The Real Facts About the Latest Generation!

blog phoneI’ve heard it in bits and pieces and had already decided that the smartphone was the defining factor of this generation approaching adulthood. Now I came across a substantive article that has hard data behind what it says. The point is not to bash this generation. How could we? Wouldn’t it be more a reflection of we who are as the generation raising them?

The truth is that every generation has its strengths and weaknesses. That translates to the latest generation being better in a few categories, but its problems are of concern and worthy of our attention.

This generation lives with its parents knowing where they are far more than any generation alive today. For that reason, you could say that they are physically safer. They tend to be less motivated to drive and have fewer wrecks. Their average age of the first sexual encounter is actually older than the last several generations – that’s certainly a plus. If you dig through the data in the article, you will see more of this type of positive information.

Strangely enough, some of their biggest problems springs from the same areas. This is the least-interested-in-independence generation we’ve seen. If they have a nice bedroom, in which to lay and be on their smart phones, they are satisfied. The article mentioned several of them have an indention in their bed from lying there on the phone so much. Many of them are not really interested in driving. Does that surprise you as much as me? Many of them are developmentally at least two years behind.

While the rate of teen homicide is down (that’s a plus!), the rate of teen suicide is far higher. Quite frankly, many of them are not happy. The article explained how the ones who are on their smart phones over the average rank much higher on the chart of unhappiness and suicidal feelings.

The article, which was not in a Christian publication, mentioned sports, other activities, and less social media as having great improvement in the data on being happy and not feeling suicidal. Although the article wasn’t Christian in any way, I couldn’t help but notice that those young people very active in what the author called “religious activities”, fared much better as well. I suppose the data will always bear out that the parents who forget God in their home will reap a whirlwind in their children.

Here’s the great article that you will want to ingest slowly: Has Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

There’s so much more in this article. Read it for yourself. We parents need some deep reflection about whether our homes are just going to be like the average of the world today, or are we going to swim upstream to go after different results. May the Lord help us all in the choppy waters that we Christian parents now navigate.

That Rough Patch Called Transitioning To Adulthood

blog adulthood

I’ve been reminded of late just how tough that period in life where you have to figure out what you’re going to do when you grow up really is. I can remember that in my own life, but it seems so long ago that the memories are in black and white. My oldest, Briley, is at that place where she has to decide, and her brother, Caleb, the meticulous planner, is engulfed in it as well. Sadly, if anything, it’s harder to figure out these days.

An article in National Review by Oren Cass entitled “Teaching to the Rest” highlighted just how tough it is. According to the author, the 3 million recent high school graduates can be divided into approximately five equal categories. The first group didn’t even make it to high school graduation (remember one fifth of 3 million is 600,000!). The second group will pursue no further education. The third group will enroll in college but never graduate. The fourth group will graduate college, but will never work in the field they got their degree in. Only the final group will go through college and work in a field that they studied for. I don’t know about you, but those statistics shock me.

As you can imagine in that particular magazine, the article goes on talking about the political changes that need to be made in our educational system. The author’s ideas were wonderful, but excuse my cynicism in thinking that either the government or teachers unions would give his thoughts the time of day.

He alludes to, and you’ve probably heard it from other quarters as well, that there is a dearth of young people going into trades. In other words, a college education may not be the best case scenario as was universally believed when I graduated high school. Besides the fact that many public universities have lost their way and are so out of the mainstream that they actually steer young people away from success, there’s the issue that you might be financially worse off to go to college. On the one hand, many college students today embark upon their career with a disastrous financial situation because of college debt. A trade could be learned for a fraction of the cost with a similar starting salary but without the oppressive debt.

It grieves me to say this, but even for my children who want to follow my steps into the ministry, the possibility of making a full-time income from it over the course of their whole working lives seems unlikely. The rapid decline of Christianity in our day means that all in ministry may be tentmakers like Paul in the years ahead. That likelihood means even young people considering ministry will need a trade or profession to fall back on. I haven’t lost faith that the Lord can provide what’s needed for our calling, just that He he may actually start calling more to a bi-vocational ministry.

I’m totally sympathetic to my children. The gravity with which they view their choices for the future is commensurate to current events. I never want to be guilty of calling my children to the ministry or any other profession. My wife, Alicia, has already been warning our children of the need to have a trade for some time.

I’ve decided this rough patch of transition into adulthood is tough for parents too. You’d like to make it easier for them. You’d like for them to be able to pick it without reservations and feel perfectly at peace with their choices, but the reality is they go through all kinds of options. You have to balance telling them the ideas they have that probably will not work out well to not being overly controlling and telling them what they have to do with their lives. It’s tough. It’s times like this that I’m so happy that my children know the same Lord that I do. I’ve had times of not knowing the way and being afraid, and had to learn to wait on the Lord.

I guess this post is not really instructional. I really can’t see that I gave any good advice. But I guess I’m just putting in writing a plea to my children to trust the Lord with an acknowledgment that Daddy loves you and has confidence in you. I’m tempted to close my eyes and hide until the Lord grows your faith and leads you through this, but by faith let’s just go through it together.

Dictionary of Christianity and Science

book dictionary cs

When you pick up this attractive hardback “Dictionary of Christianity and Science”, edited by Paul Copan, Tremper Longman, Christopher Reese, and Michael Strauss, your first thought will be to wonder if it can live up to its subtitle “the definitive reference for the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary science”. To my mind, it was a boast that turned out to be true.

That’s not to say, that you will agree with everything you read here. Fully conservative views are well defined, but in the interest of providing a comprehensive resource other views are as well. Since evangelical Christianity is not in full agreement on these subjects, you will discover here are all the opinions out there. If you do either theological or apologetic reading, you have already noticed the debate on its margins with science. In our post-Christian age, this is no time for trite platitudes. This resource helps us understand and intelligently discuss at the very point where so much of modern society is attacking Christianity.

The entries given are of three types. Some are short introductions intended to give an overview. There’s longer entries called essays that attempt to give a larger picture. Finally, some oft-debated subjects are given what they call multiple-view discussions. In these cases, scholars of varying opinions make their strongest case. That type of debate can be most instructive.

The range of topics covered almost anything I could think of regarding faith and science. Whether it was common terminology or less common scholarly jargon, you will find it here. You will find scientific terms, hot button issues of our generation, prominent movements and people, and some things I imagine you’ve never heard of before. There’s various creation/evolution theories, the Flood, fossil records, bioethics, and even climate change from various viewpoints.

I could easily see myself in the future reading an article and coming to an obscure concept or the element of debate I was a little rusty on and grabbing this book to get a grasp of what I was reading. This book has clearly found a niche missing in other Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias. This fine volume succeeded in what it set out to do and I think it’s an all-around winner. I predict it will be the go-to volume of its kind for many years.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

God and Tattoos by Allan Dayhoff

Have you ever read a book that was both provocative and somewhat outside your comfort zone, but still opened your eyes? This book by Allan Dayhoff was such a book for me. Tattoos to my mind were gross, ugly, and wrong. While I still am not a fan of tattoos at all, this book chided me for never considering what is going on in the souls of those with tattoos. Why are tattoos exploding in our day? More importantly, what should a Christian see in this trend of people writing on themselves? 

The author did what it never occurred to me to do: ask people why they have tattoos. He asked them what their particular tattoos meant and that opened up a massive flow of information from which some conclusions could be drawn.

He found that some are doing it because it is the “it” thing to do in our generation. In other words, for some it is merely a jump on the cultural trend bandwagon. I suspected this one, but sadly never thought about the other reasons involved. It’s in those other reasons that this book is eye opening. 

It seems as though people are needing empathy and to have meaning. In that they do not have those needs mets, Dayhoff explains that their souls are crying out these needs and writing them on their own skin. People are finding this new way to say who they are. Often, the story on their skins is one of deep pain. Other insights abound.

I met the author and while I could not do all his methods, I saw that he was sincere in sharing his faith. I must warn you too that in some cases he directly quotes his interviewees and that means some really bad language. That arose, no matter what we feel about it, from his approach to write a book that would teach Christians and could be used with non-Christians at the same time. 

It’s probably not a book for everyone, but I found it instructive and fascinating.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Help Me Predict This Election!

I know we can’t get our minds off this election, but I have thought of a diversion. It seems many, especially Christians, are getting angry at each other for not seeing the obvious. That seems to be the viewpoint of both Trump supporters and Never Trumpers. We are accusing each other of awful things for not seeing it as we do. People like me who are having trouble deciding ( to vote for Trump or write-in)  are thought by both sides as just plain dumb. There will be a lot of needed healing and fence mending among Christians after this election is over for sure.

Maybe we should admit that at this late stage not many are going to be persuaded, but we could from all points on the spectrum, make predictions and share our logic. If you’re like me, you’re not feeling too confident in your political pronogstications as the previous few years results have been bewildering on so many levels. Still, let’s take a stab at it!

They are four main possibilities that I will outline and you can predict from there. To help your predictions you might want to glance at 270towin.com to help you decide.

Four Possibilities For The 2016 Election

1. A Big Victory For Hillary Clinton

When I say big, I’m thinking at least by the margin Obama took in the electoral college in 2012. This is the conventional wisdom out there by pundits as so many polls have turned south on Trump.

2. A Narrow Victory For Clinton

It boils down to the battleground states like Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, etc. Trump will win some, but not quite enough to pull it off.

3. A Narrow Victory For Trump

Again, it’s about those battleground states and Trump is going to gain just enough.

4. A Big Victory For Trump

I’m on record for not being impressed with either candidate, but it is intreaging to consider one possibility that not many are suggesting. Trump support may be highly under reported. That would stem from dishonesty of pollsters as many Trump supporters believe, or from another possibility that is less discussed. If you followed the BREXIT vote recently in England, you know that polls reported until the very day of the vote that Britain’s exit from the EU would be easily defeated. When the results came in, it was easily passed. While you might assume pollster dishonesty in that case ( even though polls that are far from correct lose credibility in the next election), there did seem to be genuine surprise when the results came in. What seems to be the explanation is that apparently because of pressure and political correctness many did not feel comfortable stating how they really felt. When they got all alone behind that voting curtain, they took out their frustrations and voted yes.

There’s a lot of frustrated people in our country. Some might not want the criticism or even the workplace trouble for sharing how they really feel, but alone in that voting booth they will hold nothing back. That will make for many shocks if it happens. It’s a long shot, but in the realm of possibilities I think.

What Do You Predict?

I think the most likely result (that I don’t like either) is that it will fall between # 1 and 2.

I’d love to hear your prediction in the comments below! Maybe I will even tally the results in the days ahead. Don’t give your hoped-for result, but your actual prediction. I can’t wait to hear what everyone say.

Unchanging Witness–A Book For Our Day

book

This issue of homosexuality is the roaring issue on the doorstep of Christianity. That the world is embroiled in it is no surprise, but that some corners of Christendom are bowled over by it is.  The biggest shock of all is what is proclaimed to be biblical and historic in Christianity on the subject. That is why this new book by S. Donald Fortson III and Rollin G. Grams is so timely, helpful, and important.

The task these scholars tackle with such aplomb is showing that homosexuality has always been biblically and historically wrong  in our Christian faith. They show in one succinct chapter how the gay movement has proceeded since it embarked upon a political path in the 1960s. Then the next 6 chapters show what all parts of Christianity has believed on the subject since the beginning with plenty of direct historical quotation and analysis. They may provide more than you will feel you need, but you will appreciate their careful labor.

The balance of the book examines the biblical passages mentioning homosexuality. They spend time mentioning every argument presented by pro-homosexual scholars. You see these other scholars have been incredibly unscholarly, careless, and even dishonest. Some may not like all that scholarly interaction, but this is a case where it’s needed appreciated.

A person can say they think homosexuality is acceptable because they choose not to accept the truthfulness of Scripture, but one cannot logically or honestly say the Bible supports homosexuality. These authors have put any Christians who study this subject in a great debt by so ably providing that proof.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

To Trump Or Not To Trump, That Is The Question

 

Well, that is a tough question. I’ve thought about it for a long time. Never in my life have I seen people who are a lot like me so torn. I’m Christian and conservative and the greater portion of my friends are too. If I expand my sample to my Facebook acquaintances who are proportionally about 90% Christian and conservative as well, I find the exact situation. They run from Trump-Is-The-Answer to Never-Trump. Worse, they are mad at those other Christians who are opposite of them—I mean really upset.

I’m a great microcosm of this newly divided group. I say newly divided because we have over the years, for the most part, been on the same page about presidential elections. Sure, we liked our options better some election cycles than others, but we have usually landed in the same place. Though we have been both bewildered and upset with Republican leadership multiple times, we have overwhelmingly voted for the Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan. I mean several of us were skeptical that John McCain shared our values, but we compared him to Barrack Obama and felt totally at peace with the lesser-of-two-evils argument. But that argument isn’t cutting it for all of us this time around.

When I say I’m a great microcosm of this group, I mean I have both thought about voting for Mr. Trump and not voting for him. Like others in this group, I’ve NEVER thought of voting for Mrs. Clinton. Still, I’ve never thought Mr. Trump was the answer, I’m positive that he shares neither my Christian nor my conservative values, and he lacks the temperament to be a leader. So while I’ve never for a moment thought he’s just what our country needs, I was at one point deciding to vote for him. At other points I had decided I would not.

Why would someone who has been a Christian as long as I have suddenly vacillate so much? Why would someone who has been so sure of the right answer in every presidential election of his lifetime be all over the place this time? Even worse, why would someone who is a pastor, however unreasonable this expectation may be, not have the explanation this election cycle? In my defense, I am not alone.

The problem with deciding is not one of a lack of intelligent arguments. Both sides have given great fodder for thought. Here’s the best, from my point of view, from each side:

Vote for Trump

  1. The Supreme Court.

Most believe that we have a better chance of molding the Supreme Court a more conservative direction with Trump. Not that the Supreme Court has done either Christianity or conservatism much good in my lifetime, it is still important since there will likely be a few vacancies in this term. We know that Mrs. Clinton will nominate people who continue the moral collapse of our nation. With Mr. Trump, there is at least a chance. I fear he will fail us here, perhaps by nominating his liberal sister, but it is still a shot with none on the other side.

  1. The Lord Doesn’t Advance His Work Through Government, So Vote for the One Least Antagonistic to Christian Work No Matter His Or Her Morals.

That makes a lot of sense. The Lord works in spite of government and almost oblivious to it. Think how little Jesus had to say about Rome. He never did any political crusades. When I first heard that argument from a pastor in Ohio it really got my wife and I thinking.

  1. Mr. Trump Has Never Said Anything Against Parental Rights.

I’ve not actually heard this one, but it concerns this father of six homeschooling children very much. Mrs. Clinton and her it-takes-a-village-to-raise-a-child attitude strongly feels that the state owns the children. She has believed it her whole career. Even Mr. Obama hasn’t attacked on this front. Perhaps he wanted to and ran out of time, but Mrs. Clinton will likely make an attempt even if Congress, I believe, will keep her in check on this one.

On the other hand:

Don’t Vote for Trump

  1. In a Choice Between Two Evils Choose Neither

When I first heard this from some pastor friends in Ohio, it really got me thinking again. I already alluded to how we have been comfortable in previous elections with the lesser-of-two-evils argument, but perhaps there was a clear lesser of two evils. Can we argue that there must always be a lesser of two evils that we must pick? What if our choices were Hitler and Stalin? Would the theory hold? Some of us have sensed a Hitleresque attitude in Mr. Trump with his trust-me-I-will-fix-it attitude with no details but himself. On the other hand, Mrs. Clinton could be the Stalin with her far-left ideas. (I realize there’s a little exaggeration here, but you get the idea).

  1. Christians Will Lose Their Moral Authority In Supporting Mr. Trump.

A missionary friend shared an article that is far better than what I could say (here). He reminded us how all of us lambasted President Bill Clinton for his lies and affairs in office. We all said then that he lost his moral authority to be President. Now we support Trump? When the next President that we don’t like does greatly immoral things, how can we say anything after Mr. Trump has bragged on his adulteries in this election? This may end up being the most important issue of all as it actually undermines Christianity itself and its voice in our generation.

  1. As Long As We Stay In A Two-Party System, We Need To Force The Republican Party To Get Back On Track.

We are blowing an easy layup this election. Mrs. Clinton is one of the most beatable candidates the Democrats have ever put up with her email scandal and various other gross illegalities. The Republicans need to know that we are true to our principles and not their party. They had better put up a candidate whose principles we can support. In other words, the decades ahead are more important than one 4-year term.

So What Are We To Do?

I’ve seen Christians I respect on both sides. I’ve seen pastors I admire on both sides. I’ve seen missionaries who really love the Lord passionately on both sides. I suspect those who read this article are made up of some on both sides.

Ted Cruz got it right—vote your conscience. I’ll only add that we carefully seek the Lord. I’ve made an emphasis in my ministry for soul liberty and this is a great place for it. It’s time we realize that those who love the Lord are greatly divided here and both sides have good arguments, so the attacks on each other should stop. We should stop accusing those who support Mr. Trump with being immoral. We should also stop threatening those who cannot with supporting Mrs. Clinton.

To Trump or not to Trump? Just take the Lord into the voting booth with you and pray that He will make something good out of our disastrous choices.

 

 

 

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The Truth About Being Always Positive

a smile

We’re told to always be positive. We’re to take it so far that we should never say anything negative. Some not only say it’s the right thing to do, but also the Christian thing to do. But we must ask: is that true?

If your options are: 1) be joyful and look for the positive, or 2) be grumpy and find the bad in every good, then your choice is clear. No one likes the person who sees the dark cloud beyond every rainbow, or the person who finds pain in every pleasure, or the person compelled to never suffer alone yet who seems to always suffers much. Still, does that mean nothing negative should ever be thought or said? Is there a better point of balance on this subject?

An article entitled “The Harm of Swarm” by Christine Rosen got me thinking. She was writing about “smarm.” That word (either as a noun or a verb) has to do with “behaving in an ingratiating way in order to gain favor.” Swarm was never a familiar word to me as in my childhood we preferred the phrase “laying it on thick.” Still, we’ve all seen it. Likely, some salesperson we’ve met along the way first comes to mind.

In our day it extends far beyond sales. Some websites have said only positive things can be shared, and even some review sites now only accept positive reviews. Social media naturally lends itself to this approach too. I’m glad my wife only shares on Facebook some nice thing I’ve done instead of those days she is convinced I’m a moron who needs to take a long walk off a short plank. Of course, no good could ever come from hurting those we love and live in close proximity to and a positive Facebook presence makes complete sense.

You might be surprised at the research the article I referenced shared about people reading their Facebook news feed. Studies have shown that many people are discouraged or even depressed by reading their mostly positive Facebook news feed ( they may even “hide” the few negative friends on their list). Why does that flow of positive not have a positive emotional impact on many people?

Because it’s not real! (I believe you could enjoy Facebook if you kept your head on straight here). You see all those perfect pictures and posts, those lovely couple posts, or those awesome children pictures, and you compare that to your own imperfect life and somehow you feel worse.

That article goes on to show how it corrupts us politically and filters through society, but I was thinking of how it affects our Christian lives.

We are fragile people for sure. Too much negativity aimed straight at us will soon put us over the edge. I know that I won’t find you helpful or caring no matter your intentions if you bombard me with all that’s wrong with me. I assume I’m not too unique in that regard. On the other hand, even the Bible suggests that their are times for “the wounds of a friend.” Thoughtful prayer, careful word choices, and checked motives are essential to pull this off for good. Many of us well understand the balance in this instance.

The danger of allowing yourself only to live in a world of positive spin, however, is that you more and more leave reality. Then those efforts to rid yourself of unpleasant fear backfires because there is nothing quite as scary as the unknown. It’s just in this case that it’s an unknown of your own creation.

For example, we have had much horrible news in regards to the morals of our land recently and any thinking Christian knows what that means before the Lord. Some even limit what they allow themselves to hear about it because the prospect of persecution or God’s judgment is just too horrifying to contemplate. But is that the best way to manage the fear?

Think of these two options and decide which is really best: 1) Don’t read articles or watch stories of these latest cultural disasters at all to avoid thinking about it–it’s bad, you know, so I don’t want to think about it, or 2) gather information of what happened including the long-term spiritual ramifications and then from the perspective of reality (not excessive pessimism but true present realities) seek out the positive realities–God still reigns and Christianity often thrives in horrid times– and form a spiritual plan for yourself and your loved ones. Is this question not the ultimate no-brainer for a Christian?

This is not to deny that there might be an occasional day that I don’t need to think about the bad news. Maybe I just need to listen to birds sing and watch the children play for a day or two to bring the necessary balance back to my heart and mind. That approach, though, does not have me hiding in non-reality to fix a fear that will only grow in an environment of an unreal world. Truth is always your best choice.

Again, we are not talking about the negative person who spins events until there’s a goblin behind every bush and a conspiracy in every news item. We are talking about an honest look. We are talking about being real. You not only need to be a real person, but you need to face a real world. Perhaps our timing isn’t great in our country as we are clearly at that unpleasant moment of our history that is a jolt downward.

Still, this honest look will not hurt me. It will prepare me. The cost of carelessness with my Lord just got much greater. With that knowledge I can find the comfort that His grace is always the superior of the darkest times. And that is far better comfort than the cult of always being positive.

 

 

 

 

Impossible People by Os Guinness

book

This book is the one precisely needed today. It speaks to what thinking Christians are dwelling on. His title won’t make any sense until you read his reference to Peter Damian, but the book will strike the right cord on many levels. The problems are as bad as we imagined, yet the answer is not despair, but courage.

He will explain how Western culture is in its death throws. He really doesn’t explain a way to save it as we are too far down the line for that, but Western culture or not, Christians have an obligation just as they did in the hedonistic days of the Roman Empire.

He writes about how Christians are failing dramatically these days. He compares the very thing some of us have been telling others–how did German Christians get duped into accepting Nazism. Sounds so familiar, doesn’t it?

Os Guinness never fails to challenge me and this title is no exception. This book,  particularly, is needed whether that sounds trite or not. There is so much more here that I don’t even know what to say other than I underlined line after line as I read. This is a winner and I give it the highest recommendation.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Racing Down Hill

down hill

 

As we head into Memorial Day weekend it is a good time to think about where we are as a nation. What a massive contrast we have before us: those who gave all for our country versus those who are doing their best to destroy it. I’ve been studying Ezekiel 22 (“stand in the gap”) for my sermon Sunday and see in that chapter how everyone failed–princes, preachers, and people. It is quite the similar situation in our day.

Perhaps you are like me–you are siding with God, you are disgusted with the direction of our nation, you understand the concept of judgment,  you still trust the Lord, and you want to stand in the gap. Even if all that is true, perhaps you also feel blindsided over the last two years. Perhaps you knew we were going downward, but wonder how we spiraled so suddenly. Go back to any part of our history and you will find serious problems and issues, but I can’t help but see the unique elements in these last two years. I’m comparing what I thought as it happened to trying now to process it collectively. Here are, to my mind, the highlights:

1. Ferguson and the New Race War

Of course we have had race issues in our country since the day our country was founded. The 1960s were a particularly ugly period in that regard. Still, there is a difference in that whether we would agree with the methods used to fight it or not, there were racial injustices in our country. With an elected black president and minorities in every facet of our world now, that is no longer the case. Now we have manufactured these injustices and have turned a large portion of our nation against the police. In thinking about where our country is going, I can’t help but thinking of a biography of Hitler I read last year. Hitler manufactured these race problems repeatedly.

2. The Confederate Flag and Rewriting History

We used to have more sense. We could appreciate our history and its good points without agreeing with its bad ones.  Surely you are logical enough to realize that every American on the Confederate side did not have the slavery issue as his or her main point. For many, it was just about the fact that the region they lived in was at war. Many of them did not even own a slave themselves. For over a century we were able to be against slavery and yet appreciate the people on both sides of the conflict. Now we have revived the hate.

Of course people have long tried to make an issue here, but now the Confederate flag became almost criminal and confederate generals have even had the graves moved because they are suddenly a problem after 150 years where the corpses are now merely dust.

This problem is so much bigger than a flag. It is the legitimizing of rewriting history. Hitler was a master at rewriting history and finding issues that needed addressing that had not needed addressing before. That is an incredibly slippery slope.

3. The Anti-Gun Attack

We’ve had people trying to take our guns away for a long time, but we have never had those attacks to be so effective. The President with a straight face keeps saying guns are causing some of the mass shooting we have had, but the sad part is how many accept that illogical conclusion unquestioningly. The guns involved were already illegal and taking guns away from law-abiding citizens would have no bearing on it. A possible soon shift in our Supreme Court and the Second Amendment may be gone. I assure you there was no Second Amendment in Nazi Germany either.

4. Legalized Gay Marriage

This is the one I fear that has broken our backs. Romans 1 is why I believe that to be true. Can you believe that it was exactly 4 years ago that our President surprised us by merely announcing that he was in favor of it? I wrote about it then and felt that was a major turning point. Still, I’m no Prophet; I never dreamed we’d already be here. I know I’ve already written on it here and here, but time for reflection has not lessened my opinion of the magnitude of this issue in our country before the Lord. Hitler changed moral laws too (like what you could do to a Jewish person), but I think Old Testament warnings of judgment are even more appropiate here.

5. The Bathroom Fiasco

Maybe I’m just not perceptive enough, but this one really surprised me too. I wrote on this issue too in September 2013 over a few cases in the news, but I never dreamed that it would explode as it has. I have already written on it here and here as well, but a few weeks to think about it has not lessened my belief that we are in trouble. The Lord will protect His remnant, but the country I love has a grim future.

6. ________________

I’m not even sure I want to know what’s next.

Conclusion

I can’t help but think about another biography I read that also involved Nazi Germany. It was a fine one on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. One of things that stood out to me was how he couldn’t believe how few Christians spoke out against Hitler. He was thought by many as pessimistic until, of course, the tide of events made them all hurt. Then he was a prophet–at first an imprisoned one and then a dead one–but quite a prophet.

For me, I don’t want to be like those Christians in Nazi Germany. I’d rather be thought a pessimist now than a fool later. I also want to “stand in the gap.” Whatever happens, I do trust the Lord. The Old Testament prophets greatly trusted the Lord, but they greatly thundered the warnings too.

Please forgive all the links to old articles from my blog, but I wanted to show a timeline. I have thought about the bad direction of our country, but I have misjudged its rapidity repeatedly. That means that the warning (which the Lord always gave to His people) is not that we can predict exactly what will happen, but that ultimately my walk with the Lord is urgent and all I can really do about it when all is said and done.