Satan is your accuser. He has all the dirt on you. He knows what you did. And what if he told your church or your friends what you’ve done? That little secret you try to keep hidden from everyone, even from God. Satan knows about it. Satan has a dirt-file on you, and he will not let you forget the fact.
Billy Graham, 1951, when he was still Associated with the Sword of the Lord
Many people have noticed the worst they’ve ever been treated is by people who claim to love the Lord. These same people notice that those who profess to be atheists appear to be much kinder than Christians.
The Bible says the world shall know us by our fruit, but what happens when that fruit isn’t blooming?
One reader had a similar question for evangelist Billy Graham.
The reader asks: “The kindest person I know is my atheist friend who has no use for God. On the other hand, some of the most difficult and unpleasant people I know say they are Christians. How do you explain this?”
Wise as always, Graham answered:
Not every Christian is like this, of course—but admittedly some are, although they shouldn’t be. And not every atheist is like this either, of course—but some are, and in a world that’s often cruel and thoughtless, we ought to be thankful for every act of kindness.
Why is your atheist friend like this? By God’s grace, some people simply have been blessed with a sunny and kind personality, or they had parents who taught them to be kind. Perhaps this was her situation. But I do know this: Your friend isn’t this way because of her atheism, but in spite of it. A person who doesn’t believe in God has little reason to behave sacrificially toward others (although it may make them feel good inside if they are kind).
I also know this: If your friend ever opens her heart and life to Jesus Christ, she’ll become an even kinder and more loving person than she is right now. God will come to live within her by His Holy Spirit, and her life will begin to change. The Bible says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faith, meekness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).
Don’t let the bad example of a few weak Christians keep you from Christ. Instead, by faith commit your life to Jesus Christ and ask Him to change you into the person He wants you to be. Then pray for your friend, and ask God to make you an example to her of Christ’s life-changing power and love.
Taco Bell is following a trend in crude commercials. While a few fast food restaurants are cleaning up their ads, Taco Bell decided to air a commercial that includes foul language.
The newest Taco Bell commercial says, “When your morning is hell, just go to Taco Bell.” They should not use the word hell in a jingle. We all know children repeat what they hear [like when they hear the word HELL in church?].
Taco Bell’s “Morning is hell” ad is irresponsible and offensive. This inappropriate advertisement is airing during primetime when children are likely watching. It is extremely destructive and damaging to impressionable children viewing the commercial.
Please contact Taco Bell through our website and ask the company to pull the current ad immediately! Also, encourage Taco Bell to be more responsible in future marketing campaigns. If Taco Bell wants our business, it must no longer use foul language in its ads.
There are some relationships in Scripture where the submission of one to another does not involve the ownership of one by the other. Examples of this would be the Biblical admonition to citizens to submit to civil governments and for church members to submit to their church leaders. God does not give governments ownership rights over their citizens and he does not give church leaders ownership rights over their members. These two spheres of authority are limited in their powers and jurisdictions.
But God established some spheres of human authority where ownership of human property is either allowed (such as slavery under certain circumstances) or ownership is simply implied such as the relationship between a father and his children or a husband and his wife.
The ownership of the wife by the husband is confirmed in the 10th commandment where a man’s wife is included in a list of his possessions:
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.“ Exodus 20:17 (KJV)
Again in the book of Deuteronomy a man’s wife is included in his possessions:
“And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.” Deuteronomy 20:5-7 (KJV)
These possessions all belonged to the man and he had the right to make use of them. In fact he was encouraged to make use of these possessions.
There are many that falsely attack the Bible based on these and other passages saying that the Bible makes a woman a possession that is no more valuable than cattle(Exodus 20:17) and a peace of land (Deuteronomy 20:5-7).
Another way of saying their argument is “If a woman is owned by her husband then she has no value as a person”.
But this could not be farther from the truth. While it conflicts with our modern values a person can be owned by another and yet have great value. The Bible says “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.“ (Proverbs 31:10). I don’t know about you – but I think rubies are far more valuable than a house, cattle or a vineyard!
Also the Bible calls on husbands to give “honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel“(I Peter 3:7). So just because women are the property of their husbands does not mean husbands can treat them the same as their cattle. This a false argument proposed by those who do understand the Biblical concept of human property verses the world’s concept of human property.
The Bible. Scripture. The Good Book. It used to be so blatantly self-evident that God’s written Word was the foundation and standard for the Christian faith that it was assumed. A given. You learned, “I stand alone on the word of God- the B-I-B-L-E,” when you were three or four years old, you believed it, and you moved on.
Have you ever played Monopoly? If you have, you know that you’re supposed to use a Monopoly board, two dice, the and the game pieces and Chance and Community Chest cards that come with the game. You also know that there is a standard set of Monopoly rules that are supposed to be followed.
Suppose a friend invited you to play Monopoly but wanted to use a checker board instead of a Monopoly board. Or wanted to create a new rule that you would get $500 for passing Go instead of $200. Or that you could get out of jail without rolling doubles.
Monopoly was created in 1903 by a lady named Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips. Magie created the game to teach people the consequences of having large or valuable tracts of land controlled by private monopolies¹. Each piece of the game and each rule was created with that teaching goal in mind. To alter the rules of the game is to, at best, be out of alignment with Magie’s intentions and purposes, and, at worst, to not be playing Monopoly at all. If you want to truly play Monopoly, learn the fullest extent of the lesson Magie was trying to teach, and respect Magie as the creator of the game, you’ve got to play by her rules. All of them. Even the ones you don’t like or particularly understand.
Many of the same principles apply to Christianity. God set Christianity up a certain way with His own intentions and purposes. If we alter His rules, we’re, at best, not lined up with those intentions and purposes, and, at worst, not practicing Christianity at all. If we really want to honor God, grow in Christ to the greatest extent and truly be practicing biblical Christianity, we’ve got to play by His rules. All of them. Even the ones we don’t particularly like or understand.
But what many Christians are doing today is taking their “Monopoly game” of Christianity and assuming it’s for their own entertainment, better quality of life, or positive feelings. And because they’re largely ignorant of the Creator of the “game” and His purposes and intentions behind said game, the players start tossing out His rules whenever those rules don’t fit the purposes and intentions of the players.
God created you and me and the world and Christianity and the church for His glory. He gets to make the rules. We follow the rule book (the Bible), not because those rules will make us personally happy or successful, but – simply and ultimately – because they are given by God and glorify Him. What He says goes, and we honor Him by our obedience. We need to remember that our role in the game is player, not Creator. Players submit to the authority of the Creator.
When it comes to Christian beliefs and practices, your experiences don’t matter either. It doesn’t matter what kind of so-called supernatural experience you had where you babbled incoherently or “heard God speak” or saw a “vision” or whatever. If your interpretation of your experience conflicts with the written word of God, your interpretation of your experience is wrong. Something may have happened, but it wasn’t God. (And if something supernatural happened and the Bible says God doesn’t work that way, there’s only one other option.)
When you decide what you’re going to believe and do based on your own opinions, feelings, and subjective personal experiences rather than the written word of God, what you’re doing is saying, “I know better than the almighty, all-knowing God of the universe.” You’re setting yourself up as judge over Scripture. You’re in charge, not God. Doesn’t sound much like a slave[Lesley believes Christians are God’s slaves, Romans 6:22], does it?
I want all men to pay attention to the president. If you want to know what it was like in the good old days when boys were boys and men were men, look at your president. If your daddies failed you by not being a real man, God has given you another example.
Read I Corinthians 11 if you are not familiar with what the Bible “says” about women covering their heads.
Our church recently had a “week of prayer” and on one night they had child care to make it easier for the parents to come out and pray. We took advantage of this and came out as a family. I was in the prayer room a little early while my wife was downstairs getting our children settled away. When she came upstairs to the prayer room, I noticed she didn’t have her covering on. For those who don’t cover all day, it’s an easy mistake to make. So I quietly got up to let her know she had forgotten. She placed a hand on her head to confirm and said “oops”. We’re prepared for situations like this, and store a couple extra coverings in the glove box of our minivan, so she headed out to grab one. A few minutes later she came back to let me know, the back-up coverings were gone. I figured they were as the previous week we had forgotten as well. So on Sunday we used the back-up coverings in the glove box and forgot to replace them. So here we are, at church, about to spend some focused time to prayer and my wife doesn’t have her covering. What should we do? I’ve thought about this situation before, but this is the first time it wasn’t just hypothetical. There are two options 1) My wife sits in the foyer and doesn’t join us for prayer or 2) she comes in and joins us uncovered.
Now once my wife came in, the first thing I did was intercede on her behalf. I confessed my failure to God to prepare my family for this prayer meeting. I apologized and took responsibility for not having the back-up coverings in place and I asked God to forgive us for not praying in the way he prescribed. I also asked Him to help my wife to not be self-conscious and to enjoy her time of prayer with Him.
The major takeaway for me in this situation, was about being prepared. If you cover all the time, this is not a problem for you. That’s one of the benefits of that practice. But for those of us like my family, who covers only in certain situations, being prepared is vital.
Here are a few tips:
Back-up coverings: Keep extra coverings wherever you’ll have easy access to them if you forget. Some suggestions including your vehicle glove box, your purse, or leave one at a place you frequent (school, work, church).
Wear a neck scarf: Another option is to introduce scarves (like an Infinity Scarf) into your wardrobe. That way you can slip it over your head as your covering, or as a backup if you forgot your regular covering.
Reminders/notifications: One of the best ways to not forget is to add it to your task list, schedule, or to set a mobile reminder. For example you could add it to your list of things to lay out on Saturday night in preparation for the morning or you could set a reminder on your phone to alert you just before you leave for church to ensure you have it.
Even when initially used with a medical prescription, marijuana is a gateway drug. As a pastor, I often counsel people who have had major life difficulties because of drug use that began with marijuana. Even recently, I have counseled someone who began using medical marijuana that was prescribed by a questionable doctor in Los Angeles. This man became deeply addicted and relationally incapacitated toward his family. For the past year, his life has been out of control. His story is one of many similar I could give.
The greatest concern for our city should be the effect that our making marijuana more accessible would have on the next generation. The damaging effects of marijuana are not theoretical only, nor are they simple “community percentages.” They are life altering to the young people who become addicted.
Adolescent user addiction rates are high—as high as 50 percent. (That exceeds the rate of cocaine addiction.) Additionally, the risk of psychotic episodes is 40 percent greater for marijuana users than for non users, and the risk of schizophrenia is higher among teens who smoke it than those who do not. One study reported that “adolescents who used marijuana regularly were significantly less likely than their non-using peers to finish high school or obtain a degree. They also had a much higher chance of later developing dependence, using other drugs, and attempting suicide.”
Although I am aware that the current topic of discussion for our city relates to cultivating medical marijuana, I believe it is naïve to suggest that even if the conversation regarding marijuana licenses were to stop here, there would be no immediate effect on the young people of our community. Again, in my recent conversation with Sheriff McDonnell, he told me how medical marijuana wrappings have been found in middle schools. People are absolutely buying medical marijuana and reselling for profit—including to teens. I prefer that our city have nothing to do with underage people gaining access to marijuana, even if it’s by our second-hand association through this industry.
While I commend the city for proposing distance requirements prohibiting cultivation facilities within one thousand feet of schools, it is unrealistic to think that this alone will keep marijuana out of the hands of minors. The reality is that licensing cultivation will make marijuana more accessible to young people. And it makes me question, beyond the financial concerns to our city, what moral liability comes to us by entering into this trade?
I am, of course, a pastor, and so I am taking the liberty to share biblical principles related to this issue as well.
The Bible references the use of drugs in Revelation 9:21 as it speaks of people involved in “sorceries.” Interestingly the word translated from Greek (the original language of the New Testament) is pharmakeia and relates to “the use or administering of drugs.” In our biblical opinion, people who take recreational drugs are opening their minds to wickedness and the occult. (And I think police reports could substantiate that concern, by volume if not by verbiage.)
Another Scripture verse passes judgment on those who aid in the dissemination of intoxicating substance: “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also…” (Habakkuk 2:15). Basically, the Bible is saying that when we encourage someone to partake in a substance that brings them under intoxicating influence, we become responsible for what happens in that person’s life as a result of the substance they consume. I believe Governor Jerry Brown and the liberal leadership of our state will be held accountable for their decisions on matters ranging from abortion to releasing violent criminals to legalizing marijuana. I prefer that our city not posture itself similarly by joining in these decisions.
Our city has been willing in the past to take a stand against prevalent culture where it was harmful to our residents. I am deeply grateful for the way, in the 2000s, our city stood against gangs and gang-related drug dealing. I remember in the 1990s when our city council passed ordinances against “sex shops.” More recently, our city stood to protect the right to open city council meetings in prayer, including praying in Jesus’ name. God has blessed us since we have taken these stands, and I believe He will bless again for choosing to stand against opening our community to marijuana cultivation.
Over the years, there have been other government-passed decisions that our ministry has opposed when these related to moral issues and opposed biblical principles. Should the city pass this ordinance and enter the marijuana trade, our church will continue to teach against using mind-altering substances and will stand against the distribution of such substance outside of a legitimate prescription and medicinal use of truly needed pain medicine. (While there may be a legitimate medical use, I have no assurance that there is a safe and proven process for legal distribution to and through legitimate medical outlets at this time. I think we should also remember that medical marijuana is still not approved by the FDA. Insufficient research and inability for quality control are among their reasons.)
I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types [abortion] of decisions. I understand that they [women] feel like that is their body. I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant. So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.
— Justin “JJ” Humphrey, Oklahoma State Representative, The Intercept, February 13, 2016
“Since 2011, lawmakers in Oklahoma have passed 20 such measures, a number of which have been blocked by the courts or are tied up in litigation.” Jordan Smith, The Intercept
Representative Humphrey introduced HB 1441, a bill, if enacted, that would give fathers (sperm donors) the final say on whether a woman could have an abortion. The bill summary states:
The introduced measure prohibits the performance of an abortion without the written informed consent of the father. The pregnant woman seeking an abortion will be required to provide in writing the identity of the father to her physician. A person who contests paternity may demand such a test be performed. The measure would not apply in cases of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger.
The enemy’s formidable weapon against men are enchanting women to entice you into adultery. According to Ephesians 6:10-18, demons are behind these women, they not being aware are being used to cause Jesus’ followers to sin against Him.
We men must keep our eyes pure because that is the entry way into our souls. This is Satan’s primary attack for entrance. How do we protect our eyes from letting darkness creep in?
Don’t watch anything that has women wearing almost nothing as to entice your minds.
Don’t read anything in WordPress that’s sexual in nature because your mind have eyes as well and will convert the sexual words into images.
Don’t look at porn magazines which is a landmine, throw it away immediately.
Most Christians have a difficult time distinguishing their spirit from their intellect. Your conscience is the voice of your spirit. The Holy Spirit is more closely associated with your conscience than your intellect. As you pray in tongues, you are praying from the channel of your conscience through which the Holy Spirit speaks.
Our problem is that we are more accustomed to looking for God’s voice in our intellect. Our intellect is generally an unsafe guide because it is usually clouded with a mixture of the world’s thinking, where much of our decision-making is based on our best interests. Most Christians have a difficult time hearing from God, because their soul which comprises much of their intellect, is clouded with self, mingled with the world and yet has some Word in it.