Archive for the ‘ Christians & Culture ’ Category

I Didn't Really Want to Mention This, But . . .

The devotion to Obama seems to have few boundaries. Perhaps you have seen some of the videos making the rounds on YouTube: children singing his praises; teens marching and spouting off on how Obama has given them new hope and has inspired them to succeed in life. Some would say, “What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that a positive thing?”

What’s wrong can be summarized in one word: idolatry.

Many have mentioned the cult that has arisen around this presumed political savior. Some, I fear, have taken it even further. It is rather chilling to view the raptured faces whenever he speaks. This is why some have referred to him critically as the “Obamessiah.”

Personally, I am distressed by the lack of rational thinking on the part of his adoring fans. I have noted a number of interviews with Obama supporters being asked “Just what has he accomplished as a senator?” They have trouble coming up with anything. This is a cult of personality with no substance.

Well, maybe that’s not exactly true. There is substance there, only hidden: Marxist roots; liberation theology; close associations with radicals out to change the very nature of American society. But you would never know that from the reports of the mainstream media.

It is very possible that we may wake up the day after the election to an Obama victory. That will be only the beginning of our national woes.

False Messiah?
False Messiah?

My mind keeps returning to a warning straight from the mouth of Jesus:

Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many…. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.

We haven’t seen any “signs and wonders” yet, but I am concerned that some of my brothers and sisters in the Lord are being deceived. For the sake of the church and the nation, I urge any of you who are contemplating voting for Obama to reconsider. Please check out the concerns I have raised here and in previous posts.

Principle: Made in God's Image

In early America, there was little debate about who man was. Nearly everyone agreed man was a being made in the image of God. What did that mean?

First, it meant that God had transferred many of His attributes to his creation: man was given intellect, emotions, and the power to choose good and evil. He also had a spirit. Just as God is a spirit, so man was more than a material being. He also would live forever, the destination predicated on his choice.

Second, it meant that man was God’s highest creation and that the life He breathed into him was the greatest gift that could possibly be given. It was a gift that was to be honored and protected. It meant that life was sacred. We know that’s how God viewed it when He declared that anyone who would take away the life of another would suffer the same penalty, thereby sanctioning capital punishment.

There is a difference between taking the life of a murderer (a task given to civil society) and taking the life of an innocent person. The ultimate innocent person is one who has never chosen right from wrong because he or she is still inside the womb.

The Ultimate Innocent Person

The Ultimate Innocent Person

When we later adopted the view that man simply evolved from lower life forms, we discarded the idea that man is a special creation of God. We reduced him to a mass of chemicals or a blob of tissue. That’s why it is so much easier now to discard unwanted human life, either in the womb or when a person is no longer considered “useful” to society.

A society that can allow this type of behavior is a society in rebellion against its Creator. It will pay a penalty. Our mission is to trumpet the message that man IS made in God’s own image, as we seek to reverse policies that destroy innocent life.

Are Voters Foolish? (Part II)

Mankind is sinful. That’s the Biblical message. Consequently, we should not be surprised that voters will make foolish choices at times. Yet what do we mean when we say that mankind is sinful, and how does that connect with voting?

Let me try to explain how I see sin. First, all sin is foolish. What could be more foolish than to stiffarm the God who created you and who wants to free you from a life (both now and in eternity) separated from His love? Our rebellious hearts create a barrier. It’s not God’s fault; it’s ours. We are foolish.

Second, all sin is selfishness. We don’t want anyone else telling us what to do, and we don’t want to be held accountable to the standard God has set. Instead, we want to follow our own thinking, our own selfish desires, our misguided concepts of what is “good.” In short, we want to be our own god.

Combine that selfishness with foolishness and then apply it to voting. What is the result? We vote for whoever promises to give us more. We just want things to go better, so we pick someone who says he is all about “change.” Never mind what the change might be; we simply want “change.” We choose not to be truly informed on the issues. We don’t bother to think about foundational principles of life and government. All of this comes from sinful hearts.

I expect that from the world at large. What is distressing is when professing Christians do the same thing. We are to be the salt and light in this society. As Jesus noted, if the salt loses its flavor, what is it good for? The answer: nothing. If we hide the light, who is going to find the right path? No one.

We should be taking the lead in promoting Biblical principles in all of society, but particularly, at this time, in the sphere of politics and government. We should be the most informed on the issues and be able to explain why certain policies are right and others wrong. We should never vote for “change” without first examining what the change will be. Neither should we simply cast our vote for those who promise to give us more goodies. That’s selfishness. That’s sin.

Principle: God the Creator

Continuing with a review of Biblical principles, I want to focus now on the truth that God is the creator of all things. If God “is,” then it is not a great logical leap to conclude that He also “does.” We don’t really grasp the concept of how astonishingly creative He is. All that we see around us began with an image in His own mind. He then transformed that image into something tangible. The universe sprang from His creativity; all the features of this earth are the result of His desire to create; the material and animal creations manifest His imagination.

Then came man. This was a unique part of His creation. Man is separated from all other created things by one key ingredient. Within man was planted the image of God. Nothing else in creation has this gift. God reasons; man can reason. God displays emotions; man possesses identical emotions. God chooses; man has a will. God knows the difference between right and wrong; man is endowed with a conscience. God is a spirit who is from everlasting to everlasting. Although man has a starting point, he also is more than a physical being; he has a spirit, and he will live forever as well. The only difference is that there are two eternal locations for that spirit, and only one is in the presence of his Creator.

Perhaps Michaelangelo expressed it best in his painting of the Sistine Chapel.

How are we handling this most wonderful creation of God? Do we reason as God reasons? Feel what He feels? Choose as He would choose? Is our conscience informed by His truth or have we instead seared our conscience to avoid the truth? This is not a game; it determines where our spirit will spend eternity.

And do we attempt to influence our culture by speaking clearly regarding this truth? Or do we hide the truth in order to be accepted by the culture? The future of the nation depends on the answer to that question.

Chambers on God and Culture

Whittaker Chambers

Whittaker Chambers

I’ve been commenting on the fact of God’s existence and that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. These are basic truths upon which all of our thinking should rest.

Those who have perused my website cannot have missed that one of the subjects I have been researching is Whittaker Chambers, a man who found the truth of God’s existence, but only after experiencing the failed god of communism.

Reflecting on God, man, and history in his seminal work Witness, Chambers commented on man’s rejection of God, and put his thoughts into words that have stayed with me ever since I first read them more than twenty years ago.

There has never been a society or a nation without God. But history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations that became indifferent to God, and died.

May America never be indifferent to God. Indifference is tantamount to rejection. If we reject God, He will reject us.

Principle: I Am Who I Am

As noted in the previous post, a foundational principle is that God actually exists. At one point, in Hebrew history, a man named Moses, a shepherd without any real status in society, saw a most unusual sight: a bush that burned but wasn’t consumed. Out of the midst of the bush, he heard the voice of God telling him to embark on a mission to free his people from Egypt. When Moses asks the name of the voice, he is told,

I Am who I Am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I Am has sent me to you.”

When Jesus later spoke to the Pharisees, and they demanded to know who He claimed to be, He responded, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am.” The connection was clear–so clear that they immediately tried to stone Him to death. They understood He was claiming to be God.

Not only does God actually exist, but He has made Himself known.

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

This is another foundational principle, the truth that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. It is a truth denied by most of the world, but only through this truth do we find out what life is really all about. And it is a truth that needs to permeate our culture.

Principle: The God Who Is There

Christian Apologist Francis Schaeffer
Christian Apologist Francis Schaeffer

A few postings ago, I started writing about principles and how they should be the basis for everything we do. Principles are general truths, and they come from God.

And that should be the first principle we consider: the fact of God’s very being. One of the most influential writers in the Christian world, who speaks to us even after his death, was Francis Schaeffer. I’m reminded of the title of one of his books–The God Who Is There. Schaeffer stressed that God was a distinct being to whom we are all accountable, and in his books he continually argued that there is such a thing as objective truth, which has its origin in the being of God.

The Psalmist has told us, “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” The Apostle Paul, in the book of Romans, spends a considerable amount of time in the first two chapters setting out this one salient fact: we all know He exists; we are all accountable to Him, yet we try to suppress the evidence; we have no excuse for our disobedience. His words are strong:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

No matter how many doctorates one may possess, no matter how many books and articles one has written, no matter how many appearance on TV programs as an “expert,” if any person denies the existence of God, he or she is a fool. God’s existence is one of those general truths; it is foundational for comprehending the meaning of the world in which we live.