Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Old Age Is Creeping Up On Me


Sometime around November or December I started experiencing pain in my left knee. First I thought it was “old age” creeping up on me. But later found after x-rays and a MRI I had a combination of arthritis and a horizontal cleavage tear in the body of the meniscus.  I have been asked no less the twenty times, “how did you do that”? I don’t know, is my standard reply. What I did find out was the tear usually begins in the inner aspect of the body of the meniscus after a minor injury, followed by a degenerative process which starts in the damaged area. No matter how I did it, the process was started and the meniscus was split into top and bottom sections. Then as I continued my research, I find that a horizontal cleavage tears usually occur in older individuals. So it is old age creeping up on me.

Which brings me to the culprit causing the most pain in my knee—arthritis. So I start researching arthritis. This is what I found. I don’t have arthritis, I have Osteoarthritis. Also, called wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint. As the protective cartilage is worn away by knee arthritis, bare bone is exposed within the joint. So I wanted to know, who are the people that develop knee arthritis? Well, people over 50 years of age---now I know it is old age creeping up on me. But they can’t just stop there; they add that it is more common in patients who are overweight. That means not only has my age contributed to my knee injury and pain, but my weight as well.

I was really feeling down at this point. Not only do I need surgery, I need to reduce my weight as well. As I got to thinking about this, I had a sudden brilliant thought, it is time to throw out all non-essential numbers in my life and this includes age, weight and height. How am I over weight if no one knows my height? I had someone guess my weight just recently and he was 45 pounds off—on the light side. So the surgery will take care of the horizontal cleavage tear in the body of the meniscus, I will throw out all non-essential numbers and the old age will help me to forget that some think I am over weight. Nice politically correct people would never say I was overweight, they would not want to damage my self-esteem.

I have always thought the advice of my grandfather was good when he said, “Remember fat dogs don’t hunt and they stay around the house.” You can put your interpretation to it, but I know what he was talking about.

So, here I am, 3:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, about 15 hours after surgery wide awake feeling no pain. All the medication has worn off and I have come to the realization that old age is not creeping up on me, it has been here for some time and it is not for sissies.

Thanks to everyone you prayed, wished me luck, called to see how I am doing and the offers to take me to the hospital. It is a blessing to have caring people who surround you in “old age.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

De-Converting From Christianity

I ran across a website last week about de-converting from evangelical Christianity.  I guess what caught my attention was the de-converting term.   My Quaker background would refer to this as “backsliding” or "falling from grace" which would no doubt be questioned by those who accept the doctrine of eternal security.  Not to get into a theological discussion on the security of the believer, I wanted to look at the reasons why many are “de-converting” from Christianity.  The de-conversion is an indication that religion does not meet the spiritual needs of man.  The de-converting sites include: former ministers, apologists, missionaries and theologians.  I guess the question should be asked is, why would such people leave Christianity? 

As I begin to examine the why's I was drawn to the how’s of leaving Christianity.  I continue to ask this question, why do good Christians try so desperately to seek the world's favor?  Is it because they still have the nature of the world in their heart?

It is not hard to find those within the church who are not dedicated to the message of Jesus Christ.  In fact, the hypocrisy found in the church is in the discrepancy between our carnal life and total commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Carnal Christians or Progressive Christians are individuals who may  freely confess “Jesus is Lord” but fail to surrender to his authority.  The will of Christ is fine as long as it fits their life style, doesn’t cause emotional pain, doesn’t disrupt their pleasure, doesn’t require them to love those they dislike, doesn’t make them feel guilty, doesn’t mean forgiving as they have been forgiven and doesn’t ask for more than their Sunday offering to missions to show compassion.  They “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” expressing their desire to know Jesus, but the Jesus they want to know is the sanitized, effeminate, touchy-feelly, a Jesus that makes them feel good about who they are in the eyes of the world and not in the eyes of God the Father.

They have changed God’s will to satisfy their carnal desires.   Despite God’s Word to the contrary, they think we can say they love God and yet continue to hate their neighbor, neglect the widow, forget the orphan, and ignore the oppressed, and continue to live in sin.  It’s the sign of dysfunctional love. When they do this, their worship becomes a lie to God.  They had a home in The Kingdom of God but loved their summer house in Sodom and have failed to see their coming spiritual destruction.
There are many reasons why people are de-converting and I am sure you have heard people within the church give these reasons:
"We have become so educated and sophisticated that we have lost our spiritual fire". (This is used by those who have surrendered to Sodom because they have not learned the battle is the Lord’s) 

"The pressures of our modern society are just too great." (These are from those who have surrendered to the attraction of Sodom)

"We are not meeting the total needs of the people; we need more programs, social events and concerts to attract people today" (They base this on what they have learned in Sodom—bright lights and entertainment—they want a Church Club not a House of Prayer)

"We have to go back to the old days and do things like we did then" (These individuals have lost their power of position in the church and long for the days they can again gain control.)

"We need to be more up to date and change our beliefs to keep up with the times."(If they had only studied to show themselves approved of God they would know God’s Word is current with the times.)

Let’s be honest for once and examine the real reason people are de-converting.  We have been admonished to examine our spiritual life and as inhabitants of the Kingdom of God we need to surrender to the authority of Jesus Christ.  But  our heart is set too much on the things of this world, and not enough on the things in the Kingdom of God.   Holiness and righteous living  have been replaced with a religion of convenience and it will never satisfy the soul.

Let me say, I believe those leaving the church were converted.  I believe their names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  I believe they experienced the joy of salvation.  However, they failed to surrender or yield to the will of God.   They lost the battle with sin.  
When a Christian  becomes so in love with Sodom that they forget the joy of their salvation they are changing their residence from the Kingdom of God to Sodom.   Sodom with its attraction of bright lights and pleasure has trapped them in the noise, the rush, the glamor, and the enticements of the world.  They lost their allegiance to the Kingdom of God because they failed to live holy and righteous lives which were acceptable to God.  They became distracted by the mayor of Sodom and his lies and forgot the message of the Kingdom of God and its Truth. 

When they become so preoccupied with Sodom that they forgot the cost paid for their position in the Kingdom of God they are on the road to destructionThey surrendered to the carnal nature; therefore, destroying their relationship with Jesus Christ, they lost their salvation! The Kingdom of God has become a Sunday motel surrounded by the rest of the week in Sodom.  No wonder they are de-converting.  They have compromised with the citizens of Sodom and justified their action by rationalizing their choices---they are soon to become victims of Sodom’s destruction.

As those who have remained faithful we have a responsibility to help those who are on the road to de-convert to reconsider before they experience the destruction that awaits them in Sodom.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Lost Generation

Several years ago I was asked to make a presentation on the decline of the Sunday School and the impact it was having on society--so here it is.

When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.  Judges 2:10 NKJV

Over the past two generations society has slipped into a mold of complacency and self-indulgence. Prosperity, hope, and noble ideals were replaced with an "If it feels good, do it" attitude, we became worshipers of self, while our culture has gone morally bankrupt. The present youth generation is at great emotional, social, and spiritual risk. Young people are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than the youth of twenty years ago, and today's youth account for almost one-third of all abortions. Is there a way to change?

Yes there is and the problems of today can be traced to the choices of the previous generation. In the scripture reading we have an account of a nation which forgot to teach it's children the ways of God. We are able to look in retrospect at the Hebrews. We can trace the present crisis back to the root cause of the problem. We can look at the factors which contributed to a generation that did not know God. We can see the parallels which exist between a culture that existed about 1100 B.C. and our present day culture, and oddly enough the contributing factor to the moral and spiritual downfall of the early Hebrews is the same contributing factor to the present day decline in morals and spiritual values---Christian education is no longer important. The church was to busy seeking respect from the world that it slowly shifted from the absolutes of God's Word to the standards of the world. Now the church's youth have absorbed the values of the larger youth culture of the world.

Why has all of this happened? Looking at the example given us in God's Word an entire generation of children were not taught the teachings of the Lord God Jehovah. Parents, priest, and leaders failed to instruct their children in the ways of God. They were facing a moral decline. Their children did not know about the great deliverance from Egyptian bondage, the wanderings in the wilderness, and the victories over the kings of Canaan. They were ignorant of their spiritual heritage. Now they must survive in a culture that will soon absorb them into idolatrous pagans. How could this happen?

Before we can understand the present generation we must look at the preceding generations. During the time of Moses, while wandering in the wilderness, the Hebrews based their moral standards on the Law of God. There were certain things which were right and wrong and the people knew why they were right and wrong. Even with the rise of Korah and his band the foundation of hope lied with trusting and believing God. This generation passed the message of the Law--- obedience to their children. They taught their children the precepts with the larger principles behind them. They didn't take the time to explain the why's of the Law.

During the time of Joshua the next generation grew up believing certain things were right and wrong, because God says so. . . somewhere in the Law. They existed with an abiblical morality: an ethic originally based on the Law, but had long since lost its spiritual meaning.

The next generation came to the conclusion that certain things were right and wrong, but they didn't know why. They were moral people, but their morality was not founded on clear teachings, even though they may have memorized portions of the Law. They were unable to explain why they believed, they just knew it was what good people do. The opinion of their neighbors was more important than what God thought of them.

The generation following Joshua knew certain things were right and wrong, but they didn't care! They broke away from the rules of the previous generation. They abandoned their God. The lack of connection with the moral law was part of their rebellion. This led to moral degeneration. How could this happen?

First let me say, knowing where we are going is very important, but knowing where we are is just as important. As we read and study the life of the early Hebrews we tend to be critical of their disregard for God. We must keep in mind that we are able to look in retrospect over several centuries of their culture. It is very easy to sit back and find fault with their actions. Yet we are in the same position that Israel found themselves after having entered into the Land of Canaan.

Looking back to the nineteenth century we can find the foundation for the major problems facing the world today: environmental pollution, materialism on a large scale, racism, political terrorism, the alienation of the individual, bureaucratic dominance, drug wars, moral decay, religious intolerance, and spiritual apathy.

The resentment that many in the Third World now feel toward western Europe and the United States also stems from the nineteenth century. It useless to try to comprehend China, African, Latin American, and Middle Eastern attitudes without understanding the effects of the dominance western Europe and the United States had on the world in the nineteenth century. It is just as useless to try and understand the social and cultural problems of today without understanding the past.

The conquest of Canaan was not an act but a process. This process involved changed. Having spent four hundred years as slaves and forty years as shepherds in the wilderness, Israel is now rapidly changing into a different culture. There were many dangers confronting them.

The first danger was the possibility of extermination. The tribes had deliberately come among hostile foes who now surrounded them on all sides. Between the Hebrews and the eastern desert lay the Arameans (north), the Ammonites (center), and the Moabites (south). Cutting them off from the southern land lay the Edmoite (southeast), and the Amalekites (southwest). Between them and the sea lay two powerful peoples, the Philistines (south), and the Canaanites (center and north). The Hebrews were in a do or die situation. They must stake roots and grow till their neighbors are pushed off the map, or they will cease to exist.

The second danger lay in the change in occupation that the conquest made necessary, and the consequent adjustment to new conditions of life. Before they had been nomads and shepherds; now they must become farmers, vine dressers, artisans, and trade folks. It was a question if they could stop roving, if they could master the difficult art of developing the land into a viable way of life. Could they give up their tents and live huddled together in unhealthy stone villages and survive new forms of disease. The change was a challenge to their intelligence, courage, persistence, and faith in God. Some of the tribes would not meet the test; Simeon reverted back to a nomadic life, the half-tribe of Manasseh, east of Jordan, was absorbed by Arameans, Ruben was swallowed up by the Moabites, and Asher changed the plow and ox goad for a set of oar, becoming practically Phoenician.

The third danger was political. The Hebrews were from the earliest days thoroughly democratic. All of the tribes were on the same level of rights and opportunities, with special privilege for none, For two generations they has confirmed their love for a democratic life and institutions. They now came into close contact with the hostile Canaanites and Amorites whose type of government was an autocracy in which the ruling family owned all the inhabitants as mere vassals and used them to defend or extend their power. As the Hebrews watched these kings grow in power and succeed in war it became a powerful incentive to drop their loose tribal form of government and copy the nations around them. Later during the time of Samuel they did just that.

The fourth danger was the greatest---the realm of religion. Coming fresh from the desert with enthusiasm still burning for the God who had delivered them from Egyptian bondage, brought them through the wilderness, given them victory at Jericho, and aided them in the conquest of the new land, they had one bond that made them different form their Canaanite neighbors---they worship Jehovah. But they had come into a land over which Jehovah was believed to have no jurisdiction. they were in the land of Baal. Jehovah was the God of shepherd to be worshiped by the firstborn of the flock; Baal was a farmer's god to be honored with the first-fruits of the soil. Being no longer shepherds and in a foreign land, many of the Hebrews felt they were no longer under any practical necessity to be loyal to Jehovah. This is the generation that knew there were certain things that were right and wrong, but they didn't care.

Just suppose a Hebrew claims a portions of land in a hollow to the south of Bethel and begins to toil the soil. He buys his seed from a Canaanite neighbor, sow it by guess, and sits back and waits for the harvest. It never came; the seed rotted in the soil. He goes to his neighbor who sold him the seed to find out what happened. The Canaanite asks, "Did you make sacrifice to Baal who owns the field and lives in the big tree at the end of it?" The Hebrew confesses that since he was brought up to worship Jehovah he did not. Whereupon he is told he will never have a crop until he sacrifices to Baal. Not being rich enough to survive a second loss he takes the advice of the Canaanite who shows him how to make sacrifice to Baal and just happens to teach him the correct method of when to sow and how to take care of his field. Next year he has a bumper crop.

This episode makes real the danger of Canaan. There was not a feature of the new life that was not connected with Canaanite religion---religion in those days was not a separate function but a vital part of everyone's life. Everyone firmly believed that all calamities came to men because of some slight to one of the gods. It was wise for everybody to keep on the best terms with all possible divinities---which meant that every Hebrew has to become an idolater. He has to worship the local gods of whatever part of the land he occupied, as well as the larger gods, the sun, the moon, and stars.

The danger lies in just this---there was nothing left to distinguish the Hebrew from his neighbors. His moral, influenced by the example of his neighbors and by the debasing rites with which Baals were worshiped, will become corrupt, and in three generation there will be no Hebrews who worship the Lord God Jehovah.

Now lets look at our present day society. As a "Baby boomer" I have contact with primary historical sources. I can or have talked with individuals who lived in the nineteenth century, my grandparents; and those who live in the twentieth century, my parents; and those who will live in the twenty-first century, my children and grandchildren. I can personally cover four to five generations of history. Do you understanding the responsibility that I have to the future of this world? Do you understand the responsibility that I have to preserve the spiritual heritage of my family? Do you understand the responsibility that I have to preserve what is good, honest, just, and righteous? Do you understand the responsibility that I have to correct the mistakes of my grandfathers? Do you understand that if there is to be a spiritual recovery it is my generation that has been given the means to accomplish the task.

Fifty years ago, Sunday school was the place to be on Sunday morning in America. There seemed to be no end in sight to the booming growth this arm of the church had been enjoying for more than a decade.

By 1980, Sunday school attendance had dropped dramatically. Christian educators began to turn their attention from theory to the very practical question of how the educational task of the church could be accomplished in an era when the Sunday school was in serious decline.

Today, things still appear to be going poorly for the Sunday school, and the question remains, what are we going to do about it? How did we arrive at such a depressing state of affairs in our Christian educational process.

Over the past two generations society has slipped into a mold of complacency and self-indulgence. Prosperity, hope, and noble ideals were replaced with an "If it feels good, do it" attitude, we became worshipers of self, while our culture has gone morally bankrupt. The present youth generation is at great emotional, social, and spiritual risk. Young people are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than the youth of twenty years ago, and today's youth account for almost one-third of all abortions. Is there a way to change? Let's compare what is happening in our society with what took place in Canaan some 3,000 years ago.

You have been raised in a rural life-style. You have never lived in the city. You have never faced the problems of adapting to a new culture or way of life. You don't understand all the problems that seem to be everywhere except your own neighborhood. One night, God calls you to move into the city and clean-up the neighborhoods. You struggle with the call but know this is the will of God. Selling everything you have you move into the roughest area you can find.

First, I want you to understand something. You personally will be blamed for most of the social and cultural problems of the day. This is regardless of your race, religion, or social standing. You see, we live in a society that must blame someone for their actions. They must have a reason for the way they act. This is just another characteristics of our society. We start labeling children in school and continue through their adult life. They have in these label the foundation for the way they act and conduct themselves in society.

The conquest of this neighborhood will not be an act but a process. This process will involve change. Having spent your life in the country you are now faced with a new way of life. There are many dangers confronting you and you will soon find out that there will not be many people to support your efforts to bring about change.

The first danger is the possibility of extermination. You have deliberately come among hostile foes who now surround you on all sides. You have across the street a crack-house, on the corner the local drug dealers hang-out that sells their death, every night hookers are walking the street, and down the street in an abandoned house is the local neighborhood gang---this is your new home. You are in a do or die situation. You must stake roots and grow till the wicked neighbors are converted or pushed out of the neighborhood, if you don't accomplish this you will cease to exist.

The second danger lies in the change of occupation and the adjustment to new conditions of life. For several years you have worked for someone else. Now you are self-employed so you can give time to you new mission in life. It is now a question if you can master the difficult art of living in the city and establishing a business that you can turn into a viable way of life. Can you give up the quite unhurried life to live huddled together in an unhealthy, unsafe environment and survive the dangers of the street? The change will be a challenge to your intelligence, courage, persistence, and faith in God. Some people have already failed the test; some have moved back to the country, others have been absorbed by the streets, while some have vanished altogether.

The third danger is political. The Christians from earliest days have been thoroughly democratic. All believes were on the same level of rights and opportunities with special privilege for none. For generations Christians have confirmed their love for a democratic life. You are now in close and hostile contact with the crack-dealer, the gangs, and perverts all whose way of government is dictatorial in which the ruling gangs own all the streets and the inhabitants are mere slaves to be used to defend or extend their power. As you watch these gangs via for power and money you are tempted to resort to violence to remove them. You are frightened, because you are beginning to feel that these people must be removed from society if there is to be any remains of a free and moral society left. Keep in mind, your task is not to destroy these individuals, but rather bring about a spiritual change in their lives.

It is easy to get caught up in the political rhetoric of the day. The "left" telling us we need to be more nurturing and loving. The "Right" telling us to remove these people which cause the problems---make them pay. But we must look at both sides of the issue. But what side will you be taking?

There are those who voice their disgust over the inability of today's youth to pull their lives together. The breakdown of the family; deterioration of civility in everyday life; rampant greed at a time when one in five children is poor; an omnipresent sexual culture that fills our television and movie screens with sleaze, beckoning the young toward sexual activity at ever earlier ages; the enormous betrayal of children through physical and sexual abuse; the increase in legal abortions all have changed the culture in which we live. The 1992 report of the National Research Council says the United States is the most violent of all industrialized nations. Yet, it is the children of this generation that contributes to the problems of our society.

These are the children who are growing-up not knowing God. Children whose parents are divorced; who are thinking about suicide at a young age, who are sexual activity before they are teenagers; who carry guns and knives to school; who are enrolled in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs before they are out of school; who are physically and sexually abused. The National Research Council's report states; the homicide rate for 15-24 year-old males is seven times higher than Canada's and forty times higher than Japan's. The United States has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates, the highest teen abortion rate, and the highest level of drug use among young people in the developed world. Youth suicide has tripled in the past 25 year. Who are these children? They are the children of this generation. They are mine and your children.

The fourth danger is the greatest---the realm of religion. Coming fresh from the rural and urban areas with enthusiasm still burning for the God who had delivered them from the perils of sin and the life without hope, who had given them victory, and aided them in the conquest of each new day, you have a bond that makes you different from your neighbors---you worship Jesus Christ. But you have come into a land over which Christ is believed to have no jurisdiction. You are in the land of Satan. Jesus Christ is the God of the old folks. His name is an expression to be used when swearing. You are no longer among Christians. You are in a foreign culture where many Christians before you felt that they were no longer under any practical necessity to be loyal to their Christians teachings and beliefs. So they stopped going to Sunday School and church. They might send their children on special occasions but God was no longer part of their everyday life.

Remember Israel, an entire generation of children were not taught the teachings of the Lord God Jehovah. Parents, priest, and leaders failed to instruct their children in the ways of God. We are traveling down the same road only at a faster and more dangerous rate.

David Barton, (1990) in What happened in education?, found in his research that the major event corresponding to the downturn in academic scores, school violence, dishonesty, disrespect for authority, peer cruelty, sexual activity, and self-destructive behavior was the separation of religious principles from the public school system. Using data from the College Entrance Exam Board, Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics, The Psychological Corporation, Statistical Abstracts of the United States, and test results from the National Merit Program reach a conclusion that the event which started the decline of the public education system was the Supreme Court decisions of Engel v Vitale (1992) and Abington v Schempp (1993). Barton shows that prior to 1963, that a remarkable stability in academic achievement, violence, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, and etc. never moved more than two consecutive years in the same direction. In 1963, however, there was an eighteen consecutive uninterrupted years of decline.

Barton concludes that a solution must center on an event originating in 1962-1963 which subsequently generated an on-going policy which had lasting impact over the next two decade. The study included eleven reviews of Supreme Court decisions concerning the role of religious principles in the public school. The findings were that nothing concerning God or His principles is officially welcome in our public school system.

There is today a generation that does not know about the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Golden Rule, respect for others, respect for authority, honesty, kindness, and a host of other moral values which were once taught in the public school. They are ignorant of their spiritual heritage. Now they must survive in a culture that will soon absorb them into materialistic, self-indulging, reprobates.

Some would have us to believe that teaching these moral values is not the responsibility of the school. I would ask then whose responsibility is it? The home? The church? If it is the homes responsibility where do parents learn to train their children in these values? The church? Then why doesn't the church seriously engage in a responsible training of these moral values and principles. Why is it that spiritual education is left to telling Bible stories, sing choruses, and playing games? Why doesn't the Church feel the importance of making a difference in our society? Why isn't Sunday School the major arm of training, equipping and evangelism?

Are we so different from the early Hebrews? Are we so blind to the present that we will not see the inevitable fate that awaits us. In the early 1800's there was a Biblical morality. Certain things were right and wrong, and they knew why. By the late 1950's we see abiblical morality, certain things were right and wrong, but they weren't sure as why. In the late 1970's our society had become immoral, certain things were right and wrong, but they just didn't care. Today, we live in amoral culture. There's no such thing as right and wrong. Every man does what is right in his own eyes.

We have arrived at the place that the early Hebrews found themselves, a generation that does not know God. It has taken us less time than the Hebrews to raise a generation that is ignorant of God.

We need to cry out to the Lord in humility seeking his forgiveness and setting the present generation on the correct course by teaching them the ways of God as directed by the Holy Scriptures.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What Happened to America Being a Christian Nation?


America is a nation that was established on Christian principles with a common language—English.  Our country has defined borders and within our borders we have a culture that includes traditions like Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving, values and beliefs that are based upon the principles of Christianity.   

Our history is one of internal conflict to gain freedom for all.  It has been violent and often denying the very principles of our foundation to the people of this nation.  Yet, in our struggle for freedom we have become the economic and military leader in the world.  We have prospered as a nation because men and women had the freedom and liberty to create, to innovate and be productive and worship God.  This has made us not only the envy of the world but hated by the world as well.  What has kept America great has been its Christian heritage.  There is not one aspect of our country that was not influenced by Christianity.  The early educational system was founded by Christians.  The Constitution and Bill of Rights was influenced by Christian values.  The prison system was reformed by Christians.  Everything good about this country came about because of Christianity.  Our way of life has been blessed because we have honored God.

Today there is a battle being waged by those who hate Christ and the truth contained in the Bible. The anti-Christians continue to depersonalize and minimizes Christians. Depersonalization makes it easier for people to accept negative stereotypes and in the extreme, tolerate abuse and persecution of the people who have been depersonalized. Nero did this with the Christians and Hitler did it with the Jews.  The sad story of history is very few spoke against these atrocities, in fact the majority of people supported the actions of these two evil men.

When America allowed the progressive socialist, subversives and criminals to change the Christian principles of our county we lost our identity as a nation.  Today the most important people in our country are the most nonproductive in our society-- actors, entertainers, sports figures and news anchors-- we have lost the way of freedom and liberty.  We have forgotten God.  The destruction of Christianity has not happened over night but it has been subtle and over time, as more and more tolerance for the subversive messages was ingrained into our children through TV and movies, by politicians, by actors and sport figures who have became more and more abrasive and bold in their subversive messages until we have completely forgot our Christian heritage.

America was at one time exclusively Christian and Christian values were shared in our schools, clubs, state houses and other public places without fear or concern for offending anybody. And, non-Christian Americans always knew that they too, were free to worship in any way which they wanted as long as their worship and teachings were not teachings of violence and overthrowing the government.

What makes our destruction so inevitable is that Christian churches have joined in with those who would destroy this nation and Christianity.  Several years ago it would have been unheard of for Christian ministers and churches to be used for subversion or corruption.  In the early 1960’s churches changed the message of Jesus Christ to the doctrine of the progressive socialist.  We are now more concerned about tolerance than truth.  The greatest enemy of our nation is not those who are on the outside but the enemy within. Today's evangelical circles are complacently apostate, completely silent regarding the evils plaguing America. It is tragic. All across America ministers are selling books and hosting pastor's conventions, but they are virtually silent concerning the evil of our society.  Ministers are no longer contending for the Christian faith by exposing false doctrines, and crying aloud against the evil of our time. Ministers have become so complacent in their calling to serve Jesus Christ that they will avoid a confrontation with the evil which exist in our country today.  They are more concerned about position in the world than power with God. Where are the ministers who have made war on evil?  The new profession today is religion. If you want to make millions get in religion. Ministers are focused on making money rather than confronting the evil in this country.  The multi-millionaires of today are found among the ministers of Christianity.  If the money was removed there would be very few “Christian Ministries” in America. 

We have used our education system to become the channel to remove God from our county as we head down the road of destruction. The government education system teaches subversion and immorality openly at earlier and earlier ages thereby undermining family values, Christian principles, and morality in general, while at the same time alienating them from their parents and church.  The lessons our children are being taught is the total dependency on others to care for them, as they have not learned how to take care of themselves.  We have not been preparing our children to be self-sufficient and productive adults with the academic skills necessary to pursue work, higher education, vocational schools, or whatever occupational pursuit they chose.  They have become a generation of entitled citizens.  The entitlements have comes from the government school system labeling our children as “disabled”.  The disability entitlements is supported by parents, school administrator and students advocates because they all get government money.  The children are lost in the shuffle in this government run Ponzi scheme.  It is important to place more children on the disability roles.  As an educator for 30 years I have witnessed this scam first hand.  Our children before they are ever given the chance to develop their true abilities, talents, skills or interest are often classed as disabled for whatever reason that seems justified by the powers that be.  Often these children are legally drugged to make the needed change.  There is too much money to be made by the government, the school systems, the pharmaceutical companies, the doctors, and even the parents.  What makes this so sad is the children are lost in the shuffle and continue to go through life believing that he or she is disabled and become dependent on the government for their every need, and the ignorant parents go along with it because they believe the experts at their child’s school ( did I say ignorant? I should have said misinformed-- sorry for not being politically correct).  Since it is the role of the government to take care of the children and also to  provide a disability check to the family while they are still in school all will be well.  It is important not to forget children are no longer instructed in Christian principles at school.  They are being taught to look to the government for the needs of life and not to God.  So we are now reaping what we have sown.  What can we expect from the next generation that will lead not only our government but our churches as well.  This is the result of having censored our public officials teachers, elected representatives and judges of expressing their faith in public-- a generation of young people growing up with very little understanding of the spiritual principles on which our country was founded.   Our culture has taught them that right and wrong are arbitrary - subjective - changing.  A generation that does not know God.

What will it take to wake up the American Christians? Our tallest buildings have been toppled. Our shorelines have been polluted with oil, major U.S. cities has been flooded, earthquakes are occurring in swarms and dead birds are falling from the sky in the hundreds. Our financial systems have been bankrupted while our economy has been kept afloat only by the government printing more money and stealing the wealth from common people. God is shaking our world trying to wake us up!  These are the judgments of God on a wicked nation.  We cannot sit by and think God is going to save us from all this because we are Born Again.  

The day of judgment is near, and the time is now to contend for the faith. I don’t mean to take up arms; I mean we need to pick up the pen--which is mightier than the sword. We need to come together as Christians, and spread the Gospel like you have never done before. This can still be done while we have the right of free speech and the freedom to talk to your neighbor and anyone else willing to listen.   But be ready to be called judgmental, arrogant, narrow-minded, ignorant and old fashioned-- these are all part of the effort to marginalize and demoralize the true followers of Jesus Christ.  If the world hated Jesus it sure will hate use.

The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance, freedom, and open-mindedness. Question: Isn't the real truth that they are intolerant of religion? They refuse to tolerate its importance in our lives. - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, March 3, 2011

THE FOLLOWING IS CONTROVERSIAL AND MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME READERS

I have no intentions to speak for all Quakers or give the impression that this is the accepted belief of the majority of Quakers.  In addressing the issue of war and violence the fact is our society is violent and evil.  As Americans we have grown accustom to being loyal to our country and we have received the benefit of freedom which has made us among the wealthiest people in the world. This wealth has come at a cost to the religious principles of all Christian people.

The issues facing not only Quakers but all Christians is how do we address the war on terrorism and a fanatical religion that is intent on the total destruction of all freedom and religion.  We have been held hostage by our own greed which has contributed to the ongoing war.  America has grown so accustom to our way of life that we favor wealth and comfort over freedom and conscience.  As American Christians we have turned our heads and allowed the subversion of our religious principles.  We will continue to turn our heads to evil when there is a possibility of threatened ruin to our worldly fortunes. We like what we have and will sacrifice our principles to keep it.

For those who question my non passive approach to the issue of the spread of Islam, I would remind you history does continue to be repeated.  This is not the first time in our history that Quakers had to make a decision to actually fight against the tyranny of an evil empire. As reported by the Free Quakers, “The General Yearly Meeting of Friends, held in Philadelphia in 1774, approved a letter and ordered to be sent to all Meetings of Friends in America, warning all members of that Society not to depart from their peaceful principles by taking part in any of the political matters then being stirred up, reminding all Friends that under the King's government they had been favored with a peaceful and prosperous enjoyment of their rights, and strongly suggesting the propriety of disowning all such members as disobeyed the orders issued by the Yearly Meeting.”

 This letter was generally respected and obeyed, and most Friends took no part in the war for freedom. But not everyone was in agreement.  There was a group  who took an active part in the struggle for freedom.  They became known as Free Quakers.   They served actively in the armies on the American side, they appeared in the Committee of Public Safety, they were seated in the Legislature, and they were involved in the printing of the Continental money. They gladly gave to the cause out of their own pockets. It was not only the men that gave their service to establish freedom in this country; the women helped their husbands during the war.  During the battle of Trenton the wives of the Quaker soldiers helped on the battlefield to bandage the wounded, and the first flags that were carried by the American armies were made by a Quaker woman.

The Free Quakers were fighting for the same liberty and freedom that brought their parents to America.   They were fighting for the liberty and freedom in matters of religion. They had faced the power of England; they were in the act of establishing a republican government for America. They fought to form a country in which its citizens would be as free from the tyranny of bishops and ruling elders as they sought to be free from the despotic rule of a foreign and distant King. They refused to be controlled by religious bigots and put their beliefs to practice.

One point in which  they differed radically from the older Quakers was the right of offering forcible resistance against warlike invasion. The Quakers had always held that resistance was sinful, and so they adhered to an absolute peace, under all circumstances, suffering violence to themselves, their families, and their country rather than offer any resistance or serve in the army, even going so far as to refuse to pay taxes where the money was being raised for military purposes. The Free Quakers believed in the necessity of government, that all government is essentially a defensive war for the protection of public peace, and that when the government is threatened by domestic treason or foreign invasion, it then becomes the plain duty of every man to join in the public defense by all means possible, and that war, while an extreme measure, is in such instances not merely justifiable, but right and proper." Free Quakers believed that a man might forcibly resist any bodily violence offered to him or to any one to whom he owed the duty of protection. While their views as to war and resistance were precisely the same as that of nearly all Christians, they were in such striking contrast to the well-settled doctrines of the Friends that they were commonly known, and are still sometimes spoken of, as "fighting" Quakers. 

With that introduction about where I am in regards to the question of terrorists actions and an oppressive religion I ask the question, "What are we to do as Christians?"  

THE FOLLOWING IS CONTROVERSIAL AND MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME READERS.

Christians are being attacked in every country in the Muslim world.  They are discriminated against, treated brutally, and murdered.  The “Religion of Peace” and trust me they are not Quakers, have brought some of the oldest Christian communities in the world to the brink of extinction.  All the while, here in America we have those who continue to apologize for the actions of the misunderstood Muslims. There are those who still continue to try and separate the Moderate-Muslim from the Radical-Muslim.  There are no Moderate-Muslims.  It should be noted that the Fiqh Council of North America, and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee- the most visible institutional representatives of Islam in America have never mention or referenced the religious persecution of Christians by Muslims.  They have never mentioned the Final Solution to the Christian problem in the Muslims world.  The global war on Christianity by Islam is so massive that it is impossible to describe its full impact.  The religious cleansing of Christians from the Muslim world is being fueled by jihad an important religious duty for Muslims. 

While Christians are dying in every Muslim country our elected leaders have refused to offer assistance for fear of showing partiality.  I have yet to hear an elected leader speak out against the murder of the hundreds of Iraqi Christians, the kidnapping and torture of Christian religious leaders, the bombings of Christian churches, the burning of Christian businesses and the imposition of sharia law.  For those who are quick to speak out against the way women are treat in this country be reminded of the Christian women who refuse to wear the hijab or continue to attend school and are murdered.  The systematic destruction of Christian churches as well as Christian believers is part of jihad.

In Saudi Arabia, in the city of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, which is officially barred to non-Muslims, should be an indication of how Muslims view religious freedom or tolerance.  Any non-Muslim entering Mecca is to be put to death.  This is what we are calling the “Religion of Peace".

So how do we fight against an enemy that uses the very laws of our Constitution to aid in the overthrow of our country? I know you’re going to say I’m over reacting.  Look at the facts.

1.       Textbooks in America must be approved by Islamic councils. This is in accordance with Sharia law.
2.       American employers and schools are met with demands for time and space to do Islamic prayer. These demands are based on Sharia law.
3.       The American banking system is becoming contaminated with Sharia financing. Our banking system is becoming Sharia compliant in financial law, but is ignorant about the totality of Sharia law.
4.       Universities are asked to provide sexually segregated swimming pools and other athletic facilities for Muslim women.
5.       Hospitals are being sued for not providing Sharia compliant treatment.
6.       No course at the college level uses critical thinking regarding the history and doctrine of Islam. Under Sharia nothing about Islam may be criticized.
7.       Muslim charities give money to jihadists (Islamic terrorists), as per Sharia law.
8.       Muslim foot-baths are being installed in airport facilities, paid for by American tax dollars. This is in accordance with Sharia law.
9.       American prisons are a stronghold of Islamic proselytizing.
10.    Workplaces are being made Islamic worship sites through special rooms and time off to pray. This is in accordance to Sharia law.
11.    Islamic refugees bring all of their wives for welfare and medical treatment to America. American authorities will not act—even when presented with evidence. Polygamy is pure Sharia.
12.    We are fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to implement constitutions whose first article is the supremacy of Sharia law.

Muslims will tell you Islamic law is perfect, universal and eternal. The laws of the United States are temporary, limited and will pass away. It is the duty of every Muslim to obey the laws of Allah, the Sharia. US laws are man-made; while Sharia law is sacred and comes from the only legitimate god, Allah.

Right now I can hear the cry going out for religious tolerance.  "We are above the actions of Islam.”We are to love our enemy, pray for them that misuse use us and turn the other cheek.”  This is the passive action Muslims count on to overthrow our country.  Muslims can be converted.  It might be difficult since Christians are not permitted to speak to Muslims about salvation, but it does happen and there are Muslims who have become Christians.  Yet, this cannot happen if we are passive in our approach to the spread Islam.  We must become active in removing the Muslim influence in our society.  When Sharia law is presented in any form we must stop it.  Use our laws to protect our society.