American Christian Dilemma

December 6th, 2014 lindarae No comments

How is the body of Christ doing in America? Are believers impacting and influencing the culture by their contributions in education, the news and entertainment institutions, labor unions, politics, and the arts? Do the majority of born again Christians vote for candidates who represent Christian principles? Do the majority of Christians vote? The answer to these questions is, “No.”

In America, believers have a responsibility to guide society with Judeo Christian principles. The Puritans entered into a covenant with God that specified certain requirements in order for God to bless it rather than have it fall under judgment. Puritan prophets gave directions, just as happened in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. Through Puritan prophets, God directed the Puritans to establish colonies in New England to fulfill His purpose. His purpose was to establish a new society built on His principles to be an example to the world of what a just society looked like.

Once in New England, the Puritans faced the same dilemma American Christians face today, whether to separate from the world or participate in it and guide it. The Pilgrims arrived with the goal to separate from the world in order to create the perfect society, but the Puritans understood that they could not make a perfect society; they had to find a way to influence society with Christian values in a firm but sensible and flexible manner. What they created in Massachusetts was balanced for the times and can be used as a model with modern adjustments. What is important for Christians in our times is the choice to participate, not separate from American culture and society.

The body of Christ, believers and churches, have the responsibility to preach the gospel, to help the poor, support racial equality, promote obedience, and protect the unborn and traditional marriagea. They have the responsibility to be salt and light by promoting and establishing Christian principles as the guiding social values without expecting everyone to follow them. However, those goals can only be accomplished by churches and believers committing to enter institutions-careers-in which they will experience persecution. A person graduating from a Christian college or university will not be hired as a journalist for the New York Times or most newspapers in the nation. They will not be hired by the major networks. Christians have to attend secular universities of high standing to be respected and hired by the institutions mentioned above.

Christians cannot hide from persecution and still impact our culture for God’s glory. Hiding from influencing the culture for fear of persecution and rejection violates our national covenant. God’s founding of our nation to be a city on a hill was an intervention in history to carry forward His plan for the nations. The covenant continues to this day and beyond because God’s callings are irrevocable. Therefore, it is incumbent on believers and churches in our nation to follow the example of the Puritans to guide the nation with godly principles while accepting the fact that society will never be perfect. We have to step up our participation and influence by sacrificing our comfort for a higher calling to fulfill God’s plan for our nation as the time of the end draws near.

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Ferguson Tragedy

December 1st, 2014 lindarae No comments

The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri is tragic. It is sad to see the life taken of any young person, especially if the police officer, Darren Wilson, could have found another way to protect himself. This tragic event has been used to focus on the relationship between police and people of color, especially African Americans, in the U.S. I understand the need for dialogue and change, but I question whether this is the best example of police brutality on which to focus on police practices in minority communities. A more provable case against the police and a more compliant black youth would gain more support from the majority in the nation.

The majority of Americans want justice for all races, or they would not have elected President Obama. However, the majority are able to size up the character of most people who become the focus in national crime stories. Michael Brown, because of his actions on video from the convenience store, gives the impression of being arrogant and lawless. If Officer Wilson shot Brown out of racial prejudice, Brown’s attitude muddies the water for making the case against Wilson. I’m certain there are many other examples of police brutality from racial prejudice than this one that would win over the support of more Americans.

On the other hand, maybe this is tragic killing can lead to the majority coming to conclusions that will improve relationships between the police and minorities. The military reaction of the Ferguson police in the beginning and the lack of minority police recruits reveals weaknesses in the department and probably in police departments throughout the country. Also, the media’s coverage of this tragedy has revealed that many policemen assigned to minority and poor communities become hardened by the repetitive killings and challenges by gang members in those communities. It is understandable that they can become hardened, but unacceptable. Training must be initiated to counter that tendency.

Besides the responsibility of the police, the poor, minority communities also bear some responsibility. Michael Brown’s arrogance and lawlessness is not an anomaly in minority youth. Many societal circumstances and human nature tendencies lead to this chip on the shoulder attitudes for poor, minority youth. Weak family structures, poverty, drugs, anti-education attitudes, and victim beliefs encourage irreverent and violent behavior. It is not only necessary for the police to do some soul searching but also the minority communities. Perceptions are not always reality. You can perceive you are trapped in poverty and injustice when there are ways out that many minority individuals have taken, our President being one of them. It requires a change of perception, which means a search for truth, and the courage to face up to personal faults and not only look at the faults of others.

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What Is Christs’s Life?

September 2nd, 2014 lindarae No comments

What is the life of Christ that we live once we are crucified with Christ at spiritual rebirth? It is multifaceted. We have access to all of the qualities of the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5-22). We have access to Jesus’ knowledge of and trust in His Father. Every day while on this earth, Jesus awoke each morning with the Father on His mind, and He followed whatever the Father directed Him for the day. He trusted His Father in every situation, no matter how dangerous. He knew that whatever His Father ordained to happen that day was right and good, no matter how it appeared. He trusted people would be healed and delivered when He prayed because the Spirit showed Him His Father’s will in each situation. Jesus thanked His Father in the good and bad times. His life in us gives us access to these same qualities.

The life we receive from Jesus is also obedient: “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him . . . .” (Hebrews 5:9-9). We have the power in us to desire and be obedient. Once we choose to be obedient, the Holy Spirit provides the grace or life of Christ to obey. All of the positive character qualities described in the Bible are available to us through Christ’s life. We can truly be Christians or little Christ’s.

Because we are drawn to the world and to worrying and doubting, it often takes us some time of prayer, Bible reading, friend’s prayers and fasting to move into Christ’s life and out of our fleshly life, but with persistence it will always be achieved. Never give up until you succeed. God may take you on a personal journey; however, every part of the journey is God ordained in order to provide you with success.

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ISIS Evil

August 21st, 2014 lindarae No comments

ISIS murdered James Foley to strike fear in the hearts of Americans. All I can say is that my reaction is not fear. Their barbaric act tells me that they have to be stopped by whatever it takes. They are evil and to ignore evil only means it will repeatedly strike without reason until its violence is stopped by greater violence. James Foley is only one of thousands that these thugs has violated and killed. Their methods reflect the evil that is in their hearts. Only evil people can decapitate another human being without their consciences condemning and changing them. They are psychopaths who need to be eliminated before they endanger all people and nations. There is no difference between them and the Nazis.

I do not speak out of a desire for revenge but a desire for justice. God is just and ISIS declares that it is a nation and caliphate. Therefore, it is an evil nation that is at war with God and the rest of mankind. We are now entering what has become a just war, and civilized nations cannot let innocent civilians be massacred and evil win.

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Perceptions in Ferguson , Missouri

August 20th, 2014 lindarae No comments

The situation in Ferguson, Missouri is tragic not only because of the death of a young man but also because of the division it is causing among blacks and whites. It is so sad to see that electing a black US president has not brought greater unity to our nation. The question is whether the racial tension is caused by realistic grievances or the failure of perception by African Americans of improved social justice and assimilation.

I wish more black leaders would encourage blacks to perceive the justice system on the whole is not prejudiced against them and that the free market will provide jobs for all of those who make an effort and prepare themselves to enter the market place. All of my children are biracial and have never found interferences to finding lucrative jobs. However, my husband and I raised them with the expectation that if they put forth the appropriate effort and sought adequate education, they could succeed. Two of them did not graduate from college but are very successful in IT.

I think a more applicable example is my son-in-law, who is black and was raised in South Central LA. He did not have a stable home life and his level of education is a high school graduate. However, as a teenager, his one main goal was to get out of South Central LA and take advantage of every opportunity to succeed. When he first moved into our home in Palo Alto, he was a security guard for Hewlett Packard. Today he works in IT at Hewlett Packard and is making a more than comfortable living. I think his success is the result of how he perceived the opportunities available to him. He did not think the color of his skin would deny him financial success in the American market place, and he was right.

I know it is not that simple for every African American in our nation. Life is complicated and life struggles affect different people in different ways. However, if perceptions changed to more realistically represent the potential for success of all American citizens, including all minorities, many more black citizens would find their way out of poverty.

If Michael Brown’s death was not justifiable homicide, justice will be accomplished for him. If he was at fault, then the officer should not be punished. No matter what the conclusion of the justice system in Ferguson, one thing will remain true, America provides opportunity for its citizens. Not that there is no prejudice, but in most cases, those obstacles can be overcome. If you perceive reality as it is and do not accept lies of opportunists, then all groups in our society can find justice, the majority of the time, in our courts and the marketplace. God is about standing up for and blessing those who remain humble and determined. I have known prejudice from both sides, and God has never failed me.

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Why Be Holy

August 18th, 2014 lindarae No comments

My goal in writing about holiness and spiritual maturity is motivated not only to help all Christians spiritually mature as an exercise to enhance their personal relationship with God but also to target the growth of maturity and holiness in American Christians in order for them to be able to restore the Judeo/Christian principles upon which our nation was founded. A person who is a born again Christian—a person who has committed his/her life to Christ and received Him as his/her Savior-is not able to impact and transform the American culture without growing in holiness and wholeness. Of course, I hope this guidance can also help all Christians to be holy wherever they may live because it pleases the Lord and their spiritual maturity will positively impact any society in which they live.

Peter states God’s expectation of all believers: “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lust, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:13-16).

Holiness and wholeness go hand in hand. It is impossible to become holy without God working on both areas. His tool for transformation is grace. Grace is not only God’s free gift of the power for the initial born again experience it is also the free gift of power to carry out the sanctification process to complete the salvation process: as Paul exhorts the Philippians, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” ( Phil. 2:12). Grace is the life of Christ in you that has taken residence in your spirit when you accept Him as your Savior. The Holy Spirit makes Christ’s life available to you every moment of every day once you are born again. The goal is to let your spirit filled with Christ’s life now assert guidance and control over your soul and body. That is the sanctification process.

Once the sin nature is dead, you partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). However, you can hold onto the old nature or old man rather than walk in your new man. In order to grow in holiness and impact our nation and all nations, as a member of the worldwide body of Christ, you must commit to the sanctification process with its cleansing, inner healing and deliverance activity. In Romans 1:4 -6, Paul describes our relationship to the Son since He is not only God but also from the “seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.”

You can see how the Holy Spirit is identified with holiness and that God’s grace through Christ provides for our ability to be obedient and have faith to fulfill God’s calling in Him. It is through Christ and His life in us that we receive the eternal life that is active presently and continuously in our spirits, soul and body.

In the next section I will explain the basic process of being born again and the ongoing process of salvation or sanctification. I am basing my explanation upon theological principles that are not accepted by all denominations. I base this teaching on the belief that we are tripartite (three part) beings, spirit, soul and body. This teaching is biblically based as well as depending upon a type of the tabernacle that can be applied to our being or essence. I give a fuller explanation of the type of the tabernacle in Preparing for the Lord’s Return: A Handbook on Holiness and Wholeness, which can be found on http://www.winningtheculturewarthebook.com.

Humans consist of potentially three parts: a spirit, soul and body (2 Thessalonians 5:23). I say potentially because until you are born again, your spirit is dormant because of original sin. When Jesus said you must be born again in John 3:3, He was speaking about your spirit. When you repent and accept Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit revives your spirit, its life is restored, and now the Holy Spirit lives within your spirit. He provides the grace or free gift of salvation along with the faith to enable you to be born again.

Once you are born again with your spirit now alive and animated with the Holy Spirit, your old nature, soul and body with a dormant spirit, is now dead according to Galatians 2:20 and now Christ lives in you. In other words your fallen nature-soul and body with a dormant spirit-is dead, and you live by Christ’s life and divine nature rather than your old, fallen life and nature (2 Peter 1:4). God not only sees you as righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice and shed blood but also because you are now a “new creation.”

However, although you are objectively justified through Christ’s death and resurrection and destined for heaven, your soul and body need to line up with your spirit and Christ’s life in your spirit. That is why you find that you continue to sin once born again. Your living spirit has to establish influence and control over your soul and body. Your soul and body do not immediately obey and conform to the new ruler, your living spirit and the Holy Spirit. That is why, as mentioned above, the Bible says you “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” The salvation of justification is immediate in the sense that you are a “new creation” and your spirit is alive and the Holy Spirit is present guaranteeing you will go to heaven, but in the sense that salvation is conforming your soul and body to your renewed spirit, it is a process of sanctification, which you should seek out of a sense of gratitude and a desire to please and glorify the Lord through your transformation. However, remember that you cannot make yourself holy; it is the power of Christ’s in you that accomplishes the sanctification. As you choose to believe God’s promise to cleanse, heal your broken heart and deliver you and choose to be obedient; the Holy Spirit in your Spirit will work with you to accomplish sanctification.

This process of sanctification, being increasingly made holy, is God’s goal for all born again believers. However, I am adding to that goal another goal of American Christians to restore our nation to its founding principles. You cannot live in our culture and influence it without choosing to go on the sanctification journey. I give details on how the Holy Spirit accomplishes the holiness and wholeness in the handbook mentioned above. I hope you will be willing to make the journey of obedience and sanctification for the sake of God’s glory as well as offering yourself as a warrior in restoring our culture to its original covenant and principles. My book, Winning the Culture War, provides the inspiration and strategy on how you can help win the culture war.

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Which Is More Important: The Constitution or Contraception?

July 3rd, 2014 lindarae No comments

It is difficult to present a meaningful argument to many women of why religious freedom has a greater value and moral weight than the right to force employers to provide abortions or abortive contraception. The connection of a war on women to Hobby Lobby and other smaller corporations’ right to follow their conscience is hard to grasp. The women who use abortive contraceptives do not view it as a moral issue. They want a financial benefit, which can be provided by other institutions or means. For them, their financial benefit outweighs a person or group’s conscience. It is hard to grasp how the “right to choose” trumps religiously formed beliefs. I guess most of the women claiming their rights have not read or do not value the first Amendment to the Constitution, although if government took away their right to free speech, to assemble or freedom of the press, they might rethink their position.

I have made a great effort to understand the women’s viewpoint who see the right to free contraception on a higher level of value than religious freedom and a morally informed conscience. My conclusion is that they cannot see the difference between moral choices and practical ones. They are motivated by self-interest and do not understand that religious people are motivated by a desire to obey God and His moral laws. People of faith put God and others above their own self-interest.

I believe that the women pushing for their rights and self-interest believe that they are righteous and are doing the right thing. They are just lacking important knowledge about the history of human rights, which reveals the source of inalienable rights. After the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, people became more aware of human rights. Luther’s teaching on the priesthood of all believers fed into other philosophical ideas about the importance of each individual. As a result of these “new” ideas, also influenced by ancient Greek philosophers, our Founding Fathers derived the understanding that “all men” (meaning all humans) are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

In America, we concluded that God guaranteed our rights and, without God, our rights could be taken away by a dictator or even a representative, democratic government. This was one of the universal principles America held that opened up freedom and equality to people throughout the world; it was one of the American contributions that made us see ourselves as “exceptional.”

Now, let us look at the “right to choose” to have an abortion. Is it one of those rights established and endowed by the Creator? The Declaration of Independence makes “life” a God-given right but does not say anything about the right to choose. Even if someone does not think a fetus is alive, the God who guarantees the rights established in our Constitution says that “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”(Jeremiah 1:5) and “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:15, 16). That means that God has a purpose and plan for every fertilized egg. Therefore, “the right to choose” an abortion is a manmade right because it contradicts the God-given right to life.

Of course, we can continue down the road to ignore God-given rights in order to serve self-interest, but it will end badly. We will be without universal absolutes that provide structure and stability in a chaotic world. Self-interest unchecked will lead to persecution of others’ rights by those who have power. Eventually, even those women who are demanding their manmade rights will lose other, more essential rights. Their right to freedom of speech, of assembly, of the press, habeas corpus, due process, etc. will be lost. Then, they will wonder how they lost those rights, and probably not understand that their selfish demands to ignore God-given rights led to their own downfall and the downfall of inalienable rights in America.

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How to Overcome Sin and Poor Character

April 27th, 2014 lindarae No comments

We are truly new creatures when we accept Christ as our savior. Our spirits come alive and Christ’s resurrected life now lives in us through His Holy Spirit. It is through His life in us, grace, that He is able to tame and transform our souls and bodies. It is only by faith in His life in us that we can overcome sin, renew our minds, walk in His Spirit and experience physical health. “I am crucified with Christ. I no longer live. Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loves me and laid down His life for me” (Gal. 2:20). To progress in this new life, being a new man, you must reckon yourself dead to sin when sin rises up. Quote the Bible passages that guarantee you are a new creature and that old things are passed away. By standing on the Scripture, God’s grace, His life in you, can establish your victory over sin and character flaws.

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The Haves and Have Nots

April 27th, 2014 lindarae No comments

The constant effort of groups in society to identify themselves as victims, for example repeatedly focusing on the haves and have nots in society, can become an effort to increase covetousness and envy. It is one thing to seek justice and another to create a victim mentality in which the goal is to promote corrupt character and a covetous class, whether poor or a racial minority. It is better to encourage ambition and provide opportunities than to instill a group with self-pity, which leads to covetousness. The sin of covetousness, one of the Ten Commandments, undermines ambition and destroys character. The Soviet Union fell because their leaders tried to remove envy and covetousness by making everyone equal, removing the ability for individuals to excel. It did not work because when you feed covetousness you remove ambition.

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God’s Interaction with Us

April 27th, 2014 lindarae No comments

Three ways (maybe more) in which God intersects our lives: Trials, sacrifices and blessings. We need to discover which of these is God’s goal when we enter a new life situation. Trials last for a time and our response and growth can help determine when they end, depending upon how quickly we allow His character qualities to be formed in us. Sacrifices can last forever or for a time. For example, once a couple has a child, they enter a lifelong sacrifice. At other times, the sacrifice is required for a specified time. A blessing is an event that God asks nothing except we receive it. The situation will go smoothly and is usually for a short period of time. Sometime it appears to be a trial, but you need to inquire of the Lord in order not to interfere with His plan for a blessing.

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