Six Year Old Theologian

Six Year Old Theologian

As Einstein once related, “If you cannot explain something to a six year old, you do not understand it yourself.”

I wanted to post an assignment for my Knowing God class.children-788782_1280

For this assignment, write out how you explain God’s love to a six year old by answering these questions.  Each answer should have at least one Scripture verse included in the explanation.  (If you can find a real child (5-8) you can walk the child through the questions and give a verbal explanation to the class instead of writing it out.)

How did God show His love to everyone?

How does God want us to show our love? (make sure you stay away from guilting them to love)

What things make God happy? (make sure you think through the reasons why we do certain actions)

If God loves us, why does He give us so many rules?

How did a Bible character show God love?

 

 

Dear Representative of the People

Dear Representative of the People,

I have been deeply concerned by the recent debate and unofficial regulations regarding the transgender bathroom use, and I urge you to not succumb to the political pressure of our day at the expense of our children.  So you know that I am not simply jumping on the bandwagon of social media, I consistently work with members of the LGBT community, have read the documents including title IX and the presidential letter to school districts, and counsel youth and adults whose basic human rights have been violated.

Many differing reasons have been given for the allowance of transgender bathroom privileges.  When boiled down, the arguments seem to all include the ideas of fairness and dignity.  The most succinct evidence of this is shown in Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin’s statement, “This is a truly significant moment not only for transgender young people but for all young people, sending a message that every student deserves to be treated fairly and supported by their teachers and schools.”[1]

The idea is repeated by President Obama, “We’re talking about kids… potentially they are vulnerable. I think that it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are all loved, and that they’re protected and that their dignity is affirmed.”[2]
I would submit that the dignity of the individual is destroyed by the support of legislation allowing transgenders to decide which bathroom they feel most comfortable with as well as the more moderate approach of building special bathrooms for transgender use.  The individual dignity is destroyed by these types of legislation, and we are confusing our children in several areas.

     First, we are modeling for this vulnerable generation that dignity is something that can be bestowed upon us from outside of ourselves.  If my dignity is able to be given me by my government, then it can also be taken away by the same entity.  If society can give me dignity, then society can take it away.  Should the government mandate who can be invited to after school parties or which players should be selected for the football quarterback based on their own self-identification?

     Second, we are commending the destruction of our society by supporting anarchy.[3]  By supporting such legislation, in the name of love or dignity, we are supporting nihilism and moral anarchy.  Catering to this type of legislation undermines the very fibers that hold all societies together.  This is not to say that transgenders using the same restroom will destroy a nation, but that the driving philosophy behind the legislation is acidic to the foundations of any civilization.  Actions like these are training our children to be the moral compass.

Third, we are confusing our children not simply genetically, but morally.  We train them in school to believe that they can identify their own gender based on a subjective standard, but then preach to them that actions of bullying and terrorism are wrong.  “What if I self-identify as a bully?  What if bullying makes me feel affirmed and dignified?”  This seems to be a dual standard.  It is impossible to have a moral statement without a moral anchor.

Fourth, we are confusing our children by telling them that what they do determines their value.  By refusing to allow bathroom legislation you are not attacking anyone’s dignity, but affirming that dignity is not based on the actions of an individual.  Refusing a policy change is not a value statement on the individual or an attack against Trans-lives matter.  If that were the case, I would also say that murderers lives matter, and we should also have a rapist bathroom and schools that teach acceptance of torture and infanticide.  In fact when taken to its logical conclusion, regardless of your belief, you could not disagree with me without viciously attacking my dignity.

     Fifth, we are confusing our children by following the Luciferin narrative that humans can determine meaning and morality.  We are teaching our kids that meaning and morality can come from society untethered from God’s laws.  The same Bible that condemns murder, rape, and pedophilia also clearly states that man’s meaning and dignity do not come from ourselves, but from our relation to Jesus Christ. If we hold open the door for choosing one’s own standards, we are setting a precedent for more violence in our society.  If men and women like yourself are not courageous enough to stand up with a clear voice against this mafia style “love” enforcement and show that morality is not subjective, we will see an increase in Columbine or Roseburg type shootings.

I am not in favor of the denigration of people in society, but I want to encourage you that the rejection of the new bathroom policies is not an act of aggression against people of a varying view point, but is actually an act of love.  It is an act of love that seeks to stand with a clear voice warning the next generation of the effects of mistaken ideologies.

As a fellow concerned citizen, I urge you to stand against politicians playing philosophical Russian Roulette with the lives of our children and oppose any legislation that would seek to confuse our children and undermine the foundations of dignity and morality.

 

Daniel Mielke

7th Congressional District

Polk County, WI

 

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/US/obama-administration-public-schools-transgender-students-access-bathrooms/story?id=39081956

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/us/politics/obama-defends-transgender-directive-for-school-bathrooms.html

[3] A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.  Friedrich Nietzsche argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. http://www.iep.utm.edu/nihilism/

 

Are Clothes Necessary?

shirts-428618__180

Why do we wear clothes? Those in the North may be stating the obvious, “You may cover up to avoid frostbite.” But seriously, what is the big deal about modesty? There are no commands in Scripture for the New Testament believer regarding how high, low, or tight clothing should or shouldn’t be. While this has caused many issues and some tension especially between generations, I believe this “lack of limits” has actually given Christians a higher standard to strive for.

God wants a greater principle than have I covered that which is required, He wants to use our clothes as a picture of our relationship with Him. How we dress probably says more about who we serve than any other area of life. After all, clothes are the first thing people see when we met each other.

Your clothes are a walking billboard advertising who is in control.

Before diving into a few principles God has laid forth, it is important that we answer the question, “Why do we wear clothes?” *

The first pair of clothes was actually a human invention. In Genesis 3:7 after Ada008-adam-eve-fallm and Eve sinned, they sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. Why did they feel the need to cover up? They were covering up their sinfulness. Who were they covering up from? They were not only covering up from God in their jungle camo, but they felt the need to hide their sinfulness from each other.

Their clothes were an acknowledgment of their sinfulness. After God talked with them in the Garden, they were still clothed in their own attempt at covering sin. God then killed an animal to cover up their true problem of sinfulness. The very fact that mankind is in need of spiritual covering should be foremost in any discussion of clothing and modesty.

Clothes are a tangible picture of my need for spiritual covering.

After understanding mankind’s need of a Savior and spiritual clothing, we as Christians are commanded to follow certain principles of clothing. These principles show that we have been covered by Christ.

The first principle to consider is that of being clothed in meekness. I Peter 3:4 explains how we are to show our allegiance to God by adorning ourselves in meekness. The word ‘meekness’ was used in Greek literature to refer to a horse who had been broken. Interestingly, nothing changes physically about a horse when it is broken. It still has the same strength and power, but the power is able to be guided and used for the benefit of the master. When God commands us to be clothed in meekness, He is telling us that our clothing is to be under His rulership, and everyone who sees what we wear should easily understand, that person is controlled by God.

My attire should show everyone that I am submitted to God. This submission has two aspects. First, does my attire show I am submitted to God regarding what I should keep covered? Without going into details, men and women have divinely given and distinct body parts. We must dress accordingly. For women it would mean that meekness would not draw attention to distinctly feminine body parts, and men should not draw excessive attention to manly parts. It seems that the unbelieving world understands the innate attraction better than most Christians as shown by the advertising industry.

The second aspect regarding submission to God that must be considered is, “Am I trying to deny what God made me?” Many people dress in a way that is not honoring to God based on a sense of false modesty and are denying what God made them to be. Men with feminine hairstyles, women with overly baggy clothes, limp wristed men, and women with manly hairstyles… All deny a spirit of submission to who God made them to be. (These examples are given simply to illustrate a point not horses to ride into battle.) In this world of gender confusion, our clothing should reflect the idea that Christian’s are not confused. In denying the gender difference in our attire, we are denying the God who made the difference

There is a difference between advertising, and accepting who God made you to be.

Advertising shows off what God created. Accepting seeks to use the body for its intended purpose. As Christians, we lost the cultural sex battle. I believe the battle was not lost because the world kept advertising their sexual liberation, but because Christians did not call out the counterfeit by giving a better example.

In the same way, I feel Post-Millennial Christianity is losing the modesty battle by not pointing to a proper acceptance of our place and God ordained differences. As a general rule, people should not have to wonder what gender you are by your clothing.

Normally the women are the ones getting hounded regarding modesty. I think men share more of the blame by not applying principles of modesty to our wardrobe. As men, do we dress with the primary motivation of bringing glory and honor to God? Do we spend time honoring the women who have chosen to dress modestly in a pagan culture? Or do we subtly tell our modest sisters in Christ to get lost by spending more time and attention on those who come to worship in yoga pants and tight shirts?

Another aspect that must be considered is, “What does the culture say?” The cugangster-539993_960_720lture should never define a Christian, yet it does give a context for conversation. Jesus wore a dress (seamless robe), but there were no cultural connotations attached to robe wearing. A man wearing a dress today would make a different statement. What is the culture pushing with skinny jeans, tattoos, or muscle shirts?

Today’s Christians have the prevailing mentality that we convert the world by looking like the world. We show them that we can love Jesus and be in love with the same designers, rock artists, and Hollywood hairstyles. We let them know that being a Christian has all the same side benefits as being an unbeliever, but with a better fire insurance policy.

Am I trying to tell people that in Jesus I can be just like them, or because of Jesus I can be delivered from what they struggle with?  

I realize that the modesty conversation cannot be contained to a few hundred words. I am simply wanting to bring out some ideas for discussion regarding the supremacy of Christ even in something as mundane or flashy as our wardrobe (I Cor 10:31).

Here are a few questions that I have found helpful in dressing to the glory of God:

What do my clothes say about my relationship with God? (Primarily His set apartness I Peter 1:15)

Who does this outfit reveal I am submitted to? (Satan or Christ)

Does this outfit deny who God created me to be?

Does this outfit align myself with any worldly groups or ideas?

Does this outfit show I am more excited about my eternal body then this temporal one?

Is this outfit more about my pleasure or my holiness?

Is this outfit determined by people around me or the character of God?

 

I would love to hear your thoughts regarding the supremacy of Christ in dress.

 

 

* Special thanks to God for Dr. Andrew Hudson who first posed this question to a student body in chapel.

 

God of Spilt Milk

God and Milk

Have you ever taken the time to observe the intricate design in a puddle of spilt milk? Do you realize, if you were to spill another glass, it would never have the same pattern? milk

There is a difference between not crying over spilt milk and embracing it as an act of beauty from a sovereign Creator.

God wants us to embrace the beauty of His creation and see Him in everything around us. This is not the same thing as pantheism (that the universe is god), but a command of God to see His creativity and beauty in the mirror of creation. Creation reflects God’s awesomeness. When Job doubts the care and love of God, how does God respond? God responds by showing Job His power through the intricate details of His creation.

How do you look at the world? Do you have the eyes of a child that sparkle with a sense of wonder? Have you lost the sense of amazement at the “simple works” of God? My 11 month old baby girl, is fascinated by lint on the floor. She takes her little hands and examines it with her tiny fingers totally enraptured by floor lint, while her parents throw it in the trash without a second thought.

We so easily take the amazing works of God and totally disregard them. Just look at how we look at snow? Snow is often viewed as an impediment to our goals or a hindrance, but truthfully it is the intricate, harmonious working of God’s hand. Take note when you pass a snow drift or see the salt stains on your car, because they will never again be the same.

God is constantly giving us a once in a lifetime display of His beauty.

Every moment of the day, God has given us wonders to observe that will never be replicated. From thewater-219733__180 pattern of maple leafs on the tree, to the swirling vortex of your sink or toilet, all are one of a kind viewings designed to show His glory.

Have you given thanks for the ordered randomness of his beauty? Paul touches on this topic in 1Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Have you given thanks for the intricate details of spilt milk, Kool-Aid stains, or a messy house?

Every action in the universe is designed to show the image and characteristics of Christ. Imagine if we had an angel’s view of the universe, and did not have the necessity of cleaning up the spilt milk, or shoveling the snow drift, or taking out the trash, would we see the splendor of the mundane?

According to Colossians 1:16, everything was created by God to show his glory. That means that the spilt milk has unlimited beauty. Everythingcoffee-691464__180 in creation praises God’s name. From the mighty super nova to the smallest atomic particle, or swirl in your latte, all creation heralds God’s fame.

Are we watching? Are we awake to the glory of God seen in the differing billows of smoke from an exhaust pipe? Do we see the handiwork of God in the cracks along the sidewalk, or the differing laugh lines in people we meet?

God’s glory is all around us in the extreme and the mundane. Thank you, Lord, for making a universe with such intense diversity.

Lies We Tell Ourselves

liar

Are there lies that we tell ourselves?  If we are truthful, we know we are very good at lying to ourselves (Jer 17:9). We have become so good at this skill, that we believe our lies make good enough excuses to fool other people. Ironically, once we have believed our contortions of reality, we view those who do not agree as foolish for not entering our pseudo-world. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves in this pseudo-world is that spiritual things have a class of their own.

Since reality has a way of uncovering falsehood.  Let’s take a look at some of the arguments often given for spiritual apathy and see how well the same arguments would line up in reality.

  1. “I am too tired to read the Bible.” “I am too tired to eat food.”gym 2
  1. “I don’t go to church because it is filled with hypocrites.” “I don’t go to the gym because I’ve seen fat people there.”
  1. “I don’t go to church because it is all about money.” “I don’t go to Wal-mart, Target, or any business, because they are about making money.”

 

  1. “I don’t read the Bible because I don’t understand it.” “I don’t use computers because I don’t know binary code.”

 

  1. “The preacher preached directly at me.” “The doctor prescribed medication to fit my situation.”

 

  1. “I am against organized religion.” “I am against certified mechanics, carpenters, or USDA approved food.”

 

  1. “I am waiting to fix a few things in my life before joining a church.” “I think I need to lose 20 pounds before I join the gym.” doctor-563428__180.jpg
  1. “I have too much baggage.” “I am too sick to go to the hospital.”
  1. “My parents used to make me go to church.” “I will recant from potty training, nap taking, and eating solid foods.”
  1. “I felt too convicted at church.” “I quit looking at the mirror.”
  1. “My pastor won’t understand my problems.” “What would a mechanic know about fixing a car?”
  1. “They tried to convince me to change.” “The traffic controller wouldn’t let me pass.”
  1. “I don’t go to church because people judge.” “I will not watch any movies or read books that have had reviews.”
  1. “I cannot go to a place with such high expectations.” “I think the military should lower its standards.”
  1. “The church wasn’t there for my physical needs.” “I called all the bars, and they wouldn’t give me any money.”
  1. “I can’t go to a church that doesn’t care about my feelings.” “Please don’t operate on me doctor, it hurts when you cut out cancer.”

God has made it perfectly clear that the very purpose of a church is to help us see past our own lies and excuses, that we me be perfected by His truth.  So next time you are confronted with reality, be thankful for a church body or friend who is willing to grow with you in Christ-likeness.

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 

 

 

 

Super Hero Training Part 2

Last week we looked at some of the basic super powers God has given every believer. This is the default setting for all believers, yet to each church God gives special gifts to accomplish His Capttask and purpose (Eph 4:12). Sort of like the Avengers team, these gifts must all be used in the proper order. Hulk is good at smashing, Captain America is good at leading and to reverse these roles or trade gifts would be disastrous.

This team principle is exactly what happened in Acts 6:1-6. The Apostles were truly gifted at studying, preaching, and praying, but there were some serious physical needs in the church. So God brought up some men with “super powers” specific to the need of the church.

When our A-Team runs into problems is when we start working in areas that we have no super powers (Hulk starts thinking). We continually look at people through the lens of our own super power. “If they were spiritual they would teach a Sunday school class like me…. If they cared about church they would have people over more often….” And we forget that some have the gift of teaching while others the gift of hospitality.

That which upsets us most in our relationships is probably someone else’s gift shining through.

Another aspect that often happens in churches is the gift of God is never exercised (I Tim 1:6). If your gift is not used, it is impossible to stay attentive at church, and you will get restless and eventually frustrate others. Think about it, if God sent you to a church according to Ephesians 4:11-16 you are there to serve the A-Team. Anything else but service, is selfishness and the whole team suffers.

The team will suffer in many ways. First they will not have your specific talent, so either the important task will go undone or someone who is not qualified or gifted will have to fill your place, both are disastrous.

Secondly, you will start getting restless.  The Spirit that indwells you and gifts you will let you know that you are squandering His gifts.  There will be no peace for a believer that refuses to submit and serve (Eph 5:18, Phil 4:7).

As restlessness steps in, the very next step will be a spirit of criticism and disunity.  Instead of seeing the benefit of playing together, we will expect everyone to “pass us the ball.”  We become individuals instead of a team as we seek confirmation for our own abilities and perspective.

Finally, if the gift is not exercised, we will feel lost and out of place.  Instead of putting on our work boots and seeing the skills and talents we all posses, we will live in isolation.  Soon we will feel like nobody understands us, and find a need to justify our lack of service.

The worst side effect of isolation is that we cut ourselves off from the gifts of the body designed by God to help us grow, and doom ourselves to immaturity.

God has given us all gifts and talents and expects them to be used for Him and His glory.

So to make it personal, what tasks could you do at your specific local church?  What special talents do you have?  How could they meet the needs of your A-Team?

Super Hero Training: Part 1

mega mind

 

If you could wake up tomorrow morning with any super power, what would it be? What would be the ramifications of having such power? What would change in the world if you had that power? How would you change if you had that super power?

As I thought about the first question, I realized, I already have super powers. The first one that came to mind, through Christ, was that I am immortal. That’s right, nothing can kill me superman(Titus 1:2). The worst that an enemy’s arrow can do (under the watchful eye of God) is remove this fading outer body and unleash my full potential.

I have the power of super sight. Even though I cannot see through brick walls, I can see past time and see the objects of which this temporal world is only a shadow (Hebrews 11:13). This power of sight, lets me see reality and find bad guys and servants of evil (Mat 7:13, James 3:9).

I have a super weapon that was forged by God in Heaven (Eph 6:17). This adamantine blade can never be destroyed (Mat 5:17) and causes the Prince of Darkness to flee (Mat 4:1-8). Whoever wields it must first conform to its commands (II Tim 2:15) and then follow where it leads.

As I ponder, I realize that sadly not much has changed because of these super powers, and it is not the super power’s fault. I have not consistently lived like I have super powers.iron man

Who hasn’t been enraged by the negligence of a super hero (see Metroman from Megamind for a case study)? Even worse is the abuse of powers for personal gratification (this is why I struggle with Iron Man, no hate speech please). I could rant on about heroes that failed to meet up to our expectations, but to make it personal, what about us?

What super powers has God given you as a believer, and what should you do with them?

Let me know what other super powers God has given Christians.

Where Are Our Heroes?

hero

“Who will protect us?” While thousands of families across the globe, mourn over the recent heinous attacks of terror, the question rages, “Where are the heroes?”

We are inspired by stories of devotion and personal sacrifice. We rightly rejoice at the thwarted terrorist attack on a Paris bound train last summer by three Americans (Spencer Stone, Aleksander Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler). We stand and remove our hats as our men and women go off to war, and then we complain, criticize and reject everything they do for us.

“A nation that forgets its heroes will itself soon be forgotten.” Calvin Coolidge

Where are our heroes, I will tell you, we have killed them. LikThe_Last_HOPEe the warriors of Vietnam we have rejected them. We have driven them off. When they return bloody and battle warn, we have refused them solace. Their tales of protection are discouraged. We are a nation in danger of losing our protection, because we have rejected our heroes.

Sadly, I am reminded of the same pattern in Christendom. Where are our heroes? Where are the Jonathan Edwards, the Moody’s, or the Billy Sundays that will boldly proclaim the truth of the Gospel? Where are the men that against the forces of evil would lead the charge and storm the gates of hell? Where are the men that would stand in the gap and wage war against the darkness that threatens to overtake us?

I will tell you, we have killed them. We see no need for warriors of a forgotten age that would stand unwaveringly for truth. Our churches have embraced neutered views of godliness. We have rejected, “Thus saith the Lord!” and replaced it with, “Listen to what I feel!” Therefore men of strength are unwelcome and even hated. Our churches have fulfilled the prophecy of the Apostle Paul, “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.” (2Ti 4:3)

When challenged by the Words of God through these rugged men, we have slain them. The truth becomes too hard for our softened shero8ouls. They enter the pulpit in full armor. With quivering voice and the boldness of meekness (submission to God) honed through years prostrate on their knees, these heroes reach into their scabbard and unveil the sword of God. They boldly lead the charge to follow our Captain…!

Our reaction to such heroism? We gnash our teeth. “How dare he speak such things, a true prophet of the Lord would not let me feel this way?” We cringe at the audacity as the double edged blade comes down with such force penetrating our defenses. We justify ourselves. We borrow from the worldly arsenal and hurl atheistic ideologies of self-worth and validation. We forget that the very barbs of malice were forged by God haters[1] to remove any ounce of the natural occurrence of guilt from violating God’s Word

     We cannot endure the truth, our desires of comfort and rights have grown so large. We must defend ourselves at any cost or our pleasure will be lost. [2]

What is our reward for rejecting our heroes?

If we do not embrace our heroes, we will be forced to submit to that which they protected us from.

I am reminded of Roger Sherman’s haunting words. A man whohero was willing to sacrifice all by signing the Declaration of Independence. “Sad will be the day when the American people forget their traditions and their history, and no longer remember that the country they love, the institutions they cherish, and the freedom they hope to preserve, were born from the throes of armed resistance to tyranny, and nursed in the rugged arms of fearless men.”

It is popular today in Christendom to herald boldness as unloving, but we must realize that we cannot claim to love God and hate or run from the truth. We need military heroes who will stand up to the destructive force of terrorist groups such as ISIS or Al Qaeda and protect the weak and innocent.

      In the same way, we need warriors who have submitted themselves to God’s commands and will protect the weak/immature believers from acts of terror.

Bloodied and weary these great warriors wander on. Rejected for faithfulness, hated for protection. We forget the wounds thero7hat they bare were received in battles, protecting us. As their Master, they have no place of welcome to lay their head. Where are our heroes? We have rejected them. To the heroes who love their Lord and the souls of men too much to lay down your sword, this is my prayer.

Rise up, oh men of God! Without you, the church is unequal to her task, rise up and in the power of the Gospel, boldly proclaim the truths of your commander. Let not one child sleep under your protection in fear, let not another person fall to the poison tongue of bitterness or deceit. Proclaim the truth! Shout above the din and clatter of demonic voices that would ravage and destroy Christ’s Bride. Make us believe again that heroes and giants, of whom the world is not worthy still live. We need you, please do not abandon us in our hour of desperate need.”

Please help encourage our wounded heroes by listing their names in the comment box, and then sharing this link with spiritual heroes that have protected you.

Thank you for your faithfulness to God. My Father Pastor Mielke is my hero, mom too.

My Pastors and Mentors are my heroes: Pastor Dennis Seiler, Pastor Lenard Hubscher, Pastor Greg Huffman, Pastor Shane Belding, Pastor John Schofield, Pastor John Macarthur

My Professors are my heroes: Pastor Ken Marsh, Dr. Hudson, Dr. Crane, Dr. Lumm, Pastor Dan Morrel, Dr. Casey, Jim  Calcamuggio, Dwight DePenning, Dr. Brownewell Dr. Marriot, Dr. Mayes, Dr. Oats, Dr. Moritz, Dr. Meyer,

(Thank you also to the wives of these men that sacrificed at home so they could mentor me. I am also grateful to the many supporters of ministries where these warriors have served.)

————–

[1] Many of the ideologies of validation and self-worth were created by men who found suicide a better alternative then submission to God, Freud, Nietzsche, etc.

[2] Sometimes we feel so horrible and it does not seem pleasurable. Yet we must realize that when God calls us to repentance, we have to be willing to let go and let Him deal with the consequences, and we are too comfortable in the safety of our sinful reactions.)

 

Are You a Terrorist?

osama-304048__180

Are you a terrorist? Would the government ever consider you a terrorist? With the incredible amount of technology and the ability of our government to spy on its citizens at any moment would they ever convict you of being a terrorist? A terrorist as defined by the FBI, “Involve(s) violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

Before you get nervous about the government locking you up for buying extra ammunition, or keyword searching your emails and Facebook, let’s break down some characteristics of terrorists.

     Terrorists have no outside authority. It may surprise you to know, that I am personal friends with several trained killers. I actually feel very safe military-81782_640when I am with my friends, and the reason for that, is my military friends do not have the luxury of killing whoever they choose. When I realize that they are under orders, I am actually safer and feel more protected with my military friends. Because they are under their commander’s authority.

How about us as Christians?  Do we continually submit our actions to God’s authority, or are we spiritual terrorists? A soldier can neither make up his own orders or get creative with the ones already delivered (II Tim 2:15). As Christians we are duty bound to follow our Commanding officer.

Terrorists fight for their own purposes. Before we get on our moral high horse and condemn the acts of terrorists (and they are wrong actions), let us take a moment to consider our own actions as Christians. Do I follow my own purposes? Do I seek to destroy people because they offended me? Do I point to other people’s wrongs to justify my own acts of hatred? Do I lash out with destructive accuracy?

If terrorists are wrong for acting on their own authority and their own purpose, should not I apply the same moral standard to my domestic acts of terror?

At core, am I acting any differently than a terrorist when I want my own way? According to the FBI part of the definition of a terrorist, Involve(s) acts dangerous to human life…. Appear intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.” How many family members will I attack and tear down, in order to gain a piece of respect? How many friends will I coerce, so I can get what I want? How sweet will I be in order to get close enough to plant a bomb in someone else’s life if they do not give me what I want?

The problem with Christians is not that they have a difficult time standing and fighting, the problem is that we wage war continually against each other, in order to get what we want instead of what God wants. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your desires that war in your members? From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your desires that war in your members?” (James 4:1)

We must continually ask ourselves, “Am I upset, because God’s Kingship was called into question or mine?”

What does God want? What are the results of a true Holy War? Peace. Peace with God and then with each other. The Gospel is the message of good news of peace between God and man through the submission of my rebellious state (Rom 10:15). This submission to God through Christ, changes us from terrorists running around blowing things up for our own agendas and transforms us to mighty heavenly warriors with weapons that are unearthly. God’s weapons are those of truth, grace, and humility that can never be destroyed because they were forged in the armory of Heaven.

When I realize that I am included in the inheritance of God’s Kingdom, I do not have to fight and scrap for a measly piece of temporal ground. I become temperate and controlled as a warrior. Because I am no longer fighting for myself, I am able to boldly desire rebels (unbelievers and believers) to bow in submission to the commands of the Great King.

Ours is not a battle where the spoils are divided, but rather a call to submission where the Joy is shared.

     So back to the original question, “Am I a spiritual terrorist?” Do I continually submit to God’s authority as defined by the Bible? Do I try to coerce and force my own purposes on others? Our call to Christ’s service is clear, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2Co 5:20).

The Terrorist Next Door

Love

In the wake of the recent surge in terrorist groups, does it make you uncomfortable knowing that known terrorists are able to enter our country? Suppose your next door neighbor was a terrorist, and that tomorrow morning, you observe massive amounts of activity and wake up to a large missile carrier outside your window and see his shed emblazoned with the words, “Death to America!” How would you respond?

I would like to submit to my readers that this exact scenario not only will happen, but has alreadyMissiles happened in towns and cities all across America, and you must be ready to decide how much terrorist activity you will allow in your backyard. The greatest terrorist network has already started moving missile launchers and weapons into position. They are much older than Al-Qaida, more ruthless than ISIS, connected, and well funded, and they already have established base camps throughout our world.

Even though they have collectively declared war, they are hard to spot. Their espionage works not only because they are masters at integration, but because common citizens are willing to defend, protect, and even offer assistance in their unholy war. The worst threat facing America and the world is the embracing of the demonic realm and agenda by Christians.

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, one of his goals was to warn them of the cosmic battle that is taking place on a daily basis (Eph 6:11-19). The war has been raging since the dawn of time, the spoils of war have been servitude and allegiance, and the battle ground has always been our hearts. The thought of giving over the control of our hearts terrifies us, so mankind desperately clings to following his own way. God wants the submission of our entire being, yet we resist Him. The longer this battle rages, the more pain is inflicted upon ourselves and others.

The Great King calls to each heart to end the bloody coup. When we lay down our arms of inssurrenderurgency and bow to His Kingship, God takes our failing emotional economy and builds factories of peace and joy, God removes our sewers of despair and gives us hope, He breaks down our walls of pride and the cities that once could only take and maim become centers of love.

This process is started at the moment of surrender to God (salvation) where we in faith repent of our sins and rebellion against the Great King and claim peace with God through the death of the Prince of Heaven.

After our surrender, God begins to build in our lives a great country. But the problem is, our new country although under a new government, is still open to terrorists, because we invite them in.

Paul warns of making room for terrorists in Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.” Paul is saying, “Don’t give the Devil a plot of land to fire missiles from!” As believers we expect threats and missiles hurled from the outside (Thankfully God’s anti-missile program is top-notch. Isaiah 26:3 Phil 4:6-7). Yet God does not protect us from the terrorists (or the missiles they send) when we invite them into our lives.

In context Paul is specifically talking about dealing with anger. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” Even though the principle of not inviting sin applies to every sin, improper handling of anger specifically will lead to the destruction of our cities.

     Paul does not give Christians an option. He is saying that anger must be dealt with in a godly manner. Notice he does not say all anger is wrong, but simply deal with it according to God’s rules in less than 12 hours (slightly more or less depending on what hemisphere you reside in.)

     Satan is building a launching pad for evil, and that should bother all serious Christians.

Suppose your terrorist neighbor while building his arsenal, knocked on your door and asked you for some extra cash to purchase some Uranium or rocket fuel? The obviousness of your response would not even merit speculation, yet how often do we fork out our financial or mental resources to help Satan send nukes from his home base in our heart?

This constant scenario reminds me of the woe against the ancient Kings of Judah, “Nevertheless he removed not the high places of idol worship.” It does not take long for our cities with our well fed and supplied terrorist to resemble the cities of the unbelievers who are still at war. In war time people get tense, edgy, untrusting, selfish….

After the long siege of Satan, our hearts begin to starve for the way things were, and we then go on the offensive and maim and attack other believers, James 4:1 makes this perfectly clear. “Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you?” We besiege other people (friends, family, co-workers, random people at Wal-Mart), and allow Satan to bombard them from the missile hubs of our heart. We launch these missiles, and they flow from our heart to our mouth wreaking havoc (James 3:9).

  The defilement of bitterness has allowed Satan a no fly zone of safety from which to launch his missiles.  

      Satan knows that even though he cannot keep a believer’s heart for eternity, he can bring as much hell into our life after the initial invitation. It may seem like an innocent grudge for a wrong yet from that fireman-100722__180harboring of anger and resentment, a whole assault of your life will take place. Nothing is sacred for Satan, and once we open the door and give him his “Green Card,” he has no reason to go back.

      Satan will sit happily in his fortified bunker, hurling missiles that will destroy your closest relationships.

How do I know if I have been aiding terrorists? What are some tell-tale signs of the destruction and fall-out of Satan’s bombs?

  • Am I consistently thinking about how others wronged me?
  • Am I wanting to give them a piece of my mind? (instead of a piece of the cross)
  • Am I consistently standing up for my “rights?”
  • Am I afraid to ask spiritual people for help?
  • Am I enjoying the company of wicked people?
  • Am I talking about other’s wrongs to other people?
  • Am I always thinking about going to war?
  • Am I always giving excuses?
  • Do I feel apart from God?
  • Do I hate going to church?
  • Do I lie awake thinking?
  • Do I wait till the other person repents before admittance of wrong?
  • Do I envision this entire list as applying to others?

So what is the cure? If I have allowed Satan to build a network of terrorism in my heart, what do love-699480__180I do? Thankfully, God doesn’t give us commands without the resources to carry them out. Paul gives the answer, look to Christ.  Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

You may have been hurt in ways that are so grievous that it seems impossible to let go of the comforting inner fire of rage. Forgiveness is not easy, nor is it natural, and that is why God has given us supernatural weapons and perspective. I cannot forgive, until I look at the cross of Christ. When I realize the depths of my grievous sins against God and submit to His example, God’s Spirit enables me to let God handle the consequences (Eph 5:18, Gal 5:16, Rom 12:19).

As much as I long to crucify someone, the cross reminds me, I deserve what Christ received.

The hurt and rage we feel against people for wronging us intentionally or unintentionally, cannot exist when we look through the lenses of the cross. It is impossible to see men and women with rage and malice when we are looking at the gift of our Savior. We must take our eyes off of the bleeding Savior, in order to stay angry and continue to let Satan wage war on our lives.