Posts from the ‘Christian worldview’ Category

We Acknowledge a King Men did not Crown and Cannot Destroy

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” Our western civilization, like all others before it, must some time or other decompose and disappear. The world’s way of regarding intimations that this is happening is to engage equally in idiot hopes and idiot despair. On the one hand, some new policy or discovery is confidently expected to put everything to rights: a new fuel, a new drug, détente, world government, a common market, North Sea oil, revolution or counter-revolution. On the other hand, some disaster is as confidently expected to prove our undoing: Capitalism will break down, communism take over, or vice versa; fuel will run out, atomic wastes will kill us all, plutonium will lay us low, overpopulation will suffocate us.In Christian terms, such hopes and fears are equally beside the point. As Christians we know that here we have no continuing city, that crowns roll in the dust, and that every earthly kingdom must some time founder. As Christians, too, we acknowledge a King men did not crown and cannot destroy, just as we are citizens of a city men did not build and cannot destroy. It was in these terms that the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome and in Corinth, living as they did in a society as depraved and dissolute as ours—under a ruler, the emperor Nero, who makes even some of our rulers seem positively enlightened—with the games, which, like television, specialized in spectacles of violence and eroticism: “Be steadfast, unmoveable,” he exhorted them, “always abounding in God’s work and concerning yourselves with the things that are not seen; for the things that are seen are temporal, and the things that are not seen are eternal.” It was in the breakdown of Rome that Christendom was born, and now in the breakdown of Christendom there are the same requirements and the same possibilities to eschew the fantasy of a disintegrating world and seek the reality of what is not seen and is eternal—the reality of Christ. In this reality we see our only hope, our only prospect in a darkening world.”

Malcolm Muggeridge

Biblical Content in the Context of Biblical Emphasis is Our Biblical Imperative

Christ's Resurection from Death

Most of what Christians communicate has Biblical content. Subjects like predestination, grace,love,unity, God’s sovereignty are all typical examples of Biblical Content.

But any time we communicate Biblical Content but neglect Biblical Emphasis, we violate Biblical imperative.

What is Biblical Imperative?

“That in all things, Christ might be preeminent.”

“I am determined to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified.”

To put it another way,

Jesus said,”I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me.”

The entirety of Christianity begins with the redemption of mankind.
Jesus is the only way to the Father, He is the only truth that leads us to the Father, He is the only life we can obtain with the Father, for we are all already dead in trespasses and sins.

Even discipleship means nothing without Christ.

“I am the Vine and you are the branches, without Me you can do nothing.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Preacher.
What could you possibly have to say that would have more meaning or relevance aside from Jesus Christ ?

The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and the Arts

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“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Imagine a painter throwing away half of his or her color palette.

Or imagine a black and white photograph without white, only shades of dark gray.

Whether the subject is painting,photography,theater, or literature, all the above involve using contrasts to make images or tell stories.

Painters use colors ranging from light to dark.

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Photographers use bright sunlight to dark shadows.

Theater and literature use contrasts in good and evil, peace and conflict, justice and injustice, love and hatred,truth and falsehood.

Now imagine a World that no longer accepts or believes in Absolute Truth, where the contrasts between right and wrong are no longer clear, and men stumble in the darkness because they cannot see.

The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Unity – The Reason Society Can No Longer Reason

 

Brumidi, Constantino - Apotheosis of Washingto...

Brumidi, Constantino – Apotheosis of Washington, detail E Pluribus Unum – 1865 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them:

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

(Matthew 12:25)

 

E pluribus unum

E Pluribus Unum, (Out of  Many ,One), is part of the history that made us a great nation and that made the world a better place for many.

We need an anthem of basic truths that inspires us to live in unity again.

These basic truths once formed a general basis for consensus,unity, and resolve for improving our society.

Without a clear definition of right and wrong, truth and error, everything will be a blend of gray without clear meaning.

~Reasoning is based on what is known, such as truth and facts~

To solve problems, reach solutions, make a diagnosis,theory, hypothesis, create, and improve anything, we need known truths to build upon.

(Educated guesses if you will, things we can say we are confident we know).

And the more sure we are, the bolder we will be in our attempts to make solutions to problems.

And the more of us who agree on basic truths, the more frequent and soon we will come to consensus on issues that demand our solution.

But without basic fundamental truths to unite us, we will remain divided, and will fall.

Without a basic assumption that anything can be known, we cannot hope to begin to reason solutions to our problems

by building educated guesses upon known fact and truth

because we deny that truth even exists!

 (such as presuppositions, ideological underpinnings, hierarchical values, and frames of reference)

Truth activates belief, and belief attempts things that doubt ignores.

This is the heart of realizing new realities and achievement.

Related terms are postmodernism, existentialism, and deconstructionism, but what all of these terms have in common is the abandonment of surety in truth.

Without the ability to say with can be confident of anything, we will likely lack the confidence to do or achieve anything.

This is also true in our attempts to create art or theater, be it novel or feature-length movie.

Is it any wonder that good theater seems more miss than hit?

Is it any wonder that the great art, theater and literature is in the past, or is based upon older literature or re-made movies ?

Is it any wonder that the overall approval ratings of government and officials is at an all time low?

Is it any wonder that the greater portion of change our politicians bring is for the worse?

Is it any wonder that political parties almost always make decisions down party lines ?

Is it any wonder that scientific and political debate quickly degrades into personal attacks?

Is it any wonder that thoughtless and absurd political dealings threaten the fabric and integrity of our American government ?

(These men and women are supposed to represent our finest leaders and patriots).

Is it any wonder that ,”we the people”, are often called,” we the sheeple”?

(If we deny the ability to absolutely believe anything we will likely fall for anything).

Is it any wonder that the best days of American ingenuity seem to be behind us?

Yet,we can rediscover truth as a nation and a people.

We can build the basic absolute truths that serve as a basis for consensus.

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6)

Jesus is the truth.

If we reject Jesus, we reject the truth, we lose the way, and we forfeit life as a people, and a nation.

If we know Him we know truth.

Jesus is the way. If we know Him we know the way.

Jesus is life. If we know Him we know life.

This is where you can start.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Yes. It is that simple. Jesus did all the heavy lifting on the cross).

Just believe and receive Him and His love gift of life that He bought with His blood for you.

Pray ,and He will hear you.

Write me, and I will rejoice with you.

And I pray  that we all can one day soon, rejoice in unity as a nation.

Out of many, one.

Prophetic -“Marking the Watershed”- The Last Book by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Written in 1984 ,Francis Schaeffer’s last book “Marking the Watershed” reads like a prophetic foretelling of what our future would look like if we fail to put Christ first in our hearts. In fact, it reads like a prequel to Ravi Zacharias‘s 2013 open letter to America.

Schaeffer uses a watershed as an illustration.
A Watershed is a place where snow would accumulate in the mountain peaks, and is it melts, the water would separate go in opposite directions and eventually end thousands of miles apart.
Schaeffer saw this beginning to happen to Christianity in regards to Biblical infallibility among evangelical Christian leaders as early as the early 1970’s.

My summary-Christianity ,in the past, has influenced the moral consensus for political debate, art, and books and movies in the United States of America, and the World. Now we are the minority, and so is our ability to influence culture.
As I’ve said before ,the will of the people is good so long as the people are good .</strong

These following excerpts,though almost thirty years old, resonate with current relevance.

“the Bible’s absolutes provide a consensus within which freedom can operate. But once the Christian consensus has been removed, as it has been today, then the very freedoms which have come out of the Reformation become a destructive force leading to chaos in society.” Francis Schaeffer

“The primary emphasis of biblical Christianity is the teaching that the infinite-personal God is the final reality, the Creator of all else, and that an individual can come openly to the holy God upon the basis of the finished work of Christ and that alone. Nothing needs to be added to Christ’s finished work, and nothing can be added to Christ’s finished work. But at the same time where Christianity provides the consensus, as it did in the Reformation countries (and did in the United States up to a relatively few years ago), Christianity also brings with it many secondary blessings. One of these has been titanic freedoms, yet without those freedoms leading to chaos, because the Bible’s absolutes provide a consensus within which freedom can operate. But once the Christian consensus has been removed, as it has been today, then the very freedoms which have come out of the Reformation become a destructive force leading to chaos in society. This is why we see the breakdown of morality everywhere in our society today — the complete devaluation of human life, a total moral relativism, and a thoroughgoing hedonism.”

“Without a strong commitment to God’s absolutes, the early church could never have remained faithful in the face of the constant Roman harassment and persecution. And our situation today is remarkably similar as our own legal, moral, and social structure is based on an increasingly anti-Christian, secularist consensus.”

The New Neo-Orthodoxy 

There is only one way to describe those who no longer hold to a full view of Scripture. Although many of these would like to retain the evangelical name for themselves, the only accurate way to describe this view is that it is a form of neo-orthodox existential theology. The heart of neo-orthodox existential theology is that the Bible gives us a quarry out of which to have religious experience, but that the Bible contains mistakes where it touches that which is verifiable — namely history and science. But unhappily we must say that in some circles this concept now has come into some of that which is called evangelicalism. In short, in these circles the neo-orthodox existential theology is being taught under the name of evangelicalism.

Martin Luther said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” (1)

“For the existentialist it is an illusion to think that we can know anything truly, that there is such a thing as certain objective truth or moral absolutes. All we have is subjective experience, with no final basis for right or wrong or truth or beauty. This existential world view dominates philosophy, and much of art and the general culture such as the novel, poetry, and the cinema.”

Discovering that God is Love While in a Nazi Concentration Camp – Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vitor Frankl was a psychologist who was trained in Vienna.  and was imprisoned in Auschwitz, and other Nazi Germany death camps, as well as his wife and family.

Even though the Nazi prison camp meant facing death, and surrounded by constant threat and hatred, Victor Frankl found the meaning of life there.

From  “Man’s Search for Meaning”- Experiences in a Concentration Camp”

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words,

“The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.”

Viktor Frankl

1 John 4:10

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Where the Battle Rages, there the Loyalty of the Soldier is Proved

 

Battle Map

Battle Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“If I proclaim in the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

Martin Luther

A Letter to My Brothers – Concerns about America

The EU has already given over a lot of land to Islam without a single shot being fired.
They occupy, use gangs to harass, put up signs declaring Sharia law, and then throw stones at first responders, so that even law enforcement agencies won’t go there.
Sweden just started allowing public prayers to go out morning,noon, and night.
Can’t happen here?
All they need is persistent patience and time.
And more presidents like O.
Did you know the head of our CIA is Muslim?
I’ve studied Islam. The Koran does not separate the powers of church and state. The Koran insists they be combined and that the supreme law be Sharia law, the law of Islam.

The idea of Islam being a peaceful religion should have been clearly disproven to everyone by know.

What can we do?

Laws may help, for sure, but what about the example I talked about above? Islam took over an entire district of the third largest city in Belgium. Could Dearborn be taken over the same way?

Here’s my answer. Know what you believe.

Muslims know what they believe and that they believe is that people must submit to Allah, it is forced religion enforced by Sharia law. In fact the word “Islam” means “Submit”.

Here’s what I believe.

Christianity today in America is confused and no longer provides a consensus of integrity whereby it can effectively influence a free society to be responsible with the very freedoms it once crafted and that we have long enjoyed.

The truth is that for decades now, Christianity has been a poor reflection of the love of God while also attempting to influence society to embrace it’s moral standard.

Someone said, “Rules without relationship breeds resentment.”

True Christianity isn’t a set of rules though Christianity has rules, the heart of being a Christian is being able to say, Jesus Christ died for me and I trust His sacrifice for my sin, He is my savior.

Then if its genuine, Christ puts His Spirit in us and begins to influence our hearts  only God can do from the inside out.

And He promises never to leave us or forsake us.

No other religion on earth has a relationship like this, where a God became man, lived humbly and sinless with us and then died for us to take away sin, then offers it as a gift of love by faith.

Islam offers no assurance of salvation besides dying for Allah.

Christianity does offer assurance of salvation, but God as Christ died for us.

Someone said that radical Islam is not the greatest threat in the world. Mediocre Christianity is the greatest threat in the world.

Last word.
If you don’t like what you see in Christians, look at Christ in the Bible. You’ll find nothing wrong with Him.
My motto is,Don’t follow Christians, follow Christ.

Your loving brother,

“Fal$e Teacher$” song writer Shai Linne shares his beliefs

My fellow Christianblogger, “Ink Slinger”, posted a a dialogue by the author of the rap song,”Fal$eTeacher$”.
Shai Linne responds to an open letter about his song, his Biblical rational, and his beliefs.
May Christ be preeminent in our hearts,lives,and ministry.

THE INK SLINGER

Hey Brad,

This is Shai Linne. I’m writing to reply to the recent open letter you wrote in response to my song, “Fal$e Teacher$“. In that song, I referred to Paula White, among others, as a false teacher. I’m glad that you responded because it serves as a reminder to us all that this discussion involves real people with real families and real souls. Therefore, this is not something that should be taken lightly. It’s very serious. Before I directly address the substance of your open letter, I first want to commend you for a few things that encouraged me as I read it. Continue reading —>

Shai’s is a gracious yet uncompromising response, written in the spirit of Ephesians 4:14-15: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness…

View original post 42 more words

“To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.” ~George Washington~

1795 - 1823

1795 – 1823 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.”

~George Washington~

(May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge)

“The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest of purposes.”     

   ~George Washington~

 Moral Principal is no longer a mutually forgone conclusion, and no longer frames healthy debate to the degree that our politicians can agree on anything enough to affectively govern.

Without a clear definition of right and wrong there is no basis for healthy reasoning.

Right and wrong look more like shades of gray instead of black and white.

Instead of civil discourse, power struggles, gridlock, and underhanded dealings rife with slander have become the means of politics of our once great nation.

Hollywood no longer has a clear definition of right and wrong and therefore finds it difficult to effectively tell a good story. Every artist knows contrast gives definition, be it photography,paintings,storytelling, and movie making.

And the church, not the Bride of Christ whom God alone can confirm, but the small ,”c”, institutions church in America, have turned many away through not proclaiming Christ above all else. And moralism drives those seeking genuine compassion away, and likely never to return.

If you want to view a true reflection of what Christianity should be, look at the life of Jesus in the Bible.

You will find nothing wrong with Him.

jesusandalostlamb

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

(Matthew 11:28-30)

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6)
Jesus is everything Christianity should be.
DON’T FOLLOW CHRISTIANS, FOLLOW CHRIST.
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY.
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE TRUTH,
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE LIFE.

DNA is Evidence of God – “order with content,” is proof of Intelligence Based Origin -Lee Stroeble

 Our genetic code is language, and is but a record of what,”God said.”

Lee Stroeble , former Court Journalist for the Chicago Sun Times, presents the overwhelming scientific evidence found in our DNA to support the Biblical God as our Creator.

Using the Story line from the movie,”Contact”, Stroeble makes his case.

Stroeble points out that Carl Sagan said that if we ever received an ordered message with content from outer space, then we could reasonably conclude that the message originated from intelligent life.

Though Sagan denied God as creator, his claim for ,”order with content,”as proof of Intelligence would come years after his death in modern Genetic scientific discoveries in DNA.

The Bible record of creation in the book of Genesis repeats the words,”God said”,11 times during the creation of the world and all living things.

The correlation between Genesis and the language of DNA at the core of all living things means our genetic code is but a record of what,”God said.”

DNA is a ,”message with content,” far more sophisticated than our greatest minds can fully grasp.

DNA is a coded language so sophisticated that our greatest minds still can’t fathom it fully, and those most familiar with the ongoing work say we will be deciphering it for the next 100 years. (Genetic Encyclopedia Project,ENCODE, 2012)

Appendix

The 3% of our DNA that is “STRUCTURAL” meaning that it defines our biological characteristics, has been mapped.

The rest of our DNA appears to work as a series of switches comprising a communicational network for our structural information, and was previously considered random ,”junk”.

It is this apparent communication network that we know least about.

This is the part of our DNA that is subject to discovery.

JUNK DNA- May Not Be Junk After All

(Quoted from Gene exchange no 2, 1996)In another reminder that we may not understand the full ramifications of genetic engineering, Science magazine recently reported new work on the function of genetic material*. Scientists have long been puzzled by the fact that fully 97% of the DNA in human cells does not code for proteins and appears to consist of meaningless sequences. The possibility that this apparently useless DNA has some as yet unknown function continues to tantalize scientists.The Science article reports on a paper suggesting that the non-coding 97% of the DNA, commonly referred to as junk DNA, might have a function.

The authors of the paper employed linguistic tests to analyze junk DNA and discovered striking similarities to ordinary language. The scientists interpret those similarities as suggestions that there might be messages in the junk sequences, although its anyone s guess as to how the language might work. (* F. Flam, Hints of a language in junk DNA, Science 266:1320, 1994)

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26,27)

Watch!

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Jesus said-

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It  is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—  And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”  (Mark 13:32-37)

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Seek Him while He may be found.

Ask Him to save you and He will put His Holy Spirit in your heart forever, and save you from Hell to live with Him forever.

Simply say,”Jesus save me and be my Lord Savior.”

If you did that,..I’ll see you in Heaven.

Maxim-“The Will of the People is the Law of the Land” is Good Only as Long as the People are Good

This 1866 engraving depicts Washington praying...

This 1866 engraving depicts Washington praying at Valley Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The foundations of our National policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality”

George Washington

max·im . A succinct formulation of a fundamental principle, general truth, or rule of conduct.

The word,”Choice”, has become synonymous with freedom in American society to the point that anything that restricts our freedom of choice is considered wrong.

Does not right and wrong exist and boundaries then are established to keep us and others from harm?

Violence shades our days and intrudes our peace of mind, and robs us of hope for a better tomorrow.

We can’t deny something is indeed wrong.

If WE THE PEOPLE want the freedom to practice the 2nd amendment, the right to bare arms, yet we fail to live the 1st amendment, freedom of religion, the result will be gun control for lack of heart control. In fact, all other freedoms grow out of the willful practice of the first amendment by the society at large.

True Freedom is composed of two conditions of restraint; The absence of externally imposed restraints by others, and presence of internally imposed restraints by ourselves.

The two are essential to have together, but self-imposed restraints are dependent on willful desire for moral virtue that comes from God.

The greatest challenge to a free people is not to throw off restraints to freedom, but to willfully impose responsible restraints on themselves by means of the pursuit of virtue.

But we have proven we are unable to help ourselves.

We are all like Lazarus in his tomb for 3 days,…dead and even unable to call out to God.
Christ calls us.

God gives life ,and awakens us to knowing Him.
American Christians have taken their gaze from steadfastly looking to our First Love, Christ, to things, status, power, pleasure and ease.

Christ Centered love, and then a resulting Christ Centered hunger for knowledge of the One we love above all other affections, is what America and the World needs most.

Heralding the truth of how ,”we love Him because He first loved us before we KNEW Him,” is the key to restoration and life, and freedom.

This is the definition of social reform

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2 Corinthians 5:16-18

And with freedom comes great power and possibilities,…and great responsibility.

We will either be a people who worship our God who,”created all men equal and endowed us unalienable rights”, or we will ignore our creator and worship the creation instead, such as freedom or self.

In the final analysis, we will either pass an enduring freedom to the next generation, or destroy our future as a free people.

The choice is ours.

 “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”
“No longer virtuous, no longer free;”

Benjamin Franklin

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are the gift of God?That they are violated but with his wrath? I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep for ever.”

Thomas Jefferson

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” ― George Washington

“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. – Have We Lost The Legacy?

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deutsch: 1964: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus,as written in John 13:35
The following letter was written by Martin Luther King Jr. from the Birmingham Alabama Jail where he was being held for peaceful protests against racial discrimination.
The fact that we have this long letter written by King while in jail reminds me of the reason we have 2/3s of the New Testament of the Bible,
for the Apostle Paul was repeatedly incarcerated for speaking publicly for that which he devoted his life,”for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Measure the words and selfless actions of this great man against those who today claim to be living out the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
If you find they all fall short, consider the fact that we have none-other than ourselves to blame.
King worked harder and risked more than anyone I know of today to raise the standard against injustice and thereby love his fellow-man.
By doing so, King loved both the offended and the offender,
for those who are guilty of offense and those who failed to correct the wrongs of society will both in due course answer to their Creator God.
Today we have a leader whom King likely would not approve of ,
for he endorses grave injustices against the least of these, the unborn,
as King states in this letter,”the ancient evils of infanticide“, as having been overcome. 
This letter was penned ten years before Roe Vs. Wade legalized abortion.
King would not have approved.
This same leader who endorses abortion, places his hand on the Bible, the Word of God, and swears by it to uphold the laws of the land,
then publicly states he will not uphold the Marriage Defense Act, will limit the Second Amendment,
and use public funds to shore up radical Islam in Egypt,Syria,and around the world.
Arab spring has ousted bad dictators only to make way for even worse regimes who wage injustice on an even broader scale.
Here is a sample of King’s letter he wrote while in the same circumstance as Paul who wrote most of our New Testament.
“But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before.
If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church,
it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions,
and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.
Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.”
 
I have taken the opportunity to highlight a few sections that impacted me most.
(For those of us who only take time to skim through articles).
You may find, as I did that King’s words have much meaning for us today.
I personally can see we have come a long way, but we have also gone off course in much also.
We should read his letter and ask ourselves,
“Have we lost the Legacy of Dr, Martin Luther King Jr.?”
—————————–
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]”

16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.

Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham’s economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants–for example, to remove the stores’ humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?” We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

Then it occurred to us that Birmingham’s mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer.

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: “Why didn’t you give the new city administration time to act?” The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”–then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I it” relationship for an “I thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: “All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth.” Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad’s Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro’s frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible “devil.”

I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the “do nothingism” of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as “rabble rousers” and “outside agitators” those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies–a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle–have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as “dirty nigger-lovers.” Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful “action” antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.

But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.

In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: “Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother.” In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: “Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern.” And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: “What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?”

Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.”‘ But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping “order” and “preventing violence.” I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.

It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather “nonviolently” in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: “My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest.” They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience’ sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Never before have I written so long a letter. I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.

I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Published in:
King, Martin Luther Jr.

Page Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D.

Everything Connects to Everything Else ~ Leonardo da Vinci ~

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“Study the art of science and the science of art.”

“Especially, learn how to see.
Realize that everything connects to everything else”

~Leonardo da Vinci~

This quote by da Vinci reveals the primary guiding principles of one of the great minds of art and science.

As a Christian, I can see how da Vinci had discovered that all things were connected.

Connection implies a common origin.

Scripture states that ALL things came from Christ.

In Christ all things find origin and connection.

Colossians 1:17
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

(Colossians 1:15-20)

This big wheel of life centers on Christ. He is the one of whom all things begin and end and are held together.

Christ is the Center by which all things are connected.

God Will Help You

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“Behold, this river of God is full for your supply;”

“He Will Help You” 

by C.H.Spurgeon

“‘I will help you,’ says the Lord.” Isaiah 41:14 (NKJV)

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us:“I will help you. It is but a small thing for me, your God, to help you. Consider what I have done already. What! not help you? Why, I bought you with my blood. What! not help you? I have died for you—and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help you! It is the least thing I will ever do for you; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose you. I made the covenant for you. I laid aside my glory and became a man for you; I gave up my life for you; and if I did all this, I will surely help you now. In helping you, I am giving you what I have bought for you already. If you had need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it you; you require little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for you to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help you?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of your granary asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat; and you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. ‘I will help you.’”O my soul, is not this enough? Do you need more strength than the omnipotence of the united Trinity? Do you want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither your empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up your wants, and bring them here—your emptiness, your woes, your needs. Behold, this river of God is full for your supply; what can you desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this your might: the eternal God is your helper!Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay’d!I, I am thy God, and will still give you aid.“How Firm a Foundation”Adapted from Morning and Evening.By: Charles Spurgeon on Dec 16, 2012

Why C.H.Spurgeon is Called The Prince of Preachers

C. H. Spurgeon, "The Prince of Preachers&...

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Prince of Preachers” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle, and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution” -C.H.Spurgeon

“Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
Revelation 22

A sermon may be three points or even five points, but if Jesus isn’t the whole point we are missing the point.

Christianity and Islam – The Basic Fundamentals of Different Fundamentalisms

Map showing the relative proportion of Christi...

Map showing the relative proportion of Christianity (red) and Islam (green) in each country. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The essence of any religion is the fundamental truths it is founded upon.

That would comprise a religion’s Fundamentalism.

A “Fundamentalist”,is one who attempts to strictly adhere to a religion’s fundamentals.

The word fundamental can mean something  good or bad, depending on a religion’s core truths.

The Supreme Doctrines of Christianity and Islam are polar opposites.

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:34-40)

“Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

God wants us to love Him, and has provided the ultimate reason to desire to love Him by loving and giving His one and only Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice, the just for the unjust, on the cross. God WINS our love and trust.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(John 3:16)

In contrast to that, Islam means,”Submit to Allah”, and force is the means Allah’s word, the Koran, imposes.

Free will is forcefully denied by this fundamental belief of Islam.

(Read the following quotes from the Koran)

Qur’an:8:39 “Fight them [who do not believe] until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”

Ishaq:324 “He said, ‘Fight them so that there is no more rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must have no rivals.'”

Qur’an:8:65 “O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.”

Qur’an:9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

Qur’an:9:29 “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”

Qur’an:47:4 “When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in
battle (fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them)captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”

Free World listen!! It is clear! Democracy was born out of Christinity’s “Unalienable rights” and the belief that “all men are CREATED equal”. 

Allah demands we all SUBMIT to him. Or die.
Islam is fundamentally tyrannical.

God’s desire is for us is to LOVE Him, and He personally came down to us to die for our sins and defeat death for us.

What more could He do ?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God did this to set is free from sin and death. Christianity is fundamentally liberaiting.

“If the Son of Man sets you free you shall be Free indeed.”

Different core beliefs, different fundamentals, different fundamentalists.

Additional verses and links

Qur’an Sura 4:34, “Men have authority over women because [Allah] has made the one superior to the other… Good women are obedient… As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them…”

http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php

 

Closing the Theological Loop of the Faith and Works Debate.

The Death of Jesus

The Death of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cruising the blogosphere or Twitter can be very revealing.

It seems you can always find a comment or article by someone expressing concern for an apparent lack of focus on works and holiness on the part of Christians. They almost always quote James 2:17.

 “Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.”(James 2:17)

And then you have another group who only wants to quote about love.

  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13:3) 

Both are true. The Answer is in closing the theological loop of the Faith and Works Debate.

Faith without Works is dead.

Works without Love is Nothing.

The only question is; “How do we find this LOVE we need so our works will amount to something instead of nothing?”

This is how,…

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. He is God in flesh and He came here just to save us and make us His own.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and His cross. Jesus was born to die there. He took our sins on Himself. He was perfect and Holy. Christ alone was worthy to pay our debt.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. He conquered death so He alone could give life to all who come to Him in faith, believing Christ died for them and accepting Him as Lord and Savior.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

“We love because he first loved us.”(1 John  4:19)

These Great Minds Believed in The God and Father of Jesus Christ

There is no shortage of great minds professing belief in God. Let no one insult your intelligence for joining the ranks of these men: Paul of Tarsus, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, John Damascene, Origen, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Boethius, Erigena, Anselm, Abelard, Aquinas, Bonaventura, Scotus, Ockham, Nicholas of Cusa, Cajetan, Luther, Calvin,

ThomasAquinas

Thomas Aquinas

copernicusgod

Copernicus

johanneskepler

Kepler

English: Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. R...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leonardo Da Vinci

J

 Michelangelo

BlaisePascal

BlaisePascal

galileo

 Galileo

SirIsaacNewton

Sir Isaac Newton

LouisPasteur

Louis Pasteur

Tolstoy

Tolstoy

FyodorDostoyevsky1

Dostoyevsky

chesterton

G.K.Chesterson

CSLewis

C.S.Lewis

TSEliot

T.S.Eliot

TimKeller

Tim Keller

Kepler, Bacon, Ignatius Loyola, Dante, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Berkeley, Copernicus, Newton, Kierkegaard, Newman, Pasteur, Jaspers, Marcel, Galileo, Tolstoy, Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis and Tim Keller.

https://www.facebook.com/Logical.Faith/posts/412949245438955

Ayn Rand on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1967 – She Was An Atheist

Ayn Rand,Author of Atlas Shrugged, First Appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1967

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Part 1 -This is the same interview from a different source in case the first one has been removed again-

Part 2 – This is the same interview from a different source in case the first one has been removed again-

“Mankind suffers from two excesses: to exclude reason, and to live by nothing but reason.” ~ Blaise Pascal~
Faith owns the comprehension of things eternal.
Reason owns the comprehension of things temporal.
The eternal transcends the temporal.

Carson did an incredible job interviewing Rand. Although the video is 26 minutes long, the basis for her beliefs and philosophy are revealed in the first few minutes.

He starts right off by asking her,“What are the basic principles of your definition of objectivity and of your philosophy you believe in ?”

Her answer said it all, “The basic principle of objectivism is that man must be guided exclusively by reason.”

This glaring hole in her philosophy exposes her atheism,which she openly professed to believe.

We all have the right and freedom to choose our own path and destiny, but to deny the laws that govern the means of arriving at our desired destination belong to our creator, whom she openly denies to exist.

“The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

The laws of reason and nature do not dictate the actions or ability of the Creator.

Rather, God dictates the laws that apply to us, and He lives beyond those limitations.

To believe in God’s unlimited abilities is to have faith, which transcends reason.

The seeds of postmodernism can be found in her belief that we should arrive at the same moral truth purely by reason.

Time has proven Rand is wrong.

She believed that altruism and self interest were in opposition to each other and that society must choose one or the other.

Yet she even conceded to Carson that philosophy had many definitions for morality and what is ethical.

Rand believed in capitalism. What she failed to see was that capitalism only works so long as democracy is sustained.

Democracy is dependent on freedom, and freedom requires personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility requires a moral standard. Jesus is that standard, and His sacrifice is our model.

A moral standard is sameness.

This is where Ayn Rand has been proven wrong.

The predominate philosophy today is postmodernism, the belief that,”what you believe is okay for you and what I believe is okay for me.”

Postmodernism does not fulfill Rand’s vision of a single standard for morals and ethics.

Having come from an extreme socialist country, Russia, she clearly disavowed forced altruism,which is what socialism is.

But Rand however did not disavow Communism’s atheism. For had she embraced Christianity, she would have seen in Christ, the inspiration for self sacrifice that most of our founding fathers saw and followed.

Jesus Christ is the supreme symbol of moral standard many signers of our Declaration of Independence followed when they willfully gave their lives and possessions for a higher ideal.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy is anti-socialistic, which would appeal to fiscal conservatives who do not have a well developed religious philosophy.

The problem is that Ayn Rand’s philosophy is also fatally anti-democratic.

Selfishness leads to greed, which is not only morally wrong, it is killing our politics, banking system, government and people.
And when self becomes the god of a nation, democracy fails.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (NIV Bible)

Proverbs 19:17 “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given.”

“Mankind suffers from two excesses: to exclude reason, and to live by nothing but reason.” ~ Blaise Pascal~

“Give Me Jesus” – Fernando Ortega – Ruth Graham Tribute” Video – 4 min.

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” 

~Jesus ~ (Luke 9:25 NKJV)

“…you can have the whole world, give me Jesus….”

To say this tribute video to the life and faith of Ruth Graham, the wife of the famous Christian evangelist Billy Graham, is  moving is an understatement. 

This is one of my favorite Christian songs if not my absolute favorite .

Click the link below.the 

“Perhaps you could know Him today? ” ~Billy Graham ~

16″ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” 

(John 3:16-21 NKJV)         Jesus is waiting now.  Only believe and ask Him. He hears you. 

God Grant Me Faith – Prayer

Lord thank you for the faith to change what I can, the courage to believe nothing is too hard for you, and the wisdom to know that for sure. — God Came Down

“The Spirit which rests upon Jesus must anoint us also, or the measure of faith will not be enlarged.”
Breathe then the prayer to God, my brother, “Increase my faith:” this will be a far wiser course than to resolve in your own strength, “I will believe more,” for, perhaps, in rebuke of your pride you will fall into a decaying state, and even believe less. After having made so vainglorious a resolution, you may fall into grievous despondency: do not therefore say, “I will accumulate more faith,” but pray “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” Herein is your wisdom.”– C.H.Spurgeon —

The Sum Total of C.H. Spurgeon’s Theology

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“My entire theology can be condensed into 4 words: ‘Jesus died for me.'” – C.H. Spurgeon —

No doubt that is the main reason Spurgeon is known as ,”The Prince of Preachers”.

This great preacher always pointed others to our Great Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

(Galatians 2:20)

This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetz...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stand You’re Gospel Ground – Don’t Be Moved

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Take your stand on the Rock of Ages. Let death, let the judgment come: the victory is Christ’s and yours through Him.” ~DL Moody

So many subjects and issues seem to govern what Pastors preach.
But only one subject can have lasting impact in this life ,and in the next.

Pastor, if your three-point sermon isn’t about Jesus, you are missing The Point.

Case in point– One particularly hot topic is marriage. To be fair, the Bible covers marriage, and we need to listen to what God says about the Holy union he established between man and women. God made us to uniquely compliment each other physically, emotionally,and so on.

But the Bible has an overall theme of man’s redemption through Christ.

Both the old and most obviously the New Testament reveal Christ and His purpose,the Gospel, as central to all that is written in them.

Jesus heals marriages because He alone makes sinners into saints, and saved sinners make Christian couples.

If the issues that plague secular marriage are as prevalent in the Church it is because the church is filled with unchanged sinners.

If that is true, then you need to ask yourself if three or four Gospel messages per year are enough.
(Selah)

Pastor, you should consider making Jesus and the Great Commission the central theme of every message.

Christ can show you how all subjects begin and end with Him.

“Without Me you can do nothing.”, is an all-encompassing statement.
” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,”is another all-encompassing statement.

Both of theses Biblical truths point to the central truth of Christ’s supremacy.

It really is all about Jesus.

Isn’t it time you plugged your sermons into that power?
The ONLY power to change us forever is Jesus.

Augustine on “Hope has two beautiful daughters” Christian Anger and Courage

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” Augustine

Augustine is of course talking about getting angry at the problem,…and people are not the problem!

The people have a problem,…they need Jesus.

But not everybody thinks they need to be saved.

“From what?”‘they might say.

And that is when we give them the ,”Bad News,” and say, “You need Jesus, without Him you will spend eternity in Hell. ”

How could the truth always be what we want to hear?
It can’t be.Life isn’t that way.

But still, anyone who speaks the truth when needed is showing more love than a dozen people who say nothing simply because they don’t want to ,”be negative.”

Is it love to not say what someone you love needs to hear?

If a bridge is out on a road, would you even think of taking down the big yellow warning sign that reads,”Bridge is Out”, because your opinion is that people don’t want to hear that negative stuff ?

That is just what living without Jesus is like.

Without Jesus, we are on a road that leads to certain and eternal death!

My HOPE is that we all heed this warning and tell others as well.

Christian, find your voice.

Be angry at the way things are!

State the ugly truth of the way things are, even if everyone else chooses to ignore it!

If they are blind and cannot see, that is God’s job to open their eyes.

All you must do is be faithful in telling others.

Then have the courage to tell others how it should be!
That Jesus came to seek and to save what was lost.
That Jesus loved them enough to die for their wrongdoing.
That Jesus rose in victory over death and now offers life to as many as receive Him a Lord and Savior.

Jesus is the bridge to life.
Make the turn.
Heed the warning.
And then…
Put up the Big Yellow Warning Sign.

You might save an eternal life from eternal death.

Jesus! The Savior Of My Soul!

Jesus!

The Savior of my soul,
He is the promise of eternal tomorrows,
the fact that He resides in me,
and the thought that He will never leave me,

He lives in me as the promise of life unending,

A promise that God who cannot lie, has made!

He is the seal of an eternity of tomorrows!

His Spirit in me!
His Spirit teaches me,
His Spirit guides me,

His Spirit changes me,

His Spirit comforts me,
and gives me peace that passes understanding,…

theses are only a few reasons I worship my Jesus.

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

 

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

I think it depends.

Are you trying to encourage?

Are you exhorting and spurring others on?

Or are you defending the most precious ,life-giving Gospel of the Blood of Jesus and Grace of God from the self-righteousness of moralistic legalists who always demand our own works be tacked on to Christ’s work? (Legalism)

Christians today need to find their voices!

Our insight as to when to speak up and which tone we can use may make the difference as to whether we speak up at all.

Unlike the message we are all getting from our Post-modern world today, God never meant us to keep silent, He said ,”Go and Preach the Gospel.”

A lot of essential Biblical examples stand out in regards to what tone is right and when to use it.

I really think we can learn a lot from this and hopefully develop the ability to speak up in a Godly manner.

God never wanted us to be timid and passive. Too many issues demand our voices!

How about this video that went,”viral”, as they say, and caused an uproar with some of the so-called,”pillars” in Christendom today?

In the video,Jefferson Bethke Kicks the Snot Out of Legalism!

He has a much more subtle tone than Jesus does in Luke 11:44 !

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Or Jesus in Matthew 23:13

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

Just sayin…He’s well below the tone Jesus used to beat down the self-righteous Pharisees of His day!

And Bethke is also doing the Church a service just like the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians!

Only Bethke is milder than Paul too! Like in Gal.1:6

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

In fact,Paul was far more direct as he beat down the legalists, and he even,”withstood Peter to his face.” This is the big ,long earful that Peter heard from Paul in front of Barnabas and many others. Galatians 2:11- 21

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 1Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

POW!!

Wow! Here that?

Paul got in Peter’s face in front of everybody, to defend the blood of Jesus as the ONLY means to be saved!

So don’t let them make you back pedal Bethke. Take heart!

You aren’t bashing the Church. On the contrary!

If a person loves Jesus and His Bride the Church, then he will defend the ONLY means to establish the Church.

The pure, true Gospel established by the washing and regeneration of the pure, perfect blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is the ONLY way the Church can ever exist.

Your statement  is right in line with guys who have made all the difference when it counted, like Paul, and Luther, and countless others.

Jesus vs. Religion? Jesus always will win!

God bless!

 

The Lonely Sparrow -The Prince of Preachers Reflection on Psalm 102

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Aus...

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Australia in March 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

This stood out in Spurgeon’s commentary on the first part of Psalm 102:

 

Can you relate?

 

“He who has felt himself to be so weak and inconsiderable as to have no more power over his times than a sparrow over a city, has also, when bowed down with despondency concerning the evils of the age, sat himself down in utter wretchedness to lament the ills which he could not heal. Christians of an earnest, watchful kind often find themselves among those who have no sympathy with them; even in the church they look in vain for kindred spirits; then do they persevere in their prayers and labours, but feel themselves to be as lonely as the poor bird which looks from the ridge of the roof, and meets with no friendly greeting from any of its kind,”

 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

 

 

Psalm 102:1-7

A prayer of an afflicted man. When he is faint and pours out his lament before the Lord.

1 “Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
    when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
    when I call, answer me quickly.

For my days vanish like smoke; 
    my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass; 
    I forget to eat my food. 
Because of my loud groaning
I am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.”

“Verse 5. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. He became emaciated with sorrow. He had groaned himself down to a living skeleton, and so in his bodily appearance was the more like the smoke-dried, withered, burnt-up things to which he had previously compared himself.”
“It will be a very long time before the distresses of the church of God make some Christians shrivel into anatomies, but this good man was so moved with sympathy for Zion’s ills that he was wasted down to skin and bone.”
“Verse 6. I am like a pelican of the wilderness, a mournful and even hideous object, the very image of desolation. I am like an owl of the desert; loving solitude, moping among ruins, hooting discordantly. The Psalmist likens himself to two birds which were commonly used as emblems of gloom and wretchedness; on other occasions he had been as the eagle, but the griefs of his people had pulled him down, the brightness was gone from his eye, and the beauty from his person; he seemed to himself to be as a melancholy bird sitting among the fallen palaces and prostrate temples of his native land. Should not we also lament when the ways of Zion mourn and her strength languishes?”
“Were there more of this holy sorrow we should soon see the Lord returning to build up his church. It is ill for men to be playing the peacock with worldly pride when the ills of the times should make them as mournful as the pelican; and it is a terrible thing to see men flocking like vultures to devour the prey of a decaying church, when they ought rather to be lamenting among her ruins like the owl.”
“Verse 7. I watch, and am like a sparrow alone upon the house-top: I keep a solitary vigil as the lone sentry of my nation; my fellows are too selfish, too careless to care for the beloved land, and so like a bird which sits alone on the housetop, I keep up a sad watch over my country. The Psalmist compared himself to a bird,—a bird when it has lost its mate or its young, or is for some other reason made to mope alone in a solitary place. Probably he did not refer to the cheerful sparrow of our own land, but if he did, the illustration would not be out-of-place, for the sparrow is happy in company, and if it were alone, the sole one of its species in the neighbourhood, there can be little doubt that it would become very miserable, and sit and pine away.” 
“He who has felt himself to be so weak and inconsiderable as to have no more power over his times than a sparrow over a city, has also, when bowed down with despondency concerning the evils of the age, sat himself down in utter wretchedness to lament the ills which he could not heal. Christians of an earnest, watchful kind often find themselves among those who have no sympathy with them; even in the church they look in vain for kindred spirits; then do they persevere in their prayers and labours, but feel themselves to be as lonely as the poor bird which looks from the ridge of the roof, and meets with no friendly greeting from any of its kind.”
Heavenly Father,
Turn our hearts toward you in Christ.
Break our hearts with what breaks yours.
Open our eyes to Jesus and everything we are and have in Him!
Save us as a people and a world who needs you.
In Jesus name.
Amen

 

A Muslim Convert To Christ Tells How To Share The Good News of Jesus

 

This is a must read in today’s world-An Example of How to be a Christian Witness to a Muslim, even online..

 

A Sign of The Times

Does anyone still believe politics can save America?

We are way beyond anything politicians can fix.

Many of our politicians need help themselves, so how can they help us?

Jesus is the reason we were blessed.

Only Jesus can save us.

Pastor Mike Says

We have to do something and soon, or God‘s house will surely fall.

Confidence in organized religion hits all-time low in Gallup poll

gallup.com
By Jason White, msnbc.com

Americans’ confidence in religious institutions has hit an all-time low, with only 44 percent expressing a “great deal” of confidence in organized religion, according to a new Gallup survey.

This follows a downward trend since the 1970s, when 68 percent of Americans had a high degree of confidence.

Gallup cites two big blows to confidence in organized religion: 1980s scandals involving televangelists like Jim Bakker and the Catholic sex abuse scandal in the 2000s.

Perhaps as an outgrowth of the abuse scandal, Catholics lag far behind Protestants in their confidence in the church, by a margin of 10 percentage points.

But the scandals of recent decades, and the ensuing lack of confidence in organized religion, are not necessarily affecting…

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Love the Lord Thy God -The 7 Churches Of Revelation

jesusandalostlamb

The only service God will accept is service born out of the first and supreme commandment,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6)

And God graciously gave us the most wonderful reason to love Him with everything by giving  everything for us, He gave Christ on the cross!

“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:10)

The Ephesian church in the book of Revelation had become a busy church who no longer served God because they loved with their all.

The tragedy is seen in American society,as well as other countries, as the Christian sphere of growth is shrinking.

Our message is this; Don’t lose heart,but be relentless in giving and calling for the supremacy of Christ in all that we do and with all that is in us!

Nothing is too hard for God!

Jesus, our first,last,and only love!

The Secret To Revival Found In Christ’s High Priestly Prayer-“that the love you have for Me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

~The Secret To Revival~

Salvation, Sanctification, Revival, and Renewal of The Church are Not Dependent on Eliminating Evil ,But rather on Embracing God Through Christ.

This misconception is the most common mistake we make in our efforts to change ourselves and  in seeking renewal in the Church.

The most troubling condition is present in many or most churches across America today.

I was troubled as I read a devotional by a man of God whom I greatly respect who wrote a critique using John 17:26 in an effort to identify and correct our disunity in the church.

As he listed the issues to correct he omitted Christ as the answer.

His focus was on the illness and he ignored the cure.

I find no error in his comments, only in who he did not embrace as the answer.

Our answer is a who not a what, personal not mere intellectual assent, the One who Rules the hearts of men, not simply rules themselves, involving both the risen Christ and His truth, not one or the other.

All our problems represent an absence of God’s love through Jesus Christ in us, a void within each of us who claim to comprise the Church in our age.

I have read a series of book reviews on the Gospel Coalition site about Renewal of The Church in America,

and so far each book talks all about the problems we face and almost never mentions the only real solution, who is Christ in us!

I assure you I’m nobody, but I know who my God and Father is

and I know He has loved me with an everlasting love

and I need to tell everyone I can how much He loves them and how much they need to know His love personally.

Omission of sin comes after Christ comes in.

He alone has the power to transform.

Embrace Christ to displace death, and be saved, for He alone can save.

Embrace Christ to displace sin, because He alone, by His indwelling Spirit, can empower you overcome.

Embrace Christ to displace self,and become Christ like, for He has loved us before we knew Him.

Embrace Christ to displace your desires, for He alone is the most beautiful entity in the universe to be desired and you will trade everything for more of Him.

Embrace Christ to displace all the things that entice the Church away from It’s first love, for Christ alone is worthy of all glory, power and praise!

Embrace Christ to change the world, for if any man is in Christ he is a new creation, old things are passes away, behold all have become new, and that is the only real social reform.

Christ’s High Priestly Prayer ends with the following summary of His desire for all who believe.

 “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

(John 17:26)

His love is the context for all our theology and that context must be given preeminence .

When the early Church Fathers made the Nicene Creed they  did not clearly set the context for all truth

which is God’s love in us through  Jesus Christ.

Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


If Christ is no longer supreme in my heart and daily living, then I have lost the Way, neglected the Truth, and turned away from Life.
A very simple theology in the context of God’s love, for he indwells the true believer and love grows and shows.

We must be one IN Christ, or we will become like the church in Ephesus.

 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen;

repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”

(Revelation 2:4,5)

Christ is our first love, and His arms are ever wide open to embrace us.

https://christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/the-simplicity-that-is-in-christ/

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/05/04/an-agenda-for-recovering-christianity-in-america/?comments#comments#comment-29950

9-27-2012 Update- Dr. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan New York has released a new book called,”Center Church”, a road map for renewal for the church in which the focus is The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Keller has also called for renewed emphasis on the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all our theology in a 54 minute video you can watch here. http://wp.me/p1Lr49-MG

Tim Keller is an awesome Christ Centered teacher. I highly recommend him.

Free Sermons

http://sermons2.redeemer.com

Tim Keller delivered this challenge to church leaders to be ,”Gospel Shaped”, in all our ministry.

“Every sermon should ultimately be about Jesus.” Tim Keller

Self Centered Pride – The Plight of All Mankind

How often have we reflected on worldview of Self Centered Pride and how it contributes to the plight of all mankind.

An  examination of selfishness in contrast to selflessness will always reveal still deeper truth.

To more fully understand pride we must go all the way back to the earliest recorded and preserved documents on Earth called the Bible.

In summary,
Lucifer and a third of the Angels where cast out of Heaven because Lucifer wanted to be ,”like the Most High”, and convinced of all the angels to follow him. (Isaiah 14)

Satan, (as he is called since the fall ), recognized self-centered pride as the weakness of mankind as well, and tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden by saying she ,”will be like God”. Mankind is cast from Paradise and God’s presence. ( Genesis 3)

Satan accused Job ,and questioned God’s justice, as recorded in the book of Job.

Satan tried to tempt Jesus for  40 days in the wilderness.  Jesus was Hungary so Satan tempted Christ to turn rocks into bread. The Devil was trying to get Our Lord to think of himself. The Devil then tempted Jesus with offering all the kingdoms of the earth to Jesus if he would only bow down and worship him,( that is, worship him like God). (Matthew 4).

The Devil also turns men’s hearts and minds away from the truth when they hear it. (Mark 4:15).

Satan will be bound and thrown into the bottomless pit, and sealed inside it for one thousand years during Christ’s Kingdom here on Earth, before the Great White Throne of Judgement. ( Revelation 20:2).

The Kingdom age ensues and every day is better than the one before with Christ himself ruling over all the Earth for one thousand years. (also known as the Millennium Age).

Then Satan will be loosed once more to tempt mankind. I think the Devil will be used for the purpose of separating true followers from those whose hearts are not with God.   The purpose is to give all men everywhere the only alternative to serving God. Pride causes us to want to serve self.  Satan will appeal to man’s self-centered pride as he did leading to his own fall and the rebellion in Heaven, and the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. he will serve to led a rebellion so that all who are not truly following God because they love Him, will be separated from those who do serve God because they love Him. (Revelation 20:7).

Then the Great judgement Seat of Christ will take place. The books will be opened and all whose names are written in the book of Life, will be welcomed into Heaven. ( Revelation 20:11).

Jesus said,”therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before my Father in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him will I also deny before my Father in Heaven”. (Matthew 10:32, 33).

Self Centered Pride vs. Christ Centered Living

Selfish Pride works against us as a natural force like gravity. The potential for pride is constantly present, pulling us from Christ centeredness to self centeredness. Selfishness is the path of least resistance.Selfish pride can consume a person as it falsely promises satisfaction. People sometimes spend all we have and sacrifice all our relationships chasing fulfillment that can’t be had in anything but a real relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior. God made mankind in order that we may know Him. Sin separated us from that relationship to God. The following gives a little Biblical history in this regard.

Lucifer was created before man.

He decide he wanted to be ,”like the Most High”, (like God). Isaiah 14 : 14

Lucifer’s downfall is recounted in the old testament book of Isaiah 14:12-17 in what is known as, “The Five I Will’s”. “You said, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly… I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” He succumbed to selfish will that puts self before God. Lucifer wanted to be like God,the Most High.

Next God had created man for the purpose of fellowship with Himself. Then Satan turned what he learned about pride against Mankind in Genesis 3:1-6.

He tempted Eve by questioning God’s authority and wisdom, “Did God really say to you must not from any tree in the garden?”
Eve responds,”We may eat fruit of the trees of the garden.”

Eve continued,” But God did say you must not eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman,” “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be LIKE GOD, knowing good and evil.”

So she ate it and gave some to Adam who was with her. Satan told Eve she would be ,Like God,” which is just what he told himself and led a rebellion among the angels that resulted in one third of the angels and Satan being banished from Heaven and sentenced to eternity in Hell.But Satan also knew that God ,being perfect in justice,would have to send fallen man to the same fate that awaits the fallen angels,eternity in Hell.

In both cases creation does not want to adore it’s Creator, but its self, as if what was created can somehow take credit for what it already is.

The sentence of eternity in Hell for Satan and his angels is waiting to be carried out at the end of the age.

For mankind , the result is banished from God’s presence because of the change from an innocent nature to our present sin nature. We now know good and evil, but are unable to choose good always. Perfection was lost. God is perfect. Separation from God is the tragic result.

Pride is our downfall. Not just pride but Selfish pride is the main problem and has always been the weakness of creation.

God’s perfect Holiness demands separation in fellowship.

But God’s great love made a way for restoration.
God provided the way,”Jesus said I am the way and the truth and the life.No man comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever would believe in him would not parish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16)

But even Christians remain susceptible to self centeredness. Self Centered Drift, as I will call it,drifting away from Christ Centered Teaching to Self Centered Teaching, is probably the main way it is seen and heard in the church.

We can all see it in the ways we misrepresent God and what He is. God is Love. We often misrepresent God as anything but loving by our own behavior. A leader is often judged by his followers. We are not truly followers unless we put God first and ourselves last. John 3 16 stands in stark contrast to what most ,as Christians, call sacrifice.

What’s more, our greatest teachers fail to bring Christ to a real and personal level in their teaching. I speak from my own personal experience. I feel the drift from Christ to self as I write even now. My sin nature wants to put self before Christ. The truth is that even the best Christian will fail you, but Christ will never fail you.

Look to Jesus Christ,”the Author and Finisher of our faith.” Only Jesus can give true fulfillment. Only Jesus can make us free from the gravitational pull of self centeredness. Believe He died on the cross to pay for your sin, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior and He will put His Spirit in you to help you rule your desires, instead of your desires ruling you.

Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory.”

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