All posts by John

Christian saved by grace through faith.

New Poll shows shift in Worldviews

There was a new poll out yesterday asking American’s who they admire most.  The 2,634 respondents were not given a list of names, but instead offered names spontaneously.  The majority of those polled responded with “President Obama” as their #1 choice, followed by Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King #3.  When asked to explain their choices the top responses were:

Doing what’s right regardless of personal consequences: 89%

Not giving up until the goal is accomplished: 83%

Doing more than what other people expect of them: 82%

Overcoming adversity: 81%

Staying level-headed in crisis: 81%

What does this say about our society and the direction it’s heading?  Mr. Obama has barely been on the job a month and has made some less than popular decisions already.  Even the most successful presidents have failed policies.  Jesus has been on the job for over 2000 years and His policies in the Bible have never failed.  Let’s make some things very clear: only Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  These were the sins of those that crucified him, those that mocked and ridiculed him, and those of us who weren’t even born yet.  His personal consequence was death, yet he did not give up.  No one on earth expected Him to die on the cross, yet He did because that was the only way.  Only Jesus rose again on the 3rd day.   How could there ever be more adversity than that to overcome?  Only Jesus is the King of Kings. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

This same poll was conducted in 2001 and the #1 answer was Jesus Christ.    I talked about this shift of worldview from the cross to man in the Are we living in the time of Samuel post and I think this poll is yet another indicator that a shift is definitely underway.  I want to reiterate the quote I used in that post, “Unless the people can return to their roots and mission, they will crumble from within.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Making Cent$ of the $timulus

I know what you’re thinking, “Here you go with a political post about the signing of a piece of legislation, what’s this have to do with the Bible?”  Folks, it has everything to do with the Bible.  Despite our inclinations otherwise, Politics and Religion have had a Love/Hate relationship since roughly the beginning of time.  Don’t believe me?  Didn’t Joseph offer to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh through God? Genesis 40:8 What about Saul, David, Solomon?  Each were kings all tied to a strong belief in God.  Think it ends there?  Wasn’t it King Herod that ordered the first born to be killed because he felt his throne would be threatened by the birth of the Messiah? Matthew 2:2-8 Is not Constantine credited for being the first Christian Roman Emperor?  Politics and Religion have walked hand in hand throughout the centuries and this extends to the present and the future.  The fact of the matter is if you focus only on religion and not politics, you’re going to miss out on half of the prophetic picture.  Revelation 17:9-13 refers to kingdoms which have fallen and one that has not yet come, while Revelation 13:11-18 refers to the second beast that represents a “religious” empire.  Religion and politics aren’t to be separated, but understood as two co-joining pieces of a larger puzzle.

So what about the stimulus, big deal right?  Yeah it’s loaded with “stuff”, but I’ll bet you missed one (at least one) little nugget of deception in the bill.  The “stimulus” plan bans religious worship or instruction in university and college facilities that receive state funds for renovations.  Here’s the excerpt:

“No funds awarded under this section may be used for – (3) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities – (A) used for sectarian instruction or religious worship; or (B) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission.”

The story, on WorthNews.com states that “One of the effects will be to bar Bible studies and worship meetings by Christian and other religious student groups in facilities that have undergone repairs or modernization work underwritten by stimulus funds, according to religious liberty advocates.”  What does this mean?  Great question, but like most legislation it will open to interpretation.  In just analyzing the statement in the bill it sounds like the possibility might exist to force religious groups on campus to relocate to a different (off-campus?) facility than one that might receive funding for renovations through this “stimulus”.  I’m not sure how this will affect groups like Campus Crusade for Christ, but it no doubt could initially shake up on-campus ministries such as this.

The news article goes on to say that former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee referred to this legislation as a, “blatantly anti-religious provision”.  While the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) will likely argue in court that this provision discriminates against religious organizations that have a right to use those facilities.  “Supporters of the provision say it guarantees the separation of church and state and ensures that tax payer’s dollars are not used for religion.”

Separation of church and state?  Or just separation of church?  Either way it’s scary and this is only the beginning of a storm that’s coming.  If the church has one more revival in her and I believe she does, now is the time for it.  If you’re reading this, do not let it fall on deaf ears.  If you’re part of an on-campus ministry this could significantly impact you, so be sure to pass the word along about the potential of this provision.

Matthew 24:9-14 “…you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Matthew 25:31-33 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.   All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”

Leadership Promise for the Day: Choose your mentor wisely

I’m a firm believer in the power of mentorship.  It provides the young leader with a development model and strengthens the mentor in their own areas of leadership.  Once such example occurs in II Kings 2:9-10 with Elisha and Elijah.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not.”

It’s this type of relationship as a mentor that Elijah was able to prepare Elisha after his departure to heaven.

John Maxwell define’s Elisha’s preparation the following way:

Elisha’s Preparation:
1. He was anointed to replace Elijah
2. Elisha touched Elijah’s mantle long before he entered his ministry.
3. He burned his farming tools.
4. He stuck with Elijah wherever he went.
5. He absorbed all he could from Elijah.

Leadership Principle
1. Leaders must understand their call and roll.
2. Leaders must wait on God’s perfect timing for their authority.
3. Leaders must surrender former ambitions
4. Leaders must pursue good mentors.
5. Leaders must hunger to grow and develop.

Have a Blessed Day!