Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Serving 29 years as a police officer, I certainly made my share of arrests. Most of the criminals arrested were eventually convicted of the crimes they committed, some of them serving lengthy sentences. But, not all of the criminals arrested had to face the charges that were requested by police. Occasionally the charges were reduced to a lesser crime by the District Attorney, dismissed or diverted to a program, such as a first time offender. Those that were charged went on to further court proceedings. Prior to trial, defense attorneys, on behalf of their clients, agreed to various plea bargains often leading to guilty pleas in exchange for less serious charges, a decrease in the District Attorney’s sentence recommendation, or reduced fines. A particularly good defense attorney would take the case to trial and sometimes succeed in having their client exonerated.

As a sinful humanity we are charged with the crime of failing to place our God as foremost in our lives. We continually place our own wants ahead of God’s will for us. We put ourselves in authority of our lives and relegate our Savior to an afterthought. We place our human reasoning, knowledge and experience before the authority of Scripture. Humanity continues to want it their way, ignoring our God’s will and law. As a fallen humanity, we stand convicted by our actions and failures to act on behalf of our God. We commit the gravest crime of all, placing ourselves, our time and our possessions ahead of our God. Placing God secondary to our needs, is nothing more than the worship of ourselves, our identities and our accomplishments. Luke 9:23-25, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”

Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, humankind has tried and failed in its’ effort to reconcile with God. Problem is, that humankind insists upon making these attempts without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Humankind has failed miserably in its’ attempt to obey His law and live a godly life. God’s church has often been more than disastrous in its’ efforts to lead humankind back to God. Even the most enlightened of Biblical scholars fail when they insist upon using human understanding, experience and tradition to try to determine God’s will. As much as we would like to follow in Christ’s footsteps, we more often trip all over ourselves, falling into the traps set by the evil one. We have seen what happens when misguided organizations like the ELCA, UCC and Episcopal Churches, decide to author their own version of Scripture. We see how far man can fall when tolerance, welcoming and social justice supercedes the command to love our God with all our heart, with all our minds, with all our soul and with all our strength. Romans 1:21-27, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. “ Once we rely upon our own understanding, celebrating our intelligence and insight, we demonstrate just how foolish we truly are.

But, even though we are criminals before our God, charged and convicted of the gravest of sins, we have Jesus Christ as our advocate. Because He took the punishment that we justly deserved, we are exonerated of our crimes against our God. Jesus makes certain that believer’s names are prominently written in the Book of Life so that our salvation is secure. 1 John 2:1-2, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” When we truly believe, we have the best defense attorney that not only argues on our behalf, but has already suffered the consequences of our sin.

There are brothers and sisters in Christ that are being led down the path of destruction. The leaders of the ELCA, UCC and Episcopal churches would have them believe a gospel other than the one our Lord and Savior taught. These brothers and sisters must have their hearts and minds opened to the truth. It is our responsibility to expose the heresies of these errant churches, so that none of God’s children, who have accepted His truth, fall away. Pray unceasingly for those trapped in these churches that embrace apostasy, to be brought back to the safety of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Owning Up

As a child, my parents stressed that if did something wrong, I needed to own up to that mistake by admitting what I had done. If I decided to lie or attempt to minimize my participation in whatever shenanigans I was involved in, I only made matters worse and my punishment was much more severe than if I just owned up to what I had done. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. There is good reason that the leadership of the ELCA has made confession and absolution optional for member churches. For without confession, there is no need to acknowledge one’s failings before the Lord. Without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we are nothing. We can accomplish nothing without the guidance of our Savior. Without first being filled with the Holy Spirit, we cannot even believe and accept the grace that God offers His children. For the leaders of the ELCA, it is more important that everyone’s personal identity is respected and accepted in order to welcome and properly love the neighbor. In order to make certain that the neighbor is not ashamed of their sin and does not feel unwanted, the ELCA enacts doctrine to officially accept that behavior as no longer sinful. So when a neighbor makes a conscious and deliberate decision to remain in sin, denying our Lord and Savior to placate his or her worldly desires, this errant denomination reaches out in their imperfect love and amends God’s law.

1 Peter 1:22-25, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.” The leadership of the ELCA has abandoned the Truth by their deliberate and calculated disobedience. They do not own up to the fact that man is by nature sinful and left to himself is capable of all kinds of evil. The leaders of the ELCA stoke the flames of disobedience by enacting doctrine to allow one to engage in sin without remorse or need to acknowledge their sinful nature. Now, sin is not simply the act of disobeying the Lord. It is when we place ourselves first in our relationship with Christ that we begin to fall into sin. All humans are imperfect beings that fall far short of the glory of our God, and some of us are more imperfect than others. (Put the writer of this blog in the latter category) When we attempt to use our imperfect love as an excuse to disobey our God, then we commit the gravest sin of all, we place ourselves upon the altar and worship ourselves, our intellect and our identities.

Colossians 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” The leaders of the ELCA hold their membership captive through the hollow and deceptive philosophy known as the doctrine of bound conscience. Far too many accept this false doctrine, believing that it allows them to better love their neighbor. It does nothing of the sort. Acceptance of the doctrine of bound conscience allows one to relegate our Lord to an afterthought, placing their own imperfect love as the cornerstone of their faith. How insidious it is for the evil one to use love as the temptation for man to place himself above God! And make no mistake. The leaders of the ELCA may believe that God is telling them new things, but these new things are whispers and murmurs spoken to them by the very prince of darkness. By urging their members to disregard Scripture, they are simply doing the evil one’s bidding. How sad for these enlightened elites. As the leaders of the ELCA fall all over themselves promoting the things of this world in an effort to repair our broken world, their emphasis on social justice actually divides and the false gospels they teach drive the faithful away from God.

Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Dwell in His word. Keep the faith as you were taught, thanking God for every blessing. Continue in prayer that those trapped in the ELCA may be delivered from the clutches of the evil one.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Always a Bridesmaid

The old adage of always a bridesmaid, never a bride, refers to that selfless woman that is always hard at work to make everyone else’s life complete. Always fussing about to make sure everything is in place, serving others first, often to the point of placing her own needs secondary to others. She is never the most important person in any situation, always deferring to someone else. So it is with those who accept Christ and turn their lives over to Him. One’s own needs become secondary when it becomes more important to please our Lord and Savior. Filled with the love of Christ, one places Him above all else. Ephesians 5:1-5, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.”

The primary benefactor of greed is one’s self. Where would we be if our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ placed His needs above ours? What if Jesus decided that we were not worth dying a death on the cross? What if He decided that it was more important that He bypass the suffering and be lifted up into heaven and safety? For He could have with a word, call down angels that would have prevented any harm befalling Him. But no, He humbly took on the form of a human being, experiencing all the pain and suffering meant for a selfish, sinful humanity. He died for us so that we may live. And this is a life eternal in paradise. Our salvation, the gift of grace from our Father in heaven. What is required of us to gain this wonderful gift of salvation? Faith in the living Christ. Belief that my Savior, God’s own Son, took upon Himself all of my sin, suffered the just punishment that I deserve, died and rose to life, defeating death and opening the door for all who believe to defeat death and live eternally with our Father in heaven.

This is such a small price to pay for such a wonderful gift. We die to our former selfish lives and are reborn to be a child of God. But, being a bridesmaid is not acceptable to all. The enlightened leaders of the ELCA, by invoking the doctrine of bound conscience, bow to no one. Deny yourself, well how can a loving God prohibit the things of this world that we selfishly desire. Don’t tell me that I can’t do as I please and that there are consequences to my actions. Self-esteem is paramount to this misguided denomination. Self-identity is so very important, more important than our identities as Disciples of Christ. What God prohibits, this denomination selfishly proclaims acceptable so that no one needs to deny oneself! Place God first in our lives? A loving God would never demand that. For the ELCA, the children make the rules and tell their Father what they want, not the other way around. And yet there are those, when this false doctrine is challenged, that choose to stand up for a church and thereby deny God’s authority. The church is nothing without Jesus Christ, and the ELCA is swiftly leading their flock away from Him.

In Matthew 8:34-38, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Humble yourself and place Christ first in your life and you will be justly rewarded. Accept the false doctrine peddled by the leaders of the ELCA, and you will find that you are ashamed of Him and His words. Continue in prayer for those trapped within the ELCA to have their hearts and minds opened to the Truth that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.