Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Great Race to Equality....Not!

Equality is a myth.
Equality is impossible.

Equality, as a goal, began in the very throne room of heaven when Lucifer stood up and said, “I am and there is none like me”, in the Presence of his Creator, Who then escorted him to the exit and kicked his butt down from the heavens.

Equality being pursued, found Eve and Adam mimicking Lucifer’s failed attempt at godship, buying into the idea that they too; the two made into one by God, could somehow be equal to the One Who chose to not only create them but also to put them together, choosing one male and one female.

Equality, a mindset of self promotion, self satisfaction and self indulgence brought an almost universal heart set among humanity, visible to God, Who determined that the very intent of man’s heart was evil and declared judgment upon the earth. A mere 8 people away from a true equality in death, as the rising waters choked the life from the demanders of such.

Equality’s vain cry rang out loudly on the streets of the city as the men pursued their lust driven attack on Lot’s male guests; Equality’s sordid answer was seen vividly in the fire and smoke that rose in Sodom’s sundown, for death alone presents the closest grasp of equality.

Equality’s most recent symbol; the red block with white equal sign seeping from the masses of humanity onto the social media pages, provides a clear statement that man will never be satisfied, appetites never satiated and hearts never filled without the intervention of God’s redemption; God’s way, not man’s way!

Equality; a theory whose proclaimer’s say, “we don’t need or want a God, we want what we want, when we want it and we want it now”, destined to repeat it’s cycle over and over; another culture rising, then collapsing from within.

Equality; a religious attempt to mimic that which God makes in perfection, creating instead a distorted, depraved twisting of the intimacy God intended; visible in the lust fueled orgies of every human based religion apart from God and His Word.

Equality; a human pursuit creating a trail of lives littered with failure, heart ache and a never ending demand to be relieved of the consequences of their own actions, at someone else’s expense which can hardly be considered equality in application.

Equality; an idea born on the backs of a representative republic; the idea that all can be equal, when in reality few can be.
  • Equal opportunity? Some days perhaps, as long as all don’t want the same opportunity at the same time.
  • Equal access? Only as long as all don’t try to access it at once.
  • Equal pain? Never going to happen, because humanity will always shift his pain to the next person, as soon as possible.

Equality and being created equal; is this the same? No, for equality assumes the state of being equal in all things such as status, rights and opportunities. Being created equal? This confesses the existence of a Creator, a major point of dissatisfaction for the “equality” crowd and a major dilemma for all mankind. How can humanity be equal to the One Who created it? It can’t…period. Only by “removing” God from all of society (something akin to closing one’s eyes and saying the sky doesn’t exist because you can’t see it) does man have the perceived opportunity to live in equality. Unfortunately, it is only perceived because each time one group asserts their rights, another group is losing a part of theirs.

Only in the state of UN-EQUALITY can we actually function as God intends, because that is where we start and that is where we finish in life on this earth. We will never be equal to the All Powerful God, the All knowing God, the All seeing God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the “I AM THAT I AM”, because no one can ever prove Him otherwise or overcome Him. In this life we are fortunate to be able to see un-equality and do something about it. It requires the absence of perfection for us to turn to the Perfect One. It requires the presence of evil to see that Who actually is Holy. It allows us to demonstrate the reality of Christ by helping our fellow man, when they have less or hurt more. We are empowered to show mercy, when none exists; grace where only condemnation prevails; and love, in the constraints of the love Definer, God where humanity has substituted a cheap imitation.

The part the equality folks can’t stomach is the presence of God in the issue and the idea that He actually defined what is right and what is wrong. Sadly, history provides compelling evidence of this struggle of mankind against God and the results.
That said, there will be some equality in limited terms:
  • The equal right you have to reject Christ as Savior and Lord and the absolute consequence of an eternity without Him.
  • The equal right you have to live life how you want and stand before His judgment after death, the great equalizer.
  • The equal right you have to marginalize this as nothing more than hateful rhetoric, and be proven dreadfully wrong in eternity at your own expense.

But at the end of the day, here is how it wraps up…not so much concerned about what the Supreme Court of the United States decides; they’ve proven their fallibility many times before. The law of what is, what can be or what should be marriage decides only the human definitions of our culture in this snapshot of time. The reality of my marriage is founded on God’s Word alone; regardless of the tax implications or cultural recognitions, it had absolutely nothing to do with a church wedding, a marriage license or a governmental permission…it was and is founded upon a vow before God, lived out everyday regardless of the acceptability or unacceptability that culture may decide. So many of the questions raised about marriage and who should be able to marry today are related to the failure of marriage, not the heart of marriage. If I reject God, then I will eventually reject His template of marriage to advance my own “godship”. But at the heart of marriage the government doesn’t teach husbands how to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it; He does and His Word does. The laws don’t keep me from doing the right thing in how I treat my spouse with respect and love; they just provide penalties for when I don’t do the right thing. If the marriage never fails, there is no issue of child support and custody and in God’s definition, there is no reason for marriage failure. How important your marriage is often reflects how big your God is! Sadly for the church, we’ve shown that we perceived our God as not too big, as the divorce and failure rates are the same as the worlds. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Crumbling Walls When No Cracks Are Visible...

Under gently swaying palm trees, amongst rustling bamboo stands and around random clumps of cactus plants are splashed the amazing colors of the native flowers and plants of the La Mesa hills. The sun, rising above the morning fog, soon warms and brings to life the humming hives of bees perched on its palm tree stand. If only focus could remain at this distance, the quiet of the early morning would be a calming force welcoming the visitors to just sit and admire the handiwork of the Creator. 

Too soon, the eyes are drawn to that which sits in stark contrast to the above beauty: the meth addict beginning to stir rising to find the next run of chemical oblivion; the alcoholic senior citizen pondering the sway of internal gyrations and the lure of the elixir to sink life back into numbness; the seller of human pleasures drawing herself back into a state of desire to attract her next fool descending on the stairway Solomon described as leading to death! The users and used begin the dance of fatal attraction and certain demise on the seemingly never ending cycle of the disease of sin.

Plunged into the midst of this chaos and beauty, I stand feeling the almost palatable oppression of Satan’s lie pasted over the truth of God’s creation and salvation. Fortunately, the undeniable truth of God pushes through the clutter and disasters surrounding my circumstances and I take a firm stance on the reality of Christ in me. Victory already belongs to my Savior, my heart is secure in His; this ground I stand upon is just a hospice for the condemned, a last gasp residence on the decent to a Godless eternity if something or someone doesn’t stand up and declare the liberty that comes through the cross. 

A quote I recently saw on a shirt in a photo my aunt posted rings with the challenge of the moment, “Some want to live within the sound of a church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell” (C.T. Studd) Indeed! Who will rise up to fight? Or will I turn to run away with the certain hope of victory even now promised? 

Remembering Joshua as he stood before the walled fortress of Jericho, the first formidable obstacle on the entrance to the Promised Land. The Angel of the Lord... the Captain of God's Army, declares victory before even the mortar of the walled city began to slip..."And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

Even though God had given Jericho into Joshua and the Children of Israel's hand before they ever took a single step, it still took 7 days of obedience and a lot of footsteps to see and experience the victory...reminds me that in many of the challenges we face in life, victory already belongs to the Lord...we've just got to be obedient and KEEP WALKING!! I've got to keep walking...down the long highway from the peaceful refuge of home into this infested stronghold of pending disaster. I've got to keep walking right up to the very massive walled fortification of human lust, sin and disease and shout out the victory of my Savior. Days, weeks, or even years...whatever my Commander and King requires, this is the way to victory!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lepers and Grace; A match made in Heaven

In an incredibly painful contrast, the brilliant morning sun rose into a crystal clear sky of shimmering blue shades shining its golden rays to warm the tattered, skinny shivering frame of the young man waiting for me at the door of the church. He , the latest castoff of the "churchy" crowd from another town that resides here in this town. As he stepped from the front seat of his dented, worn and barely safe to sit in jalopy, I was at once overwhelmed at the picture; the mostly dead car with its mismatched bulging and cracked tires; the stained greasy clothes he has been living in for the last few months hanging loosely over his gaunt body. The smears, of the last month’s worth of scavenged meals clearly visible down the front of the hooded sweatshirt that provided little protection against the elements. A closer look shows that the promised offer of two used tires from another former acquaintance has fallen through; another in the long list of rejections by the wonderful group of “loving” folks who have come to the end of their grace capacity.

After greetings, I realize that he left the pro-offered refuge of a warm place to sleep, have some food and coffee, for the remote isolation of the dark woods. This out of fear of those who had previously offered shelter but then withdrew their offers because of his supposed sins. Even in rejection, he still demonstrates his childlike affection towards, and desire to belong, to these who have discarded him now. A sense of family lost drives him to seek out their company, even if only for a moment, among the others who join in the professed open doors of some offering a remedy for the lost, disenfranchised, marginalized and hurt, as long as you’re not as far gone as this one is perceived to be. He is even willing to stand among those who openly mock him and his inabilities and his disabilities while they are claiming the love of Jesus, just to feel close to belonging. This one’s future resembles a civil war battlefield after an extended campaign; there are no safe places to stand. His mother lying in a bed on “life support” according to one of the town’s local “Christian” gossips; no father and a slew of uncles who are supposedly trying to kill him. He sees only a single opportunity ahead of him and that is to drive to where his mother is to say goodbye…a mere three hours ahead of his present location is as far as he can see. With less gas in his tank than most cars would burn to reach Chico, he has his sights set on Reno to say goodbye while it is possible and then see what happens from there. His desired destination includes the hospital where mom is at and then a tire store down the street to pick up a few used tires that may fit his car, for free hopefully. Never mind the fact that the current tires have little chance of making highway 70, much less the 180 miles to Reno but he has the notion, much like the pioneers that set out with a couple of oxen and a wagon to cross the United States a hundred years ago.

I am greatly disturbed by the offering he makes that I am the only person left here who he can talk to, or who will talk to him, as I know that he has never liked me since he first arrived and I held him accountable for helping his mother with the necessary tasks of procuring firewood and keeping the stove stocked, instead of his, then favorite pastime of video games. How in the world can I offer him anything when I cannot for the life of me even come up with one possible, viable solution to his plight? Why Me, is the question that I direct to heaven, as I frantically attempt to hear a Holy Spirit inspired solution or advice for the moment. I think back on all the wonderful folks that have pronounced judgment on him, as they discarded, rejected or kicked him out of their lives. Labels, like pathetic, liar, druggy and thief top the list. Even the ones fronting a remedy have shown that their remedy comes without the reality of Christ, because this one is in the “untouchable leper” category; well beyond the emotionally shallow healing they prefer for the typical patron, who in their rebellion seeks a sense of belonging and affirmation of their life choices without conviction or accountability at the big Saturday night affair. He seems to be the pariah, beyond salvation; the leper without hope; the harlot with no future.

Only by the grace of God does any solution present any hope, but it truly is so meager in regards to the need that I am afraid that it will probably only compound his future. But God provided the means and the timing with this small gift, so with a short desperate (on my part) prayer for God to miraculously supply beyond the measure of what was given and for Him to even more miraculously keep the car from failing, this child shakes my hand and with genuine gratitude expresses his appreciation and then heads off into the future. His life, without any certainty of anything but the reality of God’s love for him and each aspect of even the most minute detail of his every heartbeat, now hovers above four very deteriorated tires. I can only rest upon the sovereignty of my Heavenly Father in understanding that I was unable to do anything much in my weakness and all glory rests fully upon Jesus for what He will accomplish in this one lost lamb. I pray that the sincerity of my heart and motivation is right before my King and may His grace and mercy be multiplied way beyond any potential even dreamed of by this last chance preacher!