Monday, December 23, 2013

Not Afraid of Burning in Hell

Recently, Ron Reagan, son of former president Ronald Reagan, recorded a radio spot for the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), in which he declares that he is “not afraid of burning in Hell.”  

Those who knew President Reagan best indicate that he had a genuine, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and regularly read the Bible.  It therefore comes as a shock to many that his namesake should turn out to be an atheist.

Ron, at age 12, declared to his father that he no longer wished to attend church.  Despite the  “quiet persuasion” of his father to change his mind, young Ron persisted in his rebellion against God and the church.

Today, Ron has hardened in his beliefs and has been made an honorary director of the FFRF, said to be the nation’s largest organization of atheist and agnostics.  

Ron began to question the Christian faith when he was about 8 years old.  At that time he surmised, “Ah, this isn’t making any sense to me—forget it.”  And, he says, he “really didn’t give it that much more thought, frankly.”

What can we conclude from this sad story?  First, it is obvious that children can make decisions that will impact the rest of their lives.  Hence, this reality highlights the importance of ensuring that children are given the best opportunities to be exposed to the truth about our accountability before the Creator.

Second, children will not be saved by the faith of their parents.  Ron will not get to heaven on his father’s coattails.  Instead, he will suffer the consequences of his own conscious decision to reject the truth about God and man’s responsibility to submit and obey.

Third, no parent has a greater responsibility than to do all in his power to ensure that his children understand and embrace the gospel of Christ.  Not even the presidency of the United States can take precedence.  As you face the challenges of 2014, don’t neglect this critical duty.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Skin-deep Theism

A recent survey by found that 76% of Americans believes in the existence of a God.  On the surface, that statistic sounds positive: over three-fourths of our nation has the conviction that God exists.  The Bible, of course, from the first verse, assumes that God exists and goes from there to spell out the implications of that reality.

If God exists, as predicated by the Bible and, evidently, by the great majority of our fellow citizens, then we cannot really believe that He is without asking ourselves, in the infamous words of a prominent politician, “what difference does it make?”

The reality of an eternal Being, as the source of all creation including us, is an ominous fact, the proverbial “elephant in the room” that we rationally cannot simply ignore.  God’s holy standards, the Law ordained by God to govern the universe, is an eternal authority to which we will each ultimately be held to account.

Yet it is precisely at this point that the majority of Americans, including those who profess to be theists, go astray.  The same survey from also found that only 38%--exactly half of those professing a belief in God--indicated that their actions were impacted by their belief in God.  In other words, just over one-third of our population has modified their behavior in any way because of their faith.  Regardless of what they profess to believe, 62% of our population, therefore, lives as if God has no bearing on their lives.

Professing Christians, of all people, should be models of consistency in this regard.  Yet, sadly, even many church-going people seek to compartmentalize God into a corner of their lives, reserved for an hour or two on Sunday morning.  Those who live this way fail to translate their profession into the concrete actions that saving faith requires.  As James declares, “Faith without works is dead.”  Real theism will impact your lifestyle.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Barak Obama, Servant of the Lord

For some months, the Pigeon Cove Perspective has been silent, observing, and grieving, over the seemingly unstoppable descent of these United States into a morass of spiritual and moral decay.

It seems that nearly every day there is another story portraying a new government scandal, an anti-Christian policy initiative, or some other evidence of the insidious corruption that seemingly has metastasized to the highest levels of civil authority in our nation.

President Barak Obama, as the top executive authority in America, bears the greatest responsibility for this state of affairs.  He has appointed the people that are responsible for the policies that characterize his administration.  It is apparent that his personal agenda includes the radical transformation of America into a socialist regime that is far removed from a constitutional republic built upon the rule of law. 

We who know God and seek to follow His moral absolutes revealed in
Scripture are greatly disturbed by the President’s actions.  His statements endorsing lifestyles that the Bible refers to as an abomination and his promotion of Muslim ideals and projects while never acknowledging concern over the murder and harassment of Christians in Muslim-dominated countries reveals where his allegiance ultimately lies.

How then should we view President Obama?  In the title of this essay I describe him as “servant of the Lord.”  I believe that assessment is correct, not because of any righteous intent on Obama’s part, but because God in His sovereign purposes has used all kinds of people and objects to accomplish His purposes throughout history.

Multiple times in the Old Testament God referred to the heathen king Nebuchadnezzar as “My servant.”  The reality is, of course, that Nebuchadnezzar was no more interested in following the Lord than is Barak Obama.  But regardless of his personal ambitions, God was using the king of Babylon to effect His divine purposes.

God has worked His plan through humans who despised Him and His moral absolutes.  He has worked through animals, such as Balaam’s donkey and the ravens that fed Elijah, creatures with no understanding of His existence.  He has utilized even inanimate substances such as the waters of Noah’s flood and the fire and brimstone that obliterated the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Despite his own agenda, President Obama is but a tool in the hand of God to bring the present crisis to America.  As a nation, we have turned our back upon His truth in favor of the gospel of “personal peace and affluence.”  We prefer our own standards to His.  We are more concerned about political correctness than adherence to His divine Law.  There can thus be no other outcome than the descent of divine judgment upon us, unless we change.  The President is therefore serving the Lord as a principal means by which He is accomplishing this objective.

God worked through the preaching of Jonah and granted Nineveh repentance and a reprieve from the promised destruction.  A spirit of repentance remains the only hope for America.  Let us pray for God to work in us as He did in the Assyrians. May He bring forth a genuine repentance that results in America turning back to the Bible as our source of authority and to the Lord Jesus Christ as the sole means by which our guilt may be forgiven and cleansed.

Political conflict is but a visible manifestation of the spiritual war raging for the souls of Americans.  Ultimately, our enemy is not Barak Obama and those of his ilk.  Instead, the invisible forces of evil have been unleashed by the Lord to bring America to her knees. Victory will come only through faith and repentance

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Praying Against the Enemies of God

Among the more difficult portions of Scripture for many people to appreciate are the “imprecatory” psalms, i.e. those psalms in which the writer calls down the wrath of God upon the heads of men opposed to the plan and work of God.  For example, referring to the wicked of his day, David prayed in Psalm 58, “Break their teeth in their mouth, O God!  Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!  Let them flow away as waters which run continually; when he bends his bow, let his arrows be as if cut in pieces.  Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes, like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun” (vv. 6-8).

Can we pray this way today?  Should we?  I believe the answer in both cases is a definite yes.  Perhaps one of the reasons for the great spiritual decline in our nation has been our reticence to take seriously the spiritual war in which we are engaged, and to pray for the defeat of the enemy. 

Sometimes Christians are just too “nice.”  We hesitate to pray for judgement upon those who openly flaunt their defiance of the Law of God.  The reality is, as Martin Luther once observed, we cannot truly pray the Lord’s Prayer without cursing.  That is, when we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are, by implication, praying that whatever is standing in the way of God’s will would be hindered or removed.

It has been a growing conviction of mine that we must take more seriously the need to pray specifically and directly for the destruction of the evil forces bend on destroying the Christian foundation upon which our nation was founded.

Ultimately, Paul tells us in Ephesians 6, our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against unseen powers in spiritual realms.  But those unseen powers use men and women of flesh and blood that we can and must oppose with all of our resources.

Presently, the U.S. Department of Justice is engaged in a well-orchestrated attack upon the institution of God-defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  The DOJ takes orders from the President.  In one dimension of that attack, the effort to overturn California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that amended California’s Constitution to protect traditional marriage, the DOJ argues essentially that children have no right to both mothers and fathers.  They can be just as effectively (some say more effectively) raised by two women or two men as by a biblical union of a man and a woman—so the argument goes.  This view is pure, unmitigated evil.

There is no more critical foundation upon which a nation exists than that of faithful households operating according to the precepts of God’s Law.  When men and institutions call evil good and good evil, we must resist by praying in the spirit of the imprecatory psalms.

Yes, we should also engage in other efforts including seeking to influence our representatives in government and replacing corrupt politicians with men devoted to honoring the name of God.  But our greatest resource must be praying as instructed in Scripture.  The enemies of God and His people are just as active today as in David’s day.  We must take them just as seriously as did he and respond accordingly.

There is no Scriptural basis for taking personal vengeance upon wicked men.  That is a right reserved for God alone (Romans 12:19).  It is certainly appropriate to pray for God to save the souls of His enemies and thereby change their perspective. But, if we are concerned that truth and justice prevail, we must also resist in biblically sanctioned ways, including praying for the destruction of those efforts meant to thwart the work of God.

So, the next time you read a news story about actions of men seeking to overthrow some Christian principle in society, don’t just get angry. Pray for divine judgment upon the effort and its perpetrators so that righteousness may prevail.