Saturday, February 15, 2014

When you see these things ...

Civil unrest and disorder in Egypt and Ukraine.  Utter chaos in Somalia.  Civil War in South Sudan and Syria.  Terror and nuclear threats from Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan.  A growing global al-quaeda and terror networks.  Power grid and cyber infrastructure concerns (think Eric Snowden).   US intelligence leaders in their annual reports said this month that the least secure the United States has ever been.  Decreasing our nuclear weapons, our military size, and our military presence in hostile terror environments diminishes our influence/power and makes the world a much less stable place.

On top of that are our economic concerns.  We are 17 trillion in debt and growing every day.  In just the last 5 years, our government has increased its debt by more than 60 % of its original debt (10 trillion).  Our government has spent over 6 trillion since the economic stimulus package.  Much of that money was wasted on unnecessary items.  We could be only 2-3 years from what Greece went through.  We're not talking about an economic disaster but an economic collapse.  It won't be so trivial when you drive up to the bank to get your money and its not there. A US economic collapse will effect the entire world.  
My friend just called me to inform me an earthquake that happened last night in South Carolina.  That is on top of the ice storm their state just received where there Governor stepped up to say that it worse than an hurricane in terms of damage.  Having lived in SC, I can tell you that is unusual weather. 

In Matthew 24:6, Jesus said that hearing of wars and rumors of war and having famines and earthquakes in various places are nothing but the beginning of birth pains.  Jesus went on to describe more pains and then he gave a lesson from a fig tree saying, "when you see all these things," you know the end is near. 

None of us this should catch us off guard.  We live on a fallen earth with fallen man given dominion to run the planet.  However, we don't have complete control.  There is One who keeps the planet rotating so that we can do all our tasks under the sun. 

If God thought economics was the problem, he would have sent us an economist.  If He thought education was the problem, he would have sent us an educator.  If He thought politics was the problem, he would have sent us a politician.  But God knew sin was our problem thus He sent us a Savior.

Thankfully, this Savior has promised to return and to make all things right.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Getting High on Jesus!

The moral landscape of our country is changing and changing fast.  CBS reports that 51% of the nation favors legalizing pot.  Currently 20 states have already legalized marijuana for medical purposes while 2 states (Colorado and Washington) have legalized marijuana for recreational use.  Although there may be concern for both areas, I want to focus my attention on the latter.  We have a President in office who has come out recently to state he himself used marijuana in his younger years and that it is no more dangerous than alcohol and not much different than smoking cigarettes.

First off, it is not wise for any leader, much less one in a Presidential position to say such things.  It does not send the proper message to the children and youth of our nation.  Secondly, marijuana is much different than cigarettes and can be more dangerous than alcohol.  Obviously, we know the dangers that drunkenness can bring but that is not the context that our President framed his words.  Marijuana is a mind altering substance that often produces hallucinations.  I have heard of social drinkers but not so much of social pot-heads so I would disagree here with the President's analysis.  Though it might be possible to smoke pot without getting high, who is doing that (exactly).  And last time I checked, cigarettes may provide a buzz but not a hallucination.     

According to the Bible, we can place this kind of recreational activity in the category of sorcery and witchcraft (the greek word being pharmakeia).  Our President says what is happening in Colorado and Washington is an experiment.  Well, I don't believe we should be experimenting with people's lives. 

However, marijuana isn't the only drug problem in America.  It was reported tonight about Vermont's troubles with the drug heroine.  And cocaine has not disappeared.  Wikipedia describes speed as coca leaves that are soaked in gasoline and sulfuric acid to produce the substance cocaine.  Common sense says we don't need to be putting any substance with gasoline into our bodies.

The results are a land filled with people going to rehab and family members hurting and stealing from the ones they "love" the most. 

So what is the solution?  Ultimately, we cannot blame politicians.  As God's people, we must look ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are praying for our country.  Are we caring enough to consistently pray for lost people (that includes the druggie) and then share God's love with them?  Are we praying for our nation or is the church's head stuck in the sand?  Are we praying for our President?  In the 70's, a great movement known as the Jesus Movement began where many hippies (yes, I'm sure many pot smokers) came to know the Jesus that radically transformed their lives and for that matter the church itself!  But all movements begin and end with prayer.  We need a new movement today.  A gospel movement that begins and ends with prayer!