Tag Archive: Religion and Spirituality


Should Evangelical Christians Vote for Trump?


A study guide for those who are heading to the polls this election cycle. The bible really does have a lot to say about exercising your faith in all areas of life, that includes your civic duties to society. Not voting or voting contrary to biblical principles has ripple effects throughout the entirety of society, and therefore your exercising your civic duty should be taken very seriously and approached prayerfully.

 

Evangelical Christians come in a variety of categories on the subject of politics. These different categories will help explain why some Christians who love Jesus and believe the Bible can vote for a man like Donald Trump who is opposed to what the Bible says on so many biblical issues.

Source: Why are Many Evangelical Christians Voting for Trump? ⋆ The Constitution

A Brand New Day!


erase_mistake

Psalm 103:12 (BBE)
12  As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our sins from us.

Philippians 3:13-14 (AMP)
13  I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14  I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

Tradition has it that many on New Year’s day make resolutions, plans and goals that they have for the upcoming year. By making resolutions we admit that in the past we have not lived up to our expectations and desire to make a change for the upcoming year. We reflect on what we wanted to do the past year, and make a promise to ourselves and others that we will attempt to do better this coming year. Many make a resolution to diet or exercise, some may plan on being a better parent or spouse, some may plan to make a career change or seek higher education, some may wish to make major lifestyle changes or relocate to another place, whatever the goal, resolutions by nature, indicate that we are not 100% satisfied with were we are in life.

Paul made this sentiment clear when writing to the Philippians in chapter three. He was resolved to learn more about Christ and to become more like him even to the point of sharing in the sufferings of Christ being conformed to Christ even in death. Paul, although he was accomplished in society did not regard his social standing as anything to boast about but rather tossed that aside as garbage when he came to Christ. He valued a relationship with Christ to be of more value then any earthly gain or status. Paul wanted to be associated with Christ to such a degree that he would actually suffer and die like Christ because of his faith in Christ.

Paul’s resolution stands in stark contrast to today’s resolutions because the focus of Paul was on the here-after and not the here-and-now. Paul chose to aim for and attempt to imitate one who was greater than he. He wanted to be like Christ. Paul admitted that he had fallen far short of his lofty goals repeatedly, and yet he held onto the hope that there was going to be a new day, another opportunity to try again to reach his goal. He had set his heart on which way he wanted to go, and although he had been knocked off course numerous times, he brushed off the failures and continued onward and upward.

One of the greatest gifts of Christ is the gift of forgiveness, Jesus came to erase our pasts and give us a new future, a new hope, another chance to do better. Although many observe a new beginning once a year, Christ gives us a brand new start every morning. His faithfulness is renewed each day, his forgiveness wipes out our failures of the past and we are given a clean slate to try yet again. He erases our mistakes and casts them into the sea of forgetfulness and does not hold them up to us as a constant reminder nor torment us with all our weaknesses and shortcomings. Jesus loves us enough to wipe away all our failures giving us a new start each and every day.

So then why not take today and thank God for giving you another opportunity to get it right and then, like Paul, take aim at the higher calling and press toward the goal of being more like Christ today. Take it one day at a time and do not fret if you come up short because the Lord has a new day in store for you as the morning sun rises.

Psalm 118:24 (GW)
24  This is the day the LORD has made. Let’s rejoice and be glad today!

Happy new day!


christmas peace decoration

One of the most favorite sayings and happy thoughts that are spoken frequently by people during the Christmas or “holiday” season is the phrase “Peace on Earth good will to men”. There are bumper stickers, signs, shirts, holiday cards, trinkets etc. that seek to capitalize and get out this optimistic and positive message. Even liberal secularists who reject biblical Christianity love to quote this phrase and claim it as their own. Sadly, this phrase is TOTALLY taken out of the biblical context and is perceived from a subjective godless utopian world perspective. This theme is repeated often from secular and even godless sources appearing everywhere, they like to toss around that God is love and that he preached peace on earth and that we all should simply get along.

Is that really the message the angels brought forth that first Christmas day? Let’s take a closer look shall we?

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:13 and 14 ESV)

I do need to note that only the King James bible quotes Luke 2:14 without the qualifying ‘with whom He is pleased’ or ‘upon whom his favor rests.’ This is an important concept that needs to be addressed. The wicked, then as now, do not find themselves in a peaceful, loving relationship with the almighty God. They, like us before accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, are lost without hope in the world (Eph 2:12) and separated from God.

They (or us if we turn from Christ) will find themselves facing a righteous and holy God without a remedy for their sinfulness. Their unrighteousness will dam them to an eternity separated from all that is good and right without any hope of rescue, nor peace from suffering. God’s word makes it clear…his wrath will come pouring down upon the head of the wicked.

Jesus reiterated this theme when he called his disciples together before sending them out as ambassadors of the gospel. Here is what he said:

Matthew 10:34-36 (NIV)
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–
36  a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

The message of Jesus brings about a great divide, it causes divisions and enmity between members of a household in addition to members of society at large. Paul put it this way in his letter to the Hebrews:

Hebrews 4:12 (HCSB)
12  For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

Let us not forget that Jesus came unto His own but His own received him not. Why?  The problem is not with the messenger nor the message the problem lies within us. We have no peace because we chose to live according to our own desires and wants and fail to accept the truth of God’s word. We ignore the gospel of peace and therefore continue to live without peace, and hope in this world.

John 3:16-21 (NIV)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Yes peace came into the world that first Christmas night, but only for those who accept the gift of God, sent to us from heaven in the form of a child wrapped in swaddling  clothes and lying in a manger. If we reject this peace of God we will forever be lost without hope, walking around in continued darkness, unable to ever grasp the peace that passes all understanding which can only be found through Christ Jesus. That is what the angels said that first Christmas night… Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to all those upon whom is favor rests.

The Silencing of the Lambs


My son, if sinners entice you, don’t be persuaded. If they say—“Come with us! Let’s set an ambush and kill someone. Let’s attack some innocent person just for fun!

Proverbs 1:10-11 (HCSB)

God‘s anger is revealed from heaven against every ungodly and immoral thing people do as they try to suppress the truth by their immoral living. What can be known about God is clear to them because he has made it clear to them. From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. They knew God but did not praise and thank him for being God. Instead, their thoughts were pointless, and their misguided minds were plunged into darkness. While claiming to be wise, they became fools. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for statues that looked like mortal humans, birds, animals, and snakes. For this reason God allowed their lusts to control them. As a result, they dishonor their bodies by sexual perversion with each other. These people have exchanged God’s truth for a lie. So they have become ungodly and serve what is created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen! For this reason God allowed their shameful passions to control them. Their women have exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. Likewise, their men have given up natural sexual relations with women and burn with lust for each other. Men commit indecent acts with men, so they experience among themselves the punishment they deserve for their perversion. And because they thought it was worthless to acknowledge God, God allowed their own immoral minds to control them. So they do these indecent things. Their lives are filled with all kinds of sexual sins, wickedness, and greed. They are mean. They are filled with envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and viciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, haughty, arrogant, and boastful. They think up new ways to be cruel. They don’t obey their parents, don’t have any sense, don’t keep promises, and don’t show love to their own families or mercy to others. Although they know God’s judgment that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do these things but also approve of others who do them. Romans 1:18-32 (GW)

The crowd shouted loudly to crucify the man Jesus who claimed that He and His Father were one. He dared to declare himself God. To a devote Jewish elder this was deemed blasphemous. How could a mere human claim to be equal with God let alone be God? They could not tolerate anyone who would claim to take the place of God in the world, this was a place they held for themselves. For the ruling elders set themselves up as final authority on all things God and all things right and wrong.  Theirs was the last word, the  ultimate ruling, the final voice all were to obey and bow down to. Now their authority was called into question, their viewpoints being challenged by this carpenter’s son. They could not allow a simple man like this challenge their positions of  authority and dethrone them from their lofty positions of power and influence. If this man was allowed to gain a following their powerful positions would be greatly weakened by an ever-increasing pool of opposition.  Therefore it was important to quiet this rebel rouser before he could influence a larger percentage of the population.

The voices of mainstream thought and ideology was never to be questioned. Theirs was the loudest voices and they wielded the greatest influence in society and those who held these positions liked it that way. Any attempt to challenge these all-knowing, purveyors of all that is  true and right were dealt with forcibly and decisively. There was to be no doubt in anyone’s mind who was in charge and who made the rules.

This was the reason Jesus had to die. It wasn’t because he committed any crime deserving of death but it was because he dared to speak truth to power. He dared to challenge their school of thought and challenge their leaders and rulers.  He dared called them out on  their duplicity and falsehoods. He dared say that their way was not the right way and that there was another way. And what authority did he cite as his source? He did not quote some secular scholar nor credit an accredited academy or attend any institution of higher learning. He did not run in the approved  circles, nor did he hold any approved credentials from any recognized authority, He only cited his authority from God.

How could an unlearned carpenter’s son know what is right and wrong? How could a non-seminarian understand the scriptures or dare challenge anyone who has spent their entire life studying from the greatest theologians of the day? Only those approved were permitted to espouse biblical scholarship a simple average person could not be permitted to teach in their synagogues.  His voice and position needed to be dealt with intense opposition. His voice needed to be silenced.

Why would these leaders fear an uneducated, non-credentialed, simple carpenter going about talking to people about the bible? They feared him because what he was saying they knew was true, and the truth was what they have worked so hard to hide from the people. They knew their positions were wrong but they were not going to ever admit it to anyone, nor allow anyone to challenge them.

Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Kill this messenger and the followers will disperse, and then things can go back to the way they are supposed to be. The people will return to following our ways and not questioning our authority nor challenging our rulings. Unfortunately for the ruling class the death of Jesus did not stop the movement for it continues til today. What they failed to realize was what Jesus was saying was 100% true and truth can not be killed.  Truth will remain regardless of all attempts to dismiss it.

And the battle continues to this day. Liars still attempt to kill the truth and deniers still try to silence believers. Take Phil Robertson as the latest example of a public verbal crucifixion. His is just another in a long list of such attacks which seem to be happening more often than in times past.  What was his crime? Attempting to put a bit of God-consciousness back in mainstream America, and for that he was viciously attacked.

This is the way public opinion works in this country today. If it goes against the all-powerful tides of a current societal view, you will assuredly be drowned out under the voices of scorn and rebuke. Tolerance of unpopular views has become intolerable. What we are left with is a fear of character, a hesitancy to stand behind that which has helped define the person you are. Speaking out for differing views and challenging the things as they are is a dying practice in this society. There is an overwhelming sense of complacency and slumbering that has descended upon hearts and minds, infecting the pool of personal thought and stagnating true social and political progress.

The take away from all of this is no matter how much things  change, much remains the same. Those who want to suppress the truth to live their wicked lives will stop at nothing to silence those who speak the truth especially if they cite God as their source.

Yes, and all whose purpose is to be living in the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, will be cruelly attacked. Evil and false men will become worse and worse, using deceit and themselves overcome by deceit. 2 Timothy 3:12-13 (BBE)

Let us be thankful that at least up to this point deniers are only resorting to verbal assassinations and have not yet risen to real crucifixion.  In other  countries believers are not as fortunate.

What can we expect in the future? Much of the same I’m afraid and probably worse since the only remedy for what ails us is Jesus and many have already crucified Him again and again, and will continue to do so to anyone who happens to call on His name, and is bold enough to speak in His name in the public square.

Let’s face it folks, there are many in America who do not want Jesus or want anything to do with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But be strong and of good courage for greater is He who is in us then he who is in the world.

Image.gifThis is a view from the nest. What say you?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.

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The Times They are a Changing


There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

English: Vineyard in Napa Valley

English: Vineyard in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really enjoy the smell of burning leaves wafting through the air at the arrival of fall. Living in Western Pennsylvania I am blessed with a change of seasons 4 times a year. We have the bleakness of winter with a countryside blanketed in white, melting into the beauty of spring and a countryside bedazzled with brilliant colors. Summertime rolls in and backyards are alive with outdoor activity, barbecues ablaze, swimming pools overflowing with those who are attempting to escape hot and humid evenings. We return full-circle back to fall and the brilliant colors of the changing leaves

Nature teaches us that there is a season and a time for everything. Scripture amplifies this theme of nature by declaring that indeed there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.

It is natural for nature to revolve in cycles because the Earth’s orbit revolves in a cycle which leads to our seasons. With just casual observation we can see the cycles of life, a time to be born a time to die, a time to plant a time to reap what was planted, a time to gather and a time to scatter, a time to build-up and a time to tear down. All this reflects the cycle of life. A modern-day idiom goes something like this, there’s nothing as constant as change. In fact the only thing we can really count on is that things will change. Without change there’s no room for anything new. The very purpose of fall is for old leaves to make way for new leaves that will appear in the spring. It is the order of life for the old to make way for the new.

Although things change some things remain constant; gravity and the laws of nature and of nature’s God. In order to support the changes of life, some things must remain constant and without change. If there were not gravity than life as we know it would not exist. If the earth did not rotate on it’s axis there would be no night and day, and if the earth stopped revolving around the sun the seasons would come to an end.

It is with that thought in mind that I address a rather disturbing trend in our society. Things that should not change are being changed and those changes are occurring rapidly, while at the same time things that ought to change are being held as sacred. The latter being etched in stone, while that which was actually etched in stone is being done away with.

All earthly governments, principalities, and powers, from the beginning until now, are uniformly represented in the Scriptures as wild beasts, full of destructive savageness and offensive uncleanness. It is but folly and fanaticism for men to talk of Christian states and governments in this world. Christians and good men may be concerned in their administration, and Christian ideas may sometimes temper their enactments, but earthly states and governments themselves are not Christian, and in the nature of things cannot be. They are all the products of devastated nature’s wilds, and full of ungodliness. Fix it as we may, such is the result. The best-planned institutions and the wisest laws are ever disappointing their framers. The same can be said of the United States government.

It is not surprising then to find the Sovereign Law of the Land, our Constitution, being ravaged and rewritten with hellacious fervor, the fact is the very law which God Himself delivered on etched stone from Sinai’s thunder-shaken heights could not restrain mankind from its sinful destructive nature.

Many revolutions have been wrought, and men have labored, and sacrificed, and bled, and died to achieve freedom and just governance, believing that they would secure the precious boon for which the race has sighed and cried for ages; but it was only a rearrangement of the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, an exercise in futility.

In our day especially, people are looking and longing for a grand “United Nations’, shaped to populism, and compacted by common laws, special interests, in which ‘enlightened’ ideas shall rule, and all the world be one; but the result will be, the very embodiment of hell itself, full of blasphemy and lies. Good shall be called evil and that which is evil will be exalted as good.

Revolutions, fundamental transformation, progressivism and liberal ideologies, which seek to overturn old creeds, and revise the Decalogue by introducing vain philosophies of men with its attempts to rule out a personal God and exalt self in His place, and all man’s foolhardy ideas to reconstruct society, much as they may promise, and successfully tug at the heart, are in the end destined to fail.

Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand]. But wicked men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves. 2 Timothy 3:12-13 (AMP)

What ought we to do then as Christians living in a fallen world being ruled by fallen men whose hearts and minds are being deceived and growing worse and worse? Should we simply throw our hands up in defeat? One could come to that conclusion when we review the events that took place in our country just last week. A couple of lone Senators stood-up to declare that the road we are traveling is ruinous and we need to go in an entirely new direction, only to find themselves shouted down and demeaned for having the audacity to stand-up for what they believed to be right. These men and women of courage took a stand to face down the evil ideologies of those who are trying, and succeeding in fundamentally transforming our society. The few stood tall calling for a change. They wanted to change course and try something different only to be told that what is, is ‘settled law’, written in stone, not to be undone by them or anyone else. There was nothing they could do. So we might as well surrender and sit down and shut-up.

Most thinking people could easily argue that when a product proves defective you repair, replace, or junk the product and try something else, only in government is it ever wrong to ask for a change, to argue for a better outcome, to dare to seek to right a wrong. Although our Constitution allows ‘we the people’ to ‘Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances’ we are forbidden to do so in all actuality. When Senator Ted Cruz stood to protest Obamacare he was standing for many American people who felt they were being wronged by their government and as such was asking for redress, only to be ignored.

Things need to change in D.C. there is no doubt about it, but things also need to change in the heartland of America. We need to regain our ‘righteous’ footing and restore the sure foundations upon which we wish to build our society. We can not continue to allow the wholesale slaughter of innocent children, and the destruction or should I say the reconstruction of the family unit to go unchallenged. This must not be acceptable by those who call themselves Christian. I am afraid that there are too many “Christian” in name only who are siding with the destruction of our society and enabling those in power to continue their onslaught.

We do need to choose sides, stand with the Lord and his laws or stand with those who are actively doing all they can to erase any mention of God from our society. In the end there will only be two camps. Those who are standing with the Lord when he returns and those who will be fighting against the Lord. Which side do you suppose comes out victorious?

The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of offense [persons by whom others are drawn into error or sin] and all who do iniquity and act wickedly, And will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth. Then will the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let him who has ears [to hear] be listening, and let him consider and perceive and understand by hearing. Matthew 13:41-43 (AMP)

Yes indeed things will change, and a law will be established, that which was sent down from heaven will once again become the chief cornerstone, the rock that the builders of our current societal structure have rejected. God’s law is the only one that is ‘settled’. it is good policy then to stand for the unshakable, immovable, written in stone, unalterable, that which is sure to remain. With whom will you be standing?

“All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25 (NKJV

And that is the way I see it.

eagle_feather_icon.gifThis has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

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