I love to drive, and I love to drive fast. As a matter of fact, every automobile I’ve owned (with only a few exceptions) has been taken up to 100mph at least once. It’s just a thing I do.
Have you ever driven on a freshly paved road? Remember when in the movie “Cars” they drove around on a freshly re-paved road and loved it? That’s the kind of driving surface that cries out for speed! I love it.
And then there was Pakistan.
Honestly, the roads in Pakistan were not as bad as some others on which I’ve driven (or ridden). The roads in Zimbabwe were pretty darn rough. They were so rough that guys would sit on the side of the road with air compressors and offer to air up your tires for a dollar. The roads were so bad that your tires would lose pressure!
Then there are also the roads where I live in middle Georgia. The paved roads are just fine; it’s the DIRT roads that are sometimes a challenge. There are a lot of dirt roads in middle Georgia.
However, in Pakistan the roads, on average, were not capable of sustaining any kind of speed. The only time that was possible was when one traveled on the main highway between major cities. That was as nice as a modern American highway.
But it wasn’t the roughness or the smoothness of the Pakistani roads that stuck in my mind. No, what contributed to my PTSD was the fact that there are NO RULES!
Oh, I know what you are probably thinking. You think that I’m overreacting. You think that it’s only because I’m used to the rules of the road in my own country, that there are rules, but I was not culturally sensitive to them.
And you would be wrong. Sorry.
Look, the only – and I mean ONLY – rule I observed over the many hours my life was put in danger was that there were two directions. In other words, when you want to go somewhere in Pakistan, you go in that direction. When you are going in that direction, you and all the other people traveling in that direction are to use only one side of the road. All the people going in a different direction are to use the other side of the road. That’s it!
Oh, wait… I just thought of another one. My bad.
The only other rule has to do with who has the right of way. It’s pretty simple, though. The bigger the vehicle is the more right of way it has. It’s called the “Get out of the way or die!” rule.
Now, remind me … did I say that there were essentially only two rules of the road in Pakistan? I’m sorry for misleading you. Actually, there are no rules – they are only guidelines.
Remember how I said that you only need to stay on one side of the road? That’s not entirely true. You know those lines we have in the middle of roads that separate lanes? Not in Pakistan. No, all you have is a road. YOU decide where it is on the road you want to be, depending on who is in front of you.
Here in America, we have rules regarding when it is safe to pass another vehicle. One of the rules of which you might be familiar is “never pass when there is a double yellow line.” Not in Pakistan. When someone is slowing you down, just pass them … even if traffic is coming in the opposite direction. I mean, they will move over into the dirt when they see you coming, so do what you need to do!
But there is something strange about the differences between Pakistani driving and, let’s say, the way people drive in a large American city.
For example, when I drive through cities like Nashville, Chattanooga, Augusta, and Atlanta, what I see are multiple lanes of organized and heavily regulated traffic. Here there are clearly delineated lanes, traffic lights and signs, and even plenty of law enforcement to keep a watch on things.
When I traveled on the roads of Pakistan, there were no lines, no regulations, very little law enforcement, and hardly any street/traffic lights or signs.
Yet, the whole time I was in Pakistan – no joke – I never witnessed a single accident. Not one!
THAT should make a person question a lot of things, right?
Travel down any American highway and you will see accidents all the time. Even in the most orderly and regulated settings, somebody is going to do something stupid and crash. And even if you don’t witness cars having a wreck, let somebody cut another person off and you WILL see fingers raised and maybe a little road rage.
Travel in Pakistan and you will see people weaving in and out, cutting others off, driving aggressively and pushing themselves into flow, yet you will never see anyone flipping another off or hear anyone yelling obscenities. No, what you will see is mutual respect, acceptance, understanding, and this attitude of “it’s just the way things are, so don’t get your panties in a wad.”
With all our rules, American drivers are less mature than those with no rules or regulations. Strange.
A Powerful Lesson
So, I think there is a powerful lesson to learn from all this talk about traffic. It has to do with the rules and regulations that are constantly pushed upon us and down our throats.
It’s not only America, but in most all Western nations there is this idea that the government knows best. They treat all us citizens as children, not adults, who need to have our hands held through every facet of life, especially when driving.
One of the greatest examples of this is the traffic camera. Because the government (local and otherwise) cannot trust us to drive responsibly, they put of cameras that check our speed, watch us at intersections, and generally track us wherever we go. It’s like, “I’m giving you rules to show you what you’re allowed to do, but I’m not going to trust you to make the right decisions.”
People who are treated like children will act like children.
But in Pakistan, where there are literally no lines, no lanes, no signs, no lights, and no cameras, the ones treated like responsible adults act like responsible adults – and even in the most dangerous traffic don’t have wrecks.
So, consider the following scriptures. One is from the Old Testament, while the other is from the New Testament (quoting the one from the OT).
But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. – Jeremiah 31:33 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: – Hebrews 8:10
Where legalism exists, the one subject to the rules and regulations rarely makes the issues of right and wrong a matter of the heart. No, the primary response to legalism is the temptation to push the limits and/or rebel against the authority. This is why so many people who grow up in overly strict religious environments go hog wild when they get out on their own.
Yet, when people are taught what is right and wrong and eventually trusted to make the right decisions as responsible, mature adults, the “law in the heart” guides even when the cameras are missing.
Twenty years have come and gone, and many have already forgotten what happened on September 11, 2001. Tragically, much of a whole generations has never been told.
But I won’t forget.
Not only will I not forget, I will choose to remember.
I will remember…
that freedom isn’t free, and there are those who want to steal it.
that Christ came “to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;” therefore America is never more “Christ-like” than when its people shed their blood for the freedom of others, whether they love us, or not.
that it wasn’t secularists, militarists, or a bunch of Baptist preachers who crashed four aircraft on that day, killing thousands.
the Byzantine Empire and Constantinople – they weren’t converted to Islam through peaceful conversion.
who is considered the “Great Satan” and what countries are truly religiously intolerant.
the heroes who went back into those buildings to rescue anyone they could.
the heroes who fought back and said, “Let’s roll!”
the heroes who go into harm’s way for freedom every day.
that America was founded by men who knew God; who recognized the hand of Providence; and who knew when to bow a knee and call to God for deliverance.
that we (and all freedom-loving people) are in a life-and-death struggle between opposing worldviews – a war. Losing can’t be an option.
I will also choose to remember, and not forget, that America, no matter its current faults and flaws, is made up of a people, who, when push comes to shove, will take the fight for freedom anywhere in the world. We will also defend it. That’s who we are.
Or are we? I’m beginning to wonder.
Now the flag is an offense and the Anthem alone is insufficient.
Truth be told, I’m probably setting myself up for a firestorm of hateful comments and threats with the video I’m about to share. I’m tempted not to.
But then what would that make me?
Then again, with a much smaller number of readers than I had a year or two ago, it’s likely that the video I post will only be seen by a few, and most of them (maybe even you) will not watch or listen to all of it.
So, is it worth it? Is it worth sharing?
Of course it is! If it convicts one person . . . If it reaches one heart . . . If it only causes one person to stop for a minute and consider the truth of Scripture . . . then it was worth it.
Then again, it’s not my job to decide the value of a blog post, or even a sermon. My job is to be faithful to the call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to exposit the Word of God so that others may come to the knowledge of the Truth.
There are not a lot of people these days using Romans chapter one to describe America and the culture in which we live. No, they are too afraid of the WOKE police and social media censors, not to mention the protestors who scream and threaten as they label Christians as the hateful and bigoted ones.
Too many pastors are afraid of offending, of burning bridges, of losing whatever numbers we have left.
But if we can’t preach the truth, preacher and pastors, we need to just call it quits and go home. I’m sure that we are not too far away from what God spoke through the Prophet Micah:
“I wish one of you would shut the temple doors, so you would no longer kindle a useless fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Hosts, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.
And if, after listening to the above sermon, you think I’m going overboard on the “sex” thing, just a few minutes ago, right before I linked the above video to this post, my wife sent me a story in Messenger.
Today is Labor Day , and it won’t be long before every other holiday will be upon us. Along with their arrival, there will come all sorts of arguments for and against observing them. Some arguments will make more sense than others, but lurking around every corner is the temptation to be legalistic.
How is that possible? Just accuse somebody else of being “worldly” or less spiritual for celebrating one of these special days and you will have succeeded brilliantly! Hey, you wouldn’t be the first; they did it in the Bible.
Nothing Wrong with Debate
Most people have never considered the roots of Labor Day, so the thought of whether or not to celebrate it has probably never crossed their minds. If you are one of those people, let me bring you up to speed.
Labor Day is a holiday that was founded by the unions, which in turn were founded by those with “collective” and “progressive” ideologies. From a purely ideological perspective, this holiday is one in which the worker is supposed to feel free to flip a relaxed finger in the face of evil, greedy, imperialistic corporations and fat rich people and say, “This is my day! No profit for you!”
Essentially, our Labor Day was designed to be a watered-down version of International Workers Day (the Communist May Day holiday). Is there anything wrong with standing up for the rights of workers? Absolutely not! However, is there reason to evaluate the intent of some who would move our nation down the path of socialism (aka, AOC and her gang)? You betcha!
Just Trying to Help
However, I didn’t come here to bash Labor Day. I just don’t want us to be legalistic about it.
You see, there are other days approaching that can lead many to cringe. Sour-faced legalists and religious hard-liners will find a reason to complain about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Easter. But a lot of others will use the holidays to be with family, give thanks to God, and celebrate Jesus’ birthday (even if it wasn’t in December).
The legalists should keep in mind Paul’s words to the Romans:
Romans 14:5-6 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Not Gonna Waste It
Look, I am taking advantage of this holiday, whether I am for the idea behind it or not. Why? Well, why not? I’m not going to celebrate socialism, but this a great time to celebrate the average Joe or Joline who actually goes to work!
And, I’ve already saved a lot of money on paint! Call it what you will, but 48% off is still 48% off! Know what I mean?
Most hard-working Americans are good people who could use a little extra time for grilling burgers with friends and family. So, regardless what the Communists (including BLM and Antifa) may have in mind, I am going to celebrate America and the average guy who worked his rear off to make this country great.
Let’s get straight to the point without worrying about font size, layout, or pictures.
I think it’s a sad, sad day for the people of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it seems the sorrow is only going to deepen and spread thanks to the IDIOTIC and FOOLHARDY announcement that our soldiers are going to leave, and when.
What are we doing? Are we wanting a THIRD conflict? Do we need to bring this one to an end so that the current administration can get their street cred for declaring their own moral outrage?
I can’t help but think of all the blood that has been pour out and splattered across the sands. What a waste! A WASTE! What will have been gained? What will have been accomplished, especially if the Taliban goes right back to their old ways of hardline Sharia law and befriending those who want to bring Western Civilization to its knees?
As I watch the whole country succumb to the Taliban, I can’t help but wonder why and how? Not only why would we let this happen, but how on earth are they still capable of regaining so much so quickly?
Whatever the case, the re-implementation of radical Islamic rule will bring uncertainty and instability to the whole region – again. And what I fear is that neighboring places like Pakistan will find themselves having to deal with increased threats, more emboldened radicalism, and the inevitable loss of innocent life.
Ever wonder what preachers used to preach around this time of the year? Check out a few excerpts from a message preached only 18 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
We could learn a few things.
“A people under a free government will be happy, as long as they are virtuous and wise. They may become vicious and corrupt. They are then liable to be influenced by private connections, party spirit, bribery or flattery, promises or rewards, or the artifice and intrigue of crafty and designing men.
When this is the case, they give up their security, lose their liberty, and sink into slavery….
“…Our free government was a happy, but a costly purchase; let it not be lost by drowsy inattention, and implicit confidence…
The day is coming, when liberty and peace shall bless the human race. But previous to this, truth and virtue must prevail, and the religion of Jesus must govern men’s hearts. Then the horrors of war will cease, and the groans of slavery will no more be heard. The rod of the oppressor will be broken, and the yoke will be removed from the shoulders of the oppressed. The scepter will be wrested from the hands of the wicked, and the pomp of the proud will be brought down to the dust. The whole earth will rest and be quiet: they will break forth into singing…”
– from “The Happiness of Free Government and the Means of Preserving It,” preached by JOSEPH LATHROP, D. D. on July 4th, 1794
I think the “vicious and corrupt” are now running the show. As a result of our “drowsy attention” we have elected men and women of the lowest character, thereby giving up our security, our liberty, and the hope of freedom-loving people around the world who look to us as a shining city on a hill.
I was thinking of something new to write for tomorrow, specifically in memory of D-Day. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is “only a few.”
Now, the first thing that sounds like is “The Few, the Proud, the Marines.” Maybe that’s why I hearing those words in my head, you think?
On the other hand, it could come from the idea that all it takes is “only a few.” You know, like those Marines, or a few initial protestors, or even the miniscule 200 in the upper room that became the Christian Church.
Sometimes all it takes is a few people to make a difference, even to change the world.
By the Numbers
But when I look back at June 6th, 1944, there were far more than “only a few” who stormed those beaches. Far more.
156,000 troops or paratroopers came ashore that day alone.
195,700 naval personnel were used.
By the end of June 11th (D+5), 326,527 military personnel had come ashore.
From Yahoo News: “The First U.S. Army, accounting for the first twenty-four hours in Normandy, tabulated 1,465 killed, 1,928 missing, and 6,603 wounded. The after-action report of U.S. VII Corps (ending 1 July) showed 22,119 casualties including 2,811 killed, 5,665 missing, 79 prisoners, and 13,564 wounded, including paratroopers.”
Also from Yahoo News: “German sources vary between four thousand and nine thousand D-Day casualties on 6 June—a range of 125 percent. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s report for all of June cited killed, wounded, and missing of some 250,000 men, including twenty-eight generals.
What’s the point?
Sometimes all we need are “a few good men.”
On the other hand, there are times when “only a few” good men (and/or women) just isn’t enough.
Today, June 5th, we live in a world with battles raging. Yes, there are physical conflicts in play in various places, but there are other battlegrounds, too.
The fight for religious liberty and freedom of speech
The fight over personal liberty without constant government overreach
The fight over personal conscience with regard to changing social norms
The fight for the right to defend oneself
The fight for our nation’s moral conscience, dignity, and very sovereignty
There is even the battle for the survival of the local rural church congregation due to COVID-induced “couch worship.”
People, we need more than “only a few,” we need all hands on deck.
I am sure you’ve seen it, everywhere you turn there is someone else getting blackballed. If it’s not a Republican for supporting Trump, a celebrity caught by a hot mic saying something supposedly bigoted, or whole media platforms that offer too much freedom of speech, it’s lowly folk like you and me who somehow gain the attention of the all-seeing eye of Big Tech.
No one is safe from being blocked from Facebook, Twitter, or Amazon. No one is safe from being de-humanized. For that’s really the point, isn’t it? To deny a person with whom the uppity-ups disagree the right to exist and prosper in the public square, even though they’ve done nothing illegal? And the “wrong” they’ve done, well, it’s all subjective, correct? It has to be, for objective good and evil is in itself a taboo subject.
Therefore, while I still have a platform, I am going to share what I believe regardless what others may think or whether or not they approve.
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. – Proverbs 31:8-9 KJV
Sanctity of Human Life Sunday
Today is a somber and serious day to celebrate. Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, a day that started with the proclamation first made by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 on the 11th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Today is also a somber day to remember because it was the first year that Donald Trump did not make a proclamation for this day. Bill Clinton refused for 8 years. Obama refused for 8 years, also. Now I can only assume there will never be another presidential proclamation celebrating the sanctity of human life, for Biden will surely promote the funding of the current national holocaust begun in 1973 with the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and renewed federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Today was also a day when I used the pulpit I’ve been given to stand of the Truth of God’s Word and hold nothing back in my denunciation of abortion. As I requested, God gave me boldness and courage to say what needed to be said, no punches pulled. If it gets me banned from social media, then so be it. It’s in God’s hands.
I was just the messenger.
“Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed. – Jeremiah 48:10 ESV
7 Points of Needed Agreement
In this morning’s sermon (which, incidentally, did not last longer than normal) I shared a record 17 points! Actually, the first 10 were not my own, but 10 ways Christians could celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.
But the last 7 points were mine, and I want to share them with you, today. Unfortunately, I am 100% positive not all of you will be in agreement. However, we should be.
Things we should agree on and/or support if we believe Human Life is Precious and we are made in the image of God.
Life is a right; abortion is a decision.
Human life is more valuable than any other form life.
Human life at any age, young, old, or preborn, his intrinsic value and purpose.
Adoption should be encouraged and prayerfully considered.
The Death Penalty is not immoral; God demanded it. Genesis 9:6
To memorialize a life is to acknowledge the value of life.
Saving a life has eternal ramifications.
Now, I could expound on each one of those points, and maybe I should, but I would encourage you to look up my sermon on our church’s Facebook page. If you have specific questions about any of these points, leave your question in the comment section.
But I do want to leave you with one other thing.
If Not Sanctity, then WHAT?
The word “sanctity” is very appropriate when talking about the value of human life in the context of abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, etc. Consider the various definitions I collected from the web…
The quality of being very important and deserving respect; the state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly.
Yet, when our government leaders, our media, our entertainment, and half our electorate mock, bemoan, belittle, and censure those who believe in the sanctity of human life, specifically the innocent life within a mother’s womb, then what?
What is the antonym of sanctity? . . . “wickedness.”
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” – 2 Timothy 2:19 NIV