The Grinch and the Christmas Wars
The true story of our most memorable Christmas, which we shared with you last year, took place long before the “politically correct” crowd set out to steal Christ from Christmas and the culture wars began over the term “Merry Christmas” or “Christmas tree.” Who doesn’t recognize that “Holiday Tree” is simply a lame attempt to avoid using a term that contains Christ at its core? In a recent Knowlesletter, Victor wrote that even some Christian organizations are leaving out the name of Christ – to avoid offending someone! What??? Years ago liberal churches stopped singing about the blood of Jesus and expunged that phrase from their hymnals because it was offensive. What? The Word of God still says “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold from your aimless conduct…but with the precious blood of Christ…” 1 Peter 1:18-19. Let’s sing “Power in the Blood” again – and crank up the volume!!
Compromise or Conviction – What Do We Need?
Recently Ken Ham and Greg Hall wrote a book entitled Already Compromised, exposing the fact that most Christian colleges, universities and seminaries refuse to teach the first eleven chapters of Genesis as true history. Why? Because they have compromised with the evolutionary time table and are trying to squeeze millions (billions) of years into the text of Genesis. They are compromising with the academic standards of evolutionists in order to be more culturally correct and academically acceptable. It is a futile attempt which undermines the most foundational book of the Bible. Billions of years do not fit in the context of Genesis! Why not? Because Luke in his “Christmas Story” traces the genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam (since he was a Gentile writing to a Gentile). Was Adam created billions of years after God created the universe? No! Absolutely not! Why not? Because Mark 10:6 records these words of Jesus, “from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.” “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” is the first verse of the Bible, and Genesis 1-2 expands and clarifies how He did it all in the six days of creation week, then rested on the seventh. Genesis 2:1-2 tells us when God finished all His creative work; Psalm 33:6, 8-9 tells us how God created. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth…Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” These passages expose the myth of “Progressive creationism” as a humanistic concoction and corruption of God’s revealed truth. Also, if Adam were just an analogy or a myth, wouldn’t Jesus be just a myth? He is a direct descendant of Adam – as are we all! Liberal theology undermines and destroys the foundational truths of a Biblical worldview.
Friends, the apostles did not turn the world upside down and transform their culture one soul at a time through “politically correct” soft speech, seeker driven, cuddly compromising tactics, but with the clear, bold proclamation of the truth that “God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36. This was Peter’s message to the Jews on the day of Pentecost. What was the result? “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’…Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” Acts 2:37-41.
This message was truth driven and Holy Spirit empowered! This was no seeker super-sensitive, tiptoe around the truth, pusillanimous package of political pamper! This was salt applied directly to the stinking wound of sinful depravity – and it got results. Do we want results? Apply the salt! It stings – but it purifies. It cleanses! It heals. There is no other cure for sin. Let’s pray for the boldness of Peter when he said to the rulers of Israel, “…let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
In our personal conversations, in our cards and letters, in our business transactions, in our family and friendship relationships let the Name of Jesus be exalted – not deleted!
Yesterday on the radio I heard that many of the mega-churches in America are cancelling their church services on December 25. Why? Because it is Christmas day. That is not only compromising, that is confounding! I agree with Todd Friel’s comment, “That is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” How does that fit with Paul’s exhortation to preach the Word “in season and out of season”? How is that making the most of every opportunity? When the name of Jesus is on the minds of multitudes through Christmas carols and more people are likely to come to hear His message than at any other time of the year, close the doors!? At the time when the hurting and lonely are more likely than at any other season to commit suicide because they have no hope, close up shop? “Nope – sorry – no hope served here today.” That’s outrageous! What do we need – compromise or conviction?
What Do we Need for Christmas?
God Sent Us a Saviour
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour.
“The universal joy of Christmas is certainly wonderful. We ring the bells when princes are born, or toll a mournful dirge when great men pass away. Nations have their red-letter days, their carnivals and festivals, but once in the year and only once, the whole world stands still to celebrate the advent of a life. Only Jesus of Nazareth claims this worldwide, undying remembrance. You cannot cut Christmas out of the calendar, nor out of the heart of the world.”
– Author Unknown
What Has Happened to Christmas?
One of the best and clearest summaries of what has happened to Christmas is expressed in the poem by an unknown author (to me).
‘Twas the month before Christmas when all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Christmas – no one could say.
‘The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise men and Angels and things
It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ‘Holiday’.
What Has Happened to America?
The fiasco around the Christmas cultural wars is symptomatic of the bigger picture. James Dobson shares pertinent quotes from Pat Buchanan in his November letter for Family Talk:
“America is disintegrating. The centrifugal forces pulling us apart are growing inexorably. What unites us is dissolving. And this is true of Western Civilization. Meanwhile, the state is failing in its most fundamental duties. It is no longer able to defend our borders, balance our budgets, or win our wars.
…the drive to de-Christianize America, to purge Christianity from the public square, public schools and public life, will prove culturally and socially suicidal for the nation.
The last consequence of a dying Christianity is a dying people. Not one post-Christian nation has a birth rate sufficient to keep it alive … The death of European Christianity means the disappearance of the European tribe, a prospect visible in the demographic statistics of every Western nation.
Half a century on, the disaster is manifest. The robust and confident Church of 1958 no longer exists…”
Also James Dobson wrote:
“At one of the recent presidential debates, all the candidates focused on the economic peril that has gripped our country. America faces a debt of 14 trillion dollars, which can never be repaid. It is significant to note, however, that only six references to the family were made during the event. Former Senator Rick Santorum was responsible for four of them. He said:
‘The biggest problem with poverty in America…is the breakdown of the American
family. You want to look at the poverty rate among families that have two in them
[a husband and a wife.] It is five percent today. [By contrast,] a family that is
headed by one person is 30 percent….The word for ‘home’ in Greek is the basis
for the word economy. It is the foundation for our country. We need to have a
policy that supports families, that encourages marriage…that has fathers take
responsibility for their children. You can’t have limited government – you can’t
have a wealthy society if the family breaks down – that basic unit of society.
And that needs to be included in this economic discussion.’”
Pray! Pray! Pray!
Pray for our nation! Pray for our families! Pray for our churches!
Our Thanksgiving and Thanks-Living Lifestyle
Last month was our much neglected (in our culture) Thanksgiving Day, but for us as believers the short pungent commands remain: “Rejoice evermore; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. By obeying these three powerful commands we transform Thanksgiving Day into a Thanks-Living Life. No matter what our own circumstances are or what happens to America, Ukraine, or any other nation, we still have so much to thank God for! “Thank you, Lord for forgiveness, for life, for abundant life in Jesus, for peace and joy and purpose and power to live the Christian life by the Holy Spirit you gave us as a gift! We are most richly blessed!
Every Christian heart, home and church should be a place where Christ is enthroned – set apart as high, holy and worthy of our worship – a sanctuary. This will produce the effect of every Christian heart, home and church becoming a “Thank You-ary.” “Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary. Lord, prepare me to be a Thank You-ary!”
Baptism in Spirit, in Water, in Fire
Our booklet by this title is slightly revised and includes a question page for use as a study guide. It is available to you free upon request. Of course the needs are always greater than our funds for helping our dedicated co-workers in Ukraine, so if you choose to send an offering of any amount to Overseas Outreach we will be very grateful. We thank God for you who support this ministry in your prayers and offerings, and with your encouraging notes. Here is one of those uplifting notes pertaining to this booklet.
“Dear Brother Rick,
When I finished reading your pamphlet, “Baptism in Spirit, in water, in fire,” I thought, ‘Here is a work that is complete, entire and accurate in its presentation.
Brother Rick, you don’t just present a single truth but you continue in your presentation until it is all proven and clear.
I did not know exactly what to expect when I began reading this, but the farther I proceeded the more interested I became until I came to the end and simply said, ‘Amen’.
I have read quite a few articles on this subject but this is the most complete and best written I am aware of.
In Jesus’ Name,
Northwest Science Museum Update
Diego Rodriguez has improved our website and included a short video with the promise that there will be many more to follow. Thank you, Diego – very much! Please check it out at www.northwestsciencemuseum.com.
Also, we want to set up a virtual museum on line, but that is much more expensive than I realized. It is a way for you to participate in impacting hearts and lives with the truth – the salt and light. Pray for yourself and pray for us to share it boldly – and wisely. Paul wrote: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:2-6
Prayer Requests/Gift Opportunities
Remember the huge project Sergei Golovin has taken on for their ministry, Christian Center for Science and Apologetics – to translate or prepare textbooks for children all over the Russian speaking world which teach true science from the Biblical worldview? You can help by praying and giving. Dennis Petersen’s captivating full-color book, Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation is translated and waiting for funds to print it. Please ask God what He would have you to do. Whether $5, $50, $500 or more, it can make a huge impact on the life of a child – and the destiny of the Russian speaking world. Sergei hopes to publish Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation by early 2012.
Zhenya Molodchy and Christian Life Church are reaching out to orphans, their caretakers and other poor families with Christmas packages from Samaritan’s Purse, plus reaching to both prisoners and police officers. Please pray for God to show you what He would have you do. Christmas in Ukraine is twelve days later than here (January 6) – the twelve days of Christmas, remember? They need funds for literature, transportation and the Christmas party celebration for giving the gifts to the children. We can send funds quickly by Money Gram to Ukraine.
From Our Mailbox
“I really enjoyed your message this past Sunday at the Ola Church. I have never heard anyone express the positive aspects of being a Christian as you did. It was very enlightening.
I picked up your two books Ready To Give an Answer and Is the Bible Without Any Errors? I’ve been reading the first one, haven’t finished it yet. I didn’t have much cash with me for the donation so am enclosing a check to cover the cost of the two books and to help a little with your mission. Thanks again for taking the time to travel to Ola and bring your message.
God Bless You
Russ Agenbroad” (November 4, 2011)
“Would it be possible to get a copy of God’s Triangle of Triumph? I finished the first book. Very thought provoking – I’ll have to read it again. Started the second one and after a couple of pages already find it very intriguing.
Again thank you. May God continue to bless you and Della in your ministry and outreach.
Russ” (November 15, 2011)
“We truly appreciate your Overseas Outreach ministry and most of all your heart for the Lord.
Also, your insight and wisdom about the political arena. Anyway, here are two little books we think you’ll glean from.
May you grow in knowledge of God, abound in love and increase in wisdom and discernment. It’s awesome how we will never stop growing to know our Lord more and more throughout ALL eternity.
Much love in Christ,
Bob & Geri (Boyd)”
Editors of Issues in Education
There’s a New Day Coming!
The year 2011 is swiftly drawing to a close, which always tends to remind us about the unmet expectations and unfulfilled dreams of this year – and this life. May our reflections spur us on to “work for the night is coming” in the harvest field of this world. Recently I heard a recorded message by the late Adrian Rogers, in which he quoted the probing words of a popular gospel song from several decades ago:
“Life’s evening sun is setting low –
A few more days and I must go –
To meet the deeds that I have done
Where there will be no setting sun.”
So what then shall we do??? Consider these powerful verses:
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. … But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 3, 20-25
“The God of peace be with you all. Amen.” Romans 15:33
Jesus is the Reason for the Season!
May your joy be full as you celebrate Him!
Yours & His,
Rick & Della