Monday, June 24, 2013

Changes in the Christian Home

I visit (check on) my 92-year-old father every day, and lately we have spent our time together talking about his childhood home back in the 1920's.

It occurred to me that in the past one hundred years that the Christian home has changed more dramatically than at any other time since the days that Jesus walked the earth.

In 1913 the Christian home was more "Holy," in the sense that it was more set apart from the world.  The "World" existed outside the front door, well beyond even the property line... The "World" was the bar down the street, or the dance hall in that part of town where Christians did not visit.

But in the 20's and 30's the "World" invaded the Christian Home via radio which changed everything.  In the 1950's the "World" added images to sound through television and a worldly addiction was firmly set into motion.

The "World," the "Enemy" showed great restraint in its use of television with shows like Father Knows Best which glorified family values.  But in the 1960's, once the addiction had poured a firm foundation, the Enemy quickly proceeded to its true agenda.

Today "organized religion" in America seems to have an unwritten agreement with the Enemy.  The Enemy can bring adultery into our Christian homes through television... They can bring stories of godless, sinful characters practicing fornication... They can entertain us with immoral humor of all kinds, and we will not only watch, but we will set our children down in the front row of the Enemy's classroom... Just as long as the actors keep their clothes on... As if somehow that makes it OK

In just one hundred years the Enemy has gained daily access into the Christian home, destroying its once sanctified nature... Daily polluting our hearts and minds, distracting us from the purpose for which we were created.

I believe it would be difficult to overestimate the influence of the worldly media on the Christian home.  Whether child or adult we are being subtly and painstakingly taught the lessons and beliefs of the one who hates our God.

But we Believers in America are among the rich of this world and being rich, we are terribly greedy... Definitely greedy for our entertainment.  We are not looking to deny ourselves but rather to enhance our worldly experience.

For over 50 years the Christian home in America has been absorbing the morality of the enemy for three hours every night... And it shows. 


Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Missing Step

Different Churches call it different things, but all have certain steps involved in accepting Jesus as your Savior. In the New Testament it generally went something like this:

1) You hear the "Good News."
2) You believe
3) You repent (turn from your sin).
4) You are baptized
5) The Holy Spirit takes up residence inside you.
6) You bear spiritual fruit.

The step that we have trouble with is the same step that the Israelites of the Old Testament had trouble with... #3.

The Jews of the O.T. were always worshipping foreign idols... Probably because they involved fertility rites, and sexual immorality. Just like today, people sought out the old "skin game." Some were physically involved in this, and others just sat back and watched.

We are the Rich of the world and we can afford all sorts of idols. We can afford to worship the god of materialism and its idols of jewelry, clothing, cars, homes, and other possessions. We can afford televisions which allow us to vicariously worship the god of fame and celebrity on something as benign as American Idol. We can also sit back, grab the remote, and worship the god of sexual immorality in drama and comedy... From a distance.

That may be why Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for us, the rich, to enter heaven.

And that statement may be why we hear so many sermons today about God's Grace. Rich people don't want to hear about God's Judgement and about how He will not be mocked.

It's that pesky #3.

Still, if we do repent... Put away our idols... And actively seek to change direction... Actively seek first the kingdom of God... Then God's Grace prompts His sweet forgetting of all those times we fail... In spite of our desire and efforts to obey.

That's the good news.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Turning 53

It seems like only yesterday that I was bummed-out about turning 50. Birthdays always make me take stock of my life and once again I'm reminded that my life has turned out nothing like I expected. I like being me and I'd trade with no one, but there are some key elements missing in my past and present whose absence I regret. But the bed in which I lie is of my own design and I've been constructing it for many years.

Perhaps the best thing about being a Christian is that while we pay for our mistakes, we pay only in this life.

The course of a life pivots on both split-second decisions and time-worn habits. But my life's destination was determined on a Thursday night back in the fall of 1963, when I walked down an aisle and repeated Peter's good confession to an old preacher named Mr. Grubb. A few minutes later Mr. Grubb's gnarled old hands lowered me into the waters of the Jerome Christian Church baptistry. But I believe another pair of Hands helped lift me up. And through every triumph, every bad decision, every good deed, and every thoughtless act, those Hands have never let go of me.

I'll sing to you Lord, a hymn of love,
For your faithfulness to me.
I'm carried in Everlasting Arms,

You've never let me go, through it all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One Place

This is a post that you might want to link to and pass along.

Most every night I wind down by playing Freecell, Hearts... sometimes a little Solitaire... while listening to something that really settles me down and gets me ready to get a good night's sleep.

Throughout the day, Moody Radio out of Chicago has many 15-25 minute Bible lessons and sermons from some of the best teachers and preachers in the country. And now, through the internet, you can listen to any of these guys - anytime you want.

It's great! One of my favorites is a guy named Tony Evans. He really hits the basics, and hits them well. You'll find him here:

Another is Walk in the Word with James MacDonald.

If you want your mind stretched a bit - and you're up to it - try Ravi Zachariah and "Let My People Think."

Erwin Lutzer always has a good point to make, and you can listen to the hour of the Moody Church service:
... or his daily lesson:

Dr. David Jeremiah is also one of my favorites:

You can even introduce your children to old time radio drama with Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey and Adventures in Odyssey Weekend:

But you definitely want to bookmark into your "favorites" the entire list of Moody Radio's offerings here:

Give it a try and enjoy.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Will Radical Islam Be Our Cross?

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39 KJV

A great many Christians in this country start their day on their knees praying a similar prayer concerning Radical Islam. They see what is happening in Europe and they consider the worldwide birth rates among Muslims - and they wonder just what could stem the oncoming inevitability. They cling to the notion that America is blessed by God and that this Christian Nation would never be forsaken by the Almighty. After all, the Christians in this country support Christian Missions throughout the world and are surely the last hope for the message of Christ. They feel entitled to the freedom to worship and the comfortable lifestyle they have come to take for granted.

It's pretty to think that we are immune from persecution because of our token monetary and personal expenditures towards the Kingdom, but I believe certain facts dowse such confidences.

How many babies has America aborted? Has this rich country instilled sufficient materialism to poison its future, to taint what's left of its values - producing a culture bereft of decency and moral resolve?

And the Church? Moody Radio estimates that 50% of American males and 20% of the females in the Church are addicted to pornography on the internet and via other sources.

Is it indicative of our lukewarm faith that most American church-goers are better equipped intellectually to quote Seinfeld episodes than scripture? And what percentage of the world's richest Christians actually tithe?

Even if we believe that God awards protection to faithful countries and peoples - we hardly rate His intervention.

I believe that God will mold and structure worldwide events in such a way that will bring glory to Him. In the spiritual realm, the Principalities of Good and Darkness pay attention to more salient realities than our little sense of justice - our perceived notion of entitlement - and glean more spiritual gravitas from a persecuted huddling of believers in Iran, or a tormented Christian in China, than all the comfortable praise elicited for 60 minutes every week in American Churches.

The "blood of the martyrs" has always been the essence, the nourishment of Faith and Evangelism - sustaining a God-Ordained movement that transcends cultures and countries. Rich and distracted American Christians might be wise to consider how their spiritual pittance weighs against a greater Glory that might weigh upon their future.

Radical Islam may be our Cross - that which separates "the sheep from the goats" and distinguishes the Holy Vestiges from the Lukewarm Enclaves of traditionalist sopophiles. We may pray that this cup passes, but that may not be the plan.

"Embracing the Cross" may become for the American Church a more defining and unpleasant exercise than the ritual mumblings of a spoiled and forgetful flock.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


O God, do not keep silent;
be not quiet, O God, be not still.
See how your enemies are astir,
how your foes rear their heads.
With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
"Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation,
that the name of Israel be remembered no more.
"With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you-

Make them like tumbleweed, O my God,
like chaff before the wind.

Psalm 83:1-5,13


Thursday, August 31, 2006


I believe that God has given even the least among us those things they need to have "a life" that is independent of wealth, relationships, and experience. How often have we heard of the poor frightened soul on his deathbed who in a torrent of regret realizes the most horrible of all realities - that he is about to die... and he has never really lived.

What nonsense. The richest, most famous and celebrated human beings on the planet already have, or will, pass through the same portal as I will, possessionless and anxious, into our Maker's presence. At the point of entering eternity, having known the extravagances of travel, great possessions, relationships, and fame will pass with the same notoriety as yesterday's cup of coffee.

I've come to believe that there are really only two experiences in life... Our faith, and the distractions from our faith. Could it be that the poorest among us is he who can afford the most distractions? Is an hour spent on your knees in prayer a less monumental experience - or less real - than a Caribbean cruise or a trip to Hawaii? If a man walks with God, is he alone if he has no wife or family? If a child dies, has he really missed anything as he is gathered into the arms of Jesus at Heaven's gate?

Christianity allows a rapidly aging, untravelled, childless, and unloved old bachelor such as me an amazing freedom from regret, as I bathe in the contentment of knowing that this life is not the party, and that every disappointment and pain is a garment for my soul as it is readied for its trip home.

I believe that developing a spiritual life, a connection with the real world, is key to contentment. It is like developing a new consciousness, and a process that is only impeded by the craving for, and possession of, material things. If we spend our lives chasing the next possession... the next experience, comfort, relationship, or pleasure... we miss our portion, our God-given blessings that have nothing in common with the little illusions we so desperately build around us, seeking to grasp control of something of which we can never have control. Life was meant to be lived, but its fullest expressions are available to the timid as well as the bold, the plain as well as the pretty, and the poor as well as the rich. The best of life can take root in the poorest soil. It can blossom in the most unlikely heart.

In a few minutes I will go out and squat in my garden and pull weeds from my carrots. I will listen to songs of praise on my Walkman tuned to Moody radio. There will be a breeze on my face and the sun on my bare back. It may not be as good as Disneyworld. But I will be content.