We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood

cherry-blossomsIn The Garden

Feeling confused these days? Is your head spinning from the daily manifestation of anger, violence, taking of sides, threats, justification for attacks, walk-outs, school-skipping, road-blocking, pin-wearing, generalizations, criticisms, hurtful words, etc.? If one could step back away from it all and objectively observe the mess, one could ask the question, “How in the world did this all come about?”

This is a very important question. My standard strategy for figuring out the reason for all problems related to mankind is to look in a garden. And not just any garden – the garden. Many of you have seen the great quote: “Life Began in a Garden.” This is beautifully true. But what is also true, and sadly so, is that death began in that same garden – death in the body and in the soul. We all understand what death in the body is; we see it every day, whether in its progressed state (“at death’s door”), or in its progressing state (normal everyday fatigue, aches and pains, gray hair, etc.) But what is death of the soul? Here is where we begin to inch toward some understanding of the confusion of today, the twin sister of the confusion that began in the garden.

”There is nothing new under the sun. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

Death of the soul is that complete deadening of our hearts and souls toward the One Who created us and in Whom we originally had lively fellowship. What was sweeter and completely without confusion than the daily communion Adam and Eve had with each other and with God in the garden? Even those who scoff at the reality of God get a sense that there was sweet, three-way fellowship manifested in what these same scoffers like to perceive as just a fairy tale relationship. That sweet, holy fellowship and communion was targeted by the great author of confusion, Satan, in his attempt to bring sinful confusion into God’s everlasting plan. This deceiver did not attack physically, but with words – words that were meant to raise doubts, and, yes, confusion.

“And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? ….. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:5.

When Eve, Satan’s victim of deceitful words, began to consider in her mind that God might be lying to her, the great domino effect of sin rapidly began to take its destructive course. Clear, sweet, peaceable fellowship and communion gave way to utter confusion. Immediately, there were lies conceived, finger-pointing, and an attempt to hide from the reality of personal sin.

God, in His Grace, out of His own good pleasure and from all eternity, predetermined to show His Glory and His Love to the now dethroned king and queen of the garden by promising to impute their sins onto His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, unleash Holy Wrath on Him, and then, wonder of all wonders, clothe His redeemed children with His Son’s Redemptive Royal Robes, giving them a new heart. We see a poignant picture of this redemption when God slew an animal to clothe Adam and Eve with its skin.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

Life came back to the garden, and perpetual confusion was stymied, but not completely eradicated, for this husband and wife, our first parents, would have to live with and strive against their fallen nature for the rest of their lives. God’s people, ever since, though redeemed, have had to daily live with and prayerfully strive against this fallen nature that desires to create confusion of heart and soul. Though this confusion demands perpetuity, God is faithful to hear the prayers of His people, and continually restore sweet, clear communion with Him.

“Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. Psalm 6:8

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“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 Corin. 1:13

For those who still believe the lie of Satan and who refuse to obey the One and True God, the confusion germinated in the garden is their taskmaster. And what has been the result of embracing this lie? How has “godhood” played out in the world? See Cain murdering Abel; hear the doomed scoffers in Noah’s days; read how mankind openly sought to be God, vainly building a tall tower in order to usurp God (in response to which, God caused His own type of confusion); watch in horror as the homosexual men in Sodom and Gomorrah demand sexual union with Lot’s male visitors and instead Lot offers his two daughters; see King Saul make excuses for not obeying God; hear David lament in the Psalms regarding how his many enemies (including his own son!) are set on destroying him; watch as the Israelites are carried away into captivity; see the murder plans for baby Jesus, resulting in the killing of hundreds of innocents; see the crucifixion of Jesus, and the ensuing persecution of believers up to this day. See how the persecution of believers is applauded by many as being good and right.

As Jesus said: “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” John 16:2.

Here is confusion. Here is calling evil, good, and good, evil. Furthermore, under the fragile (see Psalm 2), usurped rule by today’s autonomous “godheads”, confusion says to kill babies in the womb, sanction homosexual marriages and shut down private businesses if they strive to obey God and His Word. Confusion says to encourage rioting, violence and hatred. Confusion says to mishandle money, information and other people’s lives. Confusion says right is wrong, and wrong is right. Confusion says that since humans came from apes, God is just a part of a fairy tale, and therefore it is impossible that He could have any bearing on our lives. Confusion says to re-write the Bible so that wrong is made to appear right. Confusion says if we don’t get our way, then we will sulk and pout and resort to violence like King Ahab and Queen Jezebel did when King Ahab could not have a certain garden he desired (1 Kings 21).

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16.

Take a Biblical look at what is going on around you today. If you are a believer, you will clearly see why there is so much confusion following the election. It did not start on election day, it did not start the week before election day, nor a year before, nor ten or 100 years before. It started in the garden with the lie of Satan. Ask the person who is beating up those with whom they disagree, or who is violently protesting, or who is supporting and promoting sexual relations outside the sexual mandate in the garden. Ask them if they are doing good and right, and they will say “Yes”. They will say “Yes” because they believe the “godhood” lie of Satan.

Is it necessary to try to unravel all the political and social particulars that led the United States to our current state of confusion? Perhaps, but the crucial thing for Americans to do is to get on their knees, and seek, not the god of confusion, but the God of truth and wisdom. “For God is not the author of confusion.“ 1 Corinthians 14:33. Once on our knees, we need to repent and seek His Wisdom from His Book, knowing that “…the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17

As we continue to watch and, for some of us, experience, the unpleasant results from the current confusion in The United States of America, let us remember how and where it all started. Then, let us thank God for His loving mercy to His children, seek to live His truth in our personal lives, and share the light-truth of His loving, forgiving mercy in this dark, confused world.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

In The Garden

We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood

partial-birth-abortionOut, Damned Spot!!

A mother is in her 9th month of pregnancy. Actually, she is about three days from giving birth. She goes to the doctor and the doctor tells her that her pregnancy has become dangerous to her life and that either she or the baby is going to die if she continues her pregnancy. They have to kill that baby pronto!!! He suggests getting an abortion. Under the laws of our land, this is a legal option. The labor-inducing chemical is administered, and the live-saving abortion is scheduled. After several hours (Is the baby steadily killing the mother in these hours?) the labor-inducing chemical begins to effectively work. The endangered woman shows up to her appointment, is prepped for the life-saving procedure, and the abortion begins. As her labor begins, the mother’s womb begins contractions and the baby moves toward the birth canal. As some labors take a long time, she may be hours in this procedure, all the while “at risk” (?) of this baby killing her in these last 3 days of her pregnancy. At some point after this, the doctor reaches up into the mother’s womb, and turns the baby around so that his feet, body and hands present first, as opposed to the head (Creating what is called a “breach birth” position – a situation life-giving mothers and doctors try to avoid because it is dangerous for the baby and for the mother.) Once all of the baby’s body is outside of his mother’s body, except for his head, then, according to the power invested in the doctor’s hands by the government, the baby can be killed via a fatal procedure to the brain (see illustration). Having done this, the dead baby’s body is fully removed, and the life of the mother is saved. Hurrah!! (Seems to me the same thing could be accomplished if the doctor would just let the baby be born head first – like normal – completely out of the womb, and then strangled, or something like that. Seems like much less work, and definitely less awkward, right? Oh, then it would be murder, I forgot.) This is the scenario Hillary Clinton conjured up the other night as far as a reason to uphold Roe v. Wade. She said that she has known “many” women who had just this situation to deal with and that’s why, she says, she wants to keep abortion legal.

That is not why she wants abortion to stay legal, and no one believes her, not even those who are going to vote for her. We all know that she wants to keep abortion legal because she is a selfish, utterly wicked woman who hates babies, and yes, hates women, and, ultimately, hates God. (“Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19) Regarding her scenario, there are so many holes in it that it would be exhausting to point them all out. I will just say the following and let the reader do the research on the “need” for abortion because of death-of the-mother situations. If a pregnancy is truly life threatening to a mother (as was the case for a friend of mine) in the last tri-mester (as was the case for my friend), labor can be induced (as was the case with this friend), the baby can be born (as was the son of my friend), and made to thrive (as this now 13 year-old does), NOT DIE. In my friend’s case, her labor was induced 3 months early. Her life was saved, as well as her son’s.

The scenario (of scheduling an abortion 3 days before the due date) on which Hillary was “basing” her advocacy for abortion, is beyond ridiculous. Partial birth abortion is about the sickest phrase I can think of. Even IF partial birth abortion was made legal to, so-called, protect the life of mothers who have “risky” pregnancies, we all know that this law is used prolifically to simply end lives that have become bothersome or to garner monetary gain.

Abortion is killing, whether in the first tri-mester, the second tri-mester, or the third tri-mester. Only those who have had their consciences seared believe otherwise, and their hands are stained with blood, like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth.

Out, Damned Spot!!

We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood

Should God Bless This Nation?

“Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.” Psalm 28:4,5

I heard a conversation the other day on a talk-radio program. The participants were unwittingly revealing why this county is on the brink of disaster. Here is how it went: The person who called in was convinced that if Christians would just stop making moral issues their basis for who they would vote for or not vote for, this country would have leaders that could really make a difference in national restoration. After all, she said, Roe v Wade was 40 years ago, and it will never be overturned. And she mentioned several other moral issues on which she felt there was too much focus to be effective in solving this country’s problems. The talk-show host, Sean Hannity, agreed, citing that polls are showing that what the majority of folks are really concerned about are economic issues. The logic of the caller and Mr. Hannity is that if everyone would just come together on the important issues of the day, and not the moral issues, our country will rejuvenate and thrive.

I beg to differ. “Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.” Psalm 28:5. God cannot, may not, and will not be ignored. In His Word, God reveals to the world his Holy Cause and Effect. If you do not regard His works, nor the operations of His hands, you will be destroyed and left without help.

What are the works of His Hands? And how have they been not regarded in this country?  When prayer was “taken out of schools”, we have disregarded the works of the Lord. When children are discouraged/”banned” from communicating with their Creator, praising Him for Who He is, seeking His Mercy and Grace, being in awe of Him as the Creator, and, yes, asking Him to bless this country, we have disregarded His works. When children are taught that their marvelously functioning and amazingly created bodies are the result of thousands and thousands of years of evolving from an insignificant, one-celled amoeba (a process, they are told, morphed through an animal stage), then we are disregarding the works of the LORD. When children are taught that they should not listen to their parents or obey them, we are disregarding the works of the LORD (Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Ephesians 6: 1-3). When children are taught that just because they were born a boy or a girl, they really should not be sure what gender they are, we are disregarding the works of the LORD. When children do not even make it into this world because they are unwanted bothers, we are disregarding the works of the LORD. When children do not make it into this world because their body parts have become valuable commodities, we are disregarding the works of the LORD. When the anti-God indoctrination tracks children from the pre-K classroom up to the university lecture hall, we are disregarding the works of the LORD. When children are told there is no God Who is to be feared and sought after for mercy, we are disregarding the works of the LORD – His greatest work – salvation for the miserable, rotten sinners we are.

Why shouldn’t God destroy this nation? Why should He build it up? Do we really think that if we would just focus on economics, or national security and put our collective weight behind these issues, that God will bless us?

Woe, woe, woe, to those in this nation who think that we can make the rules and be blessed. Woe, woe, woe to those in this nation who think that we can break the rules and be blessed. Kiss the Son lest ye perish in the way:

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

Psalm 2.

Should God Bless This Nation?

We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood

In The World but Not of The World. A Response to the Negative Reaction of the Boycott of Target Because of Its Bathroom Policy

I just read two articles on the Target Bathroom Policy and the subsequent boycott of Target. Both of these articles disagree with boycotting Target. One is from The Daily Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/26/all-the-things-you-can-no-longer-buy-if-you-re-really-boycotting-trans-friendly-businesses.html) and one from a blogger: http://ministryinthemommyhood.com/target-bathrooms-and-the-straight-conservative-preachers-wife/. I am disappointed with both of these articles. The Daily Beast article ridicules and pokes fun at the Target boycott, while the blogger’s article reveals a misunderstanding of and a naivety regarding the issue. Although I can agree with many points that the blogger asserts (one of which is that we need to be careful to not assume that those who want to hurt our children are only in the world), both of these articles miss the point in different ways. I will address The Daily Beast article first as the errors in it are more obvious.

The Daily Beast article basically asserts that if folks are going to boycott Target because of its support of homosexuals (I will mostly use the word “homosexual” or some derivative of this word in this article when referring to all the unnatural sexual affections promoted today.), then folks should boycott other companies as well, i.e. McDonalds, Apple, Coca Cola Bottling Co. and etc. because these companies also support homosexuality. And then the unspoken question is, how could we possibly get on in this world? Truly, if we were to boycott all companies that support and break God’s law, we would be left with no resources (clothing, housing, food, and etc.) with which to maintain the life that God has given us. Homosexuality is a sin among MANY others that are supported in one way or the other in the businesses of the world – for example: pornography (see what magazines are sold in the stores you frequent); and abortion (abortion pills available from pharmacy that you frequent). And what about the banks that you use? Do you know in what companies your bank invests? And in what companies do those companies invest? Even if you “lived off the land” and grew everything yourself, what company made the materials for the farm implements you use, whether if you go mechanical or not? Somewhere in the chain of the self-maintenance life, you will have financial connections with something against the Scriptures. There is no getting around it, we are in the world. God, though, tells us we are not to take ourselves completely out of society (1 Corin. 5:10). However, because the writer in The Daily Beast does not find her final authority in the Word of God, she says that in order for Christians to be consistent, we should boycott everything that smacks of sin (Though The Daily Beast probably would not use that word.) The Daily Beast writer has missed the point. Opposite of FORCING companies to take business that compromise Scriptural truths, Christians and concerned people are taking a stand AGAINST a company policy that encourages dangerous actions toward young girls and women. Are we sinning if we continue to give Target our business? No. Is it wrong to NOT give Target our business anymore? No. Is it good and right to raise awareness of this sinful policy and to take action in hopes of turning the tide? Yes. We are to be lights in this world. The darkness of this world is spreading and getting darker. Darkness, even in nature, occurs in stages. First, there are faint shadows, then more distinct shadows, then the shadows merge and become large black areas. Soon, as in a forest, after the sun goes down, all is dark. As lights in the world, Christians raise Spiritual awareness of God and of His Holiness. We are to do this in the midst of the growing darkness. Target’s policy is part of this growing darkness. If we can raise Spiritual awareness of an issue that is part of the spreading darkness, then we should, in lawful ways – as the Lord leads us. The proverbial camel’s nose is in the tent. As Target goes, many other establishments may go. The ramifications of a simple shopping day for folks of all ages will be astounding.

The Daily Beast writer also pointed out that if a person were to violate a young girl in the bathroom, that the perpetrator would receive the proper justice. The Daily Beast writer referenced such an incident that had happened in the past and the resulting justice. Well and good WHEN a perpetrator receives just punishment – IF they are caught; but the offense committed still leaves behind a wounded (in body, soul, and mind), and an horribly traumatized person who now has to deal with this horrific memory for the rest of their life. Rest assured, the shadow of sin does not lead to the light of uprightness.

Regarding the above mentioned blogger: One of the issues I have regarding her article is that she equates a boycott of Target as an unloving stance toward unbelievers. She is concerned about how the homosexual community will view this boycott of Target, that they will view the boycott as hate for homosexuals. Homosexuals, though they are mixed up by many things, do have a brain. Their homosexuality does not preclude them from having the ability to see the boycott for what it is – a nationwide community uprising in defense of the defenseless. However, I am convinced that many homosexuals will purposely ignore the essence of the action so as to push forward their sinful agenda. And the blogger is unwittingly promoting this decided warping of the purpose of the boycott.

The blogger also states that Christians are missing an opportunity to witness to transgenders (and I suppose she would also state that we are missing the opportunity to witness to males who just want to use the bathroom to molest females). This belief gets into the question of whether or not I am more effective in the way of salvation for an unbeliever by putting myself or my children in situations where harm is invited to occur (whether by a transgender or by a man who takes advantage of the policy) or by seeking out the salvation of the lost in a safer environment or even through prayer on my knees in my closet.

Defending the defenseless brings me to what I believe is a great naivety of the blogger. She – and I am sure, rightly so – considers herself a very protective mother. As such, she says that she will go into the bathroom with her little girls to protect them from those who may take advantage of them. With all due respect, unless she is a gun-slinging mother (with which I have no problem, except I cringe when I think about bullets ricocheting in a bathroom), or a body-builder, she will be next to, if not completely, ineffectual in the battle of the sexes, especially with a man who is determined to get what he wants. The scenario is not pleasant and probably will be even less pleasant through the eyes of the little ones she is trying to protect. And I wonder who will protect the little old ladies who cannot go one hour without using a bathroom. Yes, they get molested as well.

2 Timothy 3:1-5
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Philippians 2:15
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

In The World but Not of The World. A Response to the Negative Reaction of the Boycott of Target Because of Its Bathroom Policy