Category Archives: Serving

A Good Tree Cannot Bear Bad Fruit

good trees don't bear bad fruitA good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” – Matthew 7:18 (KJV)

Picture Jesus speaking King James’ English for a second. Ok, stop. Funny stuff.

So much of our understanding of scripture is skewed by our lack of understanding of primitive living. I say primitive with the utmost respect. In Jesus’ time, and for thousands of years up until just recently, it would be common knowledge how to provide for oneself. How to get food, what was safe to eat, what wasn’t. Continue reading A Good Tree Cannot Bear Bad Fruit

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Anathema

anathema…the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them.– Luke 9:53-55

A common theme here has been how “the wind and the waves” don’t obey even the most pious of fake religions, humanistic governments, and especially not wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing “christians.” Even devout believers have faced fiery furnaces where God did not rescue them. Most of the disciples succumbed physically to the fires, stones, crosses, and blades of men. Yet when has evil had the capability to “call fire down from heaven” upon its enemies the way that Sodom and Gomorrah, Egypt, Korah and so many others have learned of the judgement of God? Not until modern times have humans had this power. Continue reading Anathema

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Most American churches are State churches.

separate church and state
I’ll get right to it. Accepting tax breaks from the government makes an institution regulated by the state, including your church. A church regulated by the state is by definition a state church. Real Christian churches should not be regulated by the state. Continue reading Most American churches are State churches.

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Latter-day Saints are not Christians…

being lds doesn't make you ChristianLatter-day Saints are not Christians any more than a person standing in McDonald’s is a hamburger.

Our first post of 2016 is going to get back to some early basics of R2 theology and the most basic of those basics is that a denomination cannot define a follower of Christ. I tweaked a quote from Keith Green from the message below.


Continue reading Latter-day Saints are not Christians…

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Hope & Disappointment

Brave.

I’ve had many reasons lately to consider carefully my motives and behavior. I have been diagnosed as suffering from an anxiety disorder. While several traumatic events have contributed to this, and exacerbated it, I’ve only recently accepted that it’s been there all along.

That being said, and with full appreciation of the science that goes into defining these “disorders” I’d like to take it apart from a practical and then spiritual perspective. In short, I’ll stick with the anecdotal.

Symptom Set 1: Physical hot flashes, racing pulse, unclear thoughts.

Symptom Set 2: Hopeless dread. An expectation and imagination of the worst-case-scenario.

Symptom Set 3: Rambling speech, incoherent thoughts, and over-reaction.

The first set is relatively scary, especially when it appears to control me. However, after a few misfires in otherwise trivial scenarios it can actually be quite entertaining. “What’s this? A hot-flash and tingling lips because Google sent me 1 minute off course on a day that I’m in absolutely no hurry? Now that’s funny. What? A half tank of gas isn’t enough to backtrack 1 minute? Oh silly skin, don’t you have other things to do?”

On the spiritual side this is the “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” from 1 Peter 5:8. It goes on to say: “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” It’s times like this that the full profoundness of the Bible truly resonates. “same kind of sufferings” – isn’t that just what you’re led to reject? That somehow you’re alone in this and “strange”? It’s as simple as that, resist him just like the rest of the believers do.

The second one is what keeps tripping me up, and that is the point that would nearly keep me from writing this. It’s tough to keep moving forward when I don’t really have an answer. Yet here I go anyway, using my same advice from the previous paragraph and resisting the urge to quit (this time).

For me there’s a fine line between “hopeless dread” and “plan for the worst and hope for the best”. In fact, I have a certain “edge” that has always kept me recognized as very good at my occupation. I’m notorious for being tenacious. Further evidence of an uncommon “edge”. I do things that other people can’t. You see where I’m going here? My identity is tied up with my anxiety. Who would I be if I weren’t already mitigating the result of carelessness on the part of others? Well for starters, I’d probably be happier!

I manage to make a lot of enemies by not being willing to quit or “let something go” after someone else has already decided to. Again, career-wise, this has always worked out for me. Even a broken clock is right twice a day and I’m right much more often than that. However, especially in the I.T. world, there’s no shortage of shirked responsibilities. Much of what we do is redundant by design. Computer hardware can be unpredictable and can fail at the worst moments costing organizations tons in lost productivity. In my current field, lost productivity is a gray area that isn’t tracked as carefully as it could be, so many opt to take the easy route of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Then deal with the failures as they arise. The lost productivity is written off as “plausibly deniable”. Yet I seldom find deniability “plausible”. If you’re down to your last lug nut on your wheel can you really be “innocent” of the damage done when the tire comes off?

Tires coming off – So herein lies the real laugh of all of my “hopeless dread”. Believe it or not my 11 year old daughter DID have the tire come off of her ATV. Why? Because the lugs had fallen off! Whose responsibility was it? MINE!!! Thank God she wasn’t hurt.

Yet see what happened here? I’m so frustrated with battling those that won’t listen that I failed in my only jurisdiction to protect those relying on me. I never even looked at those wheels. I just let her ride off.

Expecting the worst can get really out of hand. Especially when ones mind is so consumed with it that they can’t keep up with all of the possibilities. Suddenly we find ourselves more negligent than those that frustrated us so. I suspect that I would have fit well on a team of engineers designing deep space probes. Once launched those things are what they are. Failure to tighten all of those lugs will cost the mission! Yet what about home life? Have any of them managed to separate the two? Or are they doomed to torture everyone around them like Sheldon Cooper?

Torture everyone around you?

There really is a fine line between “dread” and “vigilance”; there’s also a fine line between “hope” and “hopelessness”. For both the border is faith. For the non-believer and believer alike faith in other people, for the believer, it’s ultimately faith in God. This is where the sharp claws of cynicism can really cause harm. They slash away hope under the guise of “lessons learned”. It goes something like this: “I’ve been burned by other people far too many times to trust them this time.” And therein “hope for the best” becomes “hope-less-ness”.
The spiritual dimension of this one is very challenging. At some point you may even hear something like this: “Didn’t God say it was bad to put your trust in other people? Then don’t go disappointing God and being all ‘hopeful’. In fact, maybe cynicism should be a fruit of the Spirit!” Well, Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” So that’s a lie, God isn’t cynical and we shouldn’t be either, even if we still have trouble believing it.

That last one – incoherence – isn’t really a problem at all right? I mean of course I sound incoherent to someone less acquainted with the details of this situation. Of course it sounds like “rambling” when the other person doesn’t recognized the seriousness of the situation?!?!

Well whatever it “sounds like” there’s an old saying – or maybe I’m just rambling – that perception is 9/10ths of reality. So frankly it doesn’t really matter how relevant some information is. If the recipient is not willing or able to hear and recognize that connection, then for them it does not exist. Once they write you off as “incoherent” and “rambling” then your only choice is silence. If they are determined enough to work out the scenario then they’ll ask questions and we need to be careful to slow down the flow of information to a pace that does not seem so “incoherent”. The fact is, some degree of coherence is a subjective thing. My computer techno-babble could be rightly considered incoherent to non-techies. However the fallacious rants of a progressive defending the murder of babies for the good of society should rightly be considered universally incoherent.

The spiritual dynamic of this sets people in opposition to each other. Sure, sometimes they should be in opposition, as is the case with baby humans and the abortion issue. At other times the confusion is meant to harm. While I’m wrestling to get someone’s brain to fathom whatever concept I’m trying to convey I’m wrestling with the wrong thing:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12

Perhaps the fact is that God has given us a talent, maybe it’s discernment, maybe it’s outright prophesy. Maybe we’re doomed to be hated and contended with:

“If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” – Luke 16:31

Or maybe we’re just wrong? Whatever the case there comes a time when one should just “shake off the dust”:

“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” – Matthew 10:14

Otherwise we may find ourselves suffering unnecessarily from “kicking against the goads”:

“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” – Acts 26:14

So to sum up, consider that last point. “Goads” are spiked sticks used to guide livestock. Consider this to be similar to a Shepherd’s staff, but with a point on it. If the animal kicks against it, then it will cause more pain than intended by the Shepherd. Or in this case God Himself.

For all of the symptoms listed above, there are vices and virtues. I cannot tell you what God expects from you. People cannot either, because as we know:

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” – John 15:18

Our motivating principle cannot be fellowship with the world (James 4:4), but that being said we should face our battles with prayer. God does sometimes call us to move on, to “give up” (for lack of a better word). Being overly assertive can become an attempt to do things in our own power and an act of pride.

So my anti-anxiety solution? Faith and wisdom. The faith to trust God with the things we cannot control, and the wisdom to know that we are imperfect and will fail on our own. Allowing Him to teach us with His “goad” instead of stubbornly marching forward on our own accord. There’s no sure thing here, no formula, but rest assured God will make Himself heard when we are careful enough to listen.

wisdom to know the difference

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The Danger of Deceptive Posture

locust
That position is called “the locust”. She makes it look so easy, so comfortable. Perhaps she could do that all day?

It’s fitting that yoga originates with religion and gurus because today’s thought is about the danger of deceptive posturing.

Here’s how it goes. Pastor Guru Guroferston has a bit of influence, and a bit of charm. So a would-be padawan decides to try to win him over as his master. In this dance of acceptance he wins the role of padawan by standing on his head and bouncing around. Pastor Guru is impressed! He’s clearly no “rolling saint” but he’ll do for now.

After putting on such a show to win the interest of his new master the padawan has a tall order to fill. He must always appear comfortable bouncing around on his head to maintain the new found status.

Months, even years go by and finally the contortions are paying off. Pastor Guru is looking for a successor (sometimes code for he’s bored and ready to expand his influence). The young padawan is anxiously awaiting his opportunity to be the master and he does! His first act as master is to accept auditions for his own padawan and after watching a few different acts he is nearly ready to make his choice. In fact he’s pretty sure he can choose several of these people, maybe even a half dozen or so when the news breaks… IN BREAKING NEWS… “World renound Pastor Guru Guroferston caught in prostitution raid…” or “Guroferston’s wife leaves him after 10 years.” or even just: “Pastor Guru destitute after a series of bad investments.”

Kaboom… the would-be master is now turned into nothing but a bad investment, a divorcee, or a cheap “trick”. Yes, the padawan. Why? Well simple, the padawan was building his house on the sand of Pastor Guru Guroferston. So every dumb thing that Pastor Guru did reflects on the padawan. Pastor Guru was the authority that declared him “master” or “pastor” or whatever title was bestowed on him and for however long as the padawan finds his identity in that title he is linked to everything Pastor Guru Guroferston does. He was ordained by a fraud and by association is himself a fraud. Even if he isn’t, for as long as he defends the title he cherishes, he defends his guru.

This is not how it is supposed to be! Of course the story was a caricature of this dynamic, but tone down the exaggerations and this is precisely how many churches work. It feels like a competition because that’s precisely what it is. The padawans and gurus would never admit such, but they play-on, vying for titles and admiration precisely as Jesus warned they would do:

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.” – Matthew 23:5-7.

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Putting the Con in Confidence.

The con in the word “conman” comes from the word “condfidence”. As we have come to recognize it today, cons are liars who are out to exploit people. In short they are evil.

If you’ve ever heard the saying: “fool me once shame on you” you may have heard the second half: “fool me twice shame on me.” We do have a responsibility before men & God to recognize fakes.

The trick to being a good conmen is being plausible. However just because what they describe may be possible, what makes them deceptive are the facts that they skip over. A common one being, what they offer isn’t usually probable. Think lottery ticket. They sell advice like lottery tickets and exploit hope in the process. There is nothing for them to lose in this process, they cannot, will not, and do not guarantee your success. They don’t even have to print tickets! They just build your confidence. The more confidence they can build the more “con” they can exploit.

Besides the lottery (“it could be you!”), another great example of a con is a company called Amway (formally known as Quixtar, formally known as Alticor formally known as Amway). They’re probably due for another name change soon. Here’s a quick look at conmen at work:

Does it look familiar? Think Church. Unfortunately, there is little soil more “fertile” than the hope of religion. Chant Jeremiah 29:11 or the prayer of Jabez enough times and Christians are all over the hope that comes from promises of success and riches. The catch? It’s a con.

This isn’t yet another criticism of the prosperity gospel, there are plenty of those to be found going back years. John Piper, David Platt… um Jesus. What this is is a warning to be on your guard against “confidence” men who puff others up with strings attached.

The reason Church is a common place to find this is because in Church we “encourage” and “compliment”. It is perfectly good theology to let people know the “good news” and to pat them on the back along their way. We highly value “encouragers” but “exhorters” are “too opinionated” and the prophets get outright ostracized readily. Remember, it’s the prophets that are hated and killed. If prophets are the buzz-killers of the Body of Christ the encouragers are the chocolate, caffeine, even crack. However, those encouragers, who can argue with them?

2 Timothy 4:3 : “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

Sound familiar? Or how about this?

Luke 6:32: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”

Of course everyone loves “encouragers” because we’re all sinners, even non-believers are… so we “love” those that “love” us. However Jesus didn’t dwell on this type of “love” much. It comes naturally to everyone. So it stands to reason that we shouldn’t be surprised if nothing supernatural follows behavior so natural as flattery. Yes, flattery. Encouragement’s evil twin.

Conmen thrive on flattery. They appeal to your ego, they appeal to your vanity, and to find an in they can even appeal to your emotions. However, what they often lack is the ability to deal with anything that threatens their image. If a conman gets caught in a lie that he can’t weasle out of he will flee. His intentions were never relationship or love, they were exploitation. They may have even believed that they were serving God and just getting a little bit of “reward” on the side. They should check out a guy named Achan in the Old Testiment who thought a little on the side was innocent.

In fact, let’s all consider Achan for a moment, because there’s a bit of him in all of us. It may be rare to find an actual sheep under the sheep’s clothing nowadays, but when we do it’s an amazing thing. So whether you are fellowshipping with other believers or not, don’t be surprised that it’s rare. Look in the mirror instead. Ask yourself what “reward” you’re trying to get for you time .  Even the smallest little trinket could be a major problem. Become the person that you long to find. To do that will probably require sacrifice, and almost certainly not be financially or socially profitable for you. But that’s when you can smile and say with confidence: “I am not a conman. I am not Achan, I am not robbing God.”

The rewards of sacrifice go to Christ, and He redistributes it as He sees fit. The great “socialist” in the sky & the only one qualified to rule that way.

For those of you that know conmen, recognize that Achan didn’t think what he was doing was terrible either. In fact, it was impossible to pin down the sin without God’s help. Nowadays God isn’t *usually* in the business of swallowing people up with earthquakes. So tread lightly, and test carefully, and bear 100% mercy. We’re not the judge, and we may discover that with God’s help we can rescue our brother from Achan’s fate. Even if you are sinless, you undoubtedly at one point were not. So put yourself in their shoes and be a rescuer not a condemner.

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Revival or Bust

rorb

It’s now the 21st century and still we continue to fall for the same old schemes of the tempter.  Let’s read from Matthew 4:3-10:

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’

This scripture represents an important piece of strategic intelligence for the army of God.  It demonstrates the process that the tempter goes through in his attacks on our character. His first pitch is to attack our carnal desires. Food: “tell these stones to become bread“, comfort, sex. This is entry level Army-of-God 101. Sadly many never get beyond this point. Their flesh rules them, and so the tempter rules them. However, overcome 101 and prepare for 201:

Putting God to the test:  “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down.” God is not a dog-and-pony show, or as the current Pope recently said He’s not: “A magician, with a magic wand.” Yet the tempter’s next strategy for those that overcome the flesh is to try to convince us that God needs to be tested. The tempter is cunning, and he’ll even use the words of other believers to try to convince you that God wants you to test him. “Jump off a cliff”, “walk on water”, …

“An evangelist who tried replicating Jesus’ miracle of walking on water has reportedly drowned off the western coast of Africa. Pastor Franck Kabele, 35, told his congregation he could repeat the biblical miracle, and he attempted it from a beach in Gabon’s capital of Libreville. ‘He told churchgoers he’d had a revelation that if he had enough faith, he could walk on water like Jesus,’ an eyewitness told the Glasgow Daily Record.

…or perhaps more subtly, he may say: “go start your own church, this one isn’t good enough.” If he does he may be preparing to initiate Army-of-God 301:

“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

That liar and thief, destroyer and murderer couldn’t convince you to follow him into a life ruled by your stomach. He ultimately lost you when he tried to get you to tell God to roll over, sit, and stay. So now for the big one. He will entice you with authority. Perhaps it’s fame, or wealth, control, a revival (or movement or emergence or whatever our trends mandate we call this today)… and perhaps he’ll even offer you your own church! “Psst… hey Christian… didn’t God say He has big plans for you? How about these plans… they sound big enough for someone as ‘special’ as you…”

The title of today’s message is “Revival or Bust” because some are so determined to realize a “great revival” or awakening or incarnation (I really can’t keep up with all of the buzzwords) that they’re willing to destroy good things on the off chance that their ambitions could come true. That perhaps “All this” will be given to them. They are so determined to be more & better than those around them that they will even speak with contempt about things that are bearing fruit, even going so far as to ridicule those things as trivial. In Jesus’ last-will-be-first model we get “better” by helping those around us to be “better”. As John the Baptist said: “He must become greater; I must become less.”

For instance, the reason for this site is that we suspect that some things need to change, but we’re not willing to destroy what exists. We realize that while we’re convinced that mainstream Christianity still clings to earth-is-the-center-of-the-universe type superstitions, the timing may not be now for everyone to immediately see this. It may not even be within our lifetimes. So we are faithful to not hide our convictions but we are also careful not to damage what exists in an all-or-nothing bid to realize our vision because we accept that we may not have the whole picture. If the body unscrupulously reroutes blood flow from the hand to the foot in hopes of strengthening the foot not only may it lose its hand, but it may damage the foot too!

The caution raised in this message is the danger of discontentment. Paul talked a lot about being content and faithful, even if the days drag on and we don’t think the Holy Spirit is moving fast enough for us. When Jesus was tempted for the third time – in the satanic endgame – the tempter was looking for discontentment. He was trying to find a place in Jesus’ desires to sink his hook. Maybe Jesus didn’t want to do what God called Him to. Maybe it wasn’t glamorous enough, or maybe He just wanted something a bit more “cushy”. Whatever the vulnerability that satan thought he saw, Jesus had no such vulnerability.

Do I? Do you? Is it enough to just do well with what God gave you?  Not to say we shouldn’t stretch and try to get a return for our Master. Returns are great! Just not at the cost of what was entrusted to us. “OR BUST” is a terrible mindset. Jesus was content with 12 disciples. Are you content to mentor 1 or 2? Can you pursue a 3rd or 4th without wrecking what has already been accomplished? Ambition for the Glory of God is a beautiful thing, but ambition for ones own glory is a pathetic and destructive thing.

Which is it? Revival or bust? What if God’s plan is not a revival? Does that make His plan “bust”? I think not. God help me to be content to be whatever my You made me to be. Common or special… no matter what other people say about me.

Romans 9:21: “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”

Final thought, you may consider Matthew 25:14-30 and the parable of the talents. Unfortunately while the master was clearly livid about what happens when we are lazy and don’t make the most of what God gave us, we can only guess what he would have said if the servant had nothing left for being reckless and losing His money. The above is not a suggestion that we all be lazy. It’s a suggestion that we check our ambitions with humility. So long as our motives are just I believe we’ll see good return for our labor. When they aren’t, we become complicit with the one who destroys. In that case we fail somewhere between testing God and seeking personal glory. We sin.

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More on ISIS

Do you feel helpless about Christians in Iraq? I think we are helpless at this point. Once it hits the news it is history. It is too late. We made our decisions in 2012 and 2008. For better or worse the degree of influence and “power” God has allowed to be in the hands of the USA brings with it a degree of responsibility. The idea that we can keep the power but shirk the responsibility is as self-centered as the rest of the “me generation”. There will never be any way around this fact, if we have the capability to stop an atrocity, and we choose not to exercise that capability and opt to allow the atrocity, then we are complicit in the atrocity. People don’t want to see or hear this because we have blood on our hands. We wanted to “end the occupations” we were “tired of war” … Well guess what, our enemy isn’t “tired of war” and they’re actually fighting it themselves, most of us are just watching and paying for it. We’re fickle and our fickleness is complicit.

Being “tired of war” is an odd statement. It seems to convey that at some point in the past we were amped for it, all for it, … “not tired”. The thing about war is that nobody “wants” it. Even the terrorists would prefer that we line up for their sabres rather than fight back. You may not believe me but I have rational concern about saying what I’m saying, because I will be labelled a war monger. I’m not, I hate war, but here’s the thing, my tax dollars are going away faster now than EVER despite all of our retreating, cutting the military, and retiring from our role as “world police”. Even if they weren’t, would “mo-money” be enough justification to allow warlords to slaughter anyone anywhere on our watch? “Sorry your daughter has been dismembered sir, but you see I got free healthcare!”

Our soldiers ARE heroes, and some go off the deep end when faced with the gruel of looking evil in the eyes day-in and day-out but overall the USA is a force for good. Remember History, specifically remember who these Kurds are:

1988: Halabja – 5000+ civilians killed in chemical attacks for a grand total of 182,000 killed: “up to 200,000 Iraqi troops attacked the area, rounded up civilians, and razed villages. Once rounded up, the civilians were divided into two groups: men from ages of about 13 to 70 and women, children, and elderly men. The men were then shot and buried in mass graves. The women, children, and elderly were taken to relocation camps where conditions were deplorable. In a few areas, especially areas that put up even a little resistance, everyone was killed. ”

1991: Even AFTER surrendering to the USA what do we do? Under international pressure we slap Hussein’s hand and allow him to persist. He goes on to slaughter thousands of Shiite’s and Kurds with helicopters that we explicitly allowed him to use. Our soldiers were forced to watch and do nothing!

Who was Hussein? Sunni Muslim. Who is ISIS? Sunni Muslims. We have effectively reincarnated Saddam Hussein and unleashed him yet again on the Kurds by our “war-weariness”. Only our veterans have any right to claim “war-weariness” and while it may be true that we can never defeat satan with war alone, our resistance is NOT futile. Our resistance is exactly that, we resist the devil, he flees, then we resist again. I do pray that we have more solidarity than to require them coming into our house before we realize what a mistake it is to vote first for our own comforts:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

– Martin Niemöller

There will be no end of politicians promising “peace” but armed with the prophecies of scripture we already know that those promises cannot be realized short of Christ’s return. Has there ever been one day without war in all of history? The only politician that will bring any peace will promise 7 years of it and break it himself half way through. Everyone else will just continue to play shell games, procrastinating here, demonizing there… I hope not all Christians believe that the USA has been given such great power to surrender it to evil barbarians (ISIS is using US equipment). However, I’m saddened by how popular the “peace at any price” movement is within the Christian Church. Frankly I’m further saddened that only “Christian” victims seem to matter to us, but not just “Christian” victims, but “Christian child” victims, and not just “Christian child” victims… but “Beheaded Christian child” victims. Is that really the shock factor required to snap us out of our self-indulgent trance? Even if they could never come for us as Niemöller says above, is that the only reason to resist?

So long as we have strong sons & daughters willing to fight for justice and stand between the evil barbarians and their prey, the least I can do is be willing to pay for the best equipment conceivable. To be grateful for their service on our behalf, and to empower them to not have to sit in that equipment and watch the atrocities in violation of their (and our) very moral foundations at the behest of some self-serving politician. If that makes me a “warmonger” then so be it. Some things matter more than money. Some things matter more than even life and death. Many of those Kurds aren’t ready to go to heaven yet, but I am. Are you? If we believe this stuff is true then why shouldn’t we be willing to die for the sake of a few folks? Even if they aren’t Christian, even if they aren’t children, even if they would be “humanely euthanized”? Too much to ask from a Country that elected as its leader a guy that voted against banning partial-birth abortions? Probably. Too much to ask from followers of Jesus that believe that heaven is real and life is eternal? I hope not.

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