Convictions and their Consequences

Make America Great: PRAY!

Make America Great:
PRAY!

Jesus said to “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” We must learn to be involved in the world, but not be a part of it.

Political conventions are overwhelming us this month. The Republicans gathered in Cleveland last week and the Democrats are meeting in Philadelphia next week. As I watched periodic segments last week, three words came to mind: consciences, convictions, and consequences.

  • Consciences are our moral guidance systems. They are our personally developed ethics, which inform, guide, or condemn our own actions.
  • Convictions are deeply-held, personal beliefs, with pre-determined decisions. If X, Y, or Z happen we will do A, B or C.
  • Consequences are the relational or circumstantial results of our actions and decisions. We must learn to accept and be accountable for these consequences.

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Posted in 2016 Elections; Trump, Biblical Worldview, Pro Marriage, Pro-Family, Pro-Life, Pro-Religious Freedoms | Leave a comment

Your Help is Needed to Protect Religious Freedoms.

america_flagU.S. Representative John Fleming (R-LA) has acted to help defend religious freedom in American, by introducing the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 (H.R. 4828) into Congress, to provide a way for victims to receive justice through the court system. This First Amendment issue is scheduled for a committee hearing on Tuesday, July 12th and needs co-sponsors to move it forward to the House Floor for voting.

This Conscience Protection Act (CPA) is needed because the Obama Administration’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell has refused to enforce federal law intended to protect the rights of conscience for people of faith. Under current law, there is no provision of recourse for those who have had their rights violated and are being forced to act against their conscience.

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Are you following God’s “Prosperity Plan”?

Many Christian Millennials tend to have an entitlement mentality, which sometimes extends even to their giving to God. Unfortunately, instead of thriving financially they settle for surviving—some by living in their “parent’s baTrust and Obeysement.”

Rather than rock their boat with biblical reality or “micro-aggressions,” many churches give them “safe space” and modify biblical terminology or even theology to hide the truth that God’s scriptural prosperity plan includes tithing. Instead, they come up with “millennial-speak” like: “sharing our resources with one another” and point only to the early church’s collections for poorer (and often persecuted) saints.

Of course, focused offerings and disbursements by New Testament believers are biblical expressions of generosity and faith. God always rewards unselfish, generous giving (Luke 6:38). But, even generous offerings are not substitutes for worshipping God with our tithes.

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God’s Hate Speech

Hate Speech

Hate Speech

The biblical book of Proverbs says God hates six things, then adds a seventh and says he despises or loathes them all. Read about “God’s Hate Speech” here and then let’s review several examples from recent news accounts from the lives of a corrupt congressman, a former U.S. president, and his wife—who wants to be president.

First, the corrupt congressman: U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA) resigned from Congress last month, following conviction on more than two dozen counts of racketeering, bribery, and fraud, after a month-long trial in federal court. The 59-year-old congressman, who represented parts of Philadelphia since 1995, was found guilty of orchestrating these criminal acts to enrich himself and preserve his political career. His “wicked schemes” ruined his personal integrity.

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No Religious Exemptions for Christian Colleges?

admendmentIn California, the Democrat-dominated, state legislature is processing a bill (S.B. 1146) which targets  private, religious, higher education and tramples religious freedoms. It will amend a current anti-discrimination law to force all post-secondary schools and colleges to affirm and promote homosexuality and trans-sexuality in their admissions and hiring practices—including most faith-based colleges and universities.

The amendment “narrows the religious exemption afforded to these institutions and requires disclosure of such exemption.” A religious exemption is allowed only if the institution exists exclusively to prepare pastors or theological educators. Even then, such exempt institutions must also post (on campus) and publish (online and in printed materials) their alleged  discriminatory practices, presumably so potential donors, students, and their parents can be forewarned.

Students at these faith-based educational institutions will no longer be eligible to receive state-funded Cal Grants, unless and until the institution complies with the state’s new interpretation of sexual non-discrimination, as set forth in 1972’s Education Amendments of the Federal Title IX mandate.

If S.B. 1146 passes both houses of the California legislature, previously exempt faith-based institutions can no longer “discriminate” by only admitting professing believers as students, professors, or even presidents. Nor can they seek to maintain campus-wide spiritual life programs or require ethical student standards.

The “progressive,” liberal Democrats continue to try to “fundamentally transform America” by redefining the millennially-understood word “sex,” when it comes to “sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion.” This anti-religious-freedom bill (SB 1146) permits homosexual and transsexual students in private, religious colleges to sue these colleges in court for upholding biblical policies on campus.

Californians, please call your state Senators TODAY and tell them to vote NO on S.B. 1146!

May God give us wisdom and hold us accountable, as we vote in November for local, state, and federal officials. Our destiny, as a nation “under God,” depends on it!

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How should Christians respond to the shooting in Orlando?

Early Sunday morning, June 12, a gunman wielded an assault-type rifle and a handgun, took hostages and opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, reportedly shouting ““Allahu Akbar!” ” during the shooting! This apparent jihad-inspired rampage ended with 49 killed (revised downward from 50, to exclude the murderer Omar Mateen) and over 50 injured. This gay-club massacre is said to be the worst, mass-murder shooting in U.S. history.

How will the Christian community respond to this horrendous act of hatred, in Orlando—home of “the happiest place on earth”? Several leading members of the National Religious Broadcasters have offered these meaningful thoughts to this tragedy:

“My prayers are with the many victims and family members who lost loved ones in the senseless shooting—now being called an act of terrorism—at a gay nightclub in Orlando early this morning. Life is precious, and we only have one chance to live our lives here on this earth.”
–Franklin Graham, President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

“At least fifty people—created in the image of God—were slaughtered in cold blood. Families who were waiting to see their loved ones are finding out today that they will never see them again in this life. That ought to drive us to mourn.”
–Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

“Today, we mourn the deaths of innocent Americans who were murdered by an Islamic terrorist in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The attack appears to be well planned and specifically targeted against the gay community.  There is no justification for this terrible act of violence.  All people, regardless of sexual orientation, have the absolute right to be secure and live safely in the United States of America. We at CBN strongly condemn this act of violence and offer our condolences to the loved ones of all those killed or injured. We also commend the Orlando Police and the FBI for their swift response, ending this nightmare and saving the lives of those they could.”
–Gordon Robertson, CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network

As Christian believers, may we all humble ourselves, knowing that every person killed or wounded was an image-bearer of God, worthy of dignity and respect. In this very divided and politicized season in our country, let’s soften our speech, temper our tone and extend good will and grace to all.

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* See my complete article on this subject, “Murder in the Name of Allah,” at the secular news site: Constitution.com. Add your own thoughts and comments to each post!

 

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Praying for our Presidents

if_my_poeple1June 7th’s primary elections in five states, including California with its “winner take all” policy, suggests that the Democrat race may finally be decided and the focus for both “presumptive nominees” will turn to the general elections in November.

Already, we hear that President Obama is anxious to get involved on the campaign trail, where his rhetorical skills and “community organizer” background have always “stirred up the water” for both sides.

At election times, we have long urged fellow believers to register, pray and vote.  But, believers are called to pray for our public officials and leaders all the time, and not just at elections.  Paul explained to Timothy:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 

for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

I have to admit, that I have not done well at being thankful for our past, present or future presidents. I’m glad when their ideas and actions agree with mine, but I have not focused on being thankful for them.

In Romans 13, Paul calls them governing authorities who are appointed by God, for our good. Proverbs tells us that the hearts of kings (governing authorities) are in God’s hands and, like steams or rivers of water, He can turn them in whatever direction He chooses.

So, let’s pray that our sovereign God will turn our current and future president’s hearts in His direction and will. And, pray that if he/she does not have a genuine, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah and our Savior, she/he will genuinely repent, be spiritually transformed and publicly profess Jesus as Lord, in word and deed!

Finally, let us all be faithful to pray for the protection of our current and future presidents and their families, in these terrorist’ times! May God grant them natural gifts and spiritual graces, sufficient for the tasks and seasons ahead, that we all may live “peaceful and quiet lives, in all godliness and holiness.”

Amen? Now, be sure to vote!

_________

Columns @ Constitution.com

See my weekly columns at the secular news site: Constitution.com. Add your own thoughts and comments to each post!

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