Saturday Song: Trooper, “Raise a Little Hell”

When I first heard this song, I hated it because I assumed it was promoting rowdy behaviour. But I realized what this Canadian group were singing about when I listened carefully to the lyrics.

Listen to this classic from the summer of 1976 here:

We know from King Solomon that there’s a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:7 (BBE) reminds us there’s, “A time for undoing and a time for stitching; a time for keeping quiet and a time for talk;”

We also read that believers, especially if we hold power, must speak out for those who have no voice. Psalms 82:3 and 4 (BBE) exhorts, “Give ear to the cause of the poor and the children without fathers; let those who are troubled and in need have their rights. Be the saviour of the poor and those who have nothing: take them out of the hand of the evil-doers.”

aug08, protesters, mainly studentsWe likewise find in Proverbs 31:8 and 9 (BBE) that we mustn’t be silent about injustice. “Let your mouth be open for those who have no voice, in the cause of those who are ready for death. Let your mouth be open, judging rightly, and give right decisions in the cause of the poor and those in need.”

God expects us all to speak out against injustice. Isaiah 1:17 (BBE) declares, “Take pleasure in well-doing; let your ways be upright, keep down the cruel, give a right decision for the child who has no father, see to the cause of the widow.”

And if the Lord’s command isn’t enough, Proverbs 21:13 (BBE) says, “He whose ears are stopped at the cry of the poor, will himself get no answer to his cry for help”

What a privilege it is to be the advocate for those who are powerless and insignificant to the governors of this world. God will bless us for caring for those defenseless people.

On Monday, if Christ doesn’t return by then, I hope to post about why we must pray for politicians, even the slimy ones.

Why Defend Persecuted Religions?

aug06, TEMPLEWe know we should pray for those of our spiritual siblings who suffer persecution. Even so, should we also advocate for those practitioners of false religions to be free to do so?

From the first day humans walked in the garden, the Lord has always allowed us the choice to follow him or to follow false gods. We see an example of this offer given in Joshua 24:15 (BBE) to the descendents of Israel. “And if it seems evil to you to be the servants of the Lord, make the decision this day whose servants you will be: of the gods whose servants your fathers were across the River, or of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living: but I and my house will be the servants of the Lord.”

aug06a, family with manorah and unleavened breadThis is also the reason the Lord sent out prophets and apostles to the Jews first and then us gentiles. As Romans 10:14 and 15 (BBE) points out, “But how will they give worship to him in whom they have no faith? and how will they have faith in him of whom they have not had news? and how will they have news without a preacher? And how will there be preachers if they are not sent? As it is said, How beautiful are the feet of those who give the glad news of good things.”

Paul certainly made no distinction when one idolatrous prison guard wanted to kill himself on the night when all the doors were shaken open and all the chains fell off the prisoners. Acts 16:27 and 28 (BBE) tells us, “And the keeper, coming out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, took his sword and was about to put himself to death, fearing that the prisoners had got away. But Paul said in a loud voice, ‘Do yourself no damage, for we are all here.'”

If Christianity were like a pagan religion, Paul and the prisoners would have ran out of the prison and let the jailer kill himself. But since we love even unbelievers, we do good to them. It might happen that they will come to faith in Christ like this man and his family did.

aug06b, hindu convert receiving Bible1We also see in The Old Testament that foreigners were given fair treatment without respect to their beliefs. Exodus 22:21 (BBE) says, “Do no wrong to a man from a strange country, and do not be hard on him; for you yourselves were living in a strange country, in the land of Egypt.”

Moreover, Psalms 82:3 (KJV) puts it bluntly and without qualification. “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.”

Provided the Lord doesn’t return by Saturday, I hope to publish about speaking up for righteousness.

Why Must We Love Our Enemies?

aug03, hitler0Apart from the fact that Christ commanded us to do so, why should we love those who hate us and despitefully use us? Other belief systems either have no such commandment or, like Islam, expect adherents to avenge their enemies.

Christ gave us the answer to this question in Luke 23:34 (BBE) when he was crucified. “And Jesus said, ‘Father, let them have forgiveness, for they have no knowledge of what they are doing.’ And they made division of his clothing among them by the decision of chance.”

Now some folks will argue that certain people know they’re sinning. Romans 1:20 (BBE) aug03a, Jesus on the crossdoes say, “For from the first making of the world, those things of God which the eye is unable to see, that is, his eternal power and existence, are fully made clear, he having given the knowledge of them through the things which he has made, so that men have no reason for wrongdoing:”

That’s true but there’s also another factor, namely Satan. We read in 2 Corinthians 4:3 and 4 (BBE), “But if our good news is veiled, it is veiled from those who are on the way to destruction: Because the god of this world has made blind the minds of those who have not faith, so that the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not be shining on them.”

Additionally, sinners are unable to repent of their own accord. Ephesians 2:1 and 2 (BBE) explains, “And to you did he give life, when you were dead through your wrongdoing and sins, In which you were living in the past, after the ways of this present world, doing the pleasure of the lord of the power of the air, the spirit who is now working in those who go against the purpose of God;”

aug03b, Jesus and the woman caught in adultryWhen Christ said he was the resurrection and the life, it was more than bodily rising from the dead that he meant. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:5 (BBE) about this spiritual resurrection from the deadness of sin. “Even when we were dead through our sins, gave us life together with Christ (by grace you have salvation),”

So we find that sinners are blinded by the Devil and also by their lack of regeneration. Such beings should be pitied, not scorned. They bear the image of God but know nothing about him.

If Christ doesn’t come back by Thursday, I hope to post about why we must defend the right of people to worship other gods.

Saturday Song: The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

I’m sure I can safely say that nobody likes to be fooled. Even so, it happens to us all. I’m sure too that we can identify with the title of this 1971 hit by The Who.

Listen to the song here: Please excuse the ad.

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There’s a huge difference between doing something foolish and being a fool. Wise people learn but fools don’t.

The Bible has much to say about fools. First off, such people have no respect or regard for the Lord. Psalms 14:1 (BBE) reads, “<To the chief music-maker. Of David.> The foolish man has said in his heart, God will not do anything. They are unclean, they have done evil works; there is not one who does good.”

Likewise, Solomon’s proverbs are filled with admonitions about those who won’t learn from common sense and experience. Proverbs 14:16 (BBE)reads, “The wise man, fearing, keeps himself from evil; but the foolish man goes on in his pride, with no thought of danger.”

We also read that fools are self-destructive folks. Ecclesiastes 4:5 (BBE) bluntly states, “The foolish man, folding his hands, takes the flesh of his body for food.”

Neither are fools able to avoid punishment for their habitual stupidity. Proverbs 10:13 (BBE) declares, “In the lips of him who has knowledge wisdom is seen; but a rod is ready for the back of him who is without sense.”

And in an apparent reference to Joseph, we read what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:13 and 14 (BBE). “A young man who is poor and wise is better than a king who is old and foolish and will not be guided by the wisdom of others. Because out of a prison the young man comes to be king, though by birth he was only a poor man in the kingdom.”

Fools never learn either. Proverbs 26:11 (BBE) reminds us, “Like a dog going back to the food which he has not been able to keep down, is the foolish man doing his foolish acts over again.”

I agree with Albert Einstein’s assertion that doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

On Monday, Assuming Christ doesn’t come back first, I hope to publish a post about why we must love our enemies.

 

Is COVID-19 an End Times Plague?

Jul30, danger zone STRIPESThis question also is on the minds of some believers. Charismatic Christians are ever on the look-out for signs of the Antichrist. While we are told to watch and stay alert for our Master’s coming, certain people are fixated on finding out when they’ll be “raptured.”

Christ’s parables certainly show what we should be doing. He told one regarding three servants who received money while their master was away obtaining a kingdom. Luke 19:15-17 (BBE) says, “And when he came back again, having got his kingdom, he gave orders for those servants to whom he had given the money to come to him, so that he might have an account of what business they had done. And the first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten pounds.’ And he said to him, ‘You have done well, O good servant: because you have done well in a small thing you will have authority over ten towns.'”

What is this investment we are to make? It is to bring in many people into Christ’s kingdom. That is done by preaching the gospel, not by obsessing about who will be the antichrist.

Jul30a, wheatAll Christians should be doing what Paul wrote in Romans 10:14 (BBE). “But how will they give worship to him in whom they have no faith? and how will they have faith in him of whom they have not had news? and how will they have news without a preacher?”

One of Satan’s successful strategies is infiltration of the churches. That’s why Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:37 (BBE) which reads, “And he made answer and said, ‘He who puts the good seed in the earth is the Son of man; And the field is the world; and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom; and the evil seeds are the sons of the Evil One;”

Jul30b, gold coins and cereal drawingBy getting Christians distracted with the minutia of prophecy, the Devil has taken people’s eyes off the main reason we’re still here in this world. We must preach the gospel as well as expecting Christ to return. I know he might not come back in my lifetime but I’ll do what I can to get the truth out into the world.

If Christ delays his return by Saturday, I hope to post about not being fooled again. Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me.

Why Christians Accept Death, Even From COVID-19

Jul27, graveyard at dayThis is a topic which the people of the world don’t discuss unless they must. The Grim Reaper stalks us all but people put that thought far away from their daily lives. Only when a dreaded disease takes a loved one do folks realize their own mortality.

We followers of Christ place our trust in him and his omniscient will. He knows what we need in order to grow in our faith. And when it’s time, he’ll take us home to be with him.

Saint Peter understood this, having been warned by Christ years earlier. John 21:18 and 19 (BBE) reads, “‘Truly I say to you, When you were young, you made yourself ready and went wherever you had a desire to go: but when you are old, you will put out your hands and another will make you ready, and you will be taken where you have no desire to go.’ Now this he said, pointing out the sort of death by which he would give God glory. And after saying this, he said to him, ‘Come after me.'”

Jul27a, graduation celebrationWhen Peter knew he would die soon, he wrote his second epistle to remind believers of eternal things. As he wrote in 2 Peter 1:15 (BBE), “And I will take every care so that you may have a clear memory of these things after my death.”

Likewise, Paul wrote his final letter to his prodigy to remind him of the things he must teach. As we read in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (BBE), Paul knew it was his final hour. “For I am even now being offered, and my end is near. I have made a good fight, I have come to the end of my journey, I have kept the faith: From now on, the crown of righteousness is made ready for me, which the Lord, the upright judge, Will give to me at that day: and not only to me, but to all those who have had love for his revelation.”

Jul27b, green dawnWe know also of the greatest statement of confidence in the Old Testament. Job 19:26 (KJV) says it well. “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:”

If worms don’t destroy my body and Christ doesn’t come by Thursday, I hope to post about the end times fixation some believers have.

Saturday Song: Weird Al, “Pancreas”

I’ve heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Therefore, The Beach Boys must really be pleased with this spoof of their mid-sixties style of music. In fact, any Beach Boys fan would be thrilled, or so I believe, with this playful homage to the group.

Listen to the song here:

The Apostle Paul likened each believer as part of the body of Christ. As he wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:22 and 23 (BBE), those parts of the body we don’t see are necessary for the whole to run properly. “No, those parts which seem to be feeble are the more necessary; And to those parts of the body which seem to have less honour we give all the more honour; and to those parts of the body which are a cause of shame to us we give the greater respect;”

And though only Weird Al would sing about his, diabetics know full well the problems caused by a non functioning or poorly-functioning pancreas.

How sad it is too that certain church people covet flashy gifts like working miracles and speaking in tongues. Romans 12:5-7 (BBE) says that all gifts are important. “So we, though we are a number of persons, are one body in Christ, and are dependent on one another; And having different qualities by reason of the grace given to us, such as the quality of a prophet, let it be made use of in relation to the measure of our faith; Or the position of a Deacon of the church, let a man give himself to it; or he who has the power of teaching, let him make use of it;”

And isn’t hospitality an important gift to have? We read about this in 1 Peter 4:9 and 10 (BBE). “Keep open house for all with a glad heart; Making distribution among one another of whatever has been given to you, like true servants of the unmeasured grace of God;”

Generosity also is a noble gift. We read how Paul was helped in Philippians 4:15 and 16 (BBE). “And you have knowledge, Philippians, that when the good news first came to you, when I went away from Macedonia, no church took part with me in the business of giving to the saints, but you only; Because even in Thessalonica you sent once and again to me in my need.”

So if you feel your work for the Lord is insignificant, please consider what Scripture says. We’re all important to Christ.

On Monday, if the Lord doesn’t return before then, I hope to post about why we should accept death from even contracting COVID-19.

Should Christians Take The COVID-19 Vaccine?

jul23b, SYRINGEThis is another question hotly debated by people in certain quarters. Some say that vaccines cause more harm than good. Others say vaccines do more good than harm. What then should we Christians do?

This is one of those questions which is answered by a person’s conscience rather than any specific statement in the Bible. Since the apostles didn’t have inoculations back when the scriptures were being written, we need to consult similar passages where conscience is concerned.

Jul23a, Negative CellsFor example, some first-century Christians struggled with the idea of meat offered to idols. This is how Paul answered the matter in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 (BBE). “So, then, as to the question of taking food offered to images, we are certain that an image is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one. For though there are those who have the name of gods, in heaven or on earth, as there are a number of gods and a number of lords, There is for us only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we are for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we have our being through him.”

But if somebody has a weak will and might be triggered by such actions, Paul answered that matter in 1 Corinthians 8:9 and 10 (BBE). “But take care that this power of yours does not give cause for trouble to the feeble. For if a man sees you, who have knowledge, taking food as a guest in the house of an image, will it not give him, if he is feeble, the idea that he may take food offered to images?”

We can apply this to vaccines as well. Our governments might impose a law saying everybody must be vaccinated for COVID-19. Should we disobey it? Romans 13:5 (BBE) does say, “So put yourselves under the authority, not for fear of wrath, but because you have the knowledge of what is right.”

I personally wouldn’t want a vaccine made in China as their government started this whole pandemic. If it is made mandatory, I’d have some serious praying to do about the matter. But since this doesn’t effect our worship and obedience to our Lord, I can’t advise either way if a person should refuse the vaccine or not.

Jul23, iconic human structuresAnd if Christ hasn’t returned by Saturday, I hope to post about a hilarious song and how the least of us is still valuable to our Lord.

We Went to the Moon but We Can’t Cure the Common Cold

Jul20, astronaut and moon buggyToday is the fifty-first anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. How is it possible that scientists have discovered cures for so many sicknesses but conquering the common cold eludes our best minds?

To put it simply, God is the one with all the knowledge. We humans act like we’re gods and all creation must bow before us.

Here’s one reason we humans haven’t received the wisdom we need. Most doctors don’t place their trust in Christ. Though James 1:5 (BBE) refers to spiritual wisdom, Christians have prayed for prudence and help in all situations. “But if any man among you is without wisdom, let him make his request to God, who gives freely to all without an unkind word, and it will be given to him.”

Jul20a, TESTTUBEBut this is the reason those who reject the Lord can’t reason properly. Romans 1:28 (BBE) explains, “And because they had not the mind to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an evil mind, to do those things which are not right;”

If only these people could understand where to find true wisdom. Psalms 14:1 (BBE) declares, “<To the chief music-maker. Of David.> The foolish man has said in his heart, ‘God will not do anything.’ They are unclean, they have done evil works; there is not one who does good.”

Another force also keeps the wisdom of God hidden from humanity. As 2 Corinthians 4:3 and 4 (BBE) reminds us, “But if our good news is veiled, it is veiled from those who are on the way to destruction: Because the god of this world has made blind the minds of those who have not faith, so that the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not be shining on them.”

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Fortunately for us who place our trust in Christ, the reign of wickedness won’t be forever. Revelation 22:3 (BBE) assures us, “And there will be no more curse: and the high seat of God and of the Lamb will be there; and his servants will be worshipping him;”

If our Lord doesn’t turn up by Thursday, I’ll post about the matter of taking COVID-19vaccines. Some Christians have qualms about such things.

Saturday Song: Yellow, “She’s Got a Gun”

Much has been published about gun control over the years. Proponents say that crimes involving guns would seas if only the police had them. Others say it’s the gangs and criminals who misuse guns who are the problem.

A Swiss band called Yellow recorded a song back in 1981 about a man who’s attracted by a woman and follows her. But as the title says, she’s got a gun. Here’s the link to the song.

Nowhere in the New Testament does it say we’re to go on the offensive, taking vengeance in Christ’s name. Even so, he did advise in Luke 22:36 (BBE) that his disciples can use weapons in self defence. “And he said to them, ‘But now, he who has a money-bag, or a bag for food, let him take it: and he who has not, let him give his coat for money and get a sword.'”

Swords are used for two purposes, offence and defence. The Philistines removed all the Jul19, dancers, man and woman0swords during the reign of King Saul for the reason of sword control. As 1 Samuel 13:19-21 (BBE) explains, the Philistines had a monopoly on sharpening iron tools. “Now there was no iron-worker in all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, ‘For fear the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears:’ But all the Israelites had to go to the Philistines to get their ploughs and blades and axes and hooks made sharp; For they had instruments for putting an edge on their ploughs and blades and forks and axes, and for putting iron points on their ox-driving rods.”

Now some folks will point out Romans 13:1-7 which proscribes the use of the sword. But the Apostle Paul was making the point that we mustn’t take vengeance because that belongs to the Lord. It doesn’t mean that we can’t defend ourselves and our loved ones if attacked by criminals.

And as for the swords which King Saul and prince Jonathan had, those two weapons helped gain a victory over the Philistine garrison. As 1 Samuel 14:13 and 14 (BBE) tells us, Jonathan and his Armour berror defeated Israel’s enemies with the help of God. “And Jonathan went up, gripping with his hands and his feet, his servant going up after him; and the Philistines gave way before Jonathan when he made an attack on them, and his servant put them to death after him. And at their first attack, Jonathan and his servant put to the sword about twenty men, all inside the space of half an acre of land.”

Of course this doesn’t mean we should kill for the Lord. Remember how Jesus rebuked Peter in Matthew 26:52 (BBE) for cutting off the high priest’s ear? “Then says Jesus to him, Put up your sword again into its place: for all those who take the sword will come to death by the sword.”

So we know that vengeance is the Lord’s but he does allow us to defend ourselves in extreme cases. Otherwise he wouldn’t have told his disciples to sell a garment to buy a sword.

On Monday, provided Christ hasn’t returned, I hope to post about the 1969 moon landing and the common cold.