Pastor Locke Q&A

Tonight Pastor Locke at the Global Vision Bible Church dedicated the Wednesday night service to Q&A, with questions (in written form) coming from members of the congregation.

Q: My son says that he doesn’t believe anymore? What should I do?

A: First, it isn’t your job to make him do anything. There are some who walk away from the faith because they wonder that if there really is a good God, then why do bad things happen? Who’s to say good things and bad things are happening? First, you have to have a moral compass. You see, we can’t assume God is at fault because things aren’t perfect. Things used to be perfect. But mankind introduced sin into the world and so now we are cursed. How come bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, to Jesus. Crazy things do happen to jacked-up people. Jesus came to fix it all.

Q: I am concerned by how many people have unforgiveness in their hearts and die like this? What do we tell them?

A: God isn’t interested in our feelings, only in the truth of God. But Christians do somethings hold resentments and unforgiveness in their hearts. We know there is sin and deviance and pornography and molestation and divorce. There are plenty of things that cause us to question the authenticity of God. But nothing can ever come close to how much Jesus has forgiven us. We have to learn to let go of bitterness. Don’t even let the fruits of defilement in, because bitter people beget other bitter people. We cannot justify bitterness. God will not understand our bitterness. Sometimes people have to come out of bondage and need counseling to let go.

Q: What does the Bible say about the company you keep and the friends you have?

A: The Bible says plenty about this. If you don’t change the crowd you run with when you are saved, you are not gonig to be transformed. You have to be careful who you hang around with lest they give you ungodly counsel.

Q: As a single mother, how do I give godly discipline to my children and strength to myself?

A: Single motherhood is the forgotten mission field in the church. (There are single fathers, too.) It is a daunting responsibility. There have been many great Christian people, pastors and others, who were raised by single parents. Even more important than the health and well-being of the child is the health and well-being of the parent. Children are incredibly resilient. God is the most perfect Father. He is perfect and all of his kids are stupid. So don’t beat yourself up, but do follow the Word.

Q: Can you get re-baptized?

A: Yes, as long as you are getting re-baptized for the right reason. We have had many people get re-baptized because they didn’t really “mean it” the first time around. Baptism shows that you are saved, so if you were baptized before you were saved, then all you did was get wet. So you will need to get baptized again after you’ve been saved.

Q: How do you pray for healing in depression?

A: There are some things you will never simply pray away, but only by prayer AND fasting. Some things we have to fast out of our lives. When I went through depression, my prayers seemed to make it worse because I felt God wasn’t listening. We usually look for a “yes” or “no,” and sometimes I’d rather have a “no” then have to wait. Sometimes the waiting can accentuate the ancxiety. One of the things that rescued me was a bicycle. Jesus saved my soul, but the bicycle saved my life. It let me go free, and my heart and mind needed “catch-up” work. If you try to go it alone, you won’t get out of your bed for weeks.

Q: Who did God lead to decide which of the Dead Sea scrolls would become part of the Bible?

A: The canon is what we refer to as the Bible. There are 66 books (39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New). The early church applied the laws of canonicity. If you take, for example, the 14 books of the apocrypha, they make for good history, but poor Scripture. It’s not inspired. In order to pass the laws of canonicity, it has to be inspired. They’re are 4 such laws, including “divine dictation.” (God told them what to write.) So when David was mad, he wrote mad. When he was crying, he wrote crying. A God that’s big enough to inspire the text is a God who is big enough to protect that text. 

Q: When God comes back, how will He destroy it?

A: He will destroy it with the word of His mouth. He spoke it into existence, and He can speak it out of existence. We know He won’t destroy it by flood, but He will burn it up. But don’t worship the created, but worship the Creator. Don’t worry about saving a world God is going to ultimately destroy.

Q: How do you know if you’re going to heaven?

A: Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Jesus came unto his own, but his own received him not. Eternal life is in God’s Son. There are plenty of Scripture passages that refer to belief in Jesus Christ as our salvation. It has nothing to do with who we are or what we do, but only our relationship to Christ, not our relationship to the church. Do you know Jesus Christ? It’s either yes or no. If you have turned to Christ as your only way to salvation, and you trust what the Bible says, then you will be saved. If you doubt that, it’s dangerous. You don’t have to feel saved. We aren’t saved by feeling but by faith.

Q: When we pray, are we praying to God or to Jesus?

A: One God does it in in three persons. We are told to pray to the Father, though the Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ. The purpose of prayer is to give thanks, make petitions, and forgive others.

Q: When we go to heaven, will we physically see heaven or will it just be our spirit?

A: We will physically see heaven. We will ultimately receive a glorified body. We don’t know exactly what that looks like yet. We will then see all things the way we were always meant to see them. Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t just spiritual, but physical.

Q: What is the middle verse of the Bible, and why is it?

A: It is Psalm 118:8. “It is better to put trust in the Lord than confidence in men.” This is the theme of the whole Bible.

Q: How were the Old Testament saints saved?

A: The same way we are: by faith. They were saved by looking forward to the promised Messiah. We are saved by looking back at the Messiah. We are all saved by faith. Faith without works is dead. It was the same in the Old Testament. We don’t work to be saved, but because we are saved.

Q: Who were the nephilim?

A: We don’t know that these giants were the result of intermingling and if this was an ungodly line. But we do believe instead that demons were taking on human form and intermingling with and raping women. There is another world that if we could see into, it would blow our minds. We would be shocked to see what’s going on in the spiritual world. Jude even said there is a special group of demons reserved in the deepest bondage.

Q: What, if anything, does the word of God have to say about being cremated versus casket burial?

A: It says nothing about either. It’s a choice. It doesn’t matter Biblically. Either way, buried or cremated, God will resurrect us.

Q: At the time of Jesus’ death, who was in charge of the Roman government: Pontius Pilate or Tiberius?

A: Pilate was over that particular region. He was a puppet on a string. Both the Jews and the Romans had a lot to do with Jesus’ death.

Q: Will there be sex in heaven?

A: No, there will not be, unfortunately. The Bible says we will neither be married nor given in marriage, but will be like the angels of God. God created sex for procreation and also for human pleasure (within the context of marriage). If you’re single and having sex, then you need to get right with God. In heaven, there will be no need for pleasure, becaus Jesus will be the sum total of everything we could ever want or need.

Q: Is my husband still going to be my husband in heaven “after the tears are wiped away?”

A: No, but it doesn’t mean you won’t know your husband in heaven. We don’t know what this context will be exactly, but we will not be married in heaven. Our main focus will be on Jesus and the body of Christ, so there won’t be any marital bliss. We will all be children of the most high God.

Q: When a Christian moves to a Muslim country, should he/she pretend to be a Muslim?

A: Absolutely not! We are never to be ashamed of the gospel or of Jesus. 

Q: What happened that Richard Dawkins called you a bigot?

A: He called me a bigot for my stand on Planned Parenthood.

ESPN denial

ESPN has today announced they are laying off more than 100 on-air staffers. No, I’m not gloating about people losing their jobs. The only people I like to see unemployed are Democrat politicians and RINO’s. Still, I have to say that a lot of us saw this coming. ESPN has been headed down the rathole of progressive politics for years. They were top-notch when they just did sports. It’s when they began injecting politics into their programming (Bruce Jenner, Michael Sam, “hands up, don’t shoot”) that viewers began to lose interest.

There are, as you can imagine, a lot of media types in denial. The meme I’m seeing online thus far is that ESPN is losing subscribers only because people are cutting cable. A couple of media figures I’ve seen on Twitter today claim…

And then there are the idiots saying this is happening because ESPN is political. It is happening because people are unplugging cable.

and…

Reading Twitter responses about ESPN layoffs, it occurs to me a lot of sports fans really don’t like anyone who stands up for civil rights.

So you see, it’s our fault. Either we’re cutting cable for economic reasons, or we’re racists — and who didn’t see that coming? — and it has nothing to do with ESPN. I have no doubt that some people are cutting cable. This is true. Some people are cutting cable and going to streaming services like Sling TV or Hulu, or some other alternative that’s less expensive. Perhaps some sports enthusiasts are cutting cable because they are tired of getting politics from ESPN.

Then there are people like me. We haven’t cut cable — yet. But I have stopped watching ESPN altogether, except in the rare case they happen to be showing a game I want to see, like the Grizzlies/Spurs game Saturday night, for example. Otherwise, I do not watch SportsCenter, or any other show on ESPN where there are talking heads. I do not watch because ESPN inserts politics into their shows. They don’t understand, and even in the wake of a mass defection of subscribers/viewers they won’t understand, that sports fans tune into sports stations for sports. If I want politics, I’ll find a political channel. I don’t want politics mixed in with sports. I need a break from it sometimes, and sports has always been that perfect getaway.

ESPN will not change their content. Even if customers tell them to their face to please stop mixing politics with sports and stop using sports to project a social justice platform, ESPN will not reform. ESPN is run by progressives, and they can’t help themselves. They are like the rest of the media. They don’t dabble in real-world consequences. Just as the Democrats and #fakenews media blamed Trump’s election on the Russians, so will ESPN and other sports media figures blame ESPN’s layoffs on something other than the real reason.

What happens when you stand up for your own people

The Memphis Grizzlies were blown out of game 1 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs vs. the San Antonio Spurs. And the Spurs fought off a late surge by Memphis in game 2 to ultimately win by 14. It looked like a repeat of last year’s sweep by the Spurs over an injury-riddled Grizzlies team. Like last year, the Grizzlies are the 7th seed in the West and the Spurs are 2nd. Memphis was never expected to win, but we were manhandled those first two games in San Antonio.

And then this happened…

Starting at about the 1:24 mark, Memphis coach David Fizdale unloaded on the officiating crew for their one-sided effort. (The Spurs attempted 32 free throws to the Grizzlies’ 15, even though Memphis took far more shots in the paint.)

He was ultimately fined $30K — the players say they are picking up the tab — but in just over 60 seconds, David Fizdale lit a fire under the city of Memphis. The Grizzlies won the next two games at home, including a thriller Saturday night that wasn’t decided until Marc Gasol’s runner with 0.7 seconds left in overtime.

I’m not going to claim victim status because that’s just not me, but I can say that the Grizzlies are perpetual underdogs and routinely disrespected by the NBA and sports media (with the exception of Charles Barkley). Say what you will about Memphis, but we do rally around our people when they are disrespected. I know it’s just sports, but sports is perhaps the only thing that unites the people of Memphis, so let’s hear it for Memphis sports.

So now the series heads back to San Antonio for game 5 tonight, then game 6 in Memphis on Thursday. I know we’re still longshots to win the series, but it’s best 2-out-of-3 now, and if the Grizzlies can somehow win 1 game in San Antonio…

Monday morning musings

All this rain has me missing my hammock. Hammock season has started early for me this year.

I seriously wonder if there will ever be a time in my life when I don’t have to deal with stupid people.

Playoff basketball in Memphis is always either one of two things: deflating or heart-stopping exhilaration.

For what it’s worth, an early ESPN preseason football ranking has the Memphis Tigers at #43, which happens to be the highest ranking of any team outside the Power 5. UCLA is 23rd. We play them in Memphis on September 16.

Next week the 19-year-old comes home for the summer. This is going to take some adjustment by everyone, including the dog.

In 5 services over Easter weekend, more than 1,200 people crowded into my church. We seat around 165.

I used to make my own pasta, but it has been more than a decade. You can buy a box of pasta for $1. Pasta isn’t easy to make, and it’s not very economical. But here lately I’ve had the itch to make a batch of homemade pasta.

I have this internal battle going on about which has the better chicken: Gus’s World Famous Friend Chicken in Memphis or Hattie B’s in Nashville. It typically depends on where I ate last. We had Gus’s last Thursday evening, so right now that’s on top.

I didn’t participate in Saturday’s March for Science because I was busy doing actual science. But if there’s ever a March for Geography, I might be interested.

My wife and I went to Gatlinburg the first week of this month. That’s probably going to do it for us in 2017. We don’t have a vacation planned for the summer, at least not a vacation where we drive somewhere. I’m really just looking forward to a quiet summer at home.

Codifying progressivism as Christian — and it ain’t gonna fly

Paul Douglas calls himself a Republican meteorologist, and also a Christian. He has a degree in meteorology from Penn State, which is one of the more prestigious meteorology schools in the nation. So I’m not questioning his scientific acumen. I am questioning his buying into the climate change hoax. Even more egregious is his Christian malpractice, using Jesus Christ to promote the progressive policies that are wrapped up in the climate change hoax. His column “Christian Earth Day lessons: worship by protecting creation” appeared in the Guardian yesterday, and I’m reprinting the entire piece here, with my comments appended.

Christians just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I’m a Christian, husband, father, businessman and scientist; a Penn State meteorologist by training. It’s true that all knowledge is relative; science is never “settled” and one never quite reaches solid bedrock. There’s always a new observation, a new discovery, a radical theory, more testing to do. We look at the universe through a pinhole as God gradually reveals himself to us.

So far, so good, except most of the politicians who push the climate change hoax do assert that climate change is “settled science” and that the debate is over. Science has little in common with climate change. It is entirely a political issue. If science actually mattered to progressives, climate change would have been laughed out of existence when it was first proposed more than 30 years ago.

Regardless of how you pray or how you vote, we can all agree that fewer toxic chemicals in our air and water is a good thing. But today, more Americans die prematurely from air pollution than traffic accidents. More than 5 million premature deaths result from dirty air every year, worldwide. Air pollution disproportionately impacts minority and low-income communities across the USA. And statistically, America’s poor are much more likely to live near toxic waste sites. 

Maybe your statistics are accurate and maybe they aren’t. I’ve come to question everything coming from progressives. But air pollution and climate change are two separate issues, unless you buy into the hoakey theory that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. Also note the progressive lingo “poor and minorities hardest hit.”

These numbers betray the ugly truth that the poor pay the steepest price for America’s toxic reliance on fossil fuels. This is not the world Jesus teaches us to create. “He will reply, truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me,” Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 24:45. 

The poor pay the steepest price for a lot of things — socialism, for example. At any rate, Jesus Christ wasn’t promoting environmentalism with his admonition; He was promoting the idea of charity, about sharing one’s resources with those in need, that doing for the “least of these” was akin to doing for the greatest of them all.

The Trump administration’s misguided efforts to roll back protections for public health and the environment puts every one of us at risk, especially those with the fewest resources. Increasingly, America the Beautiful is under siege, as the interests of polluting industries take priority over the safety and welfare of our children.

Ah, yes. It’s the obligatory hit on President Trump. Also, note the progressive lingo. “Protection” is the word they use now in place of “government regulation.”

Science is not a substitute for faith; the two are not mutually exclusive. Science has no answer for the miracle of consciousness, the power of love and the promise of eternal life to come. We are here to worship our Creator and enjoy the fruits of his Creation. We are caretakers of a precious gift. We don’t own anything—everything around us is on loan. “My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world,” Billy Graham preached.

I agree with this, as far as it goes. But to many, if not most leftists, environmentalism is a religion. It is the religion of the progressive movement, complete with a deity (earth), sin (excessive carbon emissions), a savior (government), and a holy writ (any study which suggests future catastrophic warming due to human activity), to name a few of its religious elements.

Science doesn’t have all the answers, but we would be well advised to listen to the 97% of climate scientists who tell us Earth is warming, and the rapid burning of fossil fuels is responsible. Because the symptoms of a warming planet are becoming harder to deny and dismiss.

The 97% claim is a number oft-repeated by climate change hucksters, and I bet they don’t even know where it comes from. It is a complete fabrication. But they’ve repeated it for so long it has become truth to them. The actual number is 33%. The bulk of scientists don’t have an opinion one way or another.

At any rate, the “consensus” which you and other progressives tout is simply more evidence of climate change as a political issue and not scientific. You see, consensus is politics. Science isn’t up for a vote. Science is simply that which is. There was once a “consensus” that the earth was flat.

I just co-authored Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment with Mitch Hescox, a former coal industry employee and a Methodist Minister. He is now leading the Evangelical Environmental Network, made up of conservatives focused on conserving the very thing that sustains us: a healthy, vibrant planet.

Conservatives pushing the single issue that is most dear to progressives? Folks, everything leftists want is wrapped up in climate change: higher taxes, loss of individual liberty and bigger, more intrusive government. It’s all there. Rush Limbaugh has pointed out that the environmental movement became the new home for displaced communists after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Maha Rushe has also pointed out that the left has succeeded in having its political agenda codified as science, so that if you oppose their politics, you are said to be “anti-science.” I’m going even further and pointing out that progressives are also attempting to have their political agenda codified as Christian, and you are helping them do it!

I’m proud of the many Christians who will march on April 29th in the People’s Climate March. Around the world people of faith will speak with one voice about the dangers of climate change, and the opportunities for good, renewable, clean-energy energy jobs. Environmental justice and economic justice go hand in hand. Clean energy is rapidly outpacing fossil fuels in creating jobs—the solar industry already employs twice as many people as coal.

And this further establishes the climate change hoax as a political issue. People don’t march for science. They do march for political issues. Also, as sooon as you can produce a 747 with solar panels on the wings, you can tout the solar industry as a viable power source. Until then, long live fossil fuels.

We are called to be stewards, tending what’s left of Eden. “Man has been appointed as a steward for the management of God’s property, and ultimately, he will give account for his stewardship” says Luke 16:2.

How are we doing?

You’re doing great — as a progressive who is misusing Jesus Christ and the Christian faith to promote a progressive agenda that is based completely on a lie.

More than 150 million people around the world live within three feet of sea level, so warming, rising seas are quickly becoming more than an inconvenience. Climate change is already making storms, droughts and heat waves more intense, impacting where crops grow and who has access to water. Climate change is emerging as the global human rights struggle of the 21st century.

First, I don’t know if your 150M figure is correct, but let’s say it is. So what? There is zero evidence that the coastlines are being flooded out and displacing the people who live there. Second, there is zero evidence, empirical or anecdotal, that weather extremes are more intense than in the past. How would you even go about trying to prove this? It’s another complete fabrication. Third, you mention crops. Who’s to say that the optimal climate is the one we’re living in now? Who’s to say that some warming wouldn’t contribute to an increase in arable land?

And the greatest human rights struggle is the same as it has always been: the struggle against tyranny and despotism. In the 21st century, communism, socialism, progressivism, militant Islam and Sharia Law are the faces of tyranny and despotism.

A rapidly-changing climate affects the health and welfare of our kids, and their kids. Respect for life must extend to future generations of unborn. Climate change is a global pro-life issue.

The climate is not “rapidly-changing.” The fact is, and you know this because you have a degree from Penn State, the climate has always been changing. It was changing before man invented the combustible engine and started burning fossil fuels. There have been times in the past when it was both warmer than it is now, and also colder. These changes are and have usually been subtle are hardly even perceptible. The same is true now. There isn’t the evidence to support the theory of man-made climate change. The only “evidence” are atmospheric models that presume to show warming years and decades and centuries from now. And even a layman knows you cant predict the weather that far out. Changes in climate have always occurred naturally, and the same is true now.

There’s no time for gloom and doom. We already have solutions that will power sustainable abundance. Dirty fossil fuels will fade as we dial up clean, renewable energy sources. The revolution is here: solar costs have fallen more than 80 percent since 2008, onshore wind is down 40 percent, and grid-scale batteries cost 70 percent less. We can have everything we want and need, with less stress on Earth’s Operating System – less lasting damage to God’s Creation.

The “solution” to this non-problem is what progressives have always wanted: the enactment of their political agenda. Mankind has never fared well under progressivism. Also, you seem to think God’s Creation is made of porcelain. In fact, the earth and the universe as a whole seem to be pretty durable. It is the height of arrogance to assume mankind can destroy (or save) what God has created.

What would Jesus do? We can’t know the mind of God, but based on Christ’s own words, actions and ministry he might have two simple questions. “Did you protect my Father’s home? Did you defend his children?”

What will we tell him?

Is this all Jesus means to you? The Pharisees tried to use Jesus as a political tool back in the day, and progressives are doing the same thing now. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of mankind. He came to save that which was lost to sin (mankind). The question isn’t “Did you protect my Father’s home?” The question is “Did you invest your faith in Me?”

Also, one of the worst things we can do “for the children” is turn over to them a world governed by progressives and progressive policies. This is why true conservatives and Christians must always resist the lure of progressivism and its sweet-sounding words of nirvana and equality. Progressives are snakes and the climate change hoax is their poison.

Sacred suffering (1 Peter 4:12-14)

The past couple of weeks we’ve actually talked very little about trials. What we do know about trials is that believers face trials together. It’s all about the community of the local church. We should never attempt to go it alone.

Peter greatly simplifies his theology for us in these verses. He reminds us of our kinship together. God is bigger than any problems we face. God is our “beloved” because he is affectionately drawn to us regardless of our circumstances.

What we perceive as trials is often trivial to the trials face by others. Regardless of the size of our troubles, someone always has it worse. As long as we are on the topside of the dirt, God can always rectify our situation.

Loving God doesn’t mean we will live trouble-free lives. Sometimes even though we follow Jesus, life still doesn’t turn out the way we’d like. You see, man is full of troubles. And it’s not “if” we will encounter trouble, but “when.” The things that happen to us are not strange to God, but are divinely orchestrated.

Never think God is picking on you or bullying you from heaven. God is faithful. What you’re facing right now has been faced by others before you.

1. How you respond to your problem becomes the real problem. What we think is the problem is not the problem. We will all respond to problems differently. How we respond determines how or if we will overcome our troubles. If you don’t learn, you will keep going through the same problems repeatedly. The outcome is all in our outlook. If we deal with a problem poorly, it will become more of a problem. If we deal with a problem correctly (Biblically), we can move on to the next problem.

There is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is called this because it is based on our happenings. Joy is not based on circumstances, but solely on the Christ who lives in us. We experience joy because we are not going to Hell. We can still rejoice even in the midst of trials and temptations.

We have to embrace the reality that because Jesus suffered, we are going to suffer. The servant is not greater than his master. Rejoice, because He is coming again to set all things in order.

2. Rejoicing in suffering allows you to get better not grow bitter. People who seem to be mad at everyone are really just mad at God. Those with “man” problems also have “God” problems. And bitter parents tend to raise bitter children. Bitterness will cause you to do things you cannot even imagine.

Sometimes we suffer at the hands of others. When they persecute you, know that they did it to the prophets before you. This will just build your crown in heaven. The evil speak of those who worship God. Yet God will be vindicated for His glory. So while others speak of evil, we believers get to speak of glory.

3. Because of the truth of God’s word and the power of God’s spirit, we are able to both welcome and withstand the reproach of others. We don’t have to ignore the evils of this world, nor its trials. Instead, we are able to withstand it all. We must stand for what is just, because God is greater than those who come against us. If you stand for Christ, some are going to hate you for it. So we cannot be too concerned about pleasing others. Just rejoice, because God is still good and Jesus is still on the throne.

A massive failure for feminism

You’ve all heard about the gender wage gap myth and the lies feminists have been telling women since the 1960’s. Feminism has done more to destroy male/female relationships, and women in general, than any other ideology I can think of.

But perhaps there’s hope. Maybe, just maybe, millennials, and particularly millennial women, aren’t buying it anymore. Maybe natural instinct is starting to take over again and replace liberal lies and lunacy.

First, we have an article from CNBC — the mainstream press, no less — headlined “Millennial women are ‘worried,’ ‘ashamed’ of out-earning boyfriends and husbands.”

And in a second piece from the…wait for it…New York Times, we are asked the question, “Do Millennial Men Want Stay-at-Home Wives?

Stop. The. Presses. We have a two-fer here. First, this destroys the gender wage gap myth. Second, this destroys the “a-woman-needs-a-man-like-a-fish-needs-a-bicycle” myth of liberal feminism.

Here’s the takeaway from the first article:

“Largely, though, Ford reports, earning more has negative repercussions for women. They feel anxious, even resentful. ‘Unlike the traditional trajectory of men who earn more, or are sole financial providers, most of these millennial women either believe out-earning their partners is temporary, or lament the idea that it may not be,’ she reports.”

But there’s more. According to research cited in the aforementioned NYT piece, “In 1994, only 42 percent of high school seniors agreed that the best family was one where the man was the main income earner and the woman took care of the home. But in 2014, 58 percent of seniors said they preferred that arrangement.”

I’m not sure of the how’s and the why’s of this attitude shift, but perhaps, just perhaps, millennials who have had to grow up in a more progressive era than their parents are rejecting progressive ideas, at least as they relate to family, and are returning to the more tried and true methods of the older generations.

9 days and counting…

My 4th half-marathon is 9 days away. I have one more long run planned and maybe three 5K’s. I’m starting to look ahead at the weather forecast, and right now it looks like it’s going to be warmer than I like it, but also breezy. I’m not letting myself get flustered over the weather. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll have to run in the same weather everyone else runs in. If I can successfully complete the half-marathon — and my confidence is rising — I will permanently change the way I train for half-marathons, since I was forced to alter my strategy after injuring myself three months ago. I’ll do a write-up on my new training plan after next Saturday.

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish (1 Kings 13:1-30)

It’s not how you start that matters to God but how you finish. Anybody can start, but if we look back we’re not fit for the kingdom of God.

King Solomon started out strong, but he is more remembered for how he died: a fornicating idolator operating outside God’s will.

People love hearing their own name called. But don’t put your own name above that of Jesus. My name is important but His name is much more so.

The best servants are those who work for the kingdom and don’t need their name called out for recognition. If you or I have to be seen, then we don’t belong in the kingdom of God.

We are all called upon to be fearless when proclaiming the word of God. People are attracted to boldness. The only thing we are to care about is the content of the message.

When you walk in God’s wisdom and live in his favor, people will not be able to put their hands on you unless God allows it. If God is not finished with us, then we are touchless. Nothing can come against us.

We go when God says we go, no soooner and no later.

The first few verses of this chapter refer to a “man of God.” He is nameless, fearless, and touchless. 

Not even the king could come against him, so the king asked the man of God to pray for him. And he did. After all, the man of God wasn’t heartless. (In the story of the Good Samaritan, the one who did right was the one who showed mercy.)

Likewise, the man of God was still able to show compassion for others. Jesus was the perfect balance, being full of grace and full of truth. That’s why we’re supposed to speak the truth in love.

And so this nameless man of God was a relentless man. It’s always too soon to quit. 

By the time we get to verse 14, we learn that the man of God began to take God’s blessings for granted, and he dropped the ball. He became motionless. When we become motionless, we get careless.

When anyone tries to contradict the word of God, walk away from that person. He/she will try to fill you with nonsense. The man of God got careless with who he got his counsel from. He consorted with a false prophet. Be very guarded about your sources of information.

Ironically, in verse 21, the false prophet begins to speak the word of God to the man of God and warns him. And the man of God is slain by a lion after he leaves the place.

And so the sequence of the man of God is this:

  • Nameless
  • Fearless
  • Touchless
  • Wasn’t heartless
  • Relentless
  • Motionless
  • Careless
  • Lifeless
  • Useless

The lion stands beside the carcass as a tesimony to what God does when we lose our spiritual focus. The false prophet then takes up the carcass to take it back to the city to bury and mourn for the man of God.

The man of God started strong but finished abysmally. He had rendered himself useless. If you are saved but not being used by God, then you are useless.

Liberalism’s three-headed hydra

Nine days ago I wrote a blog post that sort of piggybacked on something Rush Limbaugh had said on one of his shows, about the #fakenews media being the de facto leader of the progressive movement and the Democrat Party merely serving as the elected wing of the mainstream press.

Yesterday, the Maha Rushie was at it again, further clarifying this relatively new concept regarding the progressive movement as it is presently constituted.

Everybody expected Hillary Clinton to be in office with Hillary appointees all over the cabinet, all over the bureaucracy, and the slow-but-sure stealth takeover of America to continue. And since the Democrat Party lost, since the Democrat Party has lost over a thousand seats since 2010, other elements of the progressive movement are taking over as the impetus and energy.

I’ve been thinking about this and have come to view liberalism as a three-headed hydra consisting of a propaganda wing, an elected wing, and a militant wing.

With the elected wing of the progressive movement, the Democrat Party, faring so poorly in the elections of 2010, 2012 and 2016, progressives must advance themselves using other means. They aren’t just going to accept the election results and go home. They don’t recognize any other authority but themselves and are bent on subverting the country as it is presently constituted.

So you have the #fakenews media. And believe me, the gloves are off. There is no longer even a pretense of objectivity. They are going pedal-to-the-medal progressive. The media are the leaders in the progressive movement, and are protecting themselves as still being in power even though the elected power all belongs to the GOP.

Then there is the militant wing of the three-headed hydra. At one time, the KKK served as the militant wing of the Democrat Party. Today, it takes on other forms. (But they all wear masks.) Primarily, the militant wing is funded by George Soros. At one time it was Occupy Wall Street. Then it was Black Lives Matter. Today, it is Antifa, or whatever the mask-wearing paid rioters call themselves. You’ve seen them at Trump rallies trying to stir up trouble, assaulting people and destroying property. We most recently saw them at Berkeley.

But there is also another element of the militant wing of the progressive movement on the rise in America that is not funded by George Soros. It is militant Islam. If you’ve ever wondered why there is such a cozy relationship between jihadists, the Democrat Party and #fakenews media, it is because they have two things in common: a blatant disregard for the rule of law and a determination to overthrow America.

These various factions within the progressive momvement have one common, singular enemy: Donald J. Trump. And, by extension, Trump voters and supporters are also the enemy of the left. So whenever I hear a negative story about President Trump coming from the #fakenews media, my default reaction is to not believe it. Most likely, it is #fakenews.

Just because we elected Donald Trump and a GOP majority last November, the fight for the soul of America is far from over. Progressives never give up. Politics is their religion, and total power and authority is their singular objective. They won’t stop until they achieve their aim. One side is ultimately going to win.