Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Phil and A&E

I've been in a writing mood and was wondering what I could blog about. Thanks to the repressive folks at A&E, I have a blog!

Let me be clear up front. I'm not a huge fan of Duck Dynasty. My oldest son loves it; I can take it or leave it and actually find it to be on the silly side. It smacks of typical reality TV to me. Yes, I'm pleased they show Christian values and prayer but it's simply not my cup of tea.

I have friends and family who have chosen the homosexual lifestyle. Yes, I said "chosen." God didn't design a man to be with a man or a woman with a woman, end of story. There's NOTHING at all natural about a man wishing to put his penis into the anus of another man. However, that's not the point of this posting to debate whether homosexuality is something natural or not.

We have a Constitutional right to free speech. Phil Robertson exercised that right. I'm sure from a legal standpoint A&E can suspend him indefinitely from the show for whatever reason they want. However, had Phil came out in support of the homosexual lifestyle this would all be a moot point. He would be heralded as a hero and be given accolades for daring to be different. But because he disagreed with a MINORITY of the population, a vocal minority at that, he's going to be suspended from the show. Bull hockey!

What happened to the right of the straight guy being able to speak his mind? In college classes we're told how we're supposed to respect the "differences" of those around us. Well, it's about high time people start "respecting" my "difference!" I'm tired of being expected to roll over and play dead when I have a dissenting opinion that isn't politically correct.

However you choose to live your life isn't my business. I may disagree and I will pray for you but it isn't my business. However, if I'm asked my opinion of a lifestyle, I will most certainly state my opinion. It's a scary situation when people start being reprimanded for having an opinion. George Orwell certainly comes to mind right now..........

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It matters who you date, Christian single!

13For men of this stamp are sham apostles, dishonest workmen, assuming the garb of Apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder. Satan, their master, can disguise himself as an angel of light. 15It is therefore no great thing for his servants also to disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be in accordance with their actions. (Weymouth New Testament)

When we watch an old cartoon or maybe look at a comic strip, how is Satan displayed? Usually as this comical little guy wearing a red suit, holding a pitchfork and having pointy ears and a tail. Now if Satan came disguised as that no one, I repeat NO ONE, would likely fall for his tricks. Instead he generally comes to us as something or someone that looks good and doesn't hold any appearance of evil. Indeed, the Scripture posted above bears this out. What does this mean for the Christian single?

There are many ways in which Satan might come at a Christian in an effort to entice them but I want to focus on this from an aspect of Christian singles who are seeking God for that someone special in their lives. As someone who's been through a bad marriage which resulted in a divorce, I can tell you first hand what the wrong relationship will do to your walk with Christ. Satan doesn't have just one trick up his sleeve, either.

Too many people have the idea of "missionary dating." Hey, if only I can get him/her to come to church with me, I can change him/her! Yeah, that's all it will take! I had the same idea as a teenager and even dated someone who wasn't a Christian. Now before I go too much further, let me say there's nothing wrong with witnessing to a non-Christian and inviting them to church. Dating them will likely lead to a disaster! A dear friend of mine gave me the illustration once of two people, one standing on the altar and one lying in the floor. The person on the altar is the Christian and the one in the floor the non-Christian. Which is going to be easier, pulling the person up or pulling the Christian down? Same thing will happen if you choose to enter in a relationship with a non-Christian.

Perhaps the most dangerous thing is the person proclaiming themselves a Christian who isn't. This falls into two categories. My pastor is a funeral director and he says that many times when he asks what religion a person was, he gets told "Baptist." That person hasn't darkened a church door in years but they claim themselves of the Christian religion. No pointy fingers here or no judgement passing. That person has to answer to where they stood with God. It's the second one that's much more dangerous to the Christian if they're not careful.

About three years ago, I met a lady online. We had both been a part of Christian Mingle and had a ton of mutual friends in common. We decided to see if there was something "there" between us. She seemed like a dream come true. Church secretary. She helped with the youth in her church and I believe even taught Sunday School some. She explained to me she was waiting for marriage and ANY guy who tried ANYTHING with her was out the door. Yes, sir, sounds great! If it sounds too good to be true.....

She "slipped up" one morning and suggested we should sleep together when I came to visit. When I called her out on it, well, it was a joke. Bad taste but a joke. Okay, we're human and mistakes happen. Other little things came up here and there but always she had an excuse. Hey, I'll admit it, I had been suckered in by all her smooth talk; I wanted it all to be true. Just like a car that we desperately want and we fail to check under the hood to see what problems there might be. When I finally did meet her in person, the "slip ups" weren't slip ups at all. This self-professed Christian lady did not at all portray the persona she had presented.

Be careful in what you'd doing, Christian singles! The devil would love nothing more than to trip us up. Trust me when I say a miserable relationship/marriage WILL hurt your relationship with God!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas. To do or not to do, that is the question!

I'm a Christmas nut. Many, many moons ago my ex-wife and I decorated our little apartment in October. Shoot, I'm usually listening to Christmas music in August and I'm Walmart's first shopper in the Christmas section when they put it out.

I realize that many say Christmas has pagan origins and we shouldn't celebrate it. If that's your personal conviction, so be it. I would never attempt to shove Christmas down the throat of someone who didn't believe in its celebration. I would also hope that the reverse would be true; I don't wish to have someone condemning me because of my belief that it's alright. I think this comes down to what Paul talked about in the New Testament. He said some believed it okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols and others did not; he said that we must answer to Christ in regards to what we allow or don't allow.

Perhaps some of the Christmas traditions can be traced back to pagan influences. Number one, I've never been a pagan nor was I alive when the traditions were changed! Let me address the common arguments I hear and I will address them as to how I believe.

One thing I've always heard is that Jesus could have not been born on December 25th. You know, I'm not a theologian nor do I know enough about what the climate was during the time of year He was born. I do hear people make the point that it's always other religions honoring their deity on December 25th. I've always heard that Satan has an imitation for everything real. We find variations of Noah's flood in other religions. We find attempts in other religions to have a savior/redeemer. If Satan is the expert in copying Christianity for other religions, why not copy December 25th for these other religions? Again, there's nothing in Scripture to bear this out but it is a thought.

Another thing I hear often is the "Santa Claus myth" and/or how close "Santa" is to "Satan." I'll take this issue one thing at a time. People say that if you tell your kids about Santa that they will find out it's a myth and they'll also believe Christ to be a myth. Okay, I can see that point but I disagree. First of all, I don't, nor have I ever, prayed to Santa. I don't go to the First Pentecostal Church of Santa. I don't read a Bible about Santa. Growing up, I knew what was real and what was fake. I took Santa no more serious than I did Bugs Bunny or Woody Woodpecker. And for the Santa vs. Satan thing, a quick bit of research will fix that. Santa is another word for "saint." We have Santa Monica in California and there's also the Santa Anna winds; I don't hear anyone saying they must be a haven of evil!

Third of all, if Christmas were this huge pagan holiday that we should avoid, why do we have the ACLU fighting tooth and nail attempting to remove nativity scenes from the public square? We're talking the same group who wishes to remove any religious references from the public square including The Ten Commandments and other vestiges of Christianity. If Christmas offends them, it must not be a big pagan holiday, right?

So, here's my take on the subject of Christmas. I'm not worshiping a tree, not at all! What did Christ hang upon when He died for our sins? A tree! The Christmas tree of choice is an evergreen tree, a tree that stays alive year-round. That reminds me of the eternal life I'm promised when I die or go via the rapture. The decorations, well, I don't worship those either. They remind me of the beauty of Heaven. If we read Revelation it describes the Holy City and the beauty of it. The lights remind me that Christ is the light of the world and that we are to project that light to a lost and dying world. It could also remind us of the star that led the Magi to the Christ-child.

If you choose not to celebrate, more power to you; I won't condemn you or call you names. All I ask is the same respect for my choices!