What Will Remain?

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:9-16)

When Jesus was on earth, He had many people to interact with. Some of them were impacted in a HUGE way by Him, while others were not.

Why weren’t they? Because they would not let themselves be!

They wouldn’t believe the miraculous power over nature, the miraculous power over disease, or the miraculous power of the devil.

They would not believe the powerful teaching, the new perspective or the unique approach to God.

They simply ‘Would Not’ let themselves be moved to faith.

Sometimes there are people like that which we cannot reach. As my mother always said, ‘There are none so blind as those who Will Not see.’

Others, however, were impacted in Major ways by Jesus.

His teaching, His example, His love, His power…all of it combined into a compelling ‘force’ upon them, and they were irreversibly changed.

Now in the passage above, Jesus is nearing the end of His time on earth, and He wants to give His closest friends a few last words.

THESE are the things that they’ll remember most fondly. THESE last words and instructions that will stay with them after He’s gone.

So, as His last words, what are some of the things He says?

First, to love each other–as He has loved them (fully and unconditionally).

Second, that they can have JOY! Real JOY can be theirs, despite the fact that He is leaving.

Third, that they are His friends…true friends, and that He wants them to know fully what is going on–How the Father is working, and how THEY can carry on the Father’s Work.

THIS is the job that He was giving them–to carry on!

It’s the same message He’s giving us.

He wants us to ‘carry on’. He wants us to keep up the Father’s work.

He wants us to “bear fruit; Fruit that will last., ”

What kind of ‘fruit’ is that?

I think it’s fruit that will continue to re-seed itself and to spread.

The fruit of the Gospel…the fruit of faith…the fruit of sharing our story with others, so that THEY can come to know Him.

When we do this, we join in His work and keep it going.

Truth is, we all ‘invest’ ourselves in many things, most of which will not last longer than we do.

When we ‘invest’ in the Good news about Jesus, we are investing ourselves in things that will last–for eternity!

What are YOU investing in?

Will Your ‘Fruit’ last?

 

 

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Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-16)

If you ceased to exist, would the world around you notice?

As a believer in Jesus Christ, my faith is not only about ‘going to heaven when I die’, but rather having an impact–in Jesus name–while on Earth.

The Christian who lives his life without making any real impact is not fully following Jesus’ instructions and desires for us.

Jesus came as THE Light of the World, but in today’s passage from Matthew, Ch. 5, He calls His followers both “Salt of the Earth” and “Light of the World”.

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

Jesus says we are ‘Salt of the Earth’. By that I do not think He meant that we should irritate and hurt–like salt in a wound. I think, instead, that He’s calling us to be a ‘preservative’–a common use for salt in that day (before refrigeration). We have a certain responsibility to ‘preserve’ this world and keep it as close to God’s plan and will as possible. This is increasingly a challenge in a world and culture that is becoming increasing hostile to the Will of God, revealed in His Word–the Bible.

Difficult, but not impossible.

Despite the difficulty and the pressure to conform, we still have that calling from Jesus to ‘preserve’ our culture.

Salt, though, is also a spice! I believe we are also called to ‘spice it up’ in this world!

Too many believers are hiding their gifts and creativity, assuming that it will not be welcomed. I believe that Jesus wants us to get out there and confidently, boldly lead and share the joy of the gifts, talents and passions that He’s given us!

One example is Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, two Hollywood insiders who put together a bold plan to portray ‘The Bible’  in a t.v. miniseries. They did it–successfully and creatively–and shared their faith as a result.

Another example: Carrie Underwood, an enormously successful country singer who is increasingly singing songs about her faith, and boldly telling the world who she is. http://youtu.be/mH9kYn4L8TI

Another Local example: The Kalamazoo Mud Run http://www.kalamazoomudrun.com/ –put together by Kalamazoo Community Church and friends on the grounds of the church as a fun, creative way to “Get Dirty, Have Fun, and Make a Difference”. Funds go to projects in Africa and locally, but all ‘make a difference’ in Jesus name!

Jesus also called His followers the Light Of The World! He said to “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see…”

That doesn’t mean to brag about yourself, but rather to simply live faithfully, live positively, love God and others, and impact this world in a positive, powerful way for His glory.

Another positive example of this: Last Saturday, volunteers gathered at KCC to distribute food to those in need–as they’ve done every 3rd Saturday of the month for 4-5 years now! At the same time, two small 2-person teams went out into the neighborhoods near the church to clear fire hydrants of the snow, ice and slush. They knew that most of those would never be needed (in fact, they prayed that way), and they knew that most people would not know (or care) who cleared them. If they were doing it for public accolades, they wasted their time.

But that’s not why they did it. Rather, they did it as an offering to God, and as a service to their neighbors, period. Every shovel full was an act of worship and service. They were rung out by the time they finished, but they knew that they had been ‘Light’ to their world.

There are MANY ways that Believers in Jesus Christ are to be ‘Salt’ and ‘Light’ in Jesus name to this world.

The overall point, however, is to DO IT!

INVEST yourself! Make a difference!

Point people to Jesus by your words, sure…but do it by your actions too!

Our world needs a lot more Christians who are engaged, positive, and powerfully making a difference, for His glory.

 

Be Salt! Be Light!

#BringTheLight

 

 

 

Valuing ‘Relevance’ more than ‘Truth’

Last week, former Pastor of Mars Hill church in Grandville, MI Rob Bell made headlines again by making some statements that many Christians find ‘concerning’, at best.

This is nothing really new to Rob Bell…he has not been a stranger to controversy within Christian circles. One book he wrote recently, LOVE WINS postulates the theory that ‘everyone is o.k.’ after death. Since ‘God is Love’, then it’ll all work out. Don’t sweat it. He actually reaffirmed this to Oprah Winfrey on her “Super Soul Sunday” show recently.

When I posted a blog by Matt Walsh which called Bell–and others–out for ‘watering down’ the Gospel in order to be popular, several Believers and friends that I care a great deal about shot back at me that I should not have posted that blog. It was harsh, and quite possibly untrue.

As I looked more at the blog, I had to agree with some of their points–It did “Paint with a broad brush” that ‘Mega-Church pastors’ were all doing this–seeking Relevance over Truth. The blog lambasted some Pastors that I respect and have learned from, even though I don’t support every position they’ve taken and every thing they’ve done (I’m sure none of them are losing sleep over my opinion, but…).

Anyway, I apologized for the offense and said that I agree–we Christians DO need to offer grace and love–even when other believers go astray. I promised to look into it more, and I did.

What did I find?

I spent several hours looking into the interviews between Rob Bell and Oprah on her network, and found that yes, indeed–he did say that the church was very close to embracing ‘gay marriage’. He thought this was/will be a very good thing.

What was his reasoning that the Church should change it’s understanding of marriage now, after thousands of years understanding it as ‘one man, one woman joined together by God’?  He reasoned that People are lonely, and we should change so that they wouldn’t be lonely anymore. That’s it. It really does come down to a ‘faith of feelings’.

In fact, Bell went  on to say that the Church would continue to be increasingly irrelevant if it continued to cite ‘2,000 year old letters’ as its only argument against something (like gay marriage) that the culture is embracing.

Did you catch that? Rob Bell really did make a recommendation: Throw out the Word of God if you want to remain relevant–as though ‘relevance’ is our main goal!

Any Bible-believing Christian knows that our goal is not to be ‘relevant’, but rather, that our goal is to please and honor God.

We do that by loving Him, worshiping Him, submitting ourselves to Him and reflecting Him to this world. The only way we really know Him though–Who He is, What He established as a moral order, what His will is for us and the world–is through The Word Of God! If we jettison that in order to pursue ‘relevance’,  then we will not really be reflecting Him; rather, we’ll be reflecting our own version of Him–a version based on many things, from our feelings to our culture, to our culture’s desires and values, etc.

That is not historic, Biblical Christianity, and that is a serious breech.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

There was another thing that concerned me as I watched these programs.

In one series, Oprah asked Mr. Bell for quick answers about complex things: What happens when we die? What is God like? What is the purpose of faith? And many more…

On several occasions, he had ample opportunity for directing the answers toward Jesus–something that I would expect from a Christian pastor. True, there were times when he cited Jesus’ words, but not once did he give any sort of indication that Jesus is ‘the Key’, or that–in Jesus own words, “I (Jesus) am the Way, the Truth and the Life; No one comes to the Father except by Me.” (John 14:6) This disturbed me as much as the other things. Honestly, I tried to put myself in his place. If Oprah was giving me an opportunity to explain ‘What happens after we die’, I would certainly talk about the promise of eternal life and the importance of faith in Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord in order for our sins to be forgiven. I would certainly not try to give the impression that ‘it doesn’t matter what you believe–everything’s going to be o.k.!’

In the end, I came away disturbed and grieving for Mr. Bell.

In the past, some of his teaching was fresh, insightful and helpful…even inspirational to myself and many others.

Unfortunately, I believe that he has gotten off track, theologically, and that I need to pray for him, that he be restored to the true faith. In the meantime, I will not be taking his advice or theological counsel, and I would recommend that others avoid it too.

I know that this will be disturbing to some, who have been moved and helped by Bell’s teachings in the past. Some may have even been helped by his ministry on a personal level, and this will be hard to read.

For those who say it’s ‘unloving’ to call someone out like this, I would simply ask this question: What is more ‘unloving’–seeing someone who is way off track, theologically and letting them continue on that path without warning, or caring for someone enough to warn them of the dangerous track that they’re on?

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer  is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” (Galatians 6:1)

Honestly, I take no ‘pleasure’ in writing these things…but I believe them to be true.

What you do with it, is up to you.

In the end, this is about much more than whether or not you’re a ‘Rob Bell fan’ or a ‘Rob Bell detractor’.

What matters is your response to the Word of God…as the inerrant, inspired authority for faith and practice.

That’s much bigger and more important than any one person, no matter how gifted they are.

People of the Cross–In Christ Alone!

Last night I shared the news that 21 Christians from Egypt had been executed by ISIS thugs in the name of Islam.

Honestly, I have been struggling with how to pray about this.

I know to pray for the families of those who were killed, I know to pray for our brothers and sisters–in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe–who are increasingly coming under threat by these Islamic militants who are demanding that people ‘convert or die’.

But then I read some more and prayed and realized…these guys are duped! They are deceived! They are offering ‘blood sacrifices’ to a mythical ‘god’ and are, in fact, enslaved to satan.

They need freedom from this! As one friend of mine wrote, ‘I pray that under one of those masks is another Saul whom God can knock down and convert, and who will take the Gospel to these people.’

That got me to thinking more clearly again. The Gospel is not ‘fighting for’ supremacy–JESUS ALREADY WON! He has defeated the enemy–in every form he tries to take–and will triumph again!

As a child of the Father, I don’t have to sit in a position of defeat–we are Victorious! The truth is, as another wrote, “The ‘People of the Cross’ are free! The people of the Sword are still enslaved!’

As I was praying about this, I came across this song today:

 

This got me thinking differently.

We stand–together, triumphant–in Christ alone!

In Christ Alone

 
What is our hope in?
Our church affiliation? Our politics? Our physical strength, intellectual acumen, or financial wealth?
No!
 
Our hope is in Christ..alone!
 
As this song begins, “In Christ alone my hope is bound, He is my light, my strength my song. My Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.”  
 
As I sit here this morning, I’m thinking our the direction of our culture, I’m praying about our brothers and sisters in the middle east being slaughtered for their faith, I’m interceding for our church and asking God to be so REAL in our lives that we stand up boldly for Him, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing…and whatever the cost.
 
This song is so powerful, partly because it presents the entire Gospel in one song–“In Christ alone, who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe! This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save. Till on the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied. For every sin on Him was laid. Here in the death of Christ, I LIVE!” 
 
As we know, it appeared hopeless to His disciples at that time–Jesus in the tomb, them hiding behind closed doors…but little did they know:“There in the ground, His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; The bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again! As as he stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost it’s grip on me; for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ” 
 
What’s it all mean, in the context of the cares, trials, defeats and struggles of this life? What’s it mean in the context of increased pressure to deny Him? What’s it mean to those who literally have to put their lives on the line in order to follow Christ? 
 
It means that “No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me; From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.No power in hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand, Till He returns or calls me home, HERE IN THE POWER OF CHRIST I”LL STAND!” 
 
This is a song of confident triumph, through our union with Jesus! 
Let’s stand in worship of Christ, alone today–no matter the earthly ‘cost’, we have victory in Him!

 

People Of The Cross

People Of The CrossNews reports are coming out of Libya today that 21 Christians captured in Egypt were marched  out, forced to kneel down together, and beheaded by Isis, in the name of Islam.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/02/15/video-claims-to-show-islamic-state-beheading-21-christians/

The leader of this vile group called these men ‘People of the Cross‘ and threatened that “Safety for you Crusaders is something you can only wish for.”

There are many thoughts that come to mind in this:

The failed policies of our current Administration when it comes to embracing the ‘Arab Spring’ and all that has happened as a result.

The vile, hate-filled nature of militant, radical Islam, which says, in essence, that all others must ‘convert or die’.

The characterization of Christians as ‘crusaders’.

That one actually intrigues me.

He says (and others of his ilk have agreed) that we Christians are ‘crusaders’. He identifies us with the ‘Crusades’ from rough 1,000 years ago (as has President Obama, but I wrote about that last week here:

https://pastordajo.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/um-all-due-respect-mr-president/.

What does he mean by ‘crusaders‘?

Are we ‘crusading’ with weapons to threaten those who don’t believe in Jesus with death?

Nope, not us.

But…

Does he mean that we are ‘crusading’ to convince people that Jesus Christ is LORD, and to believe in Him?

He’s right there!

Does he mean that we are ‘crusading’ to show that the power of the Love of Jesus overcomes evil–in all its forms?

Yup, that’s us!

Does he mean that we are ‘crusading’ to show that the contrast between the lies of false religion and the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is profound, and that Christianity will overcome all threats through the power of the cross–as it always has?

Guilty as charged!

 

Here’s the real question, though: How would I react if threatened with beheading because of my faith in Jesus?

Am I, Myself one of the “People Of The Cross“?

Notice I did not ask “Do I go to church?’ or ‘Do I wear a cross around my neck?

Those things are easy to do.

 

Rather, am I a person so committed to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ that I will stand for Him–NO MATTER THE COST?

Am I a person who is so committed to the ‘righteousness of the Gospel’ that I am willing to show love and faith in the face of threats on my life because of that faith?

Am I a person who will live out my faith–proclaiming it’s truth, living by the example of Jesus, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit–no matter what?

Am I really one of the #PeopleOfTheCross ?

By the grace of God, I am!

What about you?

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor                                                                                                                                                                 and gave him the name above all other names,                                                                                                                                                                                         that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,                                                                                       and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,                                                                                                                                                                                         to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

The Beauty and the Lies

The middle of February in Michigan…blah!

Even when the snow does come to make everything look pretty, it’s still mid-February, and we are getting ready to move on!

So here, in the middle of this bleak month we have a holiday that celebrates love, warmth, and relationships. Call it a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ if you will, it still gives us a great opportunity to consider how much we love our spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends and families…and that’s always a good thing!

In many ways, then, it just makes sense for society to use this bleakness and this holiday to market love…passion…even lust.

This year, the ‘marketing’ is an equal opportunity assault: The movie, ’50 Shades of Grey” comes out while the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue” also hits the stands.

Both aim for the same target–natural desires we have within to appreciate beauty and to be connected intimately with another person. Add to that our propensity to be attracted to another and be ‘swept up’ in the moment, and market these things in February, and you’ve got a volatile and profitable combination!

The problem is that both of these forms of ‘marketing’ play on the self-centered desires we have. These offerings excite our passions, our fantasies and our basic sexual instincts. Whether it’s a man staring at Sports Illustrated’s near-pornographic cover, or a woman paying to sit in a theater as a voyeur to a sado-masochistic controlling and abusive relationship, neither are going to get us anywhere near where God designed us to be…in a beautiful, loving intimate relationship with our husband or wife.

It’s true: God did ‘program’ sexual desires into us. In the right context, for the right reason, these can lead us to deep intimacy with our spouse, and bring us to a deeper level of selfless love–a selfless form of intimacy in which we put our spouse’s needs above our own, and revel in the love that He’s given us.

When He put Adam in the Garden of Eden at the beginning of the human race, there was ‘no suitable helper’ for Adam. Soon, the Lord made Eve and brought her to Adam, and his reaction was ‘Finally! Yes! Beautiful! Wonderful! Now THAT’S who I’m talkin about!’

Something like that, anyway:

“At last!” (see above) the man exclaimed.

“This one is bone from my bone,
    and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
    because she was taken from ‘man.’”

This (ie, because they were made for each other!) explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 

Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:18-24)

God made the man and the woman to compliment each other, and to enjoy each other…and it was beautiful!

He still wants it to be enjoyable and beautiful!

Yet in our culture, which increasingly rejects His design and His plan, these desires simply become narcissistic pleasure-seeking, with ‘self’ in mind completely.

We reject the ‘true’ design and instead settle for the ‘lie’ of marketed pseudo-love.

There will be many men who insist on their ‘right’ to have the SI Swimsuit issue in their house, taunting their wives and daughters and reminding them how ‘imperfect’ their own bodies are. This year, there will be many women who enthusiastically attend ’50 Shades’ as an ‘in-your-face’ cry that ‘I can be selfish and voyeuristic too!’.

Is that really where we want to go?

Not if we’re followers of Jesus Christ, it’s not!

Not if we know that we are now ‘citizens of heaven’, then we know that the best way we can live is in honoring God with all our lives–including our sexuality and sexual expression.

Paul wrote to a culture also steeped in sexual sin that they should Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

Today, we who are believers in Jesus Christ need to be willing to heed that call also.

This February, enjoy the real, loving, self-less love that God has given you for your spouse (or commit yourself to being the best, most selfless spouse you can be when the time is right).

But do NOT give in to the marketed lust-instead-of-love that society puts out there. That is a lie, a trap, and a counterfeit.

So guys: Throw away that magazine and treasure your wife!

Women: stay home and love your husbands!

Then, you can really ‘celebrate’ the beauty and passion that is LOVE…true Love!

 

Um…All Due Respect, Mr. President…

President Obama, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast today said the Christians should not “get on their high horse” about Radical Islam, because–after all–“During the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ”. He said that, in “our home country Jim Crowe [laws] and slavery were all too often justified in the name of Christ”. He spoke of the sinful tendency within all of us to “pervert and distort” our faith.

I have several problems with this line of reasoning. In many instances, I’ve tried to ‘officially’ stay out of the political realm, but this is one of the increasing number of instances in which politics crosses over into the ‘faith’ realm, and I cannot keep silent about times like that!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (one of the few Pastors who stood up and publicly opposed Adolf Hitler) wrote, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.  Not to speak is to speak.  Not to act is to act.”

So, I must speak.

1) The Crusades. 

These are often brought up as the reason we shouldn’t confront Radical Islamic Terrorism–because, ‘after all, the Crusades happened’. But anyone who will actually read history will find that the Crusades happened in a defensive way–in other words, the Crusades were launched to STOP ISLAMIC AGGRESSION which had taken over large parts of the middle east and Europe. Yes, the Crusades were ugly. Wars always are, but the Crusades–to stop Islamic Aggression–would never have happened if Militant Islam hadn’t first waged a relentless and savage ‘jihad’ against western Christians for over 400 years. (a good resource is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_To-cV94Bo).

2) Militant Islamic Terror 

This is STILL going on–this isn’t ancient history! To try to make a’moral equivalency’, as the President did, between today’s Islamic Terror and the Crusades and the Inquisition (which, incidentally was WITHIN the Christian Church) is utterly RIDICULOUS! The Islamic Terrorists are beheading, raping, kidnapping, blowing up, and now BURNING ALIVE those who are against them. They are throwing suspected homosexuals off the roofs of buildings! They are stoning to death (exclusively) women caught in the act of adultery. They are practicing female genital mutilation!  Seriously?!

Let me repeat: This is not Ancient History–this is TODAY! (And that doesn’t even get to the ‘less radical’ elements where women cannot be seen in public with any part of their bodies exposed, must not drive, go to school, be seen with any man that she’s not related to…)

3) The Broad Brush

The President is famous for his refusal to call the reality of what is happening ‘Islamic’ because it might appear to impugn the rest of Muslims–the ‘Moderates’. Yet, it is very clear: Whether accurately or not, the Islamic Terrorist are committing the barbaric atrocities IN THE NAME of ISLAM, supposedly at the teaching of Mohammed! The President wants to give the benefit of the doubt (hence his meetings with and support of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood).
Interesting, though, that the President–who doesn’t want to ‘paint with a broad brush’ about Islam just did that very thing about Christianity.

4) Positive Influence of Christianity.

Reverend Franklin Graham reacted to the President’s comments:

“Today at the National Prayer Breakfast, the president implied that what ISIS is doing is equivalent to what happened over 1,000 years ago during the Crusades and the Inquisition,” he wrote. “Mr. President – -Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness. He came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life.

“Muhammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people. True followers of Christ emulate Christ – true followers of Muhammad emulate Muhammad,”. 
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/02/franklin-graham-to-obama-mohammed-killed-innocents/#tmkRfFCOsLo130p3.99

As much as some would like to lecture on ‘the sins of Christianity’, the truth is that Christianity, more than any other world religion, has led to more people being freed, more liberty being realized, more education, better health, more freedom for technological advances, more upward mobility, more advances in the sciences, and more economic opportunity for more individuals all over the world than any other religion. This was true from the time of the Pilgrims, and onward–perhaps until recently. Just look at history and compare the lands in which Islam has dominated. Compare what life is like there.

There is no comparison.

5) Practical Reality.

The reality in all this is that Radical Islamists are seeking to expand their influence. ISIS (or ISIL), Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Shebob, Boko Haram, Al Queda, and yes–the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR–these are all moving forward with an agenda: To expand their influence throughout the world. Some of them (the most radical) have made their aims very clear: Islamic domination. They are not interested in ‘democracy’ or ‘a melting pot of ideas’; they want victory! Some of them will stop at nothing to gain that victory, and have said so repeatedly.

And therein lies the President’s very real problem: As much as he would like to take a ‘hands off’ approach, and remain aloof and uninvolved, he cannot do so.

6) His Job.

One of the President’s chief duties, as Commander-in-Chief, is to direct the military to protect Americans, American interests, and American Allies. These extremists groups are very clearly threatening all of the above. We are not actively engaging in any real way to fight back against these Radical Islamic Terrorists…and, as unfortunate as that is, I personally believe that we must do so.

The President is in a difficult position, and we must all pray for him. He has difficult, important decisions to make every day, and these effect all of us, and many Billions of people around the world.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

(1 Timothy 2:1-2)

I would like to ask us all to Pray–for the President, His entire Administration and all the leaders in our government. Pray that they would see this threat for what it really is, and that they would know the best way to stand against it.

Let’s pray, also, for ourselves. Ultimately, as Christians, we continue to want to spread The Gospel of Jesus Christ through love, through His Word, and through good deeds. We need to make sure that we are seeking Him first, allowing Him to change us, and yielding to His will. I am convinced that His will, at times, calls us to take a serious stand against evil, but we must do so humbly, yet firmly.

And I believe that–here, now, TODAY–this is evil.