All posts tagged: United States

Christmas Wars: Then and Now

Originally posted on Veracity:
The “War on Christmas”? Are we missing something here? Perhaps a look at church history might help. It is that time of year again, December, when Christians in America face an annual existential crisis: Do you wish people a “Merry Christmas”… or not? I must confess that I am not crazy about fighting amongst the shopping hordes at the mall, and the year after year pressure of finding the right gift can be really stressful. Sure, shopping online helps a teeny bit, but what I am talking about here is a more fundamental cultural anxiety. Increasingly over the past few years, I have heard Christians grumble throughout the month of December over how “they have taken Christ out of Christmas!” I have read angry letters in the local newspaper complaining how store operators are greeting customers more and more with the shallow and inadequate “Happy Holidays”. Where have the traditional nativity scenes at the community fire station gone? Have a “Joyous Winter Solstice”? What is that all about? Folks. Let’s face…

September Wars

September oh September you unwelcome visitor you’ve brought so many tragedies over the years Wars and rumors of wars I hope you would stay far away – over there Why do you still stalk and threaten – oh september you continue to loom over mankind’s dwelling with gloom Why do you continue to taunt our home burden the nations with your peril And gas the children of earth With your deadly vesicant and sulfur mustard This time around I refuse your war – oh September the blasts of war tanks another Vietnam the horrors of Pearl Harbor a possible Syria cause I still remember your Holocaust your September Hurricanes your nine eleven but I rather give diplomacy a chance so, thanks but no thanks oh unwelcome visitor for another September war

It is Illegal!

In Alabama it’s illegal to drive a vehicle while you’re blindfolded. In Alaska it’s illegal to push a live moose out of a moving airplane. In Connecticut it’s illegal to walk across a street on your hands. In Indiana it’s illegal to bathe during the winter. In Vermont you must take at least one bath a week—on Saturday night. In Kentucky it’s illegal to transport ice cream in your pocket. In Massachusetts mourners at a wake may not eat more than three sandwiches. In the State of Grace it is illegal to gather your friends and throw a pity party

5 Ways to use your tax return

About a week ago we got our tax return in the mail. And every day for the past week, my wife has told me, “Walter we got to talk.” Well, she is right, last year we didn’t talk and the money vanished into thin air. In other words, we spent it carelessly. So, this year, we are considering five options. We are complete in accord with the first one – which for us, is non-negotiable. But the other four, we are still talking about. Please allow me to use these five suggestion to get you thinking about how you are going to use your tax return. Use the 10 percent and over and above principle. If you’ve been faithful paying your tithe throughout the year, you don’t have to give 10 percent this time around on your tax return. If you have paid your tithe correctly, on the gross and not the net, than you really don’t have to give 10 percent, you’re covered. However, there is the over and above principle. That means, you …

Why does God approve war and violance in the OT?

Frankly, parts of the Old Testament are sometimes difficult to accept, especially as they relate  to God’s character. Take his command to King Saul of Israel: “Now go, attack the Amalekites  and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women,  children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (1 Samuel 15:3, TNIV). Camels and  donkeys? Children and infants? Or how about this statement regarding Israel’s destruction of  Jericho at God’s prompting: “They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword  every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys” (Joshua 6:21,TNIV)? Is the God of the Old Testament a lover of war and destruction? Is God a warmonger who  arbitrarily takes out his frustration? Reading certain passages, one could get this impression. This issue presents quite a challenge for Christians who have come to believe that love is the defining attribute of God. Even more so, these passages often propagate the doubts of non-Christians who are skeptical of God …

Don’t let this world squeeze you into its mold

With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. Romans 12:1-2

Five reasons why we miss what God is doing now!

And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13 ESV) In our text, Elijah had just come to this place from Mount Carmel where he saw God answered him by fire. Yeah! He prayed and fire fell from heaven. But when he came to this cave he thought that God will move in a similar way. And just like …

The Most Influential Evangelist You’ve Never Heard Of

The Most Influential Evangelist You’ve Never Heard Of by BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY Listen to the Story All Things Considered [9 min 8 sec] transcript EnlargeHarry Cabluck/AP Republican activist David Barton speaks before testifying before the Texas State Board of Education in 2009. August 8, 2012 David Barton says Americans have been misled about their history. And he aims to change that. Cue The Tape: How David Barton Sees The World “It’s what I would call historical reclamation,” Barton explains, in his soft but rapid-fire voice. “We’re just trying to get history back to where it’s accurate. If you’re going to use history, get it right.” Barton has collected 100,000 documents from before 1812 — original or certified copies of letters, sermons, newspaper articles and official documents of the Founding Fathers. He says they prove that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who built America on Christian ideas — something you never learn in school. For example, you’ve been taught the Constitution is a secular document. Not so, says Barton: The Constitution is laced with …

Catch those Foxes

Foxes are pests that wreak havoc in vineyards (e.g., they will eat the grapes). Although the vineyard has been associated with the appearance of the woman (1:6), here it is described as our vineyards and thus refers to their relationship. The foxes represent some hindrances that are threatening to spoil their relationship