The viewpoints on this page are solely those of Shawn Hyland and Move the Earth Ministries. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of any other ministry or church. 
 
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Stop Binding Your Children at the Altar

Abraham’s obedience to put his son Isaac on the altar (known theologically as “The Binding”) at Mount Moriah has left many inspired, speechless and confused. How could Abraham sacrifice his son? Why would God command such an evil and cruel test of faith?

From this narrative, God reveals Himself to be holy. In context, Abraham did not recognize the ram in the bush representing the promised Messiah. He did not know his submission to God’s instruction would be the act that would prove his faith, that previously accredited righteousness to him. This is what he knew – God will not allow Isaac to die. He knew Elohim was different from the pagan gods of Mesopotamia. Those false gods demanded child sacrifice as an act of worship. God was revealing to Abraham – I AM not like those gods.

In ancient times, it was expected of parents to sacrifice their children for the glory of Molech, Ashtoreth, and others. 

How many modern Christians sacrifice their children to protect God’s reputation, despite His clear will that He opposes such acts?  We prefer not to challenge school districts, state legislators, and local media when the sexual revolution demands more victims! We prefer to send our children to schools that present false assumptions, shelter students from the historical and cultural norm of God’s existence, and strongly promote sexual experimentation and moral relativism.
  • Our children’s conscience and clarity– we bind at the altar.
  • Our children’s purity and privacy – we bind at the altar.
  • Our children’s innocence and integrity - we bind at the altar.
God will never ask you to sacrifice your child’s dignity and self-respect to make His name more liked by a world that is in constant rebellion against Him. Yet, many Christian parents in their effort to avoid conflict are sacrificing their children. God has revealed His nature. He wants us to unbind our children from the altar of political correctness.

How do we accomplish it?
  1. Consider enrolling your child in a private Christian school. Instead of spending thousands on products, services and experiences – invest it in your child’s Christian development. Often, we finance cars and college tuition but not Christ-centered education. I’m not encouraging debt, only questioning our budgeting decisions.
  2. If you cannot afford Christian education (after cutting expenses and applying for financial aid), then your options are limited to homeschool or public school. Be ready to stand for your children, not sacrifice them, in the public-school arena. 

Anti-Semitism in every generation, but not the next

In every generation, a message of falsehood reappears to slander and at times slaughter the ethic descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the Jewish people. People are familiar with the term anti-Semitism. Most have images of the Holocaust at the hands of Hitler and the Nazi regime. Without question, nothing can compare to the manifested cruelty that was orchestrated at the hands of these evil men. Although the systematic destruction of Jews, leading them from ghettos to gas to graves, is unlikely in the 21st century (improbable but not impossible); the words and blood libel narratives have infected the ignorant of a new generation. It is found among the radicals from the political left and right in our nation.  Jewish Community Centers are under threat. Jewish cemeteries are desecrated. Young social justice warriors hijack universities to condemn the sole Jewish nation on earth which offers equal education, voting rights and even liberal gay rights to every citizen of Israel. This includes Jewish, Muslim, and Christian citizens. The Arab minority has the right to win elections and currently has members in the Israel Knesset and on the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, just in recent days:    
How should the church respond to this moral outrage and this ongoing generational hate? I beg the Body of Christ to get it right, this time! As a teacher of church history, I hold the early church apologists in high regard for defending the faith against pagan persecution and heresy. I esteem the Reformation voices of the 16th century such as Luther and Calvin for their bold and brazen defiance not to compromise the authority of Scripture. I want to be clear, I love Martin Luther and John Calvin. I have studied the Reformation and Reformed Theology endlessly over the past two years. Yet, the tragedy of church history is the undeniable admission that our heroes espoused venomous views about the Jewish people.  If they had a Twitter account, they would be ostracized and placed on the home page of The Christian Post for their controversial comments. (God does use imperfect people. That promise of grace extends beyond just you and your local pastor!)

“First, their synagogues should be set on fire… Secondly, their homes should be broken down and destroyed. Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer books and Talmud in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught. Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under the threat of death to teach any more…Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden the Jews. Sixthly, they ought to be stopped from usury…Seventhly, let the young and strong Jews and Jewesses be given the flail, the ax, the hoe, the spade…and let them earn their bread by the sweat of their noses.” Martin Luther, The Jews and Their Lies

“It is because you killed Christ. It is because you stretched out your hand against the Lord. It is because you shed the precious blood that there is now no restoration, no mercy anymore and no defense. Through your madness against Christ you have committed the ultimate transgression. This is why you are being punished now worse than in the past…When animals are unfit for work, they are marked for slaughter, and this is the very thing which the Jews have experienced. By making themselves unfit for work, they have become ready for slaughter. This is why Christ said, “As for my enemies, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.” John Chrysostom, important church father, Bishop of Constantinople (one of the greatest preachers in church history)

From the Council of Nicea if 325 under Constantine to the Council of Basel in 1434, the Church gradually built a legal regime that removed the Jews from Christian society and locked them behind ghetto walls.
•             Synod of Clermont (535): Jews were prohibited from holding public office
•             Synod of Orleans (538): Jews were barred from owning Christian slaves or employing Christian servants
•             Synod of Gerona (1078): Jews are obligated to pay taxes for support of the church to the same extent as Christians
•             Third Lateran Council (1179): Jews are prohibited from suing or being witnesses against Christians in the courts
•             Fourth Lateran Council (1215): Jews are required to wear distinctive dress – eventually implemented by means of a yellow badge
•             Council of Oxford (1222): Construction of new synagogues is prohibited
•             Synod of Breslau (1267): Jews are forced to reside in ghettos
•             Synod of Ofen (1279): Christians are prohibited from selling or renting real estate to Jews
•             Council of Basel (1434): Jews are barred from obtaining academic degrees
 
I know these words do not reflect most of the Christians that read my writings or follow Move the Earth. I am proud of that! Unfortunately, they still represent the silent but steadfast view of most Christians globally. This nature of Jewish hatred is absent and void of Biblical theology. You can have intelligent interpretations about the true Israel, the spiritual Israel, and the nation of Israel; without loathing the very people that are the ancestors of Christ, the apostles and the prophets. It does not matter if it is ancient Egypt in Africa, ancient Rome in Europe, or ancient Persia in Asia. Or if it is our modern world where Jews had to leave North Africa, Europe and Arab countries to become refugees to the nation of Israel after 1948. Every continent and every generation has been corrupted by this spiritual curse of anti-Semitism.

What is the course of action the Church should take?
  1. Stand with Israel and the Jewish people both publicly and politically in the 21st century. Visit www.cufi.org to learn more about the largest pro-Israel organization in America.
  2. Send an email or introduce yourself to your local Jewish Federation.
  3. Teach your children the truth about modern Israel and the history of what the Jewish people have added to Western Civilization and the faith of Christianity. 
Let the Church get it right in our generation so no seeds anti-Semitism are planted in the next generation. 

“There is a wild boar loose in the vineyard!” Once again...

500 years ago, in 1517, a Reformation of Religious, Political and National implications altered Western Civilization. The Roman Catholic Church of that day was corrupted by indulgences and pay to play bishoprics. The exploitation of the poor and their hopeless fears reinforced the systems and structures that gave power to the elite clergy and kings. This corruption was greater than a Pope and more entrenched than just a decade or two of doctrinal error.

Just as Jesus cleansed the Temple of money changers, God was going to cleanse His Church and reform it to the gospel of grace that the Apostles, Church Fathers and later theologians such as Augustine would preach. His servant in this hour of conflict would not be His perfect and beloved Son, Jesus Christ. The unlikely candidate of God’s choice was an ill-tempered, bad mouth, angry, divisive German monk named Martin Luther. Yes, the hero of the Reformation and the driving force of the Protestant movement was not a humble, peace-making monk. He was a nasty and foul mouth sinner who had a high view of God’s transcendence and a love for God’s Church. He wanted to make the Church great again! He wanted to transfer the power of the Church back to the people in the priesthood of all believers.

Why would a holy and perfect God raise up an offensive mouthpiece to cleanse the Church? To be truthful – Luther wrote words against the Jews and Catholics that I totally reject and condemn. They do not represent Christian thought or character. (I am a fierce supporter of the Jewish people and their right to exist in Israel!) However, in the totality of Luther’s character flaws, God seen a man that would turn the spirit, systems and structures of this world upside down.

As the Reformation was beginning to set Europe on a new course. Pope Leo X called out for God to intervene against Luther. The Pope called for a holy uprising of resistance. He prayed to God, “There is a wild boar loose in the vineyard.” An unpredictable rough pig was running rampant. Dishonest practices were now exposed. Soon division would propel Europe into religious wars. Confrontation often precedes peace.

I was hesitant to write this but I feel the timing of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is a moment to reflect that God does indeed raise up “wild boars” to tear up the vineyard - to drive out corruption. Furthermore, to take the power from the elite and return it to the people. Could President Trump, who does not always represent my Christian values and character be the “wild boar” – the foul mouth, short-tempered trailblazer to drain the swamp in Washington D.C., as Luther cleansed the Church?

My prayer is that this wild board stands with the Jews and the nation of Israel, not against them. I am confident that he will. Everything else is what I expect from a wild boar – erratic behavior, kicking dirt, and tearing up the ground.

Those who use political office to oppress the poor and the world leaders who stand against the covenants of God might be the Pope Leo X’s of our generation. 

The Church's post-election identity crisis

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel  without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. Philippians 1:27,28

As a Christian leader who has spent considerable time in recent years urging the Body of Christ to “stand UNDIVIDED” for our Core Beliefs, I feel obligated to give a perspective on the increasing divisiveness within the Church shaped by this unique political period. I refer to a statement made by Pastor Brondon Mathis (pictured) of Columbus, OH at our UNDIVIDED Conference II a couple of weeks ago, “The reason we are so divided, is because heaven and earth are divided. We pray God’s kingdom into the earth, reconciliation will be a byproduct.”

Ultimately, it is a gospel issue. It sounds too simplistic, but it is! The Church finds brotherhood, strength, and commonality in the gospel message. The power of the Gospel brought together Jews and Gentiles in the first century. Sadly, the gospel is not the focus of some of the Church today. It might be the 30-minute sermon on a Sunday morning, but it’s not the priority of our collective identity or our role as ambassadors of Christ’s kingdom. We are split over subjective cultural experiences, as I am sure Jews and Gentiles were in the first century.

At the UNDIVIDED Conference, I briefly shared how we (the Church) have one Father, but different assignments from the Father. For example, I might tell one of my children to do the dishes, another vacuum the floor, another clean the bathroom, and yet another to change the garbage. Similarly, our heavenly Father might assign His children to fix racial inequality and lack of opportunity, another to save innocent unborn lives, another to stand for the peace and security of Israel, and yet another to fight for prison reform. When my children complain about the assignment of their sibling, they dishonor me, and show their lack of regard for the big picture - the house needs to be cleaned. In the same way, when we show outrage and blame on fellow believers for following their conscience and their assignment, the Father is dishonored by the Church’s representation of His glory and the big picture - His Kingdom on earth.

We need to rest in God’s sovereignty. The same God that allowed President Obama to serve two terms, is the same God that will allow President-elect Trump to begin his role in God’s big picture. In the end, Bush, Obama, Clinton, Trump, etc… (until the coming of Christ) will all be footnotes in God’s plan of redemption at the coming of Christ. If our identity is in government, then we become victors or victims depending on a political system that is passing away. If our identity is in Christ, then together as one body, we are seated with Christ (not with Clinton or Trump) and all things have been placed under our feet, as Christ is our head.

On election night in 2008 and 2012, I went to bed secure in God. On election night in 2016 (early morning), I went to bed secure in God. I did not stay up to see the results. Why? The Church will proclaim Christ when the government favors it, as in the days of the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Church will proclaim Christ when the government fights it, as in the days of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. May the true church arise and proclaim the message that regenerates man and forgives sins – the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  
 

Body Shaming - when Christians talk bad about other Christians

Body shaming has become the new tactic used by cyber-bullying enthusiasts to harass, embarrass and degrade people on the internet. It is the act of insulting someone’s body shape either verbally, or much worse, with an unflattering photo that is posted online for others to mock and comment on. Celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian and Blake Lively, are using their fame to raise awareness to this awful and cruel form of intimidation and humiliation. Even the 2016 Olympics’ do not offer a safe environment, as the Mexican gymnast, Alexa Moreno, was “body shamed” for her physique, even though she weighs less than 100lbs; and Ethopian swimmer Robel Kiros Habte suffered the same fate.
 
Overlooked is the most harsh and hurtful type of body shaming that equally has become the phenomena of our internet social media age – when Christians talk bad about other Christians, thus shaming the Body of Christ with prejudicial criticisms and personal subjective judgments. The Bible is clear, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27). 

Is there a distinct difference in the use of words from an aggressive liberal atheist compared to a Bible believing Christian, when you scroll through the comment section of an online Christian post? The words and the tone are strikingly similar. Charisma magazine, Christianity Today, the Christian Post and more offer news about religiously related topics and stories. The facts are read with filtered opinions by Christians who then immediately send the false teacher to hell in their public response. The accusations are muddled and obviously without merit. 

There is one “accuser of the brethren” in Scripture – the devil. “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” (Revelation 12:10). Satan is styled the "accuser of the brethren" (Rev. 12:10. Comp. Job 1:6; Zech. 3:1), as seeking to uphold his influence among men by bringing false charges against Christians, with the view of weakening their influence and injuring the cause with which they are identified *1897 Easton's Bible Dictionary
 
How many false charges against God’s leaders are you guilty of?
How have you weakened the influence of the Church by criticizing instead of complimenting the work of God?

I apologize, but some uncomfortable self-examination is required.
Have we injured the cause of Christ by our online Ecclesiastical Courts
(church trials operating illegally without the defendants’ present)?

The keyboard in the 21st century is an unruly evil, as the tongue was described by James in the 1st century. We are quick to condemn and slow to consider. 

Pulpits are occasionally used to put down other local churches that worship and form accountable communities differently than the preferred norm of the pastor speaking from his platform. Cult like memberships are unsurprisingly formed. If members begin to fellowship in another body of believers, they are cut-off and ostracized. Once close personal friends, now become distant Facebook acquaintances. 

Some Scriptures to mediate on:
Ephesians 5:25 – Christ loves the Church. Yes, he loves the very body of believers that some within the body tend to shame. 

I John 4:20 – Our love for God is rendered obsolete if we do not love our brother and sister in Christ. 

Ephesians 4:29,30 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Let us be cautious with the words we speak. Are we building up other ministries or tearing them down? Does the "it’s us against them" attitude creep into our thoughts and messages? The Holy Spirit is grieved when the power of our words are used as weapons against Christ's eternal bride. We wisely select our words when teaching about the lifestyles and belief systems of unbelievers, but carelessly remark and rebut different theologies and traditions without a thought to who it offends. Sadly, our congregation members develop a negative picture of a positive thing.

In a rapidly declining culture that has generated a hostility towards orthodox Christian teaching, the Church needs each other more than ever before. It is time to stop "body shaming" our brethen. Instead, we must hold fast to encouraging one another to contend for the faith. 
 
Be part of the UNDIVIDED Conferenece II on Saturday, Oct 22 in Ocean Grove, NJ 

 

The simple ABC's why every Christian should be a Zionist.

Since my journey to Israel with the organization, Christians United for Israel in January 2016, I cannot help but find a fire of Christian Zionism burning in my bones. I know there are Christians who do not interpret scripture concerning God’s dealings with the nation of Israel the same way I do. I am a dispensationalist. I am a history buff in general and am routinely amazed as I connect the dots of human history that has developed into God’s redemption story. I believe natural Israel (nationhood of ethic descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), still have a prominent place in this story. Jesus, the Jew, spoke of the “times of the Gentiles being fulfilled”. This Jewish prediction was recorded by the only Gentile to be used by God to write scripture – Luke (Luke 21:24). This same Luke, a fellow history buff and probable dispensationalist (though this term and theology would not be defined for 1800 years), also wrote the words of the Jewish Peter concerning the “restoration of all things” that God’s holy Jewish prophets spoke of (Acts 3:21). I share this for my fellow dispensationalists to understand my like-mindedness in our shared interpretation. However, there are many Christian leaders who I learn from in matters of theology, that disagree with my understanding of dispensationalism. That is fair. I do not challenge those long held beliefs in this post. 

Yet, I appeal to every Christian, despite your theology, to become a modern Christian Zionist. Zionism is a political movement to establish a Jewish homeland in what is now Israel. A Christian Zionist is…well.. you guessed it – a Christian who believes Jews have a right to this land. You need to be one if you want to reverse biblical unbelief in the 21st century. Here are the simple ABC’s why:


APOLOGETICSThere are two narratives coming out of the Middle East concerning the Palestinians and the Jews. The Jewish narrative affirms the historical accuracy of the Bible. The Palestinian view denies it. Archeologists continue to make discoveries in Israel verifying the accounts of the Old Testament. The Jews want to dig and discover their history - which is the Christian history. On the other hand, Palestinians promote the idea that the Jews have no historical right to the land of Israel. Furthermore, King David never existed and there was no temple in Jerusalem.  Thus, Christ never cleared the temple of money changers, never visited the temple, never spoke of its destruction; nor is he a descendent of King David. Therefore, he cannot sit on David’s throne. In conclusion, for the defense of the Christian faith, we should advocate for the Jews to govern this land to unearth the evidence of Scripture, in order to answer the objections of Biblical authority faced by intellectual skepticism.  

BROTHERHOODOur fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are perishing in the Middle East. Persecution and genocide is running rampant throughout North Africa and the Arab/Muslim world. The United Nations, European Powers, and the American Superpower machine does little to end this violation of human rights. At the beginning of the 20th century, 20% of the Middle East was Christian – now its 4%! In 2003, Iraq had 1.5 million Christians –  it has decreased to 250,000. The Palestinian territories of the West Bank is down to 2%, while the Gaza strip has a few hundred Christians. Over the past three years, 250,000 Christians fled Egypt after the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. The only exception to this decline of the Christian faith in this chaotic part of the world is the Jewish government’s rule of Israel. There, all faiths can freely worship at their holy sites and practice their holidays. The result, Christianity is flourishing throughout Israel. Many Christians in Israel are aware of their uncommon freedom that is not experienced by fellow believers in the Middle East. That is why 150,000 Christian Arabs serve in the Israeli Defense Force. In conclusion, our unity, love and oneness with our global universal brothers and sisters in Christ, demands us to stand with Israel, as they offer freedom to worship and protection of holy sites for all.

COMPASSIONThe Jewish people are the most persecuted and oppressed people group in the history of the world. Sadly, the evil experienced by modern Jews at the hands of radical Islam does not compare to the suffering experienced by them from the heavy hands of institutionalized Christianity for 1900 years! The pogroms throughout Europe, the Catholic church’s formal declaration at the Fourth Lateran Council supporting violence against Jews, to the anti-Semitic rants and writings of our hero reformer Martin Luther. Christ’s love for all humanity is intentionally shared through the servanthood of Christians to various ethnicities, and even enemies of the gospel – except the Jews. Criticism, disgust and hidden anger can quickly surface when talking to Christians about Jewish people. Christ-like love has been expressed to the victims of terrorism from the secular French to the gay community. The prayers, memorials, and outpouring of love is appropriate and should be displayed. However, when innocent random Jews are stabbed, rammed with cars, or blown up by suicide bombers, minimal sympathy is verbalized by the Christian world. In conclusion, our gospel witness is seriously damaged by such historical abuses and modern day apathy towards Jewish suffering.

You defend the Bible, protect fellow Christians, and show God’s love when you stand with Israel.
Please prayerfully make the Israel Pledge today.  

Evolutionary Ethics protest injustice at Cincinnati Zoo

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Matthew 12:9-12


The heartbreaking decision of the Cincinnati Zoo to take the life of an endangered gorilla, in order to save the life of a four-year-old child "in danger", has caused a firestorm of reaction, protest and debate across this nation. The Bible is clear that animals are to be treated with respect and care. The abuse or neglect of domesticated animals to the poaching of wild animals should be condemned and prosecuted. However, when the life of the animal species stands on the scales of justice in comparison to the life of the 'image bearers of God' - humankind, then moral objectivity found in sacred Scripture clearly states the human life is more valuable and must be protected above all other forms of life.  

God has spoken that human life is valuable. To kill and innocent human life is a serious sin. The Bible records that God created mankind to be higher in worth than other forms of life such as bacteria, shrimp plants and whales. This was God's standard of moral objectivity. Remove God from his creation and you remove moral objective standards. Humanity loses its God-given human value and distinct dignity. We downgrade the image of God in which we have been made to just another evolved species on the Phylogenetic tree.... the 'most influential living philosopher,' Peter Singer (Princeton University), claims that if we make man into something special we are a "speciesist." Such as a racist exalts one race over another, sexist exalts one gender over another; a speciesist is someone who exalts one species "humans" over other animals. The official, and yes, I mean "official" term is - speciesism. UNDIVIDED, page 116-117

I make the case repeatedly at my Core Belief World View conferences, that evolution transcends science. It devalues human life. It has a low view of man. Christianity describes man as sinful, depraved and in need of regeneration, but made in the image of God and worth the priceless sacrifice of God's son. There is no higher view of man than what is revealed in the Bible. 

I wonder if the same passion to protest the death of the gorilla would likewise be heard to protect the life of humans? 
Sadly, I believe if the four-year-old child was instinctively killed by the gorilla, zoo officials and parents would be under investigation, but there would be no protests, no signs, and no controversy. 

Is socialism a sign of idolatry?

My children and I recently watched a Bible study series from financial expert Dave Ramsey. The overall theme of the session was to be generous in your giving, as God is a giving God, and we are made in His image. After the 30 min presentation, we had our normal discussion time. I began to explain that giving is a test of the human heart not an obligation. God knew that a simple low number as 10% (the tithe) would be a struggling point for people, not because of the amount, but because of the condition of the human heart to rebel and resist against honoring God. I further explained that the government requires us to pay taxes ranging from 20%-50% for some income earners. People do not resist these burdensome mandates for government programs that give little “return on investment”. However, people complain or invent excuses why they cannot honor God with their giving.

A new generation enthusiastically prefers to give MORE of their money to government through economic socialism. Man in his fallen nature has no problem giving his money to a cause, unless that cause is the Kingdom of God. The appeal of socialism should cause self-reflection. Why are people so energetic to give away their money to a failed system, but so hesitant to honor God in a system that universally works. Again… the human heart.

Money represents our lives. We are rewarded with it through the sacrifice of our time, energy, and talents (knowledge/skills). Thus, we offer it back to the god that we ultimately serve. First, the internal self-god of ourselves and the fulfillment of our desires. Second, the external god that we want to honor.

When the rich young ruler perceived himself to be righteous by following all the commandments from childhood, Jesus started the humbling process by going straight to commandment #1.  “Sell all that you have and give it to the poor.” Some might say, “That’s not fair. That is not one of the commandments. If you live right, will God just add more requirements to make it impossible to please Him?” Of course not! The Law is perfect in its ability to school us and restrain us. Giving is not listed as part of the Ten Commandments, but idolatry is. Money is idolatrous.

The human heart does not have a problem with giving money (rise of socialism), or spending it (the strength of capitalism). It has a problem with honoring the true God. 

Deception and delusion of feeling-based identity

The secular belief systems that dominate our world normally default to science and demand objective facts to justify any "feelings based beliefs." Religion and morality are categorized as personal truths, as they are understood to be feelings based (what you believe, what is right/wrong for you). Secularism rejects the influence that "feelings" or "personal beliefs" may have on any public policy. 

The new transgender request for full access to the private physical spaces of the opposite sex is the exception. Science is not allowed to speak, while feelings and personal beliefs increase their demands. XX and XY chromosomes are meaningless facts with no place in the discussion. Public policy is being manipulated and fundamentally transformed through personal feeling based legislation. The secularists (humanist, atheist, etc…) should be outraged, but they are not.

Why is this happening in the 21st century? Delusion and Deception. A strong delusion changing the ability of society to see clearly because of unrelenting deception. Deception and Delusion – two key signs of spiritual decline.

Delusion - is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

Deception - the act of propagating beliefs in things that are not true, or not the whole truth.

The cultural discussion concerning transgenderism (and now even trans-speciesism) should be alarming. We have fallen from such enlightened heights to a level of purposely promoting beliefs that are not true – males can be girls and females can be boys; with little regard for science and no regard for divine revelation.

We must remain sensitive. These feelings cannot be denied, but their true God-given identity must be reaffirmed as male or female. People genuinely struggle with their identity at many emotional and physiological levels. God loves each person despite their gender indentiy, and everyone must be treated with respect and dignity. May big business feel the power of our petitions and hurting people the power of our prayers. 

The Last Stand or the Last Surrender?

***This personal story was from my experience on recent tour to Israel with Christians United for Israel.
You can read a previous blog for detailed information about the trip.
 

The story of Masada is well-known in history. It is the final battle between the Romans and the Jews during the first century. This is often referred to as “The Last Stand” of the Jews. 

Masada was a fortress in ancient Israel built by King Herod the Great. It was a military stronghold in southern Israel positioned on a high mountain near the Dead Sea. 

In 73AD, a few years after the destruction of Jerusalem, during the early stages of the Jewish Diaspora, a band of Jewish zealots captured Masada from Herod’s forces stationed there. The response was immediate and intense. 15,000 soldiers were sent to retaliate against 900 Jews. Victory was impossible. Defeat was inevitable. 

The Jews debated among themselves as they defended the walled fortress during the Roman siege. Problem was resolved - lets kill our own wives and children to prevent them from being slaves, then lets kill ourselves. The last man will ‘fall on his sword’. Now that is epic history! Josephus, a first century historian, recorded the account as 2 women and 5 children escaped the ordeal to testify. 

 Our Jewish tour guide shared with us this story as he led us around this modern tourist destination. “We are not here to celebrate these dead men. They are not heroes.”

My fellow pastors kindly interrupted him, “Of course they are heroes. I could only imagine what I would do for my kids.”

The guide responded, “They are not heroes to us. There is a saying in modern Israel - MASADA WILL NOT FALL AGAIN!”

I privately asked him during our walk back to the bus, “Why are they not heroes? Its because at the very end they didn’t stand, right? We say its the ‘Last Stand’ but at the very end, they decided to surrender, right?”

“EXACTLY.” 

That’s when God prompted me to ask myself (and you), “How will future generations look at the American church in the early 21st century? Will they say we are heroes, because even though we are outnumbered and the odds are against us, we decided to take our Last Stand for the faith, despite the outcome? Or will they disappointingly look at us and say, ‘You are not heroes, because instead of making your Last Stand, you made your Last Surrender? 

Church, we must continue standing for the Christian faith, as humanism, atheism, and relativism try to invade the strongholds of the mind, as Romans invaded the stronghold of Masada. As God’s creative order and divine moral laws are being challenged and criticized, will you ‘fall on your sword’ in surrender OR will you pick up the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, and take your last stand? 

Future generations will decide your place in history based on your decision. 

“Obedience is better than sacrifice” 1 Samuel 15:22
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