December 25, 2008
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"I hold the precepts of Jesus, as delivered by himself, to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to a man." Thomas Jefferson to Jared Sparks, November 4, 1820
Today is the big day. Christians around the world are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Lots of cheer, the Christmas tree, gifts and too much snow in many places. I hope everyone is able to be with their loved ones this day. I know things are very bad, but family is what makes our lives worth living, at least for me. Of course, our troops are not home, but I'm not going to use this column for any commentary on the war. Just wish to say God bless our troops and their families. I also wish to send God's blessings to everyone and hope this day brings joy in your heart.
Know one of the things I think about today? I think about the Blessed Mother and her pain of bringing forth a child into the world knowing that one day she would see her son die in the most horrific manner because that is what Almighty God intended:
John 3:16-17 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Mary must have treasured each day with Jesus as He grew to manhood. The pain the Blessed Mother went through as she watched her son die a slow agonizing death must have been beyond what most of us can imagine. As I mother, I cannot even imagine such pain and sorrow. When my daughter had surgery (three times), I just sat there like a lump praying to God that He keep her safe through the operations. The agony of Mary bringing forth the savior of the world for you and me knowing the outcome. How can we not weep to think of it?
Our Heavenly Father promised us through his son, Jesus Christ, that if we lived by his commandments and repented of our sins, our reward when we leave this human body would be greater than any earthly riches. As I am fond of saying, eternity is a long time.
God commands us not to sin: Kill, lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, worship false gods, honor our parents and so on. Unbelievably, today's modern pastors of these mega social houses called churches who make millions of dollars personally, care no more about saving souls than they do about an ant on the sidewalk. This may offend some, but I've read a load of material on Rick Warren and Joel Osteen (who gives me major creep factor) and I wonder what Bible they preach from? I see these IRS sanctioned churches of all denominations who have allowed themselves to be silenced and instead, preach feel good rhetoric instead of what each of us must do to enter the Kingdom of God. Heaven forbid they should chastise their congregation and remind them of God's commandments and the price they will pay for ignoring them!
For those who admire Rick Warren, I say to you, beware of this wolf cloaked in "good works":
"Best-selling author, social activist and megachurch pastor Rick Warren described the social gospel supported by many of the mainline churches as “Marxism in Christian clothing. [W]e don’t need to care about redemption, the cross, repentance. All we need to do is redeem the social structures of society and if we make those social structures better the world will become a better place,” explained Warren as he described the beliefs behind those who support the "social gospel," in his interview with Beliefnet.com, which was posted Monday. “Really in many ways it was just Marxism in Christian clothing,” he criticized."
We don't need to concern ourselves with redemption, asking God to forgive our sins? We don't need to care about the cross where Christ met the most horrible death? The cross is the symbol that has given hope to billions for over two thousands years by reminding us of Jesus' sacrifice for us. What shocking words from a pastor.
I would say given the state of the world and our republic, that mankind has failed miserably in keeping God's Commandments. We are all sinners, but we can ask for God's forgiveness. He knows what is really in your heart no matter how you try to fool Him. Next year will bring terrible times for America. Millions will cry, "Please God, help me with the rent or my car payment or just some money to buy food for my children!" It's natural to ask for God's help, but I am wondering what He thinks about these same people who ignore His commandments and then expect a miracle on demand?
If we desire God's blessings can we expect them if we lie, cheat, steal, kill unborn babies in the womb, use His name as a curse word, wallow in the filth of sexual deviancy, sleep around like dogs on the street and worship mega pastors who lead their flocks astray? Can we expect God's blessings by picking and choosing which of his commandments we like even though the act of disobedience brings the stain of sin upon our soul? Can we expect God's blessings by forgetting His gift to the world, His son, Jesus Christ - except when we want something material?
I know secularists in this country disparage people of faith and that my questions are most likely considered corny. The good news is, I really don't care. Secularism is a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship. Those who believe in nothing are but one heart beat away from eternity. I would not wish to be in their place.
We dearly love our spouses, parents, children and good friends, but God's love above all is what we seek through his son, Jesus Christ. I believe that's what today is all about, isn't it?