Thoughts to Ponder

Whose fault is it anyway?

I have lamented many times the decline into depravity of our society. I want to take a closer look at how this has happened. If you are thin skinned, or feel that we should not judge, or criticize, but rather that we should only 'build up' each other, then I suggest you quit reading now, because I plan to address some very touchy, but very important topics. If we can't stand to look at ourselves with a critical eye and see if we fall short of what a believer in  Christ is suppose to be, then woe be to us, for we are blind while claiming to be the light of the world!

This is difficult for me, not because I am afraid to speak out or to face criticism, I'm not, but rather because there is so much I am not sure where to start and how to keep on track. So I am just going to go for it and do my best, but I will probably miss many issues, but if you are willing to keep reading I think you will get the gist of what I am trying to communicate.

Ezekiel 22:30
    "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none." [NIV]

It shouldn't give us any comfort to know we aren't the first nation to be in this position as the above verse shows. God spoke to Ezekiel about Israel, His people and yet He couldn't find a man who would stand in the gap between Him and them so that He wouldn't have to destroy them. How could this happen? Simple, they took their eyes off of God, got complacent and allowed it to happen one step at a time.

The United States was founded as a Christian nation and that is fact, although many people deny it today. Even Christians deny that we were a Christian nation, and rather claim we were just a nation based on all religious freedom. No, we were a Christian nation, which also gave religious freedom to other religions and beliefs, there is a difference.

Do you realize that one of the first text books used to education children in the United States was the Bible? It was, and that didn't end 200 years ago, that it was actually quite recently a text book, but not today. Try to find a Bible in a public school today, much less find a school that uses it as a text book! If you find one it might just be in the trash where some teacher took it from a student and deposited it.

Whose fault is that? Well if we were founded as a Christian nation, which we were, then it can only be one group's fault: the Christians! We allowed it to happen.

Have you heard of the term separation of Church and State? Of course you have, but you won't find it anywhere in the founding documents. Oh, there is the freedom of religion, which states that the State can't force religion on anyone, but what happens today is that the State forces religion out of every public place using that very freedom against us! Again if we were founded as a Christian nation, controlled and ruled by believers, populated by a majority of believers, then whose fault is it that this happened? It is our fault!

Homosexuality is taught in the public school as just another acceptable lifestyle and I have had 'Christian' teachers tell me we need to do this so that we are teaching tolerance. Really? So should we also teach tolerance of rapist? How about pedophiles? Adulterers? Murderers? Liars? Where do you draw the line? Oh but you say, homosexuality isn't like pedophilia, or those other sins... Really?

1 Cor. 6:9-10
    Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders [10] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [NIV]

Seems God lumps homosexuality in with a bunch of other sins.

Romans 1:21-27
    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. [22] Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools [23] and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
    [24] Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. [25] They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
    [26] Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. [27] In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. [NIV]

Seems God thinks that same sex sexual relationships are a perversion, so when Christians claim we must teach tolerance for homosexuality they are in fact saying that we must teach tolerance for what God calls a perversion!

Now I am not saying that it is okay for anyone to harass a homosexual, but you don't have to teach tolerance for the perversion to teach that harassment is wrong. Do we teach kids that being fat is just another acceptable lifestyle choice? No, but we do teach them that it is wrong to harass a fat kid!

We now have open homosexuals in our military and who is to blame for that? Yes, it is Christians! Not that Christians wanted openly homosexuals to serve in the military, but by not confronting the camel's nose we allowed the whole camel into the tent and now we can only blame ourselves for the mess it is making!

I hear and read outrageous stories from the public schools all the time. A second grader who is taken to the Principal's office because he dared to pray over his peanut butter sandwich! Kids being suspended because they dare to wear a Christian themed shirt to school, after all it might offend someone! You can read these types of incidents daily in the papers and blogs and yet what do we as Christians do about it? We complain, and then send out children back into the Devil's school system, that we advocated to him!

If all Christians who were offended by these things would threaten and then follow through with pulling their children out of the public schools we could affect change, but sadly we won't. We don't have the stomach for facing evil head on, nor do we have the stomach for taking responsibility for our own children's education, so we sacrifice them on the alter of multiculturalism and wonder why they walk away from the faith in their late teens and early twenties.

I often talk to people who admit that the public schools are horrible, but... they claim their school or their child's teacher is different. Really? Even if your child's teacher is a Christian that teacher will still be required to teach evolution, to teach tolerance of the homosexual lifestyle, etc... Sure they may disagree and even be vocal about it in front of you, but they will either do what the system says to do or they will no longer be a public school teacher. It might take an act of congress to fire a teacher who is worthless, but trust me it is pretty easy to get ride of a Bible thumper.

We allowed God to be taken out of the public schools. We allowed evolution to be taught in place of creationism as fact. We allowed the government to tell us what we can and can't do in the name of separation of Church and State, when in fact the only prohibition is against what the government is actually doing, telling us what we can and can't do in regards to religion!

We Christians sit by and watch our religion ridiculed and even outright banned under the banner of the non-existent separation of Church and State, but the whole time the University of Michigan (for one example) using tax payer money installs foot baths so that the Muslim students can practice their religion! Remember that second grader sent to the principal's office for praying over his peanut butter sandwich? Well public work places and schools are actually setting aside 'prayer' rooms for the Muslims! And we just sit by and watch! We don't want to be labeled as intolerant!

I was appalled by many so called Christians who supported and voted for Obama. I heard one well known pastor in my community say that he voted for Obama because he was more Christ like than John McCain. Now I will be the very first to say I was no John McCain fan, but really, Obama, who refused to vote to ban partial birth abortions, who champions homosexuality causes was more Christ like than McCain? Oh, that's right, he (Obama) was a community organizer and wasn't Jesus also? No He wasn't!

See the community organizer of today keeps people in chains, oh they are velvet covered chains but chains none the less. Why do you think that the lower classes vote overwhelmingly for liberals? Because the liberals care more about them? They may think that is what it is, but it is exactly the opposite and it makes me sick to think Christians can't see it.

Forget race, forget all the things we are told about the underclass for a moment and think of your children. Let's look at two cases and you decide which child is going to be better prepared for life.  One child has parents that make him go get a job when he is old enough and even makes him pay a small amount of rent. The other child's parents give him everything he wants and makes it known that he doesn't need a job they will continue to take care of him, because they love him. Now just for the sake of argument let's say that at the age of 19 both children's parents are killed in a car accident and left no life insurance. Again who is going to be better off? Which parents do you think were truly more loving? I am not saying the second set of parents didn't love their child, but their love was so misguided that they hurt their child instead of helping him.

Now go back to the difference between liberals and conservatives, both care about people, but one wants to teach them to stand on their own, give them the help to be self sufficient, the other wants to hand them everything and keep them 'comfortable' and in the process keep them dependant on this help. They buy votes by giving endlessly, but those who receive this help fail to see the chains on their arms and legs, because they are comfortable chains.

That is why I call it soft-slavery, giving and continuing to give without any responsibility or accountability is slavery because the person never learns to be self sufficient. Is that what Jesus did? No, He came to set people free, not make them comfortable slaves! So are those heartless conservatives or those compassionate liberals more loving and more Christ like?

Yet so many Christians have bought into this false love that they will vote for someone whose policies will result in an unborn child's murder because he is 'more' compassionate than the pro-life candidate. How's that working for you? Unless you haven't been paying attention, the Secretary of Homeland Security put out an alert about a year ago claiming that we should all watch out for homegrown terrorist. Well, how can any of us disagree with that statement? The problem is that she gave examples of who those terrorist are likely to be; you know Muslims who refuse to integrate into society, Mexican illegals who bring drugs into our country, and join gangs and kill people who disagree with them. Oh, no I got that wrong, no she said the people to watch are veterans of the military and those hateful Bible clinging Christians! Yep that's right, she is more worried about our war heroes and church goers than any other group, because we are right wing fanatics and we all know how violent they can be. Obama himself had this to say about us: "So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

About 70% of Americans claim to be Christians, so whose fault is it that we have Obama in the Whitehouse?

Churches are ordaining homosexual pastors, and as we read God calls that a perversion. I guess He won't bother looking in that church for someone to stand in the gap, will He? Many churches haven't gone that far yet, but they are much further down the slippery slope than they may think.

Churches are more businesses than ministries these days. It is not uncommon for a church to pay for a demographic study of the surrounding community so that they can tailor their message and services to what they think those demographics would like. It is all about getting people in the door and keeping them coming back. What is wrong with that you say? Well the problem is that in order to get them in and keep them coming back the churches refuse to teach them what they really need to know, which is how to be reconciled to God and to serve Him. Seems that used to be the 'primary' purpose of a church, but times change and you either change with it, or well you know you won't have a mega church.

I attended a mega church, actually a couple of them, but one in particular that I want to talk about. There were three Sunday services and each service had well over 3,000 people, wow, how great is that? Well one Sunday the pastor said he wanted to read aloud a letter he had received that week. It was from a man who had attended but was writing to tell the pastor that he wouldn't be back. The man explained several things that bothered him about the church and one of them was that people looked like they walked right in from raking leaves to attend the service. The congregation went wild cheering. My family and I always dressed up for church, and I had noticed that most of these people didn't but hadn't really thought much about it until I saw how proud they were of it. These same people would dress up to go out to dinner or to a movie or where ever they went, but when it came to going to God's house they were proud to look like they just walked in off the street or from working in the yard. How did the pastor react to this? Well he was exuberant about it, he said, rightly so, that you don't have to dress up to worship. I say rightly so, because God is no respecter of persons, if you have a lot or if you have next to nothing doesn't matter, it is the heart that matters, however, weren't these people showing their heart by their reaction to this criticism?

Many churches have worship teams that include bands, and I have nothing against this, I think it is good to make a joyful noise to the Lord, but when you look like, and act like the world, you better look in the mirror and make sure you aren't 'of' the world!

I was an Elder in a church and one of the associate pastors used the F-word in front of me and my wife several times. I was appalled, I confronted the pastor and was told that he used that kind of language because he went out into the streets and witnessed to the lost and that is the way they spoke. I must have missed Jesus doing this same thing, after all He also preached to the people where they were.

I took this issue up with the senior pastor and again was appalled to find out that this wasn't something that no one knew about, it was common knowledge in the church. I even tried to show in scripture that this was wrong:

Luke 6:45
    The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. [NIV]

The senior pastor with my wife standing there with me told me that if God wanted to address this issue He would send someone forward to do so. I guess my wife and I weren't 'someone' enough. We quietly left that church, but received several e-mails from so called friends who accused us of trying to make a name for ourselves. Really, I was already an Elder, by leaving I gave up whatever claim to fame I might ever have had, and yet this is the reaction we received. See sadly we as humans don't like it when the light of truth is shined in our direction so we tend to lash out at those shining the light. I am prepared to get just that kind of reaction from this article, but I won't be silent!

2 Tim. 3:1-5
    But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. [2] People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, [3] without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, [4] treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- [5] having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. [NIV]

You know you could replace the word people in that passage with churches and much of it would fit today's churches. Keep track sometime how often your pastor preaches about tithing, or something similar, it might surprise you (lovers of money). Now I will admit that we are suppose to support those who teach and mentor us, but it is much more than that. First the church will tell the congregation to trust God for what they need, but by their actions they show they don't trust God to provide for the church without their help in pushing people to give.

My wife often tells me I am 'wordy' or long winded and I guess this article proves her point, but I haven't addressed all that I wanted to, but I will bring it to an end anyway. I want to go back to the first passage I quoted from Ezekiel but add one more verse:

Ezekiel 22:30-31
    "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. [31] So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord." [NIV]

Whose fault will it be when God destroys us? It will be the Christians fault. We need to wake up and turn back to God, destroy our idols and come out and be separate before it is too late. I fear that it is too late to turn this country around, but we must do our best. Stop compromising, stop making excuses, stop looking for the world to like you and start caring what God thinks, first and foremost. The book of Revelation makes it pretty clear that Israel stands alone at the end of time, we can't change that, but we can do our best to make sure we aren't part of the reason it stands alone.

E-Mail Ralph

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December 2011