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Archive for August, 2015

Ashley Madison

I had never heard of that name in my life until a few days ago. Now it’s popping up everywhere. And the bad thing is that it’s splitting up a ton of families. Of course this is the name of the website where you can sign up and cheat on your spouse. The Duggar family has once again been rocked by the actions of Josh Duggar. The latest, of course, being the discovery of his name on this site and his participation as such.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25: Josh Duggar attends the March for Marriage rally in Washington DC on April 25, 2014. Photo Credit: Patsy Lynch / Retna Ltd

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

So sad…so sad.

But, you know what? We’re all sinners. It’s a funny thing how we can offer such praise and admiration for some and not for others. Funny how we praise some sin in this country and call others deplorable. I guess it’s all about who is committing the sin. Bruce Jenner is good to go. Let’s give him an award. Homosexual marriage is good to go. Sports stars can cheat on their wives and still be applauded and set attendance records at the Wyndham Open. Even politicians’ spouses can have sex in the Oval office and all can be forgiven. Unless… Unless you are someone who doesn’t line up with your agenda.

Now, I’m not defending Josh Duggar. What he’s done is deplorable and if he’s truly a born-again follower of Christ, (and that’s a big “if” in my mind right now, based on his latest actions), then there should be time given to see if there is genuine repentance in his life. There should be prayers offered for him and his wife and children. And we should offer the same amount of mercy and grace as the world wants to offer Bruce Jenner and the folks who can’t get a cake baked for their gay wedding. Surely Christians can get on board with that. I would hope we could and we will!

But, here’s the thing that’s struck me about this whole Ashley Madison situation. It’s the symptom of bigger problem. The sexual revolution that started in the 1960’s has finally locked into high gear. What have we got from this revolution?

  • Adultery
  • Rampant Pornography
  • Gay Marriage acceptance
  • Transgendered acceptance
  • Cohabitation acceptance
  • No-fault divorce
  • Abortion on Demand
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Selling of Baby parts

We’re sick folks! Deeply sick! And that’s what a sexual revolution will do for a nation in about 50 years. It will turn it into Rome.

You see, when you have unbridled sex, it breeds tremendous problems. You see, when as a culture you say, “Let’s have all the sex we want. Let’s have it when we want it and with whom we want it and we’ll all just be as happy as a clam!” Well, we’re fools!

All of this “free love” has given us a country with rampant sexual sin. And lest you want to heap all the judgment you can muster on the LGBT community, what about the fact that your 16-year-old son is possibly looking at porn on his smart phone and you say nothing about it. In fact you never ask him, because you are afraid. Yet, you pay the bill for what might be destroying his sexual purity.

Ma’am…sir…what about the fact that your 17-year-old daughter might be having sex with her boyfriend (of 9 months) right under your nose in your own basement (while they’re watching a movie of course)? What about the fact that your 20-something is living with someone who they’re not married to? And oh…it gets better. In just a few months, they contact you and tell you that you’re going to be a grandparent! Oh believe me…that doesn’t slow Christians down from bragging.  It’s no big deal…after all…it’s just the culture we live in, right?

Well, it is a big deal! It’s sexual sin and it’s wrong! 100% wrong! I don’t care how we try to color it, everything I’ve just described from the LGBT community to Josh Duggar, to your sexually active teenager is sin. The Bible says it is. What does it say? It says that it’s the will of God that we should not live in sexual sin. It’s the WILL OF GOD that we know how to control our bodies!

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

We are totally disregarding God and His Word in this whole matter as a nation and even in the Church. So, mom and dad, do you know what your “dating” kids are doing behind closed doors? When their curfew is 11 pm and they go to a 7 pm movie (that gets out at 8:30), what will they be doing for the next 2 1/2 hours? Do you know?

Oh…I know what some are thinking. “Hey Kevin…get back on the the talk about Bruce Jenner! Let’s talk about Josh Duggar! Let’s talk about Jared the Subway guy!” Well, I’m sorry! We’ve got to stop being hypocrites in the church. Yes, let’s talk about the smut that we watch on TV and entertain ourselves with each weekend? Let’s talk about the fact that we won’t spend $11/month to get software protection on our teens’ phones, iPads or computers (Covenant Eyes). (Listen, if you have a teenage son and you don’t do this for him…you are setting him up for failure sexually. I don’t care how strong you think he is… The lure of sexual sin is devastating. Read Proverbs 7 if you don’t believe me.)

No…no… I’m not JUST going to lament about Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, the legalization of Gay Marriage (and we should lament). But, I must be a person of integrity and discuss the sexual sin we (the Church) have justified for far too long. We don’t want to talk about divorce in the Church. We don’t want to talk about the sexual day-dreaming and the mental sexual trysts.

Folks, why do you think there is a market for an Ashley Madison website? It’s coming from our culture of sexual acceptance. We can’t be inundated with sex from the time we are kids and think that just because we put a gold or silver band on the left ring finger that we’re going to remain celibate. We’re crazy if we do!

Oh, that we would once again hunger and thirst for righteousness and desire to be pure in heart! But, I’m here to tell ya…the Gospel of Jesus Christ is no less effective. The good news is that Jesus can bring healing and restoration for all those who come to him in sincere and genuine confession and repentance. Notice I said, “sincere and genuine.” That’s the key. It’s not about owning up to something after you get caught… It’s about owning up to the fact that you are a sinner and without the mercy and grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ, there is no hope for you!

I pray that we, believers in Christ, will be ready, willing and available to help in the fall out of a culture that has embraced such overt sexual sin. And please remember, a light shines brightest in the greatest darkness. Even when it goes by the name Ashley Madison.

I spoke to this fact in yesterday’s “Two-Minute Tuesday.”

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I love my family.

I’m sure you love yours too. Family is so important to me. So much so that I guard time with them. I was speaking with a man today (actually, I had four counseling sessions today…full day indeed) and I told him that I couldn’t be honorable in giving him encouragement and advice about his family if I didn’t protect the time with mine. I told him about a recent trip to Carowinds. Here we are eating…

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But, it’s hard to find that time. And it is for you too. I know that it is for me. But, we have to make the time for the things that are important in life. Being a work-a-holic it’s even harder. I have always associated so much of my self-worth with hard work. None stop. Go, go, go! It’s a constant battle for me. But, I do believe I’m getting better with age.

Honestly, as you get older you realize what’s important in more and more profound ways. Like this…

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And this…

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And this…

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Those images say so much about what’s important. You might look at those smiles again. Priceless.

I have made a commitment not to let the work of ministry destroy my family as I’ve seen it do to so many pastors’ families. Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that there is a time and a place where a pastor has to be there for members of the church. Certainly, emergencies come to mind. Yet, there must be some off-hours for a pastor or he will end up losing his family. I’ve seen it happen way too many times.

In fact the Bible is clear:

1 Timothy 3:4-5

He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

Pastors lose their families (particularly their children) because they are never there for them. But, we’ve got it backwards. Verse 5 says as much.

I read this article a few days ago and it’s very poignant. http://www.lifeway.com/pastors/2015/08/05/a-pastors-greatest-regret-after-a-lifetime-of-ministry/#.Vcy9K3mk6ew.twitter

This gist of it can be summarized in this one paragraph…

After 50 years of ministry the pastor said, “The minister who learns to say ‘no’ in order to protect his time with the family will occasionally anger a self-centered, demanding church member. But it’s a small price to pay, and in the long run, works out best both for the family and the immature member. Only a strong pastor can do this. I sure wish I’d been one.”

It’s taken me 10 years to learn the art of this and I’m still learning.

What about you?

To what or to whom do you need to say, “No?” It won’t be easy. But, we can’t be all things to all people and perhaps it’s time you need to swallow your prided and stop trying. In the end it will be worth it. I promise.

I’m thankful to have a church that understands this. How about you? Does your employer understand that there are times you can’t stay late (again) because you need to see your child’s game or simply have a meal with them at decent hour of the night? Take it from a 47-year-old man. They grow up so fast and then they are gone. Don’t miss out.

The reason I write this is because I have so many young pastors who read my blog. So, please listen to this middle-age-baldie . I know what I’m talking about. 🙂

Have you heard the strongest El Nino we’ve had since 1997 is brewing off the east coast of South America. It will knock up the temperature globally and the Global Warming folks will be buzzing. But, after this El Nino there will be a drop off of the Global temps just like in the late 90’s. It’s a cyclical thing. Yet, there are many folks out there who hype this thing. Like the Obama administration. Did you hear what this man said about it?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/07/08/nobel-prize-winning-scientist-says-obama-is-dead-wrong-on-global-warming/

In part the article said this:

In 2008, Dr. Ivar Giaever joined over 70 Nobel Science Laureates in endorsing Barack Obama for president, but seven years later the Nobel Prize winner now stands against the president on global warming. “I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Giaever, who won the Nobel for physics in 1973, told an audience at the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting earlier this month.

Giaever ridiculed Obama for stating that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” The physicist called it a “ridiculous statement” and that Obama “gets bad advice” when it comes to global warming. “I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong,” Giaever said.

Giaever was a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s School of Engineering and School of Science and received the Nobel Prize for physics for his work on quantum tunneling. Giaever said he was “horrified” about the science surrounding global warming when he conducted research on the subject in 2012.

I mentioned a while back that an average El Nino typically brings colder and snowier weather to our region. The southern jet gets really juiced up. The truth is there is a sharp dividing line that normally sets up and sometimes North Carolina and Virginia can get left out.

imrs

I never thought I’d say this, but it appears China and Russia were actually on the right side of an issue versus the United States. Did you hear?

United Nations Reaffirms the Family: The World vs. the West

It’s easy as Christians in America to feel like our views and values are out of fashion. And in many ways they are. With so many rejecting the biblical family and our federal government leading the charge to dismantle any public recognition of marriage, it’s clear we’re living in a country in rebellion against God and his design. But America is far from a global majority report. And a recent resolution overwhelmingly supported by developing nations shows just how out-of-sync our country’s progressive and secular values are with the rest of the world. 

Last week the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva approved the “Protection of the Family” resolution, an unprecedented affirmation of the traditional family, its place in society, and the priority it takes over all other institutions. LifeNews reports that the resolution passed with broad support from developing countries, especially in Africa, and also enjoyed backing from major powers like Russia and China, as well as a host of conservative non-governmental organizations. Twenty-seven nations voted to approve it. Among the 14 delegations that opposed the resolution were the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and most other Western, developed powers.

Sharon Slater of Family Watch International called the vote an “unprecedented,” “tremendous victory for the family.” She noted that it marks a historic first for the United Nations — the approval of a comprehensive resolution calling for “the protection of the family as a fundamental unit of society, recognizing the prior rights of parents to educate their children, and calling on all nations to create family-sensitive policies and recognize their binding obligations under treaty to protect the family.”

The last couple of decades in this country has been catastrophic for the nuclear family. Satan is laughing his head off. He’s doing all he can to destroy the family (which was God’s idea from the Garden of Eden) and he’s doing an amazing job at it. We’ve redefined it in America to be anything and everything now. But, I’m going to continue to preach and teach the biblical definition of marriage and family. I can only hope we’ll be able to reverse course one day.

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Christians and Politics

I’m told from time to time, “Pastor, you ought not be talking about politics. You just need to focus on the Bible.” And I agree wholeheartedly, but only with the second sentence. Because the second sentence trumps the first sentence. Why? Because the Bible is clear in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 that we must be involved. Otherwise we are not meeting our civic duty.

I’m amazed at how people believe that politics will have no impact on the Church or the Kingdom. Do you understand if we lose our First Amendment right to freely share the Gospel and what the Bible teaches, it’s going to be harder to lead people to Christ and the Kingdom. Why would we want to watch that freedom go down the drain? Why would we not stand up?

Isn’t that what Daniel did? Daniel had risked his life for decades while serving as an Administrator in the pagan governments of Babylon and the Medo-Persians. Ultimately, he was told to stop worshipping God, but he refused to bow the knee to the government’s intimidation. Things looked bad…but, he didn’t give up.

Daniellion

Folks, you and I need to understand the times in which we live. Yes, they are bad…yes it seems we’ve lost the battle for the culture, media and academia. And yes…we’re seeing the results of this impact on our government and in the courts.

But now is not the time to dig a hole and pull it in after us. Now is the time (perhaps more than ever in our lifetime) to be engaged in the political process.

You see, I absolutely refuse to abandon the culture to the Left-wing, progressive liberals, whose gods are the Government, Global Warming, Planned Parenthood and Evolution and Cecil the Lion. I for one, refuse to surrender the religious liberties that were brought to us by our ancestors who wielded muskets and gave their lives during the Revolution from Great Britain. I refuse to sit idly by and watch any more of our religious liberties and freedoms squandered and given up to the would-be tyrants who want to silence Christians and push us back inside our churches to never speak in the marketplace again.

You see preachers and the Church in America have grown weak and intimidated. You see, I’m not naïve and I know a day may come when the courage of Christian men and women might fail, but let this not be that day. Today we must stand on the Word of God and we must continue to uphold the truths taught by Jesus Christ, found in the Bible and were once held by our government officials. May I remind you of the fact that our founding fathers did this…

The-first-prayer-in-congress-september-1774

That was September and October of 1774 and the praying that was done at the First Continental Congress. We need the courage of Daniel. We must not be intimidated by the culture…instead we must engage it with the love, compassion and the truth of Jesus Christ! We can’t be mean and hateful or smug or condescending. But, we must stand for truth!

So, who will you be voting for in 2016? Have you thought about it? Have you been watching the news? There’s plenty of candidates to choose from for sure. Just last week, these 10 men debated each other last Thursday night in the first Republican debate.

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It was a very interesting and even entertaining debate. But, what I came away thinking to myself was this: Will American Evangelical Christians wake up and go to the polls in 2016. You see, 9 million evangelicals either stayed home or voted for Obama during the 2012 election. If that were to reverse, then a conservative person could be elected and if that were the case it might slow down or stem the tide of what we’ve seen in the last several years.

Here’s the truth. If we don’t wake up and if Evangelical Christians aren’t politically engaged in 2016 we will lose more and more of our First Amendment freedoms. And you might be okay with that. You might say, “Don’t worry about it Kevin. We just need to preach and teach the Gospel and let politics take care of itself.” Okay, fine. Choose that option and watch your religious liberties disappear so fast it will make your head spin and then be prepared for arrest or worse if you speak the name of Jesus or advocate the principles of Scripture. Are you ready to give up? Are you ready for that scenario? I’m not!

Do you understand if we don’t have the ability to live out our religious freedom via the first amendment and we lose those freedoms, then we will turn into China. We will have plenty of Christians but zero influence in the culture. If we don’t have a seat at the city gate in the marketplace and the public forum, then we’re done. As far as I’m concerned, this might be our last chance of seeing one final opportunity to stem the tide.

Watch the news and you’ll see that people are tired of politics as usual and they want plain-talking people and this is precisely why Donald Trump and this lady…Carly Fiorina…

a_orig_gopcarly_150806.nbcnews-fp-1280-700

…are doing so well. Why? Because they are straight-talkers. Unfortunately, Fiorina is pro gay marriage.

In my opinion, Jeb Bush is done.

2016 GOP Debate

He’s the establishment Republican candidate. But the “regular folks” and evangelicals will not vote for him. And with his performance last week, as far as I’m concerned, put a fork in him. To me he looks like he just stumbled into this whole deal and he doesn’t seem like he’s really interested in running for President. Again, many establishment Republicans are pushing for him, but evangelical Christians won’t vote for him. He is a not conservative enough and quite honestly is a stick in the mud.

Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee are men that Evangelicals will vote for. They resonate with them. What about Trump? Well, Trump is resonating with disgruntled and frustrated Americans who are sick and tired of the status quo. But, he will struggle to win the first caucus in Iowa. One of the main reasons is because he threatened to go third-party at the debate. By the way, if he did go third-party, he would hand the election to the Democratic candidate (most likely Hillary Clinton). That scares people

The first caucus is February 1st in Iowa and here’s some interesting facts. 60% of the people who voted in 2012 in Iowa were Evangelicals. 75% of the time, the candidate who wins Iowa is eventually the Republican nominee. And here’s the big one: Republicans have never nominated someone who is not in the TOP three in Iowa. So whoever is not in the top 3 in Iowa (historically) is out of the race on February 2nd. It’s that simple.

By the way, Ted Cruz is way ahead organizationally. He has raised over $50 million and 81% of that money has come in the form of donations that are $100 or less. That means he has a lot of “grass roots” support. Huckabee has huge grass-roots support in Iowa as well and don’t forget that he won Iowa in 2008 when he ran for the Republican nomination.

So, I’m encouraged. People are waking up. They are much more informed and much more engaged earlier than ever. Does that include Evangelical Christians? We’ll see. The truth is it seems to always take an external stimulus to wake up God’s people. Think of the Assyrians and Babylonians and as you do, think of Daniel. And don’t be afraid to stand for the truth of God no matter what!

Daniellion

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