Critical Thinking for Christians
 As I share my thoughts in this blog, it is my hope that you will be challenged to look at issues facing our world from a biblical perspective. It's been reported that only about 6% of American Christians have a biblical worldview. This is my humble attempt to help change that. Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be the glory)!
The Blessed Life of a Pilgrim
     Psalm 1 is a psalm of tremendous blessing and encouragement. It is a priceless road map for the pilgrim as he/ she journeys to that fair land where beholding the face of our Savior will be our greatest delight and treasure. Psalm 1 gives us a safe border along the narrow way that we walk and promises us a prosperous end to our travels; this is actually a parallel idea to the word blessed that we don’t often understand. It means more than simply being happy, it means to walk straight and to make progress.
     So, what do we find here in this Psalm that is so beneficial? We find wisdom given to direct us along the way. Notice, first, the instruction given in how we are to think, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…” (v.1). We see here that the pilgrim is not to seek advice or guidance from the wicked. It must begin here for we are told in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds…” This is where the battle begins and where we must win if we are going to travel this path successfully. This battle is won as we renew our minds by God’s Word.       This is brought out in verse 2 as the Psalmist speaks of meditating on the Scriptures. We must do more than simply read the Bible; we need to ponder it, reflect upon its words, and feed upon and digest it. We need to, literally, fill our minds with God’s wisdom as given through His book, the Bible.
     Next, we see that the pilgrim is not to “…stand in the path of sinners…”. This is speaking of behaving as those who are already under God’s condemnation, offenders of God Himself. This is obviously the outcome of having a wrong way of thinking. The reason so many “Christians” fail to see a change in their behavior is because there has not been a transformation in their thinking. So often in our churches we try to get people to modify their behavior without an infusion of the changing power of the Word of God; this is getting the cart before the horse. The Apostle Paul in his letters to the churches showed that he understood this truth very well. If you look closely at his writings you will see that he always began his letters with principles teaching the truth that he wanted them to grasp; the basis or foundation that he wanted them to understand, then he would move on to how that looked as it was lived out. He addressed the redeemed mind first and then fleshed it out for his readers. We would do well to follow that pattern with our new believers in our day.
     Finally, we see that the pilgrim is not to, “…sit in the seat of the scornful…”. We have seen a progression here as the Psalmist has spoken of “walking”, “standing”, and now “sitting” in the seat of the scornful. This downward spiral takes place when the pilgrim does not heed this wisdom and we see him, finally, making his “habitation” with the mockers, the arrogant, those who flat out refuse to listen. A wise sojourner will be very careful of the company that he keeps, especially as the closest of friends. Notice that the progression takes us from walking with the wicked to a place of settling down with those in outright rebellion to God. The Psalmist is reminding us, delight in God and His Word! Heed the instruction that He gives! This is where the blessing and encouragement will be found!
     And the result of such a life is found in verse 3. We will be deep rooted in our faith and nothing will move us. Our lives will be prosperous and fruitful in the work of God and for His glory. And, ultimately, we will stand at the judgment and know the greatest blessing of all, the warm welcome of our Savior as He bids us enter and we hear those words, “well done, good and faithful servant”! I long to see His face and to bring joy to His heart as I walk this pilgrim way and I’m sure you do, as well. Let’s prayerfully ponder and heed the words that the Psalmist has for us here and live the life of a blessed pilgrim.
Posted By: Pastor Tim8/17/2022 10:08:19 PM

We Must Not Let the Foundations Be Destroyed!
 If The Foundations Be Destroyed
In Psalm 11, verses 2 and 3, the Psalmist writes, "For look! The wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow on the string, that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?'. This verse is extremely significant in light of the recent events surrounding the document leak at the Supreme Court. As I write, the anger and vitriol coming from those who want to continue murdering babies in the name of medicine is ramping up. The threat of physical violence is growing, even as some pro-life organizations have already seen graffiti and Molotov cocktails! If this isn't what David had in mind when he penned this Psalm, I don't know what else he could have been writing about! The real issue in the events going on right now is that of continuing to do wicked while calling it good and wanting to silence those who disagree, even if it means shutting us up through threats and violence! Isaiah spoke of these people in chapter 5 of his book when he wrote, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Verses 20, 21). Our society is so warped and depraved now that it is calling the wickedness of murdering babies a right and a choice, even going so far as to see it as a good thing for women in particular and society at large. Listen to their reasoning: " Everyone benefits from abortion. Thanks to women who choose to have abortions and then generously donate their aborted fetuses to medical research, scientists have been able to use fetal tissue to develop all kinds of treatments and cures for diseases. Isn't science a wonderful thing?" ( Abortion Is Good for Everyone, It's Science! by Kaili Joy Gray). What kind of insanity is that? They don't want us eating chicken or eggs because it's cruel to the animals; they don't want us to use fossil fuels because it's bad for the planet; but they're okay with murdering babies so that they can harvest the organs and use the stem cells for research? God was absolutely on target when He said, "that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually". Humanity has done everything that it can to throw off the Bible, the Word of God, because they don't want to answer to the God found in that Word! This is not a political issue, nor is it one of rights found in the Constitution. This is a moral issue that is at the very foundation of our country! America was founded on the principles and truths of the Bible! None other than Patrick Henry himself, said, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." Herein lies the solid foundation of American liberty and freedom! He also stated, ""Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles." Friends, this is where we are today! The foundations are being destroyed! American has not only forgotten God, but we are now spitting in His face and rejoicing in wickedness and debauchery! When the LGBTQ+ crowd is allowed to publicly parade down the main streets of American towns and cities flaunting their wicked lifestyle, when men are given the okay to use women's restrooms and locker rooms because they "identify" as a female, when marriage has been redefined to accommodate any and all forms of vile lifestyles, then we have made ourselves, as a nation, enemies of God! And His just wrath will be poured out against such rebellion! The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1, verse 18, " For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness". So, what is the purpose of this article? It's primary purpose is to encourage Christians to speak up! We have truth on our side, the Bible, the Word of the Living God! We need to speak out and stand up for righteousness for a couple of reasons: 1) the glory of God! We started this article with Psalm 11:2, 3. Now look at verse 4, " The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men." God is not surprised nor worried about what is going on. He will allow wickedness to increase more and more, but He sees it all, and there is a day coming when He will judge the wickedness of man! He will vindicate Himself of their blasphemy and rebellion! God will be glorified before every person!; 2) The future of our children and grandchildren: Thomas Paine is quoted as saying, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace; and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty.” Friends, this is still true today! If we love our children and grandchildren, we will fight today for freedom, liberty, and righteousness so that they can have a peaceful and free future.; 3) The advancement of the Gospel: We are on the verge of losing our liberties to tyrants who want to tell the rest of us how to live. They are already shutting down free speech for conservatives and Christians, while they spew whatever hatred and vulgarities they so choose. Listen to me, please! We cannot lose religious liberty and hope to keep civil liberties! If we lose one, we will lose both! Those who are seeking to destroy the Judeo-Christian foundation of this country are doing it for one simple reason: POWER! They want the state to be god of your life instead of the God of the Bible! They are seeking nothing less than totalitarian rule where they call the shots and you and I just simply fall in line! The church doesn't need revival; it needs reformation! We need to be obedient to what Scripture commands us to do: walk humbly with our God, act justly, and seek mercy (Micah 6:8). Maybe, just maybe, if the church does these things, we will see God extend His hand of mercy and heal our land. If we don't, judgment is coming to America, beginning with the Church:      1 Peter 4:17, " For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" To our knees, Church, and then to the task, armed for battle!
Posted By: Pastor Tim5/10/2022 11:17:26 PM

Engaging In the Fight for a Righteous Nation
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)
      The true measure of a nation is its' righteousness. America is a nation that was, at one time in her history, a righteous nation. Does that mean that America was perfect? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Even though our country had the blight of slavery in its' earliest days, the principles for freedom and the value of every human being had been etched into the core of our fabric. It was found in the words, " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (Preamble to The Declaration of Independence). Even though it took this nation almost 100 years to begin the process of eliminating this heinous sin, we had to because we knew that it was an abomination before God and a hindrance to biblical righteousness. It cost the lives of 600,000 to 750,000 soldiers, way too many civilians, and led to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Today we seem to be fighting another civil war. This one is not being fought with bullets and cannonballs, but with ideologies and words. It is the battle for the soul of a nation. It is a battle between truth and deception, justice and injustice, and, at its' core, righteousness or lawlessness. Will America continue to be a nation that is blessed by God, or will we find ourselves under His judgment? It really is that serious.
       I've struggled for years with the question, "How involved should a Christian be in politics and the battle for the nation?". I mean, really, didn't Jesus say, "My kingdom is not of this world"? The commission He gave us as the Church was to go and make disciples. As a pastor, isn't that my main priority? As I've asked myself that question, studied my Bible, and sought God's wisdom in this, I keep coming back to the fact that God is the One who has ordained government. As an American citizen, because we live and function as a Constitutional Republic, I am part of the government. Again, in the Constitution, we read these words, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union...". It's "We the people", not Washington, D. C., that form the government. Therefore, we will be the ones held accountable for what happens to this country. And that includes Christians! Many of the issues that are tearing our nation apart today are not political. Abortion is not political, it is biblical. Gender and marriage are not political hot buttons, they are biblical truths by which we must live. The race war going on in our streets and courts is not a political football, it is a battle for the heart of the gospel that every person is a unique individual created by God for fellowship with Him and our fellow humanity. If we get these fundamental values wrong, we miss out on God's best for us as a person and as a nation.
       I write all of this to get to this point: Those who love truth, those who seek justice and love mercy, those who want to see America return to her position of favor in the eyes of the Creator God of the Bible, MUST take a stand for righteousness! We must fight back against the cancel culture and push back the forces of darkness that seek to eliminate God, undermine the gospel of Jesus Christ, and destroy the unalienable rights given to us by God Himself! If we don't, then it will not be long before we will be sitting with the shackles of our apathy and inaction dangling from our wrists and the chains of our own making binding us to a life of bondage and misery. The fight begins on our knees seeking the mercy and forgiveness of an offended, holy God; offended by our blatant disregard for His character and His Word. We must then arise from our knees, and with the message of the gospel on our lips, the compassion of Christ in our hearts, and a passion for holy living and a God-honoring nation, fight to our dying breath for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must also fight for our children and for generations to come! We can take the words of Thomas Paine to heart, "I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace" or we can become those to whom Samuel Adams was speaking when he said, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!" The choice is ours, friends. "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed." Romans13:11
Posted By: Pastor Tim3/15/2022 10:59:57 PM

Lebron James is Not Your Friend!
Romans 1
   I have been a fan of basketball since I was old enough to play. I remember the days of trying to make a basket on a hoop that was so high I couldn’t reach it with the basketball. But that didn’t deter me! As I got older and began to develop as a player, my love for the game grew, as well. And I had my favorite players: Doctor J (Julius Erving) from the Philadelphia 76ers, Larry Bird (Boston Celtics), and Darryl (Chocolate Thunder) Dawkins, who also played for the Sixers, were three of my favorites. And the reason? They were great basketball players and very entertaining! But I never considered them as role models for how I should grow up to live my life.
    The guys I just mentioned, and most players back in the day, understood that their job was to play basketball. But today we have athletes who believe it is their job to push political agendas and personal priorities, as well as to play basketball. And if you listen to some of them, the activism is more important than what they’re being paid to do, play a sport!
    One of the most vocal athletes today is Lebron James, a forward for the Los Angeles Lakers. He gets paid roughly $41 million a year, A YEAR, to play basketball. Now, let me go on a rant here and just say that if there is an individual who is privileged, who feels entitled, who has used the capitalistic system to its full advantage, it’s Lebron James! And yet he is spewing out trash about racism and “white privilege”. Look at some of the garbage he has put out there, “Being black in America is tough." – LeBron James addressing the vandalism of his home #NBAFinals— TBN (@TBNMedia) May 31, 2017
    Really, Lebron? You make over $40 million a year playing a game while many in the Black community work hard to try to put food on the table and pay their rent. When was the last time you missed a house payment or a meal? You live in a $100 million mansion with chefs, gardeners, and maids, while being driven around by a chauffeur (many of these employees are white), and yet you whimper and whine about how “tough” life as a Black man is!
    Another quote and then I’ll get to the heart of why I’m writing this. “LeBron James@KingJames “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because it’s being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY” 7:31 PM · Apr 21, 2021·Twitter for iPhone
    Lebron shows his true colors here as he proclaims that “This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system”. He doesn’t want justice to be served, he wants the whole system burned down! And therein lies the issue! I titled this article, “Lebron James is Not Your Friend” because we need to understand what Lebron is all about.
    First, Lebron is about Lebron. As a multimillionaire, he has enjoyed the benefits of a capitalistic, free society. As much as he wants to decry the system and how it was created to oppress the Black community, his life and lifestyle fully contradict his argument. You can’t “work” in a system that pays you millions of dollars and allows you to leave at the end of your contract and go to another team that will pay you more and say that you are being treated like a slave! You can’t live in a multimillion dollar home that you can sell and move from to another multimillion dollar home anywhere in the country and say that you are being oppressed! Sure, people may spray paint racist words on the gate of your fortress, but at least you have a gate! How about the hundreds of Blacks who die each year from Black-on-Black crime simply because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time? Why not get angry about the Black children who are aborted before they even have a chance to take a breath or who are accidently shot during gang related drive by shootings? This goes out to those in the Black community, Lebron James is not looking out for your best interests! If he were, he would be speaking to the issues of abortion, poverty, and strong families. He would be encouraging men to be a father to their children and women to actually have those children. He would be working to get Planned Parenthood out of poor Black neighborhoods. Margaret Sanger was a racist who believed that the best way to keep the “undesirables” from reproducing was to place her “family planning” abortion mills in poor Black neighborhoods. You don’t believe it? Read her own words, ““We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” (From a letter she wrote in 1939 to Dr. C. J. Gamble)
    But the bigger, and more serious issue, is that Lebron James is a part of that elitist group that wants to tear down the system that we have as a Constitutional Republic, where all people are represented by our government, and replace it with a system of the wealthy and powerful ruling over the “lesser”, regardless of their skin color. This is better known as socialism. And what better way to do it than to spew hatred and division. This is really the agenda of the Left, not just Lebron James. Whether it’s the radical Democrats, the mainstream media, (the propaganda arm of the Left), Hollywood, the National Education Association (NEA) and the teacher’s union, or billionaires like George Soros, their goal is to destroy the Judeo-Christian principles and morality that this nation was founded upon and the freedoms and rights (which our Declaration of Independence states are given to us by the Creator God of the Bible and are unalienable) we enjoy as a Constitutional Republic.
    The Bible tells us why it is that America was able to not only survive, but thrive, for much of her past, “Righteousness exalts a nation...” (Proverbs 14:34). Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his book, Democracy in America, “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers—and it was not her fertile fields and boundless forests—and it was not her rich mines and her vast world commerce—and it was not her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” John Adams (1735-1826, 2nd President of the U. S.) wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    And that leads us to the second part of Proverbs 14:34, “But sin is a reproach to any people”. America is in trouble. It’s not because we are dependent on foreign oil, nor is it because of climate change. America isn’t floundering because of “systemic racism” or a need to defund the police. America’s illness isn’t even Covid-19 and the economic and social ramifications of 2 years of isolation, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and government overreach. America’s biggest threat is the looming judgment from an offended God, the God of the Bible, because of our sin! The horror of abortion (almost 63.5 million precious souls murdered since the passage of Roe V. Wade), sexual deviancy of every kind (homosexuality & lesbianism, transgenderism, the push to sexualize children at a very young age, sex outside of marriage without consequences), violence in the streets, rampant drug abuse with government approval and support, the suppression of religious freedom (mostly Christianity: closing of churches, pastors arrested, Bible being labeled as hate speech, censorship on social media platforms), and the list goes on! We have seen God remove His hand of blessing from our nation and we now see the potential fierceness of His wrath brooding over us! We have gone from, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12) to “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
    Some might ask, “Is there any hope for America”? My answer would be, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). This is not a battle that will be won through elections, politicians, or legislation (however, we need to be involved in the political process because this is the government that God has given us and to be good citizens of this nation is to be involved). This battle will ultimately be fought on our knees as we plead with God for mercy and a restoration of the principles upon which this nation was founded. And it will be fought as we get up from our knees and go out to share the life transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. Notice that in neither of those statements did I say that the battle would be won. I wonder sometimes if America has wandered too far from her moorings. Romans chapter 1 also tells us numerous times that “God gave them up (over)...” (verses 24, 26, and 28). This phrase literally means that He “surrendered” them to these things, He basically hands them over to the sin that has replaced Him! This is what happens to a person and/ or a nation that rejects God too often.
    So, friend, we must return to God! We must repent of how we are doing things now because it is an offense to Him and we must turn back to the ways of His Word. America may never be restored. We may see our way of life radically transformed as this push toward Socialism continues. “The land of the free and the home of the brave” may one day cease to exist, but never forget, “that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the Word of God is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:8, 9). The Bible may be banned, churches shuttered, Christians arrested, and Christianity outlawed, but they can never silence the Gospel! We may have to give our lives for the truth, but as long as we keep sharing the Truth people will be delivered from the bonds of sin, Christ’s church will continue to be built, and we will be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37)! And so, I would encourage you, “endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3), and, in the end you will, “receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).
Posted By: Pastor Tim2/16/2022 3:29:40 PM

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