In the aftermath of last weekend’s Las Vegas massacre, Democrats came out almost immediately and called for new gun control regulations. Republicans came out and defended the Second Amendment, and back and forth we went.
When a maniac in a Dodge Charger drove into a crowd in Charlottesville, we began fighting over what statues were now deemed too racist to stand. The media blamed Trump for bringing racism back to America, and the GOP reflexively started defending the First Amendment.
These types of reactions and counter-reactions make up the political dance we’ve become accustomed to. Allegations and arguments are becoming so tired and shallow that it takes only a new voice, rather than new idea, to seemingly supercharge political partisan hacks.
Rather than rally for gun control, healthcare reform, or ending racism, why are there no calls for revival?
We live in a nation that, as of last year, claims to be 77% Christian, though only about 20% seem to take it seriously enough to go to church once a week. Yet when a sadistic mass murderer spends $50,000 on weapons and ammo so that he could spray bullets into a crowd of innocent concert goers, not one talking head called for people to get saved. Some on CNN and Fox News called for A savior, but no one called for THE Savior.
Did the evangelical political hero, President Donald J. Trump, mention one word about turning to God? Where was Osteen? He tweeted out a general platitude, like most Christians, saying to trust in the Lord. Other politicians sent “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families. This is a lovely gesture, and as a resident Las Vegan, I appreciate prayers. Prayers work. However, prayer is not salvation. While everyone has been concerned with the physical health and safety of all in Las Vegas, it seems like few, if any, have been concerned with our souls.
In a “Christian” nation, millions of people should have been out in the streets witnessing for Christ and sending out invitations to church. Instead, we hit Twitter and started arguing about gun rights with complete strangers.
Jimmy Kimmel, a devout practicing Catholic, used his powerful platform to demonize the NRA and legal firearm owners rather than conduct an altar call and preach the gospel. Many others followed this pattern.
There is no more relevant time to witness to the unsaved than after a national tragedy. It’s never “too soon”, but it is often too late to do so.
You never know when an armed gunman will strike where you are.
You never know when a bomb will destroy the building you’re in.
You never know if you’re on a plane with someone who wants to crash it.
You never know when a drunk driver will come from out of nowhere and take your life.
Last Sunday night’s events were a reminder of our fleeting mortality. Life can end when you least expect it. Are you confident in your beliefs on the afterlife? Are you sure you are just going to become worm food? Are you positive that you will be reincarnated until you reach Nirvana?
I am 100% positive that I will be in Heaven with God and Jesus Christ when I die. I will not waver from that belief.
If you are questioning, at all, what happens when you die, talk to me. Yes, I am being an opportunist. I am taking advantage of fear and tragedy. That’s because I want you all to be as sure as I am that your eternity is secure.
I have been in my fair share of arguments. I have debated on Facebook, among friends, and in classrooms full of people. When the situation isn’t resolved, I generally leave the conversation feeling awful. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot convince the other side that I am right. I do not want innocent babies ripped apart in the womb. I do not want speech, no matter how hate filled, to be banned. I do not want anyone to go to hell when they die. I do not want my Constitutional rights taken away.
I do not like being wrong. I come in to every argument with as much knowledge as I can muster. I approach every debate with the mindset that empiricism trumps emotion. I want to be able to point to statistics and use my Sociological training to raise awareness and debunk irrational arguments. When I fail, I take it personally. After all, if I cannot convince an atheist that my religious beliefs are correct, then I’ve just my shot at seeing them saved by God’s grace. If I cannot convince a liberal that abortion is murder, then they will continue to advocate for the slaughter of innocents. If I cannot convince the Left that I have the RIGHT to bear arms, then my family may be in danger one day and I will be weaponless.
These are important arguments to me.
However, there are an increasing number of times when I feel rage from my opposition. Whereas I am saddened by my failure in disagreement, the other person HATES me. When I am disappointed, they want me silenced. They want me to lose my reputation and job. If I were to take social media seriously, I’d think they want me…dead (as a member of the NRA, there have been dozens of calls for my murder).
After this most recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, irrationality has become the norm. I know people who were there. I know others who lost someone. I drive past Mandalay Bay several times a week on my way to UNLV. I can see it from school. I can see it from the highway. I can see it when I drive to my home from grocery shopping. No one has to tell me the impact and devastation caused by the actions of an evil mass murderer. I am reminded of it several times a day, and most likely will continue to be so long as I live in Vegas.
Although I am shaken, sullen, and uneasy, I cannot and will not use this tragedy as justification to rid my city or country of firearms. As a matter of fact, I want MORE freedom and LESS restriction on firearms. Rather than feel weakened by the event, I feel my resolve strengthened. When I feel unsafe, I want to increase my own stockpile of weapons. I want to freely exercise my Second Amendment (that is, GOD-GIVEN) right to protect myself and family by any means necessary.
No counter-argument can change my mind. I see the statistics that show the correlation between INCREASED gun ownership and DECREASED crime rates. I understand the scenarios where a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. I know personal instances where having a firearm stopped robberies and sexual assaults from happening. I know that if someone were to come into my home in an attempt to violate the safety of my family, they will be met with lethal force.
More guns save lives than take them, not matter how many mass shootings occur; it’s just not sexy to report them on the news. It’s difficult to know the actual number, as gun saves are not often reported to the police or FBI.
We can disagree on this matter. You can push for gun control, and I will work tirelessly to resist your effort. I can promise you this, while I may be disappointed in our disagreement, I will never wish you dead. I would never want you to lose your job over it. I would never want you to lose your life. I just hope you feel the same.
Moses is dead, and it is up to Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. God tells Joshua that “The book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8).
Oh, Christian. How prosperous would our lives be if we observed and abided by all the words of The Bible?
Chapter 2 is the story of the two spies who entered Jericho and met Rahab, the harlot. Rahab is an interesting figure because 1) she is a female hero of the Bible, which, we are told, is a completely misogynistic book; and 2) Rahab is taught by many churches (including more than one of mine) to be in the line of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5). However, the Rachab in Matthew 1:5 is not mentioned as “the harlot” as Rahab is in both Old AND New Testaments. Yes, there are differences between Greek and Hebrew versions of names, but the Rahab the harlot is named such in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25; so why would she not be the same in Matt. 1:5? Because she is probably not the same person. Sorry!
If we go back to the Greek (because that’s what all Bible “scholars” like to do), Rahab is Rhaab and Rhachab is Rachab. Yet the modern perversions of God’s Word translate them both as Rahab, thus, wrongly inserting “the harlot” into the line of Christ.
Rahab tells the spies in Josh. 2:11 of stories of the Exodus from Egypt and conquering of the Amorites, “as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man.” Ironically, the Israelites were scared to conquer a city of men who feared the power of the LORD God of Israel.
As we know, Rahab and her family would be spared during the destruction of Jericho because of her faith in helping the spies.
Another miraculous water crossing occurs in chapter 3, as the Israelites walked across a “heap” of dry land as the priests carrying the ark of the LORD stepped into the Jordan river (v. 13). Here, again, is another supernatural miracle experienced by the Israelites that makes their impending worship of idols so stupefying.
God wants us to hear, learn, and fear the LORD (Deut. 31:12-13). This order is repeated twice. We are to hear and learn the Word of God, then we are to fear Him. I believe this is because the more we learn of God, the more we cannot help but fear him. Unfortunately, our modern churches don’t actually teach the Word of God, and Christians do not fear the LORD.
Why should we fear God? Just look at the threats made to Israel (and the threats have become real since) in Deut. 31:17. God’s anger is kindled, he forsook them, hid his face from them, and devoured them. This sounds like a God you should fear.
God is described as the Rock (Deut. 32:4), which is not the same as Simon Peter (the rock) on whom the Catholic Church has been built (according to them). Our Rock is Jesus Christ, not Peter. The Christian church is built on Christ. Psalm 62:6-7 says “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.”
Again, this is not talking about Peter, but God and Christ.
Deut. 32:8 once again shows the “negativity” of The Bible. It says that the most High (God) “divided,” “separated,” and set “bounds.” These are not inclusive, uniting words. They are divisive. Christians “are not of the world” (John 17:16), and should be divided, separated, and have bounds that we should not cross.
Modern Christians cross those bounds as often as we can, don’t we?
God also warns us of sacrificing “unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not” (Deut. 32:17).
I think this idea of new gods is pertinent to the entire world. When we think of gods, we think of the ancient Roman and Greeks; of Zeus, Jupiter, Apollo, Thor, Odin, Shiva, Buddha, etc. We scoff at the very idea that we would ever worship a god.
However, we worship NEW gods. We pray at the altar of celebrity, sports, and television. We build shrines to Tom Cruise or Jennifer Lawrence. We pray to “the football gods” when our team takes the field. We attend the church that Babe Ruth built.
The statistics on church attendance during football season are staggering. About 40% of men and 18% of women watch more than six hours of football a week, while less than 20% attend church for even one hour, and 22% of churchgoers would skip church for football.
We worship new gods alright.
What America has become is “a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them” (Deut. 32:28). We are walking the same path that the Israelites were on over 3,000 years ago. The very path that led to their scattering, suffering, and destruction is the one that we are gleefully running down.
Why? Because we have forgotten to fear the LORD.
Deut. 32:31 says “their rock is not as our Rock.” Peter, the Pope, Mohammad, Buddha, Odin, Zeus; these are the rocks that other religions are built on. Jesus Christ, the LORD is the Rock that should be our foundation. The Jewish religions missed that mark as well, as they deny that Christ is Messiah. Their only refuge is that they are God’s chosen people whom He promised to restore. Christians, that promise is not given to America. When God destroys our nation, there will be no coming back.
These are the warnings the God gave us through Moses; the only prophet “whom the LORD knew face to face” (Deut. 34:10). No matter the claims from the Vatican or Mecca, none are as great a prophet as Moses who died before entering the Promised Land.
This passage gives us some clarity as to what marriage is in God’s eyes. While the debate over legalized same sex marriage still rages on, the Bible says nothing about marriage being recognized by the government as “one man, one woman.” God’s word says nothing about hospital visits or filing your taxes jointly. There’s nothing here about weddings, rings, or whether you need a church or courthouse; a pastor or a judge.
Marriage, in Deut. 21:13 says “thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shalt be your wife.” Sexual intercourse, according to the Word of God, is marriage. This is further explained in the New Testament, for those who want to refute this verse as not pertaining to Christians. Matt. 19:5 is clear that when a man and woman have intercourse, they become “one flesh.” This verse is a quote of Gen. 2:24 spoken by Christ himself.
So those of us who like to be promiscuous are “married” to the person whose name you don’t know because you were drunk when you went home with them. The person you date raped is now “married” to you according to God. The only legitimate cause for divorce is fornication; or if your new “spouse” sleeps with another person.
Of course, if a man rapes a woman, he should die (Deut. 22:25), so please don’t think that rape is a valid way of getting married.
For those who say that the Bible does not speak about homosexuality, I would say that Deut. 22:5 certainly speaks clearly about trans people. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination into the LORD thy God.”
Gender is not a “social construction” in the eyes of God. He made Adam male and Eve female. Period. End of story. There may be some physical deformities (intersex), but someone who is biologically born a man is male and biological women are females.
Furthermore, chapter 23:17 says “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” This verse seems pretty explicit that God is not a fan of rampant sexual conquest. You can take “sodomite” as gay, but Sodom was full of all types of sexual perversion, including, but not limited to, homosexuality.
The bottom line on relationships in the Bible, at least according to these passages, is that marriage SHOULD be between one man and one woman who were both virgins when they had sex. Gay “marriage” is an abomination, because it violates the proper definition of marriage according to God, and the government has no say in what a marriage is, because God defines marriage outside of what the State says.
The end of chapter 27 is interesting, because it ends with a list of curses. It is a very negative passage. The Bible, if you really think about it, is a very negative book. It’s always telling us what not to do. I believe that this is because our sinful human nature is “positive” in that everything is permissible. What separates us from animals is that we do have limitations put on us. Atheists have a difficult time trying to explain where morality comes from.
If evolution were true, then “survival of the fittest” would not account for why we don’t murder strangers who threaten our livelihood or the homeless who are a drag on society. Charity should not exist outside of our hyper-localized clans (e.g. family and neighborhood). The best way for us to survive would be to attack and rob others. We should lie and manipulate people to get what we want. Evolution is to care only for yourself and your gene pool, and if you must harm others to do so, then you must.
For Christians, the Bible answers that question. Morality comes from God. He told us not to kill, lie, or steal which violates our “evolutionary” instincts. The Bible MUST BE a negative book. It MUST put restrictions on human behavior. Nature does no such thing.
The Israelites are a “peculiar people” (Deut. 14:2), which is why it is silly for Christians and Americans today to think that all the laws of the Old Testament apply to us. It is why anti-Christians always want to point to the Pentateuch in order to lecture us on our hypocrisy. They are fools to believe that because modern American Christians do not follow laws meant for ancient Israelites, we are hypocrites.
Some of what is found in these books, however, does apply to us. The notion that one witness is not enough to put a man on death row (Deut. 17:6) is the same policy that our own justice system has today. Anyone who has studied memory and cognition knows that eye witness testimony is easily dismissed. The only time that a court takes it seriously is when there are two or more witnesses. God knew the fallibility of an eye witness a couple thousand years before our courts recognized it.
Chapter 17:14-20 gives a great picture of a great leader as well. A king (in our case, Congressman or President) should not use his office to multiply his wealth or sexual proclivities. A good leader reads the law every day and fears the LORD. He keeps this law (the Bible) in his heart and applies them to his life.
The problem with our leaders today is the same as those back in the Old Testament, they all abandon the teachings of God and use their power for personal gain. They are selfish; therefore, they are not good leaders. Not even Solomon and David met the standards put forth by this passage. In fact, Solomon became the poster child for doing the exact opposite of this, as he amassed the greatest fortune ever known and had 1000 wives and concubines. Yet, even Solomon came to realize that “all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:1).
Chapter 18 lists nine abominations: child sacrifice (to Molech aka Nimrod), divination, “observer of times” (astrology), enchanter, witch, charmer, consulters with familiar spirits (familiar spirits may appear as animal guides, historical figures, or family members — but they are none of these things), wizard, and necromancy. These are “spiritual gifts” in a manner of speaking, though they are not the same gifts as those given by God in the New Testament. These are dark gifts brought about by worshiping false gods, and consulting with demons and evil spirits. This is an explicit warning against messing around with psychics, Ouija boards, witchcraft, and opening yourself to the supernatural.
Deut. 18:15-18 predicts Jesus Christ, who is a Prophet who is like God (v. 15) AND like man (v. 18) who will speak the words of God and save people from the fire (v. 16). Those who pretend to be a prophet of God, but do not speak his words are doomed to die.
This is a warning against Mohammad, Antichrist, and all of the “Christian” ministers who wear the right label, but fail to preach the right words. We must be vigilant in our understanding of the Word of God, so that we may rightly divide the word of Truth (II Tim 3:15). We do not want to follow these wolves in sheep’s clothing into destruction.