Truth

To Abandon Wisdom

“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous person who gives way before the wicked”.

proverbs 25:26

Here is a rhetorical question. What happens when we look the other way as a wrongful act or crime is being committed? Faced with these situations, self-preservation may take priority over any other options before us. Is that what is happening among believers today? Individuals and groups are constantly seeking the support of believers and are quick to offer words of “comfort” to gain our loyalty. As the old saying goes, action speaks louder than words!

What happens when the true motives of those we support are revealed and their true nature brought to light? Do we withdraw our loyalties and support so that we may hold to righteousness? The book of Proverbs instructs us on how to preserve righteousness, justice, truth, and how to walk in the ways of God. If we live by these words of wisdom, we will remain accountable to God and hold those around us accountable also. Disobedience to God is open rebellion; at the root of rebellion is pride, and pride is very closely tied to self-preservation.

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A Holy Nation

“Righteousness makes a nation great, but sin degrades any people”

proverbs 15:34

America has a problem – sin!

We like to talk about how we are the greatest nation on earth; the greatest nation that ever existed and how we are a Christian nation. We boast about our military might, wealth, and democratic values. We boast about how “good” we are and how much we love. Are we? Do we? Or is this nation so bathed in sin and demonic activities that we are merely a shadow of what we should be? Have the walls that cover our secret sins beginning to crumble around us?

“​For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light

Luke 8:17

There are many issues at the heart of what is happening in this nation. James warned that “if you harbor in your hearts bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, don’t boast and attack the truth with lies! This wisdom is not the kind that comes down from above; on the contrary, it is worldly, unspiritual, demonic. For where there are jealousy and selfish ambition, there will be disharmony and every foul practice” (James 4:14-16).

A​s soon as we mention sin and demonic activity the world goes into a frenzy. Yet, those are the primary source of the ills we see in this country and around the world. All forms of bitterness, jealousy, and selfish ambition go back to the prideful desires that caused Lucifer’s fall from heaven. They were at play in the Garden of Eden, the slaying of Abel, the Tower of Babel, and is in every unrighteous act of man to this day. 

I​t is possible that I am preaching to the choir here, but I have seen much of this tolerated, empowered, and practiced in the church today. Congregational leaders are participating in events and supporting politicians, groups, and institutional leaders who embody these traits. Congregants spew the same poisonous rhetoric to each other, and form groups based on their political ideology. 

Believers should not take part in or encourage these behaviors. Our gathering should be according to Paul’s encouragement in Hebrews 10:25-31. We should not partner with those who are intent on acting in a manner contrary to scripture. Nor should we follow Congregational leaders who are corrupting the Word of God for their own selfish ends. The church is complicit with the sins of the nation. Without immediate change, we will not last. God will judge this nation, and we cannot save ourselves!

What is Good, What is Bad, What is True, What is False!

“Loved ones, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

The desire to know more was part of the lure that led to the fall in the Garden of Eden, and with it, the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:22). For generations after the fall, people did whatever they wanted and that led to unrestrained wickedness (Genesis 6:5). Scripture tells us that as time passes “many will run back and forth and knowledge will increase” (Daniel 12:4, TLV). Our fallen nature is inclined toward doing what is evil in God’s eyes. God sent the flood to cleanse the land of evil and to start a new generation of people having intimate knowledge of Him. That may have lasted a while, but the tower of Babel narrative (Genesis 11) shows us that we are prone to walking away from God and glorifying ourselves. With all the knowledge we have gained over the years and all the ways that we have applied it; how do we discern good from evil and truth from falsehood? 

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What is Truth?

Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” After he said this, he went out again to the Judean leaders. He said to them, “I find no case against Him”

John 18:38

By all accounts, Pontius Pilate was not a righteous man, but he was at least interested in the truth and in declaring that he found no case against Yeshua (Jesus), he spoke the truth. Looking at world events today one may instead ask, “does the truth even matter?” We have re-branded lies in such a way that it’s now a popular strategy to gain attention, notoriety, and wealth. It may appear that facts no longer decide whether information is true or false, but if we like the information presented. Such an environment makes it more likely that the Antichrist will succeed in deceiving the nations.

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Spiritual Examination

Psalm 26A Psalm of David. Image result for spiritual examination

Vindicate me, O LordFor I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord;
I shall not slip. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked. I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O LordThat I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works. Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells. Do not gather my soul with sinners, Nor my life with bloodthirsty men, 10 In whose hands is a sinister scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes. 11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me. 12 My foot stands in an even place; In the congregations I will bless the Lord.

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The Usurper

Unrighteous Zealots

“Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words”. (Proverbs 23:9)

In my devotional reading this morning, Dr. Adam Dooley of Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama commented that “Believers should neither feel obligated to nor responsible for those who hate the truth.” Dr. Dooley went on to state that “Regarding business, Christians should protect the weak with fairness and precedent, knowing that God defends based upon the truth rather than one’s status or power”.

I have to admit that, while I agree with the above, I have become skeptical of the human thought expressed on paper. This is true especially of Christians with whom I am either not familiar or whose words I am not able to reconcile with their actions. It bothers me that, as a Christian, I am becoming so skeptical of other believers but the larger issues is that we have come to this place; what then does the world think of us.

The Western church, at least in part, seems to be complicit in defending those who hate the truth and who seem to care little for the weak. Is this because, as research suggests, of the eroding biblical literacy and belief in the inherency of scripture? I believe this is part of the reason but the totality of this trend may be more sinister than we think.

The oldest sin is that which aims at self-gratification (pride). We in the West are drunk on the desire to satisfying our every desire. Technology is driven by our insatiable appetite for comfort and convenience and businesses thrive on our appetite for quick, “have it your way” service. I believe this sin is prevalent in the church today but is often masked behind “zeal”.

Some have suggested that Judas betrayed Jesus because he was a zealot who thought that by doing so, Jesus would revolt and return the kingdom to Israel. If this is true, Judas’ actions were motivated by a desire for self-gratification. Similarly, the religious leaders who plotted and called for the crucifixion of Jesus did so because He was a threat to their wealth and comfortable way of life. I’m sure you get the picture!

Today, the western church is busy fighting battles over the few issues we are zealous about; forgetting to defend the weak and uphold truth. Have we become self-centered zealots who willingly side with the violent to satisfy what we feel are the most important issues?

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed)” (2 Timothy 3:16) and is equally important and authoritative. Who are we to choose one issue over another, or ignore one sin for the sake of another? Should we not be zealous for every word of scripture? It is the very opposite of this that has created such decay in the moral and theological state of western society. When the church fails to lead the nation fails to thrive and sin becomes a cancer that takes hold of it.

Did not the Lord warn that when we fill the land with sin it will cast us out? I implore the church to repent of our pride and desire for self-gratification. We cannot impress God with our zeal and attempt to do so is only at our own peril. What then does the Lord require of us. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

We have become too much afraid of the anger of fools and instead of reproving them, we flatter them with their own lies. How often do we hear Christian leaders say “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) but fail to “Love one another fervently with a pure heart” as we “Obey the truth through the Spirit” (1 Peter 1:22)?

We cannot lead if we fail to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not in us if we obligate ourselves to those who hate the truth and to those who strike the weak, simply because of their status or power.

Immerse Yourself In Scripture

There is a flood of information coming our way on a hourly basis and much of it is very convincing. But is that information all true? The enemy deceives us with partial truths and the only way to counter these attacks is to know the truth. We do this by immersing ourselves in scripture and prayer each day, throughout the day. We have to “put on the full armor of God“, take of the shield up faith and arm ourselves with the sword (word) of God. Today, immerse yourself in scripture and prayer and “you will know the truth and the truth will make your free“!