Archive for May 21, 2012
Tags: Bible, Christ, God, Holy Spirit, Jesu, Lord, Lust, Ohio
With summer fashions seemingly getting skimpier every season, some men may be finding it increasingly challenging to control wandering eyes and lustful thoughts — at least that’s what one minister has confessed.
“Warm weather has broken out and my eyes are already tired. I am tired of seeing so many butts and boobs. From age 11 up…it is the trend. As a man…this is not good,” the Christian minister writes in his post.
Hill goes on to discuss the importance of modesty and staying true to the Lord, and suggests: “Let’s start by not giving eye candy for free. Work hard to balance modesty and fashion. It’s a chore, I know. My kids are in the latest fashions, but we draw a line on how much flesh can be hanging out!”
The Christian Post recently spoke with Hill who explained that the solution is not setting more rules or punishing those who dress inappropriately, but rather he feels what is necessary is “shaping the heart” to improve one’s relationship with Christ.
“I didn’t want to tell anybody how to dress. We need to think about how we’re reflecting modesty, how we’re reflecting values, and how we’re reflecting Christ,” Hill told CP, adding that immodest dress may also suggest immodest morality.
“I think the whole point has to do more with shaping the heart than shaping a federal rule. Jesus came to shape our hearts, not to give us more rules. Matter of fact, he did not like to rule people. He took the woman who was caught committing adultery and said ‘learn from this, go and sin no more,’” Hill said.
“I don’t think we need to teach specifics because I think the Holy Spirit will lead us there. I don’t think there’s anywhere in Scripture that tells you how to dress. Take Timothy, for example: women should not have braids on ornamental dressings in their hair. Do we literally take that today? No. It’s the principle around it, that we should not be trying to draw attention to ourselves in a way that would be distracting in worship.”
Hill argued that the solution to the pressures surrounding the growing exposure of “butts and boobs” is for young men and women to realize that they are far more worthy of God‘s eternal love than the momentary attention they receive through visual, lustful attraction. Men and women should look deeper and harness the true principle of attractiveness, which is to remain appealing to the Lord, first and foremost.
The Ohio minister added that men will always, on a physiological level, have lustful feelings toward women.
Hill said he doesn’t believe issues related to immodest clothing necessarily have to do with sex, as one of God’s first commandments in the Bible is to procreate. Rather, the issue has to do with lust, and controlling lustful urges.
“The first thing that God told us to do was to find a mate, the second thing He taught us to do was to have sex,” Hill argues.
“I think, like anything, the Bible doesn’t say it’s wrong to drink, the Bible says it’s wrong to be drunk. The Bible doesn’t say it’s wrong to eat food, it’s wrong to eat too much food. Anything in excess can be wrong.”
“What goes in your eyes, goes in your mind, settles in your heart, and becomes an action,” the Ohio minister said as a reminder to young men.
For women, Hill suggested that beauty and self-worth come from the Lord, not another man’s visual approval. “Put your heart and your values in the Lord and not in relationships of the flesh,” he said.
Hill is a church planter, consultant, and coach based near Columbus, Ohio. He and his wife, Tiffany, have two adolescent daughters.
Tags: BarackObama, Bible, God, Istanbul, Jamal-Harrison Bryant, Jesus, Obama, United State
It is now apparent that a significant number of African American clergy in particular have made President Barack Obama to be more important than the laws of God! In light of the fact that he has sought to work against the most sacred institutions ever known to man, it does not seem to faze him at all! Not even our most revered heroes of the Bible—from Adam to Jesus’ disciples—were spared the righteous judgment of Almighty God whenever they chose to cast aside God’s word, whether it was personal infidelity or public worship of false deities. Frankly, some of the same evil manifestations of ancient times have become prevalent today, such as child sacrifice (abortion), sexual promiscuity, and homosexuality. Remember, many times these and other abominable acts and practices with the sometimes silent approval of the religious leaders! So a question for us today is: it ever justifiable to count as nothing our Biblical principles even though the source or provider is giving what is desired or needed? This is the essence of what the pastors have done!
In the summer of 2008, a group of America’s most powerful and influential African American ministers encircled who they saw to be the next president of the United States and prayed for his success. It was at the annual Hampton Minister’s Conference and just before the presidential election. Then Senator Barack Hussein Obama was the candidate of their choice. Obviously, his charismatic charm and resonant eloquence had won them over—having laid aside any notion of spiritual discernment or serious catechism from the presbytery. The lure of electing the first black president was at the time, more important than anything else—including the laying the hands upon someone so suddenly!
The prominent leadership that has wrapped itself around President Obama (as well as any person other than Jesus) has also fallen short, first in their duty to exercise sound spiritual discernment in what the then senator, now president actually represented. Had they known that when he was going to vow to defend Islam in Cairo, Egypt and declare that America was no longer a Christian nation in Istanbul, Turkey? As representatives of the kingdom of God, they quickly fell prey to the notion that race was more important than righteousness, and forsook their devotions to Christ in preference for a person who presented no actual allegiance to God, the Holy Bible nor Christianity itself!
Then there has been no evidence of wise counsel! For the past four years, where have they been? President Obama has unleashed an entire army of minions that have waged spiritual warfare against the citizens of this nation! There has been the Veteran’s National Cemetery in Houston, TX, where then cemetery director Arlene Ocasio sought to even ban prayer and the use of the name “Jesus!” Former White House communications director Anita Dunn expressed her praise and deep devotion to former Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong. No one questioned President Obama’s placement of radical revolutionary Van Jones, a self-professed communist, in a position of authority and influence within our government? Have they been concerned, or has President Obama’s agenda of “Change” been acceptable to them?
Today, this anointed leader of the free world has caused even some of these pastors to reel at how his most recent act of Biblical defiance—not just to their most universal position in opposing homosexual marriages—but his total disregard for six thousand years of human history and the pending judgment of God upon a blatantly sinful nation! However, there is an ominous sign the looms within this upper echelon of liturgical leaders, and part of that is the ability subordinate sound Biblical tradition and doctrine to racial, political and social agendas!
Although they may be reeling at President Obama’s endorsement of homosexual marriages, many still faithfully cling to him as the one they believe is the one God has chosen to lead this nation—no matter what he says or does. Another group has voiced their opposition, but still support him because he fulfills their world view. However, another group of ministers have finally realized that Obama as president does not reflect our Judeo-Christian heritage, with the last straw being his call for acceptance of homosexual marriages. For those who follow blindly or even partially, is he their messiah? It seems that they operating more faith in him than seeking to appropriately respond to what God had declared to be an abomination!
At this point, President Barack Obama has apparently become more important than the word of God itself, and it has become no stretch of one’s imagination to wonder as to whether the spiritual leaders of the African American churches are part of the problem instead of bringers of the solutions that plague the black communities from coast-to-coast! In other words, they have made President Obama more important than God’s word! We know as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), but these leaders appear to be saying that President Obama may be wrong on this issue, but he is right on the others. Have they forgotten about the Apostle Paul’s chastisement of the church leadership at the Corinthian church concerning how they were reluctantly addressing a matter of sinful behavior? He told them that “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeastleavens the whole batch of dough? (1 Corinthians 5:6)?” Is there anything that President Obama could do to upset them?
In addition, not only is he wrong on the issue of same sex marriages, he is also wrong on the issue of abortion, which is the abomination of child sacrifice. President Obama has stated his belief that there other ways to heaven besides Jesus Christ, declaring that America is no longer a Christian nation (Istanbul, Turkey), vowing to use the power of his office to defend Islam (Cairo, Egypt), and dutifully seeking to convert our economic system and cultural morays into a socialistic utopian society—to name a few!
A recent opinion piece by the Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant opens a window into the mind and thought processes of most of these spiritual titans. “I remember in 2008 when then-senator Obama came to our general conference, the day after we unanimously passed legislation against same-sex marriages. The Bishops of the church took him in private quarters and surrounded him, covering him in prayer.” This strongly suggests that the then President-to-be was not properly vetted or scrutinized by the most elect of God—especially concerning the spiritual matters they should have been primarily concerned with! Perhaps they have forgotten Proverbs 29:2 that observes, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
Rev. Bryant added, “The African American community has beamed with tremendous pride at the work of the first Black President, Barack Obama, in his first term: Bringing the troops home; creating jobs.; doubling the amount of Pell Grants available for college students; saving the automotive industry; appointing a record number of women & Latinos to strategic positions; stopping Osama Bin Laden; standing up for Trayvon Martin; acknowledging the Occupy Movement; addressing predatory lending; passing historic health care reform… amongst so many other accomplishments.”
The vast majority of these issues mentioned by Rev. Bryant reflect a predominantly materialistic world view, basically void of any spiritual insight or connection—an indication that points to things other than what deeply-spiritual Christ-loving shepherds should be touting. The things not based upon race-cultism are then either Marxist or plain subversive! There is nothing mentioned that directly promotes the advancement of the kingdom of God. In spite of the African American community’s deteriorating business infrastructures, abnormally high crime and incarceration rates, 75% illegitimate birth rates, low-performance academic achievement rates and so forth, the ministers passionately cling to the hand of government, hoping that it, through President Obama, would do that which only God can!
Spiritual leaders are called for and expected to bring people into the knowledge and wisdom of God, as Jesus himself advised in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The matter of homosexual marriage does not stand in God’s righteousness. Neither does abortion! We (and the pastoral leadership) know that these are two behaviors and acts that God has declared to be abominations.
What good is a culture, society or a nation if it is morally and spiritually corrupt? What good are the leaders who redefine what is good and what is evil? Morality is God’s, not ours. Even in times of prosperity, pastors have a duty to remind the people to Whom they should give thanks. Many of the things Rev. Bryant identified as being justification for his continued support of President Obama is shared by a vast majority of pastors, preachers and spiritual leaders, in spite of factual evidence that a significant number of them come from anti-Christian forces. We see deeply-rooted interests that are of the Marxist-socialist influences that have infiltrated the African American churches in general.
So as President Obama seeks to consolidate federal power and force all of America’s citizenry to become increasingly dependent upon him and the government bureaucracy, where do these prominent ministers stand? As Elijah once asked Baal-worshipping Israel in 1 Kings 18:21, “How long halt ye between two opinions…,” the questions goes to the Obama-worshipping clergy today:
At what point will you tell President Obama that “enough is enough?
In spite of the pastors’ positions, it will apparently require the uprising of those in the pews to bring them back into the right path.
Tags: Body World, Cadaver, Facebook, German, Gunther von Hagens, Human body, Jesus, Von Hagen
As the father of a twelve-year-old girl, I find that opportunities to teach worldview lessons pop up at the most unexpected times.
A few weeks ago, my daughter came home from school and announced that her class was attending an exhibit called “Body Worlds.” If you’ve never heard of this, “Body Worlds” is an exhibit of human corpses.
Unfortunately, I’m not kidding. There’s a cadaver of a pregnant woman, her belly sliced open to reveal the corpse of a fetus. One cadaver is riding a horse – a horse cadaver, that is. Several cadavers appear to be dancing together – a true dance macabre. Frankly, they look like something out of a horror film.
Dr. von Hagens preserved the cadavers using a technique he invented called plastination. He says his exhibit is meant to help lay people understand the workings of the human body. But thoughtful people around the world are repelled and disgusted by what he’s doing. Some countries and U.S. states have passed laws in an effort to ban the exhibit. Three years ago, a judge in France ruled that putting dead people on display for profit is “a violation of the respect owed them.” A German prime minister called the exhibit “degrading to human dignity.” Religious leaders, including Catholics and Jews, have condemned what von Hagens is doing – including, three years ago, putting on display a dead male and female which, were they alive, would be engaging in sex.
Von Hagens claims that all the cadavers came from people who volunteered to have their remains used this way. That may not be the case: He has been accused of buying the corpses of executed Chinese prisoners and purchasing cadavers from prisons and psychiatric hospitals without the families being notified. That would make the for-profit exhibit even more horrifying.
It probably won’t surprise you that von Hagens is an atheist. As Chuck Colson noted a few years ago when he learned of this exhibit, “Dr. von Hagens’s grotesque work is a product of his materialist worldview. His public comments suggest that he views the human body as nothing more than a complex mechanism, a complicated network of cells. So he sees nothing wrong with putting corpses on display like so many stuffed owls or racks of deer.”
By contrast, Scripture teaches that the human body, even one that is deceased, has great value. It’s a belief that comes from the Incarnation – God taking on human form. And of course, we as Christians believe that these bodies of ours will be resurrected as was Jesus’ body.
Sadly, even the faithful sometimes forget the Christian teaching that the body deserves great respect – which is why my daughter’s Christian school thought nothing of taking children to see this ghoulish exhibit of cadavers. But when I explained why such exhibits were wrong, I’m happy to report that they canceled the field trip.
Situations like this demonstrate why it’s so important that we have a thorough understanding of the Christian worldview. Once we do, we all ought to speak up – respectfully, of course – when we run into this type of thing. And we ought to teach our children why it’s wrong to turn human bodies into a display for the entertainment of others: Because God Himself took on human form.
Tags: African American, Barack Obama, Benjamin Jealous, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Miami, NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Roslyn Brock
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation’s oldest African American civil rights group, voted Saturday to support a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage at its board meeting in Miami, Fla.
“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people,” said Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the Board of Directors of the NAACP, in a statement. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
And Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement, “Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people. The well-funded right wing organizations who are attempting to split our communities are no friend to civil rights, and they will not succeed.”
The 103-year-old NAACP, whose primary objective has been to fight for and support civil rights for African Americans, now finds itself on the opposite side of the gay marriage issue than many of the nation’s most influential black clergymen who have called on President Obama to denounce his support of same-sex marriage.
Long-time civil rights leader the Rev. Bill Owens has organized the Coalition of African American Pastors. The coalition is asking the president to reverse his recent decision to support same-sex marriage and encourages more black ministers to speak out in support of traditional marriage.
About a dozen African-American pastors gathered Thursday in Memphis, Tenn., for a press conference to protest the comparison of same-sex marriage with the civil rights struggles of blacks.
“The group of black clergy and civil rights leaders say it is time to turn the tide against the ‘hijacking’ of the civil rights movement,” said Owens, the coalition’s elder statesman and organizer, in an earlier interview with CP. Owens is also a veteran of the civil rights movement who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“A 50-year-old can only read about the struggles and protests of the civil rights era, but some of us who are older have the battle scars to prove it. And the rights we fought so hard to acquire did not include same-sex marriage.”
This isn’t the first time the NAACP has taken a public stance on issues regarding sexual orientation. Over the last couple of years it has spoken out in opposition to California‘s Proposition 8, the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed by former President Bill Clinton, and most recently, the successful attempt in North Carolina to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
It is yet unclear how President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage will impact the majority of the nation’s black voters, but some Democratic pundits are concerned it could decrease turnout in such key states as Ohio and North Carolina.
“I don’t know if it will be a ‘make-or-break’ issue or not,” said Owens. “But this is not good for President Obama.”
The NAACP will hold a formal press conference in Baltimore on Monday to discuss its new stance on gay marriage.
Tags: African American, Al Sharpton, BarackObama, Bible, Joseph Lowery, Obama, Sunday, United States
Perhaps history will show that the first black president’s biggest contribution to black America was forcing this community to come to terms with its own identity and priorities.
By formalizing his support of same sex marriage, President Obama has pushed blacks to decide what is most important to them. The Biblical message they hear in church every Sunday, or the big government liberalism that they regularly vote for on Tuesday of Election Day.
I’ve often talked about what I call the “Sunday-Tuesday Gap’ in black America.
The black church has always played a central role in black American life. Blacks attend church with greater frequency than any ethnic group in the nation. In church, they hear from pastors who preach the Bible in a most literal fashion.
According to a 2010 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey, 34 percent of the general public sees the Bible as the literal word of God. However, 57 percent of blacks and 61 percent of black Protestants say the Bible should be read as God’s literal word.
This helps explain why in responding to surveys on so-called “social issues,” – abortion, marriage, family, infidelity, homosexuality – blacks poll like white conservatives.
However, when blacks go to vote on Tuesday, they certainly don’t vote like white conservatives. They vote like white liberals.
On Sunday, blacks hear preachers talk about traditional values, about family, about personal responsibility, about the sanctity of life. On Tuesday they go to the polls and vote for candidates that support abortion, moral relativism, and government dependence.
According to a 2010 Gallup survey, 55 percent of blacks said they attend church frequently (“at least once a week” or “almost every week”). However among Democrats, the party blacks overwhelmingly support, 39 percent say they attend church frequently. And among liberals, who are overwhelmingly Democrats, 27 percent attend church frequently.
The black vote wasn’t always so predictable. Eisenhower got 39 percent of the black vote in 1956 and Nixon received 32 percent in 1960.
Now, ninety percent of blacks can be depended on to pull the lever for Democrats.
These are the blacks of Tuesday. But now that President Obama has made his support for same sex marriage clear, what impact will this have on the blacks of Sunday?
In 2008 in California, the blacks of Tuesday voted for Barack Obama. But in the same election, the blacks of Sunday switched over and voted for Proposition 8 which directed that marriage be formally defined in the California state constitution as traditional marriage of man and woman.
After President Obama spoke out for same sex marriage, those commonly identified as black America’s political leadership – Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond, Joseph Lowery – immediately took public positions supporting the President’s stand.
But these leaders, who represent the political behavior of Tuesday blacks, are out of sync with grass roots sentiment, which reflects the sentiments of Sunday blacks. According to Pew, 47 percent of Americans support legalization of same sex marriage, but only 39 percent of blacks and 33 percent of black Protestants do.
If there is a consensus on anything today, it’s that most Americans feel the country is on the wrong track. Where we part company is on the diagnosis of what is wrong.
There are big questions we must decide that will determine the kind of country our kids and grandkids will be living in.
There is no place where the dilemma is clearer than among black Americans.
Will America move more in the direction of the values of the blacks of Sunday or those of the blacks of Tuesday?
It’s time for black Americans to set and clarify their priorities and act in concert with them. The choices made today will impact not just their own future, but the future of our whole nation.
Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can do About It.
Tags: Bible, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesu, Luke, Moody Bible Institute, Moody Radio, New Testament
Periodically, current world events stir up discussion about the endtimes. While I believe in the importance of being ready for Christ’s return, I don’t put much stock in date setters who think they have the timing all figured out. After all, it has been over 20 years since the book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 was published! In America, the book took Christians by storm, and, as the president of Moody Bible Institute at that time, I received dozens of copies from well-meaning saints who wanted us to spread the word through Moody Radio that Jesus was coming back on September 18. Since Jesus said that no one knew the time of His return, I dismissed the book as another Bible crackpot publication.
But to this day I’ll never forget getting up on the morning of September 18th. As skeptical as I was, I couldn’t help but wonder, What if the guy who wrote this book is right? What if this is my last day on earth? Our family talked about it at the breakfast table. And as my daughter walked down the driveway on her way to school, she turned around and said with a smile, “Hey, Dad—see ya in heaven.”
I couldn’t help but think how right that sounded. I found myself thinking that I should live every day as though this were my last day here—the day that He returns to take me home; the day that I will at last see Him face-to-face! I thought about how differently I would treat people, how interested I would be to share the gospel with friends and colleagues, how I would want to clear up past offenses and live to be really pure and ready. As Jesus said in Luke 12, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home . . . . Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes” (Luke 12:35-37).
So here are four habits of hearts that are fixed on heaven:
- Be confidently riveted on His sudden return. Remember, He will come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2).
- Be pure. Throughout the New Testament, the strongest motivation for purity was always connected to the return of Jesus (1 John 3:3).
- Refuse to get stuck here. After all, as people of faith, we are “strangers and exiles” here (Hebrews 11:13).
- Invest in eternity. Commit your time and resources to kingdom gain and values (Luke 12:33).
God wants heaven to be the fire in your heart. As a friend of mine says, our lives here should be a sneak preview of the really big show to come!
See ya in heaven!
- Think about the things you did yesterday. What would you have done differently if it had been your last day? How will that make a difference in the way you live today? Be specific. Think of people you should call, or people you should hug.
- Are you passionate about heaven? If not, make a list of some things that might be hindering your passion.
- Which of the four habits is the easiest for you? Which one is the hardest?
- Have you ever thought of yourself as an “exile” on this planet? How does that identity help bring eternal things into focus?
Tags: Christ, Christianity, God, God's kingdom, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Matthew, Matthew 6:33
“. . . do not worry about your life. . .” (Matthew 6:25). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.” Some people are careless about what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they are careless about what they wear, having no business looking the way they do; they are careless with their earthly matters, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second.
It is one of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.