Showing posts from 2017

A Biblical Viewpoint on Bearing Arms

Whenever a mass shooting takes place, there is increased talk in the media about gun control. That is happening again following the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada. From two 32nd story hotel windows, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock used automatic weapons to fire upon a crowd gathered for a country music concert. 59 people died and over 500 others were wounded. This surpassed last year’s Orlando nightclub massacre as the deadliest shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history.
Back in 2012, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before committing suicide hours later at the team’s practice facility. The next night during a nationally televised football game, NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas stated, “If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins [Belcher’s girlfriend] would both be alive today.” Some Americans think taking guns out of public hands will reduce the amount of murders in this country. One of my Facebook friends posted this inter…

The Circle of the Earth

Those of us who grew up in the United States learned about the Italian-born explorer Christopher Columbus. Back in 1492, the original purpose of Columbus’ voyage across the Atlantic Ocean was to find a shorter route from Spain to Asia but ended up discovering the Americas. Columbus also wanted to prove the earth is round.
Over 500 years later, it surprises me how some people still believe in a flat earth despite photos from space proving otherwise. Many travelers have embarked on round-the-world trips. The recent solar eclipse should be additional evidence of a round earth. Still, flat earthers have resorted to spreading lies such as Donald Trump supposedly being one of them.
There are even Christians promoting a flat earth gospel. This past summer, I talked with one at a friend’s machine shop. I pointed out Isaiah 40:22 says, “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers” This man replied the earth is really a flat circle like a pancake. By…

Standing Up for the Word

50 years ago when Bud Grant became coach of the Minnesota Vikings, he instructed his players to stand still at attention during the national anthem. This discipline helped them become one of the least penalized teams in the NFL. Nowadays, a select number of players are dishonoring the national anthem by taking a knee or staying in the locker room. President Trump’s recent S.O.B. comment was a bit harsh but I agree with reprimanding players who won’t participate just like they are fined for other acts of unsportsmanlike conduct
In some churches, the congregation is asked to stand whenever the preacher reads the opening text of his sermon. The first time I noticed this practice was while watching Pastor John Hagee on television ministering from his church in San Antonio, Texas. A short time later, I started making trips to Pensacola, Florida to attend revival meetings at Brownsville Assembly of God. Then-pastor John Kilpatrick also had everyone stand up as he read from the Bible during S…

A Conversation with the Church of Almighty God

A recent surge of friend requests I received on Facebook included members representing the Church of Almighty God, an organization I hadn’t heard of before. Their graphics accompanying their posts reminded me of those used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Therefore, I suspected this group is a cult. To find out more about this “church”, I watched a BBC documentary about them that looked rather disturbing. Then I logged onto their website. Immediately, a chat window opened up. I decided to respond to the other person online. Here’s how the conversation went (my comments are in bold)…
Hello, and welcome to the Gospel of the Descent of Kingdom. Think back on the “Your kingdom come” prayer that we have often made in the past. Now, God's kingdom has already descended, and God has returned in the flesh to express the truth and carry out the work of judgment in order for us to be able to come face to face with God and listen to His voice with our own ears! Do you want to understand the details of …

Limitation of Statues

In our politically correct society, protests have arisen against certain statues. Among them are of Civil War general Robert E. Lee. Some argue leaving such statues intact refuses to reckon the legacy of slavery in this country. On the other hand, monuments are erected to remind us of regrettable events like the Holocaust. There’s an old saying, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”
Statues have a part of American history. Immigrants are excited to see the Statue of Liberty while passing by Ellis Island in New York City. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC honors the president who helped end slavery in the United States. Mount Rushmore in South Dakota features the face of Lincoln plus three other past presidents. Romans 13:7 says we are to give honor to whom honor is due.
However, Exodus 20:4 in the New Living Translation says, “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.” Statues become idols…

Acts of God?

A fellow evangelist I know used to be employed by the U. S. Postal Service. I heard him talk about a time when a massive winter storm prevented coworkers from showing up on the job. Some of them were atheists but still marked “an act of God” on a form as their reason for missing work so they could get paid. One dictionary defines act of God as “an instance of uncontrollable natural forces in operation (often used in insurance claims).” 
Many people who won’t live for God still blame Him for disasters such as tornadoes and floods. Obviously, the Lord has some control over the weather. Jesus said in Matthew 5:45, “for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” However, I don’t believe killer storms are “acts of God.” Keep in mind we live in a fallen world largely ruled by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4) who comes to “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”Jesus came to give us life and “have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Self-appointed …

Armchair Pastors

A new NFL regular season begins in a few days. Armchair quarterbacks are already discussing how their favorite teams and players should do things differently this year. These self-appointed experts seem to think they know more about football than the coaches. 
Sadly, this sort of thing happens in the Body of Christ. “Armchair pastors” criticize ministers for doing or not doing certain things. This past week, the Internet has been (pardon the pun) flooded with unChristlike remarks regarding a well-known pastor in Houston, Texas. Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church receives enough flak from heresy hunters who disapprove of his ministry. Now Joel has been lambasted for his response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Lakewood Church was criticized for not having services last weekend. Their web site stated that was done due to “…concern for the safety of our members.” Many streets in Houston were impassible by flood waters. In the Upper Midwest where I’ve lived most of my life, churc…

Signs in the Sky

This past Monday, portions of the United States got to view a rare total solar eclipse. Later that day, my hometown newspaper ran an article on their web site that caught my attention. The Fargo Forum spotlighted two long-bearded brothers claiming the eclipse represented “a seven-year judgment on America.” My first thought was to dismiss Dean and Dennis Johnson as religious wackos. Then I decided to watch the accompanying video to hear what they had to say.
I agree with Dean and Dennis Johnson’s exhortation of our country’s need for repentance. However, they also stated that unless America repents, “another one [eclipse] is coming in seven years.” Astronomers have already determined the next solar eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024. I don’t see how national repentance will stop that from happening.
Now I do believe God uses signs in the sky to get our attention such as the wise men being led by a star to Bethlehem in Matthew 2. The rainbow in Genesis 9 was a sign that God will not floo…

Let Our Sisters Speak

As a young Christian, I devoured numerous teaching tapes and books that God used to help me grow in my knowledge of Him and prepare for ministry. One Bible teacher who I’ve gleaned a lot from is Joyce Meyer. Her “Battlefield of the Mind” is one of the most powerful books I ever read. Joyce’s testimony of overcoming abuse and rejection has inspired millions of hurting people. I appreciate her candor and sense of humor (especially her “What About Me?” robot imitation).
It grieves me when I hear fellow Christians criticizing Joyce Meyer. She is often labeled a “prosperity preacher.” Her web site clarifies: “A ‘prosperity gospel’ that solely equates blessing with financial gain is out of balance and could damage a person’s walk with God.”
Another reason Joyce receives flak from religious folk is simply being a woman behind the pulpit. Yet the Bible has numerous examples of women ministering to God’s people. These five prophetesses are mentioned by name: Miriam (Exodus 15:20)Deborah (Judges 4…