Saturday, April 27, 2013

What Is Conviction

 I've made some mistakes over the past several years and I want to attempt to talk about them.

Some people scream and yell and carry on about old time religion, the old paths, convictions, and standards.....yet I sense no true spirituality or holiness but instead some kind of man-made, self-righteous, skin-deep religion. So, in my disenchantment with this counterfeit--I sometimes find myself throwing out the baby with the bath-water. 

Religious wackos aside, genuine conviction is of the utmost importance. 

I will never adapt myself to man-made, ridiculous rules. BUT MANY maybe even the majority of religious in this generation have gone in the opposite direction and are trying to use the grace of God for lasciviousness. Just because you don't want to be under the rule of oppressive men and misguided religionists doesn't mean you reject the conviction and guidance of the Holy Ghost. 

Over the past several years I have completely dropped the ball several times when I was supposed to be walking in holiness. I got tired and weary of always being viewed as the conscience in every group I found myself (which may mean I was in the wrong group) and I eventually just wanted to stop being that guy.

I became so tired of feeling like dudley do right all the time...of comments like ask the pastor's son, etc. And it is true, I am NOT to be everyone else's conscience, but that doesn't mean I should abandon my own. 

The word CONVICTION has to do with being Convinced. Being convinced of the truth. The Holy Spirit shines the light of truth on us. and as we see in John men loved darkness RATHER than light b/c their deeds were evil. The Holy Spirit will REVEAL your deeds and reveal the truth and convince you of the truth and convince you of the difference between the Holy and profane. And while MANY people get ANGRY when confronted with conviction, in fact we should thank our lucky stars for the great privilege and opportunity that we have received to be free from Satan's manipulations and the world's snares. 

God is NOT condemning you when He convicts you, in fact, He is blessing you and leading you to freedom! Because when you sin you are a SERVANT to sin. God doesn't want you to serve sin any longer. He wants you to be free. He offers you freedom. Conviction is not restrictive but freeing. 

Walking in the light means experiencing the glorious liberty and presence of God, not muddied up by the presence and bondage of polluting sins and habits & worldliness. 

I'm not going to be afraid to live by my convictions. 

I'm not going to compromise on what I know is right. Now, I am very aware that a lot of people have no convictions at all. They find even the fact that I think it's wrong to abort babies or abuse children as me being an extremist and over-sensitive. People say I take things too personally or that I am very sensitive. Okay. that's fine. people can think that if they'd like to. But that's what I am. 

Years ago when I had been so careful not to go off the straight and narrow and never drank or smoked or partied etc. People mocked me. Then those same people when I was away from the Lord told me I needed help LOL the same ppl that help get you into trouble will abandon you when that trouble comes home to roost. 

So I say it is time to not worry about pleasing others. Not be pressured by others. But just worry about pleasing the Lord. And if I have been a bad example over the years, which I have at times. I ask for forgiveness. 

There've been times I have been a zealout  and followed dumb rules and there have been other times that I have not been faithful to my own convictions. In either case, God never changes though I teeter back and forth. But i want to remain anchored and founded on Him and be a better example of what He is all about. 

It's okay if you think I'm sensitive for not associating with abusive people, or for thinking you should respect the flag or stand against abortion and it's okay if you think I am holier than thou because I don't drink anymore, and it's okay if you don't like the old hymns I listen to, and it's also okay if you think I take liberties that you don't. It's ok as long as I remain faithful to my Creator. 

Please pray for me that God will help me to lead my family in a godly manner. And to be a good example to our Church. I'll never be perfect but I want to do better. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Double-Minded Dichotomy of the Shameless American Ethic /Why You Can't Be Forgiven If You've Done Nothing Wrong

 The last couple of days we have heard a LOT about the "Nice" "Well-mannered" straight A young men who killed 4 people in Boston and injured many more. 

Most of the people who recognized their picture had a difficult time understanding that the young men they "knew" could be terrorists. 

Similarly, many battered women just can't bring themselves to get away from their abusive husbands because they can't wrap their heads around how the same man who wooed them, took them out, nurtured them, supported them etc. could turn around and hurt them, belittle them or beat them. They just can't reconcile the two very different types of behaviors that are coming from one man. They say things like "You just don't know him like I do. He can be so loving. He has a good heart." And they allow the abuse to continue. The abuser hurts them, but immediately after he apologizes and tempers his bad behavior with seeming kindness and the victim falls for this method over and over again. It is tragic and it is one of the biggest reason abuse and crimes are often tolerated or unnoticed. 

I want us to take these two examples and then take our collective conscience as a Nation and look in the mirror. We are double-minded, two-faced, hypocritical. Thinking ourselves to be good because 50% of what we do is noble but not realizing the other 50% of vile wickedness (abortion, antisemitism, violence, pornography, prostitution, etc). completely cancels out all the good that we think makes us righteous and brings us under the condemnation of the one we say we trust in on the front of our dollar bills. 

In the name of "Love," we as families, communities, churches, states, and individuals....have winked at all kinds of inexcusable sin and made ourselves hypocrites and sometime complicit in the sins of this generation. 

I have had people tell me that I need to remember that God is love because I condemn atrocities such as bullying, terrorism, manipulation, abortion, etc. Yes, God is love. He loves us so much that He did not create ANYONE in His image for the sake of being abused, disrespected, degraded or misused. Yes, God is love and Dr. Gosnell's slaughter of innocent babies makes a loving God angry. Yes, God is love and so He cares about the innocent and the helpless and the vulnerable! He cares about unborn babies. He cares about orphans and widows. He cares about battered wives, abused prostitutes and drug addicts. He cares that million of eyes and dollars in the USA have been invested in the porn industry that destroys people's lives and makes nothing but merchandise you young women. Our loving God cares. And just as a Father who would do anything to protect his own children, our Heavenly Father will not slumber and forget the blood and destruction that has been brought upon the vulnerable and innocents by self-righteous, ever-consuming, hypocritical Americans. 

I love America. I am patriotic. But my heart is sick over our hypocrisy, and it isn't just one specific case that I refer to-it is a systemic problem. 

Just like Hollywood stars who promote gun-control and give to charities that are supposed to help children turn around and promote gun violence and moral decay on the shows they act in---so the rest of us, think we're good people because we pay our taxes or go to church, or raise families. But we excuse ourselves as a Nation for so much irresponsibility and abuse. 

I wish I had a sensitive way to say what I want to say. I think of countless examples of how the children of America are being failed and sinned against and no one feels a sense of responsibility for it.

Whether you're a teacher, a parent, a sunday school teacher, or really an adult of any kind, you are a leader, an example, an authority and you bear responsibility to the next generation. 

Abel's blood cried out from the ground to God and condemned Cain. Will not the blood of dead men in Benghazi, of aborted babies, of babies killed after birth and abandoned, of abused, and beaten and neglected and poisoned children-will it not also cry out to God?

Will a TRULY loving God turn a deaf ear to the cries of His children as we just go on feeling self-satisfied and snubly excusing ourselves saying "Well, God is a God of love" 

Wash-make you clean, do good!

We do NOT understand repentance. Nor do we understand love.

Churches that preach the truth with integrity are criticized because they supposedly aren't remembering that "God is love"  Bull! We know God is love. We preach God's love but we do so in truth and with integrity. A God of real love and compassion CARES about injustices and sin. He wants to make it right. He wants us to be forgiven. He wants us to be redeemed. He wants us to feel His love. He wants us to be free. But NONE of that can happen until we come to the place of REPENTANCE.

Repentance is very unpopular and VERY misunderstood But it is also Very BIBLICAL. There is no salvation without it. There is no forgiveness without it. 

If you say you have no sin you lie.

And so a loving God does NOT forgive unrepentant, unacknowledged, self-justified sinners.

Jesus said repent or perish, not me. 

ANY Bible-believing Church will preach repentance. It isn't done out of arrogance, nastiness, condemnation, or hate. It is done out of love for God and the sinner. God loves sinners everywhere and He calls on all of us to repent, to turn to HIM for mercy and salvation.