Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Real Solution to America's Problems

If you are a Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh fan, this article may offend you. It will offend you because those three men have not offered the real solution to what is really going on in America. The solution is not voting out all the Democrats, organizing Tea Party rallies, or condemning President Obama and his policies all day long. The problem goes deeper then that. The thing is, most Conservative commentators do not even know what the problem is. It is not America's move towards Socialism, Facaism, and Communism. These are symptoms of the problem but they are not the problem itself. The problem is that people like you and me are sinners. The solution is found in the Cross of Jesus Christ. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change America. Glenn Beck can't do it, Sarah Palin can't do it, nor can Michele Bachmann. We can vote out politicians all day long, but that will not deal with the issues of sin and the heart. You cannot change a country from the tops down. It must start with people like you and me, examining our own hearts and laying down our sins at the foot of the Cross. Then we must be diligent to proclaim the Gospel to others. The Church has substituted the Gospel for political activism. Oh Lord have mercy on us. We must pray that there will be laborers in the fields. When people began to realize their sinfulness before a holy God that will began to see change America. Barack Obama cannot bring that kind of change, it can only come by the Lord granting us His mercy. Let us pray that America will come to repentance and return to God this country was dedicated to.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Family in America

Within the last century, there has been a drastic change. This change came not by revolution or civil unrest, but by a major shift from a Christian worldview to a humanistic one. One way this is evident is that Americans are embracing homosexuality and abortion. As a Christian can see, homosexual marriages and abortions are distortions to what the Bible calls the family. With that said, what does an ideal family look like according to Scripture? There will three areas that we will look at that will answer that question; marriage, parenting, and how a family impacts society.

To start off with, we are going to take a look at what a marriage is suppose to look like. Marriage is what keeps a family together. It is the foundation on which a family is built upon. Sadly, marriage is under attack from various sides including the homosexual movement to the modern feminist movement. Groups such as the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) are on the front lines “to eliminate laws governing divorce, fornication, and adultery” and are involved in “lawsuits seeking to legalize same-sex marriage, gay adoption, and even polygamy”1.For the last forty years feminism has been on the rise. They say things such as “We have to abolish and reform the institution of marriage…By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God… We must understand what we are attempting is a revolution, not a public relations movement.”2 Just recently, a Judge in California declared Proposition 8, an amendment which defines marriage between one man and one woman in California, unconstitutional. Cultural commentator and Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler comments, “Judge Walker’s decision, bearing the full force of a Federal court, adds to the sense of inevitability that the proponents of same-sex marriage have been so carefully constructing in recent years. Defenders of marriage as a heterosexual institution should resist the temptation to minimize the significance of this decision, even as the verdict is vigorously appealed. Yesterday’s ruling is a huge win for the homosexual community, and a significant step toward the full normalization of homosexuality within the culture.3 These are real threats that, if successful, can bring a fatal blow to marriage. If marriage is destroyed and redefined, then the family is going to be redefined which will drive society farther from its founding principles.

What does an ideal marriage look like? First, it is meant to be between only a man and a woman. One verse in Scripture that teaches this is Genesis 2:24, which states that “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Also, for a man to become an elder in the local church, one of the qualifications is that he must be “the husband of but one wife.”(1 Timothy 3:2) This clearly refutes the notion that homosexuality is consistent with Biblical Christianity and is a natural trait. This even shows he can’t have two or more wives. God intended marriage to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His people (the church). Ephesians 5:25-33 shows us that picture by telling husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. It is all a part of the wonderful design God place for humanity. Marriage is also a covenantal relationship. Just as it is a picture of the covenant between Christ and his church, it also involves a covenantal commitment between a man and a woman. One problem in many relationships in America is that there is no covenantal marriage and there is no commitment to each other. There are couples that are living together without being married. On top of that, if someone else shows up that one likes better, he can terminate that relationship and move in with his new girlfriend. It is a mess the way our culture values marriage. Marriage is a commitment both parties keep until “death do us part.”

The Bible gives instructions on how a man and a woman are to work a marriage. The man is supposed to represent Christ as the head of his household. 1 Corinthian 11:3 says that “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” Pastor John Piper helps us define Biblical masculinity. He said “At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships.”4 One characteristic of biblical manhood is that a man is supposed to lead. Adam in the Garden of Eden was given leadership roles by naming Eve and the animals (Genesis 2:19-23). This is a sign of authority. Husbands are commanded to lead their wives and be the head of their homes. Another role of a biblical man is that he is the main provider for the home. Unless he is hindered otherwise by illness or injury, the man should be the one feeling the pressure of putting “food on the table”, paying the bills, and caring for his wife and children. Thirdly, a man is to be the protector of his wife and kids. We’re not saying women are weak, but men need to make sure that they protect women. If anything ever happens, a woman will know that her husband will protect her and will not be off somewhere else. John Piper said, “A mature man senses instinctively that as a man he is called to take lead in guarding the woman he is with.” 5 These are the characteristics that need to be found in men throughout our society.

For a woman, she is called to represent her husband to her children and to the world.In a marriage relationship, she is suppose to summit to her husband. (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1) One might ask if this makes women inferior to men. No, it does not. The reason a woman submits is that she was designed by God to be a helpmate to her husband. Genesis 2:18 says “And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper comparable to him'” Eve completes Adam. Presbyterian pastor and theologian Brian Schwertly said “When Adam saw Eve, he knew that she was perfectly suitable to answer his needs and desires. The wife is to be a helper suitable for her husband. She is to compliment him and make up what is lacking in him. Together in marriage God makes them a complete whole and together they are perfectly suited to carry out the dominion mandate. They submission of the wife is rooted in the very fabric of creation. Eve was made for Adam to help him and complete him. Therefore, the only way that a woman can find true fulfillment and meaning as God created her is to become a loving submissive wife to a man who is under the loving lordship of Christ.”6 Other roles of Biblical womanhood is to bear children (Genesis 1:28) and to provide companionship to man (Genesis 2:18). America is in dire need of women who follow God’s Word.

Secondly, another aspect of the family is the reproduction and bearing of children. Genesis 1, God commanded man to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” As the verse indicates, mankind needs to reproduce so that humanity can continue. More importantly, Adam as the head and Eve as his helpmate were given a mandate of dominion, which includes the task of rising up a God glorifying civilization. Due to the fall in Genesis 3, this mandate has been perverted. Today as America strays further away from its Christian roots, the family must start being the family or society will start deteriorating. Parents are required to raise their children in fear of the lord. The family is foundational to stable societies and thriving churches. R.J. Rushdoony writes “The family is man's first state, church, and school. It is the institution which provides the basic structure of his existence and most governs his activities. Man is reared in a family and then establishes a family, passing from the governed to the governing in a framework which extensively and profoundly shapes his concept of himself and of life in general.”7 You might be surprised to know that the family is a form of government. One school textbook written in 1903 said “The family…is a form of government, established for the good of children themselves, and the first government we all must obey.”8 Throughout American history, the family has been an important element of society. People who founded our country such as George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson have actually been given their education at home. Because public schools did not exist, the only alternatives were either homeschooling or a charter school if there was one. Most of the founders were taught by tutors with parents closely involved. Former education secretary William Bennett at the 1992 Republican National Convention said “Not all teachers are parents but all parents are teachers – children’s first teachers, children’s all but indispensable teachers.”9 This is why parents need to take their responsibilities seriously. If they do not instill a love of God in their children and teach them Biblical Christianity, we will have people running our government who will not respect Christianity or the U.S. Constitution. This is one of the reasons why we are having the problems in our society. The reason why there is drug abuse, premarital sex, and corrupt politicians is because parents for the last 40-50 years stopped disciplining their children and allowed the State (Through Our wonderful public school system) to takeover in place of the parents.

What can we do to help restore the family in America? First, Christians in America need to wake up to the fact that their freedoms are gradually being taken from them by humanist and anti-Christian groups. Humanists know the power of public education for the propagation of their worldview. Charles Francis Potter, a signer of the first Humanist Manifesto in 1930, said “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”10If most Christian parents start taking responsibility for their children’s’ education and not leave it to the State or even the church, this could change the battle of the culture war were in. Secondly, fathers need to start being fathers. Daniel Amneus writes “Fatherless families . . . generate far more delinquency and personality disorders than do normal or motherless families…The ratio of delinquent children living with the mother only compared to those living with the father only is about three to one.”11According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), in the year 1983, people under the age of 18 have committed the following; 218,00 burglaries, 45,000 motor vehicle thief, and 10,000 arsons . Can you guess who contributed to at least 78% of these crimes? Boys which the majority of them don’t have a father in their lives.12 (Statistical abstract p.173,183) Thirdly, there needs to be a proper understanding of Biblical manhood and womanhood in our culture. America has adopted false ideas on what men and women are suppose to be. Even gender identity is blurred from the culture. A couple of years ago in the city of Gainesville, FL, the city commission passed an ordinance that allow men that “feel like a woman” to use a woman’s restroom and vice visa in any public bathroom within the city limits. This is how far Americans have gone from what God intended in His design of a man and a woman. It is time we boldly cry out for a return to reality and what God designed us to be. These are steps we can use to bring the Biblical family back to America.

Finally, what can the families that are being Biblical families do to how change America? We as Christians are called to be salt and light to the world. Jesus declared “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”(Matthew 5:16) If people see a Christian family where the husband and wife have a strong marriage and children that are kind and well behaved, they might be likely to notice something different with that family than from a worldly one. Christian couples with strong marriages need to go and help those whose marriages are crumbling and point those people to the Gospel. Parents can help non-Christian parents and show them the Gospel. It is the Gospel that will save America, not politicians or voting corrupt ones out of office. What we as young folks can do now is to show respect to our parents by submitting to their authority, learning what it means to be a Biblical man or woman, and doing hard things such as helping a Godly candidate running for office get elected or going out evangelizing.

In closing, as it was shown, we have a lot of work to do. In order to reclaim our country and culture, we need to have a Biblical idea of what the family is suppose to look like. Let us be the generation that will set an example to those that are yet to be. We must be bold and speak out against the dangers that homosexuality and abortion bring to our country, families, and to ourselves. Meditate on these words from Yale president Timothy Dwight, “You should by no means consider yourself as members of a small neighborhood, town, or colony only, but as beings concerned in laying the foundations of ‘American greatness.’ Your wishes, your designs, your labors, are not to be confined by the narrow bound of the present age, but are to comprehend succeeding generations, and be pointed to immortality.”13` We are a generation that we determine the fate of future generations. We will either fight for Biblical values or we will sit on the sideline watching our freedom go down the drain. It is time for a new reformation and our generation is the one called to bring it out. May the Lord’s will be done for future generations to see.

Works cite
1. Kastensmidt, Sam. Indefensible; 10 Ways the ACLU is Destroying America p. 138
2. Steinmen, Gloria. Saturday Review of Education March 1973
3 Mohler, Albert. http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/08/05/the-gavel-falls-on-marriage-the-proposition-8-decision/ August 5, 2010
4. Piper, John. What is the Difference
5. ibid
6. Schwertly, Brian. http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/family.html
7. Rushdoony, R.J. Politics of Guilt and Pity. P. 331
8. Elements of Civil Government. P.18, 1903 edition
9. Bennett, William. http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0407_Remarks_by_William_B.html
10. Potter, Charles Francis. Humanism: a new Religion. P. 138
11. Amneus, Daniel. Back to Patriarchy. P. 26,64.
12. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Statistical Abstracts. P. 173,183
13. Hawkinson, Don. Character for Life: An American Heritage. P. 166.

Is our Focus on the Cross?

In our fast paced lives, we can easily forget about the things that are the most important. Many times in our relationship with God, we tend to lose grasp of one thing; the life, death, and resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ. Many times Christians can get caught up in the latest end-times book released or caught up in the politics of the day that our focus is not on Jesus. Because the Gospel is the nucleus that holds biblical Christianity together, it is important that we have a strong grasp of it.

To start off with, we need, time and time again, to be reminded of what the Gospel is. It starts with that fact that we are totally depraved sinners that need a savior. Psalm 53 says, “God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” No one does good and no one is able to save himself. We have broken God’s law and we have to pay a penalty for it.That is why God the Father send his son, Jesus, to take the penalty we deserved by dying the most gruesome form of death imaginable. It was not just the most horrible form of death because he had been whipped, had his hands and feet nailed to a piece of wood, and was severely beaten, but He forebeared the wrath of God. The wrath you and I deserved was placed upon that cross. John Newton in his hymn said, “I saw my sins His blood had spilt and helped to nail Him there. But with a second look He said ‘I freely all forgive. This blood is for your ransom paid. I died that you might live.’” Jesus died so that we can live. We were dead in our transgressions and sins, but through Christ we were made alive. Not only did Jesus die, but he rose again from the dead. If Jesus did not rise, The Bible and the Gospel would be meaningless. He rose again and ascended into heaven and is reigning at the right hand of the father. One day, Jesus will return to judge the world. Oh let us not show our filthy hearts on that day. If you are not a believer, I would encourage you to repent of your sins and get things right with God. You do not want God saying to you on that day “Depart from me, for I never knew you.”(Matthew 7) This is the Gospel in a nutshell. Never lose grasp of it.

Pastor C.J. Mahaney once said, “Never be content with your grasp of the gospel. The gospel is life-permeating, world-altering, universe-changing truth. It has more facets than any diamond. Its depths man will never exhaust." Not only do we need to understand the Gospel, we need to apply into every area of our lives. Even though the questions of what constitutes biblical economics or government will not be addressed in this article, but the Gospel must be applied in those areas. We must place every area of our lives under the lordship of Jesus Christ. It is not enough to just go to church on Sunday, we must be out there preaching the Gospel, taking back the universities and educational institutes for Christ, and ministering to others. Why do we do this? It is because of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ is so wonderful that we need to live it and show others that. We need to proclaim that true not only to ourselves, but to the whole world.

How do we apply this glorious gospel to our lives? First, we must preach it to ourselves every day. Read the scriptures and learn more about Christ and his work on the Cross. All other Christian doctrines have their foundation on the Gospel. Can you not think of any doctrine that is not connected to the Gospel? In Eschatology, it is more concerned about the return of Christ than about what is going to happen. One scholar put it this way, “eschatology is thoroughly Christological. It’s about Jesus. Christ’s return is like the hub of a wheel, and all the other stuff is like spokes coming off that wheel. And they only have meaning relative to the hub, relative to Christ’s return.”1 It is consummation of the whole of redemptive history. In one part, Christ came down and died for the sins of those he loved. In the next, He will return to put an end to wickedness and bring home the people He redeemed. Concerning the doctrine of total depravity, we are sinners, unable to do any good, and we need a savior. That is simple enough. How about the church? If Christ did not die, there will be no need for a church because the blood of the lamb was never poured out. We would most likely be sacrificing animals prescribed by the levitical laws rather than enjoying the Lord’s supper or embracing baptism. I am sure you get the point by now. The main theme of the Scriptures is the redemptive work of Christ. It has been predicted and hidden in the Old Testament and reveled and fulfilled in the New Testament. Another way to apply the Gospel is to go out and tell it to others. This is a must for all Christians. If you do not have resources to teach you how to evangelize, look up “Way of the Master” (Led by Kirk Cameron, also known as Buck Williams in the Left Behind series, and Ray Comfort) or take a look at “Proclaim” (An evangelism program developed by pastors within Sovereign Grace Ministries). So now you do not have any excuses for not evangelizing! You need to get over your fear of man. People around the world get killed for proclaiming the Gospel. Here in America, the worst thing that can happen is a person rejecting the Gospel. People rarely get killed for evangelizing in the United States. Thirdly, we as Christians need to take back all social institutions for Christ. Rather than withdrawing from the culture and forming a Christian subculture, we need to reach out and take the Universities, our government, the press, and the culture for Christ. If we do not do this, there can be severe consequences. This mission will not be easy and it may be accomplished within a couple hundred years. These things are what Christians are called to do.

In closing, the Gospel is what our focus is on. Without it, all that we do will be meaningless. If Christ did not die, we will be lost and running as far as we can from God. Rather than getting focused on end-time charts and predictions, we must put our focus on the One who has the end in His hands. He is the reason for our existence. We should be thankful for the One who died for the sins of His people.

1. Purswell, Jeff. “The Last One”. Sovereign Grace Ministries. http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/cj-mahaney/post/2010/07/16/The-Last-One-Jeff-Purswell-Eschatology.aspx

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Failure of socialism/communism/welfarism

Here are some finer points discussion the issue of socialism vs. capitalism.

1. People think that a socialistic society will bring happiness and joy because everyone can be lazy. Well.... In Jamestown back in the Colonial days, this was put into pratice and the entire town was about to collaspe. In countries like China, North Korea, the former Soviet Union, people are forced to work in order to make the system work. In China, prisoners are forced to make products or be faced with a beating. People are forced to work or they will be killed. Period.

2. Many communists are dependent upon capitalistic nations for their survival. The Soviet Union would not have survived seventy years if it wasn't for the U.S. supplying it with technology and other products of a capitalistic economy.

3. I make can make the argument that the communist government officials are the Bourgeois that Marx strongly opposes and the proletriat are the citizens in the former Soviet Union, North Korea, and China being oppressed by the government officials.

Since this is brief, I will expand on this at a future time.