No Apologizing

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Are Christians Sociopaths?


Are Christians, particularly Christians in America, sociopathic?

What started as an off the cuff remark I made during a recent sermon at my Church (Legacy Church, in Kansas City, MO) has begun to legitimately haunt me (you can hear the sermon here)…

Christian… Sociopath… These are two words that on the surface seem completely incompatible.  Acts 11:26 tells us that the term “Christian” was first used of disciples in the Antioch church.  This was initially used as an insult in that people were saying they were “little Christs”.  In other words, they were just like Jesus, who because of His great love for people, voluntarily died to pay for the sins of the world. On the other hand – the dictionary defines sociopath as “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” Another says that “Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.”

How can someone who is living a life that is reminiscent of a man whose critics admit was at least a good person and moral teacher exhibit behavior or attitudes that are patently selfish and apathetic to others? However, in spite of the apparent contradiction, I think if we are truly honest with ourselves, the answer is closer to “yes” than any of us who call ourselves a Christian would like to admit… And it tears me up inside… Let me allow this clip from Atheist Magician and Comedian Penn Jillette to begin to explain what I mean:

“How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” There is the rub… Way too many “Christians” fall in a daily routine and are comfortable to coast through life without a broken heart for their friends and family who, if what we believe is really true, are destined for an eternity without God… Well… to be honest that is the essence of selfishly living life “without concern for the effects of their behavior [or lack thereof] on others”, isn’t it???

We certainly shouldn’t be comfortable with it… But sadly I think that may just be the problem… our comfort.  Because we are relatively comfortable, especially in comparison to most of the rest of the world, we just get into auto pilot and unintentionally slip into apathy.  It’s not a conscious thing, but it occurs anyway… and it’s tragic.

Penn said “There comes a point where I tackle you… and this is more important than that.” Because people’s eternities are so important, our “social conscience” should remind us that we have a “moral responsibility” to love those around us enough to take the risk of offending them or losing a friendship to in a sense “tackle” them by sharing the truth about Jesus

Let’s pray to God for forgiveness for our sociopathic tendencies and begin to live a life that actually reflects our name-sake, Jesus… and refuse to scoot through life uncaring and unaffected by the many people we know who do not yet have a relationship with Him.

US Government Persecution of Christians continues


Not that I am a doom or gloom type of a guy but I feel like we have reached that line in the sand as a culture.  Rather than looking down at the line and pausing for a moment to contemplate what the next step should be, our culture has now jumped over the line and took off sprinting.  Last month I posted a link to an article from Breibart talking about the persecution of our brothers and sisters in the military.  Some of the verbiage used by the fellow who crafted the Department of Defense position was harsh.  Now I stumble across an article which brings the President into play in the ongoing persecution of Christians in the Military.

According to this article (READ HERE), Congressman John Fleming offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would protect the religious rights of soldiers.  To quote Fleming It would have “required the Armed Forces to accommodate ‘actions and speech’ reflecting the conscience, moral, principles or religious beliefs of the member.”  The Presidents response was that it would have a “significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.”

Weird how Christianity and the expression of Christianity would have a negative impact on morale, good order and discipline.

All I can do is sit and shake my head.  How does it come to this?

Fleming offered several examples of persecution within the amendment.  So check this out…

Fleming introduced the amendment after a series of high-profile incidents involving attacks on religious liberty within the military- including an Air Force officer who was told to remove a Bible from his desk because it might give the impression he was endorsing a religion.

He said there are other reports of Christian service members and chaplains being punished for their faith.

  • The Air Force censored a video created      by a chaplain because it include the word “God.” The Air Force feared the      word might offend Muslims and atheists.
  • A service member received a “severe and      possibly career-ending reprimand” for expressing his faith’s religious      position about homosexuality in a personal religious blog.
  • A senior military official at Fort      Campbell sent out a lengthy email officially instructing officers to      recognize “the religious right in America” as a “domestic hate group” akin      to the KKK and Neo-Nazis because of its opposition to homosexual behavior.
  • A chaplain was relieved of his command      over a military chapel because, consistent with DOMA’s definition of      marriage, he could not allow same-sex weddings to take place in the      chapel.

Folks, I have said it before and I will say it again.  We are on the downward slope here.  The persecution cat is now out of the bag.  Right now the trend is persecution because it will be offensive (political correctness).  At some point it will turn into a crime where we will be literally punished for our beliefs, when they (the world) see that we are more concerned about eternal life rather than the immediacy of this life and continue to evangelize.

We may not be very far from that based on the Breibart article .  It is beginning to get real now.  We have to be preparing ourselves mentally for the sacrifice that we will have to make in order to honor God and follow through on the Great Commission.

My first sermon


Here is a link to my first sermon.  It is on Ephesians 6:5-9.  Please let me know what you think.

 

 

 

Persecution has begun here in America…And it starts with our Armed Forces!


Good efternoon everyone.  It is with a heavy heart that I write this post.

Persecution of Christianity has officially begun here in the Unitied States and it begins in the Department of Defense.  This would include ALL armed forces that report up through the DOD.   See the article… So here is the deal… According to the report the gentleman who is responsible for drafting the verbiage that would actually imprison a service member for sharing his faith has stated this “Christians–including chaplains–sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”

To see what he really thinks of Christians CLICK HERE

It appears that the official verbiage, as confirmed by the Pentagon states the following:  “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis”

And so it goes.  The government has now made it illegal to evangelize in the Armed Services.  This puts our Christian brothers and sisters in the armed services on another front line for Christ, as they risk imprisonment and dishonarable discharge for simply caring enough about their fellow soldiers to offer Christ to them.

The Great Commission is our single charge directly from Jesus.  Because we love Jesus we obey His command, which is to go forth and to make disciples.  We cannot go forth and make disciples without proselytization.  Because we love our brothers and sisters we tell them about the salvation that awaits them.  To ask a Christian to not evanglize is to simply ask them to not be a Christian, and to disobey an order from God Himself.

We are no longer protected, and are now officially a persecuted group from our US Government.  It is time to be prepared mentally for the sacrifice that we are going to be asked to make here in the very near future.

TGIF? 2013


The Pastor of Legacy Church, Kevin Barnes wrote this post in 2010.  It is a great post that I try to put out every Good Friday.  If you happen to be in the Kansas City North area this weekend please be sure to check out Legacy Church on Sunday morning at 9:30.

 

Thank God it’s Friday? Not for these guys… Not today.  This day held more anguish, pain, panic and despair than all the days from the beginning of time combined…  Today was so indescribably bad because it was such a stark contrast with the highs they had experienced over the last 3 ½ years – especially this last week – even earlier last evening had been intimate, festive, warm and safe!

Not now… Now He was gone and they were scattered – scurrying like roaches when the lights come on, because… HE… was… DEAD… And Hope was no more.

Let me explain by backing up a bit. For centuries their people had been waiting – waiting for a man sent from God who would make everything right… A man who would restore all things to the way they should be – one who would rebuild the bridge to God that we had broken so long ago… one who would bring Freedom to the captive… Hope to the desperate… and Love to all.

This waiting wasn’t just wishful thinking. Scriptures spoke about Him over and over and over… on every line of every page.

Now He was here! They were absolutely 100% sure of it! He was born into the right family, in the right town at the right time… He was there when they most needed Him and He was doing all the things Scripture said He would! They said He would be a prophet, and He boldly taught about God’s Kingdom and fearlessly spoke of the future. The prophets said He would be a healer, and they had seen Him give sight to the blind, restore strength to the cripple, open the ears of the deaf… even raise 3 people from the dead!

But He wasn’t just any prophet… and He wasn’t a typical physician, nor was He a magician. This one had a power and air of authority they could not explain.  For goodness sakes, evil spirits and even the elements obeyed His voice!

Earlier that week, as they entered the city for the festival, people flooded the winding road that lead down the hill through a garden full of olive trees. They screamed out His name! They just knew NOW was the time He would set the wheels in motion to take His rightful place – to become King! But they didn’t understand that on this day when families across the nation would choose their sacrificial lamb, HE, the Promised One, was presenting Himself as the only sacrifice that would be needed… EVER!

That night, they retired to an adjacent town to spend time with friends – It was an exciting day and a restful and refreshing evening. The next day as they made their way into the city He cursed a tree for having no fruit… this was just a precursor to the events later that day… Oh, how encouraged they were as they watched Him enter the religious center of the nation and clean house… He drove out the corrupt merchants who were using the people’s religious hopes as an excuse to turn an unfair profit… and then He healed the sick there… The people were amazed, grateful and sang out His praises, but the leaders were enraged… His followers could scarcely contain their joy – the revolution MUST be beginning!

After another wonderful evening with their gracious hosts, they returned to the city to find the cursed tree was dead – What power! What a King! That day, they spent quite a while with Him on a special mountain overlooking the metropolis. He spoke about the coming destruction of the city – Could it mean that He was planning on mounting a rebellion against their oppressors? Could it be now?! They could only assume they would play central roles in the coming new order… They knew it was coming because they were confident in His right to rule and His power and authority to make it happen! They also knew that they, His chosen few, would get the privilege to eat with Him at a very special occasion tomorrow!

They did share that meal with Him… but before that He washed their feet – to them, it was like being knighted – What an honor and pleasure to be so favored by this soon to be crowned King. During dinner He prayed for them and made them new promises of how God would see and relate to them. They were confident in Him and His promise, but there was an air of sorrow in His voice and a look of grief in His eyes.

After the meal, they went back to the olive grove where He had spoken of the city’s destruction the day before – this time they went to pray. Then, one of their own, one they had hardly noticed had left during supper, showed up with a troupe of men armed with weapons and torches. As their friend greeted Him with a kiss, the guards seized their Lord!

What could be happening?!?! Chaos and panic set in… One of His followers drew a sword and cut off a guard’s ear. But the Master demanded they stop, and He even healed the man – Why was He letting this happen? The group of soldiers moved to arrest them all, but everyone but Him ran… one only escaped by slipping out of his clothing!

They could not understand; their heads were spinning! Through the fog of adrenaline and fear each of them did their best to lay low while keeping tabs on what was happening to Him – He had to be okay… How could they go on without Him?

He was put through trials by several religious and political figures. A few of the trials were illegal… all of them were rigged – they were shams. None of the inquisitions showed a shred of evidence proving Him guilty of ANY wrong doing – Yet, through it all He was punished and tortured and beaten to the point one could no longer tell He was even human. Then, the people who earlier had cried out His name in triumph shouted for His execution!

They marched Him naked through the streets forcing Him to carry His own instrument of death. But, as they were slowly killing Him, He begged God to pardon them. As He breathed His last, the sky darkened, the earth shook, the temple was damaged and the hearts of His followers melted and their hopes evaporated into mist… Sorrow reigned.

The next day’s headlines would not sing to the world the news they had hoped: A NEW REIGN AND RENEWED FREEDOM. Instead, they would be replaced by an obituary:

At the age of 33. Jesus Christ, of Nazareth, King of the Jews, has passed. He died outside Jerusalem on Golgotha by crucifixion – Executed by the Romans at the request of the Sanhedrin for treason against Caesar and spreading subversion throughout the land. Death was confirmed by spear thrust through the heart. He was born in Bethlehem during the reign of Herod the Great. He spent His early life as a carpenter, but gained fame in recent years as an itinerant rabbi. The body is being held in the tomb of a friend, under Roman guard. Funeral services and body preparation are scheduled for after the Sabbath. He leaves behind a grieving mother, Mary; a Father, God… and many followers whose dreams were shattered, whose expectations were crushed and whose optimism was gone…

All because He… was… DEAD…

Are we a nation of Sodom?


This week the Supreme Court will be hearing two cases regarding same sex marriage.  Now before the “equal rights” fan crowd goes crazy I just want to clarify.  This piece is not about the political game being played with the institution of marriage.  This piece isn’t interested in the benefits of civil union versus marriage.  Rather, I wanted to take a moment to reflect historically on how our current culture compares to others in history.  You see, this Supreme Court ruling may re-define marriage.  Regardless of the ruling, our nation has been moving away from traditional, biblical marriage under the guise of equality and justice for some time now.  Even Christians are in support of this move and sit off to the side clapping their hands as our society becomes more “evolved,” “caring” and “enlightened.”

That being said a comparison can be drawn between our society and others throughout history.  there is nothing unique about American society historically speaking.  To illustrate this point, I am going to throw some adjectives out and let’s see who they seem to describe…

Arrogant

 Overfed

 Unhelpful

 Haughty (acting superior and disdainful in case you were wondering)

Sexually permissive

 Indulgent

 Immoral

 Unconcerned

 Do the words above describe America?  I would think that on this point an Atheist and a Christian can agree.  America is often described globally as an arrogant nation full of haughty people.  Neither, is there any doubt about us being overfed – We are incredibly overweight and by and large a lazy nation.  We are more prone to not help someone in dire need than we are to help them.  We are a sexually permissive nation that was “freed” by the sexual revolution – to the point there are very few taboos any more. Homosexuality…well that is just part of the freedom that we allow here in America. We are indulgent, often act in immoral ways, and are generally unconcerned with anything that doesn’t directly affect our own bottom line unless it is so incredibly shocking that it basically jumps up and slaps us in the face.

Yep, that is the America that I am an adult in and the America that my children will grow up in.

But why does this matter – Why am I concerned?  Well, because these adjectives are the very words used to describe Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible.

Let that sink in for a while…..  Still sinking in?

The American society in which we live has now become a nation almost exactly like Sodom.  Don’t believe me?  Here is a sample scripture… you decide for yourself:

Ezekiel 16:49-50 “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…”

Liberal theologians are quick to point out (or at least they try to point out) that homosexuality had nothing to do with the destruction of Sodom.  They go so far as to say that God has no problem with homosexuality at all.  This of course is absolute foolishness and Christians should own the fact that God has rejected homosexuality both through His Word, and in creation.  Read this BLOG POST

There is absolutely no doubt that the America we live in fits the biblical description of.  The Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and DOMA may solidify that even more.

 So I say…Welcome to the United Sodoms of America.  The good ol’ US of A.

So what does this mean?  I don’t know but it’s not good.  A society that is going out of its way to rip itself from the God of the Bible under the pretense of equality and justice cannot be good.  A nation that is ever increasingly turning its back on its Judeo Christian ideals…cannot be good.  A nation that is now supporting the single religion of Humanistic Moral Relativism (Atheism) cannot be good.

If you believe that God doesn’t do judgment…you need to go read the Bible (more or again or for the first time).   I believe it is just a matter of time before this nation is judged, and it won’t be pretty.  The question is, what are we willing to do about it?  Are YOU willing to carry the message of the Gospel to your friends and family?

The Bible…Review 3


So…before I get to what everyone is talking about this week let me give my quick two second review of this last weeks episode.  Once again, I feel like they missed a big opportunity by skipping two critical points in the Bible.  For anyone who has read this blog you would see that I am a big advocate of the idea that the Old Testament points to Jesus.  The Bible missed on a huge opportunity to demonstrate this by skipping over the book of Isaiah and his prophecy of the suffering servant.  Additionally, did anyone else notice that they tried to pass off the prophecy of Jesus onto Daniel?  For some reason that stuck out with me.  It would appear that the producers of the Bible wanted to get into the whole prophecy thing but then gave the viewers the cheap and watered down version.  They passed on Daniel’s 70 7’s prophecy which is an incredible prophecy that was fulfilled to the day!  Again…here they can demonstrate the absolute power of God, and pass on it.

Oh and by the way…for a more realistic look at the 3 wisemen READ THIS POST.  I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the producers…probably didn’t do their homework.

And now to the contreversy of the week…

Well...it is a little odd to say the least.

Well…it is a little odd to say the least.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know if this is intentional.  It’s hard to believe that the producers of the show were sitting in a room saying…”He doesn’t look enough like Obama.”  Look there is no way that Obama is the anti-christ.  If you have read my posts you know where I stand on both the men pictured above.  But I will have to say…that the likeness is…well…funny.

One year ends here!


For well over a year I have been working on a church plant.  This church plant has culminated to the point that we are within 2 weeks of launch.  Our official launch will take place on Easter Sunday on 2013.  Gang….I am extremely proud to be a part of watching God work within our little group.  I am now convinced…if you want to see God work…watch a church plant go, and watch those people latch onto God.

Easter2013

Now I know,that most of my readers are no where in the Kansas City Metro area, but I really want you guys to think about helping in anyway that you can.  Be praying for us as we launch our church this Easter.  If you have family in Kansas City north, call them this weekend and tell them to come our way.  If you live in the Kansas City Metro….COME OUR WAY!

The link to our little church is RIGHT HERE

Like this post if you are praying for us as we launch out to reach Kansas City with the gospel.  If you are interested in helping us out CLICK HERE for our contact form

The Bible Review 2….The Incredible Hulk and Psycho Saul


bible-episode-2-saul-AWell I finally got done watching the second part of the Bible.  Again, there were a lot of shortcuts.  The trend that I am noticing in this series so far is that they are focusing on popular stories and developing them based on pre-conceived notions or misconceptions surrounding those.  We saw this in full display  for the episode  on Sunday.

So with Samson, we get to see a chopped down version (pardon the pun).  There was so much that they left out that it is hard for me to keep track of what they kept and what they didn’t.  I think it is probably better to focus on the inaccuracies of what they presented.

  • The men that Samson killed with the jawbone of the Donkey, wasn’t the mere 20 the movie saw…it was closer to 1,000.  That is quite a big difference.
  • Samson met Delilah in Gaza…not just after the battle with 1,000.
  • Samson, didn’t just hand over the secret to his strength.  As a matter of fact, Delilah badgers the poor man for a long while and Samson keeps deceiving her, until she lays a guilt trip on him and he finally caves.
  • Once his hair was cut (as in bald) his eyes were gouged, and he was sent to a prison.
  • The final shindig that Samson was at….Samson was there so that the Philistines could rub his nose in it.  They were celebrating Samson being handed over to them.  This was a huge party
  • So Samson breaks the pillars, and kills more people in that moment than he had killed in his entire lifetime.  That’s a lot of people.

The story of David in the Bible is epic.  However, they managed to get several key things wrong in regards to David, which frankly there was no need to get wrong.

  • David was anointed King…He was chosen by Samuel from 7 brothers.  This is a great picture.  If you can imagine Cinderella for men.  This is the closest thing one could use to describe this scene.  Only God had the glass slipper and only God knew who it would fit.  So all of David’s brothers get paraded in front of Samuel.  Samuel looks at Jesse and says this isn’t it,  where is your other son?.  David appears and is anointed by Samuel in front of his family.  At the time of the anointing…the Holy Spirit rushed upon David.  Once again…they really missed an opportunity here, and Honestly I would rather have them spent more time on David, than spending any time on Samson at all.
  • The battle between David and Goliath took place in a major valley (Elah).  The show portrayed it as being just a small stretch with an army on each side and of a couple of people on each side.  This was really horribly depicted. They also missed some key elements that would have been incredibly illustrating of this picture.  Like David putting on Saul’s armor and then taking it off.  What is most compelling that was missed…was the dialogue before the fight.  Here is how it really was, tell me if this isn’t more compelling…
  • Goliath: You think I am some sort of Dog coming at me with sticks?
  • Pause
  • Goliath: Well come on then…I’ll feed you to the birds and the dogs.
  • David:  You got a spear, a sword and a javelin.  Big deal.  I’ve got God.  And today, Goliath….not only is He going to deliver you to me, but after I kill you…I am going to cut off your head and then let the birds and dogs feed off of you.

So… Goliath goes charging, but his sword is sheathed, David goes charging and sets himself.  David draws a rock, and hits Goliath so hard that the rock sinks into his head (as opposed to bouncing off like a tennis ball).  David ran and stood over Goliath.  He drew Goliaths sword out of its sheath, and cut his head off.  The show was okay for this story from that point on.

But they also got another major component wrong or skipped other major components.  At the end of the show David was dancing around in his “kilt”.  The show infers that it is the ark, and indeed it was.  This is the famous scripture that Ren McCormick uses in Footloose where David sings and dance before the Lord with all his might.

The show then did a little fore shadowing as I think we see Bathsheba at the end ( shut it off with about 10 minutes left).  They somehow managed to skip his covenant with God…which is a pretty big deal, and all of his victories as king.

Again…I understand that David’s story is EPIC, but at the very least let’s get it right on what you decide to show.

The Bible….review #1


I am about half way through the first show.

I did find where the producers were interviewed on Bill O’Reilly.  They describe themselves as being devout Christians.  They talkedabout how they wanted to create a show that would depict the Bible as is… so how are they doing?

Well…The first major thing of note Lot and Sodom.

Okay so the show depicts this event as follows:  the two angels go to Sodom, and are apparently assaulted and wind up at Lots house.  Lot then allows the angels into the house where he holds off the crowd outside.  Lot tells the crowd that they (angels) are his guests and that he will not let them take them.  Well that didn’t please them so the angels (one of which was a Samurai master) went out and cut a pathway out of the city.

Ninja angel

 

What really happened?

Lot is sitting in the gateway to Sodom.  The two angels walk up, and apparently Lot recognizes them and refers to them as lords.  Lot invites them to his humble abode, but the angels refuse wanting to spend the night in the square.  Lot insists and finally the angels give way to Lot.  Now, while the conversation was going on someone or a group of people noticed the angels.  Lot leads the angels back to his house and cooks a meal.  Meanwhile a gang forms outside of Lots doors and they are demanding the two angels….to have sex with them.  Lot, protecting his guests offers his daughters to them.  That was unacceptable to this gang, and they threatened to hurt Lot and pressed forward to the door.  The angels pulled Lot back, struck the gang with blindness, and lead them out of the city.

I think the show really missed an opportunity with this.  Can you think of this scene where Lot chooses to protect the servants of God by giving his own daughters over to this gang of miscreants?  What a powerful message of sacrifice   This was the reason he was saved out of the city.   Also….what a way to cheapen everything that the show accomplished in a 2 minute segment.  A Samurai ..really?  Of everything that was in the show this will be the one thing remembered.  No one will be talking about the imagery of Noah’s arc or the faith of Abraham, or the depiction of Egypt (which was incredible)…but every is talking about ninja angels….

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