This, my friends, is crime stopping gold.
We are in a mess and we need your help. The blame can’t be cast on any one person, group, political stance or television show. None of us are smart enough to think our way out of this mess. None of us are strong enough to fight our way out of it. In fact, it seems as though sometimes the more we think and fight, the worse it gets.
Father, we need peace. Not the peace we hear about in songs. We don’t want anything to do with the token talks of peace we see on television and hear from some politicians. We need to be changed and that can only come from Your peace. I confess that change isn’t just something that other people need. It’s not just something that the guy down the street or the person on the news needs. I need to be changed too. Every day I, along with the rest of your Church, need your peace-producing change.
Father, I don’t expect the world to stop acting like the world. At least not until you return. I expect turmoil, corruption, violence, oppression and hate. It’s what the world does. But as the world does what it does, please protect your Church. I do not ask that you just protect us from the world but also that you protect us from acting like the world.
There seems to be some very powerful people who would love nothing more than a full-blown race war in this country. Protect us, both white and black, from being a part of that in our speech and social media presence. Protect us from trying to one up the other guy at all costs. Instead, help us to return truth where lies are spread and love where hate is prevailing. Equip us to show the world that in you, despite all of our differences, white and black Christians share a common hope and that in him, though unique, one race or person is not better than the other.
Shake us from our slumber. The world is on fire. The culture of death is growing. But Father, death was defeated when your Son, Jesus Christ, rose from the grave. We still live with the sting of death but it has no final say over us. Help us to live that out. Help us to promote your kingdom culture in the face of the culture of death we are living in.
Father, please help us to see people as you made them. Help us to take the time to get to know people who are different from us. Help us to establish friendships that go beyond what seems natural to us. Father, whether the other guy is a small baby that could fit in the palm of my hand or just someone from a different race, help us to see him for who he really is – a human being who You created in your image for Your glory. Help us to remember that life matters, not because it’s trendy to say so but because all human life comes from you and will one day return to you.
Father, help us to laugh. I do not ask for the laughter of foolish men who occupy themselves with nonsense while destruction awaits. Instead, give us the laughter of a people who find their joy in you even when things are far from perfect. Father, may the world look at us and not see a people who are immune from the world’s pain but a people who are immune from the world’s hopelessness.
Father, we all want our voice to be heard. We want the final say. We want our way. Please forgive us for this. In repentance, help us to seek your voice, to submit to your authority and to follow your way, even when it’s time for us to speak up about something. Help us to remember that, throughout history, things have gone so much better when you spoke through people instead of people trying to speak for you. Help us to put your authority over our own.
Father, the world is a mess. In a lot of ways, so is Your Church. But that’s nothing new. Father, no one creates beauty from messes like you. Clean us, Father. Clean us and use us.
In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ and for his glory,
They are perhaps the scariest words that Jesus ever spoke.
“I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
The sentence speaks for itself. Jesus is making one final judgement on people. Because of their lawlessness, they will spend an eternity apart from Christ.
But who are these lawless people?
Are they terrorists who devoted their whole lives to destruction? No, that’s not who Jesus is talking to in this context.
Perhaps he is talking to perverts. Again, not in this context.
Well, such a harsh judgment must be directed toward Satan or the AntiChrist. Not this time. Here are the lawless people that Jesus is talking to.
Preachers and teachers who spoke in the name of Jesus.
Exorcists who cast out demons in the name of Jesus.
And miracle workers who did a lot of really cool and powerful things in the name of Jesus.
How can this be? If my son came home and told me that he spent his day at school preaching sermons, casting out demons and performing miracles, I’d be a proud father. So why then would Jesus call these people lawless and condemn them to an eternity in hell?
In a word, it was their performance that did them in.
You see, religious people care about performance. And that’s what these people were doing. They weren’t really casting out demons and preaching sermons and performing miracles. They were just performing. Performance is what matters most to religious people. They love being seen more than they love Jesus.
But Jesus cares about obedience.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 (ESV)
Don’t get me wrong. Preaching and teaching are important. So are miracles and casting out demons. But it’s important to remember that Jesus does not need those things.
He doesn’t need our sermons.
He doesn’t need our power encounters with the dark side.
And he doesn’t need our religious magic tricks.
What he asks for, however, is our obedience.
Every kid on my son’s soccer team wants to score a goal. Some of those kids play positions that make goal scoring more likely than it is for kids at other positions. A few practices ago, there was a kid scoring a few goals in a scrimmage game. He was playing well. His shots weren’t just going in, they were going in with style.
And then the coach told him to switch positions.
“Go play right back.”
A kid can still score a goal at right back sort of like the punter on a football team can still score a touchdown. It can happen but it probably won’t.
The kid was devastated. And he made it known to the coach. The coach’s response was priceless.
“Well, you can play right bench.”
The kid got real quiet and went to where he was told.
The coach didn’t need the kid’s goals, trick shots and back flips. He was after something else. He wanted the kid’s obedience.
You may live your whole life without Jesus ever telling you to preach a sermon, confront a demon-possessed person or turn water into wine. And that’s okay. You can do all of those things and still miss Jesus.
But there are some things that Jesus has told you to do if you belong to him. These aren’t things to be done in order to earn God’s love or saving grace. That’s part of the religious trap. No, the obedience that Jesus calls for comes as a result of already being saved by his grace.
He has asked you to love him with your total being.
He has asked you to love your neighbor.
He has asked you to kill your sin and pursue his holiness.
So Christian, don’t trade in a life of obedience for the glamour of doing religion your own way without Jesus. It may look good for a while. But in the end you will only fool yourself.
Put away the pressure to perform. Instead, devote yourself to obeying Jesus. You can’t obey him enough to earn your way into heaven. But if you belong to Jesus, your obedience, while not perfect, will be a natural result.
These words from Christ scare me. They scare me because I know that there will be a lot of good religious people with perfect attendance in Sunday School who will be told, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
I can’t think of a more frightening thing to hear.
Please, stop wasting your life on religious performance.
Instead, devote yourself to obeying Jesus.
It was called a “heartwarming reaction.”
A father took his four-year-old son to the toy store to return a duplicate gift. The boy could pick any toy that he wanted. Star Wars Legos. A football. Perhaps a dump truck.
The boy chose a Little Mermaid doll.
Out of the toy store and back in the car, dad pulled out his camera phone to assess the situation.
He couldn’t have been more proud of his son. Or himself.
“I let my boys choose their life. Choose your expression. Choose what your into. Choose your sexuality.”
The two boys in the car with dad let out loud cheers.
And then dad gave the world this line.
I guess that you could say that this is our culture’s new motto. Choose to sleep with whatever you want, whenever you want. Choose to be whatever race that you want. Choose to be whatever gender you want. Choose to kill your baby if you don’t want it.
Kids do not need to choose whatever. What they need is loving leadership. A kid who chooses whatever will pee in his neighbor’s window air conditioning unit. And you can be certain that the neighbor won’t be quite as tolerant as that heartwarming dad.
More than the so-called freedom of choosing whatever, kids need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. They need to be taught the difference between life and death. And yes, no matter what our friends at Target may say, they need to be taught that their is a difference between men and women. In short, they need you to clear up any confusion they may have about sexuality.
At some point in the history of parenting, we adopted the approach of, “Well, the kid is into it so why fight it.” This lack of parental leadership and teaching is a big reason why so many of our kids are growing up to be sexually confused. Or curious. Or whatever the label is. Look, everything is a medical condition. There are commercials on TV for conditions you’ve never heard of that can be cured by drugs you can’t pronounce with a host of side effects that you don’t want. But there is one condition that never gets any attention.
Bad parenting doesn’t always manifest itself in abuse and neglect. Sometimes it shows up in millions of affirmations that come with absolutely zero direction or correction.
A funny thing happened after I watched that heartwarming video about the dad who has decided to let his four-year-old choose his sexuality. I got in my truck and heard a story on the news about a fraternity at Old Dominion University that has gotten into trouble. I know, I know. It’s hard to imagine a fraternity doing something stupid but just stay with me on this one.
As freshmen and their families arrived on campus and made their way by the Sigma Nu house, they were greeted by three signs.
“Rowdy and fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time…”
“Freshman daughter drop off…”
“Go ahead and drop mom off too…”
The man reading the story on the radio gave a one word commentary.
Now, I agree with him but one thing has been left out of our collective outrage at this fraternity of dunces. Fraternity chapters and university presidents are falling all over themselves to tell us that none of this represents their institution. But no one is asking why this is happening.
Maybe it has something to do with a generation of parents who have told their kids, “Choose what you’re into. Choose your sexuality. Choose whatever.”
Sometimes choosing whatever looks like a little boy with a girl’s doll.
Sometimes it’s another group of little boys trying to woo mom and her daughter into their fraternity clubhouse.
And sometimes it’s a man mutilating himself because he doesn’t want to identify as a man anymore.
I know that the Choose Whatever Approach seems fun, loving and liberating, especially in regards to sexuality. But here’s the thing. Sex education abhors a vacuum. Mom and dad, if you’re not teaching your kid about sexuality, someone will.
It could be the coach who lost the teacher lottery and had to use his extra planning period to show kids how to put condoms on bananas.
It could be the television.
And it could be some sex-obsessed child predator and his fraternity buddies.
Either way, it won’t be pretty if you just sit back and do whatever while your kid chooses for himself. Without you actually doing the job of a parent, you can be sure that your child will become a card carrying member of the fraternity of dunces.
Contrary to the politically correct norms of our day, men and women are different. And if parents want to do what they can to prepare their children for the Legion of sexual philosophies that will come their way, they will take the time and trouble to teach them those differences.
The dad in that heartwarming video finally wrapped things up by giving his kids a promise.
“You have my promise forever to love you and accept you no matter what life you choose.”
On the surface, that looks loving. In reality, it’s quite far from love. Love isn’t a pass for parents to sit by passively while those under their care choose whatever.
Love steps in.
And after all of that, if your child still chooses to rebel against what you taught, love is what keeps you there with arms opened when he comes back, heartbroken from the consequences of choosing whatever.
On July 16, 2009, Henry Louis Gates was locked out of his own home. The door was jammed so he tried to force it open. A neighbor thought the scene looked suspicious so she had another neighbor call the police. From there, everything went sideways. What would normally be just another awkward neighborhood incident became a national story about race and the police.
Eventually, President Barack Obama got involved. He and Vice President Joe Biden shared a beer with Gates and the policeman who first arrived on the scene. As President Obama and his advisers saw it, the ugly incident between neighbors and the local police demanded his attention.
And so he responded.
In March of 2015, President Barack Obama sat down for an interview of sorts with Andy Katz. The two weren’t talking foreign policy or education. Andy Katz works for ESPN and for seven straight years, he has met with President Obama to talk NCAA basketball. More specifically, Katz, and the nation apparently, wanted to know if Obama had a 12 seed upsetting a 5 seed and who he had in his Final Four. As the president and his advisors saw it, this was a gold mine. The yearly NCAA bracket discussion would win him appeal among young, sports-loving voters.
And so he responded.
On July 14, 2015, The Center for Medical Progress released its first in a string of undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of murdering babies and selling their body parts. Since the release of that first video, we have seen other videos. Gruesome videos. Videos of a lady eating salad and drinking wine while she cold-heartedly speaks of selling baby parts. If she were a pimp talking about one of her workers or a puppy mill owner talking about harvesting the organs of unborn dogs, the nation would be beside itself. But this lady was just talking about human beings. So a lot of people looked the other way and carried on with their lives.
Including President Barack Obama.
No sit down with Cecile Richards, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, and a representative from The Center for Medical Progress. No interview with the media, discussing how he feels about the videos.
We did get a comment from White House press secretary Josh Earnest. He informed us that the videos were, “fraudulent.” When pressed as to how he knew that they were “fraudulent” without having seen them, his basic response was, “Well, because Planned Parenthood told us they were fraudulent.”
Still, President Barack Obama has not spoken directly about these videos.
He has spoken through his press secretary. But he has also spoken through his silence. And his silence screams.
It tells us that all human life doesn’t matter. It tells us that money from financial backers is more important than genuine justice. And it tells us that tax-payer funded lab technicians poking and laughing at a baby with a beating heart just before slicing that baby’s face open to remove his brains is perfectly normal.
On October 22, 2010, President Barack Obama gave a speech. This speech was directed toward kids who are bullied. He told his audience that they, “Didn’t do anything to deserve being bullied.”
If only President Barack Obama felt the same way about babies.
If only our government wasn’t such a bully.
There’s some shady business going on in the world of little league girls softball.
An Oregon softball team was expected to move on to the final round of the Little League World Series. They had been the most dominant team in the tournament. They were a lock to win it all. But, just to be sure and knowing that they would advance to the finals anyway, they intentionally lost a semi-final game, thus eliminating the team with the best chance of beating them. The Oregon team, known as South Snohomish, rested their four best players and had the ones who did play strike out on purpose. Allegedly. The previously unstoppable team was beaten 8-0.
Their plan was coming together nicely.
Without ever having to go through the trouble of actually facing them, they eliminated their toughest opponent and set themselves up for an easy championship by playing against a weaker opponent.
It seems as though this sort of activity is all the rage these days.
Think about it.
What would you do if you had a lot of influence, no morals and wanted the most powerful position in the world? I can tell you what I would do.
I would run for president. I would then get a close friend and former financial backer to run for president in a completely different party.
I’d have him change his positions to match that party’s key talking points.
I’d have him talk loud and hard about things that have Republicans, and most other Americans for that matter, really worked up.
I’d have him, despite his endless wealth and influence, play the role of the anti-establishment victim.
I’d have him convince the people that he was just keeping it real when he said foolish things about women.
And, he would win his party’s nomination.
I would have the benefit of defeating my toughest opponents, the fresh faces with actual ideas, without ever having to face them. My friend and former financial backer would take care of that for me.
Finally, when we went head to head in the presidential election, I would have my opponent and friend’s head on a platter. Nothing violent, mind you. He would just give it to me.
His previous comments regarding women that earned him so much praise a few months earlier would now be used against him.
His financial swagger and arrogance would be used as examples of the failures of capitalism.
I would win the office of president while my opponent and friend went back to his old job of paying off politicians. When you think about it, we would both win. My political underhandedness would win me the presidency. His power, money and connections would win him the person in the office.
The only real loser would be the American people.
But what do they know anyway?
Dear Planned Parenthood,
I promise not to take too much of your time. I know that you’re busy.
It’s been a rough couple of months for you. Every week a new video is released detailing what goes on in your facilities. It must be torture for you to know that the next Tuesday or Wednesday there will be another undercover video. What will they show next? How will the public respond?
Well, while you wait for the next video to come out, I’ve got some encouragement for you. It’s just two words.
Don’t worry about how the public will respond to the latest video detailing how a worker at your facility playfully poked at a newborn baby with a still beating heart just before removing his brains.
Even if the next video shows, in vivid detail, one of your employees actually ending the life of a newborn baby and trading his remains for $250 with a guy parked out back in a black van, don’t worry.
You don’t need to worry about any of this because, for the most part, it seems as though no one else in the country is worried either.
Most politicians are too busy trying to get elected and wiping their servers clean to care about what you do.
A majority of the people in this country have focused their collective efforts on identifying as something they are not and getting themselves all worked up over who showed up to the premier of American Ultra.
You don’t even have to worry about a lot of Christians. Sure, they’re all about justice. But just the cool justice. Justice for coffee farmers in Columbia. Justice for shoe manufactures in the Philippines. But not justice for babies in one of your facilities. Fortunately for you, speaking up for the unborn just isn’t hip in many Christian circles. People might cough up their fairly traded coffee all over their humanely harvested jeans if their pastor brought up something like abortion on a Sunday morning.
Don’t worry. You’re going to be just fine. If things carry on as they have, you won’t lose any funding from the government and you can always count on the support of the people. Or the ignorance of the people. But what’s the difference?
Between now and the release of the next undercover video, just pray or meditate or chant or whatever it is you do to whatever god it is you worship that one of your workers doesn’t get caught on camera putting too much air in a football or posing for a sorority picture that isn’t diverse enough.
If that happens, there will be hell to pay.
But as long as all you do is just kill babies, there will be no hell to pay.
Well, for now at least. At some point you will have to stand before Jesus to give an account for your actions. Unlike many politicians, he cannot be paid off. And he will not ignore what you are doing. He will administer his perfect justice upon those who destroyed the babies who are created in his image. So unless you change, you will have hell to pay.
But anyway, be encouraged!
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not the type to blame Hurricane Katrina on the sins of any particular group of people. I don’t go speaking for God whenever there is some calamity. “This is God’s punishment for…” You get the picture.
If some hurricane in some far away city is God’s punishment for sin, then we better be ready in our own cities.
That’s the reason why I’m writing this.
Not every tragedy is God’s punishment for something. But sometimes it is. And if we’ve ever done anything in this country to deserve God’s punishment, it is the killing of babies. I don’t know if disaster will strike us anytime soon. I haven’t received a special word from the Lord. All I know is that if God does decide to punish this country, he has every right to do so.
When something bad happens, skeptics like to use it as ammo against Christians.
Where was your good and loving and all powerful God when that daycare caught on fire and all of those kids died?
Where was your holy God when that hurricane wiped out the lower half of Mississippi?
So is your God weak or did he just not care enough to stop that terrorist attack?
Be ready for questions like those when disaster strikes. Be ready to ask a few questions of your own.
Where was your sense of justice for small children when Planned Parenthood was delivering them alive and pulling out their brains?
Were you just too busy or did you just not care that millions of babies were put to death in this country while our leaders threw compliments and money at Planned Parenthood?
I pray for God to have mercy on us. But at the same time, I know that he is a just God. He is not apathetic or passive to the murder of people he created in his image. He has punished nations, even his own chosen nation, for sins before. We would be naive to believe that ours will be any different.
God destroyed Sodom and Gommorrah for their sins (Genesis 19:23-29).
It was the sins of God’s own people that caused them to lose the land that he had given to them and to live instead as slaves in a foreign land (Daniel 1:1-7).
Much later, God allowed Jerusalem, the holy city, to fall again.
God didn’t do these things because he has a short temper or because he is evil. He did them because he hates sin. And, contrary to public opinion, hatred of evil and love for what is good do go together. If you don’t believe me, watch how a loving mother acts when she sees an adult assault her small child. Are you prepared to call her unloving for pouring out her wrath on the man who is hurting her child?
The next time disaster strikes, there will be many who use it as an opportunity to chip away at God’s love, power and goodness. In reality, it could be that the disaster is simply his display of all three things, namely his love for the people he created in his image, his power over evil and his goodness to those who obey and love him.
The real disaster has already struck. For some 50 years now in this country, we have sanctioned the sacrifice of children to the gods of sex, comfort, money and power. That’s the disaster. If God chooses to shower our cities with sulfur and fire, he will be just in doing so.
Maybe he will do it while you read this.
Or maybe his mercy and patience will last even longer than it already has.
But we must be careful. While God’s holiness, goodness and love are limitless, his mercy and his patience are not. They do run out. And before they do, we must pay attention to the words of Jesus.
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:1-5 (ESV)
Those are our options.
I pray that, before the next disaster strikes, our leaders would follow the example of the King of Nineveh.
The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” Jonah 3:6-9 (ESV)
God may have mercy on us so that we do not perish.
Or he may just send disaster our way.
If he does, and you are tempted to wonder why, look no further than the remains of the babies we have sacrificed to our false gods.
All of my shorts are out of style.
Cargo shorts aren’t acceptable anymore. I found that out this week. So, If it’s hot outside and I want to be cool, I have three options. First, I could wear jeans. Next, I could go buy a pair of purple European short shorts. Finally, I could just be out of style.
I have decided to just be out of style. Why change now?
There’s nothing more disturbing than a 40-year-old man who dresses exactly like the kids in his neighborhood.
Well, almost nothing more disturbing.
Consider the First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina.
It’s known as a historic Baptist church, whatever that means. Recently, the church made a historic decision. Historic for all of the wrong reasons.
They have decided that they, “will not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” That’s another way of the church saying that being gay is okay with God. And, as an added perk, if you used to be called Chris but now go by Christina, you can still serve on the Historical Committee and teach the little ones about Jesus.
I told you it was a historic decision.
The church’s conclusions about homosexuality are disturbing because they are completely contradictory to Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Romans 1:18-32).
But the way that the church arrived at that conclusion is equally as disturbing. As a lifelong Baptist, I am well aware that we love to form committees. We have committees for flowers. Committees for music. We even have committees for committees. But I must say, I’ve never heard of the committee that was formed at the First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina.
They called it the LGBT Discernment Team. It sounds very presidential, doesn’t it?
According to baptistnews.com, here’s how the final decision of the LGBT Discernment Team was solidified.
The LGBT Discernment Team reported its findings of the church consensus to deacons May 4. A majority of the diaconate endorsed the report. In May members of the congregation were invited to stand to indicate their affirmation of the statement. A majority stood, but the few who didn’t were invited to stand to agree to remain in fellowship. By the time it was over, according to the Greenville News, everyone was standing.
“It can be so much trouble finding a new church. Let’s just stand up with everyone else, dear.”
Jim Dant, pastor of the church, said the following about the unanimous vote of approval.
“This church’s journey is like of a lot of churches’ journey. You think you’re about to make a decision about homosexuality or how the church is going to deal with the LGBT community or live with the LGBT community, and it really ended up not being a decision about homosexuality but being a larger decision about what it means to be a church.”
I can agree with the reverend there. His church’s “journey” really is one that many others have taken. Laodicea and Corinth are the first to come to mind (Revelation 3:14-22; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). And the First Baptist Church of Greenville did make a decision about what it means to be a church. Essentially, they decided that they didn’t want to be one anymore. They’d rather be a community of people who are accepted by the culture because they are so good at accepting whatever the culture is doing. That’s a far cry from any picture of the church one would find in the Bible.
For years, experts have warned churches that if they don’t loosen their stance on homosexuality, gay marriage and self-mutilation, they will be found irrelevant by the ever-prized millennials who, we all know, are so open-minded and tolerant. In other words, they’ve told us to get rid of our cargo shorts and go buy some purple, European short shorts. Don’t ask any questions. Just do it. Stand up. You wouldn’t want to not fit in, would you?
One thing that is more disturbing than an old man in trendy short shorts is an old church with trendy doctrines. That’s because trends change. In clothing, they go in cycles. What once was out eventually comes back in. Not so with doctrine. With trendy doctrines, what once was preached against, over time becomes a part of the mission statement.
Shorts are meant to be changed. Doctrine isn’t. Doctrine is supposed to change us. But that’s the problem with a solid doctrine that refuses to morph with the always transforming tastes of the culture.
It can be uncomfortable.
And terribly out of style.
But those two things have never bothered true followers of Jesus nearly as much as they seem to bother the First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina.
You’ve been doing things wrong all along. Here are four life hacks that are guaranteed to change your life.
1. Avoid snakebites.
It’s that time of year. Snakes are everywhere. But you don’t have to be scared whenever you step outside or decide to take a walk through the woods. Instead of running away, the next time you see a snake, start singing and rub it on the back of the head. The combination of the touching sensation and the sound of music completely immobilizes venomous snakes.
2. Fight off that summer cold.
If winter is the time for the flu, summer is the time when many people get that nagging cough and congestion that just won’t go away. The natural home remedy has been under your nose all along. To fight off summer colds, mix two cups of antifreeze with one ounce of bleach and drink every night before you go to bed. The cold will stay away and you’ll sleep like never before.
3. Protect yourself during a house fire.
Should you find yourself caught in a structure fire, forget about running outdoors. You could fall down the stairs and then you’ve got a whole new set of problems. Instead, at the first sign of smoke, get as low to the floor as possible. Smoke prefers heights. As quickly as you can, crawl to the nearest closet to wait out the fire. Fire needs fuel to grow and larger rooms provide more of that sort of thing. You’ll be just fine in the closet.
4. Beat the bears.
Bears haven’t started hibernating yet so if you decide to go camping, there’s a good chance that you will encounter a mother and her cubs. If so, don’t panic. And don’t run away. Before leaving for that summer nature hike, rub fish all over your clothes. Bears hate the smell of fish. Also, run toward the cubs as quickly as you can. The mama bear will assume that you are eager to help her with her babies and will leave you alone.
In reality, these life hacks are suicidal, not helpful. If you have any shred of common sense, you probably winced as you read these. You certainly didn’t believe any of them. Or try them out on your kids. I hope.
You didn’t put these life hacks into practice because you know that any one of them would kill you. To put it another way, you didn’t follow my advice because, deep down, you know that truth matters.
Truth matters when it comes to playing with cubs after having rubbed fish all over your clothes. You will die.
Truth matters when it comes to hiding in a closet during a structure fire. You will burn.
Truth matters when singing to and petting rattlesnakes. They can’t hear your music and they don’t want to be touched. They will bite you and maybe even kill you.
And truth matters when drinking bleach and antifreeze. Your body treats them as poisons. You will die.
Unless you are a progressive who cares more about relevance than truth. You would be foolish to believe that singing to rattlesnakes protects you from harm. But, somehow, you are just being open-minded when you deny the Bible’s truth claims. And you like being open-minded. So you talk a lot about a Jesus who only cared about love and wasn’t so concerned with truth because, well, truth gets in the way of love.
The problem is, this Jesus doesn’t exist.
Jesus never simply spoke the truth. He is the Truth.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (ESV)
And while Jesus is love, he never treated love and truth as mutually exclusive. Rather, his truth claims were an extension of his love.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15 (ESV)
Jesus says a lot in that one sentence. Yes, love matters. And so does truth. If not, Jesus would have said something along the lines of, “Find your own truth and embrace it passionately.” But he didn’t. Instead, he let us know that there is a difference between truth and lies. And the difference is a matter of life and death. It was Jesus’ love that compelled him to warn people away from those lying wolves in sheep’s clothing.
You would never tell someone to sing to a rattlesnake while rubbing it on the back of the head, even if that person really loved rattlesnakes and self-identified as a snake-handler. That’s because, deep down inside, you know that truth matters more than self-identity and feeling.
And, deep down inside, you know that there’s nothing loving about putting truth to the side while lies destroy.
Believing soothsaying fables about snakes, bears, stomach aches and fires will cost you.
But they will only bring you harm in this life.
Believing popular reinterpretations about Jesus will cost you as well.
But believing the wolves in sheep’s clothing will do you harm for all eternity.
That’s because the truth matters.
So be careful who you listen to.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’” For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?Jeremiah 23:16-18 (ESV)