If you want to attract an honorable lady, be an honorable man.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

From the Smallest Beginnings...

Any avid Tolkien fans out there have already seen the Hobbit - twice if you are like me. It centers around a rather Prosy and well-to-do Hobbit who is swept off on an adventure that will change the future of the world that he lives in, and radically alter his character for the better. If you watched the trailer, a phrase is flashed across the screen amidst scenes of Goblins, Trolls, Dwarves and flying steel. It says

"From the smallest beginnings, come the greatest legends".

Cool trailer affect, gets the blood pumping, etc.

In the movie, the Wizard Gandalf is asked why he is taking the Hobbit, Bilbo, on the journey. He answers in a most profound way.

"Saruman thinks that it takes a great power to hold back evil. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things in life that hold back great evil. Simple acts of kindness and love by ordinary people, are what keeps the darkness at bay. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid, and he gives me courage."    

Honestly, that was the ultimate best line in the whole entire movie, and summarizes the point of the movie perfectly.

That line, is so, so, so, true, and not just in middle earth.

Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, didn't come down with a flash and a bang and come riding on a golden chariot into Jerusalem, taking over the political system, blasting out the Romans and saving the world from the top down. He came in a animal feeder, with shepherds for company, wrapped in an old blanket. He lived quietly, humbly, and wasn't exactly an attention hog. Quietly, perfectly, lovingly, He made a difference, and saved the world from sin and death.

It didn't take a massive political movement, it didn't take a revolutionary rally, He just died for those he loved, and those who hated him.

And folks, that simple act of kindness is keeping the darkness at bay.

It's about the same for us today as well. The darkness is closing in, the world is collapsing spiritually and economically, and the hearts of men are far, far from God.

But a having a new president won't keep the darkness away, neither will a new congress, senate, or even a new governmental system.

It's the small things. Loving your neighbor - sharing the Gospel with the people in the store - repenting of your sin to your family - helping the lady across the street - or maybe even suffering quietly for the Gospels sake at work, and being a light in the darkness.

Simple acts of kindness and love - Christlikness.

You don't have to do anything big, bold, and fabulous to save the world. You just have to be a little light in your little corner of the world  - and every big bonfire is started by one tiny spark.

That folks, not politics, will keep the darkness at bay. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reality Check

I normally don't advocate FOX news, but hey, even a broken Clock is right twice a day. 
For once, FOX got it right. 
And no, not because they came out and said that crime isn't caused by gun ownership, but because this guy, on national TV, came out and said that crime, in reality, comes from the hearts of men and women. 
From the hearts. Sin. FOX almost admits in secularized form that man is sinful.

Now that folks, is a real reality check.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Real Problem

The end seems very near.
Gun control seems to be looming on the horizon. We act horrified when teenage gunmen act upon the lies they were taught, yet go see mass-murder movies in 3D in droves. Babies are slaughtered by the millions every year, and we spend billions of tax dollars to save a "rare" mosquito in some swamp somewhere. Old peopled are unplugged and left to die so their useful parts can be used in something more "profitable". The divorce rate is through the roof, and is higher in evangelical churches than in the secular public.
In other words, the boat is going down, and by now even the secular public is saying we need to somehow find a cork to plug the giant hole in the bottom of the boat that we put there when we shot ourselves in the foot.
Only they don't think that they shot themselves in the foot. They blame it on the crazed teenage gunmen at the local K-8. They blame it on the crooked leader in the big white igloo who is a little power-crazed and spend-happy. They blame it on horrific mass-murder movies that attract audiences by the bucket load. In fact, if you dig down to the bottom of their arguments, everything but them is the problem. Retardedly high taxes, foreign policy not worth the paper it's written on.  In fact, it doesn't matter who we are or where we live or what our our circumstances around us are, we can find that everybody and everything but us is the problem, and let everybody and everything know on no uncertain terms exactly how unhappy we are with the state of things, and how blastedly cranky we are that our little circle of happiness has been encroached.
Because obviously, *we* could never be the problem.
By "we", I mean us Christians. You Christian. Not the other guy.
It's a bit of a harsh accusation, but I mean it.
Really though? I mean, most of us think we are pretty good guys ( or girls ).  I mean, just look at us.
Whoops, that may not have been *exactly* the picture I needed to prove my point....

But yes, the problem, really, is with us.

We, the Christians, are the light of the world, the salt of the earth. If the world is getting darker by the minute, blander by the bite, why is the already dark-hearted blandies the problem?
Folks, if we are the light and salt, and the world is getting dark and bland, *we* are the problem.

Why are we the problem?

Honestly, because we thing the world works better man's way. We think that God somehow is a little behind the curve when in comes to the nations health. What we need is a righteous president making righteous laws, to keep us all in check.

Gospel? No sirree, We have moved past that. We need something a little more advanced for politics.
Friends, if we need something more advanced than the Gospel in politics, throw politics and everything like it out the window  -  just make sure to open it first.

But what did Christ do to come down and save a dying nation, and people?

Jesus for President! Vote for Jesus! I promise to make all of you look real good on the outside and blind your consciences by your outward perfection! I'll make a bunch of laws and keep you all so in tight that nothing bad could ever happen! Vote for Jesus!

Well, not quite. He didn't come and try to heal the sick tree by changing the color and texture of the fruit. He went right for the root. He went right to our hearts, and he didn't do it by a heap of legislation.

Yeah, but that was then, we too often say in our minds. We need something a little more advanced for today.  Jesus must have just not gotten the memo that said obviously the best way to change a wicked nation, that just so happens to have wicked leaders, is to make loads of laws, get the right people in power, and make everybody's actions look good.

It's sure sounds awful to say it that way, but by saying the nation doesn't need the Gospel is saying just that.
Gospel is old hat. Legislation and strong leaders who will stand up for what they believe in? Now that is what our society needs.

And again, it's the church saying that. Salt and Light? I think we have strayed a bit from where we started.

We talk about the hypocrisy of the big-wigs higher up, but we, by far are the biggest hypocrites of all. At least what they are hypocritical on fits their worldview. We are denying the God we claim to serve when in comes to the public sector for something "better". We say we trust in the Gospel and the Gospel in the only thing that ever could pull us out of the pit of our sin, yet we throw a hat full of politics and laws at the rest of the world, telling them that those will fix the problem.
And we want to talk about hypocrites?

And we may all admit this on a constant basis, we may talk about it and tell one another that yes, we really are the problem, but at the end of the day, how many of us go home and rant on facebook, or some political blog, pointing fingers at every politician and policy out there, about how they need to shape up?  

We show where our convictions truly by by our actions, and our actions have shown in no uncertain terms that we left the Gospel in the dust three miles ago and are trying to use every other quick fix to fix the problem, besides the only one we really need.

Politicians? Give it a try.

Presidents? Why not, throw them in there too.

Laws? Oooh, good thinking.

School programs? Now *that* is thinking outside of the box.

Duct tape? Of course, the last ditch fix-'em-all weapon of choice.



How come we have such a pause right there? What is it about the Gospel that we do everything we can to keep it out of the picture?

Honestly, I think it is because we are not trusting in the Gospel ourselves. If we were truly trusting in the gospel for our daily LIFE, I think we would see in a much bigger hurry how much the world needs the gospel a lot more than anything else. Including Duct Tape (bummer...).

The more I try to live by law, the more I try to make everybody else around me all fit into that same law.

The more I trust the Gospel, the good news that Christ died to save horrible sinners like me WHO THINK THEY CAN RUN LIFE AND POLITICS WITH NO GOSPEL.

Yes folks, we are the problem, because us, the light, and salt of the world, think that maybe we liked it better in the dark blandies, than in the light of the true Gospel   -  that Gospel which is the only thing, ever, that can save us.