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Archive for January, 2010

The Return of the Gargoyle Monkeys

January 14th, 2010 No comments

I am teaching a course right now in our college called History Makers. I love the class because we are able to study the contributions of some very normal people who were totally surrendered to a GREAT GOD! Last night we covered Calvin, Tyndale and Bunyan. As part of my class preparation, I’m continually digging for more gold to share with the students. Fortunately, I hit an absolute goldmine when I read about John Calvin.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the life of one of Christendom’s greatest. He was the theological genius behind the Reformation and one of the most consequential thinkers of the last millennium. In addition, his understanding of the proper role of government laid the foundation for our own American republic. One author went so far as to say that without John Calvin, there would be no America.

I think Calvin’s counsel is just what we need to hear today. While others in his day saw monarchs as limitless in their power by divine right, not unlike our current Congress, Calvin argued, “If kings want to be considered legitimate as servants of God, they need to show that they are real fathers of their nation.”  He went on to add, “If princes demand that we turn from honor of God, if they force us into idolatry or superstition, then they have no more authority over us than frogs or lice do.”

In other words, our leaders must understand that the authority they possess has been given to them by God to be used for His glory and for the good of the people. When government offials fail to be submitted to God and His Law, they have no more authority than a frog does. CROAK!

But let me move on to my favorite quote. Calvin understood the prophetic role of the Church in speaking God’s truth to those in power. On one occasion, he referred to the Genevan officials as “gargoyle monkeys” who had become so proud that “they vomit forth their blasphemies as supreme decrees.” No wonder he spent most of his life in exile!

How we need men and women today with the boldness and courage of Calvin. The gargoyle monkeys have returned! We are witnessing an attempt by our elected officials to force abortion, homosexuality, cross-dressing, socialism and a host of other “blasphemies” upon the American people. As Calvin taught, this is an egregious abuse of their delegated authority. It’s time we elect men and women with a love for God and His Word; people of character who love America and who have a father’s heart for those whom they are called to serve. In short, let’s get rid of the gargoyle monkeys determined to destroy our nation.

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Revival & Reformation

January 8th, 2010 No comments

Here at Living Stones, we have enjoyed an incredible week of corporate intercession and worship. As a pastor, it has been thrilling to see the passion, intensity and numbers of people coming out to seek the Lord and to cry out for both revival in the Church and reformation in the culture.

Why are repentance and prayer such  urgent and appropriate responses at this time in our nation’s history?

Consider the following vital signs given by Jim Black, in his book When Nations Die. He lists the following factors that signal the collapse of a civilization. Do any look familiar?:

1.      Increase in lawlessness

2.      Loss of economic discipline

3.      Rising bureaucracy

4.      Decline in education

5.      Weakening of cultural foundations

6.      Loss of respect for traditions

7.      Increase in materialism

8.      Rise in immorality

9.      Decay of religious belief

10.  Devaluing of human life

On my scorecard, we got a perfect 10/10. Unfortunately, in this game, like golf, the lower the score the better.

 Our nation desperately needs healing. Only Jesus can provide the answers. But He does so through a pure, powerful, prophetic Church. That’s why I want to encourage you to join us this Sunday as I continue with The Reformation Series. For my readers out of the area, please tune in on our podcast at www.lsfc.org.

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The Unbearable Burden of Burgeoning Billions

January 7th, 2010 No comments

Watching our federal government spend money reminds me of playing the game of LIFE. I liked LIFE as opposed to Monopoly because the denominations were larger. While Monopoly had its $1oo bills, LIFE had $100,000 bills. Growing up in a pretty normal middle-class family, it was kind of fun holding on to a stack of mega-bills. Unfortunately, it was all a game.

What is more unfortunate is the way our federal government is spending OUR money like it was play money. The typical hard working American finds it hard to grasp the enormous volumes of dollars the government spends with each new program. Like the game of LIFE, the government’s approach is, “Why spend millions when you can spend billions?”

To give the average taxpayer a better grasp of just how much a billion dollars really is, the Heritage Foundation provided the following illustrations. Beware -your mind is about to be blown!

  • One billion seconds ago it was 1978
  • One billion minutes ago was 107 A.D.
  • One billion hours ago our ancestors lived in the Stone Age.
  • One billion days ago no-one walked on two feet
  • One billion dollars ago was only 2 hours and 30 minutes at the rate the U.S. government has been spending it.

Imagine, every 2 and a half hours, Congress spends another one billion dollars of taxpayer’s money.

Or, think of how much Louisiana Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu asked the Federal Government (i.e. taxpayers) for to rebuild New Orleans in 2005. Their legislation requested $250 billion for this modest project. That means:

  • Every man, woman, or child residing in New Orleans could be given $549,616 for $250 billion.
  • Every homeowner in New Orleans could be given $1,162,299 for $250 billion.
  • Every four people could be given $2,198,464.

Even when adjusted for inflation, $250 billion dollars is more than the state of Louisiana cost when purchased during the Jefferson administration. It is one fourth of a trillion dollars.

Of course, a billion here and a billion there pretty soon adds up to trillions of real money. If Members of Congress who spend our hard earned tax dollars have little understanding of how large a billion is, imagine how little they grasp the enormous sum of just one trillion dollars. That’s 1,000 times more than a billion, and Congress this last year authorized trillions of debt-financed outlays for the next several years.

Can you say, “TEA PARTY TIME!” I say it’s time for new leadership. Let’s become the answer to our nation’s problems.