Posts Tagged 'Gospel'

The Difference Between Political Liberalism And The Gospel

            I was talking with my son earlier today and was trying to explain why some people are political liberals.  We started with the understanding that many people are liberal because it feels good, and it is good when we help others.  I went on to explain that liberals become conservatives when we personalize the questions.  Brad Pitt is against the death penalty when it comes to using the death penalty to punish criminals who have actually killed other people intentionally.  Yet, recently he has said that he would rethink his position when it comes to dealing with BP.  How absurd that we would be willing to use the death penalty to kill humans who have harmed the earth, but would not use it to punish those who have brutally murdered others.  Can you say hypocrite?  It is actually pronounce, Brad Pitt.  Political liberals want you and me to be better, but they do not have to pay the price—insert any liberal politician here and see how it works in the real world.

            As Christians we are called to be liberals.  To do that we have to understand what it really means.  You see there is a simple difference between political and spiritual liberalism.  Political liberals believe in helping others using the money of others.  They also believe in helping others and, at the same time, creating a dependence that feeds the problem rather than changing their lives so they can become productive people—reuniting with their family and their culture.

            Spiritual liberals believe that we should invest ourselves and our money to help others.  Spiritual liberals, something we are all called to be, means using our money and our time to feed the hungry, help the helpless, and any number of other good deeds such as made up the life of Jesus.

            Jesus did so much good that his leaders killed him for it.  Are you on anyone’s death list?  If not, maybe you are not liberal enough—spiritually speaking of course.


Maybe Its Time To Reevaluate Our Faith


            We cannot continue like we are going.  Modern Christianity has lost its connection to historic, first century Christianity.  We have lost our way.  Maybe you are a skeptic and want more proof than my bold declaration that we have lost our way.


            I think that the proof is in the pudding as they say where I live.  And the pudding is to look at how we are changing our world.  From the time of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry through the end of the first century the Church of Jesus Christ, and of course the master himself, turned their world upside down.  They did it without modern communication.  They did it without written apologetics.


            There were no televisions to promote the word.  There was no radio ministry.  Shoot, even their newsletters had to be written on reed parchments.  It was not an easy time to communicate.  And forget about traveling.  To get from one place to another they either walked or rode a donkey or horse.  Nothing was easy for these guys and ladies, and yet, they turned the world upside down.


            What did they have that we did not have?  Nothing.  What do we have that they did not have?  Everything.  And therein lays the answer.


            Jesus was homeless.  He was also relatively unemployed; in fact, Peter found the money to pay the taxes Jesus owed in the mouth of a fish.  Clearly, Jesus did not have a strong mailing list to go to for help.


            Where were the intercessors when Jesus needed them?  Here He is, facing the lord of Hell on a daily basis, and His ministry is not fully developed by our standards.  Yet He managed to accomplish the most important goal of anyone in history.  An accomplishment that stands as the turning point of history—even now.


            The second most critical person in the history of Christianity is the Apostle Paul.  A quick look at his life, found in I Corinthians 4:11 “To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;”


            So now we are two for two.  The master and his top man are both homeless.  How many of our leaders are homeless?  How many of our leaders are hungry and thirsty?  How many of our leaders are poorly clothed and roughly treated?


            You got it—none!


            I am not saying that we all have to be homeless, hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed, and roughly treated to be true Christians.  What I am saying is that there is something missing because the Church, largely on the Christian right, does not have any place for those who are homeless, just as Jesus was homeless. 


            It is time we returned to a simpler day.  A day when we placed less value on the things we owned or the size of the reserves in our ministry. 


            The problem is that we are not asking the right questions.  We are concerned with what looks right for the staid and set believers around us.  We are concerned with not offending people.  All the time we teach that Jesus was offensive to most everyone he met.  Some He offended into the kingdom.  Some He offended so much that they had Him killed.


            Instead of wondering how to keep up with the Jones it is time we learned how to keep up with the Jesuses of our world.


            The question we have to ask ourselves is:  How do I respond to those around me the way Jesus did?  How do I learn to appreciate everything in its proper place the way Paul did?


            Maybe instead of fighting to get to the top of the heap we should be fighting to get to the bottom of the heap.


            Maybe instead of believing God for a new car and a better house we should be believing God to show us how to live with less.  Maybe we should be praying for the prosperity Paul had—you remember, the prosperity of hunger and thirst and homelessness.


            Where are the television preachers showing us how to move down the ladder in God’s will, rather than spending years convincing us that God wants us at the top of the heap in the nicest clothes and best cars and mansions in this world?


            Maybe I am dreaming.  I am not there.  But at some point we have to come to grips with the truth of the Gospel and not just the parts that make us feel good.

Help Me Stand With Larry Keffer

When American missionary Larry Keffer began street evangelism in Oslo, Norway he knew the cost would be great!  He knew that he could be arrested!  He knew that he could find himself in court and possibly even in jail! 


He went anyway!  And he shared his faith in public places.  He did this because he knows how important it is to continue to try and reach the world with the Christian faith.  Larry also knows the importance of bringing the Gospel message to Europe—the spiritually dark continent. 


In the midst of calmly sharing his message Larry was arrested.  I represented Larry at trial.  He was convicted because the Norwegian police law actually carries more weight than the right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  In America Larry might have been arrested, but as soon as we went to court he would have been found not guilty.


Now Larry has lost his case at the Norwegian Court of Appeals and we are preparing to take his appeal to the Supreme Court of Norway.  From there, if we lose we will go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France in our quest for justice for Larry.


Stand with me as I stand with Larry in the courts of Europe.  Together we can make a difference!  Together we can keep the door open for the proclamation of the Gospel in Europe!


You can stand with Larry, the IHRG, and me by going to our website.  Your tax deductible gift will help keep the door open for Christians in Europe who are fighting to bring freedom.

If Obama Wins I Am Not Leaving The Country, There I Said It!

            The title says it all.  I believe in America, and America is not the President.  America is a Constitutional Republic that lives long after really lousy government officials have faded into the dark night.  Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton continue to prove this for us in the modern era.  We are a land founded on the principle of freedom for everyone, from the lowest to the highest.  We are a land where not only the king, queen, and royal family can find prosperity, but everyone finds prosperity of some kind here.


            The difference in liberals and conservatives is seen in this approach.  Where are the conservatives in Hollywood screaming that if they do not get their way they are moving to another country where they will be properly worshipped and respected?


            Of course, we all knew that Alec Baldwin was not really moving—not enough worshippers in other parts of the world.  Barbra Streisand was never going anywhere.  These guys were just doing what my mother used to call “pitching a fit.”


            Maybe it is just that we really are smarter.  I do not think so, but I am willing to consider it.  Maybe it is just that we have a more balanced approach to life.  That I do believe.


            The real difference is that conservatives are willing to honestly evaluate their lives and their beliefs without fear of hating what they see.


            Liberals, on the other hand, are tolerant as long as it is their shortcomings.  Thus, if Bush is elected President we are leaving the country.


            In 2001 I lived in Strasbourg, France.  While we were there we had a friend who was from Siberia.  She lived in France as an immigrant from Russia.  She summed it up best when she said, “You know, I can live the rest of my life in France, get married, have children, become a part of the French world and I will always be a Russian—never French.  If I can come to America, I can become an American—that is what America is.”


            Forget the fact that we have lost some of moral standard to corruption and greed.  Forget the fact that we have a city full of people whose only challenge is to get in front of a television camera so they can increase their fortunes.  Here I am actually speaking of Washington, D.C. not Los Angeles. 


Our politicians are celebrities now.  Our celebrities seem to think we value their opinion.  Personally, I am tempted to go to a Bruce Springsteen concert with a bull horn just to get the opportunity to yell, “Hey, Boss, just shut up and sing would you.  We came to hear you sing your moral less songs, not to hear you share your volumes of political ignorance.”


We were clearly founded by men who were influenced by the morality of the Bible if not by their personal belief in the Gospel of the Bible—that would be Jesus for you left coasters.  These were men who understood that if you want to govern others through a system of freedom you must first govern yourself.


Barney Frank would have been rejected by the founding fathers.  He has never shown the ability to govern himself—thus he is not qualified to govern others.  They would not even have to get to the fact that he ran an escort service out of his congressional office in Washington to disqualify him.


As long as our idea of prosperity begins and ends with enriching ourselves we will never reach the place God has always intended for us.  We will never reach to the immortality that was intended for those who are created in God’s image.


When are we going to learn that it does not matter what the outside of the cup looks like, it is only what is on the inside that matters, for out of the mouth the heart speaks. 


I had a cousin who summed it up best, “You can put a five hundred dollar suit on a pig and you still have pork chops underneath.”

Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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