Has Donald Trump Killed Christianity in America?

Let me be perfectly clear about Christianity.

Christianity is about one man – Jesus Christ.

It is not about Donald Trump, Joe Biden or any political party.

Over the past four years I have been disgusted as I have witnessed Christians and Evangelicals engage in their unholy alliance with an immoral leader. I have been amazed how people who sold out just to promote an agenda. They embraced a president to support political platforms. Make no mistake about it, Trump used Christians to support HIS agenda. To disregard the morals of a leader is foolish.

So can Christianity recover from this? Christians have a serious public relations problem to repair the damage that has been done over the past four years.

FALSE PROPHETS NEED TO STEP DOWN

I rolled my eyes as the so-called prophets came forward to prophesy that God had told them without a doubt that Trump would be win the election. God told them nothing. These false prophets should be glad we aren’t living under Old Testament law or they would be a lot of stones flying around. The only appropriate response for those who claimed that God told them that Trump would be re-elected is for them all to step down from their leadership positions. This is the only option but none will because of their love of money and need to have a ministry. How can these people ever be respected ever again?

Franklin Graham even compared Trump to Jesus being betrayed by Judas when he was impeached for the riot on the United States Capitol on January 6th. It is disappointing how far Christian leaders have gone with their devotion. If there is any “Judas” here, it is those Christian leaders who have led their followers astray from God to a former reality television personality.

REPENT AND REFOCUS

Christians definitely need some good public relations now and it’s not going to be easy to repair their image. They can start by repenting. Repent that they took their focus off of God and put it on a man and a political party. Platforms and politicians don’t save people, Jesus does. I hope that evangelicals have learned their lesson and won’t endorse a political candidate or tell their people who they should vote for in the future. The pulpit is not the place for politics. Christians lost their way on that and got caught up in a man who pulled the Christian string whenever he needed it.

Over the past four years Christians have been gaslighted by Donald Trump. I was amazed that I never read a single article which questioned this alliance or any preacher who discouraged it in spite of Trump’s immoral activities. Instead, it was excused or completely overlooked. It has been very strange to see Christians vehemently support and defend his actions. It’s almost as if Christians were lured away. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The spiritual leader during Trump’s term was Paula White. That should have been a blazing red flag from the beginning. Many of the spiritual superstars lined up in Trump’s corner. They excused his behavior all for the agenda. The problem with making a deal with the devil is that you will get burned. That’s what has happened to Christians.

By the way, I have disabled the comments for this post. I don’t need to read anything from any haters of this post. You can create your own blog. I have endured four years of being afraid to say anything because of the culture we were in. I have regrettably had to unfriend people and distance myself from Trump supporters because they say that “agree to disagree” but they don’t. Fortunately I still have a remnant of Christian friends and pastors who continued to point people to Christ and not Trump.

So in this year’s election, polls revealed that 81% of white Evangelicals voted for Trump. This is a serious PR nightmare for the Christian church. No, not all Christians supported Trump and we shouldn’t assume that all Christians were supportive of the former president but the perception now is that if you are a white male and say you are a Christian people will immediately assume you are a Trump supporter and a Republican. Yes, this is unfair but this is going to be the assumption. No, not all Christians were Trump supporters but too many were silent in speaking against Him.

The Bible verse that often came to mind over these four years has been Matthew 24:24 which warns us that people could deceive the very elect. This, my friends, has happened. I did wonder at times if it were possible that the beast and/or anti-Christ were among us. That wasn’t the case but the scary thing this has shown us is how easily a charismatic leader could enter the worlds’ stage and influence so many.

FOUR WAYS TO REPAIR CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA

So if I were the PR person for Christianity in America, what would I do to repair the damage from the last four years? Here’s a few things to start with:

#1 – Stay out of politics

If you are attending a church where the pastor is telling you who to vote for or campaigning for a political candidate, leave immediately. There is no place in church for this. Actually churches are prohibited from doing this or they lose their tax-exemption status.

#2 – Put the focus back on Christ

The Great Commission says nothing about supporting a President or political party. That is not and has never been the focus. It is not about a political platform, it is a spiritual agenda.

#3 – Stop being a church building

The church needs to stop gathering at a building and more about being the church. It has become a club or secret society for many. I have seen some churches which, instead of going to a building, they go out to help the homeless or help those in need. There needs to be more of this.

#4 – Stop being Christians and start being examples

People need hope, not an agenda. Start by helping people and being the example that Christians SHOULD be. Many have defined Christians as being “christ-like” but the last four years have been anything but that.

Christianity in America has not been destroyed by former President Donald Trump but it has a lot of work to do to repair the damage that has been done over the past four years. Just as with any other huge task, you can only start working at it one day at a time. Don’t put your hope in the new president or a political party. It is time for Christianity and Evangelicals to repent, repair and get back to the mission of the Gospel which is the “good news” about Jesus Christ.

The “Fast” Way To God

One of the most difficult spiritual disciplines is fasting. There is a semi-well known TV preacher who starts every year leading his church in a 21-day fast. He claims that’s why his church is thriving and has grown into a mega church. I’m not sure about that but I do know that a biblical fast can be beneficial to the believer. Not necessarily to grow a church congregation, but to grow you spiritually.

Fasting takes incredible discipline. It is not a diet and not something you enter into lightly. This isn’t a weight loss plan but a way to adjust your priority back to God.

The most important part of fasting is your motive. You’d better have a pure motive if you are going to voluntarily go without food. I was taught in the church that fasting was a way to get God’s attention and to change His mind. This isn’t a good plan to get your way. Fasting is getting your attention on God. Too many people get this backwards. You can’t make God do anything even with fasting. Fasting is how you align yourself with God.

Do you have to go without food to do a fast? Some people say they are going to “fast” TV or social media. That really isn’t a biblical fast but those actions are still good things to do. There are, however, different ways to fast. Most think they you have to go totally without food for a specific time. Certainly this is the ideal method of fasting but you can also do a partial fast or do without some of your favorite foods. There is also a “Daniel fast” which Daniel did in the Old Testament where he only ate fruits and vegetables. (Daniel 1:12) I wouldn’t recommend the extreme fast where you go 40 days without food AND water. We aren’t Jesus and it could be detrimental to your health to be that ambitious.

So how long should you fast? The preacher I mentioned earlier traditionally calls for a 21-day fast. That’s a pretty good length of time. Be very careful trying a 40-day fast. That one is pretty brutal. A 3-day fast is pretty reasonable. The type and length of time is between you and God.

That’s another important thing about a fast. It’s personal. Don’t brag about it. You will defeat the whole purpose of fasting if you advertise it to get attention or sympathy. (Matthew 6:17-18) It is important to let your household know of your intentions to fast so they will know why you aren’t eating or the change to your routine.

When you decide to go on a fast, this is when people will come out of nowhere to offer to buy your lunch or your favorite restaurant will have a special on your favorite meal. Once when I was in the middle of a 3-day fast, that was when someone in my house decided it was a good time to bake some chocolate chip cookies. This is why it is one of the most difficult spiritual disciplines.

Now I am not an expert on fasting and definitely not someone who can brag about being good at it. I have had some limited success but I have also failed and have had false starts many times. It isn’t easy and it’s not fun.

Do you HAVE to fast? No. It’s not a commandment or requirement to get to heaven however, it is important and something we all should do.

Here are some tips I have learned about fasting:

  • Don’t jump into a fast. Don’t immediately decide you’re going without food tomorrow. Work your way into it gradually. I suggest starting with one meal and working your way to your goal.
  • Do something else when you normally would eat. Usually this is a good time to pray, read your Bible or meditate on God. Don’t sit and think about being hungry and missing the meal.
  • Allow your body to adjust. You will probably get a headache when you begin your fast. Hang in there. Let your body adjust to the change.
  • Don’t advertise your fast. Bragging about fasting will cancel out your sacrifice.
  • Drink more water. More water intake will help with your headaches and help with the hunger.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you give into food. Regroup yourself mentally and start again.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you have any health issues and can’t physically fast. If you legitimately can’t fast, God understands.
  • Gradually end your fast. Don’t have a buffet right away. Once after I fasted I decided I was have Hardee’s for breakfast. Big mistake. It made me sick.
  • Leave the results to God. Don’t be focused on fasting changing God, let it change you.

If there is one thing I can leave with you is fasting isn’t to change God’s mind, it is to change you and help you to focus on Him. Certainly fasting can produce results but don’t just be consumed with the results. God will honor your sacrifice but He also sees your motives. Fast for the right reasons and when you stomach growls due to lack of food let that be praises going up to God.

Fasting is a fast way to get back to God. If you have lost your focus or need to get a closer relationship with God, fasting will help bring you back.

Football Friday Ramblings

The football season is winding down. The NFL playoffs start this weekend. I’m really surprised that the NFL got through an entire 16-game schedule without any COVID forfeits or cancellations. They did have to shuffle the schedule a few times with some but every team managed play the entire schedule with either no fans or a small group of fans in attendance. Last year I watched our local Tennessee Titans surprise everyone with wins over New England and upset top-seeded Baltimore before losing to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game. It’s a different scenario this year with Baltimore traveling to Nashville for the wildcard playoff game. Although the Titans are the home team, the Tennessee defense makes me nervous. I’m really not confident that the Titans can repeat the task of knocking off the Ravens. In fact, the Titans are the underdogs in this game even playing at home. So how do I see the games in this “super” wildcard weekend?

  • Buffalo Bills over Indianapolis Colts
  • Seattle Seahawks over Los Angeles Rams
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Washington Football Team
  • Baltimore Ravens over Tennessee Titans
  • New Orleans Saints over Chicago Bears
  • Pittsburgh Steelers over Cleveland Browns

In college football, Alabama will play Ohio State for the national championship. I don’t even care enough to make a comment on this.

In high school football, the team I used to follow for many years – Warner Robins – finally won the state title after in their fourth straight championship appearance. There were heartbreaking losses in the past three years but they broke through in a big way with a 62-28 win over Cartersville to claim the school’s fifth state title. I only wish they would change their nickname. I’m not comfortable with supporting a team with “Demons” for their nickname.

IMG Academy from Bradenton, Florida finished as the nation’s top high school football team according to USA Today. Here are the final rankings:

  1. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
  2. Duncanville (Texas)
  3. North Shore (Galena Park, Texas)
  4. Grayson (Loganville, Georgia)
  5. St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  6. Chandler (Arizona)
  7. Thompson (Alabaster, Alabama)
  8. St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
  9. Austin Westlake (Texas)
  10. Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah)
  11. Center Grove (Greenwood, Indiana)
  12. American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)
  13. Katy (Texas)
  14. Miami Columbus (Florida)
  15. Trinity (Louisville, Kentucky)
  16. Oakland (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
  17. Dutch Fork (Irmo, South Carolina)
  18. Carthage (Texas)
  19. Buford (Georgia)
  20. Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colorado)
  21. Bixby (Oklahoma)
  22. Cathedral (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  23. Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
  24. Pine-Richland (Gibsonia, Pennsylvania)
  25. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, New Jersey)

This season I have been trying a new football simulation game call Pro Football Strategy 2021. Not much with graphics on the actual game but a very good simulator for stat nerds like me. It is also a good customizable league which allows you to create your own team, team names and league. The best one I created was the Tennessee Football League with eight teams. Here were the final standings in my league:

In the playoffs, Chattanooga beat Nashville 30-14, Clarksville defeated Jackson 30-27. Clarksville won the league championship beating Chattanooga 30-27.

I really had my doubts that there would be any football played this season. Football isn’t the most important thing right now. It has been a strange season for sure. I’m hoping that the football season will be back to normal next fall.

New Year, New Peace

We all were eager to end 2020 to begin a new year after the year we have had last year. It is good to have a positive attitude and hope for the future but simply changing the number on the calendar’s year won’t magically change things.

Phillipians 3:13-14 tells us that “I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Things will be no different in 2021 unless we reach forward and fulfilling our calling that Christ has given each one of us.

When people say “calling” most immediately think of preachers or someone in a church leadership position but not everyone are preachers or have a theology degree behind our names. Our calling is to do what we can do to point people to Christ. You don’t have to be a spiritual superstar to do that. You don’t have to preach to people, just point them to Christ. He is our hope and help in this new year. Even if more storms come into our lives, Christ can be our peace.

So what exactly is this peace that Christ can give us when we are sick or losing our business or when our lives are falling apart?

I honestly don’t know what it is or how it works. I just know that it can work if you commit to it. In fact, Jesus told us that we wouldn’t be able to understand the peace that He gives anyway. (Philippians 4:7). Just because we don’t “understand” it doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

I have experienced this peace myself and I know it works until you start trying to understand it or look at the situation instead of trusting in God. Time and again we must put our trust in God and leave the results to Him.

Easy to do? Absolutely not. We are human and we want results. We are impatient and we want to MAKE things happen. Believe me, I am not the expert. I am often the student who has to learn this way over and over again.

It takes incredible faith to let it go and let God take care of things. Peace isn’t something we can find in something tangible. We can’t drink it, we can’t touch it and there is no prescription for it. There is an old saying that goes “Know God, Know Peace. No God, No Peace.”

If we have another year like we had last year, we are going to need His peace to get through it.

Although we can’t understand the peace that Christ can give us, is there anything we can do to make ourselves open to it?

Here are some things that will help:

  • Have some quiet time – you would be surprised how just a few minutes of quiet time will help you to make room for peace. You don’t have to spend hours of meditation. Just start small. Begin with 5-7 minutes. Set your alarm and do it. Just sit in silence.
  • Put the phone down – unplug from social media. Take a break from your phone. Take a timeout from your phone and let your mind breathe.
  • Sing – find a song that encourages you and sing it. The right songs can make a huge difference. I can’t tell you how many times I have found the right song at the right time.
  • Encourage others – nothing helps you more than encouraging others. Be kind to people. Be someone’s answer to prayer.
  • Do what you can, not what you can’t – Know your limitations and let it go. Don’t try to control things that you can’t control.

The new year will be filled with challenges but it also has a place for peace. Give the peace of Christ a chance. Here’s a line from the song “Peace be Still” by The Belonging Co. featuring Lauren Daigle:

Peace be still
You are here so it is well 
Even when my eyes can't see
I will trust the voice that speaks. 

Forgiveness Is A Gift Worth Giving

If you’ve lived any length of time, you will have the opportunity to forgive. It isn’t the easiest thing about life.

As we approach Christmas Day, many will be exchanging gifts. Sometimes there are gifts you can’t wrap and put under the tree. To forgive someone is a gift that is priceless and it is worth doing.

I wish I could do a better job at being quick to forgive. It’s hard. When we are hurt or wronged, we want the other person to pay for what they have done. Time is an enemy of forgiveness. When something is not forgiven, it often turns into a grudge and roots continue to grow deeper inside of us. It’s difficult to let things go.

If there is someone you are estranged with, make the effort and give the gift of forgiveness. It won’t be easy and it won’t always be a feel good moment. Forgiveness does you as much good as it does the other person. Don’t wait until someone is on their deathbed before you decide to forgive. That’s cheap forgiveness. Forgive while you still have the opportunity to redeem the lost time.

For most of my adult life, I was estranged from my parents. We couldn’t seem to agree on how I should live my life. We would try to reconcile but unresolved issues always came up to cause problems. My mother went to her grave holding her grudge. My dad reconciled with me during the last months of his life. Yeah, it still upsets me. It never had to be this way.

Forgiving isn’t always perfect or neat. It’s one thing to forgive but it’s another when you try to get past the offense. It takes time and patience. Sometimes you can ask someone to forgive you and they might refuse to accept it. That’s hard. In those cases, you can only do your part in forgiveness. You can’t force the other party to accept. Just be patient. Sometimes it takes time for it to sink it or sometimes it may never be returned. It may never be quick with tears and a hug.

We are too easily able to simply write people off. If they hurt us, we shut them out of our lives. That’s sad. Sometimes the offense is a misunderstanding or assumption that was made. There are also times when the hurt is legitimate. There are some things that are difficult to forgive. The problem with unforgiveness – whether it is legitimate or not – is that it becomes a dark place inside of you. Unless you deal with it, it will be a problem with other relationships you have. Trust is hard to achieve again. Offenses from one person becomes an assumption against others.

Don’t let forgiveness take root inside of you. Be willing to forgive – and if you are the offending party – be willing to ask for forgiveness.

I have had relationships in my life when it was a forgiveness standoff. One side was waiting for the other side to make the first move. That’s so ridiculous and frustrating because all that this does is waste time. Time is lost because of pride in waiting for the other side to make a move to forgiveness. Some people hold onto the anger and bitterness because they feel like it punishes the other party. Our bitterness keeps the other party on the hook.

The Bible says that, if possible, as much as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Honestly I don’t know how it is possible for someone to forgive some things such as child abuse or other vile things that happen in our world. It’s not always easy or possible.

We also shouldn’t assume it isn’t possible in order to avoid the unpleasant step in forgiveness. If there is something that we should be good at doing, it is to be good at forgiving. We have many opportunities to do it. From the woman opening her car door and dinging my car to the years-long severed relationship with a relative. It’s never easy but doing so doesn’t make you a weak person. We should certainly deal with the issues and hold people accountable when it is possible but also look for the common ground and way to forgiveness. There isn’t a statute of limitations for forgiveness.

I will also tell you a secret, people always say “forgive and forget” but you won’t magically forget the offense when you forgive. It isn’t possible to suddenly have something erased from your memory but forgiving and forgetting means that you don’t continue to hold that offense against someone or remind them of it. This is the hardest part of forgiveness.

Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ into the world. God sent Him here as a way to repair our relationship with Him and forgiveness for our sin. If God cared enough about forgiveness to send us Jesus, shouldn’t it be important that we give the gift of forgiveness to others?

When Prophets Get It Wrong

In my last blog, I revealed two of the many false prophets who alleged that God told them that Donald Trump would win re-election. I also witnessed the embarrassing “Holy Spirit laughter” that Kenneth Copeland performed for his followers.

Again, this was yet another embarrassment to God and His true followers.

So what happens when prophets get it wrong?

#1 – They blame the devil

The forces of evil were obviously too powerful to overcome. Apparently the angels from South America that Paula White summoned were hindered from getting here in time.

#2 – They say nothing

Admit no wrong or take responsibility for getting their predictions wrong or that they failed in actually hearing from God.

#3 – Lack of faith from their followers

This is another way to deflect the failure of their prophecies. Blame their followers and their lack of “sowing seeds” into their ministries to get the job done.

#4 – “I got it wrong but…that doesn’t make me a false prophet”

I don’t expect that most will admit they got it wrong but if they do , they will have a good explanation and a Bible reference to back them up.

Kris Vallotton, a senior associate leader at Bethel Church in Redding, California prophesied that Donald Trump would win re-election. He posted an apology on Instagram but then took it down when he believed the claims of election fraud. Initially he said, “I was wrong. I take full responsibility for being wrong. There’s no excuse for it. I think it doesn’t make me a false prophet, but it does actually create a credibility gap.”

Ya think?

Christianity Today wrote: “Mistakes in prophecy do not make everyone who’s mistaken a false prophet, any more than mistakes in teaching make everyone who’s mistaken a false teacher.”

Well that’s a convenient way for them to save face don’t you think? So a “false prophet” isn’t someone who said that God told them something when He didn’t? When was that definition changed?

A false prophet is a person who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or to speak for God, or who makes such claims for evil ends.

If they claim God said something that He didn’t then that makes them a false prophet. That’s not too difficult to define. The truth hurts just like the election results to most evangelicals.

Okay, so these folks got ONE prophecy wrong. Does that make them false prophets? They can’t be expected to be perfect right? Isn’t there a “three strikes rule” or something?

The problem is that these people aren’t prophets. They claim to be prophets because they want to be special as if they are some super spiritual leader just because they think they have the “gift” of prophecy. Being a prophet is a very serious thing and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly for popularity. When prophets got it wrong in the Old Testament days, it didn’t end well for them.

It seems very odd that I haven’t found anyone that actually predicted that Joe Biden would win the election. Some are still clinging to the idea that a supernatural event is going to happen and make their predictions that Trump with have a second term.

I once heard a preacher say that the enemy of the church isn’t the devil. The enemy of the church is pride. The Bible says that God resists the proud. These superstars are too full of pride to admit their were wrong or risk being accused of being a false prophet because of their false predictions.

I came from a church where I witnessed spiritual abuse. People claiming to hear from God when they didn’t. They were only trying to push some sort of religious agenda or manipulate the emotions of their congregations. I believe that there are prophets today. I just don’t think they have multi-million dollar ministries and fly their private jets around the world.

Chris Roseborough of Pirate Christian Radio has a YouTube channel called “Fighting for the Faith” and I found one of his recent videos that were spot on with this subject. You can view the video here.

Back in my past life, I used to watch these televangelist and even sipped on the koolaide myself. In fact, on the 700 Club I have seen their folks have prayers at the end of their programs and during the prayer they would share a “word of knowledge” where they would say something like “There is a man named Robert who is having pain in his kidneys right now but God is healing that right now.” And then they would finish this prayer with the magic phrase “in Jesus’ name”.

The Bible says that “for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

It’s time to stop the foolishness and trying to be God’s Superstar in Christianity. What the nation needs now is unity and hope, not division and even more reasons not to be a Christian.

Beware of False Prophets!

It upsets me to hear so-called celebrity preachers make it their mission to convince us that they can hear from God. In the past week, I have heard and seen two well-known Christian personalities predict the results of the Presidential election. Both Pat Robertson and Paula White promoted themselves as representatives of God in announcing that Donald Trump would win re-election.

He didn’t.

“First of all, I want to say without question, Trump is going to win the election,’’ Robertson told us.

Paula White, President Trump’s “spiritual advisor” while speaking in tongues said that angels were on their way from Africa and South America to assist with the election to secure Trump’s victory.

They were wrong.

So doesn’t that make them false prophets?

In Deuteronomy 18:20, A false prophet is a person who “presumes to speak in My name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods.” They also offer false visions, divinations, idolatries AND DELUSIONS OF THEIR OWN MINDS. (Jeremiah 14:14)

Today’s false prophets should be thankful they aren’t living in the Old Testament times.

I think delusions accurately describe the predictions from Robertson and White. I am sure they will explain their errors that their followers will believe and maintain their million dollar ministries but the truth is that they are false prophets. They should remove themselves from their pulpits and stop giving God a bad name. Most importantly, they should stop speaking for God when He hasn’t spoken to them.

God did not tell Robertson that Trump was going to win and White did not summon angels from other parts of the world to do her bidding. It makes me wonder if they may be speaking for the wrong team. It would certainly seem that way.

Be careful who you listen to. If someone tries to tell you that “God told me….” that should be a red flag. Use your common sense and keep the verse in Matthew 7:15 in mind that warns us to “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

People like Robertson and White make the job for true prophets and ministries much more difficult with their antics. They are an embarrassment to God and will be held accountable for misleading their followers. Robertson and White aren’t the only ones. They are just the more public attention seekers that we have seen over the past week while votes were being counted. There have been many preachers standing behind their pulpits using their position to persuade their congregations on what God has “told” them about the election and who to vote for.

Stop telling people that God has told you something when He hasn’t. Stop the ridiculous act of speaking in tongues in an attempt to make your predictions legitimate. That is not the function of the speaking in tongues. Too many use it to manipulate people into thinking God is speaking.

Don’t send your money to support these ministries. Read the Bible for yourself and talk to God for yourself and don’t embarrass God and the hard work many good people are doing by telling us that God has shared some secret with you.

Robertson and White should step down. God would certainly tell them that if they were truly hearing from Him.

Who Would God Endorse For President?

As we finally approach Election Day in the United States, most of us are quite weary of the political battle from this year’s presidential race.  Without a doubt our country is sharply divided in their support.  Honestly, I don’t know if we are living up to the definition of being united.

So, who does God support in this election?   Does He want us to vote for Biden or Trump?  Who would He endorse?

While God IS concerned about the outcome, He is not going to tell you who to vote for.  That decision still goes back to the issue of our free will.  Even in the Old Testament, the Israelites complained that they wanted a king like the other nations.  God relented and gave them what they wanted. (1 Samuel 8) They had some good and some bad kings of it because of their own choices.  Yeah, that is quite a lame explanation but God isn’t going to tell you who you should vote for and He hasn’t told anyone – even Pat Robertson – who is going to win.  It is also unacceptable for any preacher to stand behind their pulpit and tell you who you should vote for.  If you attend a church like that then I suggest you leave it.  It’s not up to a religious leader to spiritually manipulate anyone to vote one way or the other.

People will want to say it isn’t about the integrity of the person running for office that’s important, it’s about the agenda of their party.

Really?

You could spend hours picking apart the pros and cons of each party to support your case but you won’t find the answer there.

The integrity of a leader IS important.   So, which one is that between Biden and Trump?  I have already cast my vote but regardless who I voted for I do not think they are the perfect leader. 

God wants us to make an informed decision but the problem is that there are so many skewed views that it is almost impossible for some people to make a decision.

The Bible tells us that ultimately God is in control.  Frankly, at this point in time I don’t see any evidence of that.  We are in complete chaos with the pandemic, racial injustice and lawlessness.  Whoever wins the election is going to have their hands full.  I wouldn’t want the job.

The thing that God did tell us to do was to pray for our leaders.  (1 Timothy 2:2) We should do that with whoever is in charge.  We certainly need to do a lot of that.  Just think about it – the job as President of the United States of America is a heavy, heavy burden for anyone.  Regardless of what you do, they won’t make everyone happy.  It amazes me that we are entrusting these duties with men in their 70s.  When many are retired at that age, one of these two men will have a job that will seriously age them even more.

Does it matter to God who our president is?  Of course, it does but how will it work into his plan?  None of us knows.  It is my hope that we will become the UNITED States of America instead of what we have become.

You and I as voters have only one vote.  That’s all we can do.  Whatever happens we still trust God and leave the results up to Him.

It’s in these times that free will sucks.  We could seriously get this wrong.  I would prefer God to tell us “Thou shalt vote for….” But He’s not going to do that. 

Regardless of the outcome, let us be the best that we can be.  Let’s maintain our integrity.  We can’t control what others do; we can only control ourselves and our own actions.  Honestly neither Biden or Trump knows us personally but God does. 

God isn’t going to endorse a candidate.  That’s our choice.  Good or bad we will have to live with that choice.  I have a feeling that it’s going to be messy.  I hope America makes the right choice.

TALKING TO A GOD WHO DOESN’T TALK BACK

I have always been a believer.

Since an early age I have believed in God. Nothing has ever changed that. Unfortunately, there have been times when I have been lazy and neglected talking to Him. Honestly sometimes my prayer life gets pretty boring. It hasn’t been because I don’t believe or care. The truth is that it’s hard to talk to someone who doesn’t talk back,

Yes, I know and have heard all of my life that God speaks in different ways. I have all heard all the explanations why He doesn’t talk back but – you know – sometimes those easy explanations just doesn’t cut it for me. It would be a whole lot better if God talked back in the way we communicate with others.

I’m sorry but I don’t believe these people who say that God told them something. God didn’t tell you who is going to be president or that an asteroid is going to hit the Earth. I can’t keep my eyes from rolling when I hear someone say that God told them something.

I went through a period in my own life when I was on a mission to actually hear from God. I did all the things that preachers and books said would work and none of those things compelled God to speak to Milton Hooper. Through that experience I came to a couple of conclusions as to why He never talked to me. I am not a super duper spiritual person or preacher and if He wanted to talk to me He would. He’s God and there is nothing I can do to make God do anything.

Even with failing in my quest to hear from God, I continue to believe.

So why doesn’t God talk back?

Billy Graham once said: “God does speak to us today, not in an audible voice, but in written words — the words of the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, given to us so we can know Him and discover how He wants us to live. He also gave it to us so we can have hope — hope of God’s forgiveness, and hope for His presence with us, both now and forever.”

Other Theological experts say that God doesn’t speak is that we have the Bible and He has said everything that He needs to say.

Seriously?

God CAN talk to us but most of the time He doesn’t. I don’t know why. He’s God.

After years of sitting in churches with loud preaching and “moving of the Spirit” it wasn’t until I spent a week at a monastery that I learned the amazing discipline of silence. That is the closest I have ever been to hearing God. It seems that the noise of the world we live in drowns out any chance we have to hear God speak to us. Even with the discipline of silence, that still doesn’t mean God will talk back to us like you and I would to each other. The problem with anything else is that we are competing with other voices – especially our own.

This is why it would be so much easier if God would just speak. Then we would know for sure that we have heard from Him. I am very skeptical of people who say that God spoke to them. It is clear that He doesn’t make it a common practice to vocalize anything to us. That really puts us at a disadvantage in prayer. It also makes critical evidence of proving His existence to those who don’t believe. It sure would help if he spoke. I have never understood that. Wouldn’t MORE people believe if He did?

So why do I still believe in a God who does not speak?

Faith.

Faith isn’t always easy or something tangible like an audible response from a sovereign God. Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” I could probably do a lot better job in the earnestly seeking part. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee He will talk back but maybe I can more easily recognize other ways He communicates to me.

God doesn’t speak to us from a burning bush or in a conversational manner because He has given us free will. He wants us to choose to believe Him, not because He speaks from an audible voice. It doesn’t make it any easier. I still would like to hear Him. I would love to hear Him say my name.

Even if He doesn’t, I will continue to believe. One day it is certain I will hear Him.

Would Jesus Wear A Mask?

The big debate in today’s world seems to be about wearing or not wearing a mask in response to COVID-19. I am amazed how people will lose their minds over this.

It’s just a mask.

So if there were a pandemic like COVID in Jesus’ day, would he wear a mask?

During the time of Jesus, there was plenty of sickness and disease around. The most commonly feared sickness was leprosy. You can read a lot about that one in the Bible. There were also a lot of Old Testament laws regarding what to eat and what not to eat which was ultimately meant to be a way to protect people from disease. No one protested that these things were unconstitutional or violated their freedoms.

So what about Jesus? Would he had worn a mask?

There is a lot of confusion about Jesus because he was both fully man and fully God. It’s hard to know how he would he have been affected. You won’t find anywhere that he was ever sick but he did get tired (John 4:6), hungry (Mark 11:12) and thirsty (John 19:28). There aren’t any references to him being sick.

The first thing I thought about this was if he did get sick he could just heal himself. So why bother with a mask?

When the religious people (Pharisees and Herodians) questioned him about paying taxes to Rome, his response was to render to Ceasar whatever belonged to Ceasar. (Mark 12:17) He didn’t incite or encourage a riot or political debate about it. If the situation would have called for it Jesús would have worn a mask. He certainly wouldn’t have made it a politician thing or said if you wore a mask you were not one of his followers.

While Jesus was God and probably wouldn’t have NEEDED to wear a mask, he would have done it for others and promote safety for people who weren’t God.

It is sad to see such a insignificant thing has caused such a ridiculous debate in our times. Jesus would have supported public safety. While he wouldn’t have mandated anyone to wear a mask, he would have followed the laws and mandates of the government.

Wearing or not wearing a mask wouldn’t have been a spiritual thing with Jesus. You wouldn’t have been viewed as weak or living in fear if you wore a mask. He wouldn’t have questioned your faith about it. Jesus would have done whatever would have been a good example for the people to do.

Whether you choose to wear a mask or not to wear a mask, let it be. There’s no need to loose your mind about it. Jesus sure wouldn’t have.