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  • feedwordpress 19:54:40 on 2016/03/12 Permalink
    Tags: Christianity, , , , , , ,   

    Pray for Discernment for Those Trapped in Trump’s Angry Echo Chamber 


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    Over the last several months, I’ve been very critical of Donald Trump’s supporters. It seemed that the majority of them were unable to describe what it was about his policies or principles that made them want to vote for him. Any questions I asked of them were answered with a combination of stump speech sound bites, nationalistic fervor, or poorly designed memes. That was a representation of the initial base, but things have changed. There are people who clearly have a brain but who are starting to follow Trump. It took a while, but I finally understand the appeal.

    The key to understanding how Trump supporters think is to realize that they’re not truly thinking. That’s NOT an insult of their intelligence. We all get that way from time to time. We latch onto an idea so tightly that we start protecting it from every attack angle. Even if the attacks are righteous, we cling so hard that we won’t allow it to breath, to truly roam the intellectual pastures in the critical thinking areas of our minds.

    Trump hasn’t just tapped into that portion through his Saul Alinsky methodologies for campaigning. He’s done so through exceptionally well-calculated manipulations of both the media and his opponents to generate an echo chamber of anger. This insulates them. It immerses them in his rhetoric in a way that prevents them from thinking for themselves about the issues important to them. Again, this sounds like an insult to their intelligence but I must reiterate that it has nothing to do with whether or not they’re smart, patriotic, or versed on the issues. Again, some of the smartest, most conservative people I know are trapped and it’s been very challenging to get some of them to see the truth.

    By understanding this, we can learn two very discouraging things. First, it means that standard arguments will have zero effect. For example, it’s difficult to take a staunch conservative and convince them that Trump is liberal because the rhetoric they’re focused on within the echo chamber is immigration, bringing back jobs, and stopping radical Islamic terrorism. Under normal circumstances, this staunch conservative wouldn’t stand for a candidate that wanted to increase the size of government more than even President Obama has been able to do, nor would they accept that tariff-based “fair” trade could do anything other than raise prices for purchased goods without the potential for bringing more manufacturing jobs back to America, nor would they want a tax and spend plan that will raise the national debt by $9.4 trillion IF he’s able to grow the economy as hoped.

    The second and arguably more discouraging thing we now know is that their passion is contagious. They are so addicted to the noise in the echo chamber that they can draw their friends and relatives into it. The good news is that the majority of Americans will hear the cacophony once they enter and realize that it’s a combination of nonsense and propaganda, but not everyone. Those who believe that Trump’s support has reached its cap are like Luke Skywalker who had to be constantly reminded that he doesn’t “know the power of the dark side.”

    This is the biggest reason why there is no time to wait for John Kasich and Marco Rubio to decide that their campaigns have run their course. Now, today, immediately, those who do not want Donald Trump to be the GOP nominee MUST accept that Ted Cruz is the only viable alternative. Every vote for Kasich and Rubio (outside of their home states) is a vote for Trump. EVERY vote.

    Only God can Change Their Hearts

    I realize that not everyone who reads these articles is a Christian, but I’m asking you pray regardless of your perspectives on religion. The time has past for education or campaigning to Trump’s supporters. They’re locked in hard and reasoning with them is futile. Trump is the man they want him to be regardless of who he actually is because they’ve already chosen to exist intellectually within his echo chamber. If we could sit down with them one by one and show them the facts, there’s a chance that some could be freed from their Pied Piper’s call, but at this point there’s simply not enough time.

    Pray for them. Pray for discernment. Pray for them to be released from the lies that are holding them captive. Pray humbly and with the meekness of a servant for those that you know to see the light. Pray that they’ll hear some bit of truth that breaks them free. Pray that they’ll see the reality of Trump’s campaign and the existential destruction of America that he represents. Pray that they will be granted discernment.

    This isn’t just about keeping him from winning the nomination. In reality, if Kasich and Rubio drop out on Wednesday, it’s likely that Cruz will accumulate more delegates by the time the convention rolls around. This is about keeping the party together and not allowing Trump to destroy it from within. The more Trump supporters that we can reach now, the easier it will be for Cruz to defeat the Democrats in November.

     
  • feedwordpress 10:29:17 on 2016/03/05 Permalink
    Tags: Christianity, , , , , , ,   

    Ted Cruz on God’s Blessings for America 


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    Ted Cruz has been one of the only candidates who has stood by his faith unabashedly throughout his adult life. He doesn’t just use religion as a campaign tool. Instead, he has a faithful belief in the role of God in our lives and for our country.

    We’ve seen what can happen to the country after eight years of a President who does not hold a Biblical worldview. That’s not to say we need a theocracy; on the contrary, true believers know that the only theocracy that can work will happen after the Second Coming. However, a nation that elects leaders without faith becomes a nation against the faith. This is playing out very clearly around us today. We cannot make the same mistake again.

    The visual nature of social media means that from time to time we will be sharing messages that should resonate for our audience. To see more of them, which are great for sharing on social media, simply click on the Messages category.

     
  • feedwordpress 22:18:39 on 2016/01/17 Permalink
    Tags: Christianity, , , , , , , ,   

    Donald Trump Lacks a Basic Understanding of Christianity (Video) 


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    It’s not for men to judge other men when it comes to their faith and their relationship with Jesus Christ. However, it is our duty to understand the hearts of our teachers, clergy, and most importantly our leaders. Today, Donald Trump confirmed what we’ve thought for a long time: he has no idea what true Christianity really is.

    For the record, a proper Evangelical hermeneutic as well as a basic Christian doctrine is that no man is “good,” that we are born again through repentance and faith, and that our works do not determine our salvation. Anyone who has spent a small amount of time in an evangelical denomination church is very well away of these things. It’s the outsiders, the non-evangelicals or the “new age Christians” that believe that being a good person is somehow going to help one build a relationship with God.

    Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. It should be well-known that we are incapable of living a good life in regards to our relationship to God, but Trump said:

    “I have a great relationship with God. I have a great relationship with the Evangelicals. In fact, nationwide, I’m up by a lot, I’m leading everybody. But I like to be good. I don’t like to have to ask for forgiveness. And I am good. I don’t do a lot of things that are bad. I try to do nothing that is bad. I live a very different life than probably a lot of people would think. And I have a very great relationship with God and I have a very great relationship with Evangelicals. I think that’s why I’m doing so well with Iowa.”

    Here’s his complete response:

    This is a far cry from what is said in the Bible.

    Mark 10:17-18

    17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

    18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

    Ephesians 2:8-9

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Romans 3:10-11

    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

    If there is even an ounce of desire for our President to be versed in the Bible and one who embraces Christianity, let alone practices it, then Donald Trump cannot be an option for Christians. Faith is about repentance and forgiveness, not the poll numbers that he touts for his proof of being faithful.

     
  • feedwordpress 03:42:55 on 2016/01/03 Permalink
    Tags: Christianity, Faith Election 2016, , , , ,   

    Marco Rubio on Faith 


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    As most of our readers know, I’m not supporting Marco Rubio for President. I think he’s a very decent candidate but unfortunately he’s abandoned his Tea Party roots to be the flavor of the week for the Republican Establishment. With that said, I give credit where it’s due and Rubio’s statement on faith and politics deserves to be known.

    The visual nature of social media means that from time to time we will be sharing messages that should resonate for our audience. To see more of them, which are great for sharing on social media, simply click on the Messages category.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:42:41 on 2015/12/30 Permalink
    Tags: C.S. Lewis, Christianity, , , , ,   

    C.S. Lewis on the Importance of Christianity 


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    It may be the biggest challenge facing America today. So many people, perhaps a majority, seem to be heading towards the “mushy middle” that is popular in politics but that has no place in Christianity. It isn’t just the loss of faith that has hurt the country. It’s the willingness of many to accept certain secular aspects of life that belong in the realm of faith.

    We do this for convenience. We do it because it’s more popular. We do it to avoid arguments. We do it because some respected pastor or other religious leaders tell us to do so in the names of “tolerance” and “unity.” In reality, the rise of the “lukewarm church” in America is making our problems worse.

    The same thing is happening on the other side of the fence. As science advances, so too do the questions that seem to scientifically point to the presence of the Creator. This is causing many atheists and agnostics to turn towards metaphysics, humanism, or other religions in an effort to answer the questions that science cannot. Some are seeing the truth, the Creation as it was intended by the One true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These people are realizing that the Bible is true. Unfortunately, the rise of the lukewarm church appears to be progressing more rapidly than the number of those being exposed to the truth.

    C.S. Lewis understood how important Christianity is regardless of which side of the fence you’re on. He also recognized that to hold it as either the most important aspect of our lives or a non-issue are the only two viable options. To be moderate about our religious views simply doesn’t make sense.

    The visual nature of social media means that from time to time we will be sharing messages that should resonate for our audience. To see more of them, which are great for sharing on social media, simply click on the Messages category.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:51:26 on 2015/12/10 Permalink
    Tags: Christianity, , , , , , ,   

    Trump’s Idea will Hurt Christians and All Religious Liberties 


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    Christians around the country are embracing the ideas that Donald Trump has floated about temporarily banning Muslims from immigrating into the United States. While it’s far from universal, the opinion polls point to a distinct appreciation of the idea by Evangelicals and Catholics. If they value their own religious freedoms, they should consider the consequences of Trump’s ideas.

    Separation of church and state has always been a two-edged sword. It was originally intended as a defense to keep the state out of the church, though in recent years it has been espoused by liberals as a protection for the state from the church. Both perspectives are correct and that’s what makes the system work for America.

    Radical Islamic terrorism is a huge concern for most Americans. It isn’t just the San Bernardino attack that should make everyone diligent, but the attack did spark a need within people to be more vocal and Trump has offered an idea that makes sense on the surface. The reality is this: embracing an ideology that singles out Muslims is a road that can only end with the continued removal of religious liberties from all religious groups, including Christians.

    Something absolutely must be done. Between legal immigration, the refugee program, and illegal border crossings, America is in a very vulnerable state and holes must be plugged. Doing so by singling out an individual religion doesn’t just put us into Constitutional dire straits. That’s the least of our worries at this point. The bigger factor is how the left will use the rhetoric today and the potential actions in the future if Trump were nominated to attack all religions.

    This is how it works. Any attempt to filter any religion results in filtering of all religions in other areas. It’s the nature of the freedoms that America represents, but it’s also the cornerstone of the liberal movement that strives to make everyone equal. Christians must recognizing that embracing the knee-jerk reactions of Donald Trump are not a path to safety nor are they a path to protecting our religious liberties.

    Some would say that they’d gladly give up their own religious liberties in exchange for peace and safety. This is an extremely dangerous mindset. Lest we forget, the left is adamantly opposed to Christianity at its core. Even liberal Christians are embracing doctrine that calls for unity and creates a lukewarm variation of faith that’s contributing to the downfall of the country. I don’t want to get preachy here. Instead, I’ll point to the truth that the more doors we open for attacks on religious liberties, the more that they will be taken regardless of who is in Congress, the Supreme Court, or the White House. Unless Evangelicals of strong faith are able to take charge of all levels of federal, state, and local government, the only way to defend our rights is through keeping as many doors shut to the opposition. This means keeping a religious test out of immigration and refugee policy.

    The Better Way

    There are better solutions that must be considered. For example, rather than blocking all Muslims from entering, we should take more drastic measures with all immigrants regardless of religion. By taking on a defensive posture, we are much better equipped to fight the potential threats than by casting a loose net around a religion that has within its very tenets a call for lies in the face of opposition.

    Keep in mind that Trump’s plans are loaded with holes. Because of the lax record keeping and security measures in other countries, Trump’s plan requires a test that can be easily evaded. One without an international criminal record needs only to declare that they are not Muslim in order to immigrate. On the other hand, if we adopt the sensible ideas being offered by Rand Paul (who has no chance for the nomination) or Ted Cruz (who has a great chance at the nomination), we can have a much more secure immigration system altogether. Moreover, it would allow the refugee program to be revamped while the wall is built and border patrols are increased.

    It’s a win-win-win situation with the right plans. Unfortunately, the Trump plan is one that has more holes can be accounted for while putting in clear jeopardy the religious freedoms within the country itself. Christians must wake up to the fact that Trump’s proposal is more dangerous to Christians than it is to Muslims.

    The Rise of Homegrown Terrorists

    There’s a very easy way to inflame the Muslims already in the country to appreciate the callings of organizations like the Islamic State. Making it a battle against Islam instead of a battle against radical Islamic terrorists will prompt radicalization within the country to levels we’ve never imagined. Today, the vast majority of Muslim citizens want to live in peace and take advantage of the American Dream. Once we frame the battle to fight their religion rather than the zealots within their religion, we are pushing them closer to radicalization.

    There is absolutely zero spin that even someone as convincing as Donald Trump could put on this idea that would prevent advancing radicalization within the country. We are definitely at war, but it’s the type of war that must be framed within two contexts. On one hand, we must support the military solution to destroy the Islamic State at its roots whether we believe in boots on the ground or not. One way or another, they must be annihilated as soon as possible. On the other hand, Christians must fight the war within the country that is being waged on multiple fronts. That means helping to convert all religions, including Muslims, to see the truth of the Gospel. It also means fighting from a political perspective to defend and eventually improve our religious liberties. Once we go down the path of stopping one religion, we are making it easier for all religions to be silenced.

    I can very easily understand the appeal of Trump’s proposals. On the surface, they seem sound. If we dig just a little deeper, we will see that there are more problems that will rise from his proposals than I can fit within a single article. It is my very earnest hope that Americans in general and Christians in particular will realize that we must address both issues – terrorist immigration and the religious liberties battle – as concepts that must be addressed with strength and logic. Donald Trump’s proposals aren’t too harsh. They’re too weak.

    There are better ways to keep terrorists out that aren’t as loaded with holes the way Trump’s idea is being played. More importantly, we can do so without jeopardizing our own religious freedoms, something that Trump has not been able to reconcile.

     
  • feedwordpress 01:12:16 on 2015/12/05 Permalink
    Tags: Christianity, , , , ,   

    It’s Time for Christians to Radicalize, though Not Like the Terrorists 


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    When we think of radical Islamic terrorists, we often picture people in desperate situations who succumb to the pulls of an ideology that empowers them in some way. This western mentality is completely inaccurate and the San Bernardino shooters are most likely examples of the true attributes of radicalization that threatens the world more than anything else. They were living the American dream by most accounts. They had a baby to raise and prospects were good for their future. These facts didn’t chance their allegiance to the Islamic State.

    Despite the narrative that has often been espoused by both the Obama administration and mainstream media, it isn’t poverty or desperation that drives radicalization. We knew this overseas as affluent people like Osama bin Laden turned to the most heinous of actions to demonstrate their allegiance to Allah. Now, we see that this may likely be the case in America and that should worry us all.

    Then again, it really shouldn’t. Bible-believing Christians know in their hearts that they have nothing to fear in this world as long as we wear the Armor of God at all times and obey the teachings of Jesus Christ. This may sound like a common theme in evangelical America, but it’s not. As a geopolitical religious grouping, the body is lukewarm at best. The love of money is encompassing. The distractions from worldly callings surround us Even the churches themselves are turning into caricatures of true Christianity with a focus on unity superseding the desperate need for Biblical truth, repentance, and many of the other callings that Jesus Christ charged us to fulfill.

    American needs a radicalization of Christianity. We need to start embracing the tenets of the Bible, the whole Bible, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide every aspect of our lives. Thankfully for everyone who isn’t a Christian, this does not mean building pipe bombs or shooting people in the name of our God. Radicalized Christians can be the gentlest of humans when we truly listen to the calling.

    This isn’t a calling for anyone to act like members of Westboro Baptist Church. Their actions are hate-driven rather than Bible-driven. The radicalization that’s needed in America is one that requires full acceptance of the Bible and separation from the evils of this world. That’s not to say that we can separate ourselves from the world; we are here for a reason. What we need is to live as we were intended to live in this world through adherence to the Word and the spreading of the Gospel.

    As is written in the Book of James, we are not to forgo the callings of works despite what many pastors teach today. Salvation is granted through faith in the Word and belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, but we are called to do good works in our quest to live our lives through a Biblical worldview. Now is the time to help others. Now is the time to be as free from hate as our humanity will allow. Now is the time to boldly go forth and represent our faith as the foil against the corruptions of radical Islam, militant atheism, and destructive humanism.

    Now is the time to radicalize.

    It is called upon every man and woman to pray constantly, read the Bible regularly, and share the Gospel whenever the opportunity arises. As society pushes against us, it’s time for us to push back peacefully, thoughtfully, and with Jesus Christ as our guide.

     
  • feedwordpress 00:06:10 on 2015/11/08 Permalink
    Tags: Christianity, , , , , , Trangender Rights   

    Gender is Not an Identity 


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    The battle for the soul of the country has been raging since the 1960s, but for the first time it would appear that the liberal and anti-Christian mindsets are truly starting to prevail. At the center of the debate is the battle over gender identity. I’m not going to argue that gender identity rights are wrong. I’m going to argue that there’s no such thing as gender identity in the first place.

    It’s one of those touchy subjects that is certain to draw heated discussions when the wrong people are doing the discussing. It’s also an issue that is close to the end of the spear in both the political and religious worlds.

    Many are heralding the vote in Houston that stopped HERO, but they should realize that this is not a long-term victory. It will be used as the rallying cry to push the LGBTQ agenda just as California’s proposition 8 was used to promote gay marriage. In other words, this battle is just beginning and the liberals have a very big upper hand now that they lost in Houston.

    Before we get too deep into it, let’s take a look at some things that are important to understand. Many on the conservative side of the argument don’t quite understand things very clearly when it comes to the LGBTQ community:

    • Homosexuality and gender confusion are not fake. They’re not mental illnesses in the way that the law would define. They’re not the type of “ailments” that can be addressed with psychology, psychiatry, or fear of retribution.
    • In most cases, they’re not choices. A truly gay person sexually prefers members of their own sex. A truly transgender person believes in their heart that they’re a woman in a man’s body or a man in a woman’s body. To dismiss these things as choices is simply incorrect.
    • In a very small percentage of cases, it’s a lifestyle choice. These account for the “conversions” that are often pointed to when trying to say that you can “cure gayness.”
    • This is not a new phenomenon. It has existed as far back as Genesis. The difference is in public acceptance of the lifestyles. Today, it’s commonly acceptable to be LGBTQ in American society.

    With these things understood, we can address the issue and look to the future where the battle will be fought indefinitely. The victory in Houston is as short-lived as a political victory can get. Things are going to get more heated from here.

    From a Political Perspective

    Gender Neutral Restroom

    It’s hard to say this, but the long-term battle is already lost. Unless major changes occur with the values that many Americans currently hold, we will eventually see many more accommodations made for the transgender lifestyle. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight. We simply have to fight from the perspective of the Constitution rather than through the fear-mongering that has been used as the primary tool thus far.

    By fear-mongering, I mean that the battle in Houston was won primarily through the fear that the law would allow perverts into our daughters’ bathrooms. This is a valid argument, so please understand that by using the term “fear-mongering” I’m not suggesting that the fears aren’t valid. It’s in the way that the arguments are made.

    This will eventually lose. Americans have a general self-perception of being compassionate, which means that the liberals will eventually educate their way into overcoming the fear that people feel. Using fear as the justification is only able to win a handful of battles. These fears will be dismissed by some city at some point and then that city will be the example for why the fears were baseless.

    We’ve seen this before. It was fear that kept gay marriage at bay for so long, but those fears were overcome by the liberals. Instead, we should have made a Constitutional argument for the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, but we did not. We used fear to keep it down on the local and state level, but that forced an empowered judicial branch to act. The same thing will happen if we do not handle the politics of transgender rights from a long-term perspective.

    As much as I respect Erick Erickson, he took the wrong approach by spiking the football over the “victory” in Houston:

    The imperfect solution is that a line in the sand must be drawn. Regardless of how an individually identifies from a gender perspective, they are given physiological traits. Those traits must be the defining factor in public gender definitions. In other words, no human with a penis should be allowed in a public place such as a bathroom or locker room that is designated for females. If they’ve gone through the process of having their gender changed, so be it.

    Just because a man says he’s a woman shouldn’t mean that they can go anywhere a woman goes. They shouldn’t play women’s sports. The only political way that sanity and safety can be maintained in the United States is if we make clear delineations. If you’re physically a man, then you’re considered a man until you’ve been physically changed into a woman.

    This is the only way from a political perspective that we have a chance of winning. The left is already hard at work demonizing the vote and preparing for future battles.

    From a Christian Perspective

    LGBTQ Christians

    It’s easy for me to say that gender identity isn’t a real thing. I have my own demons to fight, but gender identity isn’t one of them. With that said, God has made men to be men and He has made women to be women.

    Is it fair to those who feel like they were assigned the wrong gender from birth? No. Life isn’t fair. The Bible has never said that life would be fair or easy. It does, however, say that we will not be given any trial that we cannot overcome.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

    Sometimes I wish I could identify the temptations that are most challenging to me. It’s hard to imagine living with an overwhelming worldly urge that goes against my Biblical worldview, but I know that many are faced with such temptation. I personally face sin on a regular basis as all of us do. I fail miserably at times just as all of us do. In essence, I have not experienced such strong thoughts that go against the Bible as those faced by transgender people. This makes my feelings about the issue ring hollow.

    Nevertheless, I must make those feelings known. It will draw attacks from those who rightly say I do not know how they feel.

    Gender is not an identity. It’s not a choice. We are men or we are women. In the rare case of hermaphroditism, I believe that there is still a general tendency towards which a person is drawn. We should identify with our gender and embrace it rather than embracing our identity and manipulate our gender accordingly.

    It’s impossible to make such statements without being called a bigot. I don’t think that it’s easy by any means nor do I believe that these perspectives will be well received regardless of whether they’re written with love or not. This is an issue that requires prayer and discernment from the heart of the individual as guided by the Holy Spirit. Any turbulence in one’s life that comes as a result is not beyond what we can bear.

    Those faced with this challenge have been given more freedoms and societal acceptance over the last several years and most would feel like it’s a good thing. It’s not. These allowances within the world are adding to the temptations that are faced by the transgender person. It’s like the battle over the internet and porn. Just because it’s so easy to get porn online doesn’t mean that this is a good thing for those who access it. A secular, societal, and political victory for the LGBTQ community is not a victory for them from a spiritual perspective. Justification in this world does not equate to acceptance from the spiritual world.

    Things are going to start heating up on both sides. I fear that the worldly political passion is on the side of the LGBTQ advocates and they will eventually win based upon the current trajectory. It’s our duty to fight the battles with love in our hearts and avoid the compulsion to let fear enter into our psyches and into our arguments.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:28:13 on 2015/11/06 Permalink
    Tags: Christianity, Cross, , , ,   

    Christianity is Okay 


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    These days, everyone has an audience that we didn’t previously have, thanks to social media sites.  They allow us the ability to vent, muse, and share with our audience whatever crosses our minds at any given moment.  There are many people who use this platform with the best of intentions, but there a select few who seem to exist only to shame others.  Profess your political beliefs, and start a somewhat friendly debate, but profess your faith, and be prepared for some people to react in an entirely different way, altogether.  Welcome to the generation of faith-shaming.

    I was reared in a Christian home, Lutheran to be precise.  I attended services every Sunday, even when I didn’t want to roll my angst-ridden teenage rear end out of bed, including Easter Sunday sunrise services.  One could say I was forced to have a relationship with God as a child, and I was no stranger to questioning that faith, on a sometimes daily basis.  With frequent bouts of teenaged moodiness, I often found myself curious about God’s presence in my life.  As an adult, however, I’ve worked to forge my own relationship with Christ, but I’ve had to work for it.

    I don’t expect others to believe as I do.  I do not force my beliefs on people, and I refuse to ever do so.  If someone I encounter desires a relationship with Jesus Christ, then I will pray with them, speak with an open-heart, and welcome them into my world.  However, I don’t profess my faith publicly.  I know, as a Christian, that this isn’t the way it is supposed to be.  We’re supposed to shout loudly and proudly about our faith, and witness to others.  We are supposed to show them the way to have a relationship with God.  So why aren’t we doing it?

    Yes, some of us attest to our faith in God on a daily basis, but is it even one-tenth of what we would be doing if it weren’t for the dreaded internet trolls?  Has the faith-shaming made us afraid to tell people we believe in God, and have a personal relationship with Christ?  A couple of years ago, I was going through a particularly rough time in my life, and I shared a status that included a bible verse.  While some of my friends on Facebook liked the status or commented back in a positive manner, two people chose to attack me for my choice of posts.

    When did all of this start?  I would never attack an atheist for his beliefs; I don’t make any negative comments about the people posting statuses about worshipping The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever they choose to follow.  A simple update about my faith is attacked relentlessly by two people, essentially calling me an idiot for having an unwavering belief in my personal Savior, but people can call Easter “Zombie Jesus Day” without repercussions.  What kind of world have we turned into, where a belief in something more than myself, isn’t celebrated?

    Yes, religious persecution has existed for a very long time, and there are a great deal of factions that give Christianity a bad name.  Too often, many ridiculous acts are carried out in the name of religious beliefs, and this has forced a negative perspective about what type of people Christians really are.  A person that holds true to Christian beliefs will give of themselves freely, offer their prayers, and tell strangers of an unconditional love that they’ve discovered.  However, are there fewer and fewer people professing their joy because we no longer feel free to do so?

    There are certain religious groups that call themselves Christians that picket military funerals holding signs riddled with hate speech.  These people are not the Christian’s that God intended them to be, for a true relationship with God is free from hatred and bigotry.   A true relationship with Christ doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes, or sin.  It simply means that at the end of the day, we ask for forgiveness, and we forgive others who have caused us hurt and pain.  Loving God means we love one another, forgive easily, and repent for the wrong we’ve done, as that is the true spirit of Christianity.

    Social media and others’ opinions make it difficult to be ourselves and profess our beliefs these days, but we must learn to overcome the fear of ridicule if we’re truly going to embrace our place in God’s kingdom.  We have to find a way to celebrate our faith, wholeheartedly, as this is what our religion intends.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  I have hope that one day, we will live in a world where people are no longer shunned for their beliefs, but we embrace each different person equally.  It may be a bold and naïve dream, but I have faith.

     
  • feedwordpress 23:31:45 on 2015/09/20 Permalink
    Tags: , Christianity, , , , , , , , ,   

    Dear Candidates: The Constitution Allows Americans of Any Religion to be President 


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    It’s so easy to be a liberal. There are very few moral or ethical roadblocks in their way, not because their morals or ethics are higher but because they use them so conveniently depending on the shifting landscape of their political doctrine.

    Being a conservative is much more challenging. It requires a system of checks and balances within the fabric of our values in order to see the right way to do things. This challenge, this ethical murkiness, is exactly what the left-leaning mainstream media tries to exploit every time the opportunity presents itself. The current murky waters surround the idea of Islam and the office of the President.

    For a quick rehash, Donald Trump struggled to answer a bigoted question about President Obama’s faith and citizenship. He came out of the mild controversy unscathed, but since that genie’s bottle was opened, now the other candidates are being asked to weigh in. Ben Carson came out and said no, American does not need a Muslim President. Ted Cruz came out and said that the Constitution protects any American’s rights to be President regardless of their religion.

    Ted Cruz Religion

    Who’s right? Both of them.

    There are two books that should be guiding the United States. As unpopular as it is to say in today’s political atmosphere, the Bible is the first and most important. It’s followed by the Constitution. All other books or guidelines are secondary.

    From a Biblical perspective, we, as a country, should elect Christians to the highest office of the land. That’s not to say that Christians are better, smarter, or more qualified. It’s that the roots of this country have always been and will always be Christian. Some would say that it’s an ignorant statement, but here’s the thing. If and when the country shifts fully away from the Bible, when the power of the non-Christian majority supersedes the strength of the Christian minority, we’re no longer going to be a country as we know it. That’s a hard truth for non-Christians and even some Christians to believe, but it has been through our Judeo-Christian heritage and values that the country has thrived.

    From a Constitutional perspective, we cannot tolerate religious persecution or the reduction of religious freedoms even when the religion in question is not ours. That’s the centerpiece of our country’s origins before it was even formed. Those who sailed to America in the 17th and 18th century did so to escape religious persecution. They wanted a land where their faith was not trampled on by the government. That’s what the First Amendment is all about.

    To declare that a Muslim, Hindu, atheist, or any other belief system prohibits someone from being President is to take away the freedom that helped to mold out country. It cannot be done. We must allow all religious expression to be safe in our country because once we start taking away religious liberties, all religions will be affected but Christianity will be affected the most.

    This is not a question of faith or even politics. It’s a question that surrounds the sentiments of the people. Those sentiments are evolving and many would declare that they’re evolving in the wrong direction. They may be right. However, maintaining the Judeo-Christian strength in this country is not a matter of stamping out all opposition. It’s about living our lives in Christ, voting with our conscience as the Holy Spirit directs, and fighting to protect our freedoms even if those freedoms are shared by other faiths. In fact, we should be defending a Muslim’s religious freedoms as fervently as we would defend our own. Through strength, kindness, and perseverance, we will be able to bring people to an appreciation of the truth of the Bible. When we fight to quash their perspectives, we remove our ability to share the Gospel to those who would hear it.

    Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz are not on opposing sides on this issue despite what mainstream media would have you believe. The murkiness in this case is artificial. The only good thing about all of it is that it’s bringing the candidates’ faith to the forefront where it should be.

     
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