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Sorry America, but your rage is misplaced

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Coming out of the recent pandemic that saw a near complete shutdown of our society along with critical shortages of many essential items, I am struck by the things we now seem to have an abundance of.

Anger comes to mind as something we have in abundance. And hatred, let’s not forget the overflow of hatred in America. Oh, and I don’t want to forget one other thing we have in great abundance today; finger pointing. Can’t forget that now, can I?

Almost beyond belief, it would seem that the cataclysmic virus that had doomed us all to certain death really wasn’t the apocalyptic event prophesied by the media after all. How could it be, when hundreds of thousands are marching side by side not wearing a mask? Imagine that would you?

Things were so bad that we were strictly forbidden to go to church for fear of spreading this death defying virus, yet somehow or another congregating in crowds of tens of thousands doesn’t pose any health risks at all.

I mean, who knew?

Honestly, I’m thinking the wrong crowds are filling the streets of America. I’m thinking we awful, disease spreading, unenlightened Christians ought to be the ones pouring out into the streets of America to protest the theft of our Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of worship. [1]

Speaking of pouring out into the streets, I have lived on this earth for just over 65 years, and in that time I have seen many instances where people took to the streets out of frustration and anger over issues beyond their control.

I was just a boy of eight years of age when Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.

I was thirteen when the infamous “Chicago Seven” were arrested for their anti war activities during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Just two years later when I was a 15 year old, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd of Vietnam War protestors, killing four and wounding nine. Living just a couple of hours from Kent State University, it seemed like it was in my backyard.

Since those tumultuous times of decades past, there have been several other noteworthy examples of citizens taking to the streets to protest for one reason or another. Abortion, LBGTQ, Environment, Guns, Women’s rights, Anti-war, and the Million man and Million woman marches have all made their mark on the fabric of American society.

Today, as our nation once again seethes with anger in the wake of the brutal, heinous murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, millions are again taking to the streets in a show of indignation and defiance of the status quo.

Of course, the violence that has erupted during the peaceful marches is the result of a well planned and well funded attempt to destroy the fabric of American society from within. There is only one word that most aptly describes what is being played out before our eyes: EVIL.

We can dress it up any way we like to, but it’s still EVIL. We can call it racism or bigotry or any number of other names, but it’s still EVIL. And this is what those marching and protesting in the streets do not understand. This is NOT an issue of race. It is an issue of EVIL. Even those violent criminals that have been unleashed upon our society are completely misguided. The issue here is not one group hating another. It goes much, much deeper than that.

What we’re dealing with here is of the spiritual nature. Don’t believe that? Read what the Apostle Paul had to say about the subject of EVIL.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (emphasis mine)

Did you understand what Paul meant? Our battle, your battle, is not with mankind. It is NOT with your neighbor who is of a different skin color than yours. It is NOT with those whose belief system differs from your own. No, the battle is against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

In other words, the battle is against the spiritual forces of darkness that exist in high places. Who is leading the charge of these forces of darkness at play in our society? Why, it’s none other than Satan himself. That’s right, and every person storming the streets today is being played by the devil. Not a popular sentiment, is it?

Why do you suppose racism still exists at the level it does today? Why haven’t supposedly educated, enlightened individuals been able to come up with a permanent cure for racism? The answer is so simple that its almost too simple. The reason racism still exists at its current level is because the cure for racism is the love of God, and the world has largely rejected the Source of this love.

It’s like the old adage about taking a knife into a gunfight. You can be the very best at using a knife, but against a gun you have virtually zero chance of success against your adversary. Fighting systemic racism by protests, even violent protests does nothing to address the root of the problem! To be sure, these marches have gotten the attention of the entire world. They have no doubt spawned new discussions (or soon will) on how best to deal with the problem.

But not one thing is being done to address the root of the problem: we have forsaken God.

And that, dear readers, is not something that can be corrected by marching down Main Street USA. It can only be corrected at an altar.

Have a blessed day,

Ron

 

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1

 

[1] The Bill of Rights: Amendment 1

There was a time…..

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There was a time when the church was very powerful. However, as many of you who read this blog know,I have long been of the belief that the church in America is dying.Rotting from decay and abuse unparallelled in the 2000 year history of the church.

Very uplifting topic…not. But one that must be stated.

Actually,the church has been in a state of decline for many centuries so it’s not like this should come as a startling revelation to anyone.It’s just that for so long we have been able to disguise the decline by supplanting the power of the church with one theme or program after another,all constructed to look like the Spirit at work among us.This spirit of denial however can no longer camouflage the fact that the church has lost its way.

Oh sure,there have been seasons of growth and prosperity(if that is how one chooses to measure spiritual increase). Yet surely by now we have come to understand that growth and prosperity are by no means indications of God’s blessing upon us.Think about it….how far do you have to go to find a beautiful church filled with hundreds of people who never reach beyond the walls of their church to minister to the hurting.Programs for every subject matter within the friendly confines of the campus…but those on the outside?…..not so much.

And lest you remain unconvinced that the church is dying I suggest you simply open your eyes to the rampant evil that has engulfed society.Without a strong,vocal church opposing sin on a grand scale,well….this is what we get.

The writings of Paul and other New Testament authors give us a picture of the power that the early church had.Thousands being converted in a single day,cities being “turned upside down”,the sick made whole and the dead raised to life again.

Yet a curious movement began to creep into the church during this time,a movement which prompted the Apostle Paul to declare:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.    Gal 1:8 KJV

The simple truth of the Gospel message had already become polluted and preverted.Men who knew better had began teaching “another gospel”,a word not from the Lord.This preaching of “another gospel”was considered by no less an authority than the Apostle Paul to be so dangerous to the mission of the church that he declared that those who do such things should be accursed.

And you thought I was tough!

You see, Paul understood that the strength of the church rested upon the foundational truths of the Gospel.He knew very well that if those truths were to be undermined that the church would lose it’s power and influence.And even though a great many today will say otherwise,the truth is that this is exactly what has happened.

Again, this is not a new revelation,or at least it shouldn’t be.Preachers have been stating this for some time now.

Way back in 1963 there was a preacher who penned the following words from a jail cell in Birmingham Alabama.Words that ring more true today than when he first uttered them.As you read these words I ask you to compare them with the state of the church today and see if you don’t agree that they were indeed prophetic.

“There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed.In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.
Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.”‘ But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.
Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an arch-defender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.
But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church,it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.
Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world.”         Martin Luther King: Letter From Birmingham Jail             16 April 1963      
Be blessed,
Ron