival for Christians – Using What You Already Have

Text: 2 Kings 4:1-7

Time: June 25th, 2013

One of my favorite passages for finances is found in the Old Testament, 2 Kings 4, the account of Elisha the prophet and a widow woman. Why is this passage one of my most favorite in respect to financial survival? Because it shows the combination of divine supernatural assistance from God and our own human responsibility in raising the resources we need to survival financially. It combines both of these elements together to give us a great illustration how God acts on behalf of his children to provide for their needs. 2 Kings 4:1-7, “The wife of a man from the company of the prophet cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.’ Elisha replied to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?’ ‘Your servant has nothing there at all,’ she replied, ‘except a little oil.’ Elisha said, ‘Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into tall the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.’ She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another one.’ But he replied, There is not a jar left.’ Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.’” It’s a short passage but it gives us all the essential elements of an encouraging example for any Christian who is struggling financially. Lots of people are still under financial pressure even though it looks as if the worst of the financial recession is over. But it really doesn’t matter what is happening in the economy in general, because what really matters is one’s own individual financial situation. Am I covering my monthly expenses, or do I have to borrow just to make ends meet? Am I finding a constant source of income, or do I have to scrimp and scrounge enough to cover costs each month? If you are financially ok, then God bless you, and you probably won’t find this message as helpful as someone who is struggling right now. If you are going through financially tough times, you’ll be particularly interested in this message because it will give you hope, and maybe even a way through your financial challenge. I’ve found this section of the Bible helpful when going through financial struggles, so I hope you’ll find it helpful too. So let me break it down into some bite-sized pieces in order to understand what God is trying to teach us. (more…)

Why There Are Atheists

July 10, 2013

Title: Why There Are Atheists

Text: Matthew 4:5-7, 1 Timothy 3:1-3, Psalm 2:1-3

Time: June 13th, 2013

It was just about a week ago that another pastor and myself presented a Christian response to the so-called New Atheism at a public meeting here in town. We were praying that we’d have a good mixture of believers and non-believers, and that’s just what we had – a good mix. But we were really pleased that the meeting turned out to be a good interchange and conversation between the non-believers and us. Because after all, we didn’t really want to hold another meeting where we “preach to the choir,” as they say. Upon reflection, I feel that the public meeting was a positive contribution in preaching Christianity to the non-Christian world, especially because of the extensive radio coverage we had leading up to the actual event. We had the privilege of being on local radio to promote the event twice before the meeting took place, so lots of locals heard and knew we were there and what we were doing. I thank God for the response we got. But after thinking about the meeting afterwards it struck me just how non-rational and non-intellectual atheism really is as a philosophy. The main objections to the truth of Christianity are emotional, as far as atheism goes. And that got me thinking further, and it raised another question, “Just why are there atheists to begin with?” Or in other words, why are there people who profess to not believe in God, or any god of any kind? Based on my experience and observations, I’ve come to believe that it mostly all boils down to psychology. There are deep psychological reasons why some people decide to profess themselves as atheists, but that’s not what an atheist will confess though. Atheists like to tell people they don’t believe in God for intellectual reasons, but it’s more likely that that’s a rationalization for the real reason – it boils down to attitude. Atheists choose to react in a negative emotional manner to God, or the very idea of God, for their own inner or private reasons. They express themselves negatively towards belief in God for non-intellectual, non-rational reasons. What are these emotional motivations for atheism? I can’t cover them all, but let me try to explain a few of them. First, there’s the motivation for attention. It seems to me a few of the atheists I encounter like the attention their atheism gets them from the general population. Second, there’s the motivation of loving to argue, debate or take the contrary opinion. It seems to me many arguments like to dispute, and this motivates them to take the atheist position. They never want for an opponent to argue. Third, there’s the motivation to rebellion and unlimited freedom. Still more atheists I see have an extreme view of what constitutes freedom. Most people enjoy freedom, but atheists seem to want to take freedom to mean freedom from anything and anyone, including God. Let me explain these three points further. (more…)