Sunday, August 26, 2012

When zealotry takes hold

Nobody knows what we're for only what we're against when we judge the wounded
-- from "Jesus, Friend of Sinners" (Casting Crowns)
The verbal gaffe -- not gaffe: moronism -- by a candidate in the US elections this past week should be an example to Christians, to remember what our assignment from Jesus is.
I think I have it straight, here: the candidate was talking about abortion -- which he's against -- and stated that during a rape, a woman's body can "shut down", so that she does not get pregnant.
Evidently, he had been asked if abortion should be allowed if the woman had been raped and he was attempting to avoid what could have been a sticky question ...
oh, why am I making excuses for him?
(Are there not times when someone does something so phenomenally stupid, that you get hung up trying to figure out where in blazes he was coming from?)
One thing that's apparent: this fellow was so fixated on proclaiming what he was against that he stretched to find any point he could; and in so doing, cast all Christians as being judgmental, ill-informed and stupid.
That's sad. Jesus sent us to proclaim the Kingdom and the Good News that we can be reconciled to God through Him, but instead (as I pointed out in a posting two years ago) people get the impression that the way to declare one's faith is to express anger and outrage at things that offend God.
But throughout the Bible -- from "vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord" to "judge not, lest ye be judged" to "Thou ... shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth" to the parable of the talents, where the master calls for all those who hated him to be brought before him and executed -- the message is clear: we are to stick to our own jobs and let God handle the anger-and-outrage thing.
And let's not kid ourselves: there's going to be a lot more potential for anger and outrage in the not-too-distant future. There seems to be no end of Things That Offend God working their way into our culture these days, and people need to see the Truth and the Light. They won't see it if we keep pointing at darkness.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Climate change, hindsight and God's certain promise

A couple of weeks ago, the media reported on a large "ice island" that broke off from Greenland. One of the local papers in Vancouver placed a topper over the headline that read, "Climate Change" (even though the article from The Register here quotes an expert as being uncertain whether the break-off was caused by global warming); and that got me to thinking.

When there is a major environmental event like a devastating storm or a gigantic piece of ice breaking off from a polar ice cap, the knee-jerk response is to say, "aha! Global Warming!" But it's always after the fact. As I point out in my book, A Very Convenient Truth, the Word of God is filled with promises and prophecies that are shown to be true all the time. God doesn't hide anything from us: He may say it in prophecies and parables, but He does reveal it to His prophets, and anyone who has ears to hear will receive it.

So it's one thing to point to an event and say it was caused by something in the past, but quite another to prophesy and have it happen exactly in the way it was said. You may have noticed this already, but the pronouncements from the environmental movement do not actually say that the measures they demand will actually stop global warming or reverse its effects; they just leave an impression that they might. God's promises are direct and clear and have been proven out over and over again.

The Bible, by the way, contains countless passages that draw a direct connection between our walk with God and the state of the environment. "If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal the land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Can't get much more direct than that, can one?

Consider this: it is written that Jesus' disciples went out, preaching the Gospel with signs following. The signs referred to there were "positive" signs like healings and other miracles; but are not negative signs -- like disease, war and problems with the land -- things that can also be expected to follow disobedience and straying from God?

From the book:
Jesus told us there’d be days like these …

Another reason why Satan is taking such an interest in climate change is because he knows what time it is. Again, we go back to Matthew 24:5-7, where Jesus foretells the signs of His return. Famines and pestilences can both be seen as climate change symptoms. Jesus spoke in language people could understand, and while “global warming”, “melting polar ice cap” or “ozone depletion” would have gone over their heads, they would definitely have known about “famine and pestilence”.

We also have plenty of false christs today – self-help gurus who claim to show people how to feel good about themselves without repenting; others who presume to “simplify” things by reducing Christ to Just Another World View and looking for ways other belief systems “agree” (“many paths to the top of the mountain,” as some say), when God has already simplified things by reducing the number of paths to one; men called “holiness” with beatific smiles, pronouncing that we are each our own universe.

We have the wars and rumors of war -- terrorism. Incurable diseases are cropping up, the moral rule book has been thrown out the window, “tolerance” has replaced “love” and “rights” have replaced “what’s right”; governments try to legislate things that can remedied if we were all walking in agape love for one another – truly, “the love of many (is waxing) cold” (Matt. 24:12). 

With those signs becoming more numerous and intense, Satan knows that the best way to keep people from turning their eyes towards God is to have them chasing straw men – like arguing over climate change. Like a magician using a “mis-direct” so we don’t see him slip the coin up his sleeve, Satan is using the debate as a sleight of hand.

Consider how something that is not part of the “climate change” discussion is the earthquakes in diverse places – Japan, Haiti, Iran, the California coast, Chile; Southeast Asia, with the horrific tsunami that followed; not to mention the volcanic eruptions in Indonesia. Famine and pestilence fit in with the “climate change” paradigm, but do volcanoes and “earthquakes in diverse places”? A 2009 conference in England raised the possibility that climate change is a cause of earthquakes, but even the scientists studying the issue admit it’s a “stretch” to draw that conclusion. But here again, there is a “mis-direct”: if the enemy can somehow bring earthquakes under the heading of “symptoms of climate change”, that can keep people from considering that these are the signs Jesus foretold.

The more time we spend worrying about climate change and searching for worldly solutions, the less time we spend doing what we should be doing: getting right with God, helping the poor and homeless, healing the sick, spreading the Gospel. The more time we spend on personal attacks against people who don’t agree with us, the less time we spend loving the Unsaved to Christ.

This is a battle in the Heavenlies: it is not a battle to be fought and won with worldly weapons and tactics (II Cor. 10:3-6[i]). As we have seen in many cases, relying on science and technology for solutions has not been blessed with success. Getting into a worldly debate over the issue has been a disaster. 

[i] For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds); casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ …. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)