Archives for category: judgement

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I watched the moon turn to blood last night. It started out as a bright white full moon. A few hours later I saw a mist of clouds surround it that looked like a face. Later as the eclipse began I saw the earth shadow the moon and turn it to grey and then slowly as the hours passed to soft rose and then blood red.

As a student of the Bible, I knew about prophesies surrounding the blood moon. Seeing it was a spiritual experience. I understand the science behind it. Even the secular scientists agree that it is a rare occurrence. But one must at least acknowledge the likelihood that this rare phenomenon coincides with a Jewish Holy Day is significant. Add to that the fact that this rare astronomical event will be occurring three more times in the next two years and each one coinciding with another Jewish Holy Day. What are the odds that this would happen? One statistic put it at once in 273,000 years.

Last night’s blood moon occurred on Passover. This holiday commemorates the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. The Biblical account is that in the last plague on the Egyptians, the angel of death would kill the first born of every family. The angel of death would “Passover” any home whose door was covered with the blood of a lamb.

As a Christian, I understand that this was a foretelling of the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ,who would redeem from death all who would have faith in Him.

There was no mention of the historical and Biblical significance of the blood moon in the news. God is sending a sign, yet the uninformed do not receive the sign and do not understand it.

2 Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

This is certainly true of today’s world.

When I saw the sign of the blood moon, it made me weep. I wept because for me, it was a sign that in a world that has forgotten God, He has not forgotten us. In a world that is full of chaos there is a God of order. There is a God who rules.

9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Will you heed the sign?

Come Lord Jesus.

bad menHow Should We Then Live? This is the question posed by Francis Shaeffer, one of the foremost Christian philosophers of the 20th century. Much of what he foresaw about the moral decline of Western Civilization in his writings of the 1970’s has come to pass.
Moral decay is not new to mankind. Debauchery, cruelty, theft, murder and genocide are part of every era throughout recorded history.
We in America, have enjoyed a long stretch of blessing from the early fifties until the new millennium. (The Great Boom 1950-2000: How a Generation of Americans Created the World’s Most Prosperous Society by Robert Sobel) During this time we were a mostly Christian nation following the values and mores of the Bible.
In Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation, he delineates character qualities that were expected to be emulated during this era. They are characteristics taught in the teachings of Christ- personal responsibility, frugality, humility, sexual fidelity, productivity, perseverance, and simplicity.
Although those who claim to have Christian beliefs in the US has declined marginally from 91% in 1950 to 77% in 2012 it is arguable how many adhere to Christian values in their daily lives.
Between 2006 and 2010, 48% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 moved in for the first time with a man to whom they weren’t married, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. In 2002, it was 43%. In 1995, it was 34%.( http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/04/living/women-premarital-cohabitation/)
The number of same-sex couples in the U.S. grew more than 80 percent since 2000, when there were 358,390 households in that category. http://www.adweek.com/sa-article/same-sex-couples-america-140505
There is also a decline in marriage. 51 percent of Americans are married as opposed to 92.3 percent in 1920.
Those that were raised during the years of Christian morality (remember the Moral Majority anyone?-google it) experienced little opposition to their Christian beliefs and lifestyle. Now that these values are declining in America, there is an interesting phenomenon that has become evident-an entitlement attitude among Christians. There is an expectation that because their values were once venerated in America, they should always be.
The outcome of this entitlement is a lack of tolerance or what the Bible calls “grace” for those who do not hold to these values. This entitlement attitude is creating a desire to discriminate against those who don’t hold to these values like the SB1062 legislation in Arizona. It is creating an atmosphere of anger and hate towards those that oppose them-a disdain for them. This was apparent at the CPAC2014 in many of the speeches that were given.
These behaviors are creating a growing chasm between Christians and non-Christians. This chasm must grieve The One whose name they bear.
It is time to accept that the Moral Majority is no more. It is time to accept that we are living in a culture “like the days of Noah” Luke 17:26.
It is time for the Christian right to stop feeling entitled to being “right” and instead model after Christ:
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
Remember Christ’s word :
Matthew 10:16 (NKJV)
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
And above all it is time to bridge the gap like Paul who said:
I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I Cor 9:22

CHADGod has a sense of humor.  To be more accurate God likes to humble me.

About a year ago, I wrote a yet-to-be published book called Blessed are they that Hunger-A Christian Responds to the Hunger Games.  My first chapter, called “We Hunger for Kindness”  is about the violence in The Hunger Games trilogy.  I explore the violence in today’s culture and its increase in today’s sports.

I end the chapter with a discourse about Mixed Martial Arts or MMA fighting, also called cage fighting.  At the time, I viewed this as the pinnacle of violence in sports.  I also included an excerpt from an article about a fight club on the East Coast that uses MMA fighting as a way to reach people for Christ.  I had a hard time reconciling this violent sport with Christianity.  After all, it was Christ who said,

But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. Matt 5:39

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:39-48

I was confident in my evaluation of the sport in my book.

My confidence dissolved one hot summer’s night while I was hanging out at a local restaurant with some friends.  It turns out my hometown is a base for one of the most famous MMA fighter’s in the world and his team of fighter’s  who are well on their way to world fame as well. That night the team was hanging out at the same restaurant I was.  There was a lot of buzz among my friends about the famous fighter and one by one they were introducing themselves to him and  getting their pictures taken with him.

I sort of knew who he was, but obviously wasn’t a fan of the sport at that time.  I didn’t make any effort to go out to meet him.  I happily stayed close to my friends and had some interesting discussions with them.  One of the friends I had made that night, left me with her valuables and as time passed I noticed she wasn’t anywhere to be found.  We were getting ready to take a group picture, and I was concerned about being responsible for my friend’s possessions.  I noticed that the friend she had come to the restaurant with was out on the patio sitting with the famous MMA fighter.  I went outside to see if she would take back her friend’s stuff.  I chatted with her for awhile and all of the guys thought I was pretty cool for watching her stuff and bringing it to her friend.  I realized my back was to the famous guy and thought I was being rude so I extended my hand and introduced myself.

I’m not sure what happened in that moment, but sometimes I am kind of a soul reader and I sensed a deep sensitive soul. He was interested in my involvement with the group I was there with and I told him about my “Hunger Games Book”.  I asked him about his career and how well he was doing.  When he told me he was #2 in the world, he seemed a little offended that I didn’t know.  This was embarrassing so I bowed out of the conversation and went back to my friends inside the restaurant.

When I got home, I googled the famous fighter and a few weeks later started following him on Twitter.  Little by little I got more interested in the local team of fighters and started following most of them on twitter as well.  I received a tweet once that said-Facebook where you learn to hate the people you know.  Twitter-where you learn to love the people you don’t know. I guess that is what happened.  The guys were funny and interesting and I became a fan.  I started watching the fights and only saw one that was gruesome and it didn’t involve any of our local fighters.  The guys from our local team appear to have a philosophy of get the job done without too much damage to yourself or your opponent.

I have had a few more opportunities to meet members of the local team and recently attended a press conference promoting a big fight that will be held here in town in a few months.  I got my picture taken with one of the guys at the conference.  So now I am a fan of a sport that only a year ago I condemned.  Now I see the sport as more than just a sport, but people dedicated to an art and to fitness and to each other.  In becoming a fan and communicating to the team, I have added more followers on Twitter and have had opportunity to promote my pursuits. It has been an interesting lesson in humility and judgment.

As Paul said in ‘1 Corinthians 9:22

 I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some-(even MMA fighters and their fans.)