Getting Things Straight

I get all kinds of emails from Christians around the world. Those I receive from those in the US are disturbing. They talk about how anti-Christian President Obama is and propose various ideas and legislations to bring us back to a Christian society. Hang in there and you'll understand why this is disturbing.

In God's Word King Solomon received this promise from the Lord, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

That sounds like a map to get us back to where we need to be, but it's only part of the map. We actually have to humble ourselves. We actually have to pray and see the face of God. We actually have to turn from our wicked ways if we want God to "forgive their sin and heal their land."

Now there are many out there that will say, "That's what I'm doing." This is where the other side of the coin is revealed. In the Chronicles and the Kings we have a list of kings from David up until they are led captive in Babylon. Some kings were good, and did what was right. Most did that which was evil. One good king, I believe it was Joash, King of Judah (you see already their evil had spit the nation) ordered the cleaning out of the Temple to make it worthy of the Lord. While they were cleaning out all the garbage, the idols, the things that belonged to other idols, men found the book of the Law. We would know this as the Torah or the books of Moses. They brought it back and read it before the king. Now pay attention. As they were reading this the king tore his clothes and fell (I believe) on his face. The very reading of the Law showed him how evil he was, even though he did that which was right. He ached for the people he ruled over and destroyed all the idols, grinding them into dust. Then he had the books of the Law read before all the people and the priests and Levites cleansed themselves and began to offer up sacrifices for the people.

You may be scratching your head, wondering why I'm bringing up this ancient history. The reason is simple. As long as we try to blame someone else for the troubles we are in we are part of the problem. Until we truly humble ourselves before God, how can we turn from our evil ways? If we do not turn from our evil ways, we, the CHURCH, then our nation will continue to come under the persecution of God. It's not that God likes persecution, but He wants us to come to Him.

Many in our churches are writing their own rules, their own laws. Our hearts have grown hard. While certain people may be doing harm to this nation, they can do no greater harm than we, who call ourselves Christian, and act in ways that do not seek God out or fail to humble ourselves before our Maker. You see, God sets all authorities over us. That means President Obama and all the rest. I'm not saying they are right. I'm saying that God has sent us into our own Babylon by appointing people who would increase the burdens on our back.

Do you see it? Jeremiah prophesied this, as did Isaiah, and a number or others. Are we greater than Israel that God would stand aside for our "democracy"? We are in contempt of His court, and unless we get things right with Him they will only get worse.

The way back is through a veil of tears. Each of us must listen to the law of love that Christ spoke of, and remember that God is Love. How far have we fallen from our first love? What is in store for us if we do not return? These are the things we should be directing our energies to.

Not Political

There are lot of angry people out there following the 2012 election results. While I can understand why they are angry I also realize that anger may be one of the things that is pinning us down in this society.

Fact 1: Just about every news outlet has shown us just how poorly Pres. Barrack Obama has led this nation. He has apologized to people who are our enemies, and have stated that after Israel we are next to be destroyed. This should be scary to say the least.
Fact 2: Obama has driven the country's debt higher than all previous presidents combined.
Fact 3: It is obvious that Obama does not want the people to have the right to make their own decisions. Perhaps the South was right to secede from the Union in 1860. Some people get the idea that the Civil War was about freeing the slaves. While that did become a factor, the real issue was State Sovereignty, and I think they were right in that.
Fact 4: While we have the privilege to vote for the candidate of our choice it is actually God who establishes authorities over us. How God does that is in direct proportion to the way we, as Christians, have, or have not obeyed Him. Currently God has handed us over to a cruel task-master.

So what does all this mean? Why am I bringing this up? I am bringing this up because there are worse things than a president bound to destroy our nation. Many of you may disagree with me on that. It seems to me that as long as you and I regard this nation as the top of our priorities then we will continue to be angry and bitter with our president. This is such a crazy thing to do.

One person shared with me that unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger directed towards anyone, is like wishing they would die and taking the poison ourselves. This is what America is currently doing. We are taking poison in hopes that some other person dies or is incapacitated in their duties, in this case, President Obama.

As Christians we are to forgive, even as Jesus forgave us. Do you think that you, by your own hand, find any goodness in the eyes of God? If you do then you better change your way of thinking. Scripture tells us that there is none righteous, no not one, and that Jesus offered Himself up to die for us that we might be seen righteous through Him. Dare we think any less for the one God has placed over us?

I do not agree with Obama. I believe nearly all his policies are corrupt and seems almost calculated to destroy the United States. And yet I forgive him, with the help of the Holy Spirit. For if I rebel against Obama I am rebelling against God.

The Bible says, "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then shall I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."

Time is working against us. It flies by like a barn swallow. If we do not repent now, we may never have the chance. The cup of God's wrath is already being filled. People have warped His words to support their own deviant behaviors; anger, drunkenness, sexual lust, and yes homosexuality. These also we must uphold in prayer and forgiveness. I have friends who are homosexuals, but they know my beliefs as well. I don't preach to them, nor do I put them down. People are people.

For instance, the shooting in Connecticut have nothing to do with guns or mental disabilities. It has to do with the presence of evil, and we must realize that this evil exist in all of us. The evil in one may provoke the evil in another. Jesus came into the world for this very purpose, to destroy that evil in us, but He can only do so to those who respond to Him.

While I would normally be writing about the birth of Christ and the miracles that surrounded that birth I believe it is more important to remind you, to remind me, that God is God. I'm not. Therefore I have an obligation to forgive anyone who has slighted me, and that includes the President. In fact, look at your life and pray for every person God has placed over you. Only as we seek His face and repent can we find the healing of God on this nation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CHRISTIAN VAMPIRE NOVELS?

There's a lot of chatter about whether or not there should be Christian vampire novels on the market. I hope to clarify some terms, opinions and ideas and hopefully break the yoke of religion in the process, for Christianity is NOT a religion, it is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

First, a Christian vampire novel need not have the Christian BE a vampire. Rather it would be better to show how a vampire becomes a Christian. We get glimpses of this in Sue Dent's novels, Never Ceese and Forever Richard. Her approach, however is not the way I would do it because she resurrects traditional vampires, puts them on basically the same playing field as Stephenie Meyer, and runs with the story.

So what then is the proper way of treating vampires in a Christian novel? You know, I'm glad you asked. The Bible says that when Adam sinned he died, and after him every person born came under that same curse of death. (Rom. 5:12) In a very real sense, humans are the living dead, to borrow a phrase. They are vampires, feasting on their desires that come from a fallen nature, which bring them closer and closer to judgment. If all of us were born as vampires it's pretty evident that we don't have fangs and drink people's blood (at least most of us don't). There are vampire cults that have grown out of the occult and the fantasy understanding of what vampires are, but these vampire cults are made up of people who are sinful people, same as you and me. They have no special powers or abilities, though they might claim to. Their only reality is that they are dead to God, and therefore dead to themselves.

Vampires and Light. In most vampire movies you see the vampires coming out at night because they fear light, specifically daylight. It kills them, which when you think of it is a ridiculous statement for even a vampire to make. I mean, if you were someone who was one of the living dead, if in order to survive, to continue in this state of immortality, even though you were cursed both by God and by your own conscience, wouldn't you rather put an end to it rather than live on for centuries hating yourself, hating humanity, hating and fearing light? Why not just step into the light and be done with it? The Gospel calls to each of us to do this very thing. We are not only the living dead, but creatures of the night. We do things in secret because we don't want anyone to know about them. Coming into the light would mean telling God all about this, which He already knows, and confessing these things as wrong, as hurtful, as desires that preyed, many times, on other people (for that is the way of the vampire). So many people fail to come into the light. They think that by avoiding it they will somehow avoid judgment, but this is not true. One day they will, against their will, be brought to stand before the One who is the essence of all light and truth, the Creator, Savior and Judge of all. What can we do? What can a vampire do? Step into His Light. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24) In other words, if we want to live we first have to die.

What? I can hear the collective gasp. "We have to die if we are to live?" That's correct. Jesus said, "You must be born again." (John 3:3) Why did He say that? Because we are dead. If physically we die while we are spiritually dead, then we will be dead forever, and not in a wandering around the world kind of sense, but in a Hell is home kind of sense. Jesus also said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Mat. 16:24) We look at these words and say, "Yes, Jesus I will follow you," and take little thought at what Jesus was saying. He wasn't simply talking about taking up a burden and doing good. Jesus was comparing things. He took up the cross, carried it to Golgotha, and there died that we might live. This is what Jesus was talking about. We are, in the same way, to take our cross and follow Him into death, that we might find life. Jesus died that we might live. We die so that He might live through us. So yes, we must die, that is if we really want to live.

Vampires and the cross. Another thing about vampires, traditionally that is, is that they are afraid of the cross. I'm sure you've all seen the movies where some priest holds a silver cross in front of him to ward off a vampire. Well that, as they say, is Hollywood. Vampires, however do fear the cross, because there is power there that they cannot compete with. When Jesus died upon the cross He descended into Hell, acquired the keys of Death, Hell, and the Grave. For three days He preached to those held captive by death, and rose on the third day. The death of Jesus marks payment for the curse that made us vampires in the first place, but our evil nature desires the things of the flesh. So we frequently turn away from the cross. It annoys us, because it reminds us of our faults, of who we truly are, but at the same time we are attracted to it, first out of morbid curiosity sometimes. On some level we all seem to love blood, and even violence to a degree, although I'm sure many of you will disagree on this point. However, there is something else about the cross that draws us. It symbolizes a power that is God's alone, to triumph over death by dying and rising again. This is not merely the power of an immortal, such as some vampires are portrayed, but the power of the Almighty. It frightens us and draws us. When we surrender, come into the light, then the power of the cross becomes ours, not just for the forgiveness of sin, but for healing, for victory over temptation, for victory against the attacks of Satan and his demons, even for prosperity in our spirit, in our soul and even in our body. Jesus said, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19)

Vampires and mirrors. We probably all spend too much time in front of a mirror, making sure the hair is just so, that make up is applied properly, that tears have been dried before facing people. Whatever the reason mirrors reflect what we look like, or do they? If we are dead, the living dead that is, then we only get a reflection of that corpse we walk around in. We do not see ourselves. Mirrors are useless to vampires, for they do not reflect their image. However, vampires and others find their reflections in the actions of others. Bullies and other people who point fingers and talk badly about others are really just talking about the bad that is in them. It is one of our major flaws to find the bad in others, and the reason is because we are well acquainted with this, for it is who we are. The Bible talks about another mirror, a couple actually. Jesus is the mirror that we look at to remind ourselves who we are in Christ in God. Vampires, that is those who have not come into the light, died and come into true life, cannot do that. They do not have access to Jesus. So all they ever see is the bad. The apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians saying, "But now we see through a glass (mirror) darkly, but then face to face." (1st Cor. 13:12) We are promised that in the end we will no longer look at Jesus as simply a mirror, but as our elder brother sitting next to us on the Father's throne.

There are other things about the vampire stories that I haven't touched upon, but these are some of the main ones. I would dearly like to see a romance novel about a person who realizes that they are a vampire, struggle in their decision to come into the light and die that they might live. One where they finally see Jesus as they read His Word, but more importantly, one in which others see Jesus in as they go about their daily tasks. This is a vampire novel worth writing, worth reading and worth telling others about. If you know of such a novel please tell me about it. I will be most gracious to find one. This is the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some will argue, and I've seen it already, that doing this is unChristian, an insult to Jesus, blasphemy. Yet, in reality, those people are bound by a religious spirit. They do not know how to worship God if Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24) I am not saying we should tell a horror story about someone with fantastic strength, who lives a long life by drinking the blood of others. I am merely suggesting that since they are referred to as "the living dead" we ought to recognize that we also were once dead in our sins, but thanks be to God, through Jesus we have been made alive and placed within Him, just as surely as He is within us. It is not the story of vampires, but the story of the saving grace of Jesus Christ that is offered unto anyone who would only receive it.

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Psalm 23