When Is the News Not News?

If all the information I had about the U.S. president was what I read and heard from our nation’s major media outlets in the last six months, I would think that our former president could do no wrong and that our current one can do no right – that our former president was a decent man, worthy of the utmost respect, and that our current president lacks decency, and is worthy of little respect and perhaps even contempt.  This is the sense I would have from major news sources.

When I reflect on what I’m being told about these two presidents, I have to ask myself, “Is it reasonable to believe that the two men are being judged objectively?  As a person keenly interested in truth, I cannot help but conclude that those who are reporting to me on the activities of these two men are not objective observers.  They are taking sides in the battle.  If the differences between the two men were as stark – as night and day different – as the news providers are suggesting, the same country could not have elected both men.

No one wants to watch a football game in which the referees make their calls based on their own personal team loyalties.  No one wants to watch baseball if the umpires are “homers” – that is, giving the benefit of every call to the home team.  It’s not edifying to keep up with current events if the selected facts are alternately emphasized or deemphasized in order to consistently favor one side of the argument.

Alas, as someone recently said, “If we don’t keep up with the news, we’re uninformed; but if we do keep up with the news, we’re misinformed.”  When is the news not news?  When those providing it to you shape it according to their biases.

Yes, I am aware that in this day and age there are alternative news sources, but that takes time that one often doesn’t have, and even when you find an alternative source you’re sometimes just exchanging one set of reporting biases for another.

The point is that we live in a mendacious world, and in an increasingly mendacious time.  If you are a person who cares about truth, be careful what information you consume and the sources from which it comes.  Better to have a little information and know that it’s true than to have a lot of information that suppresses and distorts truth.

This is just one more reason I love the Bible: it is…good…news…that is 100% reliable.

God Is Displeased with Us

When I say “God is displeased with us,” the “us” refers to Americans.

Because of its Christianity, God made America great.  And because of its rejection of Christianity – that is, its rejection of the truth – He is bringing America to its knees.

America has two political parties, and only one of them welcomes God-fearing citizens.  What’s noteworthy is that in the current presidential election cycle, the party that welcomes people of Christian faith has formed itself into a circular firing squad.  In other words, it is divided against itself.  The political citadel which formerly provided refuge for the people of Christ has, in the last year, collapsed into civil war.  With this turn of events, the enemies of the gospel are gaining even more power.

There is always a deliverance for those individuals and families who fear God and keep His commandments, but a deliverance for the nation itself is looking increasingly unlikely.  It appears that it will continue to be plagued with increasing corruption and mismanagement.

If God would allow the only major political party which stands against the moral insanity of abortion to tear itself asunder before our eyes, it is because we as a nation have given Him insufficient reason to intervene on its behalf.  While keeping its platform anti-abortion, the Republicans have given up on the sanctity of marriage and have tried to get us to give up on it, too.  God’s saving intervention for those who love Him will have to come in ways other than through a government that honors Him.  And we will have to look for His salvation in the midst of a declining and decadent nation – and God is surely able to bring His salvation to us by non-political means.  Only further destruction appears to be coming through the political arena.

Here are some scriptures to remember and ponder:

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.
–  Proverbs 14:34

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  “And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and sinner?”  Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
–  1 Peter 4:17-19 (quoting Proverbs 11:31)

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His….
–  2 Chronicles 16:9

…A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent…
–  Psalm 91:1-16

See also Smaller God, Bigger Government.

The Bittersweet Thought of a Museum of the Bible

The Museum of the Bible in Washington D. C. is scheduled to open its doors about a year from now.  Until then, construction continues on the 430,000 square-foot building that sits just three blocks south of the U.S. Capitol building.  It is going to be very impressive facility.

The project was initially funded by the Green family (Hobby Lobby), and since then donations have come from a variety of sources.  I’m grateful to them all.

If I were near Washington, I would definitely want to see the place.  It sounds like a first-class operation, with respected scholars involved in every phase of the exhibits being produced.  It sounds as if a visit there would be a thoroughly engaging and richly rewarding investment of time – at least that’s the hope I and many others have.

What is there to be down about?  That it’s a sign of the times in our country that the Bible is deemed to be something that belongs in a museum.  You know, a place where they keep old, dusty stuff.

According to American society today, the Bible does not belong in the classroom.  Neither does it belong on television or radio unless someone can collect enough money to purchase time for it.  Even then, you won’t see many television commercials for it on the Super Bowl because that would be deemed too controversial.  The Bible can be used to swear in our nation’s president, but the caterwauling would never stop if he or she were to open it up in the Oval Office and consult it for wisdom on policy decisions.  The same goes for Congress and the Supreme Court.  I cannot easily imagine a museum for the Bible being opened in 1776 – back then, people were using their Bibles much too frequently and ubiquitously for it to have been considered something appropriate for a museum exhibit.

The Washington Post “welcomed” news of the Museum of the Bible in 2015 with an opinion piece titled “Critics call it evangelical propaganda. Can the Museum of the Bible convert them?”  Alas, in Washington D.C. about the only kind of facility that its power brokers would consider allowing to house the holy book would be a museum – in their minds it’s a mausoleum for something dead.

However, since the Bible testifies of a God who raises the dead, who knows?

Here’s how the anti-discrimation scam works

Excerpt:

An LGBTQ advocacy group has sent a letter to the commissioner of the Big 12 urging the conference to remove BYU from consideration for membership because it says the school has discriminatory policies.

Source: LGBT groups urge Big 12 to pass on adding BYU to conference | Fox News

LGBT groups accuse BYU of discrimination because BYU has a code of conduct which disallows sex outside of marriage.  What do the LGBT groups want the Big 12 Conference to do about this?  Discriminate against BYU by excluding them from conference membership.

When sexual revolutionaries say they are against discrimination, they exempt themselves.  They deem it perfectly okay if they discriminate against others who don’t share their values, but don’t think others should be able to do the same thing.  Their cry of “Discrimation!” is utterly hypocritical.

One of the biggest scams going on in American public life these days is “anti-discrimination” crusade which discriminates – and does so forcefully – against any and all who disagree with it.

Jedidiah Morse on the Importance of Christianity to America

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness, which mankind now enjoys.  …Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown , our present republican forms of government – and all blessings which flow from them – must fall with them.”
–  Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826), the figurative “father of American geography” and literal father of Samuel Morse (inventor of Morse code)

This is the way America’s leaders used to speak.  Why don’t the leaders we have now speak the same way?  Why do our leaders seem to speak in a way entirely contrary to this?

Though Jedidiah Morse didn’t claim to be a prophet, he was indeed prophesying.  The proof is in the fulfillment of his words that we are today observing and experiencing.  It’s sad to see “the pillars of Christianity being overthrown” not by invaders, but by those we have elected.  Alas, the leaders are merely reflecting our spirit as a people.  Let us therefore call upon our God to grant us repentance that we might be saved from the perfidy that has come to govern our lives.  He has given us a promise in this regard:

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
–  2 Chronicles 7:13-14

What will it be for us?

Source of Jedidiah Morse quote: Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

Spitting in the Eye of God

Here’s Friday’s announcement from the White House, as posted on its website:

President Obama Designates Stonewall National Monument

Included in the article is this quotation from the president:

“I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s National Park System. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one.”

Just as illicit sex perverts marriage, so this quotation perverts “e pluribus unum.”  Whereas we used to consider ourselves, “one nation under God,” we apparently now consider ourselves “one nation under godlessness.”  A nation that enshrines a place like this is thumbing its nose at God and spitting in His eye.  It’s one thing to commit sin – it’s far worse to celebrate sin and imply thereby that God is unrighteous for having condemned it.

There is also a video on this White House page (3 min, 41 sec) which gives the rationale for the inclusion of this place in the national park system.  As rape and incest are the wrongs used to justify the authorizing of the wrong of abortion, so violence against sexual sinners is the wrong used to justify the authorizing of the wrong of sex outside of marriage.  At least with abortion, the White House has not yet turned on the rainbow-colored lights.  But perhaps that’s only because abortion does not have a flag as does the cause of sexual defiance of God.

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  From the president on down, they truly know not what they do.  In fact, Americans think they’re offering service to God (John 16:2) by inventing the sin of homophobia and repealing the sin of homosexuality.  They call it being “against discrimination.”  Meanwhile, they discriminate aggressively against anyone who disagrees with them.  Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

Obama calls on the world to morally evolve

So, President Obama is calling on the world to morally evolve.  Hmm.  This is the same man who rejected Judeo-Christian morality – and the morality of all human civilization before him – in calling for the legalization and celebration of sexual deviancy as same-sex “marriage.”  For this man and those who think like him, morality is something only the newest generation of humanity has even a chance of achieving; prior generations were just not “evolved” enough.  And for Obama, whatever morality is, it’s something different from and far beyond the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.  He has thus set himself above both Moses and Jesus as a moral authority for the world to heed.  If hubris was a virtue, he’d be among the most virtuous of men, and those who constantly praise him would be among the wisest of men.

Hubris, however, is not a virtue.  And this leader of the free world is nothing more than a blind man calling on other blind men to follow him into unmapped territory.  It will not go well for him…nor for any who follow him.

The world – free and otherwise – is devolving into moral chaos but those who acknowledge the light of the Son of God will walk righteously and will thereby find deliverance for themselves and their families in this darkening world.

Source: In historic visit to Hiroshima, Obama calls on the world to morally evolve – LA Times

Why Is the World So Anti-Jesus?

Why is the world so resistant to Jesus Christ?  Psalm 2 asked that same question almost three thousand years ago.

Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”
–  Psalm 2:1-3

Of course, the “Lord” is Jesus; those of us who love Him are “His anointed.”  What sort of “fetters” and “cords” bother the world (i.e. “the nations,” “the peoples”)?  Jesus Himself tells us:

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”  And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
–  Matthew 19:3-6  [the “all caps” indicates that Jesus is quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24]

The world doesn’t like the “fetters” and “cords” of marital fidelity.  They want the pleasures of marriage without the responsibilities of marriage.  And now they are even trying to throw off the restraint of “male and female.”

It’s all about who’s in charge.  Shall we human beings be in charge of ourselves…or shall we remain subject to the One who created us?

We who love Jesus are being reviled for our belief that marital intimacy should not be separated from marriage, and that gender is a gift from God – and therefore should not be rejected or rebelled against.

Yet the world hates us for our stance…because it hated Jesus first.  He Himself said:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”
–  John 15:18

We used to be among those rebelling against the ways of God, but we have now chosen to live the rest of the time we have here on earth according to the will of God instead of according to our own fleshly desires.

…so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
–  1 Peter 4:1-2

Therefore, we should not be surprised that the world hates us.

Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
–  1 John 3:13

Instead, let us recognize that the people who are reviling our stance against “the sexual revolution” are being driven by spiritual powers – just as we used to be.  These people are simply following the lusts of their flesh, not knowing that it’s spiritual forces that have tempted them and led them at each step of the journey that they think is “progress.”  A spiritual veil lies over their eyes, and this is why it does no good to reason with them.  Yet we should pray for them, for if they cease from rebelling and turn back to their Creator, the Creator will remove the veil from the eyes of their understanding…and they will see what we’ve been trying to tell them.

but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
–  2 Corinthians 3:16

In the meantime, we should not take their hatred personally.  It’s Jesus they’re against.  And it’s driving them crazy that we won’t rejoin them in their rebellion (“the sexual revolution“).

In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you;but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
–  1 Peter 4:4-5

Therefore, stay strong in the ways of the Lord that you have learned.  Do not be dissuaded by the peer pressure that the world applies.  For their rebellion is ultimately futile.

Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
– 1 Peter 3:13-16 [the “all caps” indicates that Peter is quoting Isaiah 8:12]

Our victory is in our faith, and our faith is in the Son of God – the very same Son of God that the world is so opposed to.  Therefore, cling always to your faith in Him.

…rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.
–  Colossians 2:5

…this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
–  1 John 5:4

The American Belief About the Basis of Our Rights

Do our rights as Americans come from God or man?  Do they come from our Creator or do we grant them to each other?  Alas, we have to acknowledge that our fellow citizens seem unaware of the correct answer to this question.  You don’t have to be a Christian to be able to answer this question; you only have to be aware of basic American history – like the kind I took in the seventh grade.

This video clip (4 min, and 27 sec) is hard to watch because the two men are having a heated argument.  They are arguing about same-sex “marriage,” but that’s not my focus in this post.  The point to which I want to call your attention is when Chris Cuomo, the interviewer, says essentially this:

“Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man… That’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.”  (If you listen to 0:40 through 1:20, you’ll hear him start the statement, then later re-start and complete it.)

Now I readily admit that Chris Cuomo has an abrasive personality, but what he is saying on this subject represents the thinking of most Americans these days – certainly the elite Americans who are running things.  Obviously, anyone can read the Declaration of Independence and see that those who founded this country would not agree with Cuomo.  But that’s just the problem: if the answer is plain as day right in the Declaration but educated people and media spokesmen like Chris Cuomo act as if it’s not, what are you going to do?

The American belief is that our rights come from God and the purpose of government is to secure those rights.  To use the language of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men… (Source:  Archives.gov)

Chris Cuomo is a well-educated man and a credentialed lawyer.  Here’s a section of his Wikipedia bio:

Cuomo was educated at The Albany Academy, a private university preparatory day school in Albany in New York State, followed by Yale University, where he obtained an undergraduate degree, and Fordham University where he obtained his Juris Doctor. He is a licensed attorney.

That his statement in this interview never seemed to have made news confirms to us that he is expressing a view that is not controversial.  The only way that you could accept his view without controversy is if you did not know what the Declaration of Independence says or if you do not care what it says.  Therefore, either one or both of these characterizations apply to the majority of American citizens today.  They considered the references to God in our founding documents to be like powered wigs – trappings of a prior age that are to be discarded like outdated fashions.

If Americans do not use the Declaration of Independence to inform their views on basic American principles, how can we be surprised when they don’t use the Bible to inform their views on basic moral principles?

We Dwell in a Fiery Furnance

We dwell in a fiery furnace, but we do not bow the knee.

Consider the story of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah – better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Daniel 3:1-30; the three having been previously mentioned in Daniel 1:1-20 and 2:48-49).  These three young men survived the fiery furnace because there stood in their midst a fourth “like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25 KJV).

There stands in our midst the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we shall not be burned…and not even the smell of smoke shall cling to our clothes (Daniel 3:27).

When the king of Babylon and his servants demand that we worship the image they have set up (Daniel 3:14-15), we respond:

“[W]e do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
–  Daniel 3:16-18

Open your eyes, O child of God, and recognize that we now live in Babylon, and that we are daily – and increasingly – being asked to worship falsehoods.  Rather, it is being demanded of us to worship falsehoods.  Yet the God of truth will be with us…if we will remain true to Him.

Though we dwell in a fiery furnace, we will not bow the knee.