Archive | Culture RSS feed for this section

Pride Comes Before Destruction and an Arrogant Spirit Before a Fall

19 May

By Dr. Kirk Elliott
America Today
May 15, 2013

As the world spins out of control and people are losing hope, one thing is certain:  The King of kings is still on the throne and every knee must bow.  Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.  The lies, deceit, arrogance, lawlessness, complete disregard for personal freedom, the demonizing of success from hard work, the disregard for the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage that is oozing from this presidential administration I believe will be their undoing.  People are starting to wake up to the lies.  This I believe is an answer to prayer as God PROMISES that, ” 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  I’m not saying things are going to get better overnight–there are still consequences to our actions (we have amassed $17 trillion of CURRENT debt, and approximately $200 TRILLION in unfunded future obligations).  This is just FEDERAL debt.  What about municipal debt, corporate debt, personal debt, and then the debt of other nations, and the numbers are so BIG that the system WILL collapse.   There is no other outcome.  This is why I am so persistent on encouraging people to own gold and silver (ACQUIRE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN, and IF YOU ALREADY OWN IT, HOLD ON).  CALL ME PERSONALLY IF YOU WANT TO DISCUSS FURTHER (866-211-8986) or email me at KIRK@TODAYSAMERICA.COM

There are consequences to our actions (good and bad)–that is a universal law.  However, I still hold on to the promise that even though the world around us may shake and the foundations crumble that God will give us wisdom to navigate through this economic, political, and social minefield.  When we rely on God’s wisdom instead of man’s wisdom we can THRIVE, not just SURVIVE.  He created us to follow that blueprint for success and He told us how to do it.  God also told us that times would get worse and evil will proliferate.  But, there is no reason to fear the darkness as we are called to be light.  Even the dimmest of lights casts out darkness and perfect love casts out all fear.  WOW!  What a promise!!!!

So, how will it get worse?  The economy will collapse.  Our freedoms will be eroded.  It will become more difficult to be a Christian in this world.  But, when people humble themselves and pray and turn away from their wicked ways, we allow God to work in our lives individually, and the world begins to change.  We allow heaven to invade earth and person by person we can win this battle.     The pride and arrogance of our power loving leaders will be their downfall.  We are starting to see it now.  SO KEEP PRAYING.  KEEP EARNESTLY SEEKING WISDOM.  Do not be afraid to act.  Just do something.  Nothing good throughout the history of the world has ever happened from people doing nothing.  Be fully alert, engaged, pray, seek wisdom, make your voice heard, be a light in this dark world, and expect the miraculous to happen.  Jesus is still in the miracle working business!  Always has been and always will be.

Advertisements

Del Tackett: Our National Corrosion

15 Apr

By Del Tackett

My wife came running up the stairs, yelling, “’There’s water in the basement—it’s spraying everywhere!”

It was one of those times when I wish I had a “Life” remote and could push pause.

Everything in those words was on the other side of good.

Corroded pipe smallAlthough, in the end, it could have been much worse. Thankfully, we found it early and have a most awesome plumber friend who rushed over even though the “big” game was about to start.

After we got the well pump turned off and the storage tank and house lines drained, he began to take the plumbing pieces apart around the source of the problem. The culprit was a connecting piece of pipe that was literally “eaten up” with corrosion. You can see in the picture that the only thing left was the strand of threads. The entire wall of the pipe was eaten away.

It was a disaster that just waiting to happen.

I have thanked the Lord over and over again that He spared us the depth of what could have been had we been out of town or just not gone downstairs for several days. The pipe was “rotten” for a long time and we just didn’t know it.

For some reason, whether it is the Lord or my own deep concern, I have not been able to get the current financial situation of our nation off of my mind and heart.

So when my friend handed me this corroded pipe, that was my first thought, believe it or not. As I held it in my hand and realized how this pipe looked fine on the outside, but was rotting away inside, hidden from view, and the disaster that was waiting to break loose at any moment, I thought, “This is us. This is our country. We are hanging by our threads while we continue to erode underneath. And we seem ignorant or unconcerned about the consequences ahead.“

In many cases, when an individual or family find themselves in some kind of a financial crisis, there is a moral problem lurking beneath the surface.

So, too, I believe with our nation.

We are spending breath-taking amounts of deficit money—over a trillion dollars every year; instead of seeing it as a run-away government, we point the finger at the “wealthy” and say they aren’t paying their fair share; we have made a farce of the “debt ceiling”, bumping it up every time we bust it; we are adding feverishly to the government employment rolls while private business shrinks; we are printing large amounts of money to delay the economic consequences, to make us think “all is well!” while only deepening the tragedy that will come when the pipe bursts.

And burst it will.

Who in their right mind can ignore what has happened to any nation in the past, and those in our present, who get caught in this insane economic fairyland?

We are being duped by our greed and lust.

We want more for less…

We want more for nothing…

We just…want.

And those who want without cost will soon be found wanting.

A pipe can corrode only so long before the pressure will cause it to fail.

And when this pipe fails, no plumber will be able to fix it.

May God awaken us soon.

Focus on the Family’s Reply to: “Dear Conservative Christians: It’s OK to Evolve on LGBT Equality”

7 Feb
By Jeff Johnston, Focus on the Family

Pastor Louis Giglio, well known for his leadership in fighting human trafficking and for founding the Passion worship conferences, was invited last month to give a prayer at President Obama’s second inauguration. Then a liberal blog unearthed a sermon he’d given in the 1990’s where he described same-sex sexual behavior as a sin and talked about people coming out of homosexuality. After a huge outcry was raised by lesbian-, gay-, bisexual- and transgender- identified (LGBT) activists and their allies, Pastor Giglio withdrew from the event.

Shortly afterward, Joseph Ward III published a letter at an LGBT – focused religious web site that’s been re-posted around the Internet, “Dear Conservative Christians: It’s OK to Evolve on LGBT Equality.” Below is my reply.

Dear Joseph (and other LGBT-identified activists and allies),

Your recent letter invites conservative Christians “to evolve” and embrace the LGBT agenda. The letter also labels our deeply-held beliefs about humanity, sex, marriage and family as “anti-gay” and says they deny the “full human dignity” of some people. Perhaps most importantly, you state that our beliefs are no longer “welcome in the public square.” But for Christians to “evolve” and embrace homosexual unions and LGBT demands about human identity would be to tear from our faith remarkable truths that are woven through all of Scripture; it would be to shred and tear God’s word and make Christianity into something it isn’t. Let me explain why we cannot accept your invitation.

In Genesis we learn foundational truths: humanity is created in the image of God – male and female – and marriage is designed by God to be the union of a husband and wife . This is not peripheral theology, but is central to the Bible. Marriage imagery runs from Genesis through the books of the law and the poets and prophets; it continues in the New Testament with Christ and His Bride, the church; and the picture ends with a marriage feast in Revelation. Humanity’s existance as male and female is a reflection of who God is, and male-female marriage is the central picture of our relationship with Him.

In the beginning, God creates the first human and puts him to sleep, separating out the side of the man and fashioning a woman. Our word “sex” reflects this separation or division or cutting into two – male and female. Genesis points out that humanity is unique among creation for being made in the image of God. The woman and the man are fully human, both valuable, yet they are distinct and uniquely made for each other. It’s not just the Bible and Judaism and Christianity that teach this, but experience, nature and science acknowledge humanity’s sexual dimorphism, a sexual complementarity that virtually all cultures recognize.

It’s important  to understand that Christians cannot and will not leave the truth of revelation, a revelation that comes to us through nature and our own bodies, through millennia of Jewish and Christian living and teaching, and through God’s revelation in the Bible and by His Spirit. It would be folly for Christians to leave God’s truth. God’s truth about marriage, sex and sexuality stands now and throughout eternity, regardless of how politicians, academics and entertainers “evolve” and attempt to redefine things.

Same-sex unions do not reflect the reality of male and female bodies. Humans can participate in a variety of relationships and be quite inventive with sexual behaviors. But only a male and female sexually uniting can produce children. This is why all cultures have recognized marriage between a husband and wife as a unique relationship, a relationship designed to keep husbands and wives together and designed to keep children with the parents who made them – to be loved, nurtured, educated, disciplined and equipped to become healthy and functioning adults.

Despite years of brainwashing from academia, radical feminists, the media, and entertainment, most people know that men and women are different, unique and complementary. A society that attempts to erase male and female or to create new categories to stand next to male and female is living in unreality. Which of the supposed “other genders” being created by individuals or groups can reproduce or replicate itself?

The issue is not “equality” or “fairness.” It’s not “equal” that only women can carry another human and give birth. It’s not “fair” that only a man and a woman can make a child. It’s not “equal” that men and women are different. It’s “not equal” that people have different gifts and talents. And as I tell my kids, it’s “not fair” that they are born and live in the U.S. while others are born into abject poverty. Equality does not mean identical or interchangeable; it means we all have equal value and rights. But the issues are: what is marriage and what do children need?

Just as male and female are needed to create a baby, male and female are needed to raise a child. Children need a mother and father. Yes, there are tragic circumstances where a child loses one or both, but society works to mend that loss, as best it can, by providing what was lost – a mother or father or both. That is the ideal that society must acknowledge and promote and support, if it wishes to thrive. The growth of fatherless homes and of divorce has wreaked havoc in our world.  Further removing gender from the home will only compound the pain for children.

Be assured that Christians will work so that the needs and well-being of children are placed ahead of the desires of adults. We will fight to keep children from being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. We will work to give children what they deserve, a mother and a father. In the past weeks there has been a remarkable uprising in France against the notion of “same-sex marriage.” The movement includes gay-identified people and Christians of all stripes. Their marching cry: The rights of children trump the right to children.

Our love for children leads us to oppose abortion, to support and encourage marriage, to train parents to raise healthy children, to teach and equip the church and society to respect all life, and to protect all people from bullying and hatred – not just select groups or identities.

As Christians we also reject the reduction of humanity to groups defined by their sexual attractions and behaviors. Male and female are categories of existence – there is the biological reality of being male or female, and we live in the spiritual reality of a masculinity or femininity that reflects God’s image. It is de-humanizing to categorize individuals by the ever-proliferating alphabet of identities based on sexual attractions or behavior or “gender identity” – LGBBTTQQIAAFPPBDSM – however many letters are added. No. We stand with the truth that there are male and female. There is no recently discovered race of “homosexuals” or “gays” or “lesbians.” We don’t define people’s essence, their being, by their sexual appetites or by other desires.

Just as we don’t label people by sexual behavior or attractions, it would be helpful if activist groups would really engage on the issues, instead of smearing those who disagree with labels such as “haters,” “bigots,” “homophobes” and “anti-gay.” We stand opposed to an agenda that we believe harms individuals, families and our culture. But we don’t hate the individuals pushing that agenda. And we don’t hate individuals who wrestle with same-sex attractions or who are confused about their identity as male or female. We offer support, encouragement, resources and hope for these individuals.

We will also continue to speak out in the public square, arguing for the rights of all to freedom of speech, religion and association. We know these rights are being assaulted, from groups like the ACLU, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and from a number of LGBT-identified activists and their allies. Recent examples include trying to eliminate funding for organizations like The Boy Scouts and The Salvation Army, attacking businesses like Chick-fil-A and its charitable foundation, creating laws against counselors who help men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions to follow their faith and vilifying a pastor who leads people to worship God and who works to stop sexual trafficking.

Do you notice something about these efforts? The groups and individuals under siege are doing good things – yet many LGBT-identified groups want to take away their rights, to silence them, to force them to agree, even if it means stopping the good they do. This is destructive and wrong, and it’s time for all people to recognize it and speak out against this – honestly and with civility, as difficult as that may be.

Our inalienable rights to life, liberty, free speech and freedom of religion do not come from the government, the media, academia, the entertainment world or those attempting to redefine marriage. They come from God. And they do not stop because someone disagrees or is offended.

Finally, I would appeal to you, Joseph, and to others who read this, to consider the message of Christianity. Yes, we are all made in God’s image, male and female, but we are all horribly impacted and broken by sin. Sin is a destroyer. When Jesus began his ministry, he preached a gospel of repentance. In essence, he said stop going the direction you are going, turn around and put your confidence in me. I will forgive your sins, and as you follow me, I will free you from bondage to sin, guilt and shame. Jesus said that he is the way to Father God, and that he will send his Spirit to live in you to bring truth, change, healing and new life. We have the choice to bear our sins or to allow Jesus to be the sin-bearer for us.

I wrestled for years with same-sex attractions, lust, pornography and sexual sin (and plenty of other sins, too). It was not an easy path, but through the church and through God’s grace, truth and power, I followed Jesus and allowed him to change my life. I will not turn back down that road again, through God’s strength and grace. Joseph – I urge you to turn and follow Jesus with me.

What Kind of ‘Christian’ is the President?

31 Jan

By David Wheaton, host of the Christian Worldview radio program:

“By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7: 16-20)

[Recently] Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as president of the United States.  In his inaugural address, President Obama outlined his vision for America, promoting liberal policies in terms of “equality” and “justice” for those he deems marginalized.  One example is when he said:

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

President Obama claims to be a Christian.  And yet how can a Christian so strongly advocate for what the Bible clearly calls sin (i.e. homosexuality)?  How can a Christian be so zealously in favor of continuing and expanding the killing of unborn babies?  What kind of “Christian” is Barack Obama?

Last Saturday on The Christian Worldview, Jefrey Breshears, author of the book The Gospel According to Barack, discussed the book’s subtitle, Where Did Barack Obama Get His Ideas About Christianity?  We’ve previously analyzed the president’s political worldview; this time we looked at his religious worldview.

Listen to the program here.

No, Piers Morgan, the Bible does not Need Updating

18 Jan

Listening to The Christian Worldview radio program recently, host David Wheaton played audio of Piers Morgan’s interview with Rick Warren. Morgan asked Warren if the Bible should be updated to get with the times. This is the 21st– century after all.

For a pastor, Warren stumbled badly and could not coherently articulate a proper response. I wanted so much to respond then. And now I’m taking the opportunity to do so right here.

So, should the Bible be updated to fit the demands of those who don’t believe in it?

No! Our culture isn’t progressing; it’s declining. It’s a coarse culture in a perverse generation.

God has our best interests in mind. It’s reflected in His Word.

People have the free will to accept or reject God’s Word. But has the rejection of it been a good thing or a bad thing? Let me ask additional questions to answer this question.

How many people have died of AIDS? Drunk driving? Alcoholism or drug abuse? Suicide?

How many women and children have been killed by live-in boyfriends?

Has hedonism made people’s lives better? Or worse?

Has pornography harmed people or enriched their lives?

How many billions of dollars has government spent trying to pick up the pieces of broken families?

How many men who grew up without accountable fathers are in prison?

How many marriages have been ruined by compulsive gambling?

Is cheating in sports not rampant?

The answers to these rhetorical questions are obvious. The lesson is to be careful for what you wish for.

If more people heeded God’s timeless Word, it would be a much better world with less crime, less hurting, and less suffering.

Piers, now let’s go a different direction. Let’s suppose you invented a widget and opened a factory to mass produce widgets. Each product is sold with an instruction manual. But unfortunately a few people didn’t bother to read the instructions.

As a result of misusing the widget, some people were badly injured. Some even died. Many people accused you of intolerance for including an instruction manual with your product. They claimed you are evil for telling them the best and the safest way to use the product.

But you say you had their best intentions in mind when you wrote the manual.

That’s how it is with God’s Word. He tells us how we can live victoriously by living according to His Word. We can choose to ignore His advice and live life our way. That’s what we’re seeing with many in the world today. No, God, I’ll handle it my way, I don’t need you.

You see the results every day, and it’s not a pretty picture: tyranny, murder, rape, drugs, violence, STDs, AIDs, hate, death, socially unredeeming media, hopelessness, depravity.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Our culture can be redeemed. Abstinence, fidelity, honesty, respect, and the Golden Rule are within our reach. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

No, Piers, the Bible does not need updating for the 21st century. The world needs the timeless, unchanging, sustaining Word today, tomorrow, and always. The free gifts of forgiveness, salvation and everlasting life are available for all.

Dr. Ablow: We’re Raising Generation of Deluded Narcissists

15 Jan

By Dr. Keith Ablow

A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data  for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students  are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even  though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.

Psychologist Jean Twenge, the lead author of the analysis, is also the author  of a study showing that the tendency toward narcissism in students is up 30  percent in the last thirty-odd years. These data are not unexpected.  I  have been writing a great deal over the past few years about the toxic  psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young  adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the  equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.

On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have  hundreds or thousands of “friends.” They can delete unflattering comments. They  can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated  self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny  photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), “speak” in pithy  short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and  musicians they “like.”

We must beware of the toxic psychological impact of media and  technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards  turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own  fictionalized life stories.

Using Twitter, young people can pretend they are worth “following,” as though  they have real-life fans, when all that is really happening is the mutual  fanning of false love and false fame.

Using computer games, our sons and daughters can pretend they are Olympians,  Formula 1 drivers, rock stars or sharpshooters.  And while they can turn  off their Wii and Xbox machines and remember they are really in dens and  playrooms on side streets and in triple deckers around America, that is after  their hearts have raced and heads have swelled with false pride for “being” something they are not.

On MTV and other networks, young people can see lives just like theirs  portrayed on reality TV shows fueled by such incredible self-involvement and  self-love that any of the “real-life” characters should really be in  psychotherapy to have any chance at anything like a normal life.

These are the psychological drugs of the 21st Century and they are getting  our sons and daughters very sick, indeed.

As if to keep up with the unreality of media and technology, in a dizzying  paroxysm of self-aggrandizing hype, town sports leagues across the country hand  out ribbons and trophies to losing teams, schools inflate grades, energy drinks  in giant, colorful cans take over the soft drink market, and psychiatrists hand  out Adderall like candy.

All the while, these adolescents, teens and young adults are watching a  Congress that can’t control its manic, euphoric, narcissistic spending, a  president that can’t see his way through to applauding genuine and extraordinary  achievements in business, a society that blames mass killings on guns, not the  psychotic people who wield them, and—here no surprise—a stock market that keeps  rising and falling like a roller coaster as bubbles inflate and then,  inevitably, burst.

That’s really the unavoidable end, by the way. False pride can never be  sustained. The bubble of narcissism is always at risk of bursting.  That’s  why young people are higher on drugs than ever, drunker than ever, smoking more,  tattooed more, pierced more and having more and more and more sex, earlier and  earlier and earlier, raising babies before they can do it well, because it makes  them feel special, for a while.  They’re doing anything to distract  themselves from the fact that they feel empty inside and unworthy.

Distractions, however, are temporary, and the truth is eternal. Watch for an  epidemic of depression and suicidality, not to mention homicidality, as the real  self-loathing and hatred of others that lies beneath all this narcissism rises  to the surface.  I see it happening and, no doubt, many of you do, too.

We had better get a plan together to combat this greatest epidemic as it  takes shape.  Because it will dwarf the toll of any epidemic we have ever  known. And it will be the hardest to defeat. Because, by the time we see the  scope and destructiveness of this enemy clearly, we will also realize, as the  saying goes, that it is us.

 

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.  Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com.