Father’s Day Down Under

While Americans were celebrating a Labor Day weekend our friends Down Under were observing Father’s Day (September 3rd).

Did you hear about the advertisement that was banned from Aussie television? Sponsored by the Christian group, Dads4Kids, the advert was taken down by the networks as being too political. It was also removed from social media on claims that it posed a security risk.

At issue is the mail poll plebiscite to gauge public sentiment with regards to the legalization of gay marriage. Polling closes on November 15th, and while the mail poll is voluntary the results are expected to bolster the Liberal Party’s demand for legislation to recognize gay marriage as both legal and valid.

Dads4Kids released the following statement:

These television commercials are simply a gentle encouragement to Australian dads, and an affirmation that they are an important figure in the lives of their children.

The adverts have been enthusiastically accepted and many TV stations play them all year-long as a community service. They are always released in the lead up to Father’s Day. Unfortunately what is a simple Father’s Day message has now become a ‘political’ statement.

It is extraordinary that this is where we have come to as a country; we can no longer celebrate Father’s Day without being forced to look at it through the lens of the same-sex marriage debate. It’s a tragedy that a political motive is now implied in any mention of fatherhood. Not everything is about same-sex marriage.

We expect that in speaking up about this that we and those connected to us will be attacked and intimidated, and subject to the same vilification in both mainstream and social media that has been meted out to those who have stuck their head above the parapet on same-sex marriage, despite this not being the purpose of our adverts.

To be clear, it was and is not our intention to enter this debate at this time through these advertisements. And what, you might ask, is in these ‘political’ adverts? They feature a father singing a lullaby to his baby. It is that simple.

Dads4Kids had to disable their social media after they received an onslaught of the most vile, repugnant, offensive, sexually descriptive comments from the Gay Mafia. If you visit their linked website you’ll only see this statement …

… we have taken the preventative step of restricting access to our website and social media channels in order to protect ourselves and our families from the expected response to our situation.

Christian, wake-up! Get your head out of the sand, and hear the voice of the Spirit of God speaking to you. Homosexuality is a sin. Pride is a sin. It is the embodiment of narcissism and wickedness to demand acceptance and tolerance while thumbing one’s nose at the Creator.

Marriage and family were sanctioned by God to represent His relationship to us through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is our Father, we are His children and the church is Christ’s betrothed. Homosexuality — gay marriage — makes a mockery of what God designed.

Weekend visitors to a local beach were offended when they saw a rainbow-colored lifeguard stand. A city official said that it was a celebration of pride. God hates homosexuality, but He also hates pride. What if I painted a Star of David, or hung a cross on the lifeguard stand?

And let me be clear. Though it is a cliché I feel legally bound to say this, I don’t hate the sinner. Any charges of bigotry, or hate-speech are borne out of the accuser’s own prejudice.

Are you aware of  “gender inclusive” school districts? They don’t address the children as “boys and girls” because that is hateful and bigoted.

What, am I living on Bizarro world?

I really believe that we are in the homestretch of the last days. One of the secrets of Fatima was that the final battle between good and evil would be fought in the arena of marriage and family. The spirit of homosexuality has overtaken the nations of the earth, and even the church has been deceived.

Brethren, God is not mocked … and His patience will not endure.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

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Do Your Prayers Put God to Sleep?

This article was inspired by my friend and brother in Christ who posts articles at For Freedom – Galatians 5:1.

In a recent post, he offered some insights on prayer. I left the following comment:

One of my pet peeves are those repetitious corporate prayers that are recited in many evangelical churches. For example:

“Lord, we just want to thank you for (long pause), Lord, this opportunity, Lord, to worship you, Lord. And, Lord, (very long pause) we thank you, God, for blessing us, Lord, with every good blessing.”

After a minute or so your mind starts to wander, and you’re thinking about lunch. Imagine if people spoke like this in normal conversation:

“Michael, I really enjoyed this article. You made really good points, Michael. I think, Michael, you’re a great writer.”

People don’t talk like this! Most corporate prayer I hear is so awkward. I think this is what Jesus meant by vain repetition — speaking just to be heard, but with nothing to say.

[End comment]

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words (Matthew 6:7).

Ellicott suggested that modern prayer has become mechanical — lacking emotion. Compare the standard church service prayer with Yeshua’s prayer on the Mount of Olives:

And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:44 ).

I hear so many prayers that are devoid of any thought or feeling. They’re nothing more than a robotic recitation as if the speaker has given no thought as to what they might say. Then there are the speakers who have something to pray, but they repeat it a dozen different ways. After the second reprise I start to get droopy.

A good source of study on prayer is a book by Benjamin Reynolds, The Ten Greatest Prayers of the Bible. It’s available in Kindle format, or you can read it online here.

The greatest prayer ever spoken was the petition offered by Jesus Christ atop the Mount of Olives, but who among us has ever prayed with such emotion that we sweated blood?

Reynolds begins his book with Hannah’s prayer. If you’ll recall, Hannah was barren and this caused her extreme grief and distress. She prayed for years that the LORD might bless her with children. I said, she prayed for years. How many of us pray once and when nothing happens we conclude one of the following?

God doesn’t hear my prayer.
God doesn’t answer prayer.
God said no to my prayer.

The Lord doesn’t work according to our timetable. Abraham and Sarah were promised a son, but it was 25 years before Isaac was born. We have to understand that God is not constrained, but sees the bigger picture. Why didn’t Messiah enter our world after the Fall? Why were God’s people enslaved in Egypt for 440 years? Why has the Lord delayed his second coming?

Hannah’s long story short was that she finally reached an emotional break point, and poured out her heart to the LORD. The Bible says she was in great distress and anxiety. Eli, the high priest, thought she was drunk, but Hannah answered:

No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation (1 Samuel 1:15-16 ).

Within a year, Hannah gave birth to Samuel — one of the greatest figures in the Bible. As evidence that the LORD always provides more than we may ask, Hannah delivered five more children.

We cannot worship the LORD nor offer prayers in vanity, unbelief or with an unclean heart and expect that God will receive them.

There is so much more to say about this, but I wanted to share with you the story of Benjamin Reynolds. He was afflicted with ulcerative colitis. One day his wife found him unconscious on the bathroom floor. He was held lifeless in her arms as she prayed to God to save her husband.

His was an out-of-body experience so dramatic and detailed that it is difficult to dismiss. Yet, we believe Ezekiel’s testimony of being carried up into the inner court of heaven (Ezekiel 8:3, Ezekiel 11:24, Ezekiel 43:5), or Paul’s testimony of being caught up in the third heaven after he was stoned and left for dead (2 Corinthians 12:2), or even John in his vision of the Apocalypse (Revelation 4:2).

I strongly recommend that you read Benjamin’s testimony. Due to Fair Use copyright laws I am not permitted to post his story here, but he recounts it in the preface of the book which can be viewed in preview format on Amazon. (Simply click on Look Inside on the product image.) I sincerely hope that you take a few minutes and read this brother’s compelling story of how prayer healed his body and saved his life. It’s truly amazing. I know you will be blessed.

Book Review: The Ten Greatest Prayers in the Bible by Benjamin Reynolds.

The book received outstanding reviews on Amazon (93% 4-stars or above). There were only a few 3-stars, and none lower.  One of the 3-star reviews noted the poor editing, but they recommended the book as a “tremendous tool”. If you view the author’s bio you’ll see that he is rather accomplished and well-educated.

The book was poorly edited as if it had not even been proofread. However, I agree with the reviews that it is a useful tool if for no other reason than it encourages discussion, promotes Bible study and highlights the importance of prayer. For me, the Table of Contents is valuable as the starting point for further group study. The ten prayers are useful examples of how we should pray individually and as a body.

I posted the link to the free online version of the book. You don’t have to sign-up, and may close the box that asks you to log in. As a group study tool the book may inspire a deeper appreciation for the necessity of prayer.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Twog #4 (Forgiveness)

Subject: Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!

Let me preface this by saying that the context for this post is an article I wrote earlier titled Loving Your Neighbor.

In that piece I complained about my inconsiderate neighbors. Long story short I recently had to move because the place wasn’t habitable. Moving is very stressful, and I hadn’t been well for some time. I learned on a Monday that I would have to leave, and immediately sat down to pray. Within 24 hours I had signed a lease on a new place.

I’ve moved a lot over the years, and have never found a place so easily. It was amazing, and I thank God. Not only that, the apartment is more than I could have hoped for — it’s below market rent and fully deluxe with laundry, garage and great location. The Lord always provides more than we could even ask (or imagine). His grace is abundant beyond measure.

So how does this relate to our subject verse? Well, the upstairs tenant has a nicotine addiction. I mentioned this in my other post about smokers who move into non-smoking apartments. I have to live in a non-smoking environment because my number one allergy is tobacco smoke.

This guy has been the neighbor from hell. He’s a younger man who stays home all day. Every 20 minutes he comes downstairs for a cigarette break — from 9 o’clock in the morning to 3 o’clock the following morning — that’s 18 hours a day, and 54 cigarettes (almost three packs).

And he moves up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants. It’s driving me crazy. I’m losing my mind. I prayed to God — “Lord, you gave me this great apartment, but …”

I started looking for a new place. I thought about confronting him, but I got the impression from our first encounter that he’s got issues. I started to send an email to the property manager, but deleted it because I don’t want to be tagged as a complainer and have my rent increased.

The tobacco smoke is killing me!

This morning it sounded like Patton’s tanks rolling through Casablanca in 1942. That was the camel that broke the straw — no, I mean the straw that broke the camel’s back. I held my tongue 4860 times — that’s 54 cigarette breaks a day for 90 days (I’ve been here three months).

I bolted outside like the running of the bulls during the festival of San Fermin. There he was … smoking a cigarette at the base of the stairs. But before I could unleash my tongue I noticed that movers were loading his stuff into a moving van.

Hallelujah, Jesus … and pass the butter!

Peter was told to forgive seventy-seven times (or seventy times seven in some translations). I’ve needed the patience of Job to forgive this guy almost 5000 times.

Here’s the thing about that. Some theologians say you only have to forgive a person if they ask to be forgiven — that God’s forgiveness is conditional on our confession and repentance. Also, Peter asked about forgiving a brother not someone who is unsaved. I saw a Christian woman on the news who would not forgive the man who killed her son. What about that?

Pastor and blogger David Murray wrote an interesting article, Let’s Stop Forgiving Those Who Don’t Want Forgiveness.

Then there’s the matter of loving your neighbor. This guy’s nicotine addiction became my problem. That’s not very loving, and it’s in violation of the lease agreement.

I pray that the next tenant will be more considerate.

Answer Key

1 Samuel 25

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ