Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Essence of Communion

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26)

Most people have heard of communion but many are unfamiliar with either its meaning or significance. Some who have taken communion for years may not truly understand its meaning.

Communion

Communion symbolizes and celebrates the most important doctrines of the church and the very essence of the gospel message. Communion is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian.

Jesus instituted communion during the Last Supper, the night before he was crucified. At that time, Jesus explained it’s meaning. His simply spoken explanation is deeply profound: “Take, eat; this is my body … Dink, for this is my blood of the new covenant.”

Several aspects of communion have deep significance for Christians, and, indeed, all of mankind.

Communion is all about our relationship with God.

Jesus expressed his deep desire for a relationship with us on that unforgettable night. Jesus said, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15)

Why? Because he is eager to enter into the lives of his disciples and he wants to share his life with us.

We have a relationship with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

In Matthew’s account of the Last Supper, we read:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

The “blood of the new covenant” – Jesus’ blood – was shed “for the remission of sins.” Our sins.

Unless we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus, we have no life. It is through identifying with Jesus’ sacrifice that we enter into a relationship with him. Jesus referred to this as a “covenant.” (A covenant is a binding agreement.)

At the time, the disciples did not grasp the enormity of what had just transpired. Jesus replaced the old covenant of works and obedience with a new covenant of grace and faith. (See Hebrews chapter 8 regarding why the new covenant is a better covenant built on better promises.)

We have a relationship with God through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

In Luke’s record of the Last Supper, we read:

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

Jesus wants us to remember – and to both commemorate and to celebrate – his sacrifice for us. It is through his sacrifice that we can approach the throne of God. We do that by coming (figuratively) to the foot of the cross. It is at the cross that we apprehend the body and blood of Christ.

Jesus referred to himself as the “door” (John 10:9) and “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). That door – that pathway to God – is the cross. We need to walk through that Door.

Jesus offers us a never-ending relationship with him.

Remember Jesus’ fervent desire “to eat this Passover with you before I suffer?” Jesus’ next words point to our final destination in Paradise.

Jesus continued, “for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:16)

Until what is fulfilled? The salvation of all those who accept the blood of Jesus as atonement for their sins.

Jesus offers each of us eternal life with him in heaven. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus gives us an invitation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.”

Through communion, Jesus offers us the opportunity to dine with him; to partake of the bread and the wine, which symbolize his broken body and shed blood. The time of communion invites us to commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice and to remember that our relationship with God is made possible only because of what Jesus did.

Jesus is knocking at the door of your life. Will you accept his invitation? Jesus fervently desires that you do.

Transgender Wars: The Left Has Barely Begun to Fight

In an eye-opening piece on the current transgender war, David French concludes, “The Left has barely begun to fight.”

Transgender Wars

French argues that the current bathroom regulations battle is merely the opening salvo of a war to further “transform American culture and values,” including the erosion and destruction of orthodox Christianity.

French begins by quoting Vanita Gupta, “the head of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice,” who claimed, “Here are the facts. Transgender men are men – they live, work, and study as men. Transgender women are women – they live, work, and study as women.”

Really? This is utter nonsense on a par with believing that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with welfare.

The folly of Obama’s Justice Department is self-evident, as French so ably noted, “according to the DOJ, it is a simple ‘fact’ that a man can have a menstrual cycle, that a woman can have a penis, and that men can get pregnant.”

The Obama administration wants to use the full weight of the law to force not just compliance with its crazy experiment in social engineering. It also seeks celebration of its views.

In his column, French highlighted some of the dangers every American faces under this tyrannical regime.

Disagreement will be regarded as “hate speech,” punishable by law. Non-compliance will be regarded as “discrimination,” punishable by law. Dissidents will be treated like Nazis and white supremacists, marginalizing mainstream views.

David French’s cogent and compelling column is well worth reading, contemplating, and acting upon.

Why Brad Thor is #NeverTrump! Litmus Test is Liberty!

Author and Constitutional conservative Brad Thor recently posted his reasons for being #NeverTrump.

Brad Thor Never Trump

In his remarkably cogent and convincing Facebook post, Thor explains what each one of us should have instinctively known about The Donald and his penchant for authoritarianism.

We see that autocratic spirit in Trump’s words and behavior, his attitudes and actions.

Thor makes the case for liberty being the foundational spirit of America (the land of liberty whose Declaration of Independence has inspired millions of people worldwide) and documents Trump’s own lifetime jihad against freedom and the Constitution designed for its preservation.

Here are a few highlights from his excellent commentary. Thor writes (emphasis added):

As an American, my greatest allegiance is to liberty. As long as there is liberty, no task is insurmountable, no challenge too overwhelming. As long as there is liberty, anything is possible.

The true north of my compass has been, and always will be, liberty. I owe it to those who have come before me and those who will come after. I will act to safeguard liberty no matter what personal price I may be forced to bear.

Liberty is my litmus test. I weigh all actions of my government and those who seek office, against it. The ledger of freedom is incorruptible; its pages open for anyone to examine, and most importantly – to learn from.

When I apply my litmus test of liberty to Donald Trump, he fails – completely.

From supporting an assault weapons ban, the seizure of private property via eminent domain, the restructuring of libel laws, and socialized medicine (just to name a few) – throughout his entire adult life, Donald Trump has repeatedly championed the power of the state.

With the lessons of history as my guide, I see in Donald Trump the character flaws that are the hallmarks of despotism.

[Trump] threatens to further enlarge the state, the other, potentially (a la Napoleon), to become it.

My greatest concern about Donald Trump, though, isn’t a trait he lacks, but a dangerous one he possesses – in spades. Authoritarianism.

Donald Trump has told us to just wait and see what he does to Jeff Bezos once he gets into the White House. He has told us the American military will do whatever he tells them to do no matter what their reservations. He has promised to prevent American companies from moving outside the United States, regardless of what they believe is best for their businesses.

In other words, Donald Trump has clearly told all of us that he will use the power of the presidency to force people to bend to his will. This is not liberty.

The blueprint for America’s success is the ideas of the Framers – limited, Constitutional governance – an area in which Donald Trump is criminally ignorant.

But between a big government progressive and a potential despot – every American must ask themselves where liberty has the greatest chance to survive over the next four years.

Update: Politico reports that Trump plans on blacklisting #NeverTrump vendors and organizations. He habitually – instinctively – threatens and punished those who disagree with him.

DWTS and the New Sexual Revolution

Over the years, Dancing with the Stars has showcased some truly spectacular heroes: Noah Galloway and Nyle DiMarco spring to mind.

DWTS New Sexual Revolution

However, each season DWTS seems to get raunchier and raunchier, due, in part, to its sex-obsessed judge Bruno Tonioli. The libertine Tonioli recently choreographed a group dance in which the professionals and dancers repeatedly changed partners. In one segment, the dance partners – in intimate poses – were same-sex.

Headline: “‘DWTS’: Team Bruno kills it with ‘risky’ same-sex tango routine.” (The other judges agreed with that verdict!)

How far our culture has fallen! And how far are we from Judgment?

Tonioli said his dance routine was explicitly designed to send a message. That message: human beings (and human sexuality) are interchangeable.

No, they are not. The Hollywood Left continually pushes the boundaries of sexuality and diminishes monogamy. Indeed, monogamy almost seems taboo in Hollywood. They promote the notion that human beings are interchangeable, that serial relationships and one-night stands are normative, that standards and boundaries are nonexistent.

Our culture is permeated with sexually exploitative and sexually-numbing materials from magazines and advertisements to television shows and movies. Let’s not forget the Internet and social media. In all these forums and venues, traditional marriage and the ideals of purity and monogamy are dismissed or ridiculed.

“Traditional marriage” is called traditional for a reason. It’s roots are biological, cultural, and theological. In the Garden of Eden, God ordained marriage between a man and a woman.

As for sexuality, the Left’s version includes – and is in the process of codifying into law – scores of different sexual identities. The Left asserts an infinite variety and endless range of sexual possibilities. And it insists everyone fall in line and endorse those views. Hence these foolish controversies over bathroom laws.

In reality, human sexuality is binary: male or female. That is Biology 101. DNA tells us this! Moreover, Theology 101 informs us that human beings were created male and female. Not androgyny, not transgender, etc.

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The Sixties Sexual Revolution continues to push the envelope, mainstreaming everything once regarded as taboo and upending the foundations of civilization. DWTS – as good as it can be and as good as it aspires to be – is part of the problem.

Stop Insisting I Vote!

The #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary contingents exist because their respective presumptive nominees are anathema to them.

Voting

Trump supporters insist that a refusal to vote for Trump is actually vote for Hillary. Hillary supporters make the mirror claim. Both claims are nonsense.

A Non-Vote Is NOT a Vote for Other Candidate

A non-vote never adds to another candidate’s vote tally.

Moreover, each group of supporters impugns the motives of the Never groups. It is not a matter of pique over a preferred candidate losing. Rather, it is a principled response to a candidate whose character, values, or agenda is contrary to their own. Indeed, in both camps, the presumptive nominee is abhorrent to a huge swath of their own party.

Myth of “Lesser of Two Evils”

I (and others) have posited this moral dilemma: If the only two choices on a ballot were Hitler and Stalin, whom would you vote for?

Pro-Trumpers have skirted my question, claiming that Hillary would be worse than The Donald. That was not the question. If your only choices were Hitler or Stalin, whom would you choose? Whom would you vote for?

That is the operative question. Any vote is ultimately a vote for someone. In voting for a particular candidate, you assume responsibility for the consequences of that person’s election.

Had you – out of some misguided obligation to “vote for the lesser of two evils” – picked Stalin, you would be culpable for his purges and gulags; or Hitler, his Holocaust.

If you choose the lesser of two evils, you are still choosing evil.

But, You Must Vote

But isn’t voting a civic obligation? As noted above, not necessarily. We have the right to vote, but are not obligated to vote. Especially if doing so would violate our consciences. (Obama wants to force everyone to vote. Sounds kind of tyrannical, doesn’t it?)

A hilarious scene from Third Rock ably depicts the anguished dilemma facing many Americans this election cycle. John Lithgow is agonizingly distraught over his choices and, finally, casts his reluctant vote. Leaving the voting booth, he blurts out in despair, “O God, I hope I did the right thing!”

When two candidates are equally repulsive, albeit in different but overlapping ways, then not voting may be the best way to appease your conscience.

Anything less is affirming the evil you abhor.

National Day of Prayer 2016

In these particularly dark times, we, as a Nation and a People, face myriad existential threats. Our nation is under attack from within and without. The great American Experiment – that Shining City on a Hill which offered the American Dream and acted as a bulwark against tyranny – is vanishing before our eyes.

We all need God’s help!

National Day of Prayer 2016

But before we beseech God for His providence, we must seek individual and corporate renewal. We must look inward and upward, emulating the prophet Ezra (9:6), who said, “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.”

King David is a splendid, godly example for us. After his grievous sins of adultery and murder, David cried out to God and implored Him, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10).

None of us has clean hands. No, not one.

In 1863, responding to a request from the U.S. Senate, President Lincoln proclaimed “a day National prayer and humiliation.”

Lincoln perfectly set the stage, proclaiming (emphasis added), “And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”

Lincoln could have been describing this very present day, writing, “But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”

The prophet Daniel was of a similar mindset (chapter 9), praying, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.”

Daniel, who was a righteous man, nonetheless identified with the sins of his people, saying, “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.”

Daniel continued, “Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.”

Daniel’s heartfelt outpouring of repentance and request for mercy ended with these words: “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

May we all implore our Father in heaven to cleanse and renew us; to hear, forgive, listen and act.

[This year’s National Day of Prayer is on May 5, 2016.]

The End of the American Experiment?

In Indiana, Trump won and America lost.

A Trump or Hillary presidency is almost a fait accompli.

American Experiment

However, the #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary movements remain unalterably opposed to the presumptive nominees of their respective parties (as they should be!).

Both candidates are statists who are averse to constitutional restraints.

Both candidates would wield a pen and a phone as ruthlessly as Barack Obama.

Neither candidate is trusted or trustworthy.

Each feels entitled to be president, as if they had a divine right to the presidency, and either would rule like a philosopher-king, with the governing philosophy being “What do I want to do today?”

In office, either would exercise a will to power and dictatorial designs beyond what the current president has attempted. Moreover, Congress would be impotent before them.

A Trump or Clinton presidency would continue and accelerate Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, perhaps irreversibly.

Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

If America elects either Clinton or Trump, America as we knew it is gone and tyranny will reign.

America has ceased to be great because we have ceased to be good. We have turned our backs on God and He is giving us what we deserve.

Lord, have mercy on us!