Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We Have Been Here Before: Jesse Ventura, Donald Trump, and America’s Insatiable Appetite for Infantilism


To the reader, I issue this scriptural warning: we have been here before – Ecclesiastes 1:9-10.

In Minnesota’s 1998 gubernatorial race something unimaginable happened, and I was an eyewitness. The better known candidates who were running for governor, Norman Coleman (R) and Hubert Humphrey (D), had to face off in the political ring with former professional wrestler: Jesse “The Body” Ventura. It seemed as though a cloud incredulity hung over the entire state in view of such a strange spectacle. Ventura’s political advertisements were clownish, featuring children who battled each other with action figures made in the likeness of Ventura and nameless career politicians. It was all good for a chuckle, especially as we watched the cringe-worthy awkwardness of conventional politicians having to deal with someone who was so desperately unconventional. It was funny, that is, until Ventura actually won the election. Just days after the election, my wife and I ran into Mrs. Ventura in a bookstore where she openly admitted that neither she nor Jesse expected they would win the election.

Well, neither did we.

Ventura ran the government like a genuine WWF wrestler, and for this reason it soon became apparent that head-butts and pretzel-holds aren’t the best way to lead and motivate people. Ventura’s rise to power came amidst a perfect political storm consisting of three key factors: 1. An angry and disaffected electorate that was exhausted with an ineffectual government; 2. Timid political contenders whose talking points sounded like dry reruns from the past; and 3. An emerging desire for something different… anything different. For Ventura, the slogan - "Don't vote for politics as usual" – rang true for enough people to win the election. At the time, I remember wondering when such an odd experience would visit the national stage. In light of our nation’s current primary-parade, I no long wonder. It would appear as though we are now headed towards another perfect political storm, but this one is on the national level replete with a disaffected electorate and a growing desire for something different. In particular, Donald Trump’s rise to prominence has had all the political pundits spinning ad nauseam, while the nation watches in either hopeful eagerness or morbid interest. Few of us know what to make of all this or what will come in the future, but one thing is for certain: there is great danger that comes whenever people recklessly vote for something different… anything different.

The surprising mass of Donald Trump supporters reveals that many conservatives agree with much of what he is saying. It also seems that people are enjoying the aggressiveness of Trump’s approach and his eagerness to fight in order to “make America great again.” Yet, one must wonder what a President Trump would discover about the persuasive campaign rhetoric that got him elected. As Ventura came to realize that head-butts and pretzel-holds are ineffective tools for leadership, would Trump learn that the president is not a CEO who simply fires Congress or the Supreme Court in the face of a conflict? Will he come to terms with the fact that, despite all his bloviations about Mexico paying for a wall, he is not a monarch who can issue mandates to sovereign nations? Though many are responding favorably to such blustering rhetoric, there is this wee-little-problem of what we call: living in the world of reality. Remarkably, Jesse Ventura was able to sway voters using infantile ads with action figures, yet, the adult-like realities of leadership and governing issued a rude awakening for those who voted for “The Body.”

That was 1998. We can now only wonder what America’s disaffected electorate will serve up in 2016.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Banner is Christ–Introduction

Below is the Introduction to: My Banner is Christ – An Appeal for the Church to Restore the Priority of Solus Christus and to mortify the idols of Celebritism and the Fear of Man

Introduction – He Has Given Us a Banner (pdf & below)
Chapter I – Lessons from History with Pillars of Warning
Chapter II – Being Subject in the Fear of Christ
Chapter III – Celebritism and the Worship of the Nehushtan
Chapter IV – Solus Christus Versus Man-Centered Partisanship
Chapter V – You Cannot Serve Two Masters
Chapter V – Solus Christus in the Land of Sodom and Gomorrah
Chapter VI – Solus Christus in the Home and Church
Chapter VIII – Solus Christus in the Land of Beulah
Chapter IX – Not all are Teachers
Conclusion – The Palace that is Called Beautiful
Appendix – Part I: John Bunyan, John Flavel, and the Fear of God
Appendix – Part II: The Fear of Christ in Marriage and Family
Appendix – Part III: Thomas Manton's Epistle to the Reader

Date of Publication: October 31st, 2015
ISBN-9781935358107 - 252 pages.
Copyright Year: © 2015

In the fourth Gospel, John the Baptist was asked why all were coming to Christ rather than to him (John 3:26). Rather than competing for the attention of the people, this humble forerunner of Christ simply confessed: He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30). I would submit to the reader that John’s reverent confession regarding the supremacy and worthiness of Jesus Christ is one that we all desperately need. After all, pride, arrogance, and self-exaltation are as germane to human nature as is breathing, but the desire to magnify Christ alone can only come by divine grace. Apart from such grace, the tendency of human nature is quite the opposite. Man-centeredness is the universal religion of fallen man, and we are all dull fools to deny this. It is for this reason that I say to the reader that John the Baptist’s confession of Christ’s supremacy and worthiness is the very medicine that our proud hearts greatly need. Without such divine medicine, all that we are left with is the deadly disease of human idolatry.

Over the years in pastoral ministry, I have developed an increasing concern regarding the dangerous pathway which leads to the reverence and preeminence of mere men rather than of Christ. By writing on this subject, I make no claim of being above the temptation of human idolatry. It is for this reason that the concerns expressed in this book regarding the church at large, are also concerns that I have for my own soul. As I look back over the years, I can identify several occasions where I was guilty of exalting or fearing men, yet, through it all the Lord has continued to teach me that He alone deserves all reverence, honor, and glory. While attending seminary many years ago, I invited a guest to join me at a chapel service. The speaker was a very popular person whom I admired and respected a great deal. I had already read a few of his books and had heard several of his sermons, thus my opinion of him was already highly favorable. This man preached a sermon in chapel that raised a great deal of controversy among some who heard him that day. He said some things that had a few seminary students buzzing with controversy for weeks afterwards. When I heard the sermon, along with my invited guest, I remember feeling a sense of reservation about what he had said, but I quickly ignored any concerns. After chapel I had lunch with my guest who complained about some of the points made by the speaker. I, as a mindless fan of this speaker, proceeded to defend what he said at the chapel service even though I too had private doubts and questions in my own heart. My internal hypocrisy eventually became a rebuke within my soul such that I came to realize that I had placed my love for, and devotion to, one of my favorite theologians over Christ and His word. What at first seemed like a small error of the heart was later revealed to be a well-hidden disease. But this is not all. Remarkably, I was also guilty of the sin of fearing man.[1] Aware of the fawning devotion of my fellow seminarians for this famous speaker, I felt a degree of implied social pressure to fall in line with the crowd, and this I did like a good little fool. I was no victim in this. My choices were a volitional rebellion against the greater wisdom of Paul who, when faced with theological stardom and the pressures of doctrinal complicity, declared: what they are makes no difference to us; God shows no partiality.[2] Such mistakes from my earlier days became a sharp warning within my heart, reminding me that all such infractions of devotion to Christ alone constitute an incipient disease of the soul, one that can affect myself, my family, my ministry, and my Christian witness in the Gospel overall. In other words, such errors are not minor infractions for anyone, instead they are massive cracks in the foundation of our lives.

I offer this personal account as a means of introducing the core concern expressed in this book. It is my conviction that the modern church has become dangerously distracted from her high calling to adore and reverence Christ alone. What has tempted and lured her from this precious priority is that forbidden fruit whereby the homage that is due to the Creator is instead directed towards the creature.[3] Such a tragedy as this is guaranteed whenever the church fails to live and minister in the fear of Christ (Ephesians 5:21). When godly fear diminishes in the heart of the believer, the weeds of ungodly fear will grow in its place, resulting in the corruption of man-centered fear or adoration. Man-centered fear is evident whenever the creature is seen as having greater authority and power than the Creator Himself. In this context, the dread of enmity with men, persecution, or social rejection will often lead individuals to obey men rather than God. On the other hand, man-centered adoration is that corruption whereby individuals are exalted and celebrated in a manner which diminishes Christ. What is so dangerous about this idolatrous corruption is that it is often quite subtle and unnoticed. Its prominence and popularity in American culture thrives in the modern day, and it is for this reason that I distinguish it with the word: celebritism. Its core error is found in the adoration of men over Christ, and its corruption often spreads quickly, especially in this present age of modern media. While there is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of celebrating God’s provision of grace in the lives of godly men and their ministries, there is everything wrong with the idolatry of celebritism: the act of exalting men in a way which diminishes the glory and sole authority of Jesus Christ. The pressures that can lead to this particular problem are enormous, especially in a world which demands that it have its various celebrities and idols: professional athletes, pop icons, movie-stars, prominent politicians, and even internet-idols etc., however, the church must resist such worldly conformity. When it fails to do so, it yields a banner of identity which exalts men rather than Christ, and this is often done under the false assumption that popularity is a guarantee of veracity and piety. When such a banner as this is heralded before a watching world, the church’s sole Savior, Bridegroom, and returning King is horrifically blasphemed. Scripture never calls us to chase after popular trends or prominent personalities, yet this habit among men flourishes readily in our celebrity culture of the modern era.

The sins of celebritism and the fear of man both stem from the absence of an adoration and reverence for God, and every believer must be extremely guarded against this deadly arena of sin. Knowing our human frailty, Satan constantly seeks to lure God’s people into such treacherous territory. Even without his temptations, sinful human nature tends to veer to one such idol or the other like an old jalopy with a defective steering alignment. Left unchecked, this inherent frailty can take any believer off course with little effort at all. All such temptations and defections run rampant wherever there is a lack a genuine fear of God. In such a dangerous condition as this, individuals become far more beholden to the words and thoughts of mere men than they should be. Within this dynamic, it is not surprising that, when teachers of prominence speak, their hearers often slip into a passivity of thought which decimates the requisite critical analysis that all believers must have. When this happens, the hearer enters into a dangerous place where the words of mere men are exalted, Christ’s authority is diminished, and doctrinal errors can take root in the soul. However, Scripture never grants such passivity to the student of God’s word. When we consider the Apostle Paul’s own life and ministry, we find multiple examples of this point. For one thing, Paul bore unique authority as an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and yet he never demanded that others follow his teaching blindly and without question. Instead, he called on his hearers to scrutinize his words with extreme care:

Galatians 1:8 …even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

By this statement alone, we see that Paul understood a very important principle, and it is one that must be upheld by the church in every age: whatever authority God’s servants may be granted in this life, they must remember that Christ is the ultimate authority over His church. Therefore, the Apostles and Prophets did not possess any inherent authority within themselves, instead, the authority they possessed came from the Lord.[4] Because of this, God’s people throughout history have been called upon to test the veracity of those who claimed to be God’s messengers, whether prophets or apostles (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 18:18-22, Jeremiah 14:13-15, Galatians 1:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21). Such reminders as these stand as a rebuke to anyone thinking that exceptions can be made for prominent teachers in the modern era simply because they are prominent and highly celebrated people. Even Paul’s station as an apostle did not afford him such a luxury, instead, his teaching was carefully examined by the Bereans such that they “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things [what Paul taught] were so.”[5] We should note that Luke’s record of their activity was not followed with a rebuke against them for some presumed rebellion. To the genuine prophet or apostle of yesteryear, or to the pastor in the present day, Scriptural accountability will always be welcomed because such scrutiny reveals the ultimate harmony of God’s authoritative revelation, while exposing all imposters to the truth. Because of this, Luke called the Bereans noble-minded in view of their willingness to measure Paul’s teaching by the standard of the very Scriptures from which he habitually reasoned:

Acts 17:1–3: 1 Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul’s custom [eiwqos, habit], he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” [italics mine]

No matter where Paul preached, he habitually reasoned from the Scriptures, explaining the Scriptures, and giving evidence from them. All such scriptural evidence became the standard by which all of Paul’s hearers, including the Bereans, could measure his preaching. Clearly, what the Bereans did was not a rebellious response to the Christian faith, instead their noble-minded response was evidence of the Spirit’s work within them. Apart from the Spirit, our fallen tendency is to exalt the messenger above his station, while receiving what is said without careful consideration. Such passivity of thought is dangerous. We could list the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility as “exhibit A” amidst a vast warehouse of past and present demonstrations of such fleshly thinking. All such reminders regarding mankind’s dangerous propensity towards idolatry underscore our desperate need for Christ and His word.

This concern regarding the dangers of celebritism and the fear of man is something that I have dealt with for many years, and for this reason I have already addressed the subject, briefly, in three prior books. Yet, what was a mere parenthesis in those works now constitutes the central concern in My Banner is Christ. It should be known, however, that despite the polemical nature of what I have here written, the ultimate design of this book is to direct attention to Christ Himself, remembering that He must increase, but we must decrease. In particular, there are three foci that I wish to highlight as represented by the title and subtitle of this book:

1. The Priority of Solus Christus: The primary goal of this work is to magnify Christ in the church by restoring the priority of Solus Christus. Of course, Solus Christus is that historic call of the Reformers who sought to magnify the reality that Christ alone is the sovereign Lord over all creation and is the church’s sole redeemer and head, a central truth that was decimated through centuries of various, incremental compromises along the way. In addition to the call of Solus Christus is its necessary companion: Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). These two are inseparable and indispensable, for without the latter, it is impossible to seek the former. Without God’s word we do not have the means by which Christ’s supremacy and glory can be magnified. Moreover, without these two aforementioned Solas, all the others fall away: Sola Fide, Solas Gratias, and Soli Deo Gloria. The church’s daily pursuit must be to magnify Christ’s power, supremacy, and authority for He, and He alone, is our message of hope to the church and to the nations. Yet, in order to pursue this priority well, the church must forsake the idols of celebritism and the fear of man.

2. The Idols of Celebritism and the Fear of Man: As already noted, wherever the fear of God wanes, the exaltation of the creature waxes hot, often igniting the sins of celebritism or the fear of man. Regarding the term, celebritism, I gladly confess that it is an invention. Feel free to peruse the Oxford English Dictionary if you wish, but I promise you that, to date, it is not to be found. In crafting this word, I have taken the liberty of adding the suffix ism to the word celebrity in order to denote the natural tendency of human excess due to our struggle with indwelling sin. Of course, the word celebrity isn’t inherently problematic. At its root, it has in mind the idea of celebration. When this word is employed to speak of people, it simply connotes an individual who is celebrated for various reasons. However, due to human sin and frailty, celebrities are often heralded well beyond reasonable measure, leading to sundry cults, cliques, and factions – various isms within society, i.e., celebritism. Within the church, it constitutes that grave corruption whereby the reverence and homage that is due to Christ alone is given to mere mortals. Here in America, where religious persecution still remains at a minimum, celebritism remains as a dominant disease. However, as our freedoms continue to wane, we must also remember that the fear and dread of men is an equally poisonous corruption. Like celebritism, the fear of man stems from the sin of exalting and reverencing the creature above the Creator.[6] Whatever we may face in the future, we must remember that, whether by fear or fawning devotion, the idolatry of heralding men above Christ is a ubiquitous and deadly disease. This contagion in the church has a long and sordid history, and it must therefore be mortified on a regular basis.

3. The Main Title: My Banner is Christ: The science of heraldry (a subject that will be further explored in the next chapter) reminds us that banners and flags are normally used in order to signify the identity and authority of individuals, families, institutions, and nations. In the Old Testament, a banner [n#s] was used as “a rallying point or standard which drew people together for some common action…one of the most important being the gathering of troops for war.”[7] In Psalm 60:4, we are reminded that God gives a banner of truth to those who fear Him so that His glory may be displayed before the nations: “Thou hast given a banner to those who fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. [Selah].” For the church, she has but one object of adoration and reverence, and only one banner of truth within this fallen world: the Lord Jesus Christ – who is the way, and the truth, and the life. Yet the question that remains for believers is this: how well are we clinging to Christ and His authority rather than to false and substitute authorities? This question applies for all believers, myself included, and it is for this reason that I ask the reader to remember that the title of this book is not a personal boast, instead, it is an admission that I write as one whose lifelong goal is to have Christ increase while I decrease. What I believe and seek for myself, I also seek within Christ’s body, and it is for this reason that I issue a heart-felt appeal to the church.

It is my hope and prayer that Christ will increase within His church through a renewed pursuit of Solus Christus, and through a joyful submission to His authoritative revelation alone - Sola Scriptura. I should remind the reader that, though this work contains several polemical arguments, our ultimate resolve will be to seek the biblical solutions to the problems facing the church today. Additionally, as this work was being developed, I was further drawn to the excellent writings of John Flavel (1627-1691) and John Bunyan (1628-1688): two contemporaries who faithfully served as ministers of the Gospel during England’s persistent persecution of nonconformist preachers. In particular, Flavel’s piece – A Practical Treatise of Fear – and Bunyan’s work – A Treatise of the Fear of Godbecame excellent helps and witnesses to my own labors. Both of these men strongly grappled with the subject of godly versus ungodly fear during a time of intense pressure to conform with the religious culture of their day. Within the crucible of such affliction, many brethren learned this crucial lesson as summarized by Flavel in, A Practical Treatise of Fear:

“…it is far better to lose our carnal friends, estates, liberties, and lives, than part with Christ’s truths and a good conscience.”[8]

All brethren who have learned this truth through times of testing, illustrate God’s gracious and powerful work in the life of frail, human instruments. By infusing the writings of Flavel and Bunyan within this work, it is my hope to introduce some readers to these dear servants whose desire it was to herald Christ in a time which heralded men and manmade religion.

Additionally, it was originally my hope to avoid the matter of identifying individuals by name amidst the quest of describing the struggles of the present day. Knowing something about the sensitivities of many within our celebrity-driven culture, I had hoped that this could be done without destroying the structure of the book’s overall development. However, this proved to be impossible. Because of this, I urge the reader to remember the nobility of the Bereans when encountering a critical analysis of any given teacher or teaching. The point is not to tear down people, but to uphold truth.[9] The church is called the pillar and support of the truth[10] – not the pillar and support of prominent personalities within modern Evangelicalism. Should we lose sight of this distinction, then the priority of having Christ increase is utterly lost. The church has no other head or authority and she must therefore rebuff all substitutes for His divine office. When the church understands this truth well, she will be willing to scrutinize every teacher and teaching that comes in her midst – even if the teacher is very popular by the appraisal of the masses. Such activity is not unloving. Instead, it is the most loving thing that the church can do for the Lord and for His people.

Finally, in consideration of this book’s title, the importance of reverencing God, along with the priorities of Solus Christus and Sola Scriptura, I would like to share C.H. Spurgeon’s comments on the aforementioned text of Psalm 60:4. The following comes from his excellent commentary on the book of Psalms, The Treasury of David:

Psalm 60:4: Thou hast given a banner to those who fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. [Selah]: Their afflictions had led them to exhibit holy fear, and then being fitted for the Lord's favour, he gave them an ensign, which would be both a rallying point for their hosts, a proof that he had sent them to fight, and a guarantee of victory. The bravest men are usually entrusted with the banner, and it is certain that those who fear God must have less fear of man than any others. The Lord has given us the standard of the gospel, let us live to uphold it, and if needful die to defend it. Our right to contend for God, and our reason for expecting success, are found in the fact that the faith has been once committed to the saints, and that by the Lord himself.

That it may be displayed because of the truth. Banners are for the breeze, the sun, the battle. Israel might well come forth boldly, for a sacred standard was borne aloft before them. To publish the gospel is a sacred duty, to be ashamed of it a deadly sin. The truth of God was involved in the triumph of David's armies, he had promised them victory; and so in the proclamation of the gospel we need feel no hesitancy, for as surely as God is true he will give success to his own word. For the truth's sake, and because the true God is on our side, let us in these modern days of warfare emulate the warriors of Israel, and unfurl our banners to the breeze with confident joy. Dark signs of present or coming ill must not dishearten us; if the Lord had meant to destroy us he would not have given us the gospel; the very fact that he has revealed himself in Christ Jesus involves the certainty of victory. Magna est veritas et praevalebit (Truth is mighty and will prevail).”

Such is the overall point of this book: to unfurl the banner of Scripture alone and Christ alone amidst a secular and religious world that has countless competing banners. In so doing, we must remember Christ’s victory and triumph over all. By divine grace alone we are the bride of the Lamb and we long for His return. Until He comes again let us raise His banner and uphold the lamp of His word, amidst this crooked and perverse generation.[11]

[1] Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

[2] Galatians 2:6.

[3] Romans 1:25.

[4] 2 Peter 1:20–21: 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

[5] Acts 17:10-12.

[6] Romans 1:25.

[7] R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke, eds., The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), 1379a.

[8] John Flavel, The Works of John Flavel Vol III, A Practical Treatise of Fear (London, 1820), 303.

[9] 2 Corinthians 10:3-8.

[10] 1 Timothy 3:15.

[11] Philippians 2:15-16.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Banner is Christ

This work in progress is nearing completion, with further work on the conclusion and appendices still underway. Below is the book’s full title and Table of Contents:


Title: My Banner is Christ: An Appeal for the Church to Forsake the Idolatry of Celebritism and Return to the Priority of Solus Christus

Introduction – He Has Given Us a Banner
Chapter I – Lessons from History with Pillars of Warning
Chapter II – Being Subject in the Fear of Christ
Chapter III – Celebritism and the Worship of the Nehushtan
Chapter IV – Solus Christus Versus Man-Centered Partisanship
Chapter V – You Cannot Serve Two Masters
Chapter VI – Solus Christus in the Land of Sodom and Gomorrah
Chapter VII – Solus Christus in the Home and Church
Chapter VIII – Solus Christus in the Land of Beulah
Chapter IX – Not all are Teachers
Conclusion – The Palace that is Called Beautiful
Appendix – Part I: John Bunyan, John Flavel, and the Fear of God
Appendix – Part II: The Fear of Christ in Marriage and Family
Appendix – Part III: Thomas Manton’s Epistle to the Reader

To be released in paperback and Kindle formats. Publication date: TBA

Saturday, June 27, 2015

May God Have Mercy on America: A Solemn and Sincere Warning to President Obama and our Nation


This is a repost of three articles that I have written in recent years. What I wrote and recorded then is quite relevant today, especially in view of yesterday’s SCOTUS ruling which prohibits all 50 states from banning same sex “marriage.” Having little time, but much concern over this matter, I have chosen to repost the following:

1. TAMB: Equal Protection for Gay Marriage

2. A Solemn and Sincere Warning to President Obama

3. “May God Have Mercy on America” from June 29th, 2013


1. TAMB: Equal Protection for Gay Marriage



2. A solemn and Sincere Warning to President Obama:

obama-rainbow-logo-gay-marriage-lesbian-anti-gay-law-dont-ask-dont-tellAs one who prays regularly for those in governing authority, I offer the following Solemn and Sincere Warning to our President: Barak Obama:

As a NC resident, I consider yesterday’s Marriage Amendment victory as a bitter sweet one. Though I am thankful that God’s institution of marriage has been affirmed in our state’s constitution, I find it utterly disturbing that such a legal maneuver was required at all. It stands as a dark testament to the severe perversity and downgrade of our nation – a downgrade which has, for decades, winked at sexual promiscuity, adultery, and divorce. Today, we see the continued evidence of this downgrade such that, now, 50% of Americans support homosexual marriage. Mr. President, I mention all this as a prelude to your announced support for gay marriage today. I believe that your admitted “evolution” comes as no great surprise to most in our nation. Yet, I must say that the honesty of your recent admission is remarkably important, especially when considering the question of your religious faith. I have found it very interesting when people accuse you of being a Muslim. Of course, the nearly universal response to this, from most in the mainstream media, is that you are, in fact, a Christian – based upon your own public profession of faith. Even conservative politicians have gladly affirmed your profession. But what does any of this prove or resolve? While it is ultimately true that only God knows the hearts of men,[1] we must also acknowledge that conscientious believers must discern the professions of others by means of evaluating their fruit:

Matthew 7:19–21 (NASB) — 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits.21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”

A genuine Christian is one who has been born, spiritually, from above,[2] believing that Christ is the eternal Son of God, from above,[3] who died as the sinner’s substitute upon the cross[4] and rose again on the third day.[5] But such faith does not stand as a barren tree, but yields the fruit of loving obedience to Christ through a submission to his words and commandments:

John 14:21 (NASB) — 21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.”

If we say that we know and love Christ, but reject His commandments, we then prove ourselves to be liars rather than genuine believers.[6] In all of this, we must come to recognize the importance of what the Savior is teaching us: He is revealing the horrific reality of those who merely feign faith in Him unto their own eternal damnation. It is in this very vein of consideration that I offer the following solemn and sincere warning to you Mr. President: Your recent confession of support for gay marriage reveals a very important and deeply troubling matter. At the same time, it reveals a very important sign-post, the message of which is crucial: If a man claims to be a Christian at all, then he ought to hold fast to the Lord’s commandments. However, rejection of Christ’s word should serve as a potent warning:

Matthew 19:1–6 (NASB) — 1 AND it came about that when Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee, and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan;2 and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.3 And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?”4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,5 and said, ‘FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL gaymarriageBECOME ONE FLESH’?6 “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

When creating the institution of marriage, God made them “male and female” – giving a clear indication of what is to be joined together as one flesh. Thus, “a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.” The clarity of the Savior’s commandments could not be clearer: one man and one woman joined together in holy matrimony. Anything other than this is an unholy abomination. Do not be deceived Mr. President, he who has Christ’s commandments and keeps them – he it is who loves Christ truly as a genuine believer. By making your support for gay marriage known publicly, you have clearly revealed an allegiance, not to Christ, but with those who stand in opposition to the words and commandments of the Savior Himself. What the Scriptures call unnatural and indecent acts,[7] you have affirmed as legitimate behavior, and you have publicly revealed this as one who gives hearty approval to those who practice such things.[8]

Mr. President, genuine believers are certainly not perfect people, but their lives are marked by genuine fruit and forward oriented spiritual progress despite their trials and momentary setbacks along the way. Ultimately, no child of God will be known as one whose practice it is to regress backwards from the words and commandments of Jesus Christ. Thus, a genuine disciple of Christ will seek to stand by His words, rather than flee from them as you clearly have today. I implore you to consider the nature of the fruit of your actions this day – they are serious and solemn indicators of the true nature of your “religion.” Your actions this week serve as a sign-post, revealing a dangerous enmity against the very Creator of all things (including marriage). Mr. President, do not ignore these sign-posts – their message is cogent and clear. Your position on homosexuality is not the only matter that justifies the aforementioned warning (such as your continued support of those who abort and murder the unborn children of our land, your religious syncretism, along with your willingness to attend a racist church for 20 years). Yet, this recent admission of yours only strengthens the need to issue this Gospel call knowing that the wrath of God is promised to the “sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:1-6). The reality is that we must all give an account before the Lord someday – and that account will go well beyond whether or not we merely claimed to be a Christian in this life. The real question will be this: “Did we have a genuine faith – one which revealed itself through the fruit of loving obedience to Christ and His commandments?”[9] If not, then we must heed the solemn warnings of Scripture: Acts 17:31 (NASB) — 31 …He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” It is this Jesus who is returning to judge the living and the dead; and though men may disobey His words now, with apparent impunity, they cannot escape His final justice and coming judgment.[10]

May God have mercy on you… may God have mercy on America

As a side note….

In light of the tense political climate that we have here in America, I should note that this post would have been written to any president, no matter what his background or ethnicity may be. Should anyone doubt my resolve in this, then please note my convictions on the subject of racialism below – which I have been teaching and advocating all of my years as a Christian:

Video: All Men are Created Equal?
from: www.wheredoyoustand.us

Finally, on a personal note, it has now been roughly eight years since the book The First Institution was completed and published. In its introduction, I addressed the disturbing trend of those who seek to redefine the institution of marriage. Here is a small excerpt:

“During the completion of this book, our nation has witnessed the anarchy of many judges, governing authorities, and politicians who have pressed an agenda to redefine the institution of marriage without any regard to law - whether the law of men or especially of God. The corruption of our culture has become so excessive, that it is actually considered to be a matter of debate as to whether men should marry men and women should marry women! But this pattern of corruption is the very earmark of a society that is being given over to its own wickedness. In light of this societal degradation, a very important question must be addressed: exactly who has the authority to define marriage and family? Judges and legislators in our own nation are laboring diligently to redefine what the nuclear family is, but do these individuals actually have the authority to establish the standards that define the family? The very simple answer from Scripture is: No. Only God has the authority to define the institution of the family, for He is the Author (Latin – auctor; Creator) of all things. This Latin word [auctor] is the foundation of our English words author and authority. Therefore, when we say that God has authority, we are acknowledging His office as the Creator and governor of all things…The terrifying reality is that those who deny the Creator have no real concept of the judgment that awaits them. The Scriptures remind us that one day all creation will bow in submission to the risen Son of God, and in that day every created thing in Heaven and on the earth will bow in submission and confess the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father. In that final judgment of mankind, all creation will make this universal declaration of God's unquestioned authority, whether as a final confession unto judgment, or as an act of genuine worship by the disciples of Jesus Christ unto eternal glory. When His judgment is complete, there will be no petitions heard, no protests permitted, and not a single appeal will be entertained. The only sound that will fill God's Supreme Court of justice will be the song of the Lamb, which will yield the eternal celebration of Christ's victory and dominion over the entire Universe.” (The First Institution, A Theological and Practical Guide for the Reformation of God’s Institution of Marriage and Family, © 2004)

[1] 2 Timothy 2:19 (NASB) — 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.”
[2] John 3:3 (NASB) — 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
[3] John 8:23–24 (NASB) — 23 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.24 “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”
[4] 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB) — 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him., 1 Peter 3:18 (NASB) — 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit…
[5] 1 Corinthians 15:16–17 (NASB) — 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
[6] 1 John 2:4 (NASB) — 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
[7] Romans 1:26–27 (NASB) — 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
[8] Romans 1:32.
[9] James 2:14-26.
[10] 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

3. May God Have Mercy on America:

Here in America the expression, God bless America, has become such a common utterance in presidential speeches that it now seems like a cheap tag line with little meaning. I say this because God has blessed this nation, in abundance, yet sadly America has progressively forsaken those blessings, while blaspheming the God of such blessings year after year. Over my lifetime I have witnessed a tremendous change within America’s culture, and the downgrade only seems to accelerate with time. The most recent forensics of this comes to us through the redefinition of marriage posited by Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Writing for the majority opinion, in defense of same-sex marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy criticized elements of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), indicating that those who oppose homosexuality resultantly “injure” and “demean” the “moral and sexual choices” of same-sex couples. What was so striking about this decision was that the court went well beyond rendering a judgment against DOMA. In essence, it vilified all those who oppose gay marriage. Thus, this is much more than a “victory” for those who support gay marriage, it is a broad and open door to the future persecution of all those who choose to oppose homosexuality. In view of this I must say that, before petitioning God for blessings, America should repent of her multiple sins and cry out for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Like rebellious Israel, our nation is destroyed for a lack of knowledge.[1]

Though not surprising, the SCOTUS decision reveals America’s continued descent into darkness. The revelation of this new ruling proved to be grievous for the disciples of Christ, but for everyone else, it was a day of celebration:

The National Cathedral: Following the ruling of SCOTUS regarding DOMA and Proposition 8, The National Cathedral in Washington DC rang its church bells in celebration for 45 minutes to an hour.

The Governor of Connecticut: In response to the STOTUS decisions regarding DOMA and proposition 8, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy flew a rainbow flag outside the Governor’s official residence – revealing a profound change since Connecticut’s beginning.[2]

President Obama: The President quickly weighed on this judgment, declaring the following: “I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal — and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

What the president suppresses and denies[3] (along with most Americans) is that the love found within the institution which “God has joined together”[4] is in no way equal to the hedonistic lust of pornea (sexual immorality) so commonly found within this fallen world. Moreover, though it is true that the presidents and judges of this nation can decree, by law, such a notion of equality, the Supreme Judge of all laughs at such foolishness and rebellion.[5] Sadly, America continues in a downward spiral, but such truth ought to drive the church to more earnest prayer, asking the God of all mercy and grace for the blessing of repentance and spiritual awakening. This we must continue to do, knowing that no piece of legislation, no judicial ruling, and no executive order can turn the hearts of men and women away from their enmity with God. Only the Gospel, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can turn and awaken those who remain dead in their trespasses and sins.[6] We must also pray for “kings and for all those in authority so that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life, with all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:1-6). In relation to this latter point, I am concerned that the believer’s Gospel freedoms here in America continue to be weakened, and the recent decision by SCOTUS will further accelerate this trend. As mentioned earlier, SCOTUS did more than make a judgment in favor of homosexuality, it made a judgment of those who oppose such conduct. A plain reading of Kennedy’s majority opinion reveals this. Justice Antonin Scalia offered an ominous summary of the majority’s opinion on this ruling, offering a Latin expression that is strikingly familiar to a familiar one from ancient church history:

Justice Antonin Scalia: “To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to ‘dis- parage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homo-sexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.”[7]

Having read through Kennedy’s majority opinion on the SCOTUS ruling, I can attest that Scalia’s above summary is spot-on. Though the terms “disparage,” “injure,” “degrade,” “demean,” and “humiliate” are broadly scattered throughout the court’s published opinion, the retributive force of these words is still quite stunning. Scalia’s observations are quite interesting, if not ironic, especially when he invoked the expression, hostes humani generis – enemies of the human race. When I read this, my thoughts were brought back to the writings of Tacitus who described the nature of Nero’s persecution of the Christian community within the 1st century:

Tacitus: "But neither human resources, nor imperial munificence, nor appeasement of the gods, eliminated sinister suspicions that the fire had been instigated. To suppress this rumour, Nero fabricated scapegoats – and punished with every refinement the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were popularly called). Their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius’ reign by the governor of Judaea, Pontius Pilatus. But in spite of this temporary setback the deadly superstition had broken out afresh, not only in Judaea (where the mischief had started) but even in Rome. All degraded and shameful practices collect and flourish in the capital. First, Nero had self-acknowledged Christians arrested. Then, on their information, large numbers of others were condemned - not so much for incendiarism as for their hatred of humanity (odio humani generis).[8] Their deaths were made farcical. Dressed in wild animals' skins, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or made into torches to be ignited after dark as substitutes for daylight."[9]

Tacitus’ description of the Christian community reminds us of the degrading opinions that developed within the Greco-Roman world: Christians were the haters of humanity. The most likely explanation for this label is that the Christian community was unwilling, for conscience’ sake, to participate in the hedonistic and idolatrous culture of the Greco-Roman world, replete with its sacrifices to the gods and licentious living. Such non-participation was seen as an act of hostility against others, especially since the superstitious and pagan world believed that sacrifices to the gods were necessary for the greater good of the broader community. Because of such non-participation, Christians were ridiculed as the haters of humanity among other things. I would suggest that Scalia’s summary of Kennedy’s opinion offers a historically packed preview of what may come in the future. Apart from God’s merciful and gracious intervention in America’s moral and spiritual suicide, further darkness will prevail in this land. My mention of this is not designed to be morose, but to emphasize the continued need to look to the Gospel for genuine light in this dark world. Too often the modern church has sought ways to nurture friendship with the world, but this has only led to compromise and corruption.[10] This could be a means by which the Lord will purify and strengthen His true church here in America. Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers regarding the darkness of their own world (Eph 5:8-11), in order to enjoin them to a more diligent walk (Eph 5:2, 8, 15) as the children of light (Eph 5:8). Contextually and grammatically he continues his appeal by commanding the Ephesians to avoid foolishness while pursuing the will of the Lord (Eph 5:17), refraining from drunkenness while being filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18). Paul then describes what such Spirit-filled living looks like in the children of God: speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be[ing] subject to one another in the fear of Christ (Eph 5:19-21). The verse division between verse 21 and 22 may lead the reader to think that Paul has ceased his description of Spirit-filled living – but this is not the case. Paul’s expansion of this important subject only continues as he describes the beauty of a Spirit-filled marriage, which reflects the glory of Christ and His union with His bride, the church (Eph 5:22-33); and we must not forget that this extends further to a description of a godly family, complete with a father, mother, and children (Eph 6:1-4) who seek to honor the Lord in everything. Yes, Ephesus was engulfed in darkness – but this reality afforded Paul the opportunity to remind genuine believers that their solution was not to dim the light of the Gospel, but to make it radiate more brightly in their individual lives, as well as in their marriages, and families.

Dear reader - what was true in that day is equally true today.

In conclusion, I should also note the profound irony of the homosexual community’s banner which is, of all things, the rainbow.[11] I call this ironic because of God’s stated purpose for the rainbow. Having destroyed the world of wickedness in a deluge, God gave Noah the promise that He would never again “destroy all flesh” by means of a flood. Therefore God revealed to Noah “the bow [haqeshet] that is in the cloud” (i.e., rainbow) as His symbol to all of mankind that He would refrain from giving humanity what it otherwise deserves, thereby supplying a measure of mercy to the sons of men while they live on the earth. The Hebrew word haqeshet (a hunter’s bow) gives us a sense of what is implied by the word mercy: men deserve judgment because of indwelling sin (Gen. 8:21), yet such judgment is withheld as an act of merciful restrain. Those who have ever drawn a hunter’s bow know that it takes a measure of strength to draw and sustain a bow’s tension. Releasing the bow is the easy part, but keeping it drawn and restrained for long periods of time requires significant force. I would suggest to the reader that this is the picture of God’s temporal mercy upon the sons of men in this life, which is similarly unveiled in the New Testament: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36). This text in John 3 unpacks some of the inherentrainbow_04 symbolism of God’s “bow (haqeshet) in the clouds” by revealing God’s presently active mercy and pending wrath. Mercy is now active such that men “live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28), enjoying “rains and fruitful seasons” here on the earth (Acts 14:17). Note that the text tells us that God’s wrath “abides” on all those who do not obey the Son. That word “abides” (menei) is the present active indicative form of the verb meno (abide), indicating a present and ongoing reality in God’s relation with this world. In many respects, this is what we see in God’s bow (haqeshet) – the active tension of God’s merciful restraint which will someday give way to the release of His just and eternal wrath upon all those who resist Him. In view of this, the rainbow is both awesomely beautiful, yet haunting in light of its implied message. Overall, let the reader consider this: the image of the rainbow is not just for the homosexual community – it is for all men in light of God’s present Gospel mercy and promised future wrath. It is a reminder that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23); and that the wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23); therefore, apart from Christ, all men are counted as God’s enemies (Romans 5:8) and must plead for mercy and grace which is fully revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ:

These truths are not just for one sector of our society, but they are for all men: “…he who believes in the Son has life, he who does not obey the son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” John 3:36.

[1] Hosea 4:6.

[2] From The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1638-1639): “For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte and the lands thereunto adjoining; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one Public State or Commonwealth; and do for ourselves and our successors and such as shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter into Combination and Confederation together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess, as also, the discipline of the Churches, which according to the truth of the said Gospel is now practiced amongst us; as also in our civil affairs to be guided and governed according to such Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees as shall be made, ordered, and decreed…”

[3] Romans 1:18-24.

[4] Matthew 19:4–6 — 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

[5] Psalm 2:1–6 — 1 Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

[6] Ephesians 2:1–3 — 1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

[7] NationalJournal: Scalia: 'High-Handed' Kennedy Has Declared Us 'Enemies of the Human Race', http://www.nationaljournal.com/domesticpolicy/scalia-high-handed-kennedy-has-declared-us-enemies-of-the-human-race-20130626.

[8] Scalia’s reference to hostes humani generis, though strikingly similar in meaning, is probably rooted in maritime history, rather than being a quote from the ancient Roman historian.

[9] Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome (Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1993), p. 365, italics mine.

[10] James 4:4 — 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

[11] The establishment of the rainbow, as a symbol for the homosexual community, is normally attributed to Gilbert Baker – an artist from San Francisco – who first designed the flag in 1978. There is no apparent evidence that Baker was attempting to imitate the Bible’s description of the rainbow in Genesis 9. Instead, the homosexual community has used several colors (in recent history) in order to depict various aspects and perspectives of the gay community.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism

Sadly, racialism in America is producing a widening divide in our country and it would appear that many politicians, along with the mainstream media, enthusiastically promulgate this disease. The reader should note that by using the term racialism I am speaking of an idea that is far more specific than racism. If you are unfamiliar with the distinction between these terms, let me offer a summary, but with this important qualification: both concepts of racialism and racism run contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture (also see this article: All Men are Created Equal?). Both concepts of racialism and racism are related ideas based upon the faulty, contemporary notion that men can be distinguished and categorized by superficial distinctions. Current uses of these terms fail to recognize that the word race speaks of the concept of genealogy. In the case of the term racialism (or scientific racialism), we find a contemporary connotation which seeks to offer scientific classifications of human “races” based upon skin color and facial features, rather than genealogy. Thus, when people speak of a person’s race in view of their skin color, they demonstrate much of the confusion surrounding the word’s historic denotation. Thus, racism is an ideology which begins with the false presupposition of scientific racialism, but continues with an assumption of a natural hierarchy of the races (some races are more favorable than others). Because of this, racism is deeply flawed and contrary to all teachings of Scripture, as well as contemporary scientific analyses of the unitary nature of the human race. Despite all this, our society continues to speak, erroneously, of skin color as being the primary indicator of one’s “race. What I wish to remind the reader of is this central matter: the Bible clearly refutes the contrived concepts of racialism and racism seeing that nothing - not skin color, eye color, hair color, nor one’s genealogical background – can either augment or diminish a person’s value as a human being. Scripture is quite clear: all men were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23, 5:12), therefore, all men – without distinction - need the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrary to this, the teaching of racialism is a Gospel destroying philosophy that must never be tolerated by the followers of Christ.

What is sad to see amidst all the discussions of “race relations” here in America is the absence of the Bible’s emphasis on our shared humanity, no matter what our skin color. Such discussions of “race” rip us away from the precious message of the Gospel and it is for this reason that I have called racialism and racism a “Gospel destroying philosophy.” As such, it is a demonic doctrine that is relentlessly propagated by many in our nation today and it must be refuted with all vigor. In this post, I would like to describe the current manner in which such racism is being promoted within our society, to the end that we would refute this pernicious influence by the authority of Scripture. Yes, the recent events surrounding Mike Brown, Darren Wilson, and the ongoing riots in Ferguson MO have triggered this post, but I can assure the reader that what follows has been on my mind for many, many years. In doing this, I will be issuing my refutation in a slightly unique manner. I will first present The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism, promoting it as the Devil’s advocate. Then, we will dissect and critique this Demonic Decalogue with Scripture in order to reveal just how Gospel-destroying this philosophy is. Obviously, my Devil’s advocacy is merely rhetorical for the sake of our discussion, and my use of the name “Devil” is not hyperbolic: racialism is the Devil’s own doctrine. In the end, the following Ten Commandments are never admitted by those who use them, but rest assured, they exist and are utilized faithfully by the power brokers of racialism:

The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism: Whenever there is an unsubstantiated claim of racism, please remember to observe the following Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism:

1st Commandment – Remember that Power is More Important than Truth: If an unconfirmed charge of racism arises, be sure to assess the situation’s potential for political influence, societal persuasion, and control over other people groups. If the situation supplies no such advantages, then the matter is to be ignored at all costs. If the situation does supply such advantages, then the matter is to be pursued at all costs. Before matters can be confirmed by forensic evidence, legal proceedings, and the testimony of witnesses, be sure to broadcast a narrative that will support your message. Remember that an immediate response is essential if public opinion is to be swayed prior to the disclosure of the facts of the case. As well, only use officially sanctioned words and expressions as found within The Racialist’s Rules of Etiquette. Compel others to comply with these standards without compromise. Those who violate these standards must be shamed as racists without further consideration of the context or intent of the speaker. This is the foremost commandment and, by it, many have been silenced with little effort at all. You must remember: power is more important than truth.

2nd Commandment - Give Voice to Approved Representatives Only: Before a claim of racism can be confirmed by witnesses, be sure to seek out only sanctioned spokespersons as defined by the mainstream media. Additionally, only qualifying minorities can be deemed as victims of racism and only qualifying minorities can speak publicly about racism. All unapproved spokespersons are to be shunned as ignorant, irrelevant, or even racist if necessary.

3rd Commandment – Remember that Emotionalism Trumps all Facts: Before a claim of racism can be confirmed by witnesses, be sure to make your expressions of grievance loud, persistent, and even violent if necessary. Remember: you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. The more emotional your response is the less attention there will be given to the facts and evidence of the case itself. Those who question your emotionalism should be shunned as ignorant racists through the use of rules 1 & 2 above.

4th Commandment - Observe All Sanctioned Double Standards: Remember that, in ordinary circumstances, the use of mob violence, death threats, along with the publication of personal information that can jeopardize the safety of others, is normally deemed as uncivil activity; however, all claimants of victimization, whether real or perceived, are free from all such standards of civility.

5th Commandment – Always Blame others for Your Problems: Be sure to blame those in the present day for the racism of others from the past. Such shaming of others is sanctioned conduct and can serve as crucial tools in societal manipulation. Guilt-by-association, normally seen as a faulty argumentative method, is acceptable in your case. This method of argumentation must be employed relentlessly despite all reasoned objections. It is crucial to understand that people are easily made to feel guilty concerning matters for which they bear no personal responsibility, and such guilt is a powerful means of control.

6th Commandment - Use Religion as Cover for the Cause: Another powerful tool of manipulation is Religion. Biblical texts, abused and misquoted, can help garner sympathy for your cause while inducing further guilt in others who may disagree with you.

7th Commandment - Remember that all Slander is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Though slander and bearing false witness against others is normally deemed as wicked activity, all such standards vanish for the claimants of victimhood. Through slander and unsubstantiated claims, you must advance your narrative of victimhood with anyone who will hear you while you still have the opportunity to sway public opinion. It is crucial that you destroy the reputation of others before further facts of a case are made available to the public.

8th Commandment - Remember that Violence is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Though violence against others and their property is normally deemed as wicked activity, it should be remembered that it is justified under rule #7 since the shift from violent speech to violent actions is marginal, predictable, and, ultimately, needful for the cause.

9th Commandment - Remember to Silence the Opposition: By utilizing all of the previous rules above, it is important to remember that your goal is to shut down dialogue with others. Public discourse is not our goal, but absolute domination is. It is in this sense that these Rules for Racialists are derivatives of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and must be fully obeyed in order to bring about a radical transformation of our society.

10th Commandment - Above All, Never Let the Truth Prevail in the Public Narrative: Should you find yourself to be on the wrong side of the facts, once the evidence and witnesses have been revealed, be sure to preserve and maintain your narrative of racialism as a means of preserving the cause. Repentance, capitulation, and correction are never an option and would only serve to undermine our mission. Remember the foremost commandment: power is more important than truth.

Now let us evaluate this aforementioned Demonic Decalogue in view what Scripture teaches:

1st Commandment – Remember that Power is More Important than Truth: Lucifer fell from Heaven because of his pride and sinful desire to grasp the very power of God Himself (Isaiah 14:12-14). He could only do this by supplanting the truth that no one is like God (Psalm 86:8, Exodus 15:11). In many respects, the template and image of Satan is seen among the realm of fallen humanity. Since the fall of man, the pursuit of power over truth has plagued the human race. This very temptation and sin is at the heart of all kinds of corruption, and racism is just one manifestation of such wickedness. When men believe that they are superior to others, they entitle themselves to the Satanic delusion of power. The 1st Commandment of Progressive Racialism offers no progress to humanity at all: it is the ancient sin of men and demons, and it is all worthy of the condemnation of God Himself. God’s truth will always prevail over the “power” of men.

2nd Commandment - Give Voice to Approved Representatives Only: No one should be exempted from the important discussion about human prejudice. The moment we begin to exclude others from this important discussion, based upon their skin color, we give credence to the corruption of racist thinking itself. As believers, we need to consider what Scripture has to teach us about heralding the Gospel in a world of ethnic divide. While the believer must be careful to avoid unnecessary offense when speaking to various people groups, we must first acknowledge that we are all made of the same, stock of fallen humanity. Our differing ethnicities, skin color, eye color, hair color, facial features, and other physical distinctions among us change nothing about our shared humanity. In the end we must acknowledge that the Gospel is inherently offensive to the natural man, no matter what his background may be. Our encounters with others should be grounded in love and concern for them, but it must never be governed by a fear of man. If we are faithful to proclaiming God’s truth, then we must also accept the reality that we will end up offending some people. When Paul was in Athens, he addressed a deeply ethnocentric group of people who believed themselves to be the supreme descendants of Erechtheus – the mythological progeny of Gaia and Hephaestus who was raised by the Goddess Athena. The thought of a Jew instructing a company of proud Greek intellectuals concerning the origin of creation and the nations would have been deeply offensive and seemingly presumptuous. Despite this Paul proceeded to inform them that the one God who made the heavens and the earth is “not served by human hands as if He needed anything” and that He “made from one man every nation of mankind.” Amazingly, Paul boldly decimated the Athenians’ view of theology, creationism, polytheism, and racialism with a handful of carefully crafted statements. Paul wasn’t looking for personal popularity with his audience, nor did he worship at the altar of political correctness. Instead, he was there to tell them the lie-destroying truth (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) for the sake of their souls despite the racial and ethnic differences that stood between him and his Gentile audience.

3rd Commandment - Emotionalism Trumps all Facts: Displays of emotion and passion do nothing to change the truth. Despite this reality, we live in a world that has been using public grievances in order to advance false narratives and lies since the fall of man. It is simply not true that “the one who complains the loudest wins” in the contest over truth. Paul’s preaching of the Gospel offended the residents of Ephesus because he was informing them that “gods made with hands are no gods at all” (Acts 19:26). His preaching, along with their recognition that he was not a Greek but a Jew (Acts 19:34), stirred the city into a state of hostility such that for about two hours they cried out: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.” Paul was an alien in every way in view of his message and ethnicity, and the inhabitants of the city let him know it, but none of this changed anything. Men can stir up all the passion and anger that they wish, but man’s emotions never change facts and reality. This is true in every aspect of life.

4th Commandment - Observe All Sanctioned Double Standards: God’s laws and commandments are universal for all mankind. It is not the case that “you shall not steal” or “you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” applies to some, but doesn’t apply to others. Yet, despite this, many believe that victimhood justifies the transgression of the law: whether of God or of men. This is nothing more than a poorly reasoned form of anarchy and it is sadly promoted among those who deem themselves as victims. The great darkness and sin that we see exhibited in Israel’s ancient period of the Judges is well summarized in Judges 21:25 “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes” – this is the very definition of anarchy.

5th Commandment - Blame Society for all Your Problems: Many in our society are drowning in the slough of blame and false victimhood. The self-esteem generation of the 60’s has managed to produce scores of introspective, narcissistic individuals who have no interest in taking personal responsibility for their own lives. This is a disease that transcends all cultural and socio-economic classes of mankind. The sins of America’s historic racialism and slavery have scarred our nation significantly, but I can assure the reader that those scars will never be healed through a reversed racism in the modern day. The propagation of philosophies which seek to shame members of society today for the sins of others in the past only serves to increase the divide between men. Every generation must account for its own actions and choices. If this were not the case, the needed reforms of black civil rights would never have come into existence. In order to move forward as a people, we must learn from the past, rather than live in it, while seeking to treat one another as equals as we should have from the beginning, acknowledging that all men are created equal by the Creator. Such a thought as this fosters the much-needed understanding of a man’s personal responsibility before God who is the Creator of everything. One of the central truths of the Gospel is that men have a personal responsibility to answer to God (Jeremiah 31:30, Ezekiel 18:20-21). A father who commits a crime does not thereby make his son guilty – no matter what his skin color is. All sinners who repent and turn to the Lord will find life in Him (Ezekiel 18:21-23, Matthew 11:28). The Gospel is God’s gracious and merciful appeal to a world of lost sinners, and each individual who hears the Gospel is responsible to turn to God in view of His call to all men to believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

6th Commandment - Use Religion as Cover for the Cause: Men have been using religion as a cover for their ulterior agendas from the very beginning – this is not new. But true religion sees humanity as God sees it: created in God’s image, fallen in sin, worthy of condemnation, and desperately in need of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, rather than using false arguments of racialism in order to divide men, the Christian seeks to proclaim the Gospel of peace in order to unite all men in the risen Savior.

7th Commandment - Remember that all Slander is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Our society has learned to vilify anyone who is believed to be a racist, whether that belief is valid or not. For that matter, merely an accusation of racism can result in public shunning whether it is deserved or not. It is interesting to note that one of the great double standards of modern American racist witch hunts is that they often entail an abundance of slander, rumors, and false accusations. Prejudice against others is indeed a sin, for God Himself does not show partiality (Acts 10:34, 1 Peter 1:17). But slander, rumors, and false accusations are things that the Lord also hates: “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord…” Proverbs 12:22. When race-baiters are deeply invested in a narrative of presumption, slander, and false accusation against others, the presentation of forensic evidence and eye-witness testimony will rarely change their mindset. This is a grave and fearful sin.

8th Commandment - Remember that Violence is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: According to Scripture, slander is an expression of hatred which reveals a heart of murder: Proverbs 6:16–19: 16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers [italics mine]. It doesn’t take much for a riotous mob to go from shouting to bloodshed – it is a mere shift of communication from the mouth to the hand and it is all wicked.

9th Commandment - Remember to Silence the Opposition: A society that is unwilling to listen to opposing views is a dangerous place to live. When Paul addressed the Athenians in Acts 17, he did so within a forum that invited open discourse [Acts 17:21]. In his address, he didn’t threaten to convert them by force for one simple reason: this is never an option for the followers of Christ. Unlike some religions and political philosophies, the followers of Christ are called to engage those who are deemed as enemies of the cross for the purpose of relating and explaining the message of the Gospel. Such interaction can be messy and even difficult – but it is the means by which the believer loves others through the Gospel. However, from the standpoint of this dark world, dialogue is merely optional. In the worst of all cases, silence from one’s opponent is to be secured by public vilification, arrest, or even bloodshed.

10th Commandment - Above All, Never Let the Truth Prevail in the Public Narrative: “Power is more important than truth.” Though men may never confess this with their lips, it is their true religion of the heart and the idol they serve faithfully. Any philosophy or methodology that brings worldly gain (whether real or perceived) to the individual is to be maintained without repentance. Even a well constructed lie will be protected by its creators if they believe that it will help their ultimate cause. Again – power is more important than truth.

Though you will never see these “commandments” printed or advertised in any formal capacity, I can assure you that mankind has employed these wicked decrees for ages. Will those who use and apply these aforementioned Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism ever be held to account for their abuses of others? In the end, the answer is yes. This truth Paul proclaimed to his Athenian audience:

Acts 17:30–31: 30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Though men may never relent of their slander and malicious gossip in this life, all such matters will be dealt with in the courtroom of God’s final and eternal judgment. As for finding justice in this life, it would be nice to see but our society’s trajectory seems to be pointing away from such an end. Instead, it would appear that we can all prepare for the next racialistic controversy, which will most likely be bigger and charged with more slander and violence. We can hope and pray that this will not be the case, however, the present trajectory of our nation does not instill much hope. Whatever else we can say or think about America’s downgrade into a new era of racialism, one thing is for certain: our only hope is Christ. By nature, we are all bigots and haters of men and of God. Without a transformation of the heart, mankind will continue to march on, relentlessly, in its parade of prejudice against others. The sins of the past find no solutions in the inventions of man. Moreover, black-on-white racism does not cancel the sins of white-on-black racism. The only way out of this is the narrow pathway of God’s word whereby we are illumined to see that the Lord is good, and we are not; that He alone can save us from our sins, and that we cannot save ourselves; that Christ died for sinners so that all those who believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

Indeed, He is our only hope.

May God have mercy on America.

All Men are Created Equal? from The Armoury Ministries on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TAMB: Jude’s Prophetic Woe–Cain (Jude 11)

Jude’s historic warnings to the church are gripping, serious, and desperately needed for the modern day. With much gravity, Jude issues a prophetic woe against men whose wickedness and rebellion bears a likeness to that of Cain, Balaam, and Korah. His indictment of such men is brief, however a careful perusal of his instruction brings us through an important “hall of shame” within biblical history. In this message, we consider the nature of Cain’s corruption and treachery as humanity’s first false religionist and murderer.

Friday, October 24, 2014

TAMB: Equal Protection for Gay Marriage

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, President Barack Obama revealed his “evolving” position on gay marriage, indicating that the “…Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states.” Though this is not surprising, Christians must think scripturally about their approach to this controversial subject. From Matthew Vines’ book, God and the Gay Christian, to the President’s recent stipulations, this program addresses the biblical response concerning these important matters. Download the program here, or just listen: