Devolution Dramatized?

takeit down

There are some moments that are symbolically significant.

Under the cover of night, a 6-foot-tall granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments was removed from the Oklahoma Capitol grounds after State Supreme Court judges said its placement on government land violated state law.
I understand the dangers from history concerning religious freedom.
I understand most of the convoluted constitutional arguments.
I side with James Madison on freedom of religion and the danger that government poses.
However, I do not believe that the First Amendment requires a “naked public square” as Richard John Neuhaus phrased it.
In contrast to the Oklahoma display, all manner of perverse behavior is portrayed openly in media without hesitation in the name of freedom and tolerance.
A nation that openly abandons the source of moral order and law, results in a vacuum that will be filled by something.

“Baphomet” – Detroit

I hesitate to imagine what it will be.

A Few Ideas to Avoid Dead Ends for “the church that meets in your house.”


1) Welcome the stranger – Its very difficult to walk into a church building when you know no one. Its even harder to go to someone’s home when you may know few there. When a person is brave enough to make the stretch out of their comfort zone of American anonymity be sure to greet them and try to make them feel at home. Set down the I-Phone, the Tablet, the last minute tech adjustments. It will determine if they will be back. Hey, even if they are visiting and you know they won’t be back why not help them experience something unique they can take with them?

2) Do something different – I don’t want to sit in someone’s living room and watch what usually happens on Sunday morning in a bigger building. A 45 minute sermon really doesn’t fit. Be interactive. Put 1 Cor. 14:26 into action (“whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification…”). Have people pray for one another. Break bread and eat your meal together.

3) Break the mold (and the moldy) – Meet sometime other than Sunday morning!

“In ideologies there is not Jesus…”


“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought…”

There was a time when the Pope was considered the anti-christ. There numbers have diminished besides hard-core Chick comic fans, however, suspicion remains. Francis’s speech to the U.S. congress was scrutinized and parsed and found lacking by those on the right wing and by many conservative evangelicals, who don’t seem familiar with Catholic social teaching. Because he is a contrast to his predecessors especially with Cold War era John Paul II, his words seem to be judged primarily if they fit into the bifurcated either-or black-white thinking of the right and left wings of our own national politics. Francis is not running for office (which may explain the lack of “Jesus in my heart” sentiments some expected) and he speaks for and has responsibility for more than the small market share of big-name evangelicalism.
I am not a Roman Catholic so I speak from the outside and as a non-expert, but it seems to me he hit the high points of how current culture, politics and ideology part from historical Christian teaching on the family, marriage and the value of life. He is not from Poland or Germany but Argentina – that’s why he speaks from a different perspective and maybe highlighted some spiritual rabble rousers unique to the U.S. such as Dorothy Day & Thomas Merton. That’s a whole lot more than one usually hears especially from Capitol Hill – or those with lousy comb overs trying to get there.

Defund the Ghouls


Dr. Jen Gunter (OB/GYN ) in her defense of Planned Parenthood’s practice of abortion had this to say regarding the slice and dice procuring of the human child in the womb:

“These are not “baby parts.” Whether a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, the tissue specimen is called “products of conception.” In utero, i.e. during pregnancy, we use the term “embryo” from fertilization to ten weeks gestation and “fetus” from ten weeks to birth. The term baby is medically incorrect as it doesn’t apply until birth. Calling the tissue “baby parts” is a calculated attempt to anthropomorphize an embryo or fetus. It is a false image—a ten to twelve week fetus looks nothing like a term baby—and is medically incorrect…There is no reason a conversation about products of conception requires more or less reverence than one about a kidney or a biopsy specimen.”

Definitions, definitions, definitions. While this doctor and perhaps many in the abortion industry rely on such a dehumanizing, linguistic ideology, I find the equating of a body appendage or a biopsy specimen with a human being as ridiculous as well as grotesque. These so called “products of conception” are bearers of the image of God no matter what their level of development. This is only “anthropomorphizing” to a nihilist.

Sadly it is part of the dehumanization required to do the obscenely violent act that ends a human life in abortion and then selectively chops it apart for resale.  No matter what twisted medical terminology is used to justify the hideous industry of Planned Parenthood, it (and its promoters like Dr. Gunter) have more in common with the Josef Mengele school of medicine than the “health care” organization it claims to be.

Its time to defund this ghoulish enterprise.

Exsurge Domine!


So eventually it has come to this. Over the last 30 years I have watched the our cultural meltdown concerning human sexuality metastasize from Hugh Hefner and girly mags in brown paper wrappers to “don’t ask, don’t tell” to a rainbow illumined White House, from denominational task force arguments about Bible texts to the Federal redefinition of marriage by judicial decree. Many times I was told by church leaders and other pastors not to cause waves, counseled that it was not a pertinent issue but a dead end distraction, to ignore things and “do mission” instead. I rarely listened to that counsel and did my best to be faithful to the truth but did finally grow weary at congregations that did not want to wrestle with tough moral issues, didn’t want to rock the boat, or instead wanted to fight and fume over pipe organs and chorus music yet still expected God to increase their coffers and people fill their pews. It was the counsel of avoidance – if we just ignore this or pretend it doesn’t matter it will go away. It was the counsel of cowardice – and how has that strategy worked?  The churches and denominations, such as the Episcopal Church in which I was raised, that have capitulated to the culture tsunami of sexual confusion have shrunken and declined. Those more evangelical who have soft-pedaled or censored the truth of God’s wrath against immorality, sexual or otherwise & the requirements of holiness in the name of relevance and market share will now see how lasting the shaky one way bridge of cultural engagement they were trying to build will last.

But now the gloves are off and the make-nice façade of “dialogue” has been exposed as a stalling tactic for the end run it concealed. Pastors, churches, leaders and believers will have to make known where they stand since neutrality is no longer possible. The previous implicit social contract between the culture, the state and “churchianity” of “God & Country” that dates back to colonial days has been dangling by a thread for decades with the hope that “our guys” in office would get us back to the way it was. Forget it. Believers have known for a long time that they can no longer assume or hope that the culture or the state will support their values or beliefs. This will be good for the church. This will be good for God’s people. Now the Gospel, can be demonstrated and revealed not as 10 steps to self-improvement or life balance enhancement within the expectations of upper middle class prosperity but God’s liberating power to transform people created in God’s image from sin’s destructive and damning power. It is also an opportunity for God’s people to shine in our culture’s Stygian morass and to rebuild the shattered lives that will result from the inevitable pile-up that’s coming.

And it is coming. Beyond the dismay so many believers feel is the purpose of God in demonstrating his wrath in action – by removing his restraining grace and abandoning people (giving them up as Romans 1 puts it 3 times) to the warped desires of their hearts. However, there is a future court date set with a Judge of supreme authority (2 Timothy 4:1) who will weigh the nations in the balance – including those nation’s leaders, presidents and jurists.

As always…

  • It is necessary to pray for elected leaders
  • It is necessary to pray for pastors & spiritual leaders
  • It is necessary to pray for churches & ordinary believers who will have to make crucial decisions
  • It is necessary to pray that the Gospel will be boldly proclaimed.
  • It is time to call out to the Triune God to arise and employ us for his purpose so that we can see “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15


Isis – American Style!

So on the one hand some people in the US are offended by a relic of the past and the end result is it’s removed from public sight –

gen lee
On the other hand some people in Iraq are offended by a relic of the past and the end result is its removed from sight –


What exactly is the difference?
Banishing offensive images is not how problems are solved, conflicts are resolved or wounds are healed.
But maybe that assumes the “banishers” actually want that…

But for How Long?


“At times our Lord, as judge among the nations, arises to visit the sins of a people upon them. Patience makes room for justice, and Providence determines that guilty nations shall be scourged: at such times they are blessed indeed who can cause the King to stand still. This wicked country of ours has often escaped through the prayers of the saints. No man can read our history without perceiving that among guilty nations we hold a sorrowful place; for we have had more light than any other people, and have sinned against it full often. This erring nation had been scourged to destruction if it had not been that the intercessions of Gods people have caused the Judge of all the earth to stand still. Jesus now rules all nations as Lord of Providence, and metes out justice and judgment among them, but a plea for mercy brings a decree of forbearance, and sinful nations are permitted still to stand within the bounds of grace.”

Charles Spurgeon

War Against the Weeds


“He can make the dry parched ground of my soul to become a pool and my thirsty barren heart as springs of water. Yes he can make this habitation of dragons this heart which is so full of abominable lusts and fiery temptations to be a place of bounty and fruitfulness unto Himself”
― John Owen, The Mortification of Sin

        I am an amateur, occasional gardener. No such thing you may say but every so often we give it a try. I still consider myself a beginner & no I don’t want well-intentioned advice on how to do it better. We are trying again this summer & planted some tomatoes, chili peppers, eggplant and basil, cilantro & oregano. Due to the uncommon rains in our corner of S.E. Colorado, I have had to spend lots of time on identifying and picking weeds since they have grown in profusion over the last weeks. What started out as a nice, weed free area with a few plants became a small jungle of intertwining opportunistic weeds who not only had spread remarkably fast but have also intertwined with the stuff I want to grow. So for a few hours today I sorted through the soil to root out the interlopers & once again the space looks somewhat weed free – at least for a few days.

Growing something worthwhile takes cultivation. Weeds need no such care – most gardeners won’t find this a surprise. Weeds need no help to thrive. I think there’s a parallel in the life of growing in grace and the Spirit. If I do nothing and kick back and don’t pay attention all kinds of sinful habits will easily sprout up & multiply – no effort required! But those weeds of mind, soul & spirit, if left to themselves will eventually smother the good in an aggressive, intertwining, life draining entanglement and steal the space, nutrients and moisture required by the good. To “bring forth much fruit” (John 15:8) as we are called requires time, attention and care. Those who cared for the soul in former times called for utilizing “the means of grace” – the spiritual disciplines which with the help of the Holy Spirit cultivate the heart, soul, mind and body for God including (but not limited to) prayer, reading the Bible, singing, hearing & listening to the Word of God preached, the Lord’s Table, meditation, confession of sin and serving others.

Growing in grace is not a passive activity. It requires my attention and action as well as at times with the Lord’s help, close up inspection and identification of what may be encroaching in my soul – just like my Anaheim & Jalapeno chilies. As to my battle with the weeds and what the garden hopefully produces – I will keep you posted.

A Visit to the Ft. Lyon Cemetery

Since I have been working nearby I finally visited the Ft. Lyon National Cemetery, next to what used to be the VA hospital at Ft. Lyon in Bent County, CO but is now owned by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. While there are numerous graves to look at today, a few caught my eye. A number of them were veterans who fought in the 10 week Spanish American war in 1898 in Cuba and the Philippines.


The oldest was James Logan of the Colorado Calvary (1862).


The other was U.S. Army Major William E. Koons who must have been in his late teens in in WW2, and then served in Korea and Vietnam.


I’ve known a number of veterans over the years. I have  tried to help some. Its hard to imagine what stories they would tell about what they saw and experienced.