Good Morning! I hope that everyone had a wonderful, meaningful Christmas! The celebration of the birth of the baby in the manger who was more than an ordinary baby....He was the savior! The Lord of all Creation...the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He was Jesus Christ! the foretold Messiah from the Old Testament Scriptures who fulfilled every prohetic utterance of His coming and....will COME AGAIN! The time is drawing closer...are you ready?
Part of the reason for a belief that Jesus is coming soon is the fact of the condition that we find ourselves in at this present time...wars and rumors of war abound...perilous times are here...men are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of Godliness but denying its power (II timothy 3:2-5)
In light of the above, here is an interesting take on the uproar by the decision to ask Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church to pray at the inaugaration of President-Elect Barak Obama:
The Warren Controversy
by Michael G. Mickey
Talk about a circus! Barack Obama's decision to have mega church pastor Rick Warren offer the invocation at his presidential inauguration fits the bill. It seems that most everyone has a bone to pick about it.
ReligionNewsBlog has the following to say on the topic, in part:
The Rev. Rick Warren, who will give the invocation, is the most influential pastor in the United States, and a choice that has already caused problems for Obama.
Warren is a Southern Baptist who holds traditional religious beliefs and endorsed California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage. But he also wants to broaden the evangelical agenda to include fighting global warming, poverty and AIDS.
Later in the article....
By picking Warren, Obama is sending another signal, about his willingness to upset liberals by tilting to the center. Gay rights groups are demanding that Obama rescind the invitation because of Warren’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
“By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table,” Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a letter to the incoming president.
The liberals are upset
Joy Behar, co-host of The View and a way Left liberal by anyone's standards, had this to say of Obama's choice of Warren, according to Newsbusters, "I don’t think it’s appropriate. It’s like putting, you know, Cheney in charge of gun control. It’s wrong....it’s just wrong.”
And why, exactly, was it wrong of Obama to choose Warren according to Behar? He has spoken out against gay marriage and a supporter of Proposition 8, of course!
The first openly gay member of Congress, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said recently, according to Fox News, "Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair." I'm sure he did, but, no offense to Congressman Frank, the lifestyle he leads is every bit as vile a sexual sin as incest in the eyes of God. Both are forbidden by God and were, until recent times, illegal in most of these United States.
What a time we've come to in America's history when a pastor who preaches as judgmentless a form of the gospel as Rick Warren does is seen as an extreme fundamentalist by the Left! I would never have dreamed years ago that I'd see a day in my life that this could possibly be true. And yet here we are. These days, as a result of current trends, I see our nation in a brand new light - one that's anything but glowing.
I no longer wonder how much less we're going to honor the Almighty because I know the answer to the question. We're going to dishonor God, as a nation, to whatever extent He will permit us to without destroying us.
We're in a bottomless pit of sinfulness as a nation and the sad thing about it? Despite the great bounty of blessing that God has bestowed on us, we didn't fall into it; we jumped into it with both feet!
Homosexuals are upset
The Left is up in arms and, within their ranks fo the most part, homosexuals are as well.
The following is an excerpt from a OneNewsNow.com article entitled "Homosexual groups blast Obama for 'mistake'":
Homosexual activist groups across the country are angry with the president-elect for choosing evangelical pastor Rick Warren to pray at the inauguration on January 20. Warren publicly voiced support for Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that banned same-sex "marriage" in the state.
The homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign has accused Obama of dealing a "genuine blow" to the homosexual community by choosing Warren. In addition, a California homosexual-rights activist has labeled the selection "a huge mistake" by Obama; and the editor of the pro-homosexual newspaper Washington Blade calls the choice "Obama's first big mistake."
The ONN article quotes Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church as saying "those protesting Obama's selection of Warren are "throwing temper tantrums like two-year-olds" just as they did after Prop. 8 was victorious in November."
They're not just throwing temper tantrums; they're being quite, dare I say it once again, intolerant of Christians.
In a One News Now article entitled "Homosexuals showing 'radical intolerance' of Rick Warren", Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. of the High Impact Leadership Coalition is quoted as saying, "What's being revealed in this process is that the intolerance of the radical left is coming out. They want to be received and tolerated, but when someone takes one little overture like praying a prayer at a major event, they can't take it," he points out. "And whether we like it or not, this man Rick Warren has become the next generation's Billy Graham."
Amen to that, Bishop Jackson! If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. Tolerance is a one-way street that flows away from God!
Traditional, fundamental Christians are upset
As a strictly traditional Bible-believing Christian, Rick Warren isn't someone who has ever impressed me a great deal with his 'Purpose Driven' gospel. Heavy on love and practically devoid of the threat of judgment found throughout the Scriptures, his teachings have always left me flat. Of his books, I have told people that they're Gospel Lite as opposed to Gospel Right and cautioned them against becoming followers of his theology. His decision to accept Barack Obama's invitation to give the invocation at his inauguration only reinforces why I've never been a big fan.
What he reportedly had to say in a recent sermon only sours me on him more. According to Fox News, Warren had the following to say on 12-21-08:
"I have in no way ever taught that homosexuality is the same thing as a forced relationship between an adult and a child, or between siblings. I was trying to point out I'm not opposed to gays having their partnership. I'm opposed to gays using the term marriage for their relationship."
He's not opposed to gays having their partnership in defiance of the Word of God? Well, he ought to be as God's Word is clear as crystal on the matter.
God gives no sanction to same-sex relationships of a romantic nature whatsoever. It's issues like this that upset Bible-believing Christians - one reason why I count it as anything but joyful when Rick Warren is referred to as 'the Billy Graham of the next generation.'
Why should a Christian leader, even Rick Warren, snuggle up to a man, on the day of his inauguration to become our president no less, who has promised to advance the causes of the homosexual agenda on a wide variety of fronts and swing wider the doors of abortion clinics than they have ever been before? I can't think of a good reason, personally.
This isn't the time for the Church to be found among the world, but a time for us to be separate from it! Instead of praying at the inauguration of Barack Obama, many of whose policies are going to fly directly in the face of Almighty God, Pastor Warren and the Church in general should be standing back a bit, not so far away that president-elect Obama can't see or hear us but far enough away that he knows our highest allegiance is to our God and it is an allegiance we are not going to compromise on!
Am I suggesting that Christians shouldn't show our incoming president love, respect, and support? Absolutely not, within boundaries of course. I believe that president-elect Obama is reaching out to the evangelical community somewhat in this gesture, perhaps to show us that he isn't going to slam the door in our faces concerning the issues that are important to us once he moves into the White House, but mark my words. If the Church starts cuddling up to his way Left policies as though he can do whatever and continue to meet with our approval, while the door won't be slammed in our faces, it will be subtly and quietly pushed shut until, if we listen closely, we'll be able to hear it latch and be locked! Who are we kidding if not ourselves to think otherwise? The Left doesn't care about us except when it's time for a voting lever to be pulled. The GOP isn't much if any better, for the record, but that's a topic for another time.
The years ahead, depending on where you get your information from, are going to be bad or worse than bad. Most economic prognosticators are predicting that our nation is going to fall on some very hard times and that means we're going to be NEEDING God's hand of mercy more than we have in a very long time and less DESERVING of it than ever before.
The Warren controversy, all perspectives shown here included in that ongoing melee, shows us the state of disrepair our nation's collective spirituality is presently in - and vividly at that.
The wicked are so wicked that anything short of our government signaling a total disregard of God's Word is no longer acceptable to the masses. More troubling, perhaps, is that the Church has become such a non-factor in having a discernible voice from everyone else that Rick Warren is considered the voice of this and the next generation of evangelical Christians.
All of the above shows us just how close we are, conditionally at the very least, to the return of Jesus Christ.
2nd Timothy 4:3-4:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
In these last days, sound doctrine isn't acceptable in many churches. As a direct result, there are a lot of ear-tickling preachers in the world, Rick Warren among them, ready to tell us just what we WANT to hear and absolutely nothing we NEED to and that? It's prophecy being fulfilled and a sign of the last days.
I don't have to remind any of my regular readers what was going on in Sodom and Gomorrah at the time of its destruction. Things were so bad there that the righteous soul of Lot, seeing and hearing all that was going on around him, was vexed on a daily basis according to 2nd Peter 2:8. The similarities between Lot's days in Sodom and the world faithful Christians are living in today are strikingly similar.
Prophecy is being fulfilled - a reminder that we may be closer to seeing Jesus than we've ever dreamed possible. Not only that, it's a grim reminder of how many are going to be caught completely offguard, wrapped up in the concerns of this world, when the Rapture of the Church occurs.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Soon, Christians! Soon!