Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 5, 2006
The Thread that Links Three Stories Currently in the News
(Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:25; Matthew 28:19)
The thread that links three stories currently in the news, Representative-elect Keith Ellison, Pastor Rick Warren, and the Sundance Film Festival. In recent days, you have had the story of Representative-elect Keith Ellison from Minnesota who is a Muslim and is demanding that he takes his oath as a Congressman on the Quran instead of the Bible. Also, you have had the uproar over Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren who is the author of the Purpose Driven Life, inviting Illinois Senator Barak Obama (a proponent of killing babies) to speak at his churches worlds AIDS Conference. Lastly, you have the documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival which deals with a man/horse sexual relationship. Believe it or not, there is actually a common thread that ties these 3 diverse stories together!
There has been a huge uproar created by Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota who is the first Muslim ever elected to the United States House of Representatives, since he is refusing to take his oath to office on the Bible. Ellison is insisting on taking his oath on the Quran. Since there is nothing legally to force Ellison to take his oath on the Bible (there are numerous examples of men who did not take their oath on the Bible), coupled with the politically correct climate we live in today, in addition to the fact we are so afraid of offending Muslims since we have this false notion that if we are nice to them they will stop wanting to kill us, I have no doubt Ellison will, in fact, take his oath on the Quran instead of the Bible.
I can see in the future men and women taking their oath on everything from Harry Potter to Playboy to a satanic bible. To go back and lay the historical foundation of why the oath is taken on God's Holy Word is not worth the time. If you are interested, you can Google "swearing on the Bible" and it will lay out the history involved. As I have tried to tell you for years, this is no longer a Christian nation and God's Word is no longer honored, revered, respected, or believed. Because the church quit evangelizing many years ago, focusing instead on a "social gospel" and building state of the art buildings to meet in, we have taken the salt and light out of the marketplace and left it to the wolves.
The only meaningful evangelism most churches are engaged in is their missionary efforts on the other side of the world. That is something we SHOULD do, but it doesn't mean we are now free to neglect the people who live next door to the church! The rise of false religions like Islam, cults like Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, Kaballah, and all the various New Age philosophies, have been due largely to the fact they work the marketplace for new converts to entice with their lies from hell, while the church who possesses the only Truth there is, hides behind the safety of our four walls. Ellison taking the oath on the Quran is simply further evidence of how far this nation is from the God of the Bible, and he is only the first in what I am sure will be a long line of people refusing to take their oath on God's Word.
Pastor Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life and senior pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, recently hosted an AIDS conference in conjunction with his worldwide PEACE initiative. One of the people invited to speak at Saddleback was Illinois Senator Barak Obama who supports the killing of babies. I know many will take great offense to what I just said, especially since the Senator has stated that he doesn't personally agree with abortion. However, if you are a lawmaker and you vote to uphold a woman's right to kill her baby, YOU SUPPORT THE KILLING OF BABIES no matter how you try and parse the words. You are either for life or you are not.
Just like with the Ellison story where I did not want to take the time to deal with the historical foundation for taking the oath on the Holy Bible, I am not led to get into the heated debate over the controversial Pastor Warren. Again, if you want to educate yourself on Warren, you can take the time to Google "Rick Warren" and you will finds lots of links to give you the pros and cons about him. My purpose today is to simply state that there is no excuse for having a man in your church who is on record for supporting the killing of innocent babies. I am aware of Warren's justification that it is to build relationships, but what is to be gained with building relationships with people who support what God clearly calls sin? "What fellowship does light have with darkness?"
Warren is a pastor, not an ambassador of the United Nations. His calling from God is to bring the TRUTH of God's Word to people and share with them the hope of Jesus Christ. The big knock on Warren and the "Purpose Driven Life" phenomenon that has now morphed into his "PEACE" plan, his mentor Bill Hybels of Willowcreek in suburban Chicago who was the father of the "seeker church movement," and Robert Schuller before him who was a devotee of Normal Vincent Peal's "self esteem positive mental attitude philosophy," is that they have abandoned the absolutes of God's Word in order to attract masses of people. The only way you can find common ground with people of different governments, economies, and religions, is to set aside the Truth of God's Word. Once you do that, you have NOTHING left.
Lastly is the story from the Sundance Film Festival. In case you have not heard, there will be a documentary called "Zoo" at this year's Festival. It is a movie that explores bestiality, or people who have sex with animals. If you are interested in the particulars of the movie, you can Google "zoo man horse sex." Over the years as I have dealt with the whole gay marriage issue, I have often referred to the day when people will want to marry their chicken or horse! Most people thought I was simply being a smart alec and making an extreme statement for effect. While I am a smart alec sometimes, and while I did make the statement for affect, I also meant it!
Let me lay a good one on you today. Write this one down since I will do a whole Devotional on it soon. Rebellion knows no limits! Once you cross the line of sin, there are no more lines. People who are involved in sin don't have any boundaries. Once you cross the bright line of sin, the depth of your depravity is endless. Are you surprised that one you cross the line into sexual perversion, men with men, women with women, it stops there? Sorry, sin knows no bounds. You are now open to sex with children, sex with all kinds of inanimate objects, SEX WITH ANIMALS!
I know I have you thinking, "so where does the thread run in this story?" Simple, it is a church that has now accepted and even glorified perverted sex. Adultery used to be condemned in the church. Now it is accepted, especially if the one committing adultery is a big giver. Living together used to be preached against from the pulpit. Now over half of the church is in a live-in relationship so who wants to upset over half the congregation? It used to be understood without any question that homosexuality was called sin by God in His Word. Now, there are "pastors" who are in open homosexual relationships, people in ministry who choose to live in rebellion to the same God they say they serve, and entire churches that now accept, support, and condone this perverted sexual activity. So why are you shocked there is now a movie about a man having sex with a horse?
(Want to really open your eyes. Go to any good Baptist Church, Church of God, or Assemblies of God church and take an anonymous poll of their youth groups. Ask them it they think homosexuality is OK. Trust me, you will be SHOCKED at the results, AND THESE ARE CHURCHES WHO FOR THE MOST PART STILL PREACH AGAINST THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY!!)
I love you and care about you so much. The common thread in all these stories is a church that has failed to fulfill the work God has called it to in these last days. The church has lost its zeal for evangelism and left the marketplace to the agents of satan working through false religions like Islam. The church has turned into a place where large groups of people can feel good because they are not challenged by the Absolute Truth of God's Word and those eternal Truths are compromised in order to promote unity amongst those who reject them. Because the church has veered so far away from God's Word, there are actually "churches" now who condone and glorify blatant sins like homosexuality.
The answer, of course, is to get back to the Bible. The very foundation of our faith, all we believe is in that Book. If we simply follow God's Word, we will evangelize since we have been commanded to. If we will simply follow God's Word, we will not worry about numbers but telling people "what sayeth the Lord." If we will simply follow God's Word, we will not stand with sin but against it. There is a lost and dying world that NEEDS the church to rise up and be all God calls His church to be. In these last days, now more than ever the church needs to rise up and be God's agent of change in our culture. We need men and women of God who are bold enough to lead His church without comprising the Gospel and can bring the eternal Truths of the Bible to the masses without fear.
The three stories currently in the news I shard with you today only point out how far the church has fallen away from its foundation, God's Word. I pray today that every pastor, everyone who serves in the church in any capacity, will get back to the foundation on which the church was based, the Bible. Without God's Word, we simply have a social organization that has no power and no ability to do anything of eternal significance. God raised up the church to lead lost souls to faith in Jesus Christ and to edify and train those in the Body of Christ to serve Him. May we pray that as these final days of human history unfold, the church will once again rise up and get back to the job God has called it to do!