Tag Archives: Identity

7 Words that Distinguish Our Founding Fathers from Modern Americans

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

If there were ever any words that are so antithetical to today’s culture, these words from the Declaraton of Independence stand out above them all.

Believe it or not, the founding fathers of the United States of America firmly held to the belief that there are absolute, transcendent truths by which we are able to govern and judge society.

They not only believed there are “truths,” but they believed that these truths are “self-evident.” In other words, they believed that these transcendent truths, rooted in the nature of God, were not hard to find, but plain for all to see, should they only open their eyes. Hence the term self-evident.

Today’s culture has totally rebelled against the concepts of truth and anything that is self-evident. For example, the truth is that God created male and female (Gen. 1:27; Mark 10:6), and what is self-evident are their differences. Yet, modern Americans cannot bring themselves to admit what is obvious, no matter how self-evident.

Just today I read of a transgender activist, Zinnia Jones, who maintains that men who are not attracted to transgender women have “issues”…issues “they should work through.” In other words, Jones believes that biological males who are attracted only to biological females, not trans women, should be relegated to the fringes of society.

In the book of Matthew, chapter seven, we read of two men: a wise man, and a foolish man. Jesus said that a man who listens and does what He says is like a wise man who builds his house on a solid, rock foundation. The foolish man is the one who doesn’t listen to the sayings of Jesus and therefore builds his house on sand. When the storms come, the house built on rock stands firm, but the one built on sand comes crashing down.

A bedrock foundation is un-moving, un-changing, consistent, able to bear weight, and unaffected by the changing weather. However, sandy foundations, although conforming and accommodating, are inconsistent, unable to bear weight, and always changing with the winds of time.

The foundation on which America was built can be found in the “truth” of the Scripture. Without these truths a free, self-governing society cannot not exist for long, if at all.

“[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending
with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution
was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the
government of any other.”

– John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, 2nd President

Unfortunately, modern Americans are rebuilding America on top of a foundation that is comfortable, conforming, and accommodating, always able to shift with the changing winds of culture. And just like the foolish man that Jesus describe in Mathew 7, our “house” will eventually come crashing down, “and great [will be] the fall of it.”

People wonder how long America will survive. My contention is that it can’t survive much longer. How can it when the very foundational truths on which our liberties are grounded has been reduced to shifting sand?

“We hold no truth, and nothing is self-evident; all is relative to self-identification.” – Modern Americans

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Filed under America, Culture Wars

Doing, Being, and Identity

Two Questions

Would you take just a second and think about something? Take a second and think about the following two questions:

  1. “What do you want to be?”
  2. “What do you do?”

When would you ask these questions? I bet I can answer that for you.

The first question (“What do you want to be?“) is one that you would pose to a young child. It would be asked with the qualifier of “when you grow up.” I’ve asked kids this question many, many times, and the answers are always entertaining. Children want to be things like firemen, doctors, cowboys, baseball stars, movie stars, even school bus drivers. Some even want to become the mythical, like super heroes, monsters, or unicorns.

When you ask a child what he wants to be when he grows up, all you are doing is opening up before him a world of possibility – the sky’s the limit. The question doesn’t limit him in any way. On the contrary, it affirms his potential to be anything he wants to be.

The second question (What do you do?) is one that you would likely ask an adult. Think about it, you wouldn’t ask a 10-year-old, “What do you do for a living?” Obviously, the child is just a student and preparing for the riggers of future employment as a “safe space” attorney, not an actual lawyer, or doctor, or super model.

But when you pose this question to an adult, instead of offering him the opportunity to dream big and affirming his ambitions, you cause him to face the here and now, the cold reality, the fact of what his childhood dreams have turned into. Unfortunately, affirming and praising one’s potential is a whole lot easier than affirming one’s present state.

When you ask a child what she wants to be when she grows up there is the possibility her dreams will come true. When you ask someone what he does for a living the answer is what he is doing, not what he is dreaming, and what he is doing might be all he ever does.

Is Doing Being?

I have always struggled with the temptation to find my identity in what I “do.” In other words, I’ve never wanted to just do things, I’ve always prided myself in being things. Do any of you feel the same way?

I have been a pest control technician, an industrial engine builder, a Sunday School teacher, an adjunct professor, a Level I Nuclear Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Technician, a sales manager, an eyeglass maker, an insurance salesman, a preacher, a pastor, a chaplain, a song writer, and an author. Right now I am a school bus driver and driver trainer, along with being a bi-vocational pastor.

No, I wasn’t a pilot. I just flew a lot when I worked in the nuclear field. (circa 1989)

I have always liked name tags, badges, lapel pins, and titles…because they give me identity.

But in reality, honestly, none of those things are really me, are they? They are only what I do. If I were to quit pastoring or driving a bus, would I cease to exist? Of course not! Even if  you were to take away my freedom, I might be labeled an “inmate” or “refugee,” but not even those labels would be me, only the condition of my existence.

Yet, I still find my deepest self wanting to be identified with something, to be known for something, to have a title, to find worth in what I have done or am doing.

I do what I do, but I am what I am. On the other hand, I do what I do because I am what I am. So, what am I to make of it?

What I Am

I am created in the image of Almighty God, so I am intrinsically valuable – my value is based on Who made me.

I am loved beyond measure, first by my Lord Jesus Christ (because He loved us first), then by my family.

I am a child of God, not by my own works, but by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ – that is my identity.

I am a soldier in the army of God, for He called me to serve in battle against the spiritual forces of wickedness in high places.

I am a Christian, because I’ve been given that title as one who identifies with Christ.

I am priceless, because of the price that was paid on the Cross to redeem me.

What I do doesn’t make me a child of God, a saint, or anything of the sort, but what Jesus did for me, on my behalf, thereby crediting those works to my account, is what makes me those things.

And all the things I do – whether it be drive a bus, be a husband, preach a sermon, mow a yard, or be a dad – I do for the sake of the one Who makes me His own, and I do it in His strength.

So, ask me what I do, and no matter what I end up telling you, I will no longer stress over the answer, for what I do is not what I am…

I do what I do because I am what I am, because of the Great I AM; my identity is found in Him.

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Filed under Christianity, Depression, God, self-worth, Uncategorized

The Fill-In-the-Blank-ers Should Protest

In a culture where self-identification is the norm and homosexuality has become the new 90-foot golden statue of Nebuchadnezzar* before which all must bow, a lot of other sinners are getting shortchanged.

As recently as this June another, …umm, “popular” …umm, “Christian” musician (Trey Pearson) came out of the proverbial closet and admitted he is gay. The married (to a woman) father of two admitted that he’d been hiding his true feelings for too long, trying to be something he was not meant to be. Marriage vows and children aside, it was time to give in to his desires and finally enjoy his life the way he believe God intended.

From his “coming out” letter…

“I know I have a long way to go. But if this honesty with myself about who I am, and who I was made by God to be, doesn’t constitute as the peace that passes all understanding, then I don’t know what does. It is like this weight I have been carrying my whole life has been lifted from me, and I have never felt such freedom.”

“In sharing this publicly I’m taking another step into health and wholeness by accepting myself, and every part of me. It’s not only an idea for me that I’m gay; It’s my life. This is me being authentic and real with myself and other people. This is a part of who I am.” – click for source

Now, let’s not get all tangled up in the doctrinal issues surrounding Trey’s treatment the “peace that passes all understanding.” After all, how can we blame poor Mr. Pearson too harshly for his heresy when his mentor and former pastor is Love Wins! himself, Rob Bell?

No, for the sake of this discussion, let’s focus more on something else: the glorification, affirmation, and weight-shifting freedom associated with one admitting and embracing his divorce-inducing sexual activity. 

Do a search of all the articles written in support of not only Trey Pearson, but Ray Boltz (came out in 2004) and others, all who left their wife and kids behind to follow the leading of their passions – their “true” selves. What you will find are accolades, praises, whole-hearted attaboys for men (and women) who’ve broken sacred vows and left their spouses and children to pick up the pieces.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but despite the illiterate notions that Jesus never addressed homosexuality, thereby condoning it, didn’t He say something very clearly about divorce? And what about adultery? Isn’t that one of the big “Thou shalt not’s”?

Here is my question and the subject for this post:

If homosexuality is to be considered a sin no longer, all because it corresponds with one’s sexual desires; and if one’s sexual desires should not be repressed if one’s sexual desires constitute one’s identity; what other up-till-now adherent behavior, along with all recognized “normal” behavior, could be used to justify breaking the clearly outlined command of God, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”?

Countless men are walking away from marriages and being praised for it. “Brave” and “courageous” are what they’re called. They succumb to desires which for some reason have become attached to their nature and demand to be respected. The wife and children are mentioned only as a sidebar to the “valor” of the adulterer, and the clearly delineated commands of God are relegated to a dusty “suggestion” box.

What then of the regular adulterer? What then of any number of definers by which one self-identifies? Fill in the blank with whatever you want – voyeur, philanderer, exhibitionist, pedophile, scumbag. Who are we to ostracize any of these if in the event of coming out of their own closets they bring about the destruction of a family unit? Should we not praise them for being brave?

Let us re-read the following part from Trey Pearson’s letter, only this time let’s replace “gay” with a blank.

“In sharing this publicly I’m taking another step into health and wholeness by accepting myself, and every part of me. It’s not only an idea for me that I’m ______; It’s my life. This is me being authentic and real with myself and other people. This is a part of who I am.”

What if we were to insert adulterer? For that matter, what if we were to insert “a fisherman“? As a heterosexual male, I was born – made by God – with a built-in desire to have sex with women. Should I say, “That’s my life, to have sex with multiple women,” would I be taking a step toward wholeness? What if I said, “Fishing is my LIFE!”? Should I be praised for walking away from my marriage vows to catch trout?

Because of the self-identification craze, more and more people are allowing themselves the excuse to give in to every carnal desire and label it as “health and wholeness.” Yet, sad to say, it is a false peace to which they are clinging as their understanding is darkened. They have believed a lie.

In the meantime, a whole lot of other guys are still paying the price for their taboo actions. When will the culture recognize they’re just being true to themselves? Hmmm?

Why should only certain groups have a monopoly on 90-foot idols? Maybe those fill-in-the-blank-ers should protest!

Meanwhile, Shadrach, they’re heating up the furnace.

 

* See Daniel 3:1-30

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Filed under Christianity, Culture Wars, current events, Defending Traditional Marriage, Marriage

7 Words that Distinguish Our Founding Fathers from Modern Americans

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…” – Founding Fathers (Declaration of Independence)

If there were ever any words that are so antithetical to today’s culture, these stand out above them all.

Believe it or not, the founding fathers of the United States of America firmly held to the belief that there are absolutes, that there are transcendent truths, truths by which we are to judge between right and wrong.

They not only believed that there are “truths,” but they believed that these truths are “self-evident.” In other words, they believed that these transcendent truths, rooted in the nature of God, were not hard to find, but were plain for all to see should they only open their eyes. Hence the term self-evident.

Today’s culture has totally rebelled against the concepts of truth and anything that is self-evident. The truth is that God created male and female (Gen. 1:27; Mark 10:6), and what is self-evident are their differences. Yet, modern Americans cannot bring themselves to admit what is obvious, no matter how self-evident.

Not long ago a man named Joseph Backholm went to the University of Washington and claimed to be a 6′ 5″ Chinese female. Not one single college student dared challenge his claims, even though the self-evident truth was that he was a caucasian male.

People wonder how long America will survive. My contention is that it can’t survive much longer. How can it when the very foundational truth on which our liberties are grounded has been reduced to shifting sand?

“We hold no truth, and nothing is self-evident; all is relative to self-identification.” – Modern Americans

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Filed under America, Culture Wars