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The importance of America returning to Christian principles and Traditional Family Values

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Is Ted Cruz an Evangelical Christian?


Occasionally I suffer writer’s block, so when a friend challenges me with a topic, I dive into the research, grabbing the bull by the horns.  Recently, I was asked to delve into the religious beliefs of Presidential Candidate and Texas Senator, Ted Cruz.  After reading through multiple blogs and combing several articles posted by main stream media outlets, I’m ready to record my findings.

Ted Cruz accepted Christ at the tender age of 8 years old, following the Lord in Baptism shortly later at Clay Road Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.  Pastor Gaylen Wiley of Clay Road administered the ordinance of Baptism, and says of the candidate,

“Ted was just like all the other kids, except he had the IQ of his father.  He was three stages ahead {of the other children}.

As a teenager, Cruz attended Second Baptist High School in Houston.

Whereas some young people leave the church after pursuing higher education, Cruz has faithfully followed Christ his entire lifetime.  In his 2012 Senate bid, Cruz aimed his efforts on winning the hearts of social conservatives and to kick-off his Presidential campaign, he announced his intention to run at ultra-conservative Liberty University.

The right of religious liberty drives the Cruz Camp.  Senator Cruz believes a person’s religious beliefs should be protected even if it conflicts with the law of the land.  And his words can be backed up with actions.  As Solicitor General of Texas, he fought for the “constitutionality of the Ten Commandments’ monument” at the Texas State Capitol and the words ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance.  And, when Indiana passed a law disallowing the Government to strong arm Christians into participating in same sex marriage ceremonies, Cruz affirmed the state’s decision.  He said,

“I commend the state of Indiana for doing the right thing.  Religious liberty is not some cockamamie new theory the Indiana legislature just figured out yesterday.  It was literally among the founding principles of our nation…”

In recent days, both the Trump and Rubio camps have charged Cruz with lying and utilizing underhanded tactics.  Cruz brushes off the charges, insisting he’s operating above board and that he’s being targeted because he’s a force to be reckoned with in the bid for the Republican Presidential nomination.

I don’t know the man personally. I’ve only observed his work via means of the Internet and television.  That being said, Cruz appears to be the real deal.  When he voices an unpopular view based upon his principles and values, he doesn’t “evolve” on the issue but sticks to his guns.  Of course this practice fails to win over many people from the Washington Establishment, but isn’t that the point?  America needs a leader who fears God more than popularity polls.

Is Ted Cruz perfect?  Absolutely not and he’d be the first person to admit as much.  However, he’s a man who knows and understands the power of Redemption and firmly believes that if a Country focuses once again upon the Constitution and the God of its founding, truly we can speak anew of Reagan’s vision of America,

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life…. And how stands the city on this winter night? … After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true to the granite ridge, and her glow has held no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom…”

Possibly Ted Cruz’s most welcomed endorsement comes from one who knows him quite well both on and off the political field, Greg Matte, Senior Pastor at Houston First Baptist Church. Reverend Matte says,

“I consider it an honor to be the Cruz family’s pastor.  We all know Senator Cruz as a brilliant, strong, and confident leader, unswervingly handling the Constitution with respect and wisdom. But I also know him as a husband, father, and friend. We have eaten hot dogs in our church’s gym as our kids played, walked in the park as our kids rode bikes together and our wives talked, and eaten pizza by the pool on a summer evening as our children swam. Ted Cruz is in touch with the normal routines of every day life while also being outstanding in dealing with the complex issues of our day. This combination of character and competence gives me confidence that, under Ted’s leadership, America can once again head in the right direction. Because of what I have seen of Ted Cruz, as a father, a husband, and a Christian, both in and out of the political arena, I heartily give my personal endorsement to Ted Cruz as our next president.”

America needs a Godly leader.

America needs a person dedicated to observing and honoring the Constitution of the United States.

Does America need Ted Cruz?

You be the judge.

 

God’s Not Dead, Still Making a Splash


People continue to flock to see “God’s Not Dead.”  Every few days I notice someone’s Facebook update reminding all of their “friends” of the very fact…God’s Not Dead.  Certainly, some probably wonder why their making such a statement.  If they ask, tell them to see the movie!  It’s fantastic!  But why?  Why has the film made such a splash in the shadow of Hollywood blockbusters?  I speculate it’s because of the current political climate in America.

Almost daily, stories surface of people accusing Christians of bigotry, even filing suits against those refusing to sanction their lifestyle.  Take for instance, the story of Elane Photography.  In 2006, Elaine and her husband were asked to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony.  Elaine respectfully declined, citing her conservative Christian beliefs as the reason.  Case closed, right?  Wrong!

The lesbian couple secured another photographer at a lower rate, yet still filed a complaint accusing Elane Photography of “sexual orientation discrimination.”

The Human Rights Commission of New Mexico found Elane Photography guilty and ordered them to pay almost seven thousand dollars to the two plaintiffs.  The decision was appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court.  These judges upheld the ruling.  One judge in his concurring opinion wrote:

Elane Photography “is now compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” as “the price of citizenship.”

Did anyone else just feel the rumble of the Founding Fathers rolling in their graves?

This week, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.  The New Mexico Supreme Court ruling stands.  It appears that America’s barreling down a road which trumpets the freedom of the First Amendment as long as one sides with the Liberal and godless agenda.  Those who yell and scream for tolerance exhibit the most intolerance of all.

As I visited with a group of men this morning, another Pastor predicted that soon churches would be required to host same sex marriages and pastors would be required to officiate…whether they believe the union is biblical or not.  Some laugh at the idea and say that will never happen.  Christians said the same thing about removing prayer from school and legalizing abortion on demand.  Almost 43 million aborted babies later and look where we find ourselves…In the middle of another cultural war with the soul of America at stake.

God’s Not Dead resonates because the movie casts a positive light on Christianity.  For once the Believer isn’t cast as a dopey, idiotic Bible thumper.  The movie conveys the story of real life Christians making a mark for Christ in a world filled with antagonists.  The film encourages people to stand for Christ when no one else will.  Sure, that’s a lonely place to be, but God blesses faithfulness.  And God will bless Elane Photography.  I don’t know how or in what capacity, but God will honor their stand.

As Christians we can expect persecution and to lose an occasional battle, but as one evangelist once said, “We’ve already won the war.”

Everyone hold on to Jesus.  The ride’s gonna get bumpy.

 

Movie Review: God’s Not Dead


Movie Overview: God’s Not Dead

College freshman, Josh Wheaton, reported for first day of classes, eyeing a future degree in law.  A committed Christian, Josh expected to receive a higher education, not a tongue lashing, from his atheist philosophy professor about the first year student’s Christianity.

During his first lecture, Professor Radisson chided any professing belief in the antiquated God of the Bible.  To kick-off the semester in Philosophy 101, Professor Radisson instructed the pupils to write “God is Dead” on a sheet of paper and turn it in, signed.  With little or no forethought, the students, eager to please, signed the declaration….Well, all but Josh Wheaton.

The Professor expected absolute obedience, and when Josh refused to sign the statement denying his faith, Radisson assigned Josh the daunting undertaking of proving God’s existence.

The question looms, will Josh stand resolved as Daniel in the Old Testament or compromise his faith to secure a passing grade in the mandatory class?

Brief Review

The movie captures a predicament devout Christians across America are facing.  As the credits rolled, cases argued/defended by the Alliance Defense Fund revealed that “persecution” of Christian students on university campuses is not isolated.  In fact, as our culture continues to embrace a more tolerant view of lifestyles the Bible specifically lists as sinful, the pressure to live wholly committed to Christ will become increasingly difficult.  As Christianity becomes more and more unpopular, the students who dare refuse to participate in spiritually compromising lessons and assignments face potential retribution from professors who see themselves as “god” in their own schools of higher learning.

Josh Wheaton, played by Shane Harper of “Good Luck, Charlie” fame, delivers a powerful and believable performance.  His internal debate over compromising or “swimming upstream” is palpable.  At one point, my wife leaned over and whispered, “I feel so nervous for him.”  My heart raced with the same anxiety.  Fantastic acting in this young man’s fledgling career.

Kevin Sorbo plays the part of Professor Radisson, the atheist.  He, too played his role powerfully, causing me to be nervous whenever an encounter with Josh was imminent.

This film delivers a timely message and definitely deserves a rating of “family friendly.”  I can’t imagine Willie and Korie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) making a cameo appearance in anything but…can you?

Phil Robertson Modeled Jesus


Yesterday evening at family Christmas, my brother announced, “I just saw a Fox News Report.  It’s official.  Phil’s back on the show.”  The family room erupted with a smattering of applause and head nods of approval.  But no one was surprised.  A louder voice spoke.  Money talks.

After a nationwide uproar, A&E re-instated Phil Robertson to his prominent and beloved position on Duck Dynasty.  According to the Left, Phil committed the unpardonable sin.  He dared define homosexuality as sin, citing the Bible as his reference.  The side always preaching “tolerance” leveled accusations of bigotry and homophobia at the God fearing outdoorsman.  Resolved to hold fast to the truth of Scripture, the Patriarch of the Robertson Family told a Church Bible Study group he refused to back down from his anti-homosexuality statements but added,

“I’m a lover, not a hater.”

He’s modeling Jesus.

In the Gospel of John chapter 8 we find the following:

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee

Many people, when justifying a choice or behavior, quote this section of Scripture, stopping before Jesus finished his statement.  He did say,

“Neither do I condemn you”

But He also added,

“Go and leave your life of sin.”

People hate being labeled a sinner.  It sounds so filthy and dirty and undesirable.  And yes, that’s how God views it.

Had the religious leaders dragged a homosexual, or a thief, or a person charged with “knock-out,” a murderer, or a child guilty of sticking gum in his sister’s hair, to the feet of Jesus, He’d said,

“Go and leave your life of sin”

It’s not a popular message.  It steps on our toes and causes us to be uncomfortable.   But that’s how God deals with our sin.  If people desire forgiveness, there must first come an acknowledgment of sin and then repentance, a

“Going” and “Leaving.”

Phil Robertson pointed out several sinful lifestyles, targeting no group in particular.  He explained every person’s need of repentance and of God’s role in holding Heaven and Hell’s citizenship rolls.

What did the “Duck Dynasty” star do wrong?  He ruffled the feathers of a minute percent of people searching for a lifestyle validation.  From Mr. Robertson, those people won’t receive,

“Congratulations, you’re living in a sinful lifestyle,”

but more likely hear,

“There’s good news, a little Baby born in Bethlehem entered the world to shoulder your sin problem…as well as mine.”

And that should be good news to one and all.

Christians are to Blame for Phil’s Firing


A&E’s not to blame for kicking Phil Robertson to the curb.  We are.  The Church.  Sure, A&E wrote out his checks and signed him to contractual agreements, but the real reason for Phil’s retribution lies on us, the Church.  Somewhere along the way, the Church joined the rest of our Country in the “wussification” of America.  For those unfamiliar with the term, it means, “the trend of becoming an increasingly wimpy society.”

Over the last several years, there’s been a movement to make the Country more soft.  Little boys can’t bite pop tarts into shapes of guns without stern reprisal.  In the Fall of 2013, Fox News reported, “An elementary school in Nashua, NH has reminded parents and students that playing “tag” violates the school’s longtime “no contact” rule for recess games.”  And the no contact rule now extends into the adult world.  In football, players are limited in their methods of tackling; Major League baseball plans to ban home plate collisions beginning in 2015.  Soon, spectators will fill arenas to watch professional athletes in marathon pillow fights or playing tag….well, maybe not tag.  Little kids can’t even play “Cowboys and Indians” because of the offensive nature of the “I” word.  America’s becoming too soft.

Sadly, the “wussification” movement has crept into our churches as well.  A couple of centuries ago, pastors pounded pulpits and loudly warned of “hell, fire, and brimstone.”  In 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  The message depicted the realities of hell so clearly, the hearers could smell the sulfur burning.   Fast forward to the early 1900’s and to the evangelist, Billy Sunday.  NPR contributor and author Steve Inkeep wrote of Sunday, “The “muscularity” and movement of his sermons was meant to counter the view by some that Christians were docile and fragile.”  Finally, over the last 50 years, Billy Graham spoke plainly about the hell awaiting those without Jesus.  Unfortunately, many churches today shy away from sermons about God’s Judgment or the text Phil quoted in his GQ Interview.  I Corinthians 6:9-11 states,

 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a]10 nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the
kingdom of God.”

Tough words but none more true.

Soon the executives and A&E will crowd around a conference table wondering how to keep their proverbial ship afloat, and some will ask why did we allow 5% of the population to dictate this decision.  None will think to blame Christians.  If the Christian voice resonated with as much volume and fervor as GLAAD, Phil Robertson wouldn’t be out of a job; the rest of the cast wouldn’t be facing tough decisions about their television future.  But we needn’t worry.  Duck Dynasty will land on their feet with even greater success.  God blesses faithfulness.

In the meantime, Christians today need to “man up.”  Phil Robertson transported America back to the days of Jonathan Edwards and A&E’s response to Phil’s comment proves that in 250 years, this Country’s grown soft…too soft.  And so has the Church.

I stand with Phil Robertson.

More importantly, I stand on God’s Word.

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