Christian Church, You have been Squirrelled

Ping-Pong

There is a lot of back and forth that happens on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, the Like. It’s bad enough that people on the same side wind up biting and devouring each other, and particularly the Christian Community.

Now I’m not going to get all Ecumenical on you and call that Catholics and Evangelicals should agree (its the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation for Heaven’s sake!) nor that something like the Redding Bethel Church and John MacArthur come to a truce. Gospel purity is the issue. No backing down.

But recently I’ve seen too many direct or indirect posts about Christians saying something about President Donald Trump, a reply comes, and then people who call themselves brothers jump all over each other in what I reference to be a Ping Pong match. Back-and-Forth Back-and-Forth. And when one person thinks they’ve scored the other person blows them off. And vice verse.

I want to call our attention to Ephesians 5:

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

I love that line about addressing one another in Psalms, hymns, Spiritual songs making melody to the Lord with your heart – submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

I don’t see a lot of that going on. As I said, its more biting and devouring of one another.

Church – You have been Squirreled.

I will call it out: This is a demonic distraction.

If people who don’t know Jesus or His Gospel – or maybe even disdain it for one reason or another (out of the inbred Humility within the Human Race) – we are not doing anything with our public face to make Jesus look good. We first want to make ourselves look good, then maybe Jesus. But we definitely want to make the other person , even a brother in Christ, look like an idiot.

This is internal pride, spurred on by a constant onslaught of 24-hour #FakeNews cycle combined with an epidemic of Snow-Flake-itis where Emotions, not reason, rule our direction. [All networks, even Fox are guilty of making the camera paint an inaccurate picture.]

But these light and momentary tribulations (and seriously folks, as stupid as it gets in the US, we don’t know what REAL Government/society imposed Tribulation is) are not worth the eternal glory that will be revealed when we stand before Jesus.

Our True Focus

Don’t try to make yourself look great. He must increase. YOU must decrease. Make Jesus look good in how you treat each other – in person AND online. And let’s start talking and engaging one about about what you are learning or how you are growing in the Lord. Not just about your latest favorite political point.

Peace. Out.

An Ashley Madison Conundrum

Is that Forbidden Fruit Really Worth it?

I was reading a story on ZDNet about an Ashley Madison ex-customer who, via hacked information, was being blackmailed to pay up to cover up extramarital activities.  (Remember the Story when Ashley Madison Extra-marital affair WebSite was hacked in 2015?)

In Ashley

 

The story is lengthy, which I won’t recount here, but it sets up its anonymously named ‘Tom’ as a victim of a wife who didn’t want to be intimate, and having an affair partner who wanted more than just sex.  He was safe until it was hacked.  Now the hackers are reaching out to him via email threatening to send a revealing letter to his home address.

The story lifts up how awesome and less tense his marriage was once he had an outlet for sex. “It was really helpful” so says this piece.

Culture

I’ve noted in recent days (accelerating since 2010 I would say) the decline in any moral or civil values in our culture. It’s not about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”That has been substituted with “Do unto others as I selfishly desire, and when caught or called out, excuse myself and blame ‘them’ for being judgemental. I’m okay!”

So we dive headlong into what is obviously destructive behavior, thinking one of a number of erroneous things like

  • Everyone Else is doing it
  • I have a valid *reason* for doing this: ___________ (plug in your excuse)

Between those two, ESPECIALLY they last one, we cover all of our selfish desires no matter how damaging. And then we get caught. Suddenly that last excuse becomes a weapon by which we use to either sheild ourselves or to hurl at someone else in attack. And we start Damage Control. The house of cards starts to fall down all around us and
we realize those excuses are flimsy. Some will actually wisely succumb to the inevitable. Other will fight what they deem a righteous war (defending their lapse) but only wind up winning a Pyrrhic Victory. They Win a battle, but wind up losing the war. It’s kinda like the difference between being right, and dead-right.

Consequences

As a man, I can empathize (from the flesh) with this Tom fellow. I think most of us could. But as a Christian and adult understanding the consequences of my actions, I can only shake my head and think he “Shoulda known better”. The Ashley Madison Logo of a lady’s face  holding up a “Shoosh” finger in front of ruby red lips should’ve easily translated into the Jolly Roger Skull and Crossbones Flag. Abandon hope all ye who enter. I think the Easter Mystic idea of Karma fits here.
Some people get away with bad behavior and it looks glamorous. But what about those who get caught? Yeah, we don’t read too much about those narratives. We are deceived today about consequences. The fact this guy Tom was even getting pressured from the person he was fooliing around with wanting more was unforseen danger. Today we ignore what happens if the whole thing just comes crashing down.
The guy Tom only has a wife – who would be crushed. I am not excusing her lack of enthusiasm for being with her husband. (I could argue she allowed the soil to harden that created this condition, so Tom is not alone being at fault – he just took the consequential action by which his small family is threatened). What if there were kids? Relationships get torn and innocents get caught in the middle. Messy Messy Messy.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If it screams forbidden fruit, are you ready to pay the cost? Are you even paying attention to the cost?

Some godly wisdom

Here are some things from God’s word to consider, especially when it comes to acting on “Forbidden Fruit”. And if you are a reader who maybe is suffering consequences as a result of bad decisions, please read to the end. There is a passage specifially for you – one of hope and restoration.

  • “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
    ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:7-8, 10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/gal.6.7-8,10.esv
  • “”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/mat.5.27-28.esv
  • “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.”
    ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/rev.22.11-14.esv

Hope and Restoration

I am not going to candy coat it. Sin is destructive. All the way back to the first rebellion in the garden of Eden. Jesus Christ died to pay the price for that sin. All he asks is you repent of your sin and ask forgiveness of him, and then follow him diligently. And here is his promise:

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/1jn.1.6-7.esv

We can be cleansed of that sin. Maybe not the consequences, but he will separate it from as far as is East is from the West. Only then is there hope of restoration (over time.)

Rage in the Nation

I think Peggy Noonan did a good job writing about the hatred and anger coursing through our country today in her article “Rage Is All the Rage, and It’s Dangerous“.  Put an exclamation point on the “It’s dangerous” clause.  I encourage you to read the article, and take my words as a quick addendum.

I also will refer you to blog entries I’ve recently written observing this behavior:

During the Barack Obama presidency a great many things occurred I not only disagreed with, but recognized how detrimental they are to our country.  Obama Care, Benghazi debacle, and worst of all giving Iran a green light to start making nuclear weapons. What the #^%!?

As a good citizen concerned about my country I sat back and watched it, chomping at the bit for my next time to vote. And I did. But up to that point you didn’t see me, or anyone like me, out protesting, smashing windows, making fun of people, being derogatory, mean spirited towards people – for making their choice in both 2008 and 2012.

But for those on the left, once Donald Trump was announced winner, they’ve become unhinged, Angry, Violent, Dangerous. Even those in the church – Jesus’ body here on earth to do the will of the Father, directed by the Holy Spirit – have succumbed to the  zeitgeist of our culture.

  • I have seen neighbors
    • … state on their social media accounts that politics supersedes relationships.  (Mind you Jesus wholeheartedly disagrees – people are first.)
    • …  call out they need to get to know and love people with skin other than caucasian.
    • We have fellow church members who
      • … take to giving cold shoulders, an unlistening/uncaring ear when they discover you flow contradictory to their favored political issue or movement
      • … will argue their point almost mercilessly on Social Media – posting edgy statements as they argue back and forth.

        [My wife has started to ‘unfollow’ people for her sanity]

  • I’ve seen community-leaders seemingly rage on Social Media against the straw-men they’ve drawn up as the bigots of our time.

    The Sudanese refugees  have been a hot topic recently  The recent terrorist attacks in Europe coming out of the group have not appeared to have any effect on their “snobby-American” bashing for not loving on these poor people (with Terrorists in their midst.)

All of these folks don’t me in entirety, or my day-to-day situation, but I leave their messages (whether off the stage, on a street corner, or from a web browser) feeling as if they’ve sized me up as the biggest mysoginistic-bigot offender ever.  And as they write or speak, I can sense the rage.

They get all angst’ed up over Donald Trump overlooking Barack Obama’s outright race baiting. Before him, Bill Clinton was misogynist in chief.  But both men are heralded as Great Democrat Presidents from the past.

I made clear my choice this time around (actually each time around) in the enthusiastic hope my choice would be the winner.  There was spirited debate on and off social media. But the difference this time is their rage hasn’t subsided.  I keep waiting for them to run out of energy, but as a group the Left has a LOT of energy.  And they will support a lie as well as anyone could.  And as for friends.  They want to stay cold as they look down their nose to those they consider politically and ideologically inferior.

I Consider God’s Word in these matters.

  • Ephesians 5:21 – Submit to one another out of reverence of Christ
  • Philippians 2:3-4  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8aLove is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Love never ends.

It would be nice to see less toxic rhetoric, more abiding by laws, and more love and tolerance coming from the left.  We’d have a whole different outcome to our modern day.

A Prayer for Alexis

To whomever will be a prayer warrior: I follow this site called Quora (Quora.com)
There was an answer to a question:

What is the most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child?

The question has sparked over 100 answers to date (June 10, 2017), but there was one particular answer that drew my attention, one from an Alexis in Australia.

I am the adult daughter of a teenage rape victim.

She was 15 years old when it happened, and he left her for dead. This was in 1988, she didn’t have the emotional capacity to comprehend that trauma …

Would you pray for Alexis?

Pray that God would lead the right influences into her life and show her she has worth in God’s eyes?  Pray also God breaks her heart for her own sin so she can truly experience:

  • The true love of Jesus – total forgiveness, complete acceptance at the cross.
  • The ability to forgive her mom’s neglect and abuse (Through Christ’s power)
  • Forgiveness of her own problems that must be weighing her down.

Satan is a crafty accuser. He will remind us of how unworthy we are every waking minute to keep us from approaching God’s throne of Grace and Mercy.  His time is short and he knows he cannot do anything to God himself, so he is left to trashing God’s creation – and he’s doing a mighty fine job of it (within God’s sovereign limits.)

(James) The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective as they are working. God is at work around our Globe. Please send up a prayer that God would rescue this soul that has seen way worse than anything I’ve experienced in this lifetime.

Jim Comey’s “‘House of Cards”

There are two narratives that came out of the James Comey hearings on Thursday 8, June 2017:

1) James Comey made Trump look really bad
or
2) James Comey made the Russia Debacle look like a “Nothing Burger” and he himself looks really bad.

Watching House of Cards of Netflix, this whole affair in Washington is beginning to be reminiscent of the dirty-feel-politics of House of Cards.  Real Life is truly becoming as-crazy, or crazier, than fiction.

My first exposure to James Comey came from the Hillary Clinton email server scandal – which of course itself came to nothing.  By no means was this due to lack of criminal evidence (See this LA Times article published June 2017 re-combing through the statements) as detailed by then FBI Director Comey in press conference.  Rather, he would not prosecute because there was no intent to commit a crime (awww shucks, Hillary is just a hick from Arkansas.)  For me his credibility was shot at that point.

Of course he pretended to reopen the investigation after Loretta Lynch secretly met Bill Clinton on the tarmac  in Phoenix, Arizona.  Comey “lost faith” in the DOJ investigation – which again came to nothing.  Credibility getting even lower.

Now there’s this whole issue of Comey is fired and now he is testifying before congress that

  1. He leaked memos he took of one-on-one conversations he had with President Trump (misrepresenting the actual meeting content based on feelings)
  2. He didn’t confront the president on anything he thought suspect because he was cowardly (Comey’s testimony words, not my own)
  3. He was trying to get a Special Investigation going into Russia and Trump

From my point of view (for anyone who cares) on the Russian Election Involvement – its opposition party politics trying to make up another lame excuse why Hillary Lost.  The problem is it is being used to tear up the country, anger another country (Russia), and waste millions of tax payer dollars and time when there is so much other desperate need in our country.  But the #Establishment of our Government (even the so-called “Deep State”) doesn’t care.  All that matters is their power.

And this is the house of cards.  James Comey has been seemingly LOVING this spotlight attention.  He can feel important to the cause for his 15 minutes of fame, not knowing those truly in power are going to use him up, spit him out, and move on to the next “big thing” that will help destabilize the President, leaving Comey on the side of the road to lick his wounds and even stand up and walk away in solitude on his own.

But this is a situation almost of his own making – or at least orchestrated by someone he wants to please, but Comey will take the fall.  He already looks like crap to the rest of us Flyover-NonEstablishment country folks.

So I come across this rather lengthy article, as posted by @Brit Hume on Twitter, A Federalist article by Sean Davis.  It was a good read and even confirms what we suspect of Comey – a partisan opportunist who will use any situations and pervert it to his advantage.

Read here: http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/17/former-attorney-general-on-comeys-integrity-jims-loyalty-was-more-to-chuck-schumer/ 

So this brings me to my final thought on this whole house of cards.  God gave some very clear commands to the kings of Israel in Deuteronomy, one of which I captured as Verse-Image in my YouVersion account today:

{The King} 18 “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, 2 Ki 11:12

“>hhe shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, Dt 31:9 Dt 31:26 2 Ki 22:8 2 Ch 34:14