Monday, December 31, 2012

It's a Not So Brave New World

January 1, 2013 begins a new era in American life, and not coincidentally, a new era in this blog. In one sense, that new era began when the United States ratified our collective rejection of a capitalist society and plunged headlong into European styled socialism by re-electing our first (and until now our only) European styled socialist president. The old America we grew up with, where we could count on our investments going up, where we expected to leave a better life to our children, where Americans were certain that capitalism was better than socialism, fascism and communism, where we were allowed to be proud of our country and proud of our accomplishments - that country is gone. Probably gone forever. It's odd to think that less than forty years removed from Ronald Reagan our country has so institutionalized liberalism, socialism and communism into the very fabric of our government that we cannot return to historic Americanism again.

But that's only the economic and political side of things. The real change is in this country's attitude toward freedom of religion. For the first time in our history, we now have a government that is actively opposed to the free exercise of religion. That attitude is prominently evident in the government's prosecution of Hobby Lobby and a host of other Christian oriented businesses for their resistance to providing abortion-causing drugs as a part of regular health care. The government argues that these Christian based businesses are secular because they are not churches and do not engage in worship. The present administration has redefined freedom of religion to mean "freedom of worship." In this government's opinion, worship belongs within - and only within- the four walls of a church building. Thus, the government reasons, these businesses engaged in secular activity are subject to government regulation and intervention and have no right to religious liberty because they do not "worship". Never mind that the business is based entirely upon the religious convictions which give rise the the business in the first place.

The danger in such convoluted governmental thinking is that churches are likely to be persecuted in much the same way whenever they engage in what the government deems secular activity. So much for Christian schools and colleges. So too for benevolence organizations, nursing homes, orphanages, rescue missions, youth training missions - and just about anything else not considered by our supreme leaders to be worship.

That's why this blog must change with the times. The new world we've entered has also come under the preacher's roof, so to speak, as it has invaded every other home in our once-great land. So expect a bit more of an edge from this preacher, and a bit more of a political commentary as our government and politics impacts and infringes upon our sacred convictions. The preacher's roof must become a shelter in the time of storm.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Time to Climb Back on the Saddle

Since last August, this blog has fallen silent because, for the most part, I did. The kids are grown and the grandkids are growing. The preacher's roof didn't seem to house that much anymore, and better preachers (much less better writers) have churned out enough "how to" books. So what was left for me to say?
But then one person, a missionary preacher of sorts, really got under my skin by pushing his political agenda on me in a way that touched a nerve. Not because I disagreed with his point of view, although I do, but because of the larger issue of his using his position to forward a political agenda.
Regardless of whether the government (this administration?) says I can or not, I have no business preaching politics when I should be preaching the gospel. The pulpit - mine anyway - is no place for politics. And no, I really don't care what the IRS thinks. It's just that I have to pastor all those people I've estranged long after the election is over. Making myself a spokesman for a political party or politician diminishes and damages my ministry.
I don't care to listen to that particular preacher again. I don't care to support his ministry. I can't be certain that he displays enough sound judgement to warrant my support. It's a shame to see a man drive away people like that, but he's done it to himself. A hard lesson, I hope he's learns it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Dilemma Named Gabby

Just in case anyone was bothering to notice, we've been hit with a wonderful set of contradictions this past week. First, there was the controversy involving Chick-fil-A, the Cathy family and their attempt to have an opinion (horrors!). Never mind that their opinion agreed with one once held by a certain B. H. Obama of Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D. C. It was the opinion of a Christian. And of course, we can't have one of those running around spouting ideas. According to liberal dogma (the gospel of all truly tolerant people as long as you agree with them), Christians are inherently racist, bigoted, hate-filled and hate-mongering troglodytes who are not worthy of respect, much less an opinion. Such people can't be normal. And God help us all if they are too good to be true, which in today's world equals what we used to call "normal" about a generation or two ago.
But then along came Gabby. Gabby is the ear-to-ear grinning sprite who does other-worldly things in gymnastics. This past week, she became the first African American gymnast to win the individual gold medal in the Olympics. She accomplished this feat by spiraling through floor exercises and then landing as if she had been nailed to the floor. Fantastic.
Everything was set for the best script possible in the liberal way of thinking. We have a minority winning the individual gold medal at the Olympics. Not just a minority, mind you, but an African-American minority. And female to boot.  Perfect.
Then Gabby opened her mouth and everything went haywire. The first thing she said and did was to give all glory to God. What?? Liberals have been fainting ever since. What are they to do? Just when they had their perfect heroine, she turned out to be another one of those "glory to God" Christians. Mind you, everything would have been acceptable if she had just remained quiet, but she wouldn't be quiet. Her first interview was a full-fledged testimony of praise to God.
To say liberals are upset is putting it mildly. Their preconceived, narrow-minded, pigeon-hold, bigoted ideas of Christians and their supposed inability to walk upright has been splattered once more across the wide expanse of NBC Sports. Meanwhile, Gabby is grinning all the way to the bank and on every Kelloggs Corn Flakes box in the land. Liberals are in a snit and who can blame them? Christians aren't supposed to be this successful, this cheerful, or this attractive. They aren't supposed to be happy, normal, Bible-believing, God-loving minority females who don't subscribe to the liberal notions of what Bible believing Christians are supposed to be. And that's the liberals' dilemma with Gabby.
They've been Tebowed again.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Clock Might Be Ticking...

I received a "final notice" from Google that my blog just might either disappear into stellar internet space or else the site might be so locked up that I can never add to it again. Either way, the new method of posting is so fouled up that I literally cannot tell what I am writing or, for that matter, how it will look when posted. So if this particular post looks out of whack, that's why. And if this blog suddenly reappears in an altogether different form, you know why.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Dispatches from Bitter America" - You MUST Read This Book

We interrupt this blog to bring you a commercial. Todd Starnes has done more than knock one out of the park. The award-winning journalist and "son-of-a-Baptist" has accomplished a transfusion for the heart of America. His most recent contribution, "Dispatches from Bitter America" is a homily to much that is still good in our country and well worth saving, certainly well worth fighting for. But the book is more than that, much more. Todd captures the outrage and frustration we feel when we see the country we love disappearing before our eyes.

"Dispatches" is well researched, outrageously funny, poignant, and - to use Todd's favorite word - snarky. Each chapter is cleverly long enough to hold your interest and short enough to keep you reading through the next chapter. Todd has also managed in his own unique way to weave the gospel clearly throughout the book. He is a stand-up guy with an out-front testimony for Christ. Maybe outside of Tim Tebow, who knew you could still do that so publicly in America and live to tell about it?

Buy this book. Read it carefully. You will laugh, cry, be outraged and emboldened to take a stand for America - but you will not be bitter. Better, yes, but not bitter. Todd Starnes is not only an excellent writer and story teller. He is a courageous brother in the Lord and I am grateful for his contribution. I rate "Dispatches from Bitter America" five out of five Nutter Butters. Ya'll might not understand, but Todd knows what I mean.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Coming Election: Now What Do I Do?

It's January, the primaries have just begun, and already the more conservative candidates are all but knocked out of the race. Now, what do I do? I've been forced to come to some rather uncomfortable realizations ("realisations" for my British friends). None of the remaining candidates are entirely satisfactory to me. None of them are as conservative, as evangelical, or as consistent as I would like. They are all flawed. They are flawed and they spend way too much time focusing on one another's flaws rather than talking about the far more serious danger posed by the prospect of four more years of radical un-Americanism.

So what do I do? How do I decide among so many flawed choices? And let's face it: staying home and not voting - or voting for someone who has no chance - is not really a choice unless I want to re-elect the current President.

I have to come to terms with reality, and reality is this. The most likely nominee, at least currently speaking, is at least light-years more conservative than the current White House occupants and more conservative than the last Republican who ran for the job. Strange how Mitt Romney didn't look all that liberal the last time, but then our comparison was John McCain, not Rick Perry.

Mr. Romney is a Mormon. That bothers me and I'm not in favor of a cult follower as President. But Sen. Orrin Hatch, also a Mormon, ran for President once upon a time, and I don't recall anyone being upset about that. Maybe it's because he had no real chance of being elected. Sen. Harry Reid is also a Mormon. When is the last time you heard about that? He's so liberal, no one notices his Mormonism. And keep this in mind, Mormonism is an American cult. It has a pro-American point of view (Mormons believe the New Jerusalem will be built in America), and a pro-Israel attitude. This presents an interesting choice between philosophies.

Which would I rather have: a Mormon, pro-American, pro-Israel moderately conservative, free -enterprise businessman politician? Or a liberation theology, pro-European, anti-Israel radically liberal devotee of socialist - Marxist economic philosophy?