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Category Archives: My Opinion

The Rainbow

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I wanted to write something here about the rainbow. I logged into my WordPress account to write, only to be confronted yet again by a rainbow:

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Even WordPress is on board with the rainbow theme. I went to the Chase ATM the other day and was greeted by a rainbow and the reminder that “it’s PRIDE month. I saw on WA State Governor Jay Inslee’s Instagram that they had hoisted the rainbow flag up alongside the state and national flags. It was interesting that the picture was taken at an angle that elevated the PRIDE flag above the others.

Interesting camera angle.

Interesting camera angle.

State Ferrys are flying the rainbow flags; (I was careful on the spelling there) Seattle painted 11 crosswalks with rainbow colors; even christian authors are using rainbow themes in their discussions of homosexual issues.

It all makes me wonder if anyone remembers where that rainbow came from and what it means?
In the words of Inigo Montoya, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

The rainbow is a symbol or sign from God, and it is a reminder of things past. It is a reminder of the deluge.
Before the flood the sin on the earth was terrible.

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.  –Genesis 6:5-8 (NASB)

God caused a worldwide flood that destroyed every man, woman, child, & animal, except those who were preserved by Him in the ark of Noah. For the first time in history there was rain, as the firmament above and depths below erupted with water.
God wiped away the wickedness of humanity and preserved Noah, a man of faith. When it was all over, God made a promise, that never again would He cause a worldwide flood to wipe out humanity. The bible tells us that God set a bow in the cloud as a reminder of this promise.

I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”  –Genesis 9:11-17 (NASB)

Like all symbols, the rainbow means something: God, although a Righteous Judge, is also full of mercy.
There is another symbol that God has given for us to consider, it’s the cross. The cross is where the justice of a Righteous God was satisfied for sin. It’s also a place where the grace and mercy of God was demonstrated for all of humanity. God, gave His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for sin. The rainbow and the cross should remind us of the same things. God is righteous, and He has and will judge sin. But He has also provided escape by faith using a the ark, the cross, -symbols of His lovingkindness and salvation.

It would be nice to leave it there, however there is more to the rainbow. Matthew Henry has this to say:
“As the old world was ruined, to be a monument of justice, so this world remains to this day a monument of mercy. But sin, that drowned the old world, will burn this.” -Matthew Henry
Even as the prediluvian world was reviling in their sin prior to judgment, so the antediluvian world will be culminating in the same apostasies. Jesus spoke of the day in which the world could expect His return:

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.  –Matthew 24:37-39 (NASB)

Men and women are celebrating under a symbol that they do not understand. They are reviling in sin against God and nature. Although God has extended mercy and grace through Jesus,… like the ark, if people refuse to get on board (by faith in Jesus) -only judgement remains. Future judgement is a certain as it was in the past, and that judgement is not through water, but fire.

 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,  through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  –2 Peter 3:3-9 (NASB)

I pray for our nation, our leaders, our world,… that many would come to repentance and put faith in Jesus, the only hope of salvation.

 
 

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Voter Responsibility.

Who is responsible for the current political situation the United States of America?
Who is responsible when our elected officials lie, spin, and cover-up wrongdoing?
Who is responsible to hold them accountable?

Who is responsible for the current political situation in the church?
Who is responsible when pastors and leaders in the church lie, spin, and cover up wrongdoing?
Who is responsible to hold them accountable?

Responsibility in leadership is an interesting thing.
Leaders are responsible for their own wrongdoing.
Those who follow them bear their own responsibility.

We have a responsibility to vote.
We vote for politicians with the ballot.
We vote for pastors and church leaders with our wallets and our feet.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Culture, My Opinion

 

My Loaded Gun (relax, it’s a metaphor)

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For years now, I have left my loaded gun in a safe. It’s been locked away, kept safely out of sight, but always at the ready. Lately, I’ve been searching the scriptures (after all, I am a christian), and I don’t find any passages that would lead me to believe that I need to keep my loaded firearm locked up. I legally own my guns, and I have certain rights and privileges as an American citizen.
I’ve decided to exercise my rights. I’ve decided to stop being afraid so-to-speak and enjoy my liberty. From now on, I am going to keep my loaded gun on the coffee table, visible and ready to use, should the need arise.

I know, I know, you will be surprised, some of you will think I am being ridiculous, dangerous, etc. After all I have a child at home, and sometimes we have guests over who have even younger children.
I think your nay-saying is just that. It would be better if these kids grew up around loaded firearms -that would teach them to “respect the gun”, and learn to be “responsible” with the gun. After all, responsibility with the loaded gun is the goal. I can think of no better thing than to let kids get comfortable with loaded guns.
When guests come over, I will make it a routine to tell them to kick off their shoes and put their feet up,… I’ll offer each to take a look at my gun, handle it, check out the sites, etc. Every person who comes into my home will understand what a responsible gun owner I am.

Now, just so you know, I’m not the only one who thinks this is s a good idea. I’ve asked around with my pastor friends, and I’ve found that there are a lot of them that have come to appreciate my “more biblical” stance on loaded guns. We have had some great laughs about some of our favorite biblical heroes… do you think David hid his sling from his kids? Did Joshua lock up his sword? That’s just silly! It used to be, that in the church, loaded guns were a thing of caution, something to be feared, after all some people had been killed using firearms. But there is simply no biblical precedence for loaded guns being locked up. I’m part of a group of pastors that consider ourselves to be very “biblical” and therefore, we are dismissing the older guys, who simply don’t get it. Have people not read of the church fathers and saints throughout history who owned guns? I stand with them and with their practice of liberty!

Well, that’s all for now, I’m a busy pastor. I’m off to do a hospital visit… a dear friend of mine has been shot.

Metaphor

 

Taking Responsibility

As America sifts through the emotions and thoughts about the recent tragedies in Newtown CT, Portland, OR, and Aurora, CO, there is a mad scramble to attempt to affix blame. We want answers, we want solutions, and we wants someone to take the blame –or do we? The President has stated, that he will use the powers of his office to do whatever he can to fix the problems. This likely means stricter gun control and reduced freedoms for law abiding citizens. This won’t fix anything, but it will look good.

Meanwhile, Hollyweird is defending it’s rights to make money off of ultra violent movies. Director Quentin Tarantino say’s “give me a break” regarding his continued production of increasingly ultra-violent filth. He certainly isn’t going to take responsibility. You have Actors like Jamie Foxx, joking about his upcoming Tarantino production, Django Unchained” saying: “I get to kill all the white people, -how great is that.” He certainly isn’t going to take responsibility. And of course, Tom Cruise, ever the religiously concerned profiteer, continues to promote his violent film, with just a little scrubbing up of the promotion. He certainly isn’t going to take responsibility.

Is Hollyweird to blame for gun violence, or the escalation of violence in society in general? I don’t think so, but they are a contributing factor. There are probably many contributing factors. We live in a society that has devalued life, devalued family, devalued marriage, and elevated the most morally bankrupt to the status of gods.

Now, it’s easy to give at least some blame to these icons of entertainment, but don’t look for them to own up to any responsibility any more than the politicians that they support. Politicians will be unwilling to do anything substantive to change the moral climate in America, because the guys that send them the money are the ones that are shaping that climate. Here is the real question, who sends the money to Hollyweird?

This holiday season, millions of individuals and families around the country will go to the movies. Many will choose to see ultra-violent movies as a form of entertainment. When we do that, we are telling them to “keep it up” -and they will, as long as we pay them. Take responsibility people, we are all to blame.

As a people, we should repent of our fixation with sex and death as entertainment. As Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun.” These are simply the gods of old, repackaged in celluloid, and we continue to bow down.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Culture, My Opinion, Politics

 

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Abe Lincoln, F-Bombs, & 1974

Today I’m feeling like an old codger. Forgive me.
I’ve been looking forward to seeing the latest Spielberg movie, “Lincoln.” I had commented while watching a preview a few days ago, that I anticipated that Hollyweird would mess with this American icon in some way, that’s what they do. Yesterday, I read this report from the Hollywood Reporter entitled “Lincoln’ Cussing: What the F@*&! Is Up With This S#@?!.”
I guess that’s my answer. Who knew that old Abe was a foul mouth. (read my sarcasm folks)
The report quotes historian David Barton as he points out that soldiers during the Civil War were court-martialed for using profanity. It is highly unlikely that President Lincoln used profanity.
Hey, but who cares, right?

I was also having an interesting back and forth on Facebook, that led to a recollection of my childhood, growing up in Eastern Washington.
An old friend brought up 1974 specifically, and was recalling childhood days in elementary school. (Can you hear the wonder years theme song?)
She said something about snowballs.
My daughter was laughing through the comments on my Facebook thread when she came to that comment and asked, “you got to throw snowballs at school? We couldn’t even touch the snow.”
I related to her briefly what it was like, back in the day. We probably didn’t get away with throwing snowballs, but we used to have fun. I remember waxing my shoes to slide on sheets of ice during recess in winter.
I remember making gigantic snowmen in the school yard as well.
My daughter had a look of astonishment. “Really?” she asked. Yup.

Kids used to have fun. And we thought Abe Lincoln was an American hero.
We also didn’t call our teachers by their first names, we certainly didn’t swear at them.
And, you know what was hanging on the wall in the principal’s office?
A paddle. I hear he used it on occasion -something he would go to jail for today.

Ah, progress.

I say bring back the discipline and get rid of the profanity.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Culture, My Opinion, Parenting

 

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Signs O’ The Times

Last Sunday at C:A we talked about how Jesus rebuked the religious guys because they were not able to discern the signs of the times. I think the “signs of the times” is like reading headlines from news stories.
If you were  to collect all of the headlines of current news stories, how would that read?
Have you noticed the uptick in people eating people? Have you noticed how much we love to look at, and publish pictures of ourselves? Have you noticed how once unacceptable behavior and language is now entirely acceptable? Are you putting the picture together? Do you know how many billions of dollars have been to prove that God doesn’t exist, and that we are here completely by chance?
Are you able to discern the signs of our times?

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. -2 Peter 3:1-7

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Culture, My Opinion, Prophecy

 

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Three Strikes Against The Sender …

The following is a list of three critiques I have come across regarding church planting.
These have nothing to do with the men left in the field actually planting, but the men “sending them out” as they are often the ones who get credit for “planting” new churches.
My list is in no particular order …

1. You don’t visit me.
I know of a few missionaries that have never been visited by their sending/planting church beyond the initial planting trip. It’s funny to me that we often cite Paul as a church planter, but ignore his method of visiting the churches planted. Paul had much less resource, and traveling was much more difficult for him than it is today, and yet he never stopped visiting the churches he planted. Foreign missionaries value visits and encouragement from friends at home. Do you visit your foreign missionaries or simply send them money every month?

2. You don’t consider my income.
American pastors get raises, at least the ones that I know –and some way more than they need. The cost of living is usually considered in their annual income, and when a congregation can afford it, they keep up with at least a reasonable salary. But my experience is that foreign missionaries or pastors are often overlooked in the annual review of salaries. We buy ourselves iPhones, iPads, & new cars, etc. while our friends in the field are overlooked.
Have you considered your missionaries income, and do you increase it, when you increase your own?

3. You don’t read my letters.
I heard a conversation recently where a sending pastor was asked about a current event that one of his (supported) missionaries was going through. It was a situation that I was aware of as well, but this pastor was completely unaware, even though it was addressed in two previous support emails. It was pretty easy to conclude that he wasn’t reading the support letters.
I have one friend that has been in the field for many, many, years. He sends out a review of his finances every year. I always review it and try to send a note of encouragement. He tells me that I am the only one who has ever remarked on his annual financial statement. I wondered if any of the other recipients ever looked at it.

4. You don’t pray for me regularly.
I know I said I had three things … I lied.
All the other three lead me to the conclusion that we may not be praying for our brothers in the field.
Where true, it’s a shameful indictment against the church.

If you are a Pastor, who supports church planting, or other missionary endeavors, I would ask you to consider these things -prayerfully.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in Church Planting, My Opinion

 

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