Marvin Gaye penned the lyrics to this song title during a time of social unrest in this country as the 70’s began. I was a little boy learning life in a community where everyone knew everybody and everything about everybody. Never did we imagine a tragic moment where gunmen would heartlessly spill gunfire into a school classroom as children are learning. Yet today this is our reality. The question still resonates today but the need for a Savior resonates all the more.
It is shameful to see how our country is continuing to realize the devastating results of the legitimacy associated with the rights to bear arms. Everyone knows the dangers we face – adults and children alike – in this nation because of the loose regulations regarding gun control. The fact that we as a nation continue to mourn the loss of life secondary to gun violence in public establishments screams out for immediate attention of law makers and enforcers to raise up and initiate protective measures for us all.
In the meantime these lyrics are a source of comfort as the tragedy pierces our hearts:
In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He's the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
Ruth C. Jones
God gave us the cogent example of the Pharisee in the Gospels to demonstrate how human wisdom and human interpretation of God’s word leads to spiritual blindness. The Pharisees were experts in the letter of the law but they did not have a clue about the significance of Christ – whose identity originates in the Old Testament to prophets like Moses, who wrote the Torah.
Consider the lesson contained in the reaction Christ demonstrates towards the Pharisees.
If you too are so focused on keeping your outside clean for others to think you have it all together, yet you continue to neglect God’s goodness to your spirit, through his love, forgiveness, grace and mercy at Calvary, then, like the Pharisees, you too are guilty of hypocrisy.
Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law — justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others.
23:24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel!23:25 "Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites!You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside may become clean too! (NET Bible)
I am perplexed over a matter that I know is controversial among humans. Why is it that Biblical truth is not an anchor in the choice for who to follow politically? This week I have pondered this stark reality as I listen to political news broadcasts, read political new articles and listen to the talking heads a.k.a political pundits debate their views about the 2012 Presidential candidates strategies, viewpoints, dilemmas, achievements and forecasts.
The economy is a major issues that will steer the American voter’s choice on November, 6, 2012. MONEY is the central theme of any economy. How it is made and how it is spent is determined by our President and Congress. Americans who are financially comfortable have one view-point and Americans who are not financially comfortable have another view-point. The view-points are a driving factor that fuels the decision-making process of the voter. Though there are other issues of consideration in the campaigns, there is a significant emphasis on the state of affairs on economics.
My perplexity’s foundation is in the trickery that the right-wing Christian conservatives have adopted and portray in the support they garner for Mr. Romney’s campaign. There is a monumental heir of evil associated with the deception of the republican regime. Here at ConquerorShots we continue to uphold the banner of truth about God’s Word. Historically, from a Biblical perspective of the events in the Old Testament and the upcoming prophetic events, any effort that man can make to put more emphasis on the creation (atheism and agnosticism thrive from this prospective), and not the Creator, meets profound, life-changing events where God’s power prevails unequivocally. Yet man continues to follow the path of manifesting his will rather than endeavoring to keep the focus on Him who created us all. I am concerned about the nature of the Republican party’s agenda being a course for evil to attempt to prevail over a blessed nation that has shifted its focus far AWAY from the Creator.
The manner in which I hear the commentary about the state of the economics in America is a direct indicator to harness a specific wretchedness in their economic affairs and agendas. This is nothing new. The Apostle Paul had a full understanding of this human dilemma and warned us with No uncertainty.
TO ALL “Right wing Christian conservatives” PLEASE CONSIDER GOD’S WORD YOU PROFESS TO BELIEVE IN TODAY:
1 Timothy 6:8 But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. 6:9 Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.
The number of “right-wing conservative Christians” who REFUSE to “HOLD ON TO TRUTH” are failing both America’s heritage and the God they claim to have personal relationship with.
The apex of my perplexity is in the “How” and “Why” of this monumental shift in belief. Have you even taken the time to consider the religious platform that Mr. Romney represents openly? I am a supporter of an American’s right to worship whomever and however they choose. Furthermore, I fully grasp the concept of the ecumenical movement worldwide. But all human beings who profess to be “members of the Body of Christ” i.e. Christians are spiritually supplied with a bond that maintains God’s truth based in His Word. IT IS UNDENIABLE! Therefore, it is crucial that you do NOT neglect the opportunity for your vote to show who AND what you TRULY BELIEVE IN!
Mormonism is NOT Christianity. Here’s why:
1. Mormons believe there are "many" Gods. Christians believe in One Triune God.http://www.triunegod.org/
2. Mormons believe Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be" (D&C 93:29). Christians believe Man is a finite being, not an eternal one. The first man Adam was created at a specific point in time (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7; 1Co 15:45-49).3. Mormons believe Christ's death on the cross (the atonement) canceled the penalty of death imposed on ALL men through Adam's sin, thereby ensuring that all men would be redeemed - resurrected and given immortality (the reuniting of spirit with body)-as a gift."If there had been no atonement, temporal death would have remained forever, and there never would have remained forever, and there never would have been a resurrection. The body would have remained forever in the grave" (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p.63)"Redemption from death, through the sufferings of Christ, is for all men, both the righteous and the wicked" (Ibid., p. 65) and Christians believe not everyone is blessed through Christ's crucifixion. Only those who accept His sacrifice and surrender themselves to Him (Ro 10:9) will receive the benefit of Jesus' death and resurrection, which is forgiveness of sins (Ac 10:43) and salvation (Ro 3:24). Eternal life "in Christ," and not just simply eternal existence through resurrection, is the gift offered by God to humanity (Ro 6:23). This gift is obtainable only by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10). Jesus' death serves to reconcile all believers to God (Ro 5:10). In dying, Jesus broke down the wall of separation between us and God that was present through man's disobedience to the Law (Eph 2:11-22)(http://contenderministries.org/mormonism/comparison.php)
I know someone who is desperately afraid of going to the doctor. His apprehension subjects him to incredulous fears associated with the process of finding out the status of his health. Day after day he experiences physical symptoms that force him to contend with the fact that his body is in need of medical attention. Yet his fear allows him to stay nestled in the confines of uncertainty. He continues to go on about the daily routines his life has constructed. Amidst all the vocational, social, political and ecclesiastical activities he fervidly attends to during the course of weeks and months that have passed – with an astounding zeal for life, the fact of a physical struggle continues to plague him. He lacks a willingness to get honest and get tested.
All around the city of Atlanta there is an advertising campaign for children and adults to “Get Tested” for HIV. Billboards, TV commercials and print media all serve to push this message socially . The ad seems to present the point from the perspective that it is better to “know your status” and be treated rather than NOT know and do more harm to yourself and others. A life of promiscuity and/or sexual irresponsibility, compounded with the guise of sexual crimes, all seem to give rise to this fear and more and more people are physically,mentally, emotionally and spiritually spent. The rippling effects of this crippling dilemma is rectified IF there is a willingness to get honest and get tested.
We can understand how medical testing yields physical, mental and emotional treatments BUT what testing applies to spiritual treatments?
LIFE ISSUES i.e. TRIALS i.e. PROBLEMS i.e. HARDSHIPS i.e. DIFFICULTY i.e. UNCERTAINTY i.e TRIBULATION
The human race deems life issues as a NEGATIVE and not a POSITIVE. This is largely due to how the world order views these guaranteed life phenomena. The world has developed a safeguard to greatly support the negative associations with “life issues” so much so that when they materialize in a person’s life, an immediate barrier presents itself between him/her and the world.
For example, when someone is plagued with sickness – PROBLEM – she not only has to deal with the mundane processes associated with treatment and the pursuit towards wellness. The issues magnify with the steady stresses of the employer, finances, loss, dissociation from society and certain peer groups and family and all the fears of loneliness. Meanwhile, people continue to make the world “go around” with their selfish and self-centered idealism towards preservation, progress and upward mobility while isolating themselves from the sick and shut-in. It is selfishness to the core that makes an associate retreat and withdraw from a person plagued with illness while being fully aware of their own ability to offer the sick with the resource of certainty – a certain affirmation that you will do all that is within your power to support the sick. That ideology is now absent in several American cultures today – and sadly, the church (without naming denominations) is in this number. It would seem obvious that they (the local church) would be inclined to serve the sick, poor and widowed most willingly. This is not to say that the existing church programs are not serving “Life Issues.” Oh no! Their service history supports the blatant reality of a need for more involvement from their neighboring local church bodies thereby exposing the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace that Paul clearly addresses.
Ephesians 4:2(NET) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
4:3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
At the end of the book of Joshua, the author makes a compelling appeal to Israel before his apparent death.
Furthermore, Joshua was prophesying to Israel that they would need to have courage and consistency in dealing with “Life Issues” in the future.
Joshua 23:6-11 (NET)
(6) Be very strong! Carefully obey all that is written in the law scroll of Moses so you won’t swerve from it to the right or the left,
(7) or associate with these nations that remain near you. You must not invoke or make solemn declarations by the names of their gods! You must not worship or bow down to them!
(8) But you must be loyal to the LORD your God, as you have been to this very day.
(9) “The LORD drove out from before you great and mighty nations; no one has been able to resist you to this very day.
(10) One of you makes a thousand run away, for the LORD your God fights for you as he promised you he would.
(11) Watch yourselves carefully! Love the LORD your God!”
His instruction is concise: “REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS SAID, WHAT HE HAS DONE AND CHOOSE HIM DAILY – in war and peace” One example is pertinent here – JERICHO. Jericho was a city that Israel needed to go through to get to the Jordan River. It was God’s Determined will that Israel would cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land. Jericho was an immediate “Life Issue” to Israel because of its great army and wall that was designed to protect its inhabitants. Israel was ill-equipped to handle Jericho’s might militarily. However, Joshua was in complete relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who meticulously brought the Israelites out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and preserved them in the wilderness. The story concludes with the Israelites marching silently for 6 days around the wall as God instructed them. Victory prevailed on the 7th day as they marched silently, blew the trumpet and began to shout on Josh’s command. Simultaneously, the walls of Jericho tumbled down. God permanently dealt with the barrier.
The Israelite‘s testing i.e. “Life Issue” in the Old Testament offers Bible readers a glimpse into God’s character. The tests were all designed to get them to line up with His will for them. Israel’s history with God gives rise to the importance for humans to practice willingness to be honest and get tested.
Every “Life Issue” has a Divine purpose. Get Tested! It saves.
There is too much confusion going on about President Obama’s decision to be pro gay marriage. The confusion is easily settled when we consider The First Amendment. Our President did teach this stuff at the college level.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
— The First Amendment
Largely because of this prohibition against government regulation or endorsement of religion, diverse faiths have flourished and thrived in America since the founding of the republic. Indeed, James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, once observed that “the [religious] devotion of the people has been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” (http://www.adl.org/issue_religious_freedom/separation_cs_primer.asp)
My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!
2. My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.
3. Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
4. Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.
Every American – black/white/red/yellow, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender,Jewish,Christian,Baptist,Methodist,7 Day Adventist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Episcopalian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., rich/poor, employed/unemployed and alive – all have one thing in common. We ALL depend on the aspects of freedom that living in this country has to offer.
Freedom is the most attractive aspect of being an American. Foreigners have died or been imprisoned as a result of attempting to enter this country because of their personal pursuit to realize the democracy of the USA as a citizen.
“The United States understands that the existence of human rights helps secure the peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises.
Because the promotion of human rights is an important national interest, the United States seeks to:
Hold governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments;
Promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women’s rights, children’s rights, and the protection of minorities;
Promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity;
The President’s decision is not based on religious beliefs but on the fundamental establishment of “Liberty and Justice for All” that our country stands on. Whenever we, as Americans, forget the designs of the Constitution and want to infuse our belief systems into society, we always have to contend with the First Amendment.
Hos 4:6 “My people are destroyed because they have no knowledge. You priests have refused to learn, so I will refuse to let you be priests for me. You have forgotten the law of your God, so I will forget your children.”
They are destroyed for lack of it, for the true knowledge of God is the life of the soul, true life, eternal life, as our Saviour saith, “This is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.” John 17:3
Hosea was writing about the failure of the Hebrews to know, accept and live the life God called them to. Instead they regularly reverted from God’s way to the way of the world. The result – God allowed suffering to come to the Hebrews. The sufferings were designed to ALWAYS motivate them to turn from their wicked ways and repent and return to the plans that God had for them as a nation. The root cause of their reversion was sin.
God has offered us evidence of how He can deal with human extremism resulting in a nation or nations in which ungodliness is the norm. We need the book of Genesis to appreciate the historical elements and the overall outcome of Sodom and Gomorrah. Human beings who reverence God’s Word know that God allows people the freedom to live but always maintains His authority over us – whether we acknowledge it or not is again based in freedom. When you choose not to do it God’s way you have two authorities to answer to – His and the governments.
Sin is at the root of this issue of Gay marriage. The President was not elected to handle the affairs of the heart. His role as the Leader of this great nation is to uphold the law and lead this country in such a way that our freedom is protected, our democracy is paramount and our futures are secure as human beings. To do this “The President is the administrative head of the executive branch of the Government, which includes numerous agencies, both temporary and permanent, as well as the 15 executive (Cabinet-level) departments.”(http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/agencies/a/presbrief.htm)
Religious leaders, including myself, all have a major job to do as well. We, as Christians, are to uphold the truth of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelations. Jesus said in John 8:32 “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The freedom He describes is different from the freedom established in the Constitution. The government can not provide for the freedom of my spirit – only God can and does handle this area in ALL of us. Therefore, preachers, teachers, ministers, evangelists and lay-people are ALL responsible for upholding the truth as it relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6 meticulously defines the issue of sin. Furthermore, a thorough study of Romans 1-8 is recommended if one wants to lay a firm foundation of truth relative to God and sin today. In society we want to rationalize sin by way of moral guidelines. This methodology is flawed only in respects to a Biblical perspective. Morals then are the antithesis to what God deems as the problem humanity has always encountered since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. They are the world’s attempt to harness and manage the soul sickness he/she is destined to experience. Rationalization and justification are the means by which moral morphology continues. The law of the land is designed to handle the matters that result from one’s tarnished moral fiber.
When we try to marry the two we fail miserably. President Obama exercised his authority over the affairs of the USA by establishing his position on a moral matter that plagues our country. We as Americans are aware of his decision. It is irrelevant to support his decision from a personal and/or religious standpoint. He is clearly looking out for how human beings can have a better quality of life as they engage in same sex behaviors. However, what is relevant is to let the President be the President and let God be God. What a wonderful world this would be if everybody got on the same page about this.