Shelterless In the Storm
There it was again - that strange sick uneasy feeling. It was a balmy spring night. The moon was full and hung in the eastern sky like a huge basketball; it was a passionate moon – the color of deep orange. It seemed to be calling out some kind of warning. The backdrop was fitting. A Texas storm was brewing. It was coming in from the West and the forecast was for damaging winds, hail, heavy rain, and possible tornadoes.
But there’s another storm brewing and many of you reading this newsletter can sense it. Our country is indeed in great peril. The old adage that states “red skies in the morning, sailors take warning” is somewhat apropos, but the skies have been red for a long time and the storm has already begun. Just like with the Titanic, warnings were given, but not heeded. It’s April 14, 1912, all over again. It’s 11:40 PM and we are in the icy waters of the Atlantic. We are headed for a huge iceberg. The smug and pious looks will soon turn into expressions of horror; the pompous tones will soon turn into screams.
Many know something is wrong. We know the church and the country are full of problems; we sense it. But my question is – are we part of the problem?
We know we are in spiritual warfare but instead of wearing the armor of God, we’re wearing the garments of the world. God’s armor is in the closet. The life preservers are locked up in the bottom of the ship; the shelter is five miles away, but the storm is directly over us.
The church is in very turbulent times and she is about to go through her most intense storm. However, we are not ready. Many in the church are going around as if noting is wrong and singing the ABC song. But while they sing, there’re being dragged to the bottom of the raging sea, by their own sin.
Although it has been almost five months since I have penned a newsletter, I believe I have written a compelling message. I may do a poor job as to what the Lord has called me to do; however I still have my little part. I am not a prophet. Neither do I claim any direct visions from the Lord, yet I am not totally sensory impaired when it comes to hearing and seeing what the Lord is trying to reveal. As a result of having some kind of discernment, I do attempt to convey what I believe the milieu of the church and the country is, and to somehow write in an understandable fashion what I deem the Lord is saying.
What you are about to read is far from a grandiloquent essay of niceties, and feel- good pop-ups of escapisms. It’s a compelling message to the church and a warning that she must prepare for the tempest that will soon be raging. This is a message of God’s judgment upon America’s abject society. It’s a message about our egregious sins that we have committed for years, and especially since September 11, 2001.
We as Americans have short-term memories. Immediately after 9/11 the vicissitudes of our society began to manifest themselves. After that day scores not only flocked to church, but actually prayed, and some even had the audacity to repent. However, time has a way of sending dementia to all of us. Since 9/11, which I still maintain was the “shot over the bow”, and was the beginning of World War III; a lot of changes have taken place. Satan has been relentless with his inexorable attacks, and much of the church has failed to pray and so have fallen prey, finding themselves in the bottom of a polluted sea. We had a movement to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance. Although the absentee parent failed at his attempt because of a technicality, the movement is alive and is as aggressive as ever.
Judge Roy Moore lost his battle to keep the Ten Commandments in the Rotunda in the Court Building in Alabama.
Teachers have been fired for any type of promotion of their own Christian beliefs. And the homosexuals have been given a shot of B-12 to expand their agenda. June 23rd of 2003 was a chilling day in history – a very chilling day. On Thursday, June 23rd the United States Supreme Court rendered a telling decision. By a vote of nine to three the Texas Sodomy Law was overturned in the court action suit of Lawrence vs. Texas. The Supreme Court voted that somehow the constitution contains a fundamental right for homosexuals to engage in sodomy. This horrendous decision opened up the flood gates for homosexual propaganda to find its way to every school, office, place of business, and our churches. Much of their disinformation has already found a home in these places, but through the interference of the Court’s action in the Texas case there is no demilitarized zone from the infiltrations of the homosexual agenda. This decision was indeed the precipitating factor that gave growth hormones to an already growing Cyclops. Now as the Cyclops is reaching adulthood, courts across this country are validating what is commonly called “Same Sex Marriages.”
I thank God for President Bush’s stand for the traditional marriage. Anyone trumpeting same sex marriages is trumpeting a call from hell, and we must plug up our ears and silence that trumpet player.
Look around at the milieu of this country. How can we embrace the homosexual lifestyle? But we have embraced it. We have experienced a recrudescence of Sodom and Gomorrah.
New York, which is 3.5 billion dollars in debt and had to cut 450 million dollars from their school budget still managed to find enough of the tax payers’ money to start an all-homosexual public school. This school will teach and reinforce that the homosexual lifestyle is not only to be accepted but also cherished. This is the same state in which one school district has voted to allow Muslims to pray three times per day. While all this is going on, we in the church are content to swim in the same cesspool and consume the offal of or own making.
And not to be outdone, scores of indignant women demonstrated for what they call “Abortion Rights” in our nation’s capitol.
I heard the sound-bites of the strident and angry voices of Hillary Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg and others screaming how we, whoever we are, should keep our hands off their bodies. I for one have no interest in putting my hands on their bodies, but I am concerned about the little bodies they wish to destroy. Although we have won a temporary victory against “partial birth abortion", that could change with the stroke of a judge’s pen.
When Denton, Texas had its Pro-life rally back in May of this year, only about fifty people attended.
I graduated from high school in 1966. If someone back then had told me that in less than forty years we would take a baby out of the womb feet first leaving only the head inside and then insert a hole in the base of the skull and take a sucking cup and suck its brains out and then remove the dead baby and call it a medical procedure, I would have labeled that person mad.
When the church is taciturn on the abortion debate, or worse, supports to murder the un-born child, then we have crossed over to a non- church of Jesus Christ and therefore that church should not be obeyed, but avoided. This is just as true regarding the homosexual issue. Although we are to love those who are committing any such sins, we are never, never, to condone such actions.
The news continues to come from World War III. I call it WWIII because that’s exactly what it is. We are fighting a religious war and the first step to victory is to know it’s a religious war. Radical Islam is a false and evil religion. But as evil and false as the believers in Islam may be, they are as dedicated as they are evil. My prayer is that we as Christians believe the Bible as much as the radical Muslims believe the Koran.
The average Muslim is many times more dedicated to Allah, than the average Christian is dedicated to God (Yahweh). The average churchgoer is full of himself and sin. We have an anchor dragging us down in a stormy sea. The church has a personal sin problem.
So I ask: How can we know what awaits us if we are too occupied with our own private sin? What about the more covert sins that are destroying us by the thousands? I wish to address these sins for they are just as destructive, deleterious, and damning as the ones previously mentioned. What about those sins we commit after we leave the sanctuary and even while we are in the sanctuary?
There are two sins I wish to address.
Be Careful Little Eyes What You See
I remember that little song, which I still enjoy singing to my grandson. It goes something like, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see, Oh be careful little eyes what you see because the Father up above, is watching down with love, Oh be careful little eyes what you see.” That may be simple but it’s a very accurate and beneficial little song. Perhaps we need to sing this song in our worship service and memorize it.
The first of the two sins is the sin of pornography.
Statistics clearly prove that pornography addiction has become an enormous problem in America. For instance, according to U.S. News & World Report, web surfers spent $970 million on pornographic websites back in 1998, a figure that is expected to rise greatly to well over $3 billion by the end of this year. One researcher estimates that 60 million Americans have visited sexually explicit web sites. These figures only represent Internet porn. The numbers involved with pornography as a whole are even more staggering.
Men have spent an entire day transfixed in front of their computer, web-surfing from one porn site to another, “praying” no one will come in the office and then ’”praying” half the night that they erased everything off the hard-drive. No one really knows how much time has been lost on the job due to porn surfing.
But what does this have to do with the church, you ask? Apparently quite a lot. According to Promise Keepers, 65% of the men responding to a poll they took indicated they have a struggle with pornography. It’s true that the majority of men attending Promise Keepers are men who wish to correct problems in their lives; but it is interesting to note that a survey of pastors and lay leaders conducted by Leadership Magazine revealed that 62% have viewed pornography.
Many are first disgusted with what they see, and then in a short time it excites them. It’s a drug that demands more and more. It’s like being thirsty for water, but the more you drink the more dehydrated you become. Although we are surfeited with this sewage and there should be no room for more, yet we cry out for one more drink. And where does it all end? It ends with little wet spots on the floor in front of your computer screen. No it doesn’t end, it just slows down for a few hours, or a day or two and then you’re back drinking in more filth and becoming more and more dissatisfied. I believe pornography has destroyed more lives than drugs. It’s an addiction that is non-discriminatory. This destruction is taking place not only in homes and offices, but in churches – even in the pastor’s study. Computer sex is the deadly albatross that is hanging around the necks of millions.
I wonder how many men have committed adultery with a six inch image on the computer screen.
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a women to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Christian men find themselves drawn into this same sick cycle that drags them deeper and deeper into the cesspool they long to escape from, but instead of escaping they have become channel swimmers.
I am ashamed to admit that although I may not be a channel swimmer in this cesspool, l have certainly been in satan’s swimming classes and I am no stranger to these polluted waters. I speak first-hand when I say that my garments are stained with this deadly sin.
This fast-growing cancer does not discriminate who its victims are - it wants all who will only provide the right host in which just one weak moment a wicked aberrant cell can grow and take control.
Satan has found a weapon that is one of the most strategic weapons that has been used at anytime in history.
Unfortunately I am not writing to men alone. Women are also addicted. When I worked with the state a lady told me and my supervisor that she and her husband would watch porn before retiring for bed. She said it improved her sex life. My supervisor, who also was a believer, and I, warned her of this trickery of satan. She dismissed us as “goody two shoes”. However in just a few months she was divorced and her life continued to spiral downward, and as of last account her life was in shambles.
When you compile cable television, videos, and magazines, pornography has a devastating hold on us, and while the conservative church member is pointing a finger at the homosexual, his fingers are dripping with sins that are just as immoral. We are doing all kinds of sordid and evil things in our minds.
Pornography is the rope that has hung millions, it’s the knife that has slashed their throats, and it’s the venom in their drink. It’s the albatross that seemingly cannot be removed. We have reached for a luring attraction and grabbed a hold of a viper. Perhaps pornography will prove to be satan’s most destructive tool.
We as believers must do all we can to shut the floodgate of such sin. But we better make sure we are not doing it with hypocritical hands. The church must be the paradigm, she must be the mirror for the world to see the reflection of Christ.
Job made a covenant with his eyes. (Job: 31:1).
The computer may be the new evil kid on the block, but his big brother - television can be just as evil. Society is used to 30 second sound-bites, which by the way is one reason the Liberal Democrats may carry the election. The church is not ready for the approaching storm. We are again too busy filling our minds with everything from junk (dumbing down programs) to outright garbage.
Television alone has been satan's weapon since its invention in 1927 in San Francisco. Why am I not surprised TV started in San Francisco?
Try to turn your set off for one week. See if your are not already a prisoner by the one-eyed monster. While the world falls down around us many are sitting transfixed in front of their televisions. Most Americans have the Michael Moore mentality - fat minds as well as fat bodies. Too many have a “dumb and dumber brain” filled with the most sordid perversion.
Another verse to that little song goes “Oh be careful little ears what you hear, Oh be careful little ears what you hear…” You see it’s what we put in our minds that affect our thinking. Some of the lyrics in songs are X-rated. This is true in a lot of music, but especially rap. Young minds are being poisoned and at the same time conditioned and molded to re-enact the lyrics in their daily lives. Music can have a disastrous effect on the hearer. It’s a travesty, it’s a travesty. But the travesty increases because many of the youth leaders are listening to the same stations and playing the same CD’s.
Do you understand what I am trying to communicate? The simple song is biblical. We are to renew our minds and it’s what we put in our minds that will destroy or renew them.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect. Will of God. Romans 12:2
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 2:2
If the spirit is to rule, the mind must be subjected to it and the mind must be renewed daily in order to submit.
I have endeavored to write a short but straightforward essay on pornography. I pray you will also be open and honest, and allow the Holy Spirit of God to search your heart. In the name of our risen Savior I beseech you, if you are polluting your minds then stop, be washed in His blood and begin to renew your minds daily.
Pecking Order of the Pew
Secondly, I wish to touch on a sin that may not be considered as egregious as the previously mentioned, but perhaps is just as deadly. I call it the “pecking order of the pew” It’s infighting in the Church. I am talking about non-salvation issues that we break fellowship over.
One teaching we break fellowship over is the teaching of “pre-trib” and “post-trib” rapture. I unequivocally believe in a “post-trib” rapture. In other words I believe and teach that the church will indeed go through the tribulation. I believe this now more than I did ten years ago. This teaching is one of the cardinal issues of my newsletter. I think teaching a “pre-trib” doctrine is dangerous and naïve. It is NOT a salvation issue. In short, that teaching will be proven wrong and I want to be able to help those who are so confused as to why they are still here.
Neither will I break fellowship over most translations, style of preaching, eternal security, dietary laws, or a dozen or more so-called divisive issues. I have heard of church splits over the color of carpet, if one sits in a chair or a pew, and other obtuse issues.
I admit that being involved in local assemblies has for the most part been an up and down experience. Sometimes being a “church member” can leave one isolated at best. I recall a conversation with my sister- in-law who at the time attended the same local prayer group as my wife and I attended. My sister-in-law related to me a conversation she had with another in the prayer group. The conversation apparently had to do with me, who I was, and what I believed. She said that the individual she was talking with had said this about me. “Oh I could tell he was a blue collar worker.” Now I do not mind being part of the proletarian class. Perhaps it’s us proletarians who help assuage some of the difficulties the white- collar workers have helped facilitate. Although the individual’s remarks were probably more of a callow nature, I do not mind her assessment of my status in life. Over the past several years I have carried a briefcase as well as a broom. What is a little humorous is that at the time of the conversation I was carrying a briefcase.
We have some very egregious sins in our country and in our Churches and we must fight against those sins but not destroy each other over non-salvation issues.
How, I ask, can we face all that awaits us hating each other? We have made the enemy one another, and by doing so we are destroying ourselves from within.
We must learn to fellowship, and then love all individuals of all races and all social- economic classes, whether they are intelligent or not.
We are to believe and obey the words of Paul.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility in mind regard one another more important than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
However, I doubt we learn this unless it’s forced upon us. The school of affliction gives the most meaningful diplomas. This is why the church must go through the tribulation. She must go through the fire in order to be a spotless and non-wrinkled Bride. Persecution would bring an end to the levity and instill a hunger to live a holy life. But let us prepare now and extirpate the sin that is destroying us, so we can endure to the end.
Yes, America has gone mad. The sins we are committing are indeed egregious. But, if you and I are rightly going to speak out with boldness about the squalid and abject condition of this country, we must first make sure our lives are exemplary and reflect a clear image of Christ.
Judgment is indeed coming and God will use our very enemies to bring us down.
We have not seen the last of the terrorist attacks; in fact we have only seen the birth of them. Radical Islam is our enemy. They hate us and they hate Israel. They want to witness Israel drowning in the sea and watch cities in America ablaze. More and more of our freedoms and liberties will be exchanged for a little safety and security. If the leftist liberals get in office then that will only expedite things. The hedge will be completely removed and all hell will be break loose.
I believe we will witness horrific weather changes with more and more severity. The sun is going crazy. The magnetic field has appeared to have lost its compass. Weather will indeed be a factor.
I believe we will see more and more Jesus haters. Whether you pronounce His name Yeshua, Yahoshuah, or Jesus, it’s He that is divisive and not how we pronounce His name. Proclaiming trust in Him and Him alone will separate us from the un-believing world.
I could go on and on. I haven’t even touched on the economic issues, racial unrest, and other types of judgments that are sure to come.
But in the interim, I will serve and uplift my country and the laws of this land, but if my country or laws circumscribe God and His laws, then it’s Caesar I will disobey, not God. We as a church must repent and turn to the God of the Bible. His name is Yahweh, not Allah
Life is a challenge. It’s a challenge under normal days, and we will see more and more provocations. Satan has unleashed much of his fury, and many are frightened and wounded. There’re either lying down or retreating in fear.
But we are not to stay down. Christians are never told to retreat but to charge. We are to put on the full armor of God, take the sword in hand and defeat all our enemies. Start now, and do not wait for the storm to come to full strength. Begin to serve God now, and love Him with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Renew your mind daily and put your petty issues down and attack sin with all fury. Yeshua is our place of safety. He is our armor. Simply put on Christ.
I beseech you in the name of the risen Lord: Come out of your sin and to the cross.
Now may the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob bless you through His Son Yeshua.
In His Service
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
Almost Five Months
Almost five months have passed since my last newsletter. I suppose one can come up with a plethora of excuses and rationalizations for their procrastinations, and I would like to think my justifications are cogent and sound and any reasonable person would understand. But when all my florid arguments of buts, could haves, and should haves fade into the distance of good intentions perhaps my reasons for procrastinations are just about as banal as the next person’s, or perhaps not.
I have experienced some challenging times, such as a myriad of problems with my grown children. Any parent can testify that when a child is hurt physically, emotionally, or spiritually, it can have a devastating effect on the parent. My children suffer for my mistakes. The Lord told David he would have a sword in his house; let me assure you I know about swords.
On January 26th, just one month before her 94th birthday, my mom passed away. I was very close to her. She lived in our home for several months prior to her death. She died at the hospital and although I played an extensive role in her life as a caregiver, and spent many hours with her, I never got to really tell her good-bye. I thought she was going to be OK. But I am thankful she knew the Lord and I know I will see her again. Then there’s the aftermath of the often boring and laborious things one has to do after someone dies. I could go on and list numerous events in my life that have contributed to not getting the newsletter out in a timely manner, but I have found out people usually accomplish those things they really want to accomplish. What I have gone through, and what I am going through, is no different than what many of you are experiencing as you read this newsletter. Some of you are in far greater challenging circumstances than me. Basically, the reason for the delay is I am a struggling Christian. I too often let circumstances have a deleterious effect on me, thus affecting my walk, as well as my writing. I get involved in the situation and not the Lord.
I know some of you look forward to my newsletter and it’s you I ask forgiveness.