Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

My wife and I were in tears as we watched the courtroom video last week. A man whose brother was shot and killed by former Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, took the stand and did the unthinkable: he offered forgiveness. Brandt Jean captivated America by his decision to reach out and share the gospel of Jesus with Guyger, who killed his brother, Botham, when she mistakenly entered his apartment following a thirteen-hour work shift.

But not everyone was touched by this unselfish act of grace. Because the decided sentence was ten years in prison, many were angered and offended, demanding justice, condemnation, and the maximum penalty of the law.

Many people thought the forgiveness offered by Brandt Jean was a beautiful demonstration of mercy, God’s love, and grace. It was the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ rarely seen in a setting reserved for justice, sentencing, and punishment.

The jurors in the case could have sentenced thirty-one-year-old Amber Guyger to a minimum of two years all the way up to life in prison. Prosecutors wanted her to go to prison for 28 years, as that’s how old the victim, Botham Jean, would be today.

But inside the courtroom, many were in tears as Brandt Jean said, “I forgive you,” finished his comments, and asked the judge if he could please give Guyger a hug. Emotions were difficult to hold back as you heard Guyger’s muffled wailing and perhaps remorse in the compassionate arms of her victim’s brother.

Either the man is insane or he is a true Christian living out his faith in Christ. This just doesn’t happen naturally. How is this kind of forgiveness possible without the Holy Spirit and a supernatural move of God?

Again, as for past mistakes and sins, it’s what you and I do from this point on. No matter what you’ve done, God will forgive you – if you repent, confess your sins and simply ask Him. If it applies to you, get right with the Savior now, forget the past and surrender an unknown future to a known God in whose hands the future lies.

Regarding sin and the sacrifice of Jesus, Luke writes:

I know that you acted in ignorance… But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:17-20

Repent, come to Jesus and be refreshed!

READ FULL POST HERE

Big tech censors conservatives and the media yawns. With mounting evidence, Facebook, Google, and YouTube seem to be doing to the Internet what the radical, socialist Left has done to American universities: giving lip service to the idea of free speech. If you’re Christian, conservative, Jewish, or Republican, you can have your beliefs, but just keep them to yourself, thank you very much.

The individuals and organizations that have been affected by censorship are too many to list here. While Antifa, which supposedly means “anti-fascist,” holds their intolerant and violent ‘Hate Trump’ protests, Facebook is banning accounts, Google is censoring search results, and Youtube is taking down or deleting conservative videos.

Big tech is monitoring our speech; but who’s monitoring them?

The danger here is obvious: No person or company should be deciding what the public gets to see and what they do not based on individuals in high positions determining what’s important or newsworthy. The biased, liberal media in America already does this so it is vital we fight for both sides to be heard or at least fight to maintain freedom of speech.

Remember what the Obama administration IRS did to Christian and conservative non-profits? One difference here is we’re in the arena of social media.

Prior to a subcommittee hearing last week on Big Tech companies censoring conservatives, Senator Ted Cruz said the Department of Justice should investigate Google for fraud and breach of contract. Cruz chairs the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on The Constitution, and in a Fox News interview, he compared Big Tech’s censorship practices to those of Big Brother in the novel, “1984”: 

“You know, in George Orwell’s famous book, “1984,” the way Big Brother controlled its power, the way the state controlled its power, is it controlled information. …We see, in the Big Tech media companies, that same, exact power; Google is abusing its monopoly powers. We have antitrust laws to deal with that,”

Suggesting these big companies have a political agenda, which they do, and saying they’re guilty of fraud and deceiving the consumer, Cruz continued: 

“When you sign up, say with a Facebook or Twitter, you assume that, if you follow someone, you’ll see their tweets, you’ll see their posts. Likewise, you assume if someone follows you, they’ll see what you tweet and what you post. That’s not, in fact, what’s happening. What’s happening is the social media sites are censoring, they’re shadow banning. If they don’t like what you’re saying, they just hide what you’re saying.

Christian conservative author and vlogger, Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy recently stated:

“The big tech companies like Facebook and Google are trying to choke us out, and have demonetized our content, cutting off our income that helped sustain our ministry. [We must] fight back against the progressive agenda and biased censorship.”

Conservative radio talk show host, author Dennis Prager created, “Prager Universityand puts out free, short educational videos on subjects “important to understanding American values” — ranging from the astronomical cost of higher education to the motivations of the Islamic State. YouTube has been restricting many of these videos by labeling them as violent or having sexual content.

Prager filed a lawsuit and recently testified before Congress on Capitol Hill that Google violates the First Amendment by censoring conservatives. PragerU stated:

“There is no excuse for Google and YouTube censoring and restricting any PragerU videos, which are produced with the sole intent of educating people of all ages about America’s founding values,”

Next, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the social media company chose to block American pro-life groups from running ads. President of Live Action, Lila Rose tweeted that Zuckerberg blocked their ads, while Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg donated $2 million dollars to Planned Parenthood.

Twitter also banned Rose and Live Action’s pro-life ads, but naturally, they allow Planned Parenthood ads.

Journalist, James O’Keefe has gone through this for years due to uncovering many scandals exposing the left. Just last month, YouTube pulled down a Project Veritas video that showed Pinterest’s anti-Christian bias. An insider told O’Keefe that Pinterest listed Live Action as pornographic. They also censored Bible verses!  

Then, shortly after Project Veritas sent out their story by Twitter, their account was locked down for allegedly distributing communications belonging to another party. 

Okeefe tweeted:

Tech giants retaliating against insider who leaked docs showing censorship of Christian and pro-life material. They have REMOVED our investigative insider report. YouTube now fighting bullet-proof journalism by deleting it.

Listed on the Project Veritas website:

  • “Tech Insider Blows Whistle on How Pinterest Listed Top Pro-Life Site as Porn, “Bible Verses” Censored
  • Insider: Search Term “Christian” Won’t Auto-Complete, Others Can’t Trend…
  • Pinterest Blacklisted Pro-Life Group LiveAction.org, Classified as “Pornography,”
  • Leaked “Sensitive Terms List” Includes “bible verses” and “christian easter”
  • Ben Shapiro Commentary Censored…
  • Planned Parenthood Undercover Videos Marked as “harmful,” Conspiracy
  • BIG UPDATE: YouTube has PULLED this investigative report. A backup is available on his page.” 

A popular Christian ministry helping people understand the times and contend for the faith, Jan Markell’s Olive Tree Ministries, was briefly shut down four years ago by YouTube.

Christian radio program, Stand Up for the Truth has been shadow-banned on Facebook for several years now.

My colleagues at Freedom Project were recently “shadow banned” for an entire week on Facebook. Shadow-banning means you can still post content but nobody sees your post: it does not show up in people’s news feed. The only way someone sees it is if they happen to go directly to the Freedom Project Facebook page.

Educator and host of the Dr. Duke Show, Duke Pesta states:

“It is hypocritical in the extreme for Facebook to claim its commitment to free speech while simultaneously handcuffing conservative content that starts to become popular and in demand. If you’re a conservative rising in popularity, you can speak, but they won’t let anyone listen.”

Full story and video at DavidFiorazo.com

Modern Liberalism cannot coexist with biblical Christianity. Another example of placing social justice above Scripture emerged last week, this time from a Baptist church leader in Texas. In a commencement benediction at Baylor University in Waco, left-wing pastor, Dan Freemyer denounced “straight white men” and lobbied for the environment – during a prayer.

Fine. If you disagree with certain aspects of God’s Word and dislike Christian conservatives, this is a free country. But stop being a progressive pretender and admit you’re either following the crowd or creating a god in your own likeness.

Calling evil good, conforming to secular culture, and reinterpreting Christian teachings to fit an agenda is part of the cult of modern Liberalism which masquerades as Christianity.  In their rebellion against God, their values might include hyper-grace, political idolatry, boycotting Israel, feminism, socialism, sexual confusion, environmentalism, and of course, abortion.

In these last days, the Holy Scriptures too often take a back seat to pleasing man. In this case, it’s Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, which proudly states they are: “fully affirming of women in lay and professional ministry roles, and fully inclusive of LGBTQ+ persons.” One Baylor alumnus proudly stated that Broadway Baptist cut ties with the Baptist General Convention of Texas long ago over homosexuality.

Affirming, inclusive. Friends in Christ, don’t be deceived by the modern use of these words. I wrote an entire book about man “Redefining Truth.”

So a few of the remarks from Dan Freemyer at the Baylor University commencement went like this:

“God, give them the moral imagination to reject the old keys that we’re trying to give them to a planet that we’re poisoning by running it on fossil fuels and misplaced priorities — a planet with too many straight, white men like me behind the steering wheel while others have been expected to sit quietly at the back of the bus,”

Misplaced priorities is right, but look in the mirror, Dan. In your rant about poisoning the planet, you missed an opportunity to honor Jesus Christ and the true gospel by encouraging the college grads to seek first the kingdom of God. You could have reminded them about the need for repentance and to walk closely with the Lord every day as they enter a very dark and worldly culture.

By alluding to environmental activism, climate change, and by subtly dissing God-ordained natural marriage, you were exposed as just another religious liberal, also known as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Using your platform and position as cover for a secular, social justice agenda is apostasy.

By appealing to people’s love of this world and taking advantage of their ignorance, plenty of false Christian leaders are deceiving multitudes while true believers in Christ have been placed on the defensive today. The octopus of liberalism now dominates virtually every aspect of culture.

The Left practically controls education, organizations, publications, the entertainment industry, government, and especially the media. The tragedy however, is that liberalism has gained power and influence in seminaries as well as in church pulpits across the country.

The notion too many pastors have today is we must become like the world in order to reach the worldly. Wrong. Where is this in Scripture? Think about it; do unbelievers and liberals ever compromise and become more holy, or do conservatives typically give in, compromise and become more worldly?

One result is Americans are more divided over moral and political issues than ever before, but our greater concern should be Christians are divided as well. Research shows that fewer believe in absolute truth which tells us we aren’t much different from the world after all.

How could this be since God never changes and His Word is eternal? They do a good job of changing public opinion by emotion-driven marketing.

Some call it a revival of post modernism, liberation theology, progressivism, or social justice. Many of these leaders hold to a form of godliness but they deny the power of God (2 Tim. 3:5) and attack those who stand on the inerrancy of Scripture.

So why does all this matter and why is it dangerous? Political liberals are one thing; we know exactly where they stand; radicals on the left like Pelosi, Booker, Beto, Buttigieg, AOC, and Sanders.

But religious liberals have infiltrated churches across America and have deceived many. These men (and women) generally believe many of the same things as extremists on the left, and yet claim to be “Christian.” You will know them by the fruit they produce and by their doctrine. They are masters at twisting Scriptures.

This is nothing new and the emerging church has been gaining converts for decades. Until we acknowledge the enemy within, know God’s Word and combat lies with the truth, people will just keep on buying what liberalism has been selling. Because after all, they have a degree or a title; he’s a pastor, priest, or reverend.

The Bible is full of warnings to discern false teachings, call out deceivers, expose the darkness, and contend for the faith handed down through the ages. Put on the armor of God! The main obstacles to the left’s takeover of America are strong, biblical churches and mature, informed Christian citizens who refuse to be silent.

Actors Jim Carrey, Alyssa Milano, and a cast of other liberals are fighting for abortion, but their tactics seem to be backfiring because they’re unintentionally making a case for the pro-life movement. It’s “Hollywood vs. Alabama and Georgia” – “Liberalism vs Life” in the ongoing war against truth.

On Saturday, Jim Carrey posted a graphic piece of artwork he created intending to defend abortion, but it actually depicts the violence of the life-ending procedure. Carrey is attacking Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey because she signed a bill into law last week restricting abortions in the state.

The idea behind Carrey’s art is Kay Ivey should have been aborted – and shows her brains being sucked into a tube. He tweeted:

“I think If you’re going to terminate a pregnancy, it should be done sometime before the fetus becomes Governor of Alabama,”

Carrey apparently knows what the majority in Alabama want. While signing the legislation, Governor Ivey said the bill had many supporters, and is a result of citizens having the “deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,”

Is Carrey publicly wishing death on an elected official and promoting violence? It’s debatable, but as usual, liberals are held to very different standards. Remember Kathy Griffin holding a bloody head of President Trump? Imagine a Republican tweeting this kind of image depicting Nancy Pelosi, for example.

Author and blogger, Matt Walsh responded to Carrey’s artwork and made some sobering statements on Twitter last weekend:

The left claims they are “pro-choice.” What about choosing abstinence, adoption, birth control (not post-pregnancy!), marriage, or making the difficult decision to have the baby? They act as if killing a living, developing fetus is the only option.

Just a few weeks ago, Hollywood activist, Alyssa Milano unwittingly promoted conservative values when she called for a sex strike in response to the heartbeat bill in Georgia signed by Governor Brian Kemp. In case you missed it, note the drama in her demands:

“Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy,” Milano tweeted. “JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back. I’m calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on.”

Don’t look now, Alyssa, but you’re unintentionally promoting conservative values. An actress calling for abstinence? Well, the public schools won’t do it. Not only will there be less adultery and fewer pregnancies, but we could also see a reduction in STD’s. Sounds like a win win to me.

Read the full post and see video:

Photo credit, original post by Freedom Project Media

The new mantra these days that you have your truth and I have mine is simply an extension of the 1960s, “If it feels good, do it.” So, should sin be redefined based on ever-changing times and pop-culture? What about the Law of Nature and nature’s God? Is there a moral standard? And now, we may soon find out if America is ready for an open-homosexual to be president – who, by the way, claims to be a Christian!

But feelings don’t change the truth. So the debate continues: Can we make up our own individual morality? Should the Bible be rewritten? The fact is God never changes, the human heart is wicked, man is sinful, and we all need a Savior.

John Stonestreet at Breakpoint is right, saying there’s an epidemic of self-centered faith in our culture as well as our churches.

If there were an Americanized translation of the Apostle’s Creed for today, it would be something like this: “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, who always supports my feelings.”

Enter openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, now a 2020 presidential candidate, who claims his homosexual lifestyle and marriage to a man has brought him closer to God. He also thinks God made him gay, so he obviously concludes homosexuality can’t be a sin.

The mayor may be most well-known for attacking the faith and character of Vice President, Mike Pence who responded with grace. Pete says he’s a Christian, but he doesn’t get to invent another doctrine or his own version of Christianity. That’s called idolatry. Either way, the media sure loves him.

They’re on board, promoting this new progressive 2020 candidate with glee. Senior editor of CNN, Kyle Blaine even sent an eye-opening tweet, saying:

This Buttigieg/Pence episode illustrates a core question many LGBT people have to confront at some point in their life: Can you be “friends” with someone who believes that something at the very core of who you are is wicked and should be changed?

First, there’s no “episode.” Buttigieg is good at insulting Mike Pence and others who disagree with his twisted theology, but Pence has not retaliated. He compliments the Indiana mayor as a “dedicated public servant.” The victim card may not work as Buttigieg intends.

CNN’s Kyle Blaine is actually suggesting every LGBT individual must question whether or not they can even be a friend of someone who is a truly converted Christian. What I mean by using descriptors is there are millions of pretend or “professing” Christians who do not believe the whole Bible nor do they live by its teachings.

What we’re talking about here are authentic, born-again Christ followers who trust Jesus, God’s Word, and understand holiness and sanctification. CNN and others continually provide a platform for people like Blaine who indirectly suggest a Christian is not worth befriending.

The truth is by nature, we are rebellious toward God. Scripture reminds us “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and “our righteousness is as filthy rags.”

Author Peter Heck points out the fact teaching about the sickness of the human heart goes back before the early church to the Prophets. We all need redemption.

That’s not just “the gays.” It’s everybody. And since every human being is wicked at our core, we Christians believe that the heart of every human being must be changed; We recognize it for all mankind, including ourselves.

But many progressives cannot allow themselves to believe man is inherently evil. Even Jesus said no one is good except God alone. Man at his best falls short; we need a Savior, but this doesn’t bode too well with those who have redefined sin.

We are made in God’s image, but we each have a conscience and moral awareness. I don’t have a problem with who Buttigieg is; I simply disagree with what him doing whatever he feels like doing and calling it “Christian.” There are too many hypocrites and posers in American churches trying the same thing, the difference being their sin of choice is something other than homosexuality.

Human identity is much more than the sum total of someone’s sexual inclinations. Everett Piper of the Washington Times responded to Buttigieg this way:

[T]he “creator” whom you so boldly reference makes this pretty clear. There is no place in His entire biblical narrative where He defines us by our desires. All of us, however, are known by our choices. …You see, Mr. Mayor, this is a matter of your proclivities, not your personhood; If you want us to stay out of your bedroom, please shut the door. Stop opening it up and forcing us to applaud and celebrate.

When feelings trump truth, we’re in serious trouble. It has become trendy to ignore biological, natural roles our bodies have in procreation, as well as the historically accepted meaning of marriage between one man and one woman. But sadly, feelings have practically become the new authority or at least the measure of personal identity.

What may be most concerning however, is the biblical illiteracy in our churches as well as the radical shift in public opinion when it comes to God, government, and being gay. In all three, evil is being called good and good, evil. Our great grandparents and founding fathers would be extremely confused by today’s America; and perhaps indignant. One thing is certain: they would not remain silent.

Freedom Project Media video

Was Jesus created or is He the Creator? On this doctrine, eternity depends. Is He the Messiah and is the Bible true?

If Jesus Christ is God and if the Bible is inspired – literally “God-breathed” by the Holy Spirit – then everything Jesus said and taught is true. If everything He said is true, then Christians had better understand what the Scriptures say about Him and obey his teachings. Jesus stated:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.(Luke 21:22)

For this study, we are well beyond the ridiculous claim some people make that Jesus was a myth and never existed. One young woman said He was “made up by religious people in order to control society.” This is complete ignorance of the evidence, history, archaeology, prophecy, and of course, hundreds of eye-witnesses who saw the risen Christ.

Then there are those who say, “That’s your truth, not mine. I evolved, I wasn’t created.” Are there many ways to the only living God or is there a narrow path we must take by faith?

Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet recently said, “These four things are true for all people: Christ is risen, Christ is Lord, Christ will restore all things, and we are called to this time and place in history.”

Sermon video:

We know and believe Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord, and our faith is based upon not only His finished work on the cross, but on His divinity and humanity. Let’s dig-in to the doctrine of the God-Man.

For example, in Colossians 2:9, Paul writes about Christ:

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,”

“Fullness” is from the Greek word, “plērōma, a recognized term in theology denoting the totality of divine powers and attributes found in Christ. The verse further adds “all fullness.” Jesus was and is 100% God — not 99.44%. 

But why did Paul add, in bodily form? In Greek philosophical thought, matter was evil; spirit was good. It was unthinkable that God would ever lower Himself to take on a human body. BUT He did! 

Still today, mockers insist Jesus was just a man; a good man perhaps, but certainly not God.

The third and fourth century Trinitarian Controversy focused on the mystery of the incarnation and the relationship between the Father and the Son (both of Whom were called ‘God’ by Christian monotheists). What does it mean regarding the divine nature that the Son had taken on flesh, died, and was raised for the sake of humanity?

For the growth of Christianity, this was a historical moment of intense struggle in church history to establish a common language by which to state the doctrine of faith without distortion, and in a manner that would do justice to the God Christians worship.

CLICK TO SEE FULL POST FOR STUDY NOTES, COMMENTARY, AND REFERENCES!

You’ll also notice Christ’s two states, humiliation and exaltation. Christ not only took upon him the likeness and fashion, or form of a man, but one in a low state; His whole life was a life of poverty and suffering. But the lowest step was his dying the death of the cross, exposed to public hatred and scorn.”

The exaltation was of Christ’s human nature, in union with the Divine. At the name of Jesus, not the mere sound of the word, but the authority of Jesus, all should pay homage. It is to the glory of the Father, to confess Jesus Christ is Lord; it’s his will, that all men should honor the Son as they honor the Father, (John 5:23).

Now the hymn

Philippians 2:5-11 –

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exaltedHim, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

If Jesus rebuked many of the early churches for straying, leaving their first love, putting up with false doctrine, or for being lukewarm, how could we, American Christians, think He wouldn’t harshly rebuke many of our seeker-sensitive, shallow, lukewarm churches today?

Some might claim the Church is thriving here in the United States of Entertainment. I would ask them why then doesn’t it translate out into society. Who is driving culture today, Christians or atheists and secular progressives? Biblical morality or godlessness?

The truth is too many professing believers have generally conformed to the world and have failed to defend and preserve culture through Judeo-Christian values. We are to be salt in society: to not only flavor and enhance culture but to influence it as well. Salt is a preservative, but it can also irritate, especially if it touches an exposed wound. Paul told believers at Ephesus to walk as children of light and,

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; (Eph. 5:11)

Too many in American churches do just the opposite! We accommodate popular sins (abortion and homosexuality). Why? Because the Supreme Court ruled they are legal, of course. But just because something is legal does not make it moral. Has the Supreme Ruler and Judge changed His mind on certain sins? Not at all!

We have watered down the Word of God and have lost our saltiness and power to transform society for good. Some larger churches have a reputation for being alive, but their discipleship and doctrine is rather ineffective. I attended a megachurch for several years and kept running into unregenerate and unconverted people, many of whom thought they were saved. 

God woke me up at 3 AM recently and this message is the result. My heart was heavy; we were wrapping up our Bible study on the book of Colossians – a church Paul commended for their faith and love, by the way – and we were examining the geography of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and many cities that had Christian churches in the first several centuries.

*The following is a partial transcript to the sermon from video:

In Revelation chapter two and three, Jesus harshly rebuked five out the seven churches within the same area. I couldn’t help but wonder what He would think of churches in America today. It’s a sobering thought.

Would Jesus rebuke us, Christians in the United States of Entertainment, the way He did several churches in Asia Minor? 

Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Revelation 3:2-3

This quote has been attributed to several people, one of whom is Dwight L. Moody:

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.”

We will all stand before the Lord one day and be judged for how we spent our time. Your husband or wife won’t be there, neither will your children, coworkers, or friends on social media. It will be you alone before Jesus. And that should sober up every one of us in this room.

Here are some important QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

  1. Is your life bearing fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ? JN 15:8
  2. Are we passionate about eternal and spiritual things? COL 3:2
  3. Who or what is our first love? What’s our main focus? 6:33
  4. Have you conformed to our culture – or to Christ? ROM 12:2
  5. Do we love this world more than we love God, His Word? 1 JN 2:15-17
  6. Are you prepared for persecution when it comes? 5:11-12

Are we, individual believers in Jesus who make up the church in America, succeeding at what’s most important? Are we loving the Lord God, loving our neighbors, preaching the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ alone, making disciples, raising godly children, impacting culture, and encouraging the faith of other believers?

Or are we just giving God lip service?

American churches, especially many of the larger, higher profile mega-churches, often have a good reputation simply due to their popularity, numbers or size (quantity). But this is often a very inaccurate picture of the overall health, discipleship, and maturity (quality) of a church. Is the body of Christ being built up in faith and equipped for ministry? (Eph. 4:11-12)

According to Barna research and several other studies and surveys, it appears American Christianity is producing the most biblically illiterate church members in history, confused about what the Bible teaches, unable to fully understand let alone explain and defend the essentials of the faith. What ever happened to discipleship? We can learn from the earliest Christian churches that it doesn’t take long to stray from truth.

Revelation 3:1  “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

Wake-up! Repent! Notice what Jesus also says to the church in Sardis:

5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

*We all have ears – but – are we listening? What is Jesus saying to the churches in America who have grown comfortable and complacent? What is He saying to individual believers? Do YOU have ears to hear from God?

Is your life bearing fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ?

We just finished the book of Colossians in our weekly Bible study and looking at the geography at that time, we talked about the many early Christian churches in Asia Minor which is modern day Turkey.

…The Colossian church was just 12 miles from the church of Laodicea and about 95 miles from Ephesus, a booming city at the time. Laodicea was also prospering and growing, located next to a new trade route, they had it made.

But that’s what lots of people would say about America, which is why we’re making this comparison today. We are prosperous, proud, and self-sufficient. Look at our big and many churches!

May we take to heart the warnings to the early churches:

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked; …19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

READ FULL POST, SERMON TEXT & SHARE!

You can’t get much more radical or anti-Christian and yes, she actually said that. Palestinian-American activist and controversial co-chair of the national Women’s March protest against President Donald Trump, Linda Sarsour recently suggested people stop humanizing the Jews. She made the remarks at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in Houston while speaking on Islamophobia and other political issues.

I’m not sure what’s more concerning, the fact she made these hateful, anti-Semitic remarks or that the media and most Americans don’t think it matters.

If you’re a Christian, conservative, Independent or Republican, consider this a wake-up call to reevaluate your support for the politics and worldview of radicals like Linda Sarsour. Democrats should be renouncing her but sadly, their silence should be taken as their approval. Sarsour has aligned herself with people such as Louis Farrakhan and the far Left so you may want to rethink your loyalty.

According to reports, Linda Sarsour refused to allow women who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage to take part in the Women’s March in Washington D.C. earlier this year, and Sarsour has argued that there was no room in the feminist movement for supporters of Israel. She has also been an outspoken advocate in the Black Lives Matter movement, and promotes numerous anti-Israel policies.

It is deeply alarming the media practically whitewashes her background and political activism. I understand because some are on her side.

Linda Sarsour was arrested last week for disrupting Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. So it’s not at all surprising Sarsour was endorsed by new Democrat Party hero, Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who also calls Israel the occupiers of Palestine.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:

Our future is a shared responsibility. This woman putting it all on the line for healthcare, women & LGBT+ rights is @lsarsour. The far right constantly maligns her w/ false attacks + threats of violence. Yet here she is, as always, fighting for everything our flag represents.

Now hold on a minute! So the American Flag represents socialism, abortion, taxpayer-funded transgender surgeries, Gay Pride parades, silencing Christians, social justice, advancing Islam in America, and dehumanizing the Jews? Let me check our Founding documents and get back to you.

You might have some credibility if you argue America is no longer a Christian nation in practice, but any sincere citizen who is of average intelligence or education would agree that the United States was established upon the freedoms, morality, and principles found within the Judeo-Christian worldview.

And as for Israel, the Lord God promised to make Israel into a great, influential nation whether we like it or not. The Bible is pretty clear: God said:

And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
(Genesis 12:3)

Genesis 12:7 states,

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.

And in Genesis 17, verse 7:

I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8 I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

There are other Scriptures detailing the boundary lines. To this day, the dispute with God’s chosen people is not only over the land, but Muslim nations think Israel does not have a right to exist.

The Jewish Torah promises the children of Israel a modest and reasonable allotment of land. This portion of land is, get this, about 1/19th the size of California and yet, Israel is currently surrounded by 22 hostile Arab nations 640 times the size of Israel, and 60 times her population!

Isn’t it unreasonable to believe the media and people like Linda Sarsour who claim Israel is responsible for all the problems in the Middle East? Since 1948, the Jews have sought peaceful coexistence with neighboring countries – dictatorships dedicated to its destruction.

But sure enough, when Israel is often attacked, the media reports on when they retaliate, practically omitting or ignoring the barrage of rockets coming across the border. Just ask the IDF (Israel Defense Force).

Throughout the centuries, nations have raged and have come against this nation the size of New Jersey, but understand that God promised to bless those who bless Israel. And He will eventually judge and destroy nations that come against Israel.

So when people in America such as Sarsour and Ocasio-Cortez encourage Muslim Americans and others to dehumanize the Jews, it should send a chill down our collective spines.

There are some bizarre, outrageous, and flat-out unbiblical things going on in lots of churches. One so-called church sells beer, another worships Mother Earth, others use secular music during worship, others ordain gay leaders, and still others offer yoga. People are free to do whatever they want to try and make God fit their ideas and to offer services that cater to the desires of their congregations, but is this what church is supposed to be? 

What happened to the emphasis on teaching God’s word of truth including sin and repentance, justification, God’s wrath, prophecy, future judgment, and sanctification?

Last week I reported on one of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve tackled in quite some time. The Roman Catholic Church is reeling from the massive scandal involving homosexuality among priests and the rampant cover-up of sexual abuse that has continued for many decades.

But many Evangelical and Protestant churches have leadership problems of their own. This includes the progressive, seeker-sensitive Willow Creek Church in Chicago whose lead pastors and elders resigned in light of the Bill Hybels allegations of sexual harassment.

Countless churches seem to have lost focus and have gotten off track. We have lost our reverence for a holy God, and practically abandoned the once-solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture which is the primary purpose of the church.

Many conferences and church services today barely resemble the early church and what the Bible teaches, let alone point to Jesus Christ. Some people create gods and church services to suit their own interests while others rewrite Scriptures to justify their lifestyles.

Last month in St. Louis, a controversial conference took place calledRevoice,” apparently aiming to normalize homosexuality and affirm those claiming to be “LGBTQ Christians.” Can you say, oxymoron?

Christian talk show host, Janet Mefferd called for the unbiblical movement to be repudiated, saying:

“Revoice is incremental gay activism, designed to eventually lure conservative evangelicals into accepting ‘gay Christianity,’” 

Next, there’s a progressive church in Santa Cruz, California that not only sells beer, but plans to donate proceeds to big abortion business, Planned Parenthood. Maybe the consumption of alcohol helps the pastor’s sermons sound better. This is a guy who preaches that Jesus was a Palestinian “killed by white supremacy.”

And who can forget our expose back in May on the San Francisco church that hosted what they called aBeyoncé Mass?” It was quite an interesting take on worshiping, “Our Mother who is in heaven,” and endorsing Beyonce as a role model for young girls.

Then there’s a church in Atlanta that put a new twist in their Sunday morning worship show by adding scantily-clad aerialists as a regular part of their services. ‘Why in the world?’ you may ask. Self-appointed “Apostle” Bryan Meadows actually said:

“Because they shouldn’t have to go to the circus to use the gifts that God gave them!”

Just one more or we’d be here all day. Serita Jakes, wife of controversial, megachurch minister, T.D. Jakes, gleefully posted photos on social media of women doing yoga at the church during a women’s event on wellness.

Never mind the practice of yoga is a rooted in Hinduism, a 5,000-year old polytheistic religious system. Its purpose is to bypass the mind and yoke or “unite” a person’s spirit with the Hindu god, Brahman.

Heather Clark at Christian News Network reminds us:

 “… Even the traditional Hindu greeting, Namasté, that is said at the end of yoga classes, is spiritual. When translated, it means, ‘The god in me bows down to (or salutes) the god in you.’”

The Spirit of Christ bows down to no one; He alone is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the only true, living God who is worthy of our true worship.

Romans 8:9 states:

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

And Exodus 20:3 states:

You shall have no other gods before Me.

Prior to building one of America’s first mega-churches, author, pastor, and motivational speaker, Robert Scheuller literally went door to door in the 1970s in Orange County, California, and asked people what they wanted in a church. Not what lost, hurting sinners need, but what they ‘want.’ This of course, has led to the “mega-church” and emergent church movement.

Men focused on church growth took a cue from Schueller and the rest is history. This has been a recipe for disaster in the American church, and it has led to well-deserved comparisons with the lukewarm church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter 3, and a better understanding of why Paul wrote a second letter to Timothy. In the last days, men would be:

“treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Timothy 4:4-5)

Rather than be active participants in learning and sharing God’s Word, too many church members have been conditioned to sit back and listen to a program or presentation, and perhaps to a bunch of funny stories or analogies instead of being challenged by sound doctrine and the harder teachings of the Bible. Then there’s the music. Lots of talented praise teams are themselves being praised for performing entertaining, although often heartfelt music rather than leading the people to the Throne in the worship of a holy God.

A.W. Tozer once said:

“The church that can’t worship must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment. That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today–the heresy of religious entertainment.”

We need to get back to the basics.

True disciples of Jesus Christ in the early church focused on four primary things: teaching the word of God with a focus on Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, prayer, communion, and fellowship with other Christians (Acts 2:42). They made disciples and they went out and shared the good news. They didn’t care about the approval of people – they sought to obey God. Their faith in Christ cost most of them their lives.

Today, too many churches use entertaining concepts and gimmicks to attract people, but then a new problem arises: in order to keep them in the comfy seats (and giving their tithes), you need to avoid controversial issues and often dilute the gospel so they won’t be offended.

What happens when you give people what they want instead of what they need which is Christ and His truth? Rather than being fed and equipped, countless hungry souls are walking out of many American churches feeling empty and unprepared to do God’s work. This must change.

Don’t think this is just another isolated incident where Islam is being favored in public schools. The point here is simple: either teach on all religions equally or don’t teach on any of them.

Since God, the Bible, the name of Jesus, and the Ten Commandments have been expelled from government-run schools in America, mounting evidence proves – decade after decade – every other belief system including atheism, humanism, secular progressivism, and Islam have been allowed.

A new report out of West Virginia says Mountain Ridge middle school students in Gerrardstown were asked to practice writing the Islamic declaration of faith known as the “shahada” in Arabic calligraphy. Translated into English, the statement claims, “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

As part of the world religions unit of the class, the lesson plan leads students to profess the socio-political religion of Islam as true and to lead them to think Allah is God, the Creator.

Apparently, the 30-page section “Islam in the World Today” contains anti-Christian sentiment and required seventh graders to read segments of the Qur’an, learn Muslim prayer poses, and understand the Five Pillars of Islam.

The Muslim faith is both controversial and in direct contradiction to Christianity, so parents were outraged, especially after hearing students would be given a detention slip if they didn’t do the assignment, according to reports. The teacher now claims the assignment was optional.

Both Christianity and Islam promote a standard of morality and doing good deeds, but the god of Islam is not the same as the living God of the Holy Bible. The Muslim holy book, the Qur’an, considers Jesus a prophet, but not Lord or the Savior. There is also no Trinity in Islam so the Holy Spirit is irrelevant to them.

Allah had no son, but the Bible teaches Jesus is God’s Son. He was “with God in the beginning (John 1:1),” the Word who became flesh (John 1:14). Muslims deny that Jesus died on the cross to sacrifice Himself for our sins – a foundation of the Christian faith – as is His resurrection from the dead after three days in a tomb.

Packets were previously handed out to students on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Judaism, but one parent pointed out that the Islam packet contained passages from the Qur’an. Not surprisingly, no Bible verses were included in the packet on Christianity.

More parents across the country have also objected to a Department of Education program called “Access Islam.” According to the Clarion Project, the federally-funded program is directed at children from grades 5-12 and is also featured on various websites, including PBS Learning Media. The Smithsonian also promotes the course as does the United Nations.

A video from the course prominently features a Christian convert to Islam, who declares emotionally how he found the true religion without any “intermediaries.” Concerned parents have noted the U.S. Department of Education provides no comparable study or promotion of any other religion.

One high school homework assignment obtained by a news outlet revealed the question: “How did Muslim conquerors treat those they conquered?” The correct answer was, “With tolerance, kindness and respect.” So, invading armies annihilated their enemies with tolerance, kindness, and respect? Wow.

The prophet Muhammad was a violent warrior who led the slaughter of many people. Islam means “submission” and many were executed because they did not submit to Allah. For those open to truth, just do a little research.

In a breaking story out of New York City, parents are outraged after a public school held a moment of silence last Tuesday for the people killed in Gaza. A Beacon High School public address announcement urged students to pause and honor those who died in the clash at the Israeli border during protest of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The terrorist organization, Hamas publicly confirmed 50 of the 62 people who dies were members of their militant Islamic group.

What about statements about peace in the Qur’an? “Abrogation” is a recurring theme whenever conflicting verses of the Quran are discussed. It means to cancel, repeal, or officially revoke something. In this context, the later or more recent verses calling for jihad and Holy War override earlier verses counseling tolerance or peace.

A few years ago in Olmstead Falls, Ohio, parents tried for years to raise awareness and get the school board to change some lessons and history textbooks that stated Muslims historically “practiced religious tolerance” by requiring Christians and Jews to pay extra taxes. There was no mention that the alternative was often death. They conveniently left those facts out.

Jenny McKeigue was notified by her oldest son that during class his teacher played a reality TV episode of “30 Days: Muslims and America” about converting to Islam.

Author and executive editor of The Federalist, Joy Pullman reported in 2016:

In “30 Days: Muslims and America,” an imam tells a Christian man attempting to live as a Muslim for 30 days that Muslims and Christians worship the same god. The Christian struggles with that idea but ultimately accepts it.

And in Maryland, La Plata High School was also accused of favoring Islam by forcing children to profess the Muslim statement of faith and requiring them to memorize the Five Pillars of Islam, according to a 2015 federal lawsuit filed by the Thomas Moore Law Center. In this case, John and Melissa Wood accused the school of Islamic indoctrination and propaganda, and when Mr. Wood complained, the school banned him from campus! 

There have also been similar stories in California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, and others – all receiving extremely little attention in the politically-correct, progressive media.

Discriminating against those holding to the Christian worldview while promoting other religious views is unconstitutional. So where is the Freedom from Religion foundation when it comes to Islam being taught in government schools?

There should be no confusion over the stark contrasts between the worldviews of Christianity and Islam. It is misguided to focus on a few common teachings without acknowledging major doctrines that are diametrically opposed to one another.

Open Doors reports on persecution worldwide  and the following are monthly averages: 255 Christians are killed, 104 Christians are abducted, and 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage. 

I am not suggesting the Christian faith should be the only one allowed in public schools – although that is what took place for over a hundred years in America when our country was very different morally and spiritually. I am asking for fairness and justice.

If schools discuss one religion, then others should be allowed as well.

But the left won’t go for that because they believe in the total separation of Christianity and state. Keep Jesus out, and anything else goes. Maybe they know if the Bible is allowed back in schools, more children will end up believing it. Why? Because it’s true.

*Originally published at Freedom Project Media