As children of God we understand that the Christian life is not so much about knowing the rules, as it is knowing the Ruler. Every Christian should understand at that it’s basic level, the do’s and don’t’s of life are reflections of the heart of God, and not merely recipes for religious living. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10 that his desire was, “that I may know Him.” To know the rules, but not the Ruler, to follow the Law of God in a way that doesn’t lead you to the God of the Law is to live with failing faith, worthless worship, and empty religion.
While I have not cornered the market, nor have I mastered the ministry, there are some things that I have learned along the way. One of the first realities to ever light the dark corners of my mind was the realization that the more I learned, the less I knew. I don’t remember who said it, (not me) but someone said, “true education was passing from an unconscious ignorance to a conscious ignorance.” That being true, I am certainly more ignorant than I’ve ever been, and most people who know me would give a resounding agreement. However, after 20 short years in the ministry, certain Biblical truths have been boiled down for me in very practical ways that have taught me how to conform my approach to living as a child of God. The reality is that when the “rules of God” become second nature, they are no longer rules, we’re just more like Jesus. When they are not second nature, we are given glimpses of the areas of our heart that are still living in the flesh.
If I were to give someone five basic principles for the transforming of the mind, and non-conformity to the world, these would be those principles. Each one is Biblical, and therefore the most practical way to function in the faith.
#1.) Never Think Outside the Book! – Always let the Bible do the thinking for you. One of the things that I tell the people that I pastor, is to never go to the scriptures with an opinion, you go there to get one. I am not speaking of being a mindless reader, but I am warning against being a clueless believer. I have always believed that the Word of God directly, or indirectly provides wisdom for every scenario in life. I haven’t found it all, but I know that it is there. God has given us a free mind, and then tells us what to think. He has given us a free will, and told us how to use it. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and Psalm 119 are powerhouse proofs and irrefutable evidence of this divine fact. The Word of God is saturated with the Wisdom of God, and man immediately begins to limit his mind, narrow his wisdom, and welcome his folly when he starts thinking differently than the Bible.
#2.) Never Follow Your Dreams, Always Follow the Lord! – No Christian has any business chasing anything self-directed. Jesus saved no man to live as he pleases; he saved men to live as they should, in complete surrender to the Will of Almighty God. Jesus made this plain when he said, “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever would lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s the same shall find it.” We often forget that Jesus did not save man to go his own way, that was man’s problem in the first place. Jesus saved men to keep them from going their own way, and doing their own thing.
#3.) Don’t Live by What You Feel, Live by What You Know! – We often hear well-meaning people say something like, “You have to just follow your heart.” That’s not what the Lord says. The Lord said in Proverbs 28:26, “He that trusteth his own heart is a fool . . .” It is true that the Lord guides us, and governs us by letting “Peace rule in our hearts.” However He is not speaking of “emotional” peace, He is speaking of “spiritual peace.” God did not give us our emotions to be our thermostats, but our thermometers. They are reactions, not guides. Psalm 73 is a catalog of emotional reactions to the prosperity of the wicked and sinful. Asaph said, “my heart was grieved . . . nevertheless I am continually with thee . . . thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Emotional decisions are often the worst decisions, both from being too high as well as from being too low. When your emotions get the best of you, they often bring out the worst in you. People often sin as much in too much laughter, as they do in too much crying. (Furthermore this principle goes deep into dealing with issues like homosexuality, divorce, marriage, etc.)
#4.) Want What God Wants you to Want, and He’ll give you What you Want! – This is the secret to having the Lord say yes to every single request you will ever make. When you and I want what the Lord wants us to want, He will give us what we want. The problem is that we often want things He doesn’t want us to want. The scripture makes it plain that if we ask anything according to His will, (not ours) we will receive that. The very first step in getting what you want from God, is finding out what you’re supposed to want from God. Without question the Bible instructs us to let our requests be made known unto God; however every request is to be made underneath the will of the Lord.
#5.) Give God Your Best, and Let Him Handle the Rest. – The Bible says that whatsoever your hand finds to do, do all to the honor and glory of the Lord. Whether we are talking about time, talent, or treasure, the Lord, His work, and His Will is to be the object of our ultimate affection. Whether you are building a house, or walking onto a football field, you labor as unto God and not unto men, and leave all consequences up to Him. I believe the Bible teaches men to tithe, but more than that, the Bible teaches men to give to God what’s first! In other words, does your offering set the rest of your budget? Does your mortgage have to accommodate your offering or does your offering get what’s left over from your mortgage? Does your offering determine how much car you can afford, or does your offering come from what’s leftover from your car? The point of this is very simple. Spend your best energy, your best economy, and your best attention on the Lord, and trust Him to handle all of the other issues in life. (Matt 6:33)
All of that being said, I could add a few more but won’t. Essentially these might be called keys to conforming to the image of Christ, and being transformed by the renewing of your mind. The longer I pastor, the longer I study, and the longer I live, I can vouch, that these are most definitely changes worth making.
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment.” – Mark 12:30
One of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible that true, sure Bible preachers have declared for centuries is the truth of “Once Saved, Always Saved.” It is the doctrine known as the Security of the Believer. Preachers of the truth, have been expounding this fact for as long as their have been God-Called preachers. For Baptists, it is a hill to die on. As a matter of fact, for every believer it is, and/or should be a hill to die on. Only once a person rightly understands this truth can he fully and freely love and serve the Lord God.
Of course there have always those false teachers who loudly proclaim that “the once saved always saved” doctrine is nothing more than cheap grace and a license to sin; understanding neither grace, nor what happens at the moment of salvation. Their cliché argument goes something like this; “If what you are preaching is true that I can get saved, and then go sin all I want to, and I still get to go to heaven.” Of course such an argument betrays the ignorance of salvation. The fact is that once I am saved, I sin far more than I want to, and the new nature within me, and the new creature I’ve become now has a desire not to sin. A person who has been converted by the their faith in the Lord Jesus is now running from sin, not to it.
Now that being said, there is something here every believer needs to know. Without the security of Salvation, it would be hardly possible for any man or woman to truly love and serve the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and body. As long as a person is serving to be saved, their service is never truly for the Lord, it is for their own benefit, and their love is never truly selfless it is motivated and tainted by fear of loss.
The Security of salvation is not to free a man to sin, it is to free a man to serve! It is to free a man to serve the Lord for no other reason, and with no other motive, than pure untainted Love. The Bible says “perfect love casts out fear.” As long as my salvation is “up in the air” or is “loseable”, my service, my love, my will, and my heart, will never be able to truly obey the First commandment. Only once my salvation is settled, secured, signed, sealed, and delivered, am I free to and able to serve the Christ that Saved me, out of no other motivation than untainted love, unfeigned loyalty, and undying obedience. Any other doctrine is not a change worth making.
Several years back I was asked to preach at the local High School Baccalaureate ceremonies for the graduating seniors. I remember then realizing that this may be the only sermon that some of those young people would ever hear. It was almost like the classic scenario in which someone would ask me and say, “If you could preach one thing to this generation, and give them one piece of life-changing advice, what would you say to them?” At least that was how I took it. After much prayer, Bible study, and thought, the Lord showed me something that I have been preaching ever since, and will continue to preach for as long as I live. It may not be that profound, but without question it is fundamentally true, and the longer I go, the more clearly I see that today’s generation of young believers need an industrial strength dose of it, as well as the entirety of this whole lost world. I think preachers need to preach it, and I think teachers need to teach it, I think believers need to live it, and non-believers need to hear it, and that is this:
Never, no never, no never, follow your dreams . . . follow the Lord.
As we approach this spring season, and with graduations upon us, there will be countless speakers come across countless stages and with messages to the multitudes, and maybe not on with a one to one ration, but fairly close, the message will be something to the effect, “follow your dreams,” or “follow your heart,” or “you can achieve your dreams” or some other rephrasing of the soul-killing kool-aid that everyone loves to drink.
The truth is that “following our hearts” and “following our dreams” is as antithetical to the gospel as black is to white. Following our dreams and hearts is in direct rebellion to the call and commands of our Lord; and in my estimation is one of the most dangerous subliminal messages the devil has successfully communicated.
From the very beginning of the gospel thought our greatest problem is our hearts and our dreams. Isaiah said it plain when he said, “All we like sheep have gone astray, every one has turned unto his own way.” The proverbs explain to us that “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Paul declared in Romans, “they have all gone out of the way.” Jeremiah reminds us that our hearts are “deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know them.” I believe that we could reasonably say this, when anyone is following their own dreams, and walking their own way, then by default they are living like they are lost. No man is more lost, than the one who is doing exactly as his natural desire pleases. Now we know a saved person can never be lost again, but he can sure live like it. The reality is that our dreams and our hearts are our greatest problems, and giving them to spiritual causes changes nothing as long as we have declared our independence from the Lord. An independent heart sounds romantic, and wonderful, but is soundly void of any Biblical praise, and in fact is still nothing more than a nicer way to wrap rebellion to the Lord. The late great Adrian Rogers once said, “Giving my heart to Jesus was the last independent decision I made.” There will be nothing more tragic, nothing more defeating, than finding someone climbed to the top of the ladder of their dreams, and find out it was leaning against the wrong wall. As someone once said, failure is nothing more than succeeding at the wrong thing.
What is the gospel call? Come to Jesus. Follow Him. Note what Jesus said in Matthew 16:25 – “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake the same shall find it.” He said in John 14:3, “I am the way, the truth and the life no man cometh to the Father but by me.” As I heard an old preacher proclaim it this way one time, ” I am the way – walk me;” “I am the truth – teach me;” and “I am the life; live me.” In first Peter 4, speaking of the saved, Peter said “he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” What I am saying is that no man can follow his dreams and his Lord at the same time, until it is his dream to follow the Lord alone.
The glory of the Lord is that He has given us a free will, and then tells us how to use it. He gives us a free mind, and tells us what to think. He frees us from the prison house of our will’s so we can be living servants of the risen King. There is in fact, no greater life than the life the Lord has planned out for us. The Bible makes it clear that we can make our requests known, and in fact should make our requests known. Yet, we make our request accepting the Lord’s answer long before we get it. There is nothing wrong with taking our desires to the Lord and seeking His will and guidance for them. In fact we’re wrong if we don’t do that. However, when we look through the Bible it is not uncommon to find people getting what they want, but not wanting what they got. The answer to that is to always let the Lord do the wanting for us.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
All of that being said, Jesus is Lord. Never follow your dreams, let the Lord open your doors; you’ll always be more satisfied when He gives you what He wants you to have, than when you take what He’s not willing to give. The only thing we are to desire or pursue or chase in this life is His will for our lives. Any other philosophy or way of thinking is not a change worth making.
The practice of closed communion among churches seems to me to at least be growing fewer and farther between. Somehow the idea, or notion that the Lord restricts participation in the supper to the membership of the local church body seems to be an affront to the common idea among Christianity that all things are for all believers, regardless of their standing in the church.
In this day when the ordinary view of the local church is diminishing into a more of a Biblical suggestion than a divine directive, the natural consequences are that the ordinances of the church become more watered down as well. The Lord’s Supper is a precious picture that we have been given, that should not be handled with great care, but should be handled with Biblical care.
One of the things that has always bothered me about many good men and brethren, who love the Lord, and are genuine saints, is a prevailing tendency to think that the Lord left us with ordinances to carry out according to our own preferences, rationales, and ideas. I have always understood that every man should be fully persuaded in his own mind. I have never understood the notion that the Lord left us a precious picture of Himself to be administered according to our individual consciences. In the same way that Baptism must rise to the level of Biblical description, so should the ordinance of the Lord’s supper.
Without claiming to be an exhaustive study, here are at least two reasons that the Biblical practice of the Lord’s Supper should be an ordinance for the membership of the local church alone.
#1 – The Descriptions Given – After citing a particular passage that describes the Biblical protocol for observing the Lord’s Supper, a good man charged me with making a “descriptive” passage a “prescriptive” passage. To which I plead guilty in the first degree. In all doctrinal matters, descriptions are prescriptions unless there are instructional passages with clearer explanations. In other words, examples are as Biblically authoritative as are commands when no commands are given. Too many people view examples as possibilities or suggestions; the examples God gave are expectations for man to meet not opportunities to make his own decision. Now all of that being said, what descriptions of the Lord’s table are we given that picture it as a limited ordinance.
First – when it was instituted by Jesus it was limited by Jesus. He certainly didn’t institute it in a setting for all of those that believed in Him to partake of it. He limited it to His twelve (eleven.) There were certainly other believers, and followers, that were even within local reason of being there on that night, yet He chose not to include them. He limited it to what is in essence and substance the first local church (called out assembly of baptized believers in covenant together with Christ as her head.) He did not institute it as a “Christian Ordinance” but as a “Local Church Ordinance.”
Second this example is carried out and expanded for us in the book of Acts 2:41-42. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” There in black ink on white paper is the example of the Biblical progression that God desires for every believer; salvation, baptism, membership, discipleship, fellowship, Lord’s Supper, and prayers. There are no other instructions that explain contrariwise how these things progress. The examples that we are given are pictured for us with limitations.
#2 The Discretion Expected – One of the things that rarely gets discussed is the fact that the local church is warned about who they take the supper with. 1st Corinthians 10 the Apostle Paul explained to the Corinthians that they could not partake of the cup of devils, and the cup of the Lord. It is forbidden. 1 Corinthians 10:21. Furthermore the church is not to take the supper with those who take of the cup of devils. Now that being said, there is no practical way for a church to enforce this outside of the practice of closed communion.
Some have the idea that if you come into the church of my membership, and you think you and the Lord are alright, then the supper is there for you to take. The issue is that our church body is to be careful about who we partake of the supper with. In other words, the issue is not just, “if you’re happy with things between you and the Lord we are too;” the issue is whether or not “we are happy with partaking of the supper with you, if we know you’re not right with the Lord.” Furthermore, if our church gathers to observe this supper, and strangers come in, how on earth do we know their testimony? How do we know if they regularly partake of the “cup of devils?” How do we know if they have been baptized the Biblical way? How does our congregation know if they have been saved? Of course no one knows if someone else is saved, but at the very least within the confines of church membership their testimony has been received, and their baptism has been accepted, and they can be subject to the discipline of the church body.
The Lord’s Supper is a Biblically guarded ordinance full and complete with warnings and examples of punishment for abuse. It is incumbent on every believer and every church to protect it rigorously, practice it Biblically, and cherish it spiritually. Following any example other than the Biblical example is not a change worth making.
“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath sealed us and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” – 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
One of the most wonderful, yet tragic truths in the entire Bible is the fact that “every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.” It is wonderful because I have, do, will and look forward to confessing it all through eternity. There is no higher privilege, greater honor, or deeper need than to get in place underneath the living Lord. It will be tragic, because for many it will come through clenched teeth, bitter spirits or desperate and begging hearts at a time too late.
Recently Bill Nye “the science guy”, whom I have always enjoyed watching, stood on the wrong side of a debate with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis to my great disappointment. Ken Ham did a marvellous job upholding the authority of the scriptures as the supreme rule for thought. Though Nye seemed to “hitch” him in his response about how he interprets the Bible, Ham stood firm for the Genesis account of creation according to science, and the direct revelation from the scriptures. While watching the debate my heart hurt to see a man as Nye, so intelligent, so brilliant, so filled with knowledge, not be able see the truth. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4, “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that do not believe.” Never was this truth so clearly evident to me than while watching this debate.
Following the debate, I listened to some other unrelated interviews with other well-known atheists. One in particular seemed to draw me in a little closer. When Mike Huckabee interviewed Bill Maher, Bill said something that betrays the pride that blinds, and the arrogance that is the barrier between him and the things of God. While being interviewed about Maher’s film “Religilous” he asserted a fact that no atheist can prove, or have an answer for. He stated with boldness and brashness, “I don’t have the power to know what happens when a person dies, and neither do you Mike.” – Paraphrase – (You do not have any power that I do not have!) which rings the bell for every atheist and his cousins dog.
Using the scientific evidence of earth and space and history to disprove the Bible, the fact of God, and the truth of Christ is like using the rules Nascar to referee the Super Bowl. The Bible is not a science book, but the science that is in it is exact. It is not a Math Book, but the Math in it is precise. It is not a history book, but the History that is in it, is accurate. Richard, his brother Bill and his other brother Bill, ridicule and reject a book they know nothing about. A song the atheists often chant, but have no music for, is their favorite chorus about the Bible being filled with contradictions. The problem is that there are no contradictions in the Bible rightly, and contextually understood. They often make the claim, but never can find one.
Now all of that being said, there is something that is empirical evidence for the Christian, that is invisible evidence to the atheist. Bill Maher’s claim to Mike Huckabee, “You do not have any power I do not have” is perhaps the most arrogant ignorance that can come from a human mind. There are several things to deal with concerning that claim.
Bill makes several claims in that one statement.
#1 – If anyone had that power, it wouldn’t be mindless Christians.
#2 – If anyone did have the power to have ultimate truth, it would be people like him.
#3 – We cannot have something that he does not.
The bottom line is that isn’t true. I do have something that Bill does not have that is far and away more self-evident proof than anything found in a test-tube or under a microscope. I have the Holy Spirit of God living in me. There are no fossils in the ground, no light years measured in space, and no radiocarbon dating that can contradict that. A Christian’s empirical evidence is his relationship and fellowship with Christ. An atheists barrier is his inability to see that, experience that, or test that. The truth is that God does not reveal Himself through the intellect of the mind, but by illuminating the heart. (2 Corinthians 4:5-6)
As a born again believer, I do have something that no man can say I do not have, nor can any other man explain it away. It transcends all arguments, defeats all oppositions, and settles all doubt. Aliens could land, bones dug up with Jesus name on them, and forty seven “evolutionary missing links”, and not one of those things trumps the fact of the Holy Spirit confirming the Holy Word in the heart of a repentant man.
Richard, his brother Bill, and his other brother Bill without question are highly intellectual men who cannot know what we know; nor do they have any footing to deny what exists inside of us as Christians. They have no place to stand on which they can deny what I plainly know, nor can they analyze, explain away or refute it. There is nothing more arrogant than for one man to tell me what I don’t have in Christ Jesus. Furthermore this is not my testimony alone, but rather the testimony of tens of millions of people down through time. Countless people have been filled with the Holy Spirit upon their conversion and will testify that it is indeed real, and sure, and true.
My prayer for Richard, Bill and Bill, would be for them to give an unbiased honest evaluation of the claims of the gospel. The Bible is not a strange book. If the Bible is what it is says it is, then there are no absurd claims, or leaps of faith to take. Any man who can accept Genesis 1:1 shouldn’t have any problem with any part of the rest of it. I may not be able to convince a man of Genesis 1:1 and then lead him to Jesus. I have never had a problem leading a man who met Jesus into an understanding the realization of Genesis 1:1.
Letting any argument an atheist makes diminish the evidence I have of the Holy Spirit within me is not a change worth making.
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. – Isaiah 45:5-7
Perhaps one of the most foolish statements that men make, and that Christians try to argue with is when someone points to God’s wrath in the Old Testament and says, “Why would you worship a God like that?” Maybe someone points to the suffering in the world, and begin to hurl insults toward us and the God we preach accusing Him of being malevolent, vindictive, and angry. I heard a man say one time, “What kind of God holds forgiveness over your head until you believe a certain way? I don’t want to follow a God like that.” – Whatever the circumstance, question, scenario, or phraseology, the principle thought seems to be the same. If you can prove that God is evil and mean, then men are off the hook with righteous indignation and can satisfactorily condemn Him, reject Him, and loosen ourselves from the tyranny of His prudism. (if that’s a word – if not it is now.)
The only thing more frustrating than such ignorance is trying to argue with it. Usually the first thing a good Christian will do is run to the aid of the Lord’s reputation, which is good and true. We are to be living “For His Name’s Sake” and speaking good things on His behalf. However most of the time we usually wind up trying to explain God’s behavior to an “unwilling to believe” audience who have already made their mind up that God is mean and vindictive. I can and do vehemently proclaim the goodness, righteousness, mercy, grace, and love of God to all who will hear. The key is the fact that not all who make those accusations are willing to be answered. Which is why we must not always be baited into such an argument, and know the short answer to those foolish statements.
Most of the time such accusations are made in attempt to make the Christian look like an ignorant dreamer who approaches life with Pollyannish (another new word for the dictionary)fervor, with an explanation for everything. There is an answer to those statements that every believer needs to know. The next time someone makes the statement, “I don’t want to follow a God like that!” or hurls the question, “Why would you serve such a vindictive God?” – The answer is very simple. – He is still God.
Speaking with an intention filled with reverence, every person needs to know this one fact: “Whether God is Good, or whether God is Evil is the completely irrelevant to the fact, that God is still God!” God’s sovereignty, God’s authority, God’s power, man’s future, man’s coming judgment, man’s accountability have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not God is a good God, or God is an evil God. It is futile to spend time hurling insults at a God that all men will answer to, whether He is good or not. If God were mean and vindictive, I’d still want to be on His good side since I am still going to have to answer to Him.
Now praise the Lord that He is not a mean spirited, and vindictive, evil God. He is God and He is a good God. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.” No man will know God who believes him to be evil. Yet no man will find out He is good without yielding to His sovereignty and trusting His Word. It costs to reject Him and pays to serve Him.
We worship the God that is, not the God that we want to be. Man is subject to the God that is, not the God that he fashions, molds, and judges to measure up to the standards of human goodness. The truth is that God is great, God is good, and I will thank Him for His Blood, that His Son Jesus Christ shed for my sins against Him. Bowing to and believing in the God that is, not the God we want to be, is an eternal change worth making.
“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” 1 Peter 2:19-20
If I were to have an audience with President Obama, with the grace of God in my heart and on my lips, there are certain facts that I believe he needs to be aware of, if he is going to have all the necessary information he needs to lead this country. I have no doubt that we have the greatest intelligence agency on earth; furthermore I am certain that the President has surrounded himself with some of the most “informed” people on the planet; however, it appears to me that certain truths, certain facts, and certain pieces of “intelligence” are not making it all the way to the top. That being said, here are a two things that I believe he needs to be made aware of.
#1 – The Christian Conscience – Mr. President, one of the things that seems to be missing from all the factors of your decision-making is the fact of the Christian Conscience. The fact is that the conscience of the Christian is empowered by his obligation to God, more so than his deference to the government. The man who has been transformed, indwelt, and taken over by the Spirit of Christ, no longer recognizes the government as his highest authority; – that’s why we call Jesus “LORD.”
Now this ought to be an important fact to you Mr. President, because it is our Lord that instructs us to obey the ordinances of government. It is the Lord who has instructed me and directed all Christians to be submissive and supportive of the governing bodies of society. Furthermore it is our Lord Who has instructed me to pray for you, which I have and do. It is my Lord that has directed my loyalty to my government. Without intending to sound cheeky, I can illustrate my point this way: I do not pay my taxes because I get a bill in the mail, I pay my taxes because I have a Bible on my desk. As a Christian, ultimately I do not submit to the ordinances of the government because I am afraid of the police, I submit to the ordinances of government because I love my Lord. Make no mistake, I am proud to be an American, I am thankful to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I will always have an American flag on the front porch of my house, and would gladly fight for the freedoms this country has protected for me. However, as Christians we do not take our orders from the king of England, or the “king of the world,” we take our orders from the King of Kings. As far as He instructs us to follow you and support you we will, but the minute you do one of two things, I am afraid that we will no longer be able to walk together. The minute that you direct us to do something that is in disobedience to the Lord, rest assured that direction will fall on deaf ears. Furthermore, the minute that you forbid us from being obedient to the Lord, that legislation will mean nothing to us either.
Now the reason you need to know this Mr. President, is to help you understand why it is that a Christian cannot, and will not agree with you on the direction for which this country needs to go. It is because of the Jesus inside us that we are against the idea of a forced “spreading of the wealth,” forcible funding of abortions, legalized gay marriage. The problem Mr. President is not that you are contending with us, but you are contending with the Jesus that’s in us. I would say you can write this down big, plain and straight . . .If Jesus was for legalized abortions, we would be too. If Jesus said that gay marriage was normal, acceptable, and praiseworthy then know of a certainty, we would too. If Jesus was for taking something from one man who worked for it, to give to another man who wouldn’t work for it, then we would be as well.
What I want to communicate to you, is the fact that when you Mandate a Christian to pay for abortions, you are commanding them to disobey their Lord. Furthermore, when you forbid someone from exercising spiritual discretion in the management of their company, you are forbidding them from obeying the Lord. Regardless of what the legal muckitymucks say, we are all aware of the fact that companies are private properties of individuals and owners with their own moral compass. My assumption is that you are unaware of this fact because someone as intelligent as you, and as compassionate as you, and someone who names the name of Jesus as you, would surely never with full awareness put Christians in the place of having to choose between their Lord, and their loyalty to their government.
But . . . Mr. President if you are aware of that fact, and you are in full cognizance with malicious intent attempting to force a Christian to obey someone other than the Lord and contrary to the Lord, you should know now that will never happen. With all proper and due respect, you will never legislate the Christian conscience, wisdom, or principles out of this society without ridding it of true Christians. There is nothing “socially right” that is “spiritually wrong” and there is no compromise between the two. My favorite preacher used to say, “It is far better to be divided by truth than united in error.” All of Congress may change the language from “Freedom of Religion” to “Freedom of Worship” and it will not fool anyone. We will always hold on to our freedom of religious conviction on all moral issues, not merely our freedom to worship in an open assembly. Rights and Freedoms do not come from governments, they are merely to be protected by governments. The dilema too often is that you seem to think certain things are “rights” that the Lord Jesus does not.
#2 – The American Conscience – The other issue that I would bring to the Presidents attention is the fact of the American conscience. The bottom line Mr. President is that too often, you seem to want things for this country, I do not want. Some of them is because I am a Christian, and some of them is because I am an American. You often speak of “shared values” but I have yet to hear a value that we share. You are for “gun control” and I believe everyone ought to be able to control their guns. You seem to see society as a “collective” that we all must work for, such as the “It takes a Village” mindset. I see society as a world full of individuals who are only as together as they volunteer to be. It doesn’t take a village to raise a child it takes a family. You seem to see that people are to be dependent upon government, and I see that a government is to be dependent upon the people. You seem to be for “globalism” and I am for Independent Sovereignty. There will never be a time when I as an American will be interested in submitting to “international courts,” or United Nation treaties that hand over sovereignty to foreign opinions.
The fact is that “we’re not all in this together.” There are evil people, evil countries and evil empires in the world, and I would venture to say that not only me but countless other Americans have no desire to hold hands with them. We do not wish to be part of a great big “global village.” I am not against peace on earth, I am against peace with the devil, and as long he’s running some of the countries in the world I have no interest in shaking hands and trading imports.
Now I will close with this. I have absolutely no ill-will toward you personally. I do pray for you as a leader, and I hope the very best for your family. I commend you on the example you set as being a devoted husband, involved father, and caring family man. However I am compelled to let you know why it is, that you will receive no support, and no submission to certain laws that you and Congress have introduced, and/or wish to introduce to the citizens of this country.
If at any point, by your choosing, if we have to “suffer the consequences” of obeying the Lord against your laws, then I hope and pray for the strength to stand; and two I count it a great comfort that the Lord has told us that it is a “Thankworthy” thing to suffer the consequences of having a “conscience toward God.” Living any other way is not a change worth making.