The ISIS Apocalypse (warning, graphic image)

Please forgive this horrible image, and remember that this is not a man, but the vestige of one who is now with his Savior. Rejoice for him, for his hope is now fully realized.

I received a long e-mail detailing the horrible atrocities that the hoodlums of the Islamic State are perpetrating against Christians in Iraq. I’ve seen graphic images of children without heads, and heard of the rape and pillage of Christian families. And my feelings go beyond outrage, to apprehension, and even fear. “How long before they take over our country, as they promise?”

That is my fleshly reaction to this evil that seems to be spreading, unchecked, but when I look to my Savior instead of such scare tactics, my response is quite different. Of course it’s easy for me to sit in this comfortable chair in front of my computer monitor, smack in the middle of one of America’s havens of freedom, and say I truly believe none of this Islamic State business is taking God by surprise. The truth is, God is not wringing his hands and desperately commissioning the West to step in and correct all the hideous wrongs. Rather, God is allowing this genocide to wake up his church, to open our eyes to the fact that we are not safe in this world, that our safety is spiritual, and that no matter what happens to our property, families or selves, he is always faithful. We are not to fear those who can kill us physically, but only him who controls our eternal destiny (Matthew 10:28).

I believe God is giving grace to his beloved Christ-followers when we face persecution, and even execution, for his name’s sake. He cannot abandon us because he is Love personified, but he can and will allow whatever our hardened hearts require, in order to make them soft toward him.

Never think that Father God is made of stone, that he feels nothing for his suffering church. Good heavens! He gave his own beloved Son over to worse torture than ISIS, or any other Satanic force, can dish out, so we his enemies could be saved.

My prayer is first, that God will glorify himself through this time of tribulation, and second, that his suffering church will look to our Savior for his supernatural peace, and die with psalms of praise on our lips. We dare not submit to a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (1 Timothy 1:7-8).

So look up, for our Savior is drawing near, and pray for gratitude, and courage to face whatever God allows in our future.

Proud of Being White?

AWHMI followed a link to a Facebook page called, “American White History Month.” On it, I found a slogan with which I, though about as white as one can be, cannot agree. With it, however, I found a true statement, which I will quote first, “Never apologize for being white.”

I’ve done many things during my sixty-eight years for which I could indeed apologize, but why would I apologize for being what God made me? That would be like apologizing for being male, or human. Though males and whites, indeed, all humans, do despicable things, we don’t do them because we are a particular sex or color; we do them because we are sinful.

The second slogan on that page proclaims far more than its creators realize. “Proud of our race and heritage,” seems dangerously close to taking credit for God’s creative work. We didn’t choose to be born white, and of European heritage, so how can we be proud of that? We can certainly be glad of it, and thankful for it, just as people of color can be glad and thankful for who they are. Following, are Bible passages that deal with pride and its consequences:

Ephesians 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21

1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

1 Timothy 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

Pride in something, and gratitude for it, are antithetical, if at once, one takes credit for it, and gives credit for it. So, which will it be? The passages above, and many more, command gratitude, but never does God’s Word tell us to take pride in what he gave us; even though we may have worked hard for something, or even invented it, we didn’t create it. Such pride is most certainly one form of evil.

As for our heritage, we are a nation born of Christian principles, and that, according to our Constitution’s Establishment Clause, is where our national Christianity ends. As Premier Obama said, America was never a Christian nation. Fact is, we can take pride in no nation governed by fallen human beings, as everything they do is based in sin, even if it seems noble. But we can, and must, remain thankful for it.

Those Were the Days, My Friend

Airwolf, season one, episode five, has Ethan Hawke extracting an American agent from deep cover in Russia, with his wife and daughter kicking and screaming(more or less), because they’re convinced of American decadence. The ending scene shows Ethan playing a Russian folk song on his cello, and the rebellious young daughter singing along. He had told her that she may even find some things to like about America, but she doubted it.

Then, he shared his vision of America, that here, one is free to accept or reject our culture or our politics as they see fit. Of course, she didn’t believe him, and said, “Prove it!”

He replied, “That’s something you have to find out for yourself.”

The truth is in the testing. Hollywood may not have realized that was a Biblical principle, as it slipped through the P.C. censors, because back then, there weren’t any(well, duh). Today, the whole scenario wouldn’t have made it to the small screen, because it showed subtle shades of red, white, and blue, and—heaven forbid—wholesome values.

No one with any sense would suggest that America is faultless; abuses of power have corroded the ideals our founding fathers died to establish and maintain. Unfortunately, I have to agree with President Obama’s much maligned statement that America was never a “Christian nation.” Though many Christians were among our founding fathers, they fought and died to create a nation that preferred no one religion over any other.

Today, however, we’ve turned our backs on the hallowed ideal of freedom of religion, and adopted the demonic principle of freedom from religion. The secularist, lunatic fringe of academia and Hollywood, guided by Marxist principles from early in the last century, are rejecting the freedoms that made America great, and turning it into a socialist state. The American public are that unfortunate toad that was dropped into cold water on the stovetop, only to have the heat turned up until it was dead, and done to a turn.

The analogy of a toad suits our popular culture-saturated public to a “T.” Most Americans prefer entertainment to cultural refinement and classical study. Even religion must now entertain, to keep the audience in place long enough to catch a modicum of truth. Mega-churches require preachers to feed them a steady diet of pop-culture-laced milk, supplemented with small bits of strained meat.

God’s church is in for a rude awakening; before very long we’re will be forced to grow up, and be ready to give our reputations, our wealth, and even our lives for our faith. Pressure from society, from politicians, and from eastern religions will force us into the smelter of testing, and only the remnant, who passionately embrace the true faith of Abraham, will come out as pure gold. And you can take that to the bank.