Friday, April 24, 2009


Regardless of what you think of beauty pageants, you should be encouraged by Carrie Prejean’s response to a question regarding gay marriage at the recent 2009 Miss USA competition. When asked if she thought that gay marriage should be legalized in California, she responded, ""I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised." She had no regrets afterwards--as she explained in an interview--despite the possibility that her response cost her the crown, "This happened for a reason. By having to answer that question in front of a national audience, God was testing my character and faith. I'm glad I stayed true to myself."

These types of confrontations are growing increasingly more frequent in our so-called "tolerant" society. The proponents of tolerance are exceedingly intolerant of divergent viewpoints. Beliefs that are rooted in faith in God, Biblical standards, or salvation exclusively by faith in Christ alone--are simply not acceptable. How are we, as believers, to respond?

Carrie’s response is admirable for several reasons. First, she responded in faith not fear. What mattered to God mattered most to her. She could have shrunk back. She could have yielded to the temptation to say what some wanted to hear. She could have said that which might have won her the crown. But she didn’t. She spoke the truth. Secondly, she responded with care. She didn’t attack. She showed a concern for those who would disagree. She didn’t exalt herself in some misguided self-righteousness. She spoke the truth in love.

We tend towards extremes in our response to such issues. Some heralds of the truth attack their opponents with a self-righteous anger that elicits the same. They speak the truth, but not in love. Others misdefine love as tolerance and shrink back from declaring the whole truth. By the Spirit of God we are to be "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). Such love is motivated by a genuine concern for the spiritual well-being of others, even those in opposition (2 Timothy 2:25; Matthew 5:44). At the same time, it is instructed by the realization that the truth alone that can set them free (John 8:32).

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect example. Whenever He spoke, He spoke the truth. And whatever he said, He said it in love. Even in His suffering, He spoke the truth in love. He "committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Peter 2:22-23). "But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’" (Luke 23:34). His example demonstrates our need to depend upon the Spirit in our response (Colossians 4:5-6; Matthew 10:16-20). God is glorified and His truth is revealed when we do!

Pastor Jerry

Thursday, April 16, 2009


This has been around for a while, but given the state of the news--I thought it humorous...

Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense.

His obituary reads as follows:
Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering. Rules and regulations and petty, frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S.

A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet. C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice).

A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Technological Revolution and the Smoking Crusades, C.S. survived sundry cultural and educational trends including disco, the men's movement, body piercing, whole language and new math.

C.S.'s health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus. In the following decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code. C.S. was sapped of strength and the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, criminals received better treatment than victims and judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional baseball and golf. His deterioration accelerated as schools implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing classmates, a teen suspended for taking a swig of Scope mouthwash after lunch, girls suspended for possessing Midol and an honor student expelled for having a table knife in her school lunch were more than his heart could endure.

As the end neared, doctors say C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding regulations on low-flow toilets and mandatory air bags. Finally, upon hearing about a government plan to ban inhalers from 14 million asthmatics due to a trace of a pollutant that may be harmful to the environment, C.S. breathed his last. Services will be at Whispering Pines Cemetery. C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit.

Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Institute for Rational Thought.
Farewell, Common Sense. May you rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Check out this article... Turns out that according to the Missouri Information Analysis Center you might be a right wing extremist. They issued a report warning their State Police "to watch out for individuals with "radical" ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes." While I'm not as concerned about illegal immigration and federal taxes (I pay mine), I do have some "radical" ideologies (e.g. God created the universe, Jesus Christ died for my sins, the Bible is the inspired Word of God, etc.) and am adamantly opposed to abortion. Let me get this straight...those who oppose abortions are extremists those who kill innocent unborn children and protest for the killing of unborn children are not extremists. What does "extremist" mean? I'm confused.

I think I know a lot of right wing extremists--hundreds of them. But they sure don't seem like the kind of people that the government should be worried about. The extremists I know are all loving, law-abiding people. They watch baseball games and go fishing. They go to church and serve in the Senior Center. They help out at school and in civic organizations. They love their families and have lots of friends. They love their country. They love their freedoms. They are glad to be American citizens. What's extreme about that?

Pastor Jerry

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


In light of my recent post, "The Death of America," Newsweek recently published an article entitled "The End of Christian America." Here's a link to it:

Pastor Jerry

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Our Second President, John Adams, said some two hundred years ago, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." If he were here today he might ask, "What part of ‘wholly inadequate’ did you not understand?

As our society spirals dangerously out of control in a moral free fall, righteous souls are vexed (2 Peter 2:8). I suppose its not bad to be vexed, but we ought not to be surprised. We’ve were warned ahead of time that things would work out this way. So wrote Paul about the last days: "In the last days difficult times will come" (2 Timothy 3:1). "The days are evil" he said (Ephesians 5:16). In this dispensation the church is set "in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation" (Philippians 2:15).

At various times and in various places in the world there have been spiritual revivals. At other times and in other places there have been periods of great spiritual decline. Without a doubt the general inclination of man is towards sin and disbelief and immorality--so we ought not to be surprised as our society unravels.

Why is our constitution wholly inadequate for the governance of an irreligious people? What insight did John Adams have as to the nature of government and man that makes this so? He obviously had some insight into the truth of God’s Word. He knew, for example, that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). He knew that "There is none who does good, there is not even one" (Romans 3:12). He knew that man’s unbridled passions must be somehow bridled in order for any society to prosper. How can that be done?

Our constitution is unique in that it emphasizes both a limited role of government and a greater freedom for individuals. American has been unique in this social experiment. And it had flourished in it. Until now. The problem with having such a high degree of freedom is it only works when there is something or someone else that restrains the hearts of evil men. Since men are fundamentally sinners, and inclined to do evil, it is necessary that their propensity to do evil be restrained. The Holy Spirit has that role in the world today (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Because of His presence in the world, inasmuch as He indwells every believer, the world is better off now that it would otherwise be.

The Holy Spirit is the Restrainer. He convicts of sin, and righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). He causes people to be born again (John 3:8). He causes us to understand the truth of God’s Word (1 Corinthians 2:12). It is by Him that sin is put to death in our lives (Romans 8:13). It is by Him that we are transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). And by Him we bear His supernatural, God-honoring, relationship-building fruit: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

Born again people don’t need laws to restrain them, the Holy Spirit has exalted them to a higher plane of living. He constrains them to love. They are freed by His empowering presence to do that for which they were created--to love God by loving others. They are in fact the only people who are truly free. They are free indeed (John 8:36). Let us remind ourselves that true freedom is not the freedom to do whatever we want to do, but instead the freedom to do what we ought to do. Those who flew the jets into the World Trade Center were unrestrained from doing so by any earthly power, but they were hardly free in the truest sense of the term. They were in fact "held captive by him (the devil) to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:26).

For all of the talk about freedom in our society today we are in fact hopelessly enslaved. Our lusts have enslaved us. The current worldwide economic crisis can be traced back to a greed and lust to have more. Casinos, lottery ticket sales, malicious internet schemes, all speak to this lust. Our enslavement to drugs and alcohol costs society untold billions of dollars in healthcare costs and disabled workers and broken marriages. The current border war amongst Mexican authorities and drug lords can be traced to our societies lust for illegal drugs. The lust for sex has captivated our society. TV shows and movies are all about sex. In 2006 the pornography industry generated 13 billion dollars. Violence is everywhere. You cannot turn on the news without hearing some new bizarre story. Yesterday it was a man who took his young daughter on a robbery with him. Recently it was the story of a murder in Vancouver of a young teen girl who was walking home by a sex offender who lived in the area. And then there was the story of a woman in Portland who lied to the police about her Husband’s death. Ultimately they found his remains cut up and buried in their back yard. School shootings are routine. Horrific unconscionable acts of violence are commonplace. After a recent deadly shooting in Portland the Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer said "This seems at first blush to be a random act of violence of the kind that makes you despair for America."

I am an American citizen and I do despair for America. Proverbs 14:34 says, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." What is happening in our nation today is disgraceful. And we ought to despair. We are witnessing the death of America. But then again our true citizenship transcends this earthly one. And that is where our hope lies. Philippians 3:20, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that he has even to subject all things to Himself."

My hope lies not in the future of America, but in God’s purpose for me. It is in Jesus Christ. I remember watching a video years ago, entitled, "Where is America in Biblical Prophecy?" That question is worth considering. How could the world’s lone superpower somehow be so diminished in influence and power that it is not spoken of in prophecy? The only answer must be that by the time those events come to pass it is no longer a superpower. And now that is easier to see.

What is hard to accept in all of this is to see the death of something that had been such a source of good in the world, the death of something for which men gave their lives, the death of something that you love. When its death becomes certain some may argue as to its cause of death. Politicians will blame each other. Citizens will blame politicians. But the cause of death will be the same old cause of death that is at the source of all death--sin. On the certificate of death, under cause, it might as well be written: unbridled lusts.

If you are looking for an accomplice in the murder of our great country you need look no further than the church. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. If the salt is no longer salty and if the light is no longer bright--then the world is left rotting and dark, and that it what it is today. I fear that mere religion took the place of genuine renewal in the hearts of many decades ago. Mere religion is no substitute for the abiding Christ when it comes to influencing others for good.

What are we to do? With regards to our country--that’s up to God to decide. That’s in His hands. But we’ve been warned in a general sense as to what is going to happen. The ship of humanity is headed on a collision course with God’s destiny. Its going to hit an iceberg and sink. And those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ will be rescued--ahead of time. Those who have not will face a certain and eternal judgment (2 Peter 2:9).

With regards to the church--that’s a different matter. Its time for the church to get serious about what its doing. God’s Word exhorts us, "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16). Bad days make for opportune times. Lets make the most of them.

Pastor Jerry


There is someplace I need to go. Life is a struggle. The burden of indwelling sin and the troubles and trials of life are great. Were it left up to me and my own resources, I would never make it far on this narrow path. "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love" is the truth of it. And so I need to go. Ongoingly, repeatedly I need to go. I need to humble myself and go to this place of forgiveness and provision. I cannot go on my own. I need to go in the name of my great High Priest who has "passed through the heavens" (Heb. 4:14). I need to go in His name because He in there now to intercede on my behalf. He was "tempted in all things" as I am, "yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). Because of this "He is able to come" to my aid (Heb. 2:18). Why would I refuse to go there, and not just go, but "draw near with confidence" (Heb. 4:16)? God commends me to come with great confidence based on the merit of His Son--who died for me on Calvary. At the throne of grace two things are promised to me--mercy and grace. Mercy is God not giving to me what I deserve. What do I deserve? Punishment for sin. Grace is God giving to me what I don’t deserve. What do I deserve? Punishment for sin. So at the throne of grace, I don’t get what I do deserve, but instead get what I don’t deserve--forgiveness of sin and God’s provision to keep on keeping on. What a throne! What a Savior! What a wonderful provision! The grace of God flows from His throne as a mighty flood providing His forgiveness and His provision to His humbled children! Help me Father to draw near. Help me Father to draw near with confidence. Help me Father to draw near day by day and moment by moment that I might be stengthened by Your grace to do your will!

Pastor Jerry

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"Come, ye dead, Christless, unconverted sinners, come and see the place where they laid the body of the deceased Lazarus; behold him laid out, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes, locked-up and stinking in a dark cave, with a great stone on the top of it. View him again and again; go nearer to him; be not afraid; smell him. Ah! how he stinketh. . . . Was he bound hand and foot with grave clothes? So art thou bound hand and foot with thy corruptions: and as a stone was laid on the sepulchre, so is there a stone of unbelief upon thy stupid heart. Perhaps thou hast lain in this state, not only for days, but many years, stinking in God's nostrils. And, what is still more effecting, thou art as unable to raise thyself out of this loathsome, dead state, to a life of righteousness and true holiness, as ever Lazarus was to raise himself from the cave in which he lay so long.

Thou mayest try the power of thy own boasted free-will, and the force and energy of moral persuasion and rational arguments; but all thy efforts, exerted with never so much vigor, will prove fruitless and abortive, till that same Jesus, who said, "Take away the stone," and "Lazarus, come forth." also quicken you.

Apart from the quickening voice of God there is no hope for any man. With it the deadest and vilest of sinners can be saved."