Tag Archive: The Church

I’ll confess I’m not an authority on churchy affairs, but perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps it’s time political correctness within the church faced a little more opposition from those who aren’t under its power…


I’ve no doubt that many or most church ministers are working hard and doing their best for their congregations and for their God. But my experience and my observation of today’s church world, overall, is that the flock is not being prepared for what it already faces, or for what may be coming…

We don’t have to go any further than our television or our web-based news feeds to see the direction our world is heading in. Here in the US we’re becoming more and more polarized as the haters crawl out of the closet and make their intentions clear. Our culture is being torn because those who are most intent on changing it have the power of most of the media on their side.


Of those who take a Biblical view of culture and politics in the Church how many are talking about it? Alright, we don’t have to side openly with either major political party, but we absolutely should be discussing the issues, because they affect all of us and all our children. We don’t live in a theocracy or a church state, and I wouldn’t want to. But we all, in a so-called “democracy” or “republic” or “democratic republic” have a right and a duty to shape it, rather than just handing it over to those who want to tear down all the principles our Creator created us to live by, and even the obvious principles of nature itself.




Another but not unrelated subject is sex and romance. Without these none of us would be here, right? But how many churches and their ministers discuss the hows and the whys of love: the principles God expects us to live by? How many discuss that stuff which the Bible calls “sin”? “Sin” is such a little word, but it’s so profoundly important. How many young people are being told what sin is and what its consequences are? How many are being told that the things now being forced onto the Western world regarding morality and sexuality are enough to bring eternal consequences?

…those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV).


Some in the Church regard the subject of our origins as being insignificant. Where we came from isn’t important, they say. What did Jesus say about origins? He said:

If you believed Moses, you would believe me…but if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? (John 5:46).

The writing of Moses, and the prophets, and the apostles, all speak of our creation: not our evolution. We’re made by God in the image of God, not by chance, random mutations and billions of years of time in the image of a lemur or an ape-like creature. Calling into question our creation is calling into question our salvation from sin, and our eternal destiny. If all the writers are wrong about creation, so are they wrong about salvation.


Our kids are being taught that they evolved from soup. The church which is not working to correct this view is not, I repeat not, caring for its flock.


I believe in the rapture of the Church. However, what many ministers in churches and on the radio and internet are teaching is that before all that’s foretold in Revelation and elsewhere occurs we’re all going to be taken to heaven…



Why did our God go to so much trouble to foretell last days events if we aren’t going to see them or experience them? Why do so many prophecy “experts” make a living at what they do if all the time we’re going to disappear before it all happens? Why are so many in the Church sticking their heads in the sands of rapture, when half way across the world many of their believing brothers and sisters are already being martyred for their faith? We are not all going to escape what is to come. We are not all going to get out of here, without some very serious opposition first. So why are the churches passing out buckets full of sand when they should be equipping the saints for what may come and for what has already come in many parts of the world?


One powerful way to prepare the Church for what it has to deal with and for what it may have to face is through fellowship and worship. Sadly, I see very little. I see cliques and little groups who like each other and turn their noses up at the rest. I see very few Bible studies where the  Bible is studied and where it’s not just another opportunity for someone to give a sermon rather than openly discuss Scripture in relation to today’s world. And I see a kind of worship where if you don’t like or accept a very specific genre of music, i.e. Christian “contemporary” music-an innocuous and generic form of pop-you’re out of luck and probably out of any possibility of fellowship.


We all get bombarded with lies from every direction. And who did Jesus say was the father of all lies? The devil.

Our history is being revised and scrubbed out by our education establishments and our media. Our “news” feeds are not giving us news at all any more but propaganda, gossip, slander and fakery. Our schools and universities are teaching that we all evolved out of nothing, that there’s no truth to Christian “myths”, and that the Christian Church is the cause of all that’s wrong in the world. Our entertainment world is stuffing gross immorality and extreme violence down our throats, sometimes dressed in special effects, and always with attractive people, to get our attention. Our politicians are (generally) out of touch with reality, with their own voters, and with any sense of Godly wisdom, and our judges are making laws and ignoring others to suit their own agendas.

So how is the Church countering all the lies and deceit we all face every day? I’ll rephrase that last question. Is the Church countering all the lies and deceit?





Some believers tell the rest of us that we shouldn’t be involved in politics: we shouldn’t speak politics, and we shouldn’t run for office. That’s just “worldly” stuff, they say. Thank goodness George Washington and his peers didn’t see it the same way. I don’t either…so here I go…


Those actors and other big names currently attempting their own little revolution in the US should either hold their peace (was that polite enough?) and then run for office, or they should leave the country as they promised to before the election, and go somewhere where their brand of politics reigns, like Iran or North Korea.

If they don’t like the rules of the election, why didn’t they say something about the rules before the election, when they were convinced that their side was going to win? When you play a game with someone-let’s say a board game-you begin with the understanding that there are rules to be followed. You don’t start shouting about the rules and throw the board across the room when you lose. If you do, you can’t “legitimately” (to use a popular word these days) claim that you won the game. Both parties knew about the electoral college before the US election, which is why both candidates campaigned in such a way as to win the electoral college, with the media claiming that Trump had “no path to 270”. One candidate won, the other lost,  according to pre-agreed rules.


I received a letter from that nice Inland Revenue Service about my lack of health coverage, and about how much money I’ll have to give them as a penalty. True, it’s my fault I didn’t obey the law-the rules-and sign up. But my impression was that Mr Obama’s intention in the “Affordable Care Act” was to help those who couldn’t afford coverage, not to slap huge “penalties” (fines) on them.

I’ve learned that many who have coverage end up paying large deductibles when they do get ill, and those who have government assistance to pay for the required coverage are only covered for the most basic procedures. For example, the government will pay to pull your tooth out, but not for a root canal. It is, as justice Kennedy declared enabling the Act to pass into law, a “TAX”, and governments can legally tax all they want. Somehow this particular tax was massaged and shoved down the public’s throat by dressing it up as compassion for the poor. I know from experience that free treatment or reduced costs were already available before the Act to those who couldn’t afford treatment, and that huge numbers of immigrants-including illegals-were also able to take advantage of those benefits. There was no “penalty” for those who didn’t have coverage, and nobody went untreated. Ergo, the Act actually made things worse, not better. Oh, the intricacies of politics!

Politics affect us all. And in a nation with the benefit, blessing and privilege of voting-of at least having a little say in who runs the country-believers should take an active interest, for many reasons. We have the ability to influence how millions of people are treated; what kind of society we have; whether godly standards are implemented or if immorality will dismantle our families and our homes; whether money will be used wisely or wasted; whether or not the nation and the world is secure; whether or not we have real freedom of speech or a creeping belief system attempting to shut down our minds and our way of life.

Yes, actors can say what they want-just as we all (in theory) can. That’s thanks to those of today and those of past generations who’ve shaped a relatively free society, by prayerfully getting involved, instead of ignoring the world they lived in.

Microphone symbol by Juan Jimenez

Why are there so many churches? This question is frequently more of an attack on the Christian faith than a genuine inquiry. The underlying assertion is that if Christianity were “true” and real, and if Christians weren’t “all hypocrites”, there would only be one denomination, to which all Christians would belong in perfect love and harmony…


Here is my own un-churchified, un-theologicalized answer to the question, offered to anyone with an open mind. I say “open mind” because some of the people who ask such questions, while thinking of themselves as being open minded and tolerant, have a very closed mind when it comes to the Christian Church.

The whole matter of “religion” in general comes into the answer here, because what needs to be considered is that other religions and belief systems are divided to at least as great an extent. Hinduism is an umbrella religion consisting of many different beliefs, “paths” and millions of gods. Buddhism has sub-divided endlessly since its inception, often with friction between the schools and organizations. Muslims are clearly at each others throats (literally) in many parts of the world and have been since Mohamed. So to accuse only Christians of division is unrealistic and intolerant.


The problem lies not in the nature of the Christian faith but in human nature. When Jesus Christ walked the earth there was one Christian faith, and Jesus even had a hard time getting some of his followers to understand or to accept what he was trying to teach them then. From the moment he left this world human nature began to attempt to wrest the Faith from those he entrusted it with. Some thought they had better ideas. Some wanted to ride on the success of the movement. Some wanted to benefit financially from it, and some simply misunderstood it. Some insisted that their own “revelations” trumped those passed on from Christ and the apostles.

Now bring the whole problem forward to our present age. When someone with a strong opinion and personality doesn’t like what he sees in his denomination, he attempts either to change it, or to go off and start his own church. He may have very good reason to, if what he has seen is in fact a serious departure from the faith once delivered to the saints. Many churches and denominations have been started as a genuine way of attempting to right what has gone wrong.


Alternatively, he may be mistaken, misled, or self-serving. He may alter what he’s heard because he really thinks he’s right-even if he isn’t, and he proceeds to convince others that he’s right, possibly using a little exaggeration or deception to help the process. In such a way entire pseudo-Christian cults are born, and millions of people-gullible or just fooled-are misled.

When a man or woman claims to be a Christian there’s no immediate guarantee that he or she really is one, any more than a box popping up on your screen claiming to offer your computer a clean-up for free is genuine or hassle-free. And this problem is humanity-wide. It’s not just within the Church, it’s in politics, the retail world, advertising, the workplace, education and the home: it’s everywhere. So do yourself a favor: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because there are numerous divisions in the Church-some of which are perfectly legitimate-it doesn’t mean there’s no truth to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So what’s the fix?

The fix is to consult the instruction manual-the Bible-as it was originally written, and use it to discern who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. Don’t even believe your organization’s claim that its own translation of the Bible is the right one: check it out for yourself. And what about the common accusation that the Bible was “All written hundreds of years after the fact”, and that “It’s all been changed hundreds of times”? Please refer to my post:




Have you ever felt like nobody really cares about you? Having a tendency to be rather melancholy myself, I’ve struggled with those feelings on and off all my life. The truth is that someone does care…to the point of obsession…


I’ve been scanning hundreds of old pictures I took of my sons just before the advent of digital cameras, from the day of their birth onward. I was one of those Dads who would talk to his kids even before their birth. I told them I loved them. I played beautiful music to them. I prayed for them. I told them I couldn’t wait to see them.

I knew I had a lot of photographs, but what’s struck me as I’ve been sorting through them is how many different situations and poses they were in when I took the pictures. I was (and to be honest, still am) almost obsessed with my kids, just as any other normal, loving Dad is. I took pictures of them while they were playing, while they were asleep, while they were painting, while they were eating, on my shoulders, in the country, in the city… And it occurred to me almost in an instant, that my obsession with my kids is a picture (excuse the pun) of our heavenly father’s obsession with us.

Jesus saw Nathaniel under a fig tree: he knew where Nathaniel was and what he was doing even before he met him (John 1: 43-49). He told his disciples after his resurrection, “…and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

God, the Father of all those who love Him, is watching us, even when we aren’t at all aware of him. But he’s watching us in a loving way, in what we could almost call an obsession. Perhaps the most popular scripture regarding God’s obsession with his people is found in Davids’ writings, in Psalm 139:

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar…”

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there”

“When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be…”


Greetings, truth-seekers! Here’s part six of my up-dated, re-written, re-edited study on the rapture of the Church: the result of years of soul-searching and truth-seeking of my own.

(Please note that I do not have an a-millennial view of prophecy…)



I’ve heard one popular minister draw attention to the fact that according to Jesus, the “gates of hell” would not prevail against the Church, and then claim that as Antichrist will prevail against the saints during the tribulation (Daniel 8:12; Revelation 13:7) the saints of Revelation cannot be the Church: the Church will be gone before the Tribulation.

What will happen to the saints in Revelation? They will be persecuted and killed. So what’s new? Thousands or even millions of Christians have been persecuted and killed for their faith over the centuries since the time of Jesus, and are being killed today. So either Jesus was wrong to make this statement that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church, or the martyrdom of saints is not the gates of hell prevailing against the Church! The Church will remain no matter how successful Antichrist will appear to be for a time.


We see in the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24 that Jesus spoke to his disciples as though they would witness the events of the Tribulation (see verses 15-27). He warned that at that time the love of most would grow cold, “but he that remains true to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13). Why would they have to remain true to the end if they were already in heaven?


In Revelation 14, in the midst of talk of the beast and his mark (chapters 13 and 14), we read about 144,000 people standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb (14:1). Why are they called ‘first-fruits’ (verse 4), if they had already been beaten into heaven and the presence of the Lamb, by the rapture of the Church?


Jesus’ mention of Noah’s escape from the Flood in his “Olivet Discourse” is seen by pre-Trib. teachers as type of a pre-tribulation rapture (Matthew 24: 36-39).

However, Noah by choice and purpose entered the ark which he had built at the command of God. He knew that the Flood was coming, and he knew exactly when it was coming seven days before it came (Genesis 7:4). So Jesus did not intend to use the example of Noah’s escape to be an example of a surprise rapture! It was the unbelieving world which was not ready for the Flood:

“…and they knew nothing about what would happen until the Flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (verse 39).

Similarly, the example of Lot’s escape from the destruction of Sodom in Luke chapter 17, is used to support a pre-trib. rapture. However, Lot left Sodom on foot, knowing that it was going to be judged that very day. The ungodly were living out their usual daily lives when destruction from the Lord took them by surprise (verses 28-29). They were appointed to wrath instead of salvation (1 Thessalonians 1:10).


It’s significant that Noah entered the ark on the same day that the Flood came (Genesis 7:11-13), and not days or years before, and he was not taken into heaven. Similarly, Lot escaped from Sodom on the same day its judgment came without going to heaven. Do we really want to take these events as templates for the rapture? If so we would have to take the “mid-Tribulation” position, because Jesus said that the “time of trouble” (equivalent to the Flood and the destruction of Sodom) will begin when the antichrist enters the temple (Matthew 24:17 and 21). This will be three and a half years before Christ’s visible return, not seven or eight or ten years before it. Even in the words of pre-trib. “experts” the first half of the “seven years” will be a time of apparent peace and prosperity for the world: not the day of judgment, wrath and trouble. Antichrist’s power lasts only for forty-two months (Revelation 13:5).

Noah’s deliverance does not work as a model for a rapture years before the time of trouble. It’s intended to demonstrate that the unbelieving world will not be ready for the Day of the Lord while true believers will. Paul put it this way:

…for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly…But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief…” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4).


It’s a common view, as it was mine once, that when Jesus said ‘one will be taken, the other will be left’ (Matthew 24:40-41), he was speaking of a surprise rapture at some time before the Tribulation. Please refer to the above point, because Jesus had given the example of Noah and the Flood to show that it was necessary for his followers to be ready for his coming (verses 38-42).

Jesus linked his “one will be taken” phrases to the example of the Flood taking unbelievers away, when he said “one will be taken, the other left”. This is the time of judgment-not a years before the event rapture.

Noah knew which day the Flood was coming, (Genesis 7:4) and he purposely entered the ark on his own two legs, on the very day that judgment fell (Genesis 7:11-13; Matthew 24:38). Interestingly, Jesus said that believers in Jerusalem and Judea (called the ‘West Bank’ today) are to look for Antichrist to make his move, then get away from the area as quickly as possible (Matthew 24:15-21). If anything, we could take this passage as an evidence for the mid-Tribulation position. The warning that ‘one will be taken and the other left’, can still speak of imminence. Though believers will know that the signs Jesus foretold are being fulfilled, they will literally not know ‘the day or the hour’ that these events will begin, or when the rapture will come.

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