Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

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.

Advertisements

Just for a few minutes, let’s set aside debates and arguments about things like politics, gender, abortion, evolution, same-sex marriage, and religious freedom – to name a few. What really matters? Everything in life hinges on whether or not Jesus is God. Think about it. We know He existed historically – but what’s the final verdict? Is He a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God?

Questions are good! But don’t deny the answers if they can be backed up with facts and evidence. Did Jesus tell the truth? Is there one living God or can we make up as many gods as we want.

Maybe you’re someone who thinks Jesus was just a good teacher. Is the Bible wrong about Him? What if the men He spent three years of His life with were all telling the truth? What about all the miracles they witnessed and the claims Jesus made? They believed Him enough to die for their faith.

Why didn’t the Jews and Romans who killed Jesus refute the testimonies of hundreds of eye-witnesses that saw the risen Christ? The burial tomb is still empty. Why couldn’t the authorities find the supposed dead body of Jesus and stop the spread of Christianity?

The events surrounding the life of Jesus, especially His virgin birth, crucifixion, death, and resurrection either happened or they didn’t. We’re talking about actual history and the fact that if these events documented in detail throughout Scripture really took place, it changes everything – and should affect how we live today.

C.S. Lewis stated:

“You must make your choice: either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us…”

So – is Jesus a Liar? Was Jesus wrong about anything He taught? Many call Jesus a good person, Rabbi, or a prophet, but if He didn’t tell the truth, can He really be good?

While the Old Testament prophets usually said, “This is what the Lord says,” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth.” In addition, prophets spoke for God, but Jesus consistently spoke as God. The Jews knew exactly what He meant because on several occasions, they tried to kill Him for claiming equality with God.

Was He a Lunatic? Have you read what Jesus actually taught? He was pretty bold and controversial! For one thing, He declared to the Pharisees that He existed before Abraham (John 8:58)! Jesus made twenty-three “I Am” claims and used seven major metaphors such as, “I am the light of the world… the bread of life… the good shepherd… the resurrection and the life.”

Is Jesus Lord then? No one in all history has successfully proven Him wrong. If Jesus spoke the truth, then there are tremendous consequences for not believing in Him! For one thing, He promised to return one Day to judge the living and the dead. He also talked about heaven and hell as actual places, and the need for people to confess our sins and be saved.

Truths about Jesus Christ revealing He is GOD

  • Jesus was with God in the beginning, (John 1:1)
  • Jesus is equal with God, (Phil. 2:5-11)
  • He was born of a virgin; became a man, (Matt. 1:18, Jn. 1:14)
  • He forgives sins, (Mark 2:10)
  • He performed miracles, (John 10:32)
  • He is one with the Father, (John 10:30)
  • Jesus came from the Father, (John 16:28)
  • He is the Christ, (Mark 14:61-62)
  • He is the Messiah, (John 4:25-26)
  • Jesus came to give spiritual life, (John 10:10)
  • He gives the right to become God’s children, (John 1:12)
  • Jesus bestows eternal life, (John 10:28)
  • Jesus became man, (Philippians 2:5-11)
  • Jesus is fully God, (Philippians 2:5-11)
  • His death was a ransom for our sins (Matthew 20:28)
  • Jesus died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8)
  • Jesus rose from the dead, (Luke 24:46, Acts 2:24)
  • He ascended to Heaven and is at God’s right hand, (Mark 16:19)

Colossians 1:13-17 states:

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

And in Col. 2:9-10,

…In Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

Those of us who believe need to turn from the world’s ways back to God, stop playing church, and submit to the authority of Christ. If Jesus was in fact the predicted Messiah, then the Bible is true and all other gods must be false.

Every other way of salvation won’t work out in the end. Jesus overcame death and the grave, and His resurrection proves Jesus is the only way to the Father. If you’ve been following a different god or another path, don’t put off this decision. Please trust in Him while there’s still time!

Just a week ago I was in the hospital after having a procedure on my heart and guess what? Here I am, thank God! But not everybody makes it through surgery. In fact, not everybody makes it home from work.

It brings up the question of the ages: What happens to us after we die? Well, that depends.

What if I died on the operating table? First of all, this video wouldn’t exist. My body would’ve been prepared for a funeral, and my spirit would be on its way to be with my Master and Savior in Heaven; the One who created us all.

You may be thinking, ‘how can I be so sure?’ Faith. The Bible offers assurance of eternal life with Christ in Heaven for those who believe.

I realize most people would rather not think about it, but ten out of ten people die. Life comes to an end for people from every country, of all different ages, for various reasons. No one is exempt.

It’s just a matter of time.

Almost everyone has heard the Bible verse, John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus died on the cross to bridge the gap between us and a holy God. Every one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and when Jesus returns, He will judge those still living as well as those who have died.

For better context, let’s keep reading. Here’s John 3:17 and 18:

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”

Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ can save us from our sins.

Prior to my surgery last week, I had to sign a consent form. Even before that, I was told of all the possible risks and complications including a torn heart muscle, punctured lung, torn artery, partial paralysis, stroke during the operation or even death.

The list of possible risks was long, but the absolute greatest risk we can take in this life is denying God by refusing to believe in His Son, Jesus, and not accepting the free offer of the forgiveness of our sins.

Acts 4:12 states: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

And Philippians 2:9-11 says:

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, 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.”

One day, even those who refused to believe will bow before the King of Kings upon His return.

I was at peace going in to surgery because I trusted Jesus with my life years ago, and knew regardless of the result, it would be a win win. This life is a vapor and for the Christian, we live for Him and to die is gain!

Forgiveness for our sins is mankind’s greatest need. In America, we’ve heard so much about a loving God and rarely hear about His coming judgment. It’s true God is loving, but He is not tolerant of sin in any form.

We’ve also heard the man-made idea God just wants us to be happy, problem-free, and give us favor so that every day’s a Friday and we can live our best life now.

Do you really believe the Bible teaches about personal gain and happiness rather than about denying ourselves and holiness? In addition, if every day were a Friday, let’s just party like it’s 2099. Finally, if we could live our best lives now, here on earth, then why would we need God and what’s Heaven for anyway?

Now, plenty of people think all it takes to go to Heaven is to be a good person, but the question is, ‘good’ by whose standards? Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)

Sure, we can do good things, but can we truly be good without God?

The Bible teaches there is nothing we can possibly do to earn salvation. If we could do it on our own, then Jesus didn’t have to be die for our sins and be raised from the dead. In Ephesians chapter 2 it says,

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Open your hands and receive the free gift of life. Salvation is not a result of good deeds – but of faith. It’s true God prepared good things for us to do, but – what we do doesn’t save us; it’s who we believe in and why.

So repent of your sins, confess them to God. Trust in Jesus Christ, and tell others this good news, the gospel, the power of God to save us (Romans 1:16). He will be faithful to complete the work He began in us and then, take us to glory when our time here is done.

*Originally published at Freedom Project Media

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Is it too late for Christians to be more discerning? Satan has deployed enemies of truth into our culture and sadly, we have allowed them to influence us. The agenda had been gradual and subtle decades ago, but today the deception is out in the open for all to see – or ignore.

“If you really want to know the truth, it is revealed through Scripture because God is truth. He is the final authority. As you see people’s bad behavior and sin, including open adultery and sexual perversion, being promoted in our culture, remember they need Christ. Even the loud, proud activists. They are not necessarily bad people; they’re just wrong, and the Lord gives each of us the freedom to accept the truth or pay the consequences.

If we are lovers of God and followers of Jesus Christ, we should not approve of and love things of this world more than Him (Romans 12:2, Gal. 1:10). We certainly should not be celebrating what is evil or sinful, and, as we take a stand for what is right, attacks will come.

We must understand the Enemy’s tactics and how Satan, the Father of Lies, suppresses the truth, twisting words and meanings using everyday people to advance his agenda. I’d probably do the same thing if I were him.

Millions of Americans have apparently disregarded the faith they once held dear or have fallen away from the Judeo-Christian values which previously permeated this nation. Many in the church have been duped by the cult of liberalism and political correctness that basically says anything is permissible except biblical Christianity. We have stopped standing against evil and speaking up in defense of the gospel for fear of offending someone, and when Christians are silent, light is squelched and darkness wins.

According to the Bible, Satan’s power over us is already broken, death has been defeated, and the war has been won, thanks to the victory we have in Jesus through His sacrifice, death, and resurrection. The battle and warfare, however, continue – and they will intensify – until the Lord returns.

The cunning schemes of the devil are carried out all around us in this world system over which he has free reign. How does the Enemy work and advance his agenda of lawlessness, chaos, destruction, and unrighteousness? He uses people.

From a rainbow-colored White House to Hollywood hype over the latest perversion, from media selling sexual confusion to corporations proudly promoting political correctness, it is difficult to deny the moral and spiritual decline in America. If there’s any hope of slowing the decaying culture, hypocrisy must be called out, lies must be refuted, and truth must be told.

It is virtually impossible to correct and improve the direction of a country if people, especially Christians, are not convinced there are major problems and that we are way off course. Apathy is another issue killing America, but since we cannot make people care, we need to reach those who may be in the busy, unconvinced, or uninformed categories.

But as we try raising awareness in an intolerant culture that is redefining truth, opposition is guaranteed. The Left is shrewd at using words as weapons to silence those who do not agree with them. Enemies of Christ will not relax or ease up on their agenda, and one of the greatest battles in the country today is being waged by the LGBTQ movement. Author and teacher Peter Heck stated,

“They know the success of their cause depends upon the total abolishment of the Judeo-Christian ethic and the Moral Authority it teaches. That is why any belief that the homosexual lobby is merely a passive group of individuals wanting to peacefully coexist with others who have different beliefs and values is naively absurd.”

The Enemy advances when Christians relax. Though Christianity is growing, particularly in underground churches in persecuted nations around the world, who do you think is having more influence on America today?

The marketers of evil claim they are fighting because of discrimination, oppression, injustice, and inequality. They say they fight for love, acceptance, diversity, equal rights, and freedom. We’re onto their schemes and the tedious talking points trumpeted by the liberal media, the Left, Hollywood, and many within the government education system.

But it is not just those whose new religion is sex, and it’s not just those who claim they just want to “live and let live.” It’s also those who devalue human life and promote moral relativism. Planned Parenthood and advocates of murder cry out, “freedom,” “choice,” “it’s my body, not yours, not the government’s and not God’s.”

The Left is using atheists, communists, socialists, and LGBTQ proponents to blot out God, normalize homosexuality, lie about life in the womb, undermine natural marriage, tear apart the traditional family, create as much chaos as possible, and, well, promote lies instead of truth.

Since we’re talking about methods and people Satan uses to do his work, we should also take a sober look at how our perceptions have changed regarding morality and what has become acceptable or permissible to professing Christians. We must recognize the sin in our own camp and call out hypocrisy in the church when necessary.

We must pursue Christ, invest time in the Word, have accountability and fellowship with true believers, be disciplined, and work harder to build others up while we strengthen our faith and especially our marriages. Jesus told His disciples, If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15). Looking at just two of the Ten Commandments, we must acknowledge the epidemic of idolatry and adultery within Christian circles.

We don’t talk often enough about adultery, which is now pretty much accepted by a majority of Americans, including many who claim to be Christians.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

Years before the Supreme Court gave its tyrannical opinion ruling against God-ordained natural marriage in 2015, the agenda was well underway to remove America’s moral anchors. What was most disappointing, however, was to observe the influence secularism was and is having on the American church. Today we can see the undeniable fruit of lacking a solid foundation, with increasing numbers of gay ministers and pastors in several churches and denominations.

The rise of apostasy is a sign of the times as more churches and leadership preach accommodation rather than conviction of sin leading to repentance and salvation. If we are not much different from the world, there’s a problem.

The Enemy is advancing through our country, our culture, and even many of our churches because we have surrendered much ground and have not defended the truth. Though there is always hope for a revival – and I have no idea what it might take for this to happen – the light is dimming in and on America, and the clock is ticking.

Many have already been deceived as the Enemy has had success defining the terms of battle, and in many cases, redefining words. The Left has been promoting sin as normal, natural, and healthy, and when Christians speak up, it leads to charges of intolerance. If we do nothing, even more people will call evil good.”

If most Christians continue to avoid these battles, if we are not established in His truth, and if we refuse to defend the faith, society will rapidly deteriorate. If we do not pray to the only living God to give us wisdom, strength, and guidance, we won’t be able to effectively share the gospel, influence culture for Christ and bear good fruit for Him.

*Book excerpt from Redefining Truth: Delusions of Replacing God and Calling Evil Good by author, David Fiorazo

Open pages of bible isolated on white backgroundNow after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  Mark 1:14-15

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

In 1965 the epic religious movie The Greatest Story Ever Told was released, retelling the story of Jesus Christ from His humble birth and His teachings through the crucifixion and resurrection. The media and critics at the time gave it excellent reviews and some even raved about the brilliant and inspiring, Bible-based production. Times have changed; but the gospel has not.

The gospel, aka the “good news,” is the greatest gift God has given the church, because its message is about Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the greatest treasure God has given the world. Like the apostle Paul, we are to deliver to others what we also received, because people’s salvation depends on it. No one would keep the best news in the universe to themselves – would they?

As committed Christians, our priority in this life must be to consistently believe, live, and deliver to others the message about Jesus Christ and the truth about His life, teachings, death, resurrection, and ascension. For those who have believed and have confessed Jesus as Lord, our ticket is punched and our place in God’s presence is reserved for eternity! Our faith is in Him and our hope is in heaven.

Every person alive today and who has ever lived will stand on one side of eternity or the other. The universe revolves around the most pivotal event in the history of the world: The resurrection of Jesus Christ; the eternal Son, one with the Father and the Spirit, and the exact representation of God’s nature.

… The gospel is not some formula or a simple “sinner’s prayer.” It encompasses the entire Bible as its framework with plenty of background setting the stage. Its truth can transform our lives and its power can save the worst of sinners.

With the increasing attacks on free speech and religious expression in America today, do you see how important it is for us to be able to preach the gospel? This basic freedom is affected by politics, laws, and government. Enemies of Christianity will not relent in their agenda to squelch the mention of sins they endorse, but when push comes to shove, we must obey God rather than man. Speak the truth and leave the results to Him.

Since we have received and accepted the gospel, we must reject the world because the two are in opposition to each other. This can present a problem for many of us. If we love Jesus, we will obey Him (John 14:15), but if we love the world, we will end up following anything else except Him. Because this temporary earth is passing away and we are faced with an eternity that will not wait, the choice should be clear…

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).

Where does Jesus get such authority? It bears repeating Jesus Christ overcame death and the grave and is seated at the right hand of the Father. His tomb is famous for what it does not contain. Even the Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus acknowledged His tomb was empty when they made up lies to try and conceal the resurrection.

Isn’t it interesting in their attempted cover-up, the religious leaders testified to the empty tomb? The story gets even more bizarre, because their lie included instructing the soldiers to say they were asleep instead of guarding the tomb of Jesus. This was not some small conspiracy, because in those days a Roman soldier caught sleeping on duty would have been executed.

Moreover, all other gods or religious leaders who have lived on the earth have burial sites or memorials where their bones remain. We can easily understand how some of their followers hate Jesus, because He is the only true, living God; other gods people worship are false, dead gods.

… The disciples did not have all the resources and technology we have today, and yet the early church grew in numbers day by day even in the midst of threats and persecution.

But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

Please understand regardless of whether or not you have placed your trust in Jesus and bowed before Him acknowledging His majesty, a day is coming in which every human being will bow down before Him and confess this truth – Jesus is Lord.

… Charles H. Spurgeon once stated:

My hope is not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died. My trust is not that I am holy, but that, being unholy, Christ died for me. My rest is, here, not in what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is and must be, – in what Christ did, and is still doing as He stands before yonder throne of glory.

Are we willing to preach this gospel in an increasingly rebellious culture and risk being called intolerant, narrow-minded, or worse? Are we willing to be criticized and misunderstood for delivering the truth Jesus commanded us to speak? Do we love others enough to live what we believe, expose the darkness of sin, and when necessary, confront wayward Christians?

… God’s foreordained solution (Acts 2:23) was to send His only Son, Jesus, to give His life as a ransom for us. By believing, confessing Jesus is Lord, and repenting of our sins, we are saved and have everlasting life with God. May we not muddy up the message that we are saved by grace through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8).

If the Bible is true, then this is why you and I live: To make sure the greatest story ever is told!

 

*This a book excerpt from The Cost of Our Silence. To read the entire chapter, click here:

Chrislam

In light of recent world events including the rise of ISIS, and the ongoing slaughter of Christians, many people are still confused about the differences between the teachings of Islam compared to Christianity. The first obvious contrast is Jesus taught love and forgiveness; the prophet Muhammad was a violent warrior who promoted conquest, and killed Jews and Christians.

Here in America, there are over 3.5 million Muslims, but the problem is with a minority of the overall Muslim population that has blended into our society with the goal of implementing acts of takeover or terror. Estimates suggest there are about 250,000 radicals who are patiently working and waiting for the call to jihad. Another problem is very few “moderate” Muslims publicly renounce acts of terror taking place around the world. One cannot help but wonder exactly where they stand.

It is no secret the Obama administration has openly supported Islam since the president’s 2009 speech in Cairo. Ever since the “Arab Spring” in early 2011, Sharia Law was implemented in Islamic countries and the persecution of Christians has reached record levels. Few media outlets reported one year after President Obama released Abu Bakr al Baghdadi from an Iraqi jail, Baghdadi formed ISIS and they have been on a bloody rampage of terror, death, and evil ever since. Where should Americans stand?

The following is a book excerpt from ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA. (See chapter 13, “Counterfeit Christianity”)

Both Christianity and Islam promote a standard of morality and doing good works, but the god of Islam is not the same as the living God of the Holy Bible. The Muslim holy book is called the Quran, which is an Arabic word that literally means “the recitation.” The Quran considers Jesus a prophet, but not the Son of God or Savior. Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross, but that he was assumed to heaven by Allah.

“Jesus is like Adam in the sight of Allah. Allah created him of dust and then said to him: ‘Be,’ and he was” (Quran 3:55, 58). In other words, [to Muslims] Jesus was a created being like us with no divine attributes. The Bible however, teaches:

In the beginning … The Word was with God … He [Jesus] was with God in the beginning; all things were created by Him and for Him (John 1:1; Colossians 1:16).

In the Muslim teachings of the end times, Jesus appears before Allah and is asked if He ever claimed to be Allah’s son; Jesus says no. Jesus then gets angry and helps the Muslim Messiah kill every remaining Jew and Christian. The Trinity is also not supported by Allah.

The Bible was written by at least forty different authors over a period of at least 1,500 years, and its unity and continuity are still apparent and cohesive. The Prophet Muhammad is said to have received divine revelation (recitations) from Allah over a period of twenty-three years. Since Muhammad could not read or write, he “recited” the contents of his revelation to fellow companions. They in turn memorized and recited it to the next generation. The companions eventually wrote down what was recited to them on animal skins and bones, large stones, and on big palm leaves.

There are contradictions in the Quran; at times Allah commands Muslims to love Jews and Christians and at other times calls for their death, if they do not convert to Islam. Because there are verses that teach peace, you may hear Islam referred to as a religion of peace. However, other instructions in the Quran order Muslims to kill all unbelievers, especially the more recent verses relating to Jews and Christians. What does a follower of Islam do when two instructions seem to contradict each other? This word is a pivotal key to unlocking the answer: abrogation.

Abrogation is a recurring theme whenever apparent conflicting verses of the Quran are discussed. It means to cancel, repeal, or officially revoke something. In this situation, the later or more recent verses calling for Holy War override earlier verses counseling tolerance or peace.

Committed followers of Islam will settle for nothing short of universal conversion and eventual death to all infidels.
“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every finger¬tip” (Quran 8:12). And, “Strike off the heads of the unbelievers, and after making a wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives” (Quran 47:4).

One may argue our God commands violence just like Allah does. We must distinguish between commands given to nations and instructions to individuals. In addition, killing while under command and submission to an army is very different than murdering someone as a private citizen. Though there were wars and plenty of violence in the Old Testament, God warned enemies of Israel about his holiness, his covenant, and he used people as his instrument of judgment in the world at the time. Jehovah God even put to death some of his own people who violated their covenant with him, but he never commands us to take our own revenge.

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:18).

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them (Luke 6:28, 32).

“And fight them until there is no fitnah [tumult, disorder, trial, test, unbelief] and until the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do” (Quran 8:39).

Islam is completely incompatible with a society such as America that values religious freedom. Islam will accept no other religions, no competing economic or political views and no legal system except Sharia Law which would outlaw Christianity. Islam teaches that good Muslims should lie to their enemies to win their confidence. Allah himself lies, and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad accuse Jesus of lying.

This may explain how Muslims have broken every peace treaty they have ever signed with Israel and other nations.

God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19).

Since many liberals, media, and progressives are hostile toward Christianity, they have blind support for Islam. They are either deceived, or they are part of the agenda to blot out the Judeo-Christian God from America. Islamic Law calls for potential death sentences for adulterers and homosexuals. Where are the gay protests of Muslims? Christianity teaches us to forgive, to love all men, and preach the gospel. We are to confront sin, but not hate the sinner. Islam also allows the treatment of women as property while Christianity teaches respect.Where are the feminist protests of Muslim women being oppressed or stoned?

Because Islam denies the deity of Jesus Christ, according to 1 John 4:1-3, it is a religion of antichrist. So, if the founder of Islam, Muham¬mad, was actually a false prophet who did not hear from the one true living God, then those who follow him are deceived. Furthermore, in the Quran it states they [Jews and Christians] are deluded and “may Allah destroy them” in Surah 9:30. This proves that to compare Islam to Christianity is like comparing oil and water.

Jesus did not come to earth to bring world peace (Matt. 10:34), and yet there are religious leaders in America preaching common ground with Islam hoping to unify all religions. Nowhere in the Bible does God encourage joining with other religions. On the contrary, He warns against it. It’s not that we shouldn’t evangelize people of other faiths, but typically the faith that bends and compromises is Christianity, leaving a diluted gospel. This doesn’t stop some from attempting to mix Christianity and Islam.

CHRISLAM

“Chrislam” is the idea that Muslims and Christians worship the same God and that there are similarities to unite around. We’ve already established this is impossible and that Allah is not the same as Jehovah God, YHWH. Though both Christianity and Islam have Abrahamic roots, and both religions promote morality, the similarities pretty much stop there. Teachings that line up with Chrislam gain popularity because tolerance has trumped truth in our modern culture. This is a small movement, but don’t be surprised if it gains popularity.

We are to separate ourselves from unbelievers and those who worship other gods:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partner¬ship have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? …or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

Islam allows for lying and deception in order to advance their quest for world domination, so how can we work side by side with those who subscribe to what is called “Kitman,” the practice of deceiving infidels with half-truths? In countries not yet dominated by Islam, it only coexists with other religions because they have not been fully converted to Islam yet. We, however, believe salvation is by faith in Christ alone. Islam rejects this teaching.

I don’t care what evangelical leader backs this common ground movement. Conservative Christians must be loyal and obedient to the truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ and not be concerned with the approval of man. This does not mean we can’t love them and have a heart for the lost. It means we must be cautious about a religion that teaches Jesus was an apostle of Allah and not the only Son of God. John MacArthur explains:

“Islam today is the most powerful system on earth for the destruction of biblical truth and Christianity – thousands of Christians are dying under Islamic persecution, especially in the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, and other parts of Asia. Clearly, Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Both claim to be the only true way to God, but both cannot be right. There is no atonement in Islam, no forgiveness, no savior, and no assurance of eternal life.”

UNCOMMON GROUND

In October 2007, leaders of Islam came up with an open letter to leaders of the Christian faith in America called A Common Word Between Us and You calling for peace between Muslims and Christians and an understanding among both religions. They sought to emphasize two of the Ten Commandments; the love of god and the love of our neighbor. What’s wrong with that? Islamic leaders stated, “The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.”

Not only is the world’s future in God’s hands, but the Bible teaches a very different future than other religions believe. Jesus warned about false prophets, wars, and nation rising against nation in the end times. It should also be noted that Islam means absolute “submission.” The Islamic model of the relationship between Allah and his followers is that of a master and servant. Christianity teaches that we are children of God and are privileged to call him our Father.

What did our best and brightest leaders do? Scholars from Yale Divinity School decided to respond to the letter from Islamic leaders by publishing a full page advertisement in the New York Times titled, “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You.” They promised to “work diligently together to reshape relations between our communities and our nations.”

The response includes Christian repentance over the mistreatment of Muslims and, yet, does not include any mention of differences between Allah and Yahweh! This leaves us with one of two conclusions: either these liberal evangelicals and scholars are confused and deceived about the teachings of Islam or they are complicit in the goal of a one-world government and the minimizing of Christianity. Muslims are taught that if they are a minority in any country or region, they may smile at the infidel, but never love him in their heart. Could the letter from Islamic leaders be just another way to try to win the trust of America?

The document’s signatories include many well-known church leaders as Leigh Anderson (President of the National Association of Evangelicals), Bill Hybels (Founder and Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church), Tony Jones (Emergent Village), Brian McLaren (Author, Speaker and Activist), Robert Schuller (The Crystal Cathedral), Rick Warren (Saddleback Church), and Jim Wallis (Sojourners, Red Letter Christians).

Having open dialogue about peace and love is fine, but Muslims seem to be fighting with just about every nation they have not conquered or dominated. They are killing one another in the Middle East, and they attack and kill non-Muslims across the globe. Since Ishmael, Abraham’s first son, was born outside of God’s perfect will to Abraham’s servant Hagar, the Lord said the birthright and inheritance would go to Isaac, the son of Abraham’s wife, Sarah. Muslims believe Abraham’s first son Ishmael deserved the inheritance which explains the constant fighting and strife in Islamic nations fulfilling God’s prophecy over Ishmael:

He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him. And he will live in hostility toward all his brothers (Genesis 16:12).

In the previous chapter in Genesis, God spoke to Abraham regarding his sons Ishmael and Isaac:

Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir (Genesis 15:4).

To focus on a few common teachings without looking seriously at major doctrines that are diametrically opposed to one another is misguided.

Our real enemy is Satan, our struggle is a spiritual one, and we need to pray for enemies of God to be saved. If this were impossible, Jesus would not have instructed us to “pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44).” Lord, help us to be more discerning and never be ashamed of the true gospel of Jesus Christ – “the way, the truth, and the life.”

 

foolish infidels

Image

Graphic courtesy of Biblical Worldview Institute – a division of Cascade Christian schools

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. …And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth – (John 1:1-3, 14).

What we believe about truth affects everything we do in this life. How we view God, people, and how we understand the world – past, present, and future – depends on what we believe about absolute truth. If there are no absolutes, then anything goes! As Christians, what we believe about absolute truth depends on what we believe about Jesus Christ and the Bible. The Old Testament refers to God as the God of truth (Isaiah 65:16). The Word of God is perfect. From indisputable historical facts to archeological evidence, the Bible has yet to be proven inaccurate or wrong.

Enemies of truth can make up stuff about the Bible, write their books attempting to debunk Scripture, and create their own documentaries with lies and fabrications, but it won’t change the fact that God’s Word is eternal. Does truth depend on where we were raised, what church we attended, what a teacher taught us, or what the media says is true? Does truth change with the times, technology or circumstances? What is truth?

Jesus prayed to the Father in the presence of His disciples and said:

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth (John 17:17).

According to the Bible, truth is the self-expression of God. Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, and being of God. There is complete unity between the written Word of God and the perfect expression of God in Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us Jesus existed in the beginning. In the New Testament, Scripture is called the Word of Christ (Colossians 3:16). The person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Word of the living God then are in full agreement. This is the basis from which we must discern, perceive, and reason. There is no ambiguity whatsoever!

Try defining truth apart from God or without universal absolutes and see where that gets you. Apparently, there is plenty of confusion not only in the world, but also in the church regarding how truth is defined and understood. There are professing Christians who say they believe in “most” of the Bible. Really? We don’t have the option to pick and choose only those Scriptures that suit us or the verses we agree with. The entire Bible is true or our faith is a lie.

The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting (Psalm 119:160).

Furthermore, in the book of Revelation, Jesus is called Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11) when He returns to conquer and reign. Here’s where our worldview starts, and it takes faith: Either God is or God is not. This is something many grapple with. God created all things, but how did He come into existence?

Before the mountains were born, Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God (Psalm 90:2).

God existed in the beginning, before anything and everything. All we need to know is that when Moses asked, God said to him, I AM WHO I AM in Exodus 3:14. We get Lord from the original name of God, YHWH, which is derived from the verb HAYAH, meaning “to be.” Our faith also holds that Jesus is God.

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Truth has been under attack from the very beginning of time, and in America, opposition to Jesus Christ has intensified. People are avoiding, denying, and suppressing the truth more than ever. They can ignore it, they can mock it, and they can pretend it does not exist, but that changes nothing. The sad thing is there is some debate about what is true even among Christians!

In 1995, approximately fifty percent of Christians said there are moral truths which are unchanging, and that truth is absolute, not relative to the circumstances. Not surprisingly, ten years later in 2005, The Barna Group conducted a poll revealing only 35% of Americans believe in absolute standards of morality, that right and wrong do not change with time or circumstances.1 (33% didn’t even know how to respond!)

ESTABLISHING A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW

A person’s worldview is a significant step toward self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-understanding. Your worldview as a Christian needs to be based on a foundation of God’s Word. Our sovereign God is not surprised, but it must grieve His heart to see the condition of our country, the world, and the church today. Holiness and righteousness are practically meaningless to some religious folks. The Word of God is being watered down, truth is being diluted, and this has led to moral and cultural confusion.

Here’s a quick example: I’m pro-life and sure hope you are as well. I have learned that even in the church, believers have different views on abortion and when life begins. This proves either we don’t read our Bibles as much anymore, or we believe the talking heads. Especially in the church, building on a foundational worldview of biblical truth is paramount.

In a Crosswalk.com article, Michael Foust wrote:

“Barna defines a biblical worldview as believing that: moral absolutes exist; the source of truth is the Bible; the Bible is “accurate in all of the principles it teaches,” salvation is by grace alone; Jesus lived a sinless life; believers have a duty to witness; Satan is real and not just a symbol; God is the “all-knowing, all-powerful maker of the universe who still rules that creation today.”

This worldview is the foundation for every decision you make in life. I don’t care who you are, how old you are, where you live, or what kind of family you grew up in; if you have not considered exactly how your personal beliefs, philosophy, and worldview were formed, it is time to take a serious look at what you believe and why.

We must be undaunted in establishing God’s Word as the basis of our thinking, our faith, and our lives. If we don’t make this critically important decision, we’ll be in danger of seeing the world through our own feelings, personal experiences, opinions, Hollywood, media, and what others have told us, instead of through God’s eyes. Some of us have lived much of our lives believing what we have heard or read at one time, instead of believing what God says. May the Lord have mercy on our biblical illiteracy!

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teach­ing, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness – (2 Timothy 3:16).

Is it possible to live authentically and effectively as a Christian and not believe the entire Bible word for word? If you do not believe in parts of the Bible, then how can you trust God’s Word in its entirety? Is Jesus a liar? Did he only really mean most of the things He said? This is where people living on a spiritual fault line panic at the first sign of a life-shaking trial, revealing their foundation wasn’t very solid.

You may be reading this right now and God is nudging you to evalu­ate what you think about truth. Jesus promised his followers the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth (John 16:13). If you think the Bible is a history book or a moral guide, then you are missing out on knowing Jesus. Evangelical Christian theologian, author, and pastor, Francis Schaeffer stated:

“Truth always carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong.”

The battle over what is true divides people. This is the state of America today because if opponents of truth can convince people to believe that God doesn’t exist, then there are no moral restraints and anything goes. In his book, 78 – How Christians Can Save America, author and radio talk show host, Peter Heck, included a fascinating interaction with a caller to his program. Here’s a portion:

James: “…There are different ways of looking at the world, and there are different perspectives people have, and …saying that this is a concrete right, and this is a concrete wrong may be true given your perspective, but it’s not maybe true given mine….”

Peter: “…do you realize that Hitler was doing what he thought was right? He was merely speeding up the evolutionary process. He was attempting to bring about a master race and extermi­nate all the riff-raff. It’s the same thing Planned Parenthood was founded to do. Get rid of all the lesser folks. Now, maybe you don’t agree with his strategy, but he just had a different per­spective on how to improve the lives of humanity than Mother Theresa, but ultimately they both wanted the same thing, right?

“What if I said that it would have been better for Mother The­resa to kill all those impoverished people she lived with? Take them out of their misery! Why is this perspective wrong? …There has to be a truth that is fixed, that is right for all men, or we’re in a lot of trouble.”

The truth established from the beginning is God. He is eternal. Though humanists have made progress in their goal to blot out God, ultimately it will be impossible. Even if they could eradicate Christianity from America one day, we know He is everlasting; He is the beginning and the end, and He holds the universe in his hands.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T BELIEVE, START WITH THE TRUTH

In my personal conversations with people who do not believe the Bible is the Word of God, my intention is never to try to force them to believe or to convince them about Jesus; that’s the job of the Holy Spirit. My job is to speak honestly to whoever will listen and allow God to work through me. Some people simply don’t want to believe, and that is the beauty of free will. We serve a loving God who refuses to force His creation to worship Him.

The road to life is a narrow one, but whoever believes in Jesus can have everlasting life because God is no respecter of persons. Take the necessary time to thoroughly examine the Scriptures. Even though God knows some will refuse to believe no matter what, He desires all people to know the truth and be saved through Jesus Christ because there is only one God (1 Timothy 2:3-5), and Christ is the only Media­tor between God and man.

If someone gave you this book, and you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s not too late to be saved unless you are simply unwilling to ask. Please search your heart right now and see if you honestly want to know the one true God personally. He loves you and He is waiting for you with open arms. He is the only God who is alive! It’s not wrong to have doubts, but those doubts need to be dealt with – and He’s knock­ing right now.

If you are sincerely ready to accept God’s will for your life, here’s a prayer God always answers: “Father in heaven, please show me the truth about who Jesus Christ is.” He wants to reveal His love and truth to you and show you His plan for your life. God never promises an easy life, but He does promise us a better life. Our part is the faith, His part is the fulfillment.

Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).

It is easy for people to criticize what they do not understand. The Bible tells us the message of the cross is foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18) to unbelievers because God frustrates those who think they are intelligent or wise. Proverbs 3:7 warns us to not be wise in our own eyes. After all, who can fully comprehend a perfect God?

Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels, announced to the nations; He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory (1 Timothy 3:16). 

Jesus is the cornerstone, which is one reason why there is so much division over him. Everything written in the Bible concerning Him is true. On the other hand, some think Jesus was simply a persuasive teacher, the leader of a rebellion, or even a lunatic because of the claims He made. According to Jesus, He is the bread of life, the door, the gate, the light, the truth, and the way. Jesus said He was not of this world and that He overcame the world.

Before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples He was going back to heaven to prepare a place for them and then return for them because He wanted His followers to be with Him in God’s glory. He also told them they should know where He was going and how to get there. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus answered:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him (John 14:6-7).

This statement by Jesus Christ must be dealt with, because it does not allow for wiggle room. The Bible is the God-breathed, Holy Spirit-inspired Word of life. If you doubt the Bible can be infallible, since it was written by men, then you are putting God in a box.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Is anything too hard for the Lord? God’s ways are higher than ours, and if we believe in the Creator then we must believe He gives us our intellect. Without a creator, without a design, and without a plan, you and I are just cosmic accidents living a purposeless, random existence.

After all, without God, our lives are based on ourselves (we’re number one!) and on living for today. But if God’s Word is true, and we really are sinners in need of rescue, then there must be right and wrong, true and false, good and bad, light and darkness, and moral absolutes.

Our godless society has been heading full speed away from Christ, and many people seem to hate the very truth that could save them! As a whole, our secular progressive culture has denied the truth of God and the authority of the Bible, in order to defend and justify their unholy living. The result is chaos, confusion, moral relativism, self-exaltation, and countless forms of spirituality apart from Christianity. It is dif­ficult for the natural man to grasp the sovereignty, omniscience, and omnipotence of a perfect God. Even in the church, doctrine divides denominations and the best of Christians. Riding the fence with a foot in two different worldviews is not an option.

CHRIST BEFORE ALL THINGS

John [the Baptist] testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me (John 1:15).

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule… (Genesis 1:26).

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spo­ken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radi­ance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power… (Hebrews 1:1-3)

These verses confirm and bear witness to the fact Christ existed before He came to live on earth for 33 years. This can be hard to grasp with our human minds, but it is essential to understanding the truth. It also reinforces the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Believers don’t consider the creation account often enough. All things were created by Him and for Him. Colossians 1:17 tells us He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

In addition, Jesus said the following in John 5:39, 40, and 46:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life…. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

The religious leaders flipped out when they heard Jesus say this, and then they blew a gasket when Jesus told them He existed before Abra­ham (John 8:56). This challenges us to dig deeper into our faith. John R.W. Stott was an English Christian leader and was very influential in the worldwide evangelical movement. He said it is the uniqueness of Christ that we defend:

“So, because in no other person but Jesus of Nazareth did God first become human (in his birth), then bear our sins (in his death), then conquer death (in his resurrection) and then enter his people (by his Spirit), he is uniquely able to save sinners. Nobody else has his qualifications.”

Most Christians don’t have a problem with the above assertions or Scriptures, but some have a hard time with being saved by grace alone. A few religions overemphasize good works – doing as much as you can to be accepted by God or to get to heaven – which is not what the Bible teaches. In Ephesians 2, Paul writes that we are saved only through faith because of God’s grace. Grace is undeserved favor. Grace has nothing to do with our efforts.

However, it is also important to balance out our faith and good deeds because faith without actions is useless. We are to live what we believe in full expression and demonstration of our faith. The Bible also teaches faith works through love (Gal. 5:6). But please do not miss the point that there is absolutely nothing you or I can do to get God to love us more or accept us more. Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38-39).

Then there are others who don’t think they need to put their trust in Jesus to go to heaven. They might say, “I am a good person. I have never murdered or raped anybody. I try to follow the Golden Rule. I love the planet and recycle, and I even volunteer.” I would ask them if they think Jesus was a good person.

As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone (Mark 10:17-18).

No one is good enough on their own to approach a holy God. He also made the point that we are incapable of keeping the command­ments, so how can anyone be saved by trying to be good through their own efforts?

Have you ever lied, stolen anything, coveted something someone else had, hated someone in your heart (murder), or lusted after another person (adultery)? Have you always honored your mother and father? Have you ever idolized a person or a thing over God? (Like a Hollywood actor, rock star, sports team, athlete, celebrity, bike, car, boat, house, etc.) Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vain? Not one of us is good, and it’s impossible for us to keep the laws and commandments of God on our own. That’s why the gospel truly is very good news. Those of us who confess Jesus is our Lord and Savior, believing in our hearts, are forgiven, saved, set free, redeemed, restored, sanctified, and blessed. We have a bright future and an eternal hope!

PRAY FOR THOSE WHO REFUSE TO BELIEVE

I recently had a good conversation with a very liberal guy who is not a Christian. Though he didn’t believe the Bible is God’s Word or that Christ alone is Lord, he listened to what I shared. Sadly, the conversa­tion left his heart unchanged. He complimented me on being a person of conviction even though he disagreed with me.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The natural man may be wise according to the world’s wisdom and intellect, but that won’t get him very far when it comes to discerning spiritual things. His pride, earthly success, degrees and worldly educa­tion prevent him from admitting he needs God. Though this person I talked with hasn’t read much of the Bible, he had formed strong beliefs and negative opinions about Christianity and religion in general. Not only that, but he also taught this worldview to his children, and they now take bits and pieces from many religions.

I call it cafeteria Christianity. They choose what they want, when they want it, and avoid what they don’t like in the Bible. It is being dangerously mired in the mucky middle. But if you have an unwaver­ing faith in Jesus Christ built on the solid foundation of God’s Word, your beliefs will not be shaken. Your faith will withstand the debates, opinions, talking points, arguments, and attacks of opponents. We don’t have all the answers, so we don’t need to pretend we do.

I love the Lord because He changed my heart. I am convinced about the truth of Jesus Christ because of massive evidence – archeological, biblical, and historical – and years of personal research and study. This other person was just as convinced in his views by his upbringing, by liberal friends, and higher education. We both believe our convictions are right and true. So what is the lesson? Don’t get discouraged when you talk to someone who simply doesn’t want to believe. Pray for them. The results are in God’s hands.

The more I study the Bible, the more I realize I need to learn. Our responsibility is to always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15). Are you prepared to explain the reason for your faith in Christ? The Holy Spirit will instruct us and teach us. People may not know exactly what they’re looking for, but they are searching. Everyone has a void only Christ can fill. We are ambassadors for Christ commissioned to share the truth, so speak it with boldness.

Biblical truth has been forced out of the public square, followed by a purposeful shift away from Christianity in America to the point where we are confused about church and state issues. Since truth matters, we need to look at what our founders believed and how this country was established. While doing this, we must understand the founder’s intent and the connection between God and government in the United States. We’ll tackle this in chapter two…

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is jus­tified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved… For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:9-10, 13 ESV).

This is an excerpt (Chapter 1 in its entirety) from the book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, by David Fiorazo. “Why Truth Matters.”

How then should we live?

Worldview Culture Circles

Graphic courtesy of Biblical Worldview Institute – a division of Cascade Christian schools

Religious Freedom in America

I’ve never done a list like this before, but after reviewing some articles that seemed to really resonate with people, I am encouraged to share them with others who may not have had the opportunity to read them when they were published. The ten articles listed here have been read by approximately 60,000 people; small numbers to full-time writers and national figures, but an amazing blessing to me. You never know who might be influenced by something we have to say!

It’s an honor and privilege to defend and proclaim the truth. My prayer regarding anything I write is that God is glorified, and that Christians not only be encouraged and strengthened in their faith, but that it will lead them to take action and bear fruit. For those that do not believe, I hope to point them to the love, light, and truth of Jesus Christ.

Due to the moral and spiritual confusion in America today, we must get back to the basics: the Bible must be taught and talked about like Christians used to do 50 – 100 years ago. Cultural issues are also important to discuss because as Christians, we see the world through the lens of the perfect Word of a holy God. He never changes! Our words and actions should both line up with a biblical Christian worldview rather than blending in with society and conforming to the world.

I posted about 50 articles and blogs in 2013 and judging by the numbers, those included here were the most popular. It’s very interesting to me that seven of the ten listed below are about individual people. The topics include abortion, biblical truth, media bias, religious freedom, Hollywood, immorality in American culture, racism, false teachings, homosexuality, and the silence of Christians.

I’m also very encouraged by the fact that four of the top six include excerpts from my book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA. Let’s start with the most read and viewed article featuring Oprah Winfrey that reached over 15,000 people:

#1.  Learning From Oprah: New Age Spirituality, Racism, and the Influence of Celebrity

Sadly, millions of spiritual seekers have been led astray, and due to Oprah’s popularity, people have opened themselves up to all kinds of practices, religions, and teachings contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ and biblical Christianity. We need to pray for her and for those who may blindly hang on her every word, or the words of any secular celebrity.  Oprah is not the enemy – she is deceived – but she obviously believes she has the answers regarding God, spirituality, and eternity.

#2.  Game On: Blotting Christ Out of Christmas – Already?

Activists successfully removed prayer, the Bible, and God from schools, but they can never take Jesus Christ out of the hearts of believers. According to a 2012 Rasmussen Reports poll, 82% of American adults voted in favor of celebrating Christmas on public school campuses, and 76% believe Christmas should be more about Jesus than Santa. Going directly against Jesus’ own words to “Let your light shine among men,” some [activists] are trying to get Christians to be silent and hide their faith under baskets.

#3.  America’s Culture of Death: We Need Abortion Control, Not Gun Control

Ninety-six. Remember this number. A baby is aborted at a Planned Parenthood facility somewhere in America every 96 seconds. In that same amount of time, Planned Parenthood receives about $1,056 taxpayer dollars. That equals eleven dollars a second and allows them to abort 910 lives every day. How did it get to the point in America where we kill our own and call it a choice? It sure did not happen overnight, but it does occur – Every 96 seconds…

#4.  Is This the Beginning of the End for Miley Cyrus? 

Most of us recognize a desperate cry for help when we see one. We shouldn’t expect secular celebrities to live according to God’s Word because Christian values are either foreign or offensive to them. As for the salvation of Miley Cyrus who claimed to be a Christian years ago, only God knows her heart. She and countless other celebrities need the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. No one is without hope, but the Bible warns us the Lord’s return is close…

#5.  Obama’s Ideology Propels Scandal-mania

Government has become an enemy of American citizens and this administration is very good at using the tactics of distraction and diversion. With more of us becoming outraged while the media protects this administration, it will be fascinating to see this epic drama played out. The sad truth is many Americans today don’t care that prior to his election, Obama’s handlers concealed information about his college years and no official records were ever made available – a first in our history. No college transcripts, published records, or papers had been released. What were they hiding?

#6.  Cotton Candy Christianity: Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Neutrality and Omission

So let’s clarify here: Pastor Joel Osteen feels it is not his calling to get deeply into the Bible or to talk about sin. He also prefers not to think too much about other religions, but he believes Mormons are Christians. Maybe you’re a fan of Joel Osteen. You may have read his books and have watched him on TV and are having a tough time accepting this. I strongly encourage you to pray about everything he or anyone teaches. If you sincerely seek God’s truth, He will reveal it to you. Osteen pres­ents a kind of self-help program under the guise of Bible instruction. There’s nothing wrong with optimism, but pastors [and teachers] need to stick with the Word of God.

#7.  Ducking the Issue of Sin: Should Christians Be Silent?  (Duck Dynasty, A&E, GLAAD, and Phil Robertson)

If we love someone, we’ll tell them the truth. If we believe Jesus is the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12) and we fail to warn others, we don’t really care about them. The way Christians demonstrate their love for non-believers is by addressing sin so they can repent and receive the grace God offers which leads to everlasting life (Ephesians 2:8). Less than 4 % of the U.S. population is LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender)

The problem has been diagnosed. The moral decline in America is evidence we cannot rely on church leaders because people are obviously not getting the message. If Christians fail to speak about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the issue of sin; our society will only grow worse, the battle more intense, and the hostility more volatile. One thing is certain: silence never saved anybody.

#8.  Gay Marriage is not God’s Marriage

God created the heavens and the earth, and mankind is made in His image. God’s plan for marriage is woven through Scripture and has been implemented throughout history. Marriage predates kings and governments. By the intricate engineering of the male and female bodies, science also confirms we are uniquely designed for procreation and for the opposite sex.

The media has influenced public opinion to the point where more Americans are softening towards sin; this includes Christians. A recent Pew Forum survey on media coverage exposed the truth; in their reporting, the media supported same-sex marriage 5 to 1 hoping the public would soon think it is inevitable.

#9.  The Hypocrisy of Selective Outrage: Zimmerman vs. Martin (Graphic content)

Few in the media report on the travesty in many inner cities in America where black on black deaths continue to increase with the violent crimes. According to the FBI, 91% of black victim homicides are committed by other blacks. Few in the media report on the massive numbers of black babies being aborted at Planned Parenthood and other Gosnell clinics, especially in minority neighborhoods. Where is the public outcry over these deaths?

If you’re open to truth and are willing to research, you’ll find unreported stories similar to the following atrocious, disturbing tragedy: WARNING – GRAPHIC…

#10. The Anguish of Abortion: What They Won’t Tell You

Father Frank Pavone once said, “America will never resist abortion until America sees abortion.”

Thanks in part to advances in technology such as ultrasound imagery, it’s clear and easy to see a growing and moving fetus inside a mother’s womb which has raised awareness that an unborn child is alive, human, and abortion is murder. Americans have tolerated the evil of legalized abortion and have become so desensitized to violence and death that we don’t see eliminating innocent human life as a brutal or selfish act – or at least we don’t speak up about it enough. God have mercy on our hardened hearts.

(If one of the above links does not work and you’re really intrigued by the title, simply do a search for the article as they are often published on several sites.)

*Three more I recommend:

Gosnell Trial Proves Massive Media Malpractice  

Alfred Kinsey and Sexual Anarchy in America 

Media Forced to Report the Truth about Obamacare?

Religious Freedom in America

Robertsons praying

UPDATE: A&E has lifted their suspension of Phil Robertson – no surprise here. The Robertson’s released this statement to Fox News:

“The family is excited to keep making a quality TV show for our dedicated fans, who have showed us wonderful support. We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through Duck Dynasty and our many projects that we are currently working on. The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly.”

Much has been written regarding the fallout and many good points have been made. Most of us are tired of hearing about it however, this debate is way too important to dismiss.

I submit to you the biggest reason these public squabbles rarely get resolved: we now have a clear cultural, moral divide in America and both sides cannot coexist peacefully any longer. There is too much at stake.

Though I agree with Phil Robertson’s views of the Bible and sin, I wish he would have answered the question on homosexuality with more tact in the GQ interview. Regardless, what did we learn?

In one corner of the public battle are those that believe in the Bible as well as America’s founding principles of Christianity; in the other corner are those who not only oppose us, but claim they are offended (threatened) by the presence of practicing Christians. The minority has the loudest voices and the support of Hollywood, the mainstream media, and government. Because of this ungodly alliance, we sometimes think conservatives and people of faith are now outnumbered.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Less than 4 % of the U.S. population is LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender), and in a recent census of American citizens, less than 1% were verifiable same-sex couples. Moreover, about 73% of the media favor same-sex marriage while over 75% of Americans support Christianity.

This lopsided dichotomy was revealed a few years ago during the attempted intimidation of Chick-fil-A after the CEO had the audacity to say he runs his company on Christian values and believes in marriage between one man and one woman. Gay activist groups cried “hate” and after the intense, media-trumpeted backlash (bullying), millions of Americans supported Chick-fil-A by eating at their restaurants and rallying on social media.

You may also remember in 2009, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was asked a question about legalizing same-sex marriage during the Miss USA competition. One of the judges, homosexual activist, Perez Hilton, viciously attacked Prejean and later admitted she would have won the Miss USA crown had she not answered the question in support of traditional marriage. What an interesting twist to ‘judge ye not.’

In the Duck Dynasty controversy, we again witnessed the political and public pressure by homosexual activists from GLAAD (Gay and Lesbians Alliance Against Defamation) and the Human Rights Campaign to not only force suspension of family patriarch Phil Robertson, but also insist he undergo sensitivity training and tolerance education.

Often ignored when discussing Robertson’s interview is the fact he also referred to many other sins even heterosexuals commit (1 Cor. 6:9-10). We all sin and fall short of God’s glory, and every one of us needs forgiveness. To Robertson, sin is sin no matter who you are, but opportunistic activists cried fowl.

The LGBT community claims it’s all about love and equality, but if you don’t agree with or approve of their lifestyle, they often resort to hateful attacks and refuse to permit speech that opposes homosexuality. This is totalitarian intolerance.

If we love someone, we’ll tell them the truth. If we believe Jesus is the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12) and we fail to warn others, we don’t really care about them. The way Christians demonstrate their love for non-believers is by addressing sin so they can repent and receive the grace God offers which leads to everlasting life (Ephesians 2:8).

One major issue at stake here is the First Amendment: Do all Americans, including Christian conservatives, still have legal speech protections or not? I purposely mention “conservatives” because there are far too many liberal Christians as well as those who profess Christianity and fail to accept the Bible’s authority or strive to live in obedience to its precepts. Some of these folks don’t think we should speak openly about our faith or quote certain Scriptures. Thanks to the emergent church, Christianity has been watered-down.

The foundational issue is whether or not the Bible is a divine source of inspiration and truly God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). Are there moral absolutes or not? God’s truth never changes and cannot be altered or adapted to a compromising culture.

The reason sin has become such an explosive topic is many Christian and religious leaders don’t teach or preach the undiluted gospel – the whole counsel of God – as much as they used to and therefore, many Christians don’t talk about sin; especially homosexuality.

How selfish of us who believe the Bible if we don’t share with non-Christians the only good news that can save them! Ironically, sin is the reason God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be sacrificed for us. He was brutally tortured and crucified and we don’t talk about WHY He had to die? Sin separates all mankind from a holy God.

Did you know originally, A&E’s plan for Duck Dynasty was for viewers to laugh and mock a family of ‘backwards’ Christian rednecks? Instead the show became the most popular cable program in history averaging 14.6 million viewers. The very plan that backfired ended up making them millions. A&E knew what they were getting with the Robertson’s.

Sadly today in culture, evil is considered good and good is considered evil (Isaiah 5:20), and activists will no longer tolerate those who say their behavior is sinful. Some believe we’ve reached a tipping point.

As for the media in America, they freely give liberals a platform, but rarely report the whole story. For example, are they not being hypocritical by refusing to mention the intolerance of Islam toward both gays and Christians? Muslims hang homosexuals. They also burn Christians, and destroy their churches & villages; and gay activists are bent out of shape when someone warns them about their sinful behavior?

We cannot remain neutral any longer. The lines have been drawn in the sand. This present darkness is not about Duck Dynasty, A&E, the Robertsons or Hollywood. It’s not even political, it is spiritual and the battle has just intensified. Take up your positions or hide under a table.

Author Michael Brown suggests:

“Those of us who agree fundamentally with Robertson make clear that: 1) We are unashamed of our belief in Jesus and in biblical morality. 2) We stand against the mistreatment of all people, including gays and lesbians. 3) We will not support the radical redefinition of marriage, regardless of the cost involved, nor do we see cultural capitulation to gay activism as inevitable.”

This never would have been a debate 50 years ago, so what changed? God, or America? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We’ve reached the point where activists are forcing conformity and calling it tolerance. I believe this is good for a comfortable Christian church.

Know this: God is at work orchestrating events and warning us to understand the times.

The problem has been diagnosed. The moral decline in America is evidence we cannot rely on church leaders because people are obviously not getting the message. If Christians fail to speak about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the issue of sin; our society will only grow worse, the battle more intense, and the hostility more volatile.

One thing is certain: silence never saved anybody.

David Fiorazo is the author of ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA

Phil Robertson silenced

Image

It happens every year around this time. Some refer to it as the “War on Christmas,” but that’s not completely accurate.

People who are trying to remove Christmas displays are not threatened by the story of an innocent baby born in a manger over 2,000 years ago. They’re not necessarily threatened by our public worship. They simply don’t want to have to answer to the One who Scripture refers to as Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).

C.S. Lewis once said:

“There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.”

They are fighting against the person and the truth of Jesus Christ. Yes, activists take it out on us, but our struggle is not against flesh and blood people (Ephesians 6:12); it is spiritual. It’s not enough for them to have the freedom to not celebrate Christmas and the right to deny faith in God; their agenda is to take it away as an option for us. Talk about bullying.

Some atheists, humanists, activists, and progressives come out every year during Christmas and with the help of the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and other Leftist groups, threaten to take you to court if you don’t keep quiet about this Jesus and conform to a godless culture. These are the very people who need God the most.

Activists would rather cause chaos than submit to the Prince of Peace, and their actions are often rooted in hatred of anything to do with God. Rather than be reminded of God’s love and His plan, they aim to silence the reminders.

For example, Sarah Palin knows what it’s like to be attacked, hated, and sued. Her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, is “about Christ and our ability to worship Him freely. It’s about America and what liberty truly means…” Most of us will never go through a fraction of the hostility she’s had to endure, so let’s give her credit for acknowledging Jesus and promoting Christmas.

You’d never hear if from most media, but polls and surveys prove the majority of Americans are absolutely fine with public displays of Christmas. The problem is we back down by either saying nothing or we give in by wishing others “Happy Holidays” in public. There is nothing wrong with saying happy holidays, but if you’re a Bible-believing Christian or even if you simply support religious liberty and free speech in America, why not wish others a Merry Christmas?

I took out a note pad and forced myself to pay attention to TV commercials the other day and noticed only a small number of ads and businesses even mention Christmas. First, kudos to Hobby Lobby, Menards, Lowes, Sears, Walmart, and a few others for acknowledging Christmas.

It is ironic many businesses that want your money avoid the “C” word in their television ads, but show festive, apparently meaningless red and green colors and decorations. Here are just a few examples of how political correctness is gaining ground:

Best Buy: “Perfect holiday gifts” and “Your ultimate holiday showroom”
Target: “My kind of holiday”
M&M’s: “Happy Holidays”
Wells Fargo: “Wishing you a magical holiday”
Scheel’s: “Unwrap the cheer” and “Deck the halls”
Honda: “Happy Honda Days”
Toys R Us: “The Big Holiday Wish Sale”

Countless other ads mention Santa, celebrating “the season,” giving gifts, or some kind of sale – but give no specific reason for having the sale! Call it what you want and celebrate it or not, but just like Jesus Christ and His Word, the meaning of Christmas never changes.

If it matters to you, check out American Family Association’s “Naughty or Nice” list. Companies can do what they want – and we can shop where we want. We’re not expecting unbelievers to live according to the Bible or to act like Christians. We do want them to receive the message and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Especially during Christmas, the point is not to judge them, act self-righteously, or relish in their future demise, but to love them enough to tell them the truth and share the good news of Jesus Christ. There will always be opposition just as Jesus told His followers in John 16:33,

“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world.”

He also said we’d be hated because of Him. We are simply messengers; their problem is with the message and with their Maker. Why? A baby seems harmless until you understand the rest of the Christmas story. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, “became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14) to “give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). He left no wiggle room when He stated He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

So, is the Wonderful Counselor a liar, a lunatic, or is He the only true, living God? The overwhelming archeological, historical, and biblical evidence demands a verdict.

A choice must be made: on what side of eternity do you want to live? Salvation is a free gift. Will you accept His offer and open the present?

The story of Christmas includes a holy God that loved us enough to offer His Son as a sacrifice to pay our sin debt so that His wrath would be satisfied and that He could extend His mercy toward us by forgiving our sins.

The meaning of Christmas is the ultimate love story that never changes – even when some refuse to acknowledge the reason for the season.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10: 9-10)

Merry Christmas!

David Fiorazo is the author of ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA