FALL greetings! This is one autumn that we will long remember in this country. Hurricane Ike washed Galveston and other Gulf Coast towns and communities virtually off of the map. The fierce storm moved up through the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys and continued to cause major damage to many homes and churches. Our home in Willis sustained roof damage and some interior damage, but it was minimal compared to many others. However, Ike may be just the beginning of sorrows.
The moment of truth
This fall will also be remembered as the time we saw a genuine Wall Street crash, 1929 style. And some of you have lost your shirt, thanks to congressional liberals who wrecked the economy but won’t assume any of the responsibility.
It will also be a Fall we will remember because we elected a president who ______________________________. You fill in the blank. Change is coming. We cannot always read the future very well, but we may well be on our way to a socialist state at this time next year. Please prepare to VOTE on November 4!! It is imperative that the voice of all evangelicals is heard loud and clear. I am not speaking from the standpoint of the president of Advance Ministries or any other religious entity, but from my individual and personal sense of urgency.
I am not a pessimist. Christians live by faith and hope. Nor am I an optimist. Rose-colored glasses never did help one see clearly. I prefer to be a positive realist. Pessimists won’t vote; nothing is going to turn out well anyway. Optimists won’t bother to vote; everything will be fine regardless of who is chosen for President. Positive realists get their chins off their chests, take off the rose-colored glasses and step into the voting booth. They see that privilege as a responsibility, not just a right. We must have clear vision and make sure that we are well informed when we draw the curtain and punch the card or touch the screen.
Virtually all of the readers of this blog are ministers. You have influence. While you cannot ethically or legally take a public stand for any candidate from your pulpit, as a private citizen you can make your preference known in other ways. It is time to do it!
It seems to me that the John McCain/Sarah Palin ticket, as imperfect as it is, is the only logical choice for Apostolic Christians in this election—party affiliation aside. They are the only ones who are pro-life. The Obama-Biden team is solidly pro-abortion. How can we support any politician who is in favor of saving the whales and spotted owls but votes for killing babies, even those who have survived abortion efforts?
However, far more is at stake besides abortion. The appointment of federal judges, and perhaps two or three new Supreme Court judges, should be a grave concern to us. I am personally convinced that Barack Hussein Obama will appoint activist judges who will legislate from the bench. The freedoms we all hold dear could easily become past history.
I recognize that some of the things written and said about all four candidates for president and vice president have been biased, exaggerated, or sometimes just blatantly wrong. But Obama has personally stated some things in his books that are disturbing. On page 261 of The Audacity of Hope he said, “In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” (Emphases mine)
Please re-read that a few times. Virtually all “Arab and Pakistani Americans” are Muslims. His own roots are Muslim; he attended a Muslim school (only in adulthood did he join a liberal “Christian” church in Chicago, pastored by a political leftist spewing vitriolic, anti-American rhetoric). He seems to be more interested in shielding his Muslim friends from suspicion than protecting the rest of the nation from Muslim terrorist attacks. With legal and illegal immigration at a peak, there will soon be a sufficient number of radical Muslims in the country to bring it to its knees overnight.
As Obama began his political career, he allied himself with extremely liberal causes, even worked closely with an unrepentant terrorist, William Ayers, who once tried to blow up some of our most important government buildings, killing several people. Only because some of the incriminating evidence against him was gained by wiretapping, the FBI was forced to drop the charges. Stating the fact that Obama has for years been allied with him is not establishing “guilt by association,” but he is, by all accounts, guilty of siphoning millions in funds to efforts headed by that “former” terrorist and to other political groups pushing a liberal, anti-American, extremist agenda in the Chicago public schools. When Ayers determined he could not bring down American institutions with explosives, he turned to a more sure means: political and educational terrorism. It is working better than he could have hoped. Voter registration efforts and educational causes that he and Obama led or embraced are even now being investigated for fraud.
Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, even left of Ted Kennedy. To think that we may be moving into a government presided over by the most liberal member of congress should send a shudder up our Apostolic spines.
In Dreams of My Father, page 220, he confessed to desiring to assume the attributes of Malcolm X, a “Black nationalist” and separatist in New York, and W.E.B. DuBois, a noted black socialist who espoused communist ideals.1 I have a picture of Obama reading the book The Post American World, authored by a Muslim. He has ingested little else over the years but liberal, socialistic, anti-American philosophy. Garbage in, garbage out. Expect it.
Obama speaks of health care for all Americans—primarily meaning, at the bottom line, health care that others pay for—as “a right” (second presidential debate). That can sound so appealing because when we hear it, we naturally assume that we would go about accessing health care as we do now, only free. Think again. Ask Canadians and citizens of other nations that have socialized medicine. Let them tell you about the long lines and greatly diminished quality of service. And remember: there ain’t no free lunch!
In an Obama administration, coupled with a Democratic congress that has a 13% approval rating at this writing, the American culture can only continue its downward spiral toward socialism. With the stock market crash and failure of many of our financial institutions, we are looking in the face of difficult economic times. It can only get worse if Obama is elected and he continues to pursue his “redistribute the wealth” agenda.
I would recommend that you read Dr. James Dobson’s recent public letter on theses issues. You can find it at http://www.citizenlink.org/pdfs/2008-10-c4newsletter.pdf
Having said all of that, we may also be on the cusp of a spiritual revival and an ingathering of epic proportions. Most revivals have followed the arrival of hard times. Prosperity does not usually generate true faith, but rather seems to invite self-sufficiency, agnosticism and moral degeneracy. The proliferation of those philosophies and behaviors are usually the harbinger of impending judgment.
So…what I see, as neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, is either a revival or divine judgment. If Jesus tarries and we see the collapse of our democratic institutions, perhaps revival. If He does not, then certain judgment that is detailed in the Book of Revelation will shortly be the lot of the world. Yes, change is definitely on the way!
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
1. http://www.academia.org/campus_reports/2001/january_2001_5.html; many other sites.
2. You might be interested in these sites as well:
Two Years Ago
The financial crisis and other current maladies took a sharp downward turn two years ago when we elected a Democrat-controlled congress. At that time the Iraq surge was beginning to work, gas was around $2 a gallon, unemployment was under 5%, the stock market was setting records, and prosperity was everywhere. Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high, Americans were buying new cars, taking cruises, vacations overseas, and living large.
But many Americans wanted “CHANGE”! So, in 2006 they voted in a Democrat-controlled Congress and we got “CHANGE.” Since then, consumer confidence has plummeted, gasoline has been over $4 a gallon, unemployment is up 10%, and Americans have seen their home equity drop by $12 trillion dollars and still dropping. One percent of American homes are in foreclosure. As I write, the DOW just reached another low, down 43% since this time last year. Trillions of dollars have evaporated from 401Ks, stock funds, and retirement portfolios. The presidential candidates always talk big when they are running for office, but in reality the president has little control over these issues, other than to encourage Congress to take certain steps. The Democrat-controlled Congress has been a do-nothing body other than to wait for this election, after which they hope to have a cooperative Democrat president and an even greater majority of seats in government. More change is coming.
How much more change can we stand?
(Partly adapted from http://www.pfministries.net)
Who is responsible for the culture?
According to Augustine (A.D. 354-430), culture is the outworking, or temporal manifestation, of faith—at least the expression of a worldview held by people of faith. When culture changes it is not necessarily because of fads, or fashions, or “the times,” but a shift in worldview; i.e., a change in faith. Language, folklore, politics, race, and ethnicity are just expressions of a different paradigm rooted in a covenantal and spiritual matrix of a community’s religion and the integrity of its witness, or lack thereof. A people’s worldview shapes the world they have in view.1
That is what is so disconcerting about the church adjusting its position on key issues. It may appear to only be the tweaking of a resolution or by-law, but any “tweaking” can have huge ramifications as individuals and certain groups interpret and apply it in their own ways. An “It’s OK—we have long been too restrictive and too legalistic, anyway” attitude can quickly take you where you didn’t intend to go. It’s like no one considers history or the potential long-term implications. “Just give me what I want right now and turn me loose.”
That may seem like a broad-brush statement. However, I have asked several people who should have known if anyone had experienced revival after launching into television advertising. One person said he had heard of someone, somewhere, who had begun to use it. He couldn’t remember the name or if there were any results. I thought men and churches were just chomping at the bit to get out there into the mix and start “reaching the world.” Here we are a year later and virtually no one, at least that I can find, has begun to use TV. Where is that burning desire to evangelize the masses? Where are those churches that are filling up now that we approved the use of TV?2
While we don’t see much positive fruit from our action, we have certainly seen a lot of negatives. Our fellowship has shrunk rather than exploded with growth.
Misunderstandings, division of families and churches, false accusations, charges and counter-charges have wounded many faithful warriors of the faith. Unethical encouragement to start churches almost in the doorway of assemblies whose pastor recently withdrew seems to suggest that we may be focused more on building a movement of transferees rather than a kingdom of converts.
Is this an attack on the UPCI? Absolutely not. I still belong, and still subscribe to the Articles of Faith. I love all the brethren; however, like many others, I was disappointed in the lack of leadership when the chips were down. And now some officials seem to want to strike out at those who are finding additional avenues of fellowship while blatant violators of the Manual are being ignored. It is bewildering.
So, if Bishop Augustine were with us today, he might remind us that it is the church that causes cultural change, not the pagans around us. When Christians cease to impact the culture in positive ways, it degenerates. If we see the culture as guided by Hollywood, overdosed on prescription drugs, having rejected the authority of Scripture, led by dissembling and unethical politicians who are sold out to popular acclaim, then perhaps we need to put our collective index finger on our own chest and say, “Right here is the prime reason.”
The church cannot play footsie with the world and remain pure in heart. Historians note that as long as American Christianity was largely dedicated to scriptural inerrancy, embracing a semblance of righteousness, and harboring a fear of God, our families usually stayed together, our children were generally well behaved, and decency and honesty was the rule rather than the exception. After the decade of the 1950s, however, the American Christians began to lose the elements that had made the church a powerful force in the life of the nation. We switched from a rural nation to an urban society. That, and other factors, painted a different face on people of faith. When Christianity changed, the culture changed.
Although he didn’t employ such a high-falutin’ term as “shifting paradigms,” maybe that old Catholic bishop in Hippo, N. Africa was mostly right about Christendom and its effect on the culture.
1. Drawn from Dr. George Grant, in a lecture titled “The Rise of Byzantium and the Fall of Rome,” History of the World Mega Conference, July 11-15, 2006 in Hampton, VA
2. It is interesting to note that TV usage by Charismatics is sharply down. Check it out here: http://www.ministrytodaymag.com/blog/2008/09/charismatic-megachurch-endangered_15.html
The Institute of Soteric Counseling will convene in Indianapolis on November 6,7 at the Radisson Airport Hotel. Never has it been more important to understand the kind of counsel needed in these difficult times. There has to be an antidote for the spiritual and emotional maladies afflicting our people today. Neither secular therapy nor psychopharmaceuticals is the answer. The psychology industry is crippling our culture before our eyes and many refuse to look, afraid to learn the truth. The answers are to be found in an old black-backed Book. Soteric counseling draws on the resources of the Word to bring healing to the heart.
Please make plans to be with us in Indianapolis. Visit soteric.org for details. “Come thou with us and we will do thee good” (Numbers 10:29). That’s a promise.
Christian Counseling From Scripture
by J. R. Ensey
Many pastors have needed a course in Christian counseling designed especially for the aspiring ministers and qualified laymen in their congregation, one centered on the Word and Spirit of God as the means of spiritual healing. This is it! Christian Counseling From Scripture guides us away from trusting in the theories of psychology to confidence in the life-transforming power of God. Not a overly-simplistic “Go pray about it” approach, but a well-rounded view of how believers can discover spiritual wholeness and find their way out of the problems and stresses of modern life. This course is the initial step toward certification in soteric counseling.
The Counselor Himself
The Sufficiency of Scripture
The Biblical Model of Man
The Psychological Model of Man
Identifying the Problem
Finding the Answers
Competency to Minister
A Biblical Model for Counseling
Evoking Change I
Evoking Change II
AM Price $199.00
Books Worth Reading
We have noted a rise in the emphasis on Darwinian evolution in the schools and it is definitely affecting our youth. It is time we stressed a more sensible approach to the origins of life on planet earth. The Genesis record is accurate, reflects true science, and needs to be emphasized in our Sunday schools and Bible studies.
This month, we are highlighting a book by Dr. Arlo Moehlenpah, an Apostolic minister.
Here’s a new book that will provide ample information to defend the creationist position. When all the critics have had their say, the preponderance of proof comes down on the side of the Bible. “For the word of the LORD is right; and all His works are done in truth” (Psalms 33:4). Brother Moehlenpah has provided us with the ammunition our youth need to refute the arguments submitted by the evolutionists. Every young person from middle school through college ought to have this book at hand. AM price $11.95
When you want to know the meaning of a theological term, or the description of a religious movement, or the definition of over a thousand words that are found in reference works and the Bible…turn to The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary!
•Over 1000 entries and articles
•Definitions and descriptions of many Bible words, theological
terms, and religious movements
•486 pages of easy-to-read, easy-to-use information
•The only reference volume of its kind! Written from a conservative, Apostolic viewpoint, this classic work has enhanced the study habits of thousands of ministers and laymen.
“This dictionary is far more than a word study; it is replete with the background and history of many doctrinal positions and teachings. It also serves as a standard for testing the validity of different theories. An invaluable tool! -Dr.MarvinTreece AM price $16.95
ORDER the above books from advanceministries.org or call 936-856-3419.
NEW from Galen Walters, author of Into His Marvelous Light:
Galen Walters, a member of our church in Conroe, TX has teamed up with a business associate, Dan J. Sanders, to provide a timely tool for those in leadership or who are aspiring to leadership. Brother Walters has been a faithful Christian for many years, having built a thriving business and served as its CEO for twenty-six years. He sits on a number of corporation boards and serves as a consultant to several others. He co-wrote and owns the hugely popular Into His Marvelous Light Bible study and its associated products.
While this is basically a business book, there is an intended undercurrent of spiritual truth built into the philosophies. Putting people first provides a blueprint for naturally creating success. Discover the 4 Ps Management System that helps create an environment in which employees rediscover their passion for work, find the secrets that drive performance, learn how to treat customers, and appreciating suppliers as business partners. The back cover explains that with Equipped To Lead you will be armed with the tools and insight to help you reach new heights of profit—financially, personally and spiritually.
Available from amazon.com, PPH, or at a local bookstore. Good reading!
Provoke one another!
Thanks for taking the time to read these ramblings. Let’s encourage one another, and provoke one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). It is wise to remember that the Lord hears what we say to each other (Malachi 3:16).
You are invited to leave your comments, pro or con, below.