Why Conviction Isn’t Enough

Walking in the Spirit Conviction

I’m finding more and more people living “According to their Conviction” these days. It seems to be the new phrase that has replaced “I’m free in Christ” or at least, become a matching phrase meaning the essentially same thing. Many people live according to conviction.  This is good, as we are free in Christ to live apart from sin. We are to be free from this sin, not to desire things which are unlawful, and yet also not live with a spirit of legalism. The one extreme “I can do anything I want” to the other extreme “I must still keep the Torah to be clean” are flawed mindsets which must be overcome if we are to properly live walking in the Spirit.

Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  ~Galatians 4&5~

So often in our lives though we mix up, or at least do not properly reconcile, what it means to live according to the “Conviction of the Spirit” Paul speaks of in Romans and Galatians. There are clear evidences of what living according to your heart’s desires looks like. There are also clear evidences of what Spirit given Conviction looks like. What we must not do, is be deceived into thinking our sinful heart’s desires are biblical convictions given by the Holy Spirit.

For if we mix the Spirit’s conviction with our heart’s desire, then we will stray into sin over and over. Because we all know, the heart is incredibly deceitful. 

What are the evidences then? How can we be sure that we are walking that straight and narrow path of honoring Christ with our whole being? Well, one reason I love Paul, is he was a list guy. Like me. In the book of Galatians he outlines in detail, what evidences of the spirit and heart (flesh) look like.

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions,factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. 

Honestly, the evidences are quite clear. One I think is the most prevalent or at least, see most often, is selfish ambitions. Selfishness can be contrived and drawn up in many different ways to look like it is in fact, not so. Which takes us back to the core of ourselves- what does the heart look like? Is it meek and submissive? Is it selfless and honoring to others? We can only truly know our hearts when we line up our actions and true desires with scripture’s standards.

Which brings me to the last bit of this post… What are our standards? What does it mean to live according to conviction by the spirit practically? Remember that passage when the Priests came and questioned Jesus? (paraphrasing here) They asked Him incredibly insincerely  “Great teacher, what is the greatest commandment?” to which Christ replied brilliantly, per usual, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength. The second is like it- love your neighbor as yourself. Upon these rest the rest of the Law.” There, in plain black and white, is our standard. Is what we are doing in Love of the Lord, AND in Love of all others. It is such a simple, yet quite challenging truth. If what we are doing is out of a genuine Love for the Lord first, then others. You will be following the commandments the Lord has set in place.

Finally, here’s the bottom line I’ve concluded about this topic- If a conviction does not align with greatest commandments, you’re doing it wrong. And that wrongness should be changed- not based on what feels right, but what is known to be true. Then, and only then, will one be able to live according to the convictions Paul speaks of over and over. Convictions serving not the flesh, but the Spirit, glorifying Christ.

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Why I’m not a Homophobe

r-HOMOPHOBIA-large570

Disclaimer: Due to the ever changing standards of political correctness, I may use words which are not considered to be such. I do this not out of malice or degradation, but out of  the simple means of communicating a point or lifestyle. Thanks for your understanding. 

A cultural movement is being discussed quite a bit in the news and legal circles today. This is due to the large amounts of judges ruling laws against homosexual marriages unconstitutional. It has happened in Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, and I am sure more states will be added in the future to come. The truth is unavoidable, the gay lifestyle is becoming more and more accepted with the American people. Regardless of your political persuasion, as a Christian, this is saddening, and as a historian… Frightening.

What gets me most though, is when I see Christians not condemning such a lifestyle, but rather embracing it and supporting it. Any Christian well versed in scriptural principles easily sees that the gay lifestyle is indeed sinful. That much is virtually indisputable. Whether it comes from Nature or nurture does not matter. Sin is sin, and should be treated as such. However, the responses to this sin are often sinful inandof itself. I’ve seen, and at times been in the mindset of fearful reactions, arrogant dismissals, and apathetic thoughts. All of which should be condemned just as much as the gay lifestyle itself.

When you react to sin with sin… all you get is a bigger mess.

Politics and legality of marriage aside, as legalizing something doesn’t change the biblical truth of it, I think we all have struggled as to how we should approach someone living in this sin. The biggest stumbling block I’ve seen for most, and experienced myself, is the aspect of fear. Ironically, when you are fearful, it is quite difficult to love someone. As perfect love is the only thing which casts out fear. Love it however, much more powerful than fear.

See, I’ve found in recent years that people living in sin hardly care about condemnation of others, because they are so wrapped up in self. This can be true for Christians even in times of great struggles. We can condemn people all day, but we might as well be beating a wet towel against a brick wall. Sure, it will leave an impression where it hit, but evaporate quickly with no lasting effect on the wall itself. However, all acceptance (in the pursuit of love) is just as useless and perhaps more damaging, as you enable their sin more.

Per usual, Christ embodied the perfect balance of love and discussing sins. He showed us Love isn’t mushy and soft, sometimes it hurts. We never saw him go “What?! You’re a tax collector?! Sorry, I just can’t associate with you anymore.” Rather, we see him eating and drinking with some of the people considered to be the worst in terms of morality and lifestyle in that culture. Now, I’m not saying you should invite a couple over for dinner. (though, it could be a very powerful tool of testimony and you should do so if you feel called) What I am saying is we should stop completely freaking out inside when someone proclaims they are “Gay”, and instead perhaps reach out to them like we would any other individual who is in need of Christ.

We should treat them just like any other person lost in the world living in sin. We should be a shameless living testimony to them and make sure they know we don’t approve of their lifestyle- but that doesn’t mean we put them in the “Do not witness to” box. They are just as approachable as any other person. I’m not a homophobe because I know who I am in Christ, what He commands me to do, and how to do it. And those commands don’t include closing myself off to an entire group of people just because they are more public and shameless about their sins than most.

I’d say live in love- not fear, humility- not arrogance, and concern- not apathy and we might, just might, begin to impact yet another “that lost cause” (as someone once told me) for Christ. Then behold His glory in the redemption of those people, as we’ve seen hundreds of times over in times before. All because we cast out fear, and started living in Love- Christ’s Love.

Why Abortion is Acceptable

abortion sign
PhotoCredit: Religionlink.com

I told myself I would never write about this topic. But today I saw one hateful picture to many. You know- the kind which sarcastically and hatefully tell you “If you got an abortion, Congrats! you just got away with murder.” Derogatory and demeaning pictures which tear a person down in their choices. No shown love, no sympathetic grace, no kind forgiveness.

Let me tell you why abortion is acceptable in our culture today.

The Problem isn’t Abortion

When you ask someone why Abortion is OK, and they are in favor of the action. They say “A woman has a right to choose.” or “Women have rights over their bodies.” etc etc. They don’t address the child inside the woman, because to them, it isn’t a child.

And that’s where the problem lies.

See, if everyone thought the children in a womb really were children, you would have to be devoid of any kind of conscience to actively support abortion. Indeed, I know people who are not Christians, but do not support this practice. Why? Because they believe it is a  living child. If one believes that the thing inside a woman’s body is a fetus without life, then why would it be wrong to remove it? The fact of reality, based on both scripture and science, is children are indeed alive when in a womb. However, the large majority people don’t recognize this.

Abortion isn’t a choice problem, it is a heart problem.

When I see these terrible pics, these destructive videos, and prideful posts condemning the people who have abortions- delighting in arguing with people who disagree with them, I am saddened. They aren’t focusing on the heart. They are focusing on the agenda. Until people are talked on a person to person level about the importance of the child, not their choice, things are not going to change. Not focusing on “proof”, but focusing on the individual’s situation.

Until love starts to be shown to people regarding this topic, we Christians are like it says in 1 Corinthians. How about we actively start engaging people in love, not through hateful pictures and internet arguments?

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Alien Apocalypse: We Are Not Alone

Illustration from HG Welles "War of the Worlds"
Illustration from HG Wells’ “War of the Worlds”

The is my second, long overdue, response to the American Apocalypse obsession. Aliens are a word and concept everyone knows about. If you’ve read any sci-fi, or watched any movies, you’ll know Aliens can look like us… Or look like something which we dream about in our nightmares.

Why do Americans, even many professing Christians I talk to, embrace the idea of life on other planets? Why do some people believe Aliens will be returning soon to harvest the life they have planted? What does scripture have to say about this? I hope to adequately adress all these questions in the course of this article.

What is an Alien?

Let’s start with a foundation. What do we mean by Alien? What constitutes life on other planets? When I talk about aliens, and when many others do as well, usually the context is of sentient life. Sentient life is that which knows right and wrong, which has and holds to morals. Life which possesses a soul. If such life existed  it would destroy the credibility of scripture as we know it.

What Difference Does This Make?

So why worry about this ideology and mindset? I hold to the belief sentient life as we know it, on other planets, (ie Aliens) is not supported with science, nor scripture. One common belief which incorporates evolution is a long time ago, advanced aliens planted bacteria here and created a soup for life to grow in. This started the evolutionary chain, and thus solving the issue “how did life begin on earth”.

This belief puts faith in an unknown interstellar race for our origins. This belief takes just as much faith, if not more, than believing the biblical account of creation as shown in Genesis. Genesis is the foundation for the purpose of Christ, the state of man, and the state of this universe. Remove, or twist Genesis, and you have removed the cornerstone of what Christians believe, and all hope for redemption and a perfect ending to this world. The idea Aliens live somewhere else, planted us here for an unknown reason, and will be coming back to destroy most of us when we finish our task, is hopeless and sad.

One common thread I see when talking to some people who quite honestly believe this worldview, is the incredible amount of faith, or rejection of God, they have. Evidence comes not from science, but from YouTube Videos, the History Channel speculatory  series called “Ancient Aliens“, and blogs. To base a life truth off of youtube videos and such, especially ones involving conspiracies and fallacies like this, is like putting faith in a dinghy to make it safely across the ocean. Tragically foolish and unfounded.

Responding with Grace

Faith in Aliens as our creator, redeemer, and destroyer is based upon a desire to reject God with something more real and tangible. Even if that thing is evil or brings destruction. A valid and common question asked by those who believe this is regarding the size of the universe. Something so large has to be filled with other life. Right? Why else would it be so huge? Why would God create something so vast for one species?

One thing which makes me disheartened in the common professing Christian is when these questions are asked, they are offended and say something to the effect “I have faith” or, they confess they have no idea and that there might be truth in what the other says. I see this especially in the area of Space and Aliens. With Star Wars, Star Trek, and other popular series, believing life could exist elsewhere isn’t so hard to do when you don’t think about it. But in the words of Bill Jack-

“Too often Christians today are not only soft headed, but they are also hard hearted.”

This is one worldview we as Christians have to engage the culture in a way which is intelligent, yet kind. Scripture defends itself in this area. I’ll be honest, nowhere does it say “Sentient Life does not exist save for earth.” However, it does say a lot about the reason of the universe and why it exists like it does. In a future article I will adress these points more directly, with verses and answers. I challenge you in the mean time, to look up answers for yourself. To ask those hard questions like “Is it really so wrong to believe Aliens exist?” And come up with passages pertaining to that topic.

I’ll close with this. Just like the Zombie worldview, this belief of Aliens leaves people ultimately, without hope for a better life now, or in the future. Christ provides that hope, and that is always where we must guide every conversation in these areas of topics. Aliens are just a cover people wear to keep themselves from waking up. Sometimes, covers need to be ripped off, so the person sleeping will start their day. In the same way, these worldviews need to be exposed for what they truly are.

That is, unfounded on speculation and rejection of the life of hope found in Jesus Christ.

Zombie Apocalypse: When the Undead Walk

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This is the first post in response to The American Apocalypse Obsession. Zombies are incredibly saturated in our culture today. We see them on TV shows, in movies, in video games, in books, and even in our churches. The term “Christian Zombie” is used in jest and supposed to be a compliment.

But most of all, people know about Zombies because of the coming Apocalypse. Have you heard? Yes indeed. Due to radiation, some unknown disease, or an extraterrestrial infection the world will someday soon be brought to an end by Zombies ravaging the earth. Returning it to a primal and deadly age supposedly long ago.

Thats how the story goes anyway. Frankly, I am not convinced in any way such an age will ever happen, or that is it even acceptable for christian to use this term of “Zombie” in their description of who they are.

What is a Zombie?

Before we actually get to the problems with this Zombie obsessed mentality. We first need to figure out and define what exactly a Zombie is, and where the idea came from. There are two types of zombies, both of which have influenced our culture’s present day interpretation. The first originated in Africa, when a person would tie their soul to a snake, which is created by a Witchdoctor, or sorcerer. This is then taken care of and supposed to bring the person more luck the better they treat this astral extension. Supposedly, if the extension is killed, the person attached to it dies as well. This gives the sorcerer complete control over the individual by means of holding life or death in his hands. I personally, while in Africa, have heard a witness account of the zombie being killed, and immediately after, the man whom he knew died as well. Sorcery is a grave and serious matter. I don’t understand it, but it is definitely something not to be trifled with.

The second is more well known, and originated in Haiti. There were reports of people dying, being buried, then rising out of their graves insane and deranged. This originally was credited through witchcraft and sorcerers  Upon further investigation it was found the combination of two powders infused into the bloodstream could give the appearance, both physical and medical, of death. Then after a time, the person would awake, and the second powder would provide hallucinations, the inability to feel pain, and a loss of sanity. Eventually, the witchdoctor would kill them (for real this time) or provide a cure and further his reputation  The Haitians believed if you arose a zombie, it was the worse punishment their god could give, as your soul would never find peace or death.

What Difference Does This Make?

Hopefully you are beginning to see the flaws in associating or joking about zombies in christianity. They originate from occult beliefs and practices which are used to circumvent “Fate” or to control a person to commit acts they would never do on their own. In addition, the idea itself is unbiblical and condemned. I am not going to so much delve into the Old Testament commandments against sorcery, thought they are valid. Moreso, let’s look at the appalling rejection of Christ’s sacrifice with this view.

For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another. He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. ~Hebrews 9: 24-28~ NKJV (emphasis added)

Clearly, the idea of Zombies destroys the very core of God’s perfect plan of salvation, redemption, and the glourious second coming all in one swoop. The idea, one can cheat eternal death by resurrecting as a soulless being, and then millions of these plunging the world into a state of primal chaos is against everything taught in scripture. It is a hopeless and desperate substitute of a man made plan, in an effort to replace a perfect one. Unsurprisingly, it fails miserably.

Responding with Grace.

The first part of appropriately responding to one who believes in such an impending apocalypse is they are operating from a hopeless viewpoint. All end of the world scenarios end in failure and death, save for one. The person’s hope lies in how they will act and die in those end times, not how they will be redeemed. They have a desire of the glorious last stand, like the Alamo. These observations are from personal conversations with people who believe this, not simply conjecture. Their hope lies in what they will die doing, and go down in gory glory.

We can’t change a person’s heart of self glorification, only the spirit can do that. What we can do though, is be like paul, and reason with them based on their understanding. The passage which comes to mind is as follows:

Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you….

~Acts 17:22-23~

Paul then goes on to explain the gospel in a captivating fashion. We can do the same here. There is common ground here which is the world will indeed someday end. After you hear their view, be prepared to share how the glorious second coming of Christ will be a day of rejoicing for those that believe in Him. Don’t get bogged down in the symbolic chapters in Revelation and judgments. But focus on the “why”. Why is Christ returning? Why will the world end? These are the eternal questions which matter, and what so many people, including Christians, miss.

And for those of you who claim to be Zombie Christians (dead to self alive in Christ) I’d say, quite bluntly, shame on you, for perverting the name of a Christian (which means Christ follower) and endorsing a view which is opposed to anything in relation to His Sacrifice or how we are to live.

That’s the wrap on zombies. Next on the list, Aliens.

The American Apocalypse Obsession

End of the World

A few months ago I went to a movie, and every single one of the previews were on a wordlwide apocalypse. Now, this got my attention. We know what hollywood produces is a prevalent focus in our culture. I personally will probably not be going to see those movies, nor do I have an interest to, because I know how the world will really end based upon the book of Revelation.

So I dismissed the thought for a few weeks until at work, a guy was seriously preparing for the Zombie apocalypse. You laugh? I did too. Until he showed me he was serious by producing a set of steel armor from his trunk. Then, it hit me.

Americans could quite possibly, actually, truly believe… A worldwide apocalypse is coming.

So what to do with this revelation. At first, honestly, I laughed it off. Because really, how bad can it be, someone believing in such folly. What I came to realize though, is when a person has a distorted view of how the world will end, that view spread to shape his worldview, which in turn, affects where he will spend in eternity. I realized this stuff isn’t funny, nor to be taken in jest. This is another example where the world has taken God’s perfect plan to end the world, and twisted it into a deprived and revolting mess of ideas.

I started reading up on the most prevalent theories of Apocalypses, so I could better understand and communicate in response to each flawed view. Then, provide scripture once the flaws have been established. I came up with these four.

1. The Zombie Apocalypse: This by far is the widest held view. That someday, something is going to turn us into zombies and mankind will be destroyed by the undead.

2. The Alien Apocalypse: Also known as Alien Invasion, Two theories are shown here. One, is a group will find us and make us slaves, eat us, etc. The other, is slightly more intellectually based. But not by much. This view holds we were planted by aliens, and they return to take us to their home, and destroy our world in the process.

3. The Asteroid Apocalypse: A view which holds one day, an asteroid will smash into the earth, and destroy the environment. Subviews hold some people will survive with radiation mutations, creating a new superhuman species. think X-men.

4. The Environmental Apocalypse: This view can be summed up in one word. Wall-e. This view holds the earth will become so overpopulated and polluted, we will die of poisoning or have to leave.

Each view, as you can see is profoundly different in the how and why, but the heart of each is the same: A lack of Divine intervention. In the course of the next four weeks, I am going to strive to make an in depth post regarding each of these topics. Complete with definitions, explanations, and my personal interpretations of scripture regarding that topic.

This won’t be eschatology, but rather, a breaking down of common views our culture holds regarding the issue of the end of the world, and how we as Christians, can be prepared to biblically respond to it.

Taking Comfort in… Motives?

I keep hearing on the news today more on the tragic shootings in Connecticut  I know it is not fun to dwell on, but there was one phrase repeated over and over that perked my curiosity and made me think.

“We do not yet know the killer’s motives, but will not rest until we have answers why this tragedy happened.”

Isn’t that a fascinating comment?
So many people today want to know why. “Why did he do what he did?” “It doesn’t make sense.” “It seems such a waste.” It is as if the why will provide the comfort people seek. As if knowing the man’s justification will somehow make it alright.

It brings to mind a quote from the movie “The Dark Knight”, regarding the motives of the sadistic killer “The Joker”.

I think Alfred hit upon a key idea in this small bit of dialogue regarding the condition of humanity. To often we think we can explain away depravity with a perceived motive. Because a motive is something which can be punished. Something which can be legislated. It makes sense out of something apparently senseless.
 
It provides man the illusion of control over the result of the crime, thereby making an illusion of safety.
That’s why these type of killings scare people so much. Because it shows the true condition of man’s heart, without any provocation or motives.  It shows humanity for what it truly is without Christ. A wicked, disgusting, and evil people. Of course, the scripture has answers for what happened. I mentioned a few days ago how all things work to God’s glory, and everything does. In addition, this verse comes to mind.
Jeremiah 17:9
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
We know this happened truly because of a heart issue. A heart which was turned upon self and not to God. What I find most tragic about this event and others like it, is this Truth is lost amidst the motives and earthly reasons for the crime. People miss the heart issue, which means it is just a matter of time before this happens again.  So we should pray the families and those affected find and take comfort in the Lord through this. Not through a legal explanation (and perhaps justification) of actions.
And to also say with humble thanksgiving to our Lord.
Save for the Grace of God go I.

Election 2012: The Results and Our Role

The Presidential elections for 2012 have almost concluded. I wanted to take a minute and talk about our role in government and respect to the established authority, even if we disagree with the man who will be elected.

First, we have to keep an eternal perspective. America is not going to exist in heaven. These policies which are going to continue to change are not eternal.
Christ and His Kingdom is. Scripture declares Christ ruler over all creation. He is the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He deserves our service and honor more than anyone. This election doesn’t change our responsibility to be a witness and live a life worthy of Christ.

Revelation 1:4-6
John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 28:16-20
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Amen.

This president and government is established by God. Everything is going exactly according to His plan. He wasn’t surprised at the turn of the swing states, He wasn’t surprised at the result of this election. He knows and has made the perfect plan of past, present, and future. We can rest in this fact.
How liberating and how we can rejoice in a God that has His divine hand over all creation and the happenings within it. He controls the flow of history, the governments, and leaders in it.

Romans 13 1-7
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Colossians 1:9-17
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Proverbs 21:1
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes

We as Christians can and should rest in the knowledge of God’s sovereign and perfect plan. We also can and should remember Christ is our ultimate King, and we ultimately submit to Him.

What is our role then?
As it always has been.

We are to live for Christ, Pray for our leaders, and be a witness to others.
In the grand scheme of things, our role as Christians has not changed. This election should not distract us from our life purpose of dying to self and living for Christ.

Romans 12
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

In regard to praying for our leaders. This is a command and a responsibility we have. Regardless if we agree with them or not.

1 Timothy 2
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

So, if you are still reading, (I am impressed to say the least) this election may impact us materially, but it cannot and should not shake us in our foundation with Christ. We need to focus not on a four year term, but an eternal plan.

That is how Christ’s kingdom will prevail.
That is how we will be able to continue to live as a sacrifice to Him.
And That is how we can have…
“The peace that passes all understanding.”

Movie Reviews: The Standard and the Thoughts

Movies are amazing things are they not?

It is amazing to me how one flick can make you laugh, cry, and change the way you think in the span of two hours. We are entertained, amused, and captivated by pictures on a screen we have only imagined in our head.  Sometimes too, it is an escape from the reality around us.

Unfortunately, watching solely for enjoyment and entertainment is not what the bible calls us to do.

I have learned in the past few years everyone has a worldview. (a view of truth, what is acceptable, or what is good) Through the medium of film, worldviews are expressed in ways we don’t take not of, but affect the way we think.

Some ideas commonly presented into many movies past and present are justification for wrongs, desensitization, and humanistic thoughts.

Now, I am not saying we as christians should not watch movies. Rather, I often encourage it!

With two conditions. ;)

We watch them with an analytical and biblical mindset, and the movies we watch contain principles that can be used to witness to others around us. (A hero worth imitating, sacrifice, absolutes, etc)

That’s why I review films from hollywood.

It is not enough to watch a film and go “Boy I loved that movie!”
We need to be active in thinking about what messages and worldview the movie is presenting.
If we watch with an analytical mind, we will be able to use the tool of film to start discussions with unbelievers, which leads to presenting the gospel.

So, with that said, I watch all kinds of movies, old and new, kids and adult, G to PG-13 (a very few R), and many genres (except horror). It is my intention through reviewing the movies I not only help myself to analyze a flick, but to help you in deciding if this is something you would enjoy, and how to learn to discern themes in films yourself.

So break out the popcorn and milk, and let’s start watching some movies. :)