An "ad Dei Gloriam Ministries" Blog from a Christian World and Life View
Pastor Laurie’s national prayer is
Father, we come to You to pray for our nation, the United States of America.Please pray also for Pastor Laurie who has endured calls from the “tolerant” liberals and even the Obama military to resign as chairman due to his support for biblical defined marriage. Here are a few suggested prayers for our leaders or you may choose to offer your own requests.
How You have blessed us through the years, Lord! We rightly sing, “America, America, God shed His grace on thee.” Yet we see trouble in our culture today. We see the breakdown of the family, crippling addictions, and random acts of horrific violence.
Lord, we need Your help in America. In recent days, we have done our best to remove Your Word and Your counsel from our courtrooms, classrooms and culture. It seems, as President Lincoln once said, that we have “forgotten God.” But Lord, You have not forgotten us! You can bless and help and revive our country again.
Scripture tells us that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Lord, in Your mercy, we ask that You would exalt our country again. We have had a number of great awakenings in America. We have experienced times of refreshing, and revivals that changed not only the spiritual but also the moral landscape. As the psalmist said, “Will You not revive us again, so that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6)
That is our prayer for America today, Lord. Send a mighty spiritual awakening that will turn the hearts of men and women, boys and girls back to you. You have told us if we will humble ourselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You will forgive our sins and heal our land. (2 Chronicles7:14)
Forgive us today, Lord, and heal this troubled land that we love so much.
We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.So, the mission of humans, who are created in the image of God, is to responsibly exercise dominion over the earth. Unfortunately, the radical Green environmental movement has completely flipped these commands. Rooted in pagan religion (Animism, Pantheism etc), Eco-Utopianism, socialist economics, globalism, Eugenics and other unbiblical beliefs and agendas, this movement seeks to fundamentally transform our entire society, culture, and traditional values.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Gen 1:26-28,31)
The results? The creation, rather than the Creator is now the object of worship. Man has become subject to nature. Unborn human children can be legally murdered, but don’t try this with a tortoise egg. Many want humans eliminated altogether so that the earth can return to her “natural” state. We’ll elaborate further on this movement in other articles, but we’d like to return to our subject of being a good steward of the creation.
One of the leading defenders of the biblical worldview of creation is the Cornwall Alliance, a coalition of theologians, religious leaders, scientists, and other scholarly experts founded by our friend, Dr E Calvin Beisner. We received an email from Dr Beisner this week that contained an excerpt from a lecture given by his good friend, Dr Clyde Kilby, a long-time English professor at Wheaton College. Dr Kilby concluded a 1976 lecture with suggestions meant to provide or renew a sense of amazement at what it means to be alive in this world:
Yes, we are just so foolish. Folly is bound up not only in the heart of a child, but in the heart of even a child of God. I suppose we are all very sound as a matter of theory upon this point. If any should ask us how we hope to have our salvation worked in us, we should without the slightest hesitation proclaim our belief that salvation is of the Lord alone, and we should declare that, as the Holy Spirit first commenced our piety in us, we look alone to his might to continue and to preserve and at last, to perfect the sacred work.--Charles H Spurgeon (from a Sermon delivered at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, London on Nov 5, 1857)
I say we are sound enough on that point as a matter of theory, but we are all very heretical and unsound as a matter of practice. For alas… you will not find a Christian who does not have to mourn over his self-righteous tendencies. You will not discover a believer who has not at certain periods in his life, felt the need to groan because the spirit of self-confidence has risen in his heart and prevented him from feeling the absolute necessity of the Holy Spirit. Instead, it has led him to put his confidence in the mere strength of nature, the strength of good intentions, or the strength of strong resolutions, instead of relying upon the might of God the Holy Spirit alone.
This one thing I know brethren, that while as a preacher I can tell you that the Holy Spirit must work all our works in us, and that without him we can do nothing, yet as a man I find myself tempted to deny my own preaching; not in my words, but to deny them in fact by endeavoring to do deeds without looking first to the Holy Spirit. While I should never be unsound in the didactic part of it [the teaching or theory], yet in that part which concerns the working of it out [application and practice], in common with all who love the Lord Jesus but are still subject to the infirmities of flesh and blood, I have to groan that I repeatedly find myself, having begun in the Spirit, seeking to be made perfect in the flesh. [The Greek word sarx translated as "flesh" refers to our human sinful nature.]
Yes, we are just as foolish as that, my brethren; and it is well for us if we have a consciousness that we are foolish. For when a man is foolish and knows it, there is the hope that he will one day be wise: to know one’s self to be foolish is to stand upon the doorstep of the temple of wisdom. To understand the wrongness of any position is half way towards amending it. To be quite sure that our self-confidence is a heinous sin and folly, and an offense towards God, and to have that thought burned into us by God’s Holy Spirit, is going a great length towards the absolute casting away of our self-confidence, and the bringing of our souls in practice, as well as in theory, to rely wholly upon the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Note: We have modernized the language somewhat, added bold emphasis, and inserted a few brief comments in brackets.
This year’s NSLM is even more noteworthy in that it marks the 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade, the infamous court case in which the unborn child was ruled to be a non-person, thus giving women the “constitution right” to kill their unborn babies on demand for any, or even no reason whatsoever. Since that day, over 50 million babies have been "legally" killed.
Many people are not aware however, that the abortion industry was initially built on lies, and continues to operate on lies today. We hope to produce several articles on the subject this year, beginning with the court case itself.
To give a brief summary, Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe” in Roe v Wade) never wanted to be part of a court case; she only wanted an abortion. Her feminist attorneys assured her that they would get her an abortion, but didn’t. They also used the lie that she was gang-raped when she wasn’t raped at all. She was simply a tool in their hands. She never even had an abortion, and was discarded after she served their purpose. Later, when the Clintons threw a huge festivity at the White House celebrating the 1993 twentieth anniversary of Roe v Wade with many of the participants, Norma was not even invited.
Incidentally, an independent but similar case (Doe vs Bolton) that permitted second and third trimester abortions, even outside of a hospital and thus leading to the opening of abortion clinics all over the country, had many similarities. Sandra Cano never wanted (or had) an abortion. She was offered legal help in her divorce and custody fight over her two children if she would sign the affidavit as “Mary Doe”.
Both Ms McCorvey and Ms Cano are now pro-life proponents. They are extremely disappointed with those who took advantage of them, and at what has been perpetrated in their names. They have even challenged the court decisions without success. Due to the lies of the attorneys, the killing goes on to this day.
In 2008, the courageous Norma McCorvey recorded a television commercial pleading with voters to support a president that would protect the unborn. From the script:
“I’m Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe vs. Wade decision that brought ‘legal child’ killing to America. I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion. It was all a lie.She ends the ad by saying “Please, don’t follow in my mistakes. DO NOT vote for Obama. Obama murders babies.” Yet, the problem is much bigger than Mr Obama. While he is one of the biggest promoters of abortion, even taking it to new levels by using executive orders, government subsidies and political influence, he is also a product of our expanding culture of death.
Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave.”
Therefore, we urge our readers to pray and get involved, whenever and wherever we can to stop this holocaust. It is after all, literally a matter of life and death.
Yes, great indeed is the mystery of the incarnation, the Second Person of the Trinity voluntarily emptying Himself of His eternal glory and coming to earth to seek and save the lost.
In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (Jn 1:1-3,14)
Yet, as much as it is a mystery, it is every bit as real. AW Tozer writes:
The birth of Christ was a divine declaration, an eternal statement to a race of fallen men and women. The Advent of Christ clearly established:So many people are searching for meaning, for reality in these turbulent times. It is sad that the answer lies clearly in the true meaning of Christmas. Yet, inserted in the Apostle John's introduction to his beloved gospel is a haunting statement.
First, that God is real. The heavens were opened and another world than this came into view.
Second, that human life is essentially spiritual. With the emergence into human flesh of the Eternal Word of the Father, the fact of man's divine origin is confirmed.
Third, that God indeed had spoken by the prophets. The coming of the Messiah-Savior into the world confirmed the veracity of the Old Testament Scripture.
Fourth, that man is lost but not abandoned. Had men not been lost no Savior would have been required. Had they been abandoned no Savior would have come.
Finally, that this world is not the end. We are made for two worlds and as surely as we now inhabit the one we shall also inhabit the other!
How can it be otherwise when twentieth-century Christians refuse to acknowledge the sharp moral antithesis that God Himself has set between the Church, as the Body of Christ, and this present world with its own human systems?
The differences between the churchly world and the followers of the Lamb are so basic that they can never be reconciled or negotiated. God has never promised His believing people that they would become a popular majority in this earthly scene.
I wonder how many believers would join me in a clear-cut manifesto to our times? I want it to be a declaration of our intentions to restore Christ to the place that is rightfully His in our family situations and in the fellowship of the churches that bear His name.
Are we willing to demonstrate the standards of godliness and biblical holiness as a rebuke to this wicked and perverse generation?
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. (Jn 1:9-11)
Just as most of the people in Bethlehem that day were oblivious to the divine event occurring in their midst, most people today are equally unaware. We must take up Pastor Tozer's challenge to be shining examples for unbelievers, while we continue to pray and share the Good News.
As the article points out, "Any other President with BHO’s record — high unemployment, record deficits, and scandals such as Fast and Furious and the leaking of our nation’s intelligence secrets — would face withering scrutiny from the press". We can only imagine the around-the-clock hysterical coverage if these issues had occurred during GW Bush's term.
Please see the link above for the entire article, but here are a few example quotes from the report (bold emphasis added). As a public service, we must advise our readers to put away any hot beverages or sharp objects prior to reading. An on-hand supply of nausea medicine and barf bags might also come in handy.
Time’s Nancy Gibbs, November 17, 2008 cover story on BHO's election win:
"Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope....Barack Hussein Obama did not win because of the color of his skin. Nor did he win in spite of it. He won because at a very dangerous moment in the life of a still young country, more people than have ever spoken before came together to try to save it. And that was a victory all its own."ABC’s Bill Weir talking about Obama’s inauguration on World News, Jan. 20, 2009:
"We know that wind can make a cold day feel colder, but can national pride make a freezing day feel warmer? It seems to be the case because regardless of the final crowd number estimates, never have so many people shivered so long with such joy. From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity."ABC’s Terry Moran to Media Bistro’s Steve Krakauer in a February 20, 2009 Morning Media Menu podcast talking about how the presidency is actually a demotion for BHO:
"like to say that, in some ways, Barack Obama is the first President since George Washington to be taking a step down into the Oval Office. I mean, from visionary leader of a giant movement, now he’s got an executive position that he has to perform in, in a way."Host Christiane Amanpour to White House advisor David Axelrod on ABC’s This Week, September 26, 2010, after the reality had set in with some supporters that BHO was in way over his head:
"People from all over the world, frankly, say to me, here comes a President with a huge mandate, a huge reservoir of goodwill, huge promises to change, and, with all of that, his popularity is down. People don’t appreciate some of the amazing legislative agenda that he’s accomplished."Newsweek’s Evan Thomas to host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, June 5, 2009:
"Reagan [at the 1984 D-Day commemoration] was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is, ‘We are above that now. We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial. We stand for something.’ I mean, in a way, Obama’s standing above the country, above — above the world. He’s sort of God. He’s going to bring all different sides together."The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, May 2, 2011:
"By calmly and meticulously overseeing the successful targeting of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama just proved himself — vividly, in almost Biblical terms — to be an effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States."Stephen Marche in a column for Esquire magazine’s August 2011 issue, entitled How Can We Not Love Obama? Because Like It or Not, He Is All of Us:
"“Can we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we’re going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph....‘I am large, I contain multitudes,’ Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy....Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a ‘world-historical soul,’ an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be."Nope... no bias to see here folks. Move along.
At the same time, we're only a few days removed from the Supreme Court decision upholding ObamaCare, or at least the bill as re-defined by Chief Justice Roberts. I can't help but think about the contrast between today's liberal court and our original court. Consider the words of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:
“Unto Him who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved Son.”It's ironic that the words of our first chief justice would probably be considered unconstitutional to utter in a public building by today's court. Still, even with this unprecedented power grab by the feds at the expense of local, state and individual rights, America remains one of the best countries on this earth.
We as Christians must continually work to bring back the Biblical principles on which our country was founded, including rights to life, religious freedom and personal liberties. Yet, we must not lose sight of the fact that this is not our true home. We must seek first the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 6:33) and carry out the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20). Only when hearts are changed can we expect a permanent change in our society.
Yet, we don't have to reform all of society to bring God's blessing on our country. When we quote 2nd Chronicles 7:14, “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”, we often think first of reforming unbelievers in government, Hollywood, the media etc. But notice that this promise begins with "if my people", so it is contingent upon the heart and mind of the church, not on unbelievers. If we merely reform ourselves, our nation will be blessed (See our article, Can America claim the promises of 2Chr 7:14, or are they reserved exclusively for Israel? for additional information on this topic).
We'd also like to share one of our favorite videos on this Independence Day. Many have probably viewed this (it has almost 2 million viewings as of this writing), but it's always worth watching again. It is Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance and a great testimony of a time when the majority still respected the flag.
As we view these posts, we who are Christians should bear in mind that, even though we have the right to express our opinions, we should also pray for our government leaders and keep these issues in perspective. The Psalmist writes “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them -- the Lord, who remains faithful forever.” (Ps 146:3-6)
We should also remember that, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12). Finally, we should not forget that it is only the grace of God that separates us from the unbelievers. The apostle Paul addresses believers: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:1-7)
That said, enjoy the cartoons.
Given an hour or so, I could make a decent replica of what I observed, but I was fascinated by a few students who could quickly sketch out a caricature of a person or thing in a matter of minutes. Years later, while managing our computer graphics and print shop, I often needed a catchy piece of art for a school-fundraiser, safety promotions for an industrial client, or for various other types of programs. I sometimes did my own, but in most cases, I would turn to a couple of friends for the artwork. One worked as a cartoonist for an area newspaper and the other was the minister of education/music at a local church who did freelance art on the side. I was continually amazed at the detail, the range of expressions, the depth of a story that these artists could portray with just a few strokes of the pen.
Since it usually takes me a page or two to say what a good artist can communicate with a simple sketch, I often employ these toons as a means of reviewing events of interest to our readers (not to mention the fact that it’s also much more fun). So, as we pass the halfway point of the year 2012, we’ll be posting a series of reviews featuring many gifted and talented artists. The first, which will be uploaded in the next day or two, is intended to be a summary or overture of many of the various events, subjects, controversies and commentaries on our current society from the past six months. The other review posts will primarily be grouped by subjects, and will be loaded later, along with some other articles. We hope you enjoy them.