The chronicle of a dark and dangerous journey through a world gone mad.

Monday, August 1, 2016

America's Silent Pulpits



I am amazed and shocked at the silence of American pulpits concerning the misrepresentation and evil being presented by both sides in the American presidential race.  While it is perhaps understandable, the question of whether or not it will be found excusable by history and God’s judgement remains to be seen.

In their defense, Pastors often live an insulated life.  On Monday morning, their best client isn’t going ask them to hide a piece of evidence in discovery that makes them look bad. Nobody is going to threaten the pastor’s livelihood and reputation for questioning a crooked judge.   In most churches, nobody is going to try to impose a “gay friendly” disciplinary code upon the pastor as the bar association has upon Oklahoma lawyers.  Nobody is going to try to force the pastor to attend a pagan religious service dressed up as “diversity training.”

Nobody is going to tell the pastor install cheap knockoff or even used parts in a car and then charge full price for them as may happen to the mechanic in the congregation.  Nobody is going to order the pastor to bait and switch customers to get sales numbers up as may happen to the salesman in the back pew.  Nobody is going to tell the pastor to stock the checkout stands with filthy magazines as may happen to the retail clerk in row 6 left.   And nobody is going to order the pastor to deliver surgical tools to an abortion clinic as may happen to the medical rep in row 14 right.

 But, these are decisions that the pastor’s flock must face and both they and their pastor will be accountable to God for their response.  Unfortunately, if you believe Barna and Gallup there is really very little difference between the ethical and moral behavior of self identified Christians and the rest of the world on key moral issues.   This is a damning indictment of the American church. 

This is not a Martin Luther quote  (  http://creation.com/battle-quote-not-luther ) even though it is often attributed to him.  But, it is an accurate summary of Luther’s teachings;  “If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.”

We have been taught by our pulpits to be politically blind and naïve, to read the scriptures with a political filter that removes the historical context of the historical accounts.  For example, John the Baptist wasn’t executed because of a theological dispute.  He was executed because he publicly rebuked the sexual immorality of the ruling family.   I ask you, did Salome’s private dance and perhaps incest in the palace come anywhere close to the exposure of Mrs. Trump’s fully nude and sometimes lesbian pictures literally being transmitted to the world?  The picture shown at right was published in a magazine for the whole world to see and was on the cover of this weekend's New York Post.  Only a few people in the palace saw Salome. Yet, the world is seeing the wife of many Christians pick to be the next American president and America’s pulpits are silent?

Jesus wasn’t executed executed over a theological difference.  He was convicted of sedition, a political crime.  The Sanhedrin could have cared less what he preached until he threatened their political and economic power.  Pretender Messiahs had come and gone before without incident.  And, when the Sanhedrin passed the death sentence along to Pilate, it was political expediency that sent him to the cross even as a political radical was freed by the crowd.   Paul and the other Roman martyrs didn’t die over theology.  Rome was pantheistic and you could worship and preach anything you chose so long as you also subscribed to the generic Roman state creed.  I ask you, is that not exactly what silent American pulpits are doing now?

The ultimate question here is not who will win the election but how will the souls of men be affected by the election.  If the church teaches them to tolerate and accept evil by silence in this great position of responsibility how can it expect them not tolerate and accept it in their own lives as well?   Just as children learn not from what their parents say but what they see lived out before them so do churches learn not by what is preached to them but rather by what is tolerated by them.  Having said that, the western church for the most part has gotten the strange idea that it can somehow separate government and politics from the so called “Christian life” and still remain faithful to the scriptures.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The pietists so called “Christian life” is a sham built of moral cowardice.  God gives you a life period.  He is either Lord of all of it or He is not Lord.  And that life in America of necessity includes politics.

While I have a great respect for tradition I am sometimes frustrated when Christian leaders inappropriately quote historical figures to evade current situations.  Quoting an Englishmen talking within the context of the British political system to a modern American is comparing apples and oranges.  America is not a monarchy.  We rebelled against that system and won.  Further, quoting someone like Whitfield in the midst of the current presidential race is a lot like handing an 18th century sailing masters manual to a confused passenger trying to land a crippled 747 after the flight crew have bailed out.  Some of the material may apply but there are several hundred years of social and technological advancement (for the good or bad) between the bits of navigational theory that may or may not apply.  What the passengers needs is a clear answer that will save his life (or soul).  The passenger doesn’t need to hear “steer north by one point noreast, trim sail and make ready to drop anchor.”  While that statement may be metaphorically truthful to a certain extent it is not life-savingly accurate at that moment in time.  If he is going to survive the passenger needs to hear, “set the autopilot to steer 001 at 250 knots, tune the ILS to 119.1 and engage the auto-land system when you intercept the glide slope.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, (like his theology or not) has advice closer to modern times.  Concerning the rise of Hitler he observed, ““Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. … The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.”  (Essay “On Stupidity,” D. Bonhoeffer)  I can’t think of more apt description of the current political climate on both sides at this time and I fear that we are seeing the work out of 2 Thess. 2:11-12 before our eyes.  How great will be the condemnation of the church for not revealing this morally crippling spiritual blindness being cast upon all by the political system?

Bonhoeffer’s response to political evil was open and direct: “...there are three possible ways in which the church can act toward the state: the first place, as has been said, it can ask the state whether its actions are legitimate and in accordance with its character as state, i.e., it can throw the state back on its responsibilities. Second, it can aid the victims of state action. The church has an unconditional obligation to the victims of any ordering of society, even if they do not belong to the Christian community. "Do good to all people." In both these courses of action, the church serves the free state in its free way, and at times when laws are changed the church may in no way withdraw itself from these two tasks. The third possibility is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to jam a spoke in the wheel itself.”  (Essay, “The Church and the Jewish Question,” D. Bonhoeffer ) Bonhoeffers’ later verbal statements were even more direct, “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.”  Bonhoeffer the great preacher and theologian became an agent of the Abwher (German military intelligence) that internally opposed Hitler, operated illegal underground churches and seminaries and helped Jews escape.  The “confessing church” far from being a theological oddity was a major player in the resistance movement.  And at that, Bonhoeffer was not executed over theological issues.  He was executed for being part of the plot to kill Hitler.  If the church is silent, who will hold the government accountable?  If the church is silent what will it say to God when He asks “What did you do with the talent of freedom that I gave you to speak out against evil?”  The only answer can be, “I buried it.”


History gives us clear warning about burying the talent of political opposition to evil. The best known quote is from Martin Neimoller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

However, this quote from Neimoller is more chilling:  “Thus, whenever I chance to meet a Jew known to me before, then, as a Christian, I cannot but tell him: 'Dear Friend, I stand in front of you, but we cannot get together, for there is guilt between us. I have sinned and my people has sinned against thy people and against thyself.”  (Über die deutsche Schuld, Not und Hoffnung, M. Neimoller )

I ask you which is better?  To bury the talent of free speech and political confrontation and share in the complicity for what follows or to take Bonhoeffer’s path and suffer the consequences with a clear conscience before God?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Man With a Gun! Oh You Poor Frightened Little Cupcake!


OK, I admit it. I have gotten lazy of late. I sometimes open carry around the neighborhood. There are many days when the only places I am going are neighborhood restaurants and my special coffee shop where they all know me very well and all know they have no reason for concern.

By habit, I am a shirt tucked in guy. So, when I am among "friends" in the hood I don't worry about someone seeing my weapon. And, it's not like I'm wearing some huge tactical rig or carrying a carbine around on my shoulder. Most days, I am carrying a Glock 43 in an in the waistband Kydex holster so all that you see is about two inches at most of black pistol butt sticking out of my waistband. BUT, the bane of my existence are the occasional out of town or at least of local experience TU types that frequent my hangouts.  They can be a pain the *ss.

One day a couple of weeks ago, one of these darling little TU cupcakes was apparently "triggered" by the"microagression" of seeing me sitting there in the corner, minding my own business, drinking my coffee, reading my tablet with two inches of Glock showing from my waistband. I really wonder how they even saw it since the table should have blocked their view. BUT, it takes hard work to be offended, saw it they did and so they called the police.

I knew something was going on when a cop who doesn't normally frequent the place showed up and didn't order. He was an older, larger guy. I have a nodding and speaking relationship with the motor cop who hangs out there regularly. The SWAT shop is right down the street and I know the faces of most of those guys who come in for take out regularly and I'm sure, that since they are by nature very situationally aware, they know mine. After a few seconds, this cop's face registered. He is a senior patrol officer that works our neighborhood.  After a few seconds, the light bulb lit up over my head.  He was working actually working a call concerning me!

The officer came in, positioned himself diagonally from me across the room and pretended to be looking at upscale coffee accessories.  I thought, "Gimme a break officer.  You could probably care less about a French Press or a European stove top espresso maker.  You're not the type. You drink coffee black that comes out of a pot."

After a few minutes of that little performance, the officer asked to use the bathroom.  That would take him right past my side were he could see the weapon on my waist that was hidden by the table. He did so, got a good look at me and the weapon and then pretended to use the bathroom.  We exchanged man type comments as he came out of the bathroom.

After he left, all I could think was "What a colossal waste of that officer's time."  I'm on a first name basis with most of the employees of the coffee shop and many of the regular customers.  I am something of an institution in that place, the old half retired lawyer that sits there at the corner table sipping coffee and sometimes meeting clients over a cup.  I come in several times per week, tip well and mind my own business.

Somebody taught that little TU cupcake to be scared to death of a firearm.  Somebody taught that little TU cupcake that he or she was doing the right thing to call the police and make trouble even though open carry is perfectly legal in Oklahoma.  I'm sure the little cupcake secretly hoped that the officer would show up and make my life miserable for a while.  And, I'm sure the little TU cupcake also hoped that if enough people followed his/her/it's/their example that the police would get tired of making useless calls and make it tough on folks who dare show a weapon in public.  But, none of that happened.  The officer was clumsy in his "investigation" but professional.  And,  I refused to get angry or rattled by the fact that a cop was checking me out for exercising a perfectly legal right. There were no arrests, no shootouts, no sponaneous eruptions of gunfire.  Just an awkward moment for the officer and an annoying moment for me.

Bottom line, you lost this one cupcake.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rambling Thoughts On Race


Shown is a picture of a stained glass window in the predominantly black 5th Presbyterian Church of Blacksburg, VA.  It lovingly depicts the death scene of legendary Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.  The window was commissioned by the sons and daughters of slaves who were taught to read and write, in violation of the law, by Jackson when he was a professor at VMI.

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It would seem that every conversation in America today is dominated by race and every issue is tainted by race. I'm tired of hearing about it.  I make no apologies for the color of my skin nor do I expect anyone else to.  I make no apologies for my Confederate ancestors who served bravely in a lost cause but firmly believe, along with Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Patrick Cleburne, that slavery was an evil institution that had to end.  I make no apologies for my frequent criticism of race hustling and the gangsta lifestyle and for that matter racial politics whether they are practiced by the new "majority rule" in South Africa or the stealth Muslim race hustler now occupying the White House.


I was brought up in a Southern society that was by nature racially prejudiced.  But when those race relations were reduced to a personal level the details became a lot more complex.  Those folks were our neighbors.  We worked alongside them.  Unlike the rich and northerners, we had to live with them.  Some of my earliest memories of colored people come from the cotton fields.  I remember my mom and dad picking the long rows right alongside black people, brown people and other poor white people.  We all worked together because we all had to buy groceries and gas.  There were no segregated cotton fields or spinach patches ... just day work for folks on the bottom rung of the employment ladder.

When I was older, I learned the story of my father's adoption.  My grandmother, crazed by pain, tried to cure her kidney stones with a medicinal dose of arsenic, a common home remedy at the time.  She got the dose wrong.  It didn't kill her but it did reduce her mental faculties to those of a six year old child.  In those days, the mere hint of suicide brought deep shame on the family and mental illness was social anathema.

One side of my family looked the other way while my grandfather tried to care for two toddler boys and a sickly baby. The Cherokee side of the family did not look the other way however and my half Cherokee great aunt and her full blood Cherokee husband took my father to raise as their own.  I never really knew the socially prominent side of my father's family but I have fond memories of smiling brown faces and big hugs from my Cherokee great aunts.  When Dad needed help getting the farm going it was one of those Cherokee great aunts and her full blood Choctaw husband that loaned us a tractor ... for several years.  They didn't seem to care one bit that I was a lot fairer than them.  They just treated me like a member of the family.

Only recently, I learned a fascinating story from my mother's childhood.  As I was growing up, we had an interesting relationship with an old black man.  He was the best horseman in the county in his prime and until his death the only veterinarian that many poor people could afford, black or white.  He doctored our stock when asked and charged what we could afford.  My mother treated him with great respect.  I knew there was more to the relationship than met the eye but southern people learn to live with secrets.  I got the answer only recently while talking to the last surviving member of my mother's people of that generation.

I knew that my maternal grandfather was a socialist political organizer, a rambler, a talented itinerant  musician and a drunk.  I knew that one evening in the mid 1920's, the local Klan came visiting with a horsewhip because, on top of the rest of his errant behavior,  he was also not supporting his family.  I even knew that when he saw the Klan coming he took off running through the fields half dressed, left the state and did not come back for several years, leaving my grandmother in a sharecropper's shack with small children and a poorly tended crop in the fields.  It was all a major scandal and it left my grandmother destitute .... and isolated.

What I did not know that was that that old black man that my Mom respected so much was a well to do neighbor at the time of my grandmother's abandonment by her husband.  This kind black man let the poor white "grass widow" and her hungry kids work in his fields so that they could put away a little money for the winter.  When they worked for him, he fed them well and paid them the going wage when everyone else was ready to take advantage of them. He took a terrible risk letting a needy white woman and her brood of kids work for him in a day when black men were lynched and burned for just looking the wrong way at a white woman.

When I was in the military, I wound up being AWOL because my flight back to the ship was delayed by a massive snowstorm.  I was AWOL because I had manipulated the system to be gone longer than  allowed and traveled farther than allowed by regulation.  Everybody did it when we had several days of in port stand down, you just didn't want to get caught at it.  As I was walking back up the dock to face the music, our short, fat, black, career Navy Personnelman grabbed me aside into the shadows and said "Here Kumpe.  Quick.  Sign these."  He had made out a leave request, backdated it and gotten the XO to sign it without realizing what was going on.  He then escorted me back on to the ship and had the OD log me in as returning from regular leave.  He literally saved my stripes.  Later, I remembered that a while before while on Shore Patrol duty, I had cut one of his best friends, another black career Navy man, loose without charges after he got roaring drunk and made public advances on a stripper.  I most certainly saved his stripes if not his career. 

In midlife, I did a stint doing "special projects" on contract for a large insurance company.  My helper needed to be street wise, have free time to travel on an irregular basis on short notice and be good company during the long drives.  I wound up hiring a black ex-cop turned Pentecostal preacher who always needed the extra money and was free to travel.  During the two plus years that project ran, we traveled all over the United States.  We ate together, drank together (two beers per day "for our stomach's sake," non-alcoholic if we could get it) and, to save expenses, slept in the same hotel room.  We got to know each other as well as two men who work together ever will and frankly I can't think of anyone I would PREFER to work with under those conditions. To me he wasn't a black man.  He was just a good solid man who did a good job for me.  I knew I could trust him to watch my back.

Every human being is created in the image of God.  Jesus taught us to look beyond our natural, carnal differences and be like Him.  We are supposed to strive to be like Christ in all things, including our relationship with people of other races. Like my hero Gen. Stonewall Jackson, I believe that there is no place for racial division in the body of Christ.  Jackson risked arrest by teaching black men, women and children to read and write in illegal Sunday Schools while he was a professor at VMI.  If there is any place where brothers and sisters in the Lord should be able to look past the circumstance of their birth and share the brotherhood of their common faith it should be the church.

Flawed as he was, Dr. Martin Luther King taught an invaluable truth about race relations.  We should judge each man by the content of his character not by the color of his skin.  I strive to do that.  It is the "Christian" thing to do. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Great Falling Away or THE Great Falling Away?

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 I posted a blog entry that began:

"The Kim Davis matter has caused a fault line in the American Church.  Huge numbers
of individuals and organizations who purport to be Christian have taken the position that she should have resigned.  Many of the best minds in the Christian world disagree.  Dr. John McArthur recently declared from his pulpit, "We will not bow" to homosexual bullying.  Dr. Franklin Graham has supported Davis in the strongest terms.  Dr. John Piper released a statement supporting her as did Dr. Robbie George Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton.  Her lawyers are led by former Liberty University Law School Dean Mat Staver. And yet, scores of alleged Christians refuse to see the import of this case.

"There is a reason for this.  A lot of these people can't understand Kim Davis's position because they are not really Christians. There is no kinder way to say that.  Recently, Glen Beck, a Mormon, aired a searching dialogue in which he suggested that people who say the right words and lay claim to their fire insurance policy salvation may be deluded, especially when they can look the other way when evil is literally before their eyes."
While I am anything but a mystic, during the Kim Davis affair I clearly saw a vision in my mind's eye, the vision of a great fault line running through the church with the sheep on one side and everyone else on the other.  It was a chilling, chilling thought.

I am seeing that vision again.  This time the subject is Donald Trump.  The choice for GOP presidential candidates couldn't be clearer.  Ted Cruz is a devout Christian with a lifetime of honorable government service and impeccable legal credentials. Trump is a loud mouthed braggart with no qualifications or credentials other than being born wealthy and being able to hoodwink the gullible time and again.  And yet, millions of Christians are being taken in by Trump while rejecting and even attempting to discredit Cruz.

The Trump phenomenon bothers me on two levels.  This first is earthly and second is spiritual.  From an earthly sense, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would pay attention to Donald Trump.  On his face, the man is a braggart, a liar and a con man.  He is everything people in the flyover country usually hate about a New Yorker.  He's bad mannered, brash and a bully.  And yet, people who should know better still listen to him.

I always check the opinions of other people whose intelligence I respect when I get a visceral reaction to a public figure.  I have done that with Donald Trump.  The best minds I follow in the press all universally despise Donald Trump.  I have a lot of respect for Christian constitutional attorneys like Mat Staver and David French.  They have both publicly renounced Trump.  I have a lot of respect for Christian leaders like Dr. Everett Piper who has denounced Trump.  I have a lot of respect for courageous broadcasters like Glenn Beck who has denounced Trump.  And, I have a lot of respect for courageous journalists like Michelle Malkin and David Shapiro who have denounced Trump. These people are among the best and brightest of our time and they all say a Donald Trump nomination is a disastrous idea.

However, he spiritual implications of the Trump phenomenon bother me even more than the amazing suspension of common sense by millions of Americans who should know better. Christians who are really Christians have a built in radar that warns them in the face of evil.  My spiritual radar has been screaming "Warning Danger Ahead" ever since the Trump phenomenon came on the scene.

I have often wondered how it was that over the millenia again and again huge masses of people could ignore God's clearly revealed plan and follow false leaders to destruction.  The answer is now becoming obvious.  From Ancient Israel to 20th Century Germany, when a nation or a people become so sinful, so removed from God's will that He has decided to punish them,  God blinds them and allows them to follow their very worst instincts to their destruction.

I believe we are at than point in America and Donald Trump is the proof of it.  Only a spiritually and intellectually blind nation could choose him has their leader.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Tale Of Three Cultures .... And a Glock



Sheila and I had to run a few errands this afternoon. Our washer and dryer are still out of service from a recent kitchen remodel and we needed a few groceries now that we have a functioning kitchen again. So, we ate lunch at our favorite hole in the wall Mexican place, headed to the laundromat and then to the WalMart Neighborhood Market.

I eat at that particular Mexican place at least twice per week.The crowd is racially diverse but mostly Mexican. Mexican working people to be more precise. While I don't open carry, I don't go to any trouble to conceal my weapon either. It's always there under my shirt or jacket and it probably shows sometimes when I reach for something. On a hot day in this place, I take my jacket off when I'm wearing one and the weapon is out in the open. Nobody seems to notice or care that I armed.

While Sheila was at the laundromat, I ran up the street to the "salon" where I have my hair cut. It's actually kind of a trendy place in an urban sort of way, not really my kind of place in some ways. But, it's close by and I've gotten to know most of the stylists. I wear my weapon when I go in, take my jacket off and get my hair cut. All you can see is the butt of my Glock sticking out of my waistband. Again, nobody seems to notice or care that I armed. After all this is still Oklahoma even on stylish Cherry Street.
Sheila was pretty well all in after the laundry so I did the grocery shopping. All went fine until I arrived in the checkout line. There were a pair of well dressed black women in line in front of me, a forty-ish woman and what appeared to be her teen-aged daughter. They were dressed in matching purple tee shirts.

I smiled at them and began loading my groceries onto the checkout conveyor. I guess my weapon became visible under my jacket as I was reaching across to pull things out of my basket. The teen-aged girl began staring at me in almost horror. I smiled at her again and she just stood there staring. I went about unloading my cart and looked up again and she was still intently staring at me.

It didn't make me uncomfortable, just curious. I like to think that I am pretty good at reading people. She was afraid. I can't know for sure what she was afraid of but I can take some pretty good guesses. In her culture, it is an accepted fact that white policeman shoot young black people for fun. In her culture, it is an accepted fact that white people hate black people just because they are black. In her culture, I guess it is an accepted fact that an armed man is up to no good.


After what seemed like several minutes of staring, I wanted to say, "Honey, you have nothing to fear from me and you are much safer with me here armed than you would be otherwise. This place is a zoo and there have been armed robberies in this very store no more than a six feet from where you are standing. If you have to be afraid of something, fear that not me. I have absolutely nothing against as you as a person because of your race or anything else for that matter and I am not about to pull my weapon out and shoot you for being black in WalMart. But, I would pull my weapon to protect you."


On reflection I decided that, given the unreasoning fear I was seeing in her eyes, that dialogue would only have exacerbated the situation. And that's a pity because it needed to be said.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Useless Arrests and The End Of The Rule of Law

I was snarky on a Facebook friend's timeline today and I want to apologize for that.  But, I also want to explain my statement in a more civil manner.

Many police departments both big and small now simply do not arrest illegal aliens for minor offenses.  Their logic is as follows.  Illegals do not exist in the criminal justice system.  There is no way to track them and hold them accountable.  If you issue them a ticket all they have to do is move down the street and change their name a little bit and their citation falls off the map.

The only way to hold them accountable is to arrest them on the spot and detain them until they can be brought before a judge for trial and sentencing.  The problem with this that the U.S. Justice Department would crucify any police department big or small that incarcerated illegal aliens for not having a valid license plate, running a stop sign or even driving under the influence.  Under this president and this justice department they have to be treated exactly like people with ties to the community that allow them to be held accountable.  The officer is wasting his time and the taxpayer's money by making the citation.  So, they just look the other way.

But, that brings up a second problem.  Why should Juan Gonzales who crossed the border last year and works at the chicken plant get a pass when Billy Bob Hankins whose family has lived in town for five generations can't.  Why should Billy Bob be forced to pay a penalty that cannot be enforced against Juan?  What happens is that the Rule of Law itself suffers.   The cop just looks the other way to be fair.  Minor offense are not prosecuted and eventually quiet little places like Sallisaw and Muldrow begin looking like the barrio neighborhoods of big cities like Tulsa, OKC and Denver where Mexican rules of everything from traffic to commerce apply and the police only step in when the violence gets out of hand.

Is anybody really surprised that people who commit a felony to get into the U.S. and live here don't have a lot of respect for the rest of our laws?  The bottom line here is that if law isn't applied equally to everybody pretty soon it won't be applied to anybody.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ARE YOU REALLY A CHRISTIAN?

The Kim Davis matter has caused a fault line in the American Church.  Huge numbers of individuals and organizations who purport to be Christian have taken the position that she should have resigned.  Many of the best minds in the Christian world disagree.  Dr. John McArthur recently declared from his pulpit, "We will not bow" to homosexual bullying.  Dr. Franklin Graham has supported Davis in the strongest terms.  Dr. John Piper released a statement supporting her as did Dr. Robbie George Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton.  Her lawyers are led by former Liberty University Law School Dean Mat Staver. And yet, scores of alleged Christians refuse to see the import of this case.

There is a reason for this.  A lot of these people can't understand Kim Davis's position because they are not really Christians. There is no kinder way to say that.  Recently, Glen Beck, a Mormon, aired a searching dialogue in which he suggested that people who say the right words and lay claim to their fire insurance policy salvation may be deluded, especially when they can look the other way when evil is literally before their eyes.

The Apostle Paul was a lawyer.  Had he not converted to Christianity he was on the fast track to sit on the Jewish Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin. He wrote a third of the New Testament.  Paul described salvation this way in Roman 10:9: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

The word translated "confess" is the Greek word "homolegeo."  It is a legal term.  It means to enter into a contract or a covenant.  The word translated "Lord" is the Greek word "kurios."  It is a military or slave term.  It means literally a despot or absolute master.  It could be used for a military commander or a slave owner.  The word translated "heart" is something of a transliteration.  In the Greek culture of the time, the intellect was thought to be seated in the heart while the emotions were seated in the gut.  So, if we read this verse as it would have been understood in the Greek you come up with, "If you publicly enter into a contact or covenant agreeing that Jesus Christ is the absolute master of your life and are intellectually convinced that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved."   

Throughout the centuries that has been a costly agreement for those who actually enter into it.  Paul was beheaded and Peter was crucified by the government of their time.  Thousands of Christians died rather than bow down and sacrifice a spoon of incense declaring that Caeser was their supreme civic lord.  They understood that the agreement that they had entered into with the one true Lord would not allow them to bow the knee to any other.

Bowing has become easy in the 21st Century.  We bow to the Lord of death when we say we don't agree with abortion but won't do anything to stop it.  We bow to the Lord of perversion when we succumb to so called gay rights and gay marriage in order to keep our jobs and positions.  We bow to the Lord of power when we see the offices of government misused and justice perverted and do nothing to stop it.

Kim Davis understood this.  Kim Davis would not bow.  Kim Davis's life shows the fruits of a true salvation covenant with her Lord and Master.  Does yours?