Aug 31, 2011

A concerted call for prayer for Israel

September will likely be a month many believers won’t soon forget. September is the month the United Nations general assembly is expected to vote in favor of Palestinian statehood.

Consensus of the situation on the ground in Israel indicates that violence will escalate, possibly leading to full-scale war. The Israeli Defense Forces have already been planning for Palestinian demonstrations, attacks, and terrorism in West Bank settlements.

According to
The IDF has conducted detailed work to determine a “red line” for each settlement in the West Bank, which will determine when soldiers will be ordered to shoot at the feet of Palestinian protesters if the line is crossed. It is also planning to provide settlers with tear gas and stun grenades as part of the defense operation.
Media are reporting that officials have already assumed that when the Palestinian declaration of independence is made, it will incite mass disorder. Settlers have been given means to disburse protests and maps indicating where the red line is located.

I believe that Israel’s right to defend itself combined with demonstrations and attacks by pro-Palestinian forces will lead to a conflict level that we haven’t see in quite a while. Thus, our need to pray for Israel and her people is great.
Please pray for our ‘elder brethren’ and God’s will in Israel and the conflict.

Aug 26, 2011

Why give a madman a bullhorn?

I find I’m at odds with myself today. I’m trying to refrain from lashing out against the lunacy that is Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Reports from and other outlets tell us that he is reiterating the anti-Semitic claim that the Holocaust is a lie.
“The Zionist regime’s establishment was based on numerous deceptions and lies and one of the biggest lies was the Holocaust,” Ahmadinejad said in his speech at a rally in Tehran.

But, after observing Egypt and Libya, I’m now believing that rebels will one day end this madman’s dictat… er, presidency. Many in Iran are oppressed and it can only be hoped that a grassroots effort will continue to grow in and around Iran to bring about this end.

I confess that he is a headline magnet. However, the global media must stop giving this guy a platform to spew his idiocy. He’s not making real news anymore. When will the impotent United Nations take a stand and stop affording this man a chance to demonstrate his inability to communicate in a lucid manner?

A quick study of Romans 11 will reveal that there is a place planned for Israel and we can trust that as part of God's plan.

Aug 16, 2011

The post-Christian era isn’t someone else’s fault, it’s mine

I’ve mentioned that I am reading Chuck Swindoll’s The Church Awakening. He’s careful to explain the book isn’t a call to revival, but more a call for individuals to wake up and stop the erosion in the body of Christ.

As I’ve studied the book and examined the related scripture passages, I found it helpful and telling if I replaced the word “church” with the word “I” or “me” or even using my own name in place of the word church.

This simplistic exercise doesn’t allow me to distance myself from what is being described by Swindoll as the erosion of the body of Christ as something that others are letting happen. It helps me keep in mind my own culpability, accountability, and responsibility in my family, my local assembly and the full body of Christ.

It’s not difficult to see that we have entered a post-Christian era in the United States where relativism out shouts truth. But, Swindoll’s work here has helped me examine my role in appeasing or capitulating the post-modern advance.

What I’m pleased about in Swindoll’s The Church Awakening is his offering of solutions to the errors he highlights. He is not content to simply cry foul without pointing to actions I must take to stop erosion of Christ’s church.

Christ told us that even the forces of Hades will not prevail over His church. Let’s re-establish the front line where battle is taking place and go in the power of the Holy Spirit wearing the full armor of God.

Aug 4, 2011

Is sin different today than in the past?

To some, this may seem like a rhetorical question, but from what I hear and read, I’m not sure even knowledgeable Christians think clearly on this point.  One thing I’m happy that God has helped me understand is that man has been sinful (not just having an old sin nature) since the fall of the first Adam.
Yet, as I read commentary on religious history or simply listen to people talk about how sinful man has become, I’m somewhat perplexed … especially when I hear people discuss this through the lens of the last 500 years of Western thought.

No reasonably informed Christian would find it surprising that man is sinful by nature and has been so since the fall in Eden.  But, that knowledge seems to escape many people when they view society as a whole and they lament its condition.

I suggest we take a very close look and examine the culture and practices of non-Jewish peoples throughout the biblical account  (Yes, the Hebrews were wayward, but that's a topic for a different post.)

I think what we will find is that man as a species isn’t any more or less sinful today than in 70 AD or in 1,000 BCE than he was at Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  Yes, there is a certain kind of societal entropy that occurs until the second advent (I hope not to digress into an eschatological debate here).  But, our standard is not one that compares man to man, or age to age.  Our standard is the one God gave us: a standard of righteousness.

With righteousness, there is no grey or degree.  A person is either righteous or not; he sins or he doesn’t sin.  The Bible clearly teaches us that all sin and fall short of the standard God set for us.  Thus, with that perspective, it should be easy to see that sin is sin, regardless of the era.  Instead of seeing the world around us as waxing or waneing in sinfulness, we should simply see our need for a solution to our unrighteousness -- Jesus Christ.