Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Cross

The Cross

Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.

Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One who suffered there for me;
and from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess:
the wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross

I Cor.1:17-24 - For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Oh dear ones, where is the cross? Why have we sold our hope for a mess of pottage? Why do we preach morality and patriotism and family and finances and everything else under the Sun, but backpedal the cross except for some perfunctory asides that make us feel good about our doctrinal selves? Watch as some well known pastor is invited to be on Larry King and listen as they speak of homosexuality, abortion, moral values, traditional marriage, and the political issue du jour. But cup your ear and see if they spend any time speaking about the cross. Sadly, your ears strain in vain.
Do we not believe the cross and its power survived the Industrial Revolution? Do we now believe the preaching of the cross is so unsophisticated to the modern mind that we must now use other means that are more palatable to the unsaved spiritual taste? I mean, what idiot would converse with Stephen Hawkings and share the cross of Jesus Christ with his massive intellect? We might be mocked for such an archaic idea. So many churches have become circuses designed to either ignore the cross altogether, or slip it in the back door so as to avoid any real offense. The cross has become an offense to the visible, western church. God forgive us.
We have become so wise in our own eyes, and so crafty and cunning. Experts in the art of communication, entertainment, effective lighting, moving music, and relevant preaching, we have abandoned that which the Apostle says is the power of God. And jettisoned along with the cross of Jesus Christ is any cross bearing in our own lives. We desire the resurrection, or at least the newness of life, without the suffering and shame of the cross.
Most Christian television and radio is an affront to God and His message. The Christian bookstores have no conscience and Biblical compass; they are nothing more than money making enterprises. But so are many churches. Ask your church for the list of sermons and sermon series over the last five years and see how often the cross is the theme as compared with earthly themes. And more personally, think about how often you worship Christ for that cross in your daily walk, and recall any time where you actually shared that cross with a lost person in the last five years.
Compared with the cross, we have no problem sharing with a lost person how Jesus can help his life. But a crossless Christianity is no Christianity at all. And I do not mean just having the cross as a conspicuous part of our religious creed. There are many “orthodox” churches who have as part of their creed the words “Jesus died for our sins upon the cross”. Oh yes, we believe that! We are not liberal or emergent and our statement of faith proves that and reveals how orthodox we really are. But as I said, in mixed company and when on the national stage, the cross doesn’t even make the topic list, much less be the core theme.
The cross is our life, and it should be the banner of God’s people. Should Jesus tarry the cross will continue to be ignored and even maligned. Many emergents have suggested it represents defeat and even cosmic child abuse. Many modern day thinkers no longer embrace the cross as wholly redemptive, and many now suggest it is a spiritual example of what we should not do to others. But those things are easily recognized as deceptions and departures from the obvious teachings of Scripture, but there is a more subtle deception. When we take solace in the fact that we see that deception and remain steadfast doctrinally concerning the cross, but we are deceived as well. You see, when the evil one cannot get a people to deny the cross or change its redemptive message, he showers them with pride while they themselves move away from the cross, not doctrinally, but in their words and lives.
And voilà! The cross has become a doctrinal relic that no longer actually has a discernible place in our everyday lives, and is a fringe issue in many of our gospel presentations. Let’s be honest, the idea that a dead Jew on a Roman instrument of extreme public torture is unsavory and sounds so out of place in any reasonable discussion of spiritual things. With the rise of education, and with the advent of technology, and with the elevation of our standard of living, the message of the cross seems so primitive and unrealistic. So unless we actually believe the words of the New Testament, we are left to our own wisdom and spiritual strategies, which in fact, is exactly what Paul warns against.
And faced with such a dilemma, we can only address our own plight while praying for the body of Christ collectively. It just may be that the western church will not return to faithfulness to Christ and His gospel, but God only holds you personally accountable. And meditate upon this thought: If I was the only believer on earth right now, how would Jesus desire me to live and speak? And if I was the only believer on earth today, when I died would Christianity die with me? Is there anything concerning Jesus in my life right now that would warrant persecution? Are people around me affected by my walk in Christ, either positively or negatively?

The cross of Jesus Christ is the power of God.

And take notice of these last two lines,

Content to let the world go by to know no gain nor loss
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.

Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.

Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One who suffered there for me;
and from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess:
the wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

This Young Man is Gay

I cannot help but cry. This is why Jesus came, and yet this young man is exactly who the church maligns and rejects and votes against and, yes, even hates. Where oh where have we left Jesus?

Comments Closed


FYI - Most of you will not care but I have blocked any comments on my blog. I just cannot read anymore arguments and back and forth between people. Even when I post about Jesus and His cross people find it necessary to either provide their own commentary or point out something I missed or argue with each other. And for the most part these are people who would agree with me on false teachers and the slide of the modern church. But they are blind to their own carnal nature which is bathed in self righteousness. I cannot read any more useless arguments.
I realize my blog is very insignificant and has only a few readers so do not think this is a very big event. Most of you will not care but I believe God's Spirit is grieved with my comment thread. Gone.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

What do You Hear?


Rev.2:7 - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches...WHAT DO YOU HEAR???????????

I hear the panicked sound of demons as they scurry to steal, kill, and destroy before they are bound. I hear the whole world preoccupied with this world as they neglect the world to come. I hear the cackles of Lucifer's legions as they mock God's people and their anemic commitment to the Savior Himself. I hear the satisfied groans of Satan as his massive deceptive shift from the unseen to the seen has produced results far beyond his expectations. I hear the clinking of coins as believers lay treasures upon treasures on this earth. I hear the echoes of the empty prayer closets and the silence of the unturned pages of God's Word. I hear the constant sound of the last sands of the hourglass hitting the bottom but void of the bold prophets of God unashamedly calling us to prepared repentance.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR????????????
I hear the vows of men to men and women to women pledging their marital commitment to each other while I hear God's spouses breaking theirs. I hear the silent screams of unborn babies being murdered alive in their own mother's wombs while the sound of computer keyboards in the houses of God's people check their portfolios. I hear Israel's enemies gathering around her and the church calls no solemn assembly with prayer and fasting. I hear hell giggle as preachers tell stories and jokes and congregations leave feeling good about their situation without ever knowing what it means to be under the mighty Sword of God's Word. I hear 150,000 souls slip into a tormented eternity ever single day while we sleep on dry, careless pillows.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR???????????

I hear a church whose footsteps seek the things of this present world. I hear slander and gossip and lies and scorn and self righteousness and all sorts of unwholesome words. I hear fairy tales told by hollow men who claim to speak for God and yet live for themselves. I hear automobile engines as they run to Sunday gatherings anxious to have their ears tickled once again. I hear moaning and groaning, not in prayer but in response to economic conditions. I hear the sounds of the powerless expressions of Christ’s church which are fueled by the flesh and not the Spirit.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR???????????

hear a faint but growing, guttural, powerful roar in the distance as if coming from a magnificent, celestial Lion. It's permeating the atmosphere, connecting with the spiritual ears of His pride, and sounding out a warning of impending doom to all His enemies. He has already marked His territory and the sound of His gigantic paws grows closer and closer. He started with a determined walk two thousand years ago, began to gain speed through the centuries, and He now runs with His fiery eyes fixed and with justice dripping from His tremendous jaws from which He will roar out His irresistible and powerful Word to the four corners of the Earth. I hear His enemies turn their heads in fear as they recognize the gathering storm in the distance is rapidly coming to fulfill the destruction which this Lion has promised to all who oppose Him. All will tremble, all will wonder, all will bow before Him on that great and terrible day.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR???????????

I hear the growing echo of "Behold He Comes" surrounding this Mighty Lion of Judah as He snorts great clouds of wrath from His nostrils!! His subjects prepare to welcome Him with waves of regal worship as this Lion King promenades through His victory. I hear the voice of Judah's Lion beckon for His rightful bride with a wave of His nail-pierced paw, and I hear Him lovingly purr "Come up with Me". I hear a blood bought lioness brought before her Worthy Bridegroom and prostrate herself in love and worship, and I hear this August Lion say "Well done thou good and faithful servant" to His bride.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR???????????

I hear this Lion breathing, panting, speaking, and coming, shaking out God's glory from His massive mane and with all the armies of heaven His entourage. I hear the clarion call of this Holy Lion's Spirit commanding His pride, "Awake from your sleep and arise! The battle is joined, run to it in My power. Put aside your worthless toys and glorify My Name. Away from your shaded places of rest and pleasure and spoil the enemy's camp. Speak what I speak, walk as I walk, shout my name in the heavenlies, stay under the banner of my blood, and be filled with My Spirit. Count it an honor to give your very life for Me and be assured My reward is with Me! I will avenge my enemies, and all who follow Me will share!!"


God's Love Revealed Through Us


II Tim.1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

So often we have heard these words and many times the application centers around our earthly lives. People have told us to be bold in business opportunities, or in investments, or in politics, or even in war. But it seems the emphasis is always on rejecting the spirit of fear and embracing the spirit of power, but little emphasis is placed upon the spirit of love. And this love does not come from this world, but it comes from above.

Let us be very honest and transparent. It is most difficult to love as Christ loves, especially toward those people who reject Christ. It is a profound paradox that God can love sinners and sentence them to eternal judgment as well. That is in the realm of mystery but it is true nonetheless. The kind of theology that teaches that God hates the non-elect makes room for hardened hearts and self righteousness.

Rom.5:8 - But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God loves the sinner. All sinners. The unambiguous teaching of Scripture has always been that God loves everyone and has given His life for everyone as well. That is the divine love which we are called to emulate. Leave it to carnal men to create a false theology that suggests God hates those to whom He has not offered redemption, and climbing upon that foundation of hate it becomes almost God-like to hate sinners as well. But that is not Christ.

Just a cursory reading of the 13th chapter of I Corinthians presents a colossal challenge concerning the manifestations of love. This is no “Valentine’s day” kind of love, or even some saccharine mush that is much more like a freshman crush than an eternal sacrifice. This kind of love has no equal. But again, we are called, yea commanded, to love others as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us. Can there be any higher challenge?

And just telling them the truth falls embarrassingly short of loving them as Christ does. Who would have thought that some in the doctrinal Bourgeoisie would suggest that spouting doctrinal truth would suffice as love? In an astounding act of creative self righteousness, some believers have used truth to circumvent the colossal challenges of being and living like Christ. Telling people the truth is indeed a necessary component of divine love, but there are many deeply sacrificial and self denying aspects of divine love that are disobliging to our flesh and present demanding paths of discipleship not usually traversed by the common believer‘s journey. These paths all have one thing in common: a destination called Golgotha.

And it is at the place of crucifixion that we find the treasure trove of God’s love. And although its depths have never been plumbed, we are called to go beyond gazing, beyond the doctrinal realities, and beyond just pointing to its redemption. We are called to die. And birthed in that death is the resurrected life of Jesus Christ. What words can wrap around such a mystery, and yet that is our command.

God’s love is Jim Elliot refusing to fire upon the Indians who are running to kill him. God’s love is a 20 year old woman contracting leprosy and continuing to minister to those who God loves. God’s love is two young American women wearing burqas so they can reach the Taliban women. And perhaps this is God’s love revealed in human vessels:

Two young Moravians heard of an island in the West Indies where an atheist British owner had 2000 to 3000 slaves. And the owner had said, "No preacher, no clergyman, will ever stay on this island. If he’s shipwrecked we’ll keep him in a separate house until he has to leave; but he’s never going to talk to any of us about God. I’m through with all that nonsense." Three thousand salves from the jungles of Africa brought to an island in the Atlantic and there to live and die without hearing of Christ. Two young Moravians heard about it. They sold themselves to the British planter and used the money they received from their sale, for he paid no more than he would for any slave, to pay their passage out to his island for he wouldn’t even transport them. As the ship left it’s pier in the river at Hamburg and was going out into the North Sea, carried with the tide, the Moravians had come from Herrenhut to see these two lads off, in their early twenties. Never to return again, for this wasn’t a four year term; they sold themselves into life-time slavery. Simply that as slaves, they could be a s Christians where these others were. The families were there weeping, for they knew they would never see them again. And they wondered why they were going and questioned the wisdom of it. As the gap widened and the housings had been cast off and were being curled up there on the pier, and the young boys saw the widening gap, one lad with his arm liked through the arm of his fellow, raised his hand and shouted across the gap the last words that were heard from them, they were these: "MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN, RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING!" This became the call of Moravian missions. And this is the only reason for being, That the Lamb that was slain, may receive the reward of His suffering.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Twisted American Christianity


Wake up all you who claim to follow Jesus. If you live in America you have been deceived regardless of how pretty and orthodox your paper doctrines may be. Watch this video of a believer from Nigeria.


While we play games with Duck Dynasty and Chick-Fil-A and boycotts there are thousands of believers who live in utter danger because they believe in Jesus and thousands of others who will die for their faith. But the clever Americans have invented a brand of persecution which costs nothing and can be experienced in air conditioned homes while watching television and sipping on a latte. Yes, it’s that disgusting.

We know nothing of true Christianity. Nothing at all. We practice a shell, a façade, and a religious system which makes us feel self righteous because we can wrap our moral convictions around ourselves and cast stones on sinners of all stripes. The church rallies to save a nation while brothers and sisters worship with the sound of bullets. We build large and debt ridden buildings in order to make our “worship experience” as American as possible. We cut the ribbon provided by some secular institution and we praise God for His provision. And just what did God provide? Good credit so the world can lend you the money and thereby MAKE MONEY ON THE BACK OF THE CHURCH? Just what kind of lunacy is that?

And I saw this just last week:

American believers were outraged that these men might be denied a spot on a secular television station because they believed homosexuality is a sin. And wrapping ourselves in our moral phylacteries we suggested boycotting that particular station. That is what the power of God has come to in America. Boycotts. There are literally thousands of things we as believers should not watch or attend or support just because of their unhealthy spiritual affect, but we Americans need everyone to know we are boycotting something because we are so moral. Never mind Jesus said to not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (do good things in secret) so we may please our Heavenly Father. We need people to see us as we parade our moral Americanism.

We must stand against the onslaught of the unsaved hordes. Oh yes, instead of living and sharing the gospel with them while looking beyond their sin and seeing their desperate need of Christ, we must speak out against them and enter the moral tug of war. And of course we might say the name of Jesus or speak His gospel to the same people who we are tugging against, but even a fool can see the unscriptural nature of such a construct. We might want to consider the cross in all of this. It is an epic disgrace to the very cause of Christ and His gospel! The church has succumbed to the sirens of this world. We have left the prayer closet and instead of denying ourselves for His sake we have become pro-active in attempting to maintain or recreate a moral cultural climate which appeals to us. In effect, we want less sinful sinners in our own neck of the woods. How self serving and what a fool’s errand that is.

The brand of Christianity which is now practiced in America is all wrong on many levels. From its support of war, to its patriotic spirit, to its capitalism, to its glorification of leaders, to its worldliness, to its hatred of sinners, to its Sunday “services”, and throughout the entire structure we see the handprints of man and not the desires of God. And we who are “orthodox” are every bit the participant in all of it although we remain smug because our doctrinal barns are quite full. While we treat the Scriptures as a study book by which we can organize its truths, we actively disobey it across the board. Just the Sermon on the Mount would be sufficient evidence of our spiritual treachery. Go ahead and fool yourself if you wish but the church has been captured by the spirit of this world. Believers are shot to death while in church and speak the blood of Jesus while the bullets shatter their craniums, but in America we pray for moral laws to be passed. We are fools and fools indeed.

But you cannot reason with most professing believers. They bristle at the very thought of any change. In fact they reject even the suggestion that they consider some change. And when you speak words like mine they run for cover back into the ecclesiastical forest of no return. I understand. To the natural man the things of God are foolishness. And yet even “moral” unbelievers and conservatives feel right at home joining with churches and believers on a variety of issues. Is that what our Lord told us? Did Jesus say that the world will love us and find us as allies? This kind of Christianity is a self serving sham and a mockery to the very Redeemer it claims to follow.

I do not write these things in hopes of the church by and large to repent. I write to strengthen my brethren who have already been awakened to this monstrosity generally called “Christianity” and also to water the seeds that have been sown in others. When you construct a system where leaders must protect their domain because the support for them and their families is at stake then compromise is inevitable. And the tepid spiritual commitments of the congregations are usually unchallenged because numbers are important and the leaders do not want anyone to leave unless they are causing trouble.

This is what we have. This is what we practice. And this is what we want. We want just enough Jesus to get us into heaven but not enough to cause real sacrifice or self denial or in many cases even inconvenience. And even in that accommodating atmosphere we still feel the need to “suffer persecution” and bellow loudly. Did you hear the tone on that Nigerian man’s voice? Was he outraged? Did he demand retribution? Was he circulating a petition?

Find a man who is living in earthly pleasures and having his needs and wants fulfilled. Have some astronomer tell that man that all he has is sitting right where an asteroid is about to fall. That man will convince himself that the information is erroneous and everyone else who is at risk will convince each other until almost no one moves. And so it is with the American brand of Christianity. We are way too comfortable and have way too many material blessings to even consider the notion that it is all wrong. And we have our fellow professing believers to assure us that radicals like me have just become unhinged and are dwelling in the land of self righteousness and all or nothing utopia.

I will openly admit to uncountable shortcomings and always being engaged in a battle against self righteousness. Those things are very true. However what I have written here is also very true. And you have heard it from the lips of a bone fide nobody.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Radical Worship


"I was invited to a gathering one time, where their brochure announced there would be a worship leader demonstrating radical worship... the term "radical worship" did cause me to think of a couple of instances in the Bible which I would describe as being radical worship. Job, a righteous man, afflicted by Satan with God´s permission so that he lost almost everything, and was afflicted with a very severe skin disease and sat in a pile of ashes, worshipping God. I would call that very radical."
-George H. Warnock

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Bloodshed in His Name?


Had I ever really stopped to think about it in years past? Did I just blindly accept what others told and taught me? When I was born again and ushered into a system already entrenched in itself, was I wise enough to consult the Spirit or did I just acquiesce to the acceptable and the evangelical norm? The answer is obvious. The older and wiser and ordained dictated my thoughts and ways, and very quickly I became one of them, only retaining my own name.

But as I grew in Him I began to hear and see something that became more and more distressing. How could bloodshed be the way of Jesus? Everything He lived and taught seemed at odds with the principles I had come to embrace. I entered into a season of confusion and a fresh introspection where I would hold everything I thought I knew against the specter of Scriptural truth and the gospel narratives. I had played the fool and what was presented as “sound doctrine” was in reality an open mangling of God's Word and the Spirit of Jesus. An American spirit had replaced the Spirit of Jesus and I am ashamed to say that I bought into it.

Col.3: 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Just what in God’s dear name does that verse mean? Does that mean we can drop napalm on people in His name? Does it mean we can blow the heads off lost sinners in His name? Does it mean we can drop bomb filled drones on villages in His name? As I have suggested in many posts, the Bible is no longer relevant and surely not taken literally even by the literalists. Can we throw a hand grenade and see several men become unattached to their appendages and then give thanks to God?

And yet that is EXACTLY what churches do. I remember at the beginning of the Iraq war under George Bush the first, and the church service would open in prayer for the safety of the American soldiers. Of course the unspoken part of that prayer is let others die and let Americans live. I look back on those days and it all seems so fleshy and part of the world’s system, but I could not see it back then. I assumed violence and war had to be part of the kingdom of God sometimes because we could not trust Him to take care of us, and anyway God was always quick to defend the country He created. How foolish I was.

Who will take the time and exhibit the vulnerability to search the New Testament and discover if there are allowances for violence and carnage in certain cases? And why didn’t Jesus encourage His followers to violently overthrow the Roman government, after all they were experiencing taxation without representation? Oh, you think that is absurd? You are correct. Think about it.

Line up the idols. The founding fathers, politicians, democracy, capitalism, voting, and America itself. And out of these spring an acceptable way to think and act. Do you see what has happened? We have taken the Word of God, melted it down, and poured into the Statue of Liberty and called it truth. Wow, I know the Spirit is dealing with many thousands of believers across this land. Just from the e-mails I receive I have heard many testimonies of believers who have reassessed everything they thought they knew. But it is most difficult to extricate our hearts and minds from these issues because they have found such deep places within us.

And without exception, we who are set free from the bondage of nationalism and all its accoutrements, we experience an amazing sense of freedom and a new awakening to the Word and the way of Jesus. Oh dear brothers and sisters, I beseech you in His name to ponder these things. We are no better than anyone else, but there is such living water in this freedom. You shall know the truth and you shall be set free. This is not a 1960’s form of rebellion against the establishment. No, this is a return to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus and a submission to His path of self denial.

I can no longer justify bloodshed in His name because the New Testament calls me to a different lifestyle. Oh how many lives have been lost because men have been misguided and thought they are fighting for God when in fact they are fighting against God? The story of mankind continues to be fraught with all kinds of viciousness and sin. And with all the wars that have been fought and won, has it changed one thing? Will the next war end all wars? Will the lives that are lost be nothing to God? And those who follow Jesus, can they massacre other human beings and claim to be His hands and His feet regardless if they champion an earthly cause?

I know, I know. It seems much too radical and way out the mainstream of evangelical thought. I know. But isn’t it time some of us begin to think out of the mainstream of evangelical thought and begin to think as does Our Wonderful Lord of Life? I know…I know. Perhaps we will find time tomorrow to seek His face and hear His voice. Until then let the blood continue to flow. Only honor Him in this way. Do not use His name as the carnage continues. It does not come from Him.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Welcome Aboard the Titanic

I was saved by faith in Jesus almost 40 years ago. As I see what is happening around the world I wonder how I would have survived mentally and emotionally if I did not know Jesus. And in forty years the church has changed so dramatically that it takes your breath away if you are watching and if you even care. Yes there were large problems back in 1975 but what is taking place today is outrageous and shocking.
When I went to Bible College no one ever thought about joining with Mormons or the Roman Catholic Church. We all rejected the social gospel. The prosperity movement was just gaining steam and all of us knew it was wrong. Christian television was basically Billy Graham, Rex Humbard, and Robert Shueller and we all rejected Shueller. Back then there were things that every committed believer avoided. There were no motorcycles or cars or beds in the auditorium as props for preachers.
Preachers did not make outlandish promises that if you gave money God would save your family or get you houses and cars. Our evangelical churches never thought about having a New Years Eve bash and serving alcohol. We all knew foul language was wrong. Yes, we were patriotic back then but there was not the political fervor there is today. We prayed at prayer meetings. We were concerned for the lost and we witnessed and passed out tracts.
Things have changed since then. There is a spirit of greed and self righteousness which fills the pulpits and pews. And the world is barreling down to Armageddon. And yet while death and hell awaits this world its inhabitants are partying on the Titanic.

The great ship left Southampton on April 10, 1912 and she headed for New York City. It was her maiden voyage and it was filled with all sorts of wealthy passengers. 2224 passengers set sail that day including the ship’s designer. It was to be a gala event and most of the world was paying attention. The ship provided all the luxuries anyone could want on a ship, and everything seemed very normal. That is until just before midnight on April 14th. Without warning this great vessel hit an iceberg and began to sink.
It was widely presumed that the Titanic could not be sunk. But within a few hours she broke apart and sank. It was a great calamity and it made worldwide news. 1514 people lost their lives. While they partied eternity loomed. Surrounded by gold and tinsel, and faring sumptuously, their lives were required on that horrific night. Who among them sounded a warning? Who experienced any foreboding? The food was spectacular, the champagne was flowing, the music was inspiring, and all was well with the world. But in the darkness was an iceberg which stood between the Titanic and New York. Most would not live to see New York.
Close your eyes and imagine being on the great ship. Think of having no care. Think about enjoying all the wonderful amenities. Imagine being surrounded by lavish accoutrements and being waited on hand and foot. Now open your eyes and look around. We are sailing on the Titanic this very day. We enjoy all the technologies money can buy, and most of us will have to buy new and larger clothes next year. Even if they are not larger, many believers will still buy new clothes. Most believe this ship cannot sink.
The ship sails on.
Wars here and there and rumors of impending wars swirl around us. People massacred in Syria and elsewhere but it is just a news item. Professional football has begun and the dormant excitement is revived. The stores are filled with people buying school clothes and pens and paper and book bags. The election approaches, and like chromosomes taking sides before splitting, the political sides have been formed.
The ship sails on.
Bigger and better buildings provide for bigger and better congregations. Incredible music programs and all sorts of elaborate ministries for children often define a church. The preachers have rock star status and they have learned the art of fundraising very well. Tithing will help avoid God’s wrath and bring about much material blessings. Millions upon millions of dollars flow freely to television hucksters who fly in their own jets.
The ship sails on.
No longer satisfied with being inconvenienced by going to the movies to see explicit violence and sexual content, the cable companies pump loads of visual garbage into tens of millions of homes including professing believers. Promiscuous actors receive their awards and give lip service to Jesus. Church teens learn inappropriate behavior at an early age, and being armed with the social network and texting they delve deeply into areas reserved for marriage.
The ship sails on.
All kinds of marriage seminars are given throughout the evangelical community. Sermon series’ on how to have a happy marriage abound. Books and Cds flood couples with great advice for their marriage. Valentine’s Day banquets with special speakers uplift couples every year. But all the while adultery and divorce remain rampant.
The ship sails on.
The sex saturated culture is not enough for the church. She must encourage more and more sex with incredible frequency. Titlating sermons preached upon beds behind pulpits and on roof tops create sexual thirst. Preachers have clandestine rendezvous with illicit internet material as well as mental imagery involving other church women. This must be the path to purity.
The ship sails on.
The Joel Osteens and the Rick Warrens and the Rob Bells entertain the masses and throw out all kinds of theological fairy tales and the people love to have it so. Peruse the Christian bookstores and see professing believers who own them making money selling heresy and Christian trinkets. Listen to “Christian” television as men perfect all sorts of ways to separate people from their money with false promises of earthly success.
The ship sails on.
Sit back and take in the amazing sight as millions upon millions of people trudge to and fro on Sunday mornings with nary a change and with a redundancy that resembles rush hour traffic. The restaurants love the church folk as they provide much Sunday traffic for their establishments. Football games begin at 1:00 so everyone can get church out of the way and enjoy what Sundays are really for. Like an assembly line the parade of evangelical pew dwellers discharge their religious obligation secure in the knowledge that eventually heaven awaits them.
The ship sails on.
I know, how bleak. What a downer. Why not just enjoy yourself and bask in what God has provided? Yes, go ahead and dance. Pop the champagne! This ship will not sink unless we let the gays or Muslims or North Koreans or the liberals take away our earthly freedoms and sink this ship. And no one wants that. After all Captain Washington has set our course.
But lurking in the distance is an iceberg of colossal proportions. This one cannot be avoided. This is the iceberg of God’s judgment and it will soon come upon the entire world. Millions of church goers will be suddenly awakened but without a hope. The warnings will be history and the future will now be the present. Millions of professing believers may find that their profession was leaky to begin with and that their tepid confession will hold no water. They will seek for a life raft and find none. There will be only one chance and that chance is gone forever.
But millions of passengers have been told there are plenty of life rafts, in fact God has a seat for everyone regardless. False voices like Rob Bell have told then there is no iceberg, and that the only troubled waters are here on earth. Eternity will take care of itself. Do not worry, and if the ship should spring a leak, you can always put on a life vest later.
The ship sails on. The ship sails on. The ship sails on and on and on and…

Suddenly and soon…

The ship collides with a divine iceberg and has sunk.
All who trusted in this ship’s seaworthiness have perished.

Until then, turn up the music and let then party roar.

Saturday, May 03, 2014



If we really believed the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus without any dilution or compromise through the culture, our upbringing, or the church itself, then our lives would be unmistakable torches about which most people would either hate or be drawn. As it is we are a group of folks which practice their faith on Sundays and the rest of the week live comfortably and rather unremarkably within a culture which is completely and powerfully against everything Jesus lived and taught.
That, my friends, is quite a magic act.