Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Every Family Has Them

"Ok, I'll go ahead and say it--I know that being a conservative is not a requirement for being a Christian. I totally understand that. Still, I have no idea how anyone who claims to be a Christian can vote Democrat. Period.

"To me, Democrat-voting christians are not brothers/sisters in Christ. They're more like 2nd cousins once removed in Christ. You know, like the relatives that show up at the family reunion all liquored up who go up to sing some karaoke but can't see the lyrics on the screen so they decide to freestyle rap? You can't say they're not family but you don't want to admit to knowing them? Democrat voting christians are like that."

Comment by Joe Blackmon on the blog post, "The Mind of a Liberal...Courtesy of Nancy Pelosi" at Just After Sunrise.   Used with permission.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

****Invasion Of The Body Cavities

You know you're getting old when you don't fit in the culture anymore.

I don't like socialized medicine (OBAMACARE).  I don't understand it. I don't see any use for it and I certainly don't see how it is improved or how it improves my life.

I grew up in a time when most people didn't have a health care plan.  We had doctors; respected men we knew in our towns and churches whose practices were local.  They knew us and we knew them.  When we got sick, we called them.  Sometimes they came to our homes with their little black bag and they treated us.  Sometimes minor operations were performed in their offices which, in many cases, were in their homes.  My sister and I had our tonsils removed in our doctor's home.  When we woke up, his wife served us ice cream in their own bed. 

We paid for his services when they were rendered.  No problem.  And if it was a problem, the doctor would just carry the charges on account.

Now I am FORCED into some kind of government approved one-size-fits-all PLAN that I don't want and don't need (unless, by chance, I get pregnant and want to abort).

I don't even know my doctor.  He (or maybe she) has some strange name I can't pronounce.  I have never met him.  For over a year my service provider has been hounding me with letters and phone messages to make contact with them.   They keep bugging me for stool samples.  They want me to put in in an envelope and mail it to them.  I thinks that's illegal.  The post office has rules about sending hazardous, explosive, or harmful contents.  I'm sure my stool sample would be classified as one of those and a violation of U.S. Postal Service laws is a Federal offense.  I just want to be left alone.

Last week I got a warning notice.  My doctor scheduled me for a lab test.  I was instructed to go to any of their multiple facilities' labs; my paperwork would be in their data system.  I was told that if I didn’t cooperate, my coverage would probably be dropped.

Whoa, really?  I wondered how bad that could be if I were “dropped.”  Well, anyway, I drove thirty miles to the medical center and checked into the lab.  Forty stinkin’ bucks - that was the amount of my "copay."  In the old days I would have paid the forty dollars for the office visit.  The only thing different now is that I have a lousy health care plan that I HAVE TO PAY FOR before they charge me a forty dollar copay.  How is that better?

So I was there less than ten minutes from check in to discharge -- Paid the forty bucks, walked down the hall to the lab, and, as if forty bucks wasn’t enough, they even TOOK MY BLOOD and all I got out of the deal was an elastic tourniquet with a cotton ball over the puncture; I ditched that in the trash can before I reached the exit.  Oh yeah, and I got a receipt telling me that the forty bucks will be "applied toward your total charges for services you will receive today or during this admission.  I this does not cover your full financial liability, you will receive a bill for additional charges....(and blah, blah, blah).

Why does he want my blood?  What is he going to do with it?  What’s he looking for?  I’m not sick.  I didn’t call him.  Is he going to ask me a bunch of personal questions?  Is he going to want to follow up with an invasion of my body cavities?  Well that is never gonna happen!  Does he expect me to change my diet?  Fat chance!  Is he going to start making me take pills?  That's gonna be hard to swallow.  I am not going to give up pizza and chili cheese dogs and I don’t want to take pills.  Is he going to ask me if I have any firearms in my house?  I'm a Conservative Christian American Patriot; of course I do but it’s none of his business.  Maybe he’s going to diagnose me as psychologically disturbed because of my bad attitude.  Well it's my attitude; it's the only one I have and I intend to KEEP IT.

I don’t like this.  I think it's the doctors who make people sick.  Lots of people I know, who were just fine before going to see their doctors, came back with some serious new condition or ailment and a chest full of prescription drugs.  I don't want no stinkin' institutional management of my health care; I just want to be able to call a doctor when I am sick.  How many more times am I going to have to fork over forty bucks for some services I didn’t ask for and don’t want before they just LEAVE ME ALONE?   Maybe I should just go curl up and die.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Cosequenses of Public Education



Sooner or later, we reap the consequences of our actions. During this last election, the chickens came home to roost. Have you wondered why 18-to-29-year-old evangelicals voted for Barack Obama despite his apostasy on the fundamental moral issues of abortion and same-sex unions? They voted 32 percent for Obama, twice the percentage of that demographic group who voted for John Kerry in 2004.

What caused the children of the so-called "religious right," to change their moral imperatives so dramatically? In this article, Phyllis Schlafly suggests that most likely it's the humanistic attitudes and decision-making they learned in the public schools, which 89 percent of U.S. students attend.

From time to time I hear “Christian” parents attempting to argue in favor of public education. Their justification goes something like this, “I went to public school and it didn’t affect me,” (an opinion that might be arguable). I think some more honest responses would be “I would rather spend my money on recreation and comfort” or “Why should I pay for something when public education is free?” The truth is, many parents just simply let their kids make those decisions for themselves.

My friend, Ron Livesay, a retired Christian School administrator, has written this on the subject:

Over the years, I have had many parents tell me that they plan to allow their children to decide which school to attend when they reach a certain age, usually at the beginning of either junior or senior high school. My response to that is based on my biblical convictions concerning the absolute necessity for God-centered education. It is not my purpose to tell people what convictions to hold, but I am hopeful that this article will challenge your thinking.

First, it is unlikely that a twelve or fourteen year old has the maturity and accompanying wisdom to make a decision that will likely affect the remainder of his life. Regardless of how some of them appear, early teenagers are not adults and should not be subjected to the pressure inherent in making adult decisions. Sound decision-making can be learned from other situations that have less far-reaching implications.

Second, to allow a young person to make a decision that has the potential to help or hurt him greatly is to abdicate parental responsibility. Parents must take the position that their age and wisdom are greater than that of their children and that decisions must be made on the basis of what is right and good rather than what their children like or thinks is fun.
“Cease listening, my son, to discipline, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 19:27 (NASB)
Third, the usual arguments given for a young teenager to make such decisions are weak. “He wants to go to the public school to be a witness for the Lord.” But putting canaries in with sparrows to teach the sparrows to sing will likely result in many chirping canaries and very few singing sparrows. We do not send our children to be foreign missionaries nor do we enlist them to fight in wars. Rather, we nourish them to maturity before we expect mature behavior.

“But the public school has more electives.” That is true but can we justify allowing our children to be taught by unbelievers for the sake of an auto shop class? The biblical principle is that parents are responsible for the education of their children and that it is of utmost importance that the education they receive be consistent with and based on God’s Word. It would have been curious indeed, had David attended Philistine Central High School so he could play football or march in the band.
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Do not learn the way of the nations…’” Jeremiah 10:2 (NASB)
“I do not want to shelter my children from the real world.” What is the “real world,” anyway? According to Scripture, the real world is one that includes God rather than one that legislates Him out of existence. An education that does not include God is void of an understanding of the real world. It is public school students who are sheltered and protected from reality. To ignore the truth and try to be neutral is to deny the truth, and the public school has no option or intention to do otherwise.

“The public schools have many fine Christian teacher.” Praise the Lord for that. The public school can certainly use them. Christians who teach in public schools have a unique ministry. They are to be commended and upheld by prayer. Their task is not easy. They are laboring within a system that is hostile and restrictive, yet they have great ministry opportunities. But a mature adult teaching in the public school is not the same as a young, impressionable student attending that school. Christian teachers cannot make the public schools into Christian schools. The problem lies, not with the teachers. They are under the authority and control of a system that, by government decree, will never be godly.

There are many inane arguments for allowing young people to make bad decisions that we know will harm them. But they are usually inconsistent with biblical wisdom. The consequences of those decisions will be our responsibility.

Every Christian parent has a God-given responsibility for the godly education of his children. Whether through home-schooling, Christian school, or some other means is not the issue. The important thing is for us all to be faithful in our responsibilities.
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine hearts and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…” Deuteronomy 6:6-7.
Pastor Ron Livesay is my long-time friend, co-worker, and occasional contributor to this blog. He recently retired after serving God for over 30 years in Christian School administration.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Personal Confession Repost. Why I Don't Laff Anymore

I don't laff much anymore.  I'm not very good at baring my soul to strangers and making public confessions but it is time for me to level with you about a problem I have been hiding for a long time. This is very difficult for me but confession is necessary before I can ever hope to deal with this horrible problem that is affecting my job, my ministry and my relationships with my wife and family.

I knew that my personal weakness was soon to be discovered when people started noticing that I was laffing (that's what happens whenever people really start thinking; they begin to laff at the lunacy and idiocy of non-thinkers). They began to wonder what I had been thinking. It wasn’t really about the things I did but what people presumed to be some dark, latent, irreverent thinking that motivated my actions.

It started out innocently enough. I began to think in public now and then just to loosen up a little bit. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more of an obsession to me, and finally, I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I know, thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't control myself. My board chairman called a special meeting and said, “We have noticed that you have been laffing a lot and we suspect it’s because you have been thinking. If you don’t stop thinking, we will have to terminate you.

Lots of people enjoy some occasional social thinking but I have noticed that most people avoid those who begin to think too much. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day my pastor called me in. He said, "Ralph, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. Lots of people have seen you laff and they are sure that it is caused by your thinking. If you don't stop your thinking immediately, we will have no choice but to remove you from ministry and we may have to remove your name from our church membership roll." This gave me, even more, to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with my pastor. "Kathy, I have a confession to make, I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she interrupted, "I’ve known it for a long time. I could tell when you started laffing. I want a divorce!"

"But Kathy, surely it's not that serious," I said.

"It is serious," she said with teary eyes and a quivering lower lip. “Nobody likes us anymore. Our friends won’t even talk to me because they have all seen you laffing and they wonder what you have been thinking. You think almost as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money and the only friend they have are a few pinhead thinkers who can't relate to real people. So if you keep on thinking we won't have any money or friends!"

I laffed, "That's a faulty syllogism," I said in my sarcastic witty way. Then she began to cry. “See,” she said, “college professors don’t make any sense either.

I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with a PBS station on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors...they didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today; a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. Lately, I have noticed that I am really starting to enjoy watching the Simpsons on T.V. but I still catch myself laffing sometimes.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. And my pastor is holding me accountable to ensure that I don’t slip up and succumb to the temptation to indulge in an occasional thought. And he has assigned counselors to watch out and make sure I don’t laff anymore. I know I will never be completely free from this awful thing that plagues my life. That is why I am asking you, my friends, to help me and pray for me. I need your encouragement. Life just seems a lot easier, somehow, now that I have admitted my problem and stopped thinking and my wife and her friends like me a lot more since I stopped laffing.

first posted 4-18-2009


Three times this week I have been asked about my blog address and the meaning of NA2L.  So I am reposting this from a couple years ago.  Sometimes old stories just have to be retold. 

March 26, 2012

I am really looking forward to my lunch meeting tomorrow.  Our Good Old Boys Club hasn't meet for nearly three years since we were disbanded.

The "club" was composed of several conservative, principled, and unemotional men who were charged with the administrative oversight of our Christian school.   The name, which was intended to be pejorative, was pinned on us by a couple unhappy and overly emotional women who, later, got angry when we adopted it, made light of it, and then wore the GOBC moniker with pride.
I even had a GOBC sticker on my car.  Apparently that was too far over the top for some people.  I was ordered, by one of our pastors, to remove it because, he said,  it was "offensive" to the women who gave us the name. 

Go figure.  It was MY FAULT that they were angry just because we had the audacity to joke about it.  Well, I just politely obliged for the sake of peace, and I removed the decal from my car.  I then replaced it with the letters, IAMF.  It was just a couple weeks later that someone asked one of my friends what the IAMF meant.  When he was told that it meant, "It's All My Fault," I was directed to remove that sticker too.  I guess that's what happens when people have thin skin.  They can dish it out, but they can't take it.

Oh well, I'm flexible and easy to get along with so, for the sake of a couple spineless pastors, I replaced IAMF with NA2L.  I know you're curious about that; it stands for Not Allowed 2 Laff.   
It was the truth; I was not allowed 2 laff.  I didn't know it then but, it seems that, in general, conservatives are not allowed to have a sense of humor (especially sarcastic humor).  Some people just don't know how to laugh.  That sticker had to go too.  So instead I used the phrase, notallowed2laff, for my Blog address.  You woulda thought the world was coming to an end.  My blog caused an inquisition and nearly resulted in a bizarre attempt to "Matt. 18" me into some kind of illegitimate church discipline.

So, tomorrow our Good Old Boys Club will unofficially convene for the last time.   We will reminisce about all the years of our committee service and the good times we had together.  We will Laff a lot and joke about non-essential persons (NEP), fat books, ESLERs, and the infamous terrorist, Ron de Bom Bom.   And we might even talk about how we were once publicly denigrated as just a few Well-Meaning Gentlemen With Different Ideas. 

They meant it all for harm, but we used it as an excuse to Laff.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Irrelevant Relevant Church

If your church has changed to become more relevant, chances are, before the change was complete, it had already become irrelevant.  

The Gospel is relevant; the Bible is relevant; Old Truth is relevant; Preaching is relevant.  Those things never change because God never changes.  

But the world changes.  And just the time your new culturally relevant gimmick becomes popular, some newly styled gimmick will come up and surpass yours before the shine is off and your gimmick will be irrelevant.

I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry.  
                                                                                  1 Timothy 2:1-5

Vote YES On NO (My Handy Dandy 2014 Voter's Guide)


I never neglect voting because it is a RESPONSIBILITY of every patriotic American.   As the saying goes, VOTE EARLY, VOTE OFTEN.  And that's what I will be doing.  This year I will be casting about eleven ballots in the 2014 California election.

How do I do that? You might wonder!  Well there are people, in my family and in my sphere of influence, who always ask me to tell them how they should vote.  This year another friend asked me and he will be advising four others who look to him for guidance.   So there you have it; I will provide each of them copies of my sample ballot and they will cast my votes eleven times.

But I am going to do something a little differently for this election; I am going to tell you right here, in this blog post, how I make decisions on initiatives, and for whom I will vote in political offices.  So for any of you who might need some simple, straight-forward, no-nonsense direction, here it is.

By way of introduction, let me openly declare, I AM A CONSERVATIVE.  That word means things and I take it seriously.  My conservative political views are formed (and informed) by my Biblio-centric Christian worldview.  So before I even open the voter guide, I know that I will approach the initiatives with a great deal of conservative skepticism.

 Whatever It Is, I'm Against It.

We have TOO MANY LAWS.  I don’t know how we ever lost the idea that politicians are elected representatives and are sent to Sacramento or Washington to “represent” us.  But they call themselves lawmakers and they act as though writing new legislation is their primary duty.

Some laws are good and a few are necessary but most laws are redundant, burdensome, punitive, intellectually insulting, immoral, or unconstitutional, and they rob us of our resources and diminish our freedoms.  So my automatic default attitude for every initiative is NO; Whatever it is, I'm against it.  And from that point it is up to those who write these propositions to convince me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the initiative is both good and necessary.   After all, it is not necessarily good to vote for laws just because they seem to be good; I believe it is my patriotic duty, in most cases, to vote NO in order to preserve our freedoms and guard against the tyranny of out-of-control bureaucracies. 

I do occasionally peruse the arguments and rebuttals mainly because I enjoy classical debates.  I note who is making the arguments and I also look at the endorsements.  I want to know who is proposing and defending it and I want to know who is against it.  Frankly, whenever I see positions that are argued or favored by unions (like the teacher’s union), it is almost certain to be an automatic NO because, like I said before, I AM A CONSERVATIVE. 

In this election cycle I have seen at least a couple initiatives that are favored and endorsed by Governor Jerry Brown.  Really?  Jerry Brown?  Moonbeam?  Doesn’t anyone remember his first term back in his pot-smoking days when NOT ONE SINGLE INCH OF NEW HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION occurred during his entire eight-year tenure?   He didn’t like cars but I digress. 

The point is, initiatives that are proposed by, endorsed by, supported by, or otherwise marketed by liberal people or left-wing organizations are certain to trigger my NO vote and, in California, that pretty much includes MOST of them.   However, I would vote yes on an initiative to outlaw abortion on demand or to outlaw queer marriages because I AM A CONSERVATIVE.


Proposition 2 -The Budget Stabilization Account.  It requires an increase in spending so we can pay our bills.  How does that work at your house?  I don’t know why we fall for this kind of voodoo economics over and over again.  How many laws do we have to pass to tell the government to exercise fiscal responsibility and pay their obligations first?  How many set-asides will they ignore?  How many lock boxes will they rob?  How many times have we been promised that new taxing and spending initiatives are going to be safe-guarded and are guaranteed to only be used for their intended purposes?  The B. S. Account is B.S. and, besides, they can’t even tell us how much it’s going to cost.  NO on B.S.

Proposition 45   As if the country wasn’t damaged enough with the passage of the illegal, unconstitutional, anti-free market expansion of socialism called the Affordable Care Act, now California wants to double down on Obamacare.  Don’t we have enough of government control and regulation in our healthcare and insurance?  I don’t want more of their meddling; I want less.  In the free market private sector, the market controls prices and improves the quality of services.  When government controls, prices go up and quality is diminished.  And besides, to further insult your intelligence, the state is estimating that the increased cost for this initiative is ONLY in the low millions of dollars.  NO.

Proposition 46    This proposition is endorsed by Nancy (“we have to pass the law before we can see what’s in it”)Pelosi.  Need I say more?  This initiative has nothing to do with drug testing doctors; it is a ruse for another huge expansion of government AND will increase money for trial lawyers by raising the cap on pain and suffering damages.   This is great for attorneys and sure to result in higher insurance premiums.  NO

Proposition 47   This “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” relaxes criminal sentences and penalties. Liberals act as if we reclassify felonies as just infractions, we won’t have so many felons.   California already has the very unpopular Prison Realignment Act that has deposited thousands of felons back onto the streets of our communities.   NO

Proposition 48   The state can’t even manage its own business.     It amazes me how liberals are so often conflicted and contradictory of their own ideologies.  They say they want equal opportunities in the marketplace and then they proceed to meddle in the private sector by picking winners and losers.  If gambling is legal for some, it should be legal for all.  Why is it legal for only redskins and not for yellowskins, blackskins, and whiteskins (and even purple penguins, for that matter) to compete in the marketplace?  It should be no surprise that my vote for this proposition is in support of the constitutional ideas of freedom and equal opportunity under the law.  I vote YES.

In the Governors race, I wish the Republican were more conservative but he's not.  Neel Kashkari voted twice for Obamacare and I struggle with that.  But the alternate is Jerry Brown.   That’s the same Jerry Brown who wants a high-speed rail system (The Brown Streak) that is estimated to cost upwards of 80 billion dollars.   By the way, the only sensible position on that is NO and is clearly evident in the description of the project;  “The NO sense Governor of a NO sense State with NO money wants to build a NO good bullet train system to go from NOwhere to NO place and that NObody will ever use.”  

So, for the office of Governor, I will hold my nose and vote for Neel Kashkari.

As for the rest of the elected offices, it is almost too simple.  I find it necessary to vote a straight party ticket in the general election whenever there are only two candidates.  In California, the land of fruits, nuts, and flakes; the second most liberal state in the union, MY DEFAULT VOTE IS ALWAYS FOR THE REPUBLICAN.   

It’s not that all republicans are conservatives  They’re not and some of them are the kinds of questionable characters that my Mom wouldn't let me play with.   It’s just that Democrats in California are pretty much all lefties.  They are like the ever-growing monster plant in the movie, “Little Shop of Horrors.” They have insatiable appetites that demand more and bigger government, more regulations, more money, more power, more control, and more, MORE, MORE.   

And the more they take, the less freedom we have.  So when I go into that voting booth, you can know how I intend to vote.  Remember, I AM A CONSERVATIVE and I am just doing my part to help protect you from your government.


Ralph M. Petersen 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Same Sex Marriage: Protecting The Church In A Morally Depraved Culture

Recently I was engaged in a conversation about the impending legal threats that are certain to come upon churches from the increasingly intolerant government of a morally depraved culture.  The man I was speaking with made an astounding assertion; he said that his church would never come under any attacks over social issues including same-sex fake marriages.

Sadly, he’s right.  His church is notably liberal.  His church does not recognize the final and immutable authority of Scripture.  They do and will continue to tolerate homosexuality among their members and they will perform same-sex marriages.  Those kinds of tolerant churches are the churches the government is pleased to tolerate.

But, for the conservative, Bible-believing, God-honoring, churches, legal trouble is imminent.  Pastors, you, your Churches, your staff, and your officers, and your members are at risk of fines, penalties, closures, persecutions, and possibly even incarceration.  Wisdom requires that you take a good, close look at your ministries and identify where the rocks are so you won’t be shipwrecked.

I am not an attorney and I certainly have no credentials that would convince you, or any church for that matter, to take my advice, but I have given this subject some serious consideration.   Perhaps there are some constitutional Christian attorneys who specialize in the defense of religious freedoms and who might formalize these suggestions in a way that would be helpful to you and your church.  

 Listed below are several thoughts, about how I think you can keep yourself out of jail and protect your church from catastrophic lawsuits:

1.         STOP DOING WEDDING PRODUCTIONS.  It’s time to get back to the biblical understanding of “Holy matrimony.”  Your church’s policy ought to be iron clad in this sense; your only legitimate purpose, in accommodating a wedding ceremony, is to solemnly recognize God’s work in His “putting together” one man with one woman so that the two become one flesh.  And frankly, in the Church of Jesus Christ and your Christian ministry, any ceremony that falls short of "holy matrimony" is a fake marriage and an abomination. This is not the time or the place for vain entertainment and it is certainly not your prerogative to tolerate, enable, or profane the house of God by your participation in sin. 

2        KEEP YOUR CEREMONIES IN-HOUSE.  Your ministerial responsibilities are to your flock; those whom God has entrusted to your care.  They are the regenerate members of your church. 

And parenthetically, this might be a good time to start rethinking the importance of local church membership; something that too many program-driven churches have neglected in recent years.  In the context of a regenerate membership, and the accountability that accompanies that, homosexuality, as well as all other open sin, will expectedly be named and called out as matters of biblical church discipline for the purpose of repentance and restoration, or expulsion.

There is no place, here, for any kind of warm, fuzzy "God loves you just the way you are" happycrap.  Purity and holiness are God’s design and expectation for His Church and in that kind of church, sinners will scatter like cockroaches when the lights of His truth are turned on.

3.         DO NOT ALLOW YOUR MEMBERS TO WRITE OR PRODUCE THEIR OWN SILLY, CUTE, HUMOROUS, CLEVER, INANE, PROFANE, OR OTHERWISE IRREVERENT CEREMONIES.  There is plenty of time for frivolity at the reception (which, by the way, might be better moved to another location).  The responsibility to address the friends, family, and your congregation as to the reason and solemn meaning for the service rests upon you. So for any authentic Christian candidates who present themselves to engage in this thing called holy matrimony, these following words, or something similar, are instructive and God-honoring and they serve as a public testimony of the couple’s holy relationship to each other and to God.


       Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this Congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is between Christ and His church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with His presence, and first miracle that He wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of the apostle Paul to be honorable among all men: and, therefore, is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

       First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of His holy name.

       Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body.


       Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.  Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined.  

     Therefore, if any man can show any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

You may recall the recent account of the Christian owners of a print shop that sold custom printed T-shirts.  When a queer couple asked for something affirming their lifestyle, the owners declined.  They were subsequently sued for discrimination.  If their business only sold pre-printed shirts, the customer’s options would have been limited to only the available products. 

Similarly then, if your church only has one standard, biblical ceremony patterned and purposed after the Word of God, the chances of a same-sex fake marriage issue arising will be greatly minimized.  They don't want the product you offer and you don’t do custom services.

4.         QUIT SELLING YOUR SERVICES.  My heathen, atheistic brother-in-law told me years ago, that he was going to get a minister’s license from the state so that he could perform weddings for fees.  When you indiscriminately perform weddings, you expose yourself to a plethora of potential problems as you will encounter unholy unions that are sure to violate your conscience (if you have one).   There are lots of liberal clergy persons, witch doctors, Satanists, judges, and other goofy practitioners, like my brother-in-law, who will be happy to perform unholy rituals; you should not be one of them. 

As a pastor, your calling is to shepherd the flock of God. Teach, preach, and minister to their spiritual needs.  Legitimate, God ordained, marriage is part of that job description and is to be performed for those born-again members of your church.   

Don’t market your ministry for a fee.  Just do it.   If those, whom you serve give you an unsolicited, free will honorarium as a token of their love and appreciation, be thankful and praise God.  But don’t put a price tag on it.  If you don’t have a product to sell, you can’t be sued for discrimination when you don’t sell it.

5.         DON’T RENT YOUR FACILITIES FOR UNHOLY ACTIVITIES.  This should be a no-brainer.  The facility belongs to God.  Every use of it, including weddings and receptions, ought to be deliberately considered in view of your biblical mission and approved only if in harmony with your doctrinal statement. 

6.         DO NOT SIGN THE STATE’S MARRIAGE LICENSES – When you come to the close of the service and announce, “By the authority vested in me by the State of…”  you are acting as an agent of the state.  And as such, you will not be permitted to discriminate and you will be forced to perform same-sex fake weddings.   Your authority to perform a ceremony of holy matrimony is from God and is only to recognize that which is ordained by Him.  Marriage is His institution and it should be observed by His standard; “one man and one woman" joined together by God and not to be changed or redefined by man.

Therefore, it may be necessary for all your candidates to obtain a signed license from an independent, state-approved notary, clerk, judge, or even another, unprincipled clergy person.  That might mean that they privately arrange for a contracted legal witness to attend the ceremony or have a separate state sanctioned wedding, with witnesses, apart from the church ceremony.   

7.         BOLDLY DENOUNCE SIN - Pastor, you should make a regular habit of bringing your congregation to the point of conviction and repentance of sin -- ALL sin.  Preach it once or twice a year.  And in the context of sexual sin, that means ALL kinds of sexual immorality and perversions.  Don't single out homosexuality while you are knowingly tolerant of other kinds of sexual sin within your flock.  And make sure that your sermons are recorded to protect yourself from accusations of discrimination. 

8.      FORMALIZE YOUR POLICIES - Write them into your church's constitution and bylaws and then "PRACTICE THEM."  Also, it would be to your advantage to cite the scriptural references for all the imperatives that govern your church's practices.   And make sure your congregation knows the church's policies.  It is a lot easier for knowledgeable members to direct their unsaved relatives to the unprincipled minister at the worldly church down the street, than it is to suddenly surprise and upset them at an emotional time when you have to tell them that you won't allow or officiate the wedding ceremony of their darling daughter to the heathen sleazeball who impregnated her.  

9.         FINAL THOUGHTS - It may just have to come down to all of this.  You may have far fewer weddings, but that’s not all bad.  Most authentic Christians will want to solemnize their marriage covenant in the presence of God and witnesses who will love them, care for them, and hold them accountable, in a formal ceremony.   And those are the one's who willingly subject themselves to your premarital spiritual assessment and counseling.   On the other hand, most people who want a same-sex fake wedding will want no part of it with you.   

The church is not (or shouldn’t be) a public commercial enterprise.  The world hates God and wants no part of Him.  They will not insist on “purchasing a product that your store simply does not sell.”


I Don't Go There Anymore

A few years ago I was a deacon in a church whose pastoral staff asked us to submit, in writing, our evaluations of each individual pastor and to provide reasons for our approval or disapproval.

I protested at the outset; I believed the process would be unbiblical, fruitless, divisive, emotionally stressful, and just plain stupid. Nevertheless, the “powers that were” insisted that we should proceed. We were assured that our input would be completely anonymous and confidential.  I knew better and, as it turned out, I was right.  My input was instantly associated with my name.

In my evaluation, I revealed, what I believed to be, a careful and objective analysis of a pastoral team that was ideologically and philosophically conflicted concerning the ecclesiastic work and purpose of the church.

Basically, it boiled down to this; there was an evident and recognizable division among leaders in which one side possessed a strong and sincere, evangelistic desire to implement a popular church growth plan that would effectively change our worship services, practices, and programs for the purpose of being more relevant, attractive, and acceptable to contemporary cultures and the local unchurched community.  On the other side was an obvious attempt to preserve traditional and conservative methods usually associated with biblical orthodox Christianity.

I maintained, without interjecting my personal opinions, beliefs, or preferences, that both ideologies could be wrong but it was absolutely certain that both could NOT be simultaneously right. Therefore, I concluded, there was tension and conflict in leadership that was confusing to the people and dangerous to the health of the church.

Now, it is not my purpose here to expound any further on the nature or the result of the rift; I simply want to point out that my entire six-page analysis was wasted and lost over my use of ONE SINGLE WORD.

When they received my input (which, remember, THEY ASKED FOR IT), one of them became fixated on the word, “orthodox.”

“Orthodox? Is that the kind of church Ralph thinks we should have?” he sneered.

The truth of the matter was that I offered no personal opinions or preferences at all.  I simply made the case that they, the pastoral staff, had the ability to decide, among themselves, what would be their ministry direction and what practices they would employ to realize their objectives. We were a baptist church, for cryin' out loud, and baptists are self-governing; it was certainly within their prerogative to do what they believed they needed to do.  Once they reached consensus and were united in purpose, they should openly declare it courageously and unapologetically, and then defend it biblically (if possible) so that the people could make informed decisions about their personal support for the ministry and their leaders.

I guess it was just ignorance on the part of my critic but, I admit, I was disappointed that he would criticize the word I used without even understanding its meaning.  My guess is that he ignorantly or errantly associated the word, orthodoxy, as some sort of a stiff-collared style of worship and formal practices usually associated with liturgical high churches.

I am NOT a Greek scholar but, as near as I can determine, the word, orthodox, derives from two Greek words:

Ortho - meaning correct or straight as in orthodontics (to straighten or correct teeth) or orthopedics (to straighten or correct bone structures).

Dox – from which we get the word, doxology (having to do with the form of worship or praise).

So orthodox Christianity would be defined by worship and teaching that is doctrinally straight and correct according to the authoritative Word of God.

Yes! As a matter of fact, I guess that really is exactly the kind of church I want.

They never did settle their internal disunity.  The people were confused and the church was damaged. Needless to say, I am no longer a member of that church.

original post-July 25, 2009

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sufferin' Suffrage

Dear members of Congress.

Voting is the responsibility of the RESPONSIBLE.

I propose that voter eligibility laws be amended so that the right to vote will only be granted to property owners or business owners and then with the following restrictions:
  • Only one vote per household.
  • Only women who are single or widowed may vote.
  • No students of any state university may vote.
  • No person under the age of 26 (Obama's declared age of adulthood) may vote.
  • No person may cast a vote who cannot read the ballot in English.
  • No person may vote who cannot produce documentation of citizenship.
  • No public employees may vote.
  • No person may vote who is receiving welfare benefits.
  • No union members may vote.
  • No stupid people may vote.
  • No mentally ill people may vote.
  • No person may vote who is not a member of the NRA.

I'm sure I probably missed something but this would be a great start. Please give this careful consideration.

Respectfully yours

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Four Most Terrifying Words In the Bible

(Well I don't know if they are the scariest but they certainly rank high up there.)
"GOD GAVE THEM OVER."  This not a passive phrase; it is active. It is not something that happens as a result of someone's actions.

Unseemly perverted sexual deviancy is not just another among a plethora of generic sins that God will judge; It is unique in that He deliberately and purposefully delivers the sinner into the grip of his own cherished sin.  Homosexuality (and other forms of sexual perversion) is a direct judgment from God to men who refuse to acknowledge and honor Him.  It is a deliberate judgment for deliberate unbelief.  And if you think you can stand before Him someday and convince Him that you didn't know, think again.  He has sufficiently revealed Himself to and within every man so they are without excuse.
Read this carefully and be warned:

"The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.   For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made.

"So people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

"Therefore GOD GAVE THEM OVER in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

"For this reason GOD GAVE THEM OVER to dishonorable passions.  For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another.  Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

"And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.  They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips,  slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless. Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them."

Romans 1:18-32  New English Translation

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gun Control Is An Irresponsible Act Of A Barbaric Society

As the Supreme Court was hearing arguments for and against the Chicago, IL, Gun Ban, this man's letter places the gun in its proper perspective in a civilized society.
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception - Reason or force.  That's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.  Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me because I have a way to negate your threat or your employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat.  It has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society.  A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.  People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force, watch too much TV where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier, works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker.  If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.  It simply would not work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight. I do it because I'm looking to be left alone.  The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded.  I don't carry it because I'm afraid but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation.
And that's why carrying a gun is a responsible act for civilized people. 
Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Big C, Little c - What Kind Of Christian Are You?

Not all christians are Christians but all Christians are both christians and Christians. 

All christians believe they are Christians but not all Christians believe that all christians are Christians. 

(Or something like that.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

OBAMA "The Psychopath?"

It has frequently been suggested that He is, but is there any compelling evidence to believe Obama is a psychopath (alt. sociopath)?   Obama seems to be in the Narcissistic or Charismatic Psychopath category that is characterized as someone who is irresistible and charming.  He is a person who believes his own lies.  He is extremely persuasive, talented, and He easily manipulates people.  Not all sociopaths are murderers but they are all dangerous.

These are the clinical traits of a psychopath that could be attributed to Obama:

1. GLIB (smooth-talking) and SUPERFICIAL CHARM:  Obama is often described as charismatic, self-confident, unflappable, glib and with a bit of a swagger.  He's the type that charms a room and has an answer for everything.  However, His eloquence suffers, when He is caught off guard or unprepared suggesting that His smooth talk is mostly superficial. 
2. GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH:  His arrogance is constant fodder for jokes.  Do you remember when Obama suggested that He could heal the planet and stop the oceans from rising?  He may be the only president who said he knows more about His policy issues than His advisers.  And how about that promise to "fundamentally transform America?"  His autobiography contains numerous exaggerations of His accomplishments.  Psychopaths typically do not negotiate.  They insist on having their way and are very rigid, which is typical of Obama.

3. NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM:  Obama’s record during all of His endeavors suggests He accomplished virtually nothing.  But He did move through the political ranks rapidly, going from state senator to U.S. senator to president.  He loves to play sports, whether basketball or golf and can tell you who is likely to win the NCAA "March Madness" basketball championship.  Apparently, sports provides the stimulation He needs.  Even though He likes being in charge, His boredom with policy issues may explain His hands off approach to congress, allowing  congressional Democrats to provide leadership and legislative content.
4. PATHOLOGICAL LYING:  If there's anything Obama is noted for, it's lying.  Obama not only lies, when confronted with His lies, He denies ever having said them.  And He believes His lies.   There are websites devoted to listing His lies.  Obama is prone to gross exaggeration, constructing false realities, and contradicting Himself.  Basically, He says whatever comes to mind and then relies on the press to repeat it without contradiction.  Either He doesn't even know He lies or He just doesn't care.  He is a master at the art of deflection.  One of his favorite tactics is to accuse the opposition of doing the very thing He's being criticized for doing.

5. CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS:  His entire political career is a manipulative con job; He is a classical stereotype of a “used car salesman.” and manipulation.  Virtually every plank in His 2008 campaign platform was ignored when He became president.  It appears that Obama conned the public into electing Him.  And in 2012, He conned the public, again, into believing His failures were still Bush's fault.  Psychopaths frequently put up false fronts, appearing as a type of savior or a loving and caring humanitarian.  Like Obama, they appear to be sincerely concerned, friendly, thoughtful, kind and tolerant.  Once in a position of power or control, however, they may create catastrophes or try to rearrange the world just for their own enjoyment of power.

6. LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT: One source claims that Obama takes a personal interest in drone strikes and gets excited to see videos of people being blown to bits.  When Benghazi was under attack, Obama went to bed rather than express any interest in the fate of personnel there, much less send help to them.  When His friends or colleagues become political liabilities, He throws them under the bus.  While in Chicago, Obama worked with corrupt and sleazy politicians and business people apparently without disturbing His conscience.  Whether taking real estate deals from Tony Rezko or getting money to create public housing that was then so completely neglected it would fall into ruin, Obama never seemed to show remorse for His wrongdoing or disassociate Himself with the crooks.

7. SHALLOW AFFECT OR EMOTIONAL POVERTY:  His sense of dispassionate observation, rather than emotional involvement, has been duly noted by several sources. In one speech before the 2012 election, Obama was alleged to fake crying, as if trying to convince people that he can display emotions.  In His own family relationships,  Obama has promised help to His impoverished family members and then failed to deliver.

8. PARASITIC LIFESTYLE:  Obama seems to regard the presidency as an opportunity to be a celebrity and to bask in public adoration and importance.  His sense of entitlement is manifested in a record-setting number of expensive vacations and golf outings, despite the dire condition of the economy.  Obama has had countless White House parties and seems to continually seek the company of celebrities. 

9.  POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS:  From slyly giving opponents the middle finger, to temper tantrums when criticized, Obama is noted for being thin skinned.  He manages to insult congressional leaders and even phoned a journalist, whose story He didn't like, to scream at him and then not let him get a word in edgewise.  When in the Illinois senate, He and another senator had a screaming match at each other.   Obama lost control to His temper and had to be physically restrained.

10. FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS:  This is classic Obama behavior.  He never accepts personal responsibility.   Everything is always someone else’s fault (usually Bush or the Republicans). 

11. NEED FOR POWER AND TO DOMINATE (control) OTHERS:  Obama's willingness to bypass the Constitution and to rule in some instances by fiat suggests He enjoys wielding power.  His unusual practice of using the offices of the Department of Justice and the IRS to force people to submit to His will is alarming.   Psychopaths typically target naive, ignorant, and intellectually weak people.  Those with a sense of being victims are especially vulnerable if the psychopath offers them relief or vengeance.

12. FAILURE TO LEARN BY EXPERIENCE:  Obama's rigidity in policymaking, that is, repeating the same formulae that have not worked for Him in the past, suggests He is incapable of learning from His past failures and mistakes.  In fact, He doesn't even acknowledge them.

So, is Obama a psychopath?  And if he is, what does it mean for our country?  Some have suggested that many politicians, corporate heads, movie stars and so forth, have psychopathic tendencies, which is why they've succeeded in their careers.  That is, they're willing to do things that morally conscientious people would not. 

How does Obama continue to maintain His popularity despite His failures, blatant lying, manipulations, and other psychopathic behavior?  Well, primarily, it's a result of denial, a condition that manifests as:

- Bracketing, that is, simply failing to observe or take note of the psychopath's behavior.  This is common when those around Him simply don't know what's going on or take His word for it that something never happened.

- Rationalization, which means either minimizing the importance of the bad behavior,  attributing it to normal human failings, or irresistible outside influences.  This can range from saying Obama isn't any worse than other presidents, or that Republicans are worse, to the notion we all make mistakes.

- Projection, or shifting the responsibility for His bad behavior onto  someone else, as if someone else must have done it.  Obama supporters typically blame Bush, or Republicans as the real culprits for our problems.

This information has been edited and summarized from an article titled, "The Psychopath?" by Thomas Wolke