How “Alien” Is Your Christianity?

Peter pulls no punches as he calls Christians for what they are (or perhaps what they really should be): aliens … strangers … peculiar people.

But how can that be, especially in the United States of America? Survey after survey says that upwards of 95% of Americans claim to believe in God, and fully 8-out-of-10 of every American call themselves a Christian.

You only need to take a look at our schools, our government, or our entertainment to see how “alien” biblical values are with current cultural trends. I think all of us have experienced that when we try to live by a biblical standard, people roll their eyes at us (at best) or maybe outright mock us. Perhaps the term “aliens” is not so much for what we say we believe, but how we live what we believe.

That’s why Peter calls us peculiar (1 Peter 2:9). This word means a people so focused on what God wants, that they don’t have time to worry about what the world wants. Peculiar people are so focused on “Your kingdom come and Your will be done” that they don’t pay attention to “keeping up with the times.”

Peter says that the inevitable outcomes of this peculiar lifestyle are accusations of wrong doing, unjust treatment, insults, and slander, just to name a few (see 1 Peter 2:12, 19, 21-23; 3:16).

When we are treated this way, Peter tells Christians about their alien response:

  • Love one another deeply
  • Live good lives doing good deeds
  • Do not retaliate with insults or threats
  • Live in such a hope-filled way that others can’t help to ask you about it (see 1:22; 2:12, 23; 3:15)

So… how “alien” is your Christianity? Are you doing so many good things that it catches the attention of others? Are you responding to mistreatment in a Christ-honoring manner? Do you speak with others gently and respectfully? Is your life so full of hope in your eternal home in Heaven that people can’t help but ask you for the reason for the hope you have?

Don’t worry about being popular; be peculiar. Be so alien to this world’s values that you compel others to encounter Jesus Christ as you have! 

Join me next Sunday as we continue our look at how citizens of Heaven are supposed to live while visiting Earth.

Advertisements

Viewing Abortion As Slavery

In our American history, we have many valuable lessons. Some of these lessons come from sad chapters that now we have the benefit of hindsight to see the error of our ways. But with this hindsight, there should come insight into the issues which currently face us.

Slavery was an abhorrent evil that plagued our country. Thankfully there were strong men who forcefully and persuasively spoke out against the horrors of slavery; men like Frederick Douglass. His address “What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?” is a masterpiece of statesmanship!

Those under the oppression of slavery had no choice. They weren’t allowed speak for themselves, so they depended upon free men and women to speak for them.

Much the same today, babies who are aborted in the womb have no choice, no voice. They cannot speak for themselves, so it is up to us to speak out for them against this abhorrent evil that plagues our country.

I would ask you to consider some of the words of Frederick Douglass where the terms for slavery are replaced with the terms for abortion.

“Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding [aborted baby] on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate [abortion]—the great sin and shame of America! … 

“The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced. … 

“Let it be thundered around the world, that, in tyrant-killing, king-hating, people-loving, democratic, Christian America, the seats of justice are filled with judges, who hold their offices under an open and palpable bribe, and are bound, in deciding in the case of [an unborn baby’s] liberty, hear only [the abortionist]! … 

“A religion which favors [‘choice’] against the [unborn baby]; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, [pro-choice] and [pro-life]; which says to the [baby in the womb, you don’t matter]; and to the [abortionist, continue on]; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and [killers] of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies His fatherhood of [all human life], and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man. … 

“The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold [abortion]; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in connection with its ability to abolish [abortion]. The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well as of commission. … Let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday school, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against [abortion]; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds….

“O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.”

10 Quotes From “When A Nation Forgets God”

Dr. Erwin Lutzer discovers some scary parallels in the culture that gave rise to the Nazis and what is happening in America today. Please check out this book! You can read my review by clicking here.

“The role of the church [in Nazi-controlled Germany] was minimized by privatizing faith and instituting laws about what could or could not be said from a pulpit.”

“The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believes that God must be separated not just from government, but from every sphere of American life. Religion—particularly Christianity—must be ousted from government, from law, education, and the workplace.

“Thus with the so-called public square free of any hint of religious values, the vacuum is then filled with secular values: the cheapness of human life (abortion and euthanasia), the promotion of all forms of immorality (including homosexual marriages), and the sexualization of schoolchildren (often with pornography and the ridicule of traditional values).”

“As Americans we must keep in mind that the First Amendment was not intended to mean that atheists and agnostics have veto power over all those who believe in God.”

“Of course the United States is not Germany, and, as we have observed, parallels between us and the Nazi era can easily be overdrawn. But there is this abiding lesson: satan was right when he said, ‘All that and man has he will give for his life’ (Job 2:4). Survival is a powerful drive within us all, and most of us are willing to compromise our values in order to live. And if the government can guarantee our financial future, we support that government even if we intuitively suspect we are being led down a dangerous path.” 

“Moral relativists who believe that laws are nothing more than the result of social conditioning, subject to the whim of leaders and nations, would have to agree with Goehring, Hitler’s designated successor, when at Nuremberg he insisted, ‘This court has no jurisdiction over me, I am German!’ By what laws then, should the Nazis be tried? And what would be the basis of such laws? At Nuremberg, Robert H. Jackson, chief counsel of the United States, argued that there was ‘a law about the law’ that stood in judgment of all men in all countries and societies.”

“We are not required to win our political battles; we are expected to show our commitment even in the face of threats and sanctions. We must not permit the lawmakers or the courts of America to discourage us from doing what we must: representing Christ in our personal and corporate witness. As our freedoms are curtailed, our witness becomes more focused, more challenging. Let us be obedient to a higher law, the law as given us by the Supreme Court of the Universe.”

“When Hitler starved children, he called it putting them on a ‘low-calorie diet.’ And the extermination of Jews was called ‘cleansing the land.’ Euthanasia was referred to as ‘the best of modern therapy.’ Children were put to death in ‘Children’s Specialty Centers.’ … Sanitized terms were used to camouflage unspeakable crimes. Planned massacres were spoken of in clinical terms to mislead the naïve and to assuage the conscience of the perpetrators.”

“Important though the right leaders might be, we must always remember that God is neither Republican nor Democrat. When the Cross is wrapped in the flag of a political party, it is always distorted or diminished.”

“I believe that the spiritual climate of America will never be changed unless we have a revival of what we used to call ‘the laymen.’ That is, we need ordinary people living authentically for Christ in their vocations, among their neighbors, and in positions of influence.”

I will be sharing some more quotes from When A Nation Forgets God soon. Stay tuned, or better yet, subscribe to my blog so you will be notified as soon as these new quotes are posted.

Last Full Measure Of Devotion

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” —Abraham Lincoln 

15 Quotes On America’s Greatness

(c) craigtowens

(c) craigtowens

A few quotes that capture the essence of America’s greatness.

“The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy, a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For, happily, the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” —George Washington, in a letter to a Jewish congregation

“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.” —John Adams

“We’ve staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government. Far from it. We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” —James Madison

“We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner ‘Freedom Now’—they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.” —George W. Bush

“To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.” —Calvin Coolidge

“Nowhere in the world is presented a government of so much liberty and equality. To the humblest and poorest amongst us are extended the highest privileges and positions. The present moment finds me at the White House, yet there is as good a chance for your children as there was for my father’s.” —Abraham Lincoln

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” ―Harry Truman

“America is another word for Opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of the Divine Providence in behalf of the human race.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As soon as I make sure everyone else is out.” —Rick Rescorla, World Trade Center security chief for Morgan Stanley, on September 11, 2001, responding to a colleague who told him he must get out of World Trade Center Tower 2. Rescorla led the evacuation of nearly 2700 Morgan Stanley employees. He died when Tower 2 collapsed. 

“I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” —John D. Rockefeller Jr.

“We must be the great arsenal of democracy.” —Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” —Samuel Adams

“Some things have not changed at all since 1776. For one thing, freedom is still expensive. It still costs money. It still costs blood. It still calls for courage and endurance, not only in soldiers, but in every man and woman who is free and who is determined to remain free.” —Harry Truman, on the 175th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence

“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” —George Washington

“The thing they forget is that liberty and freedom and democracy are so very precious that you do not fight to win them once and then stop. Liberty and freedom and democracy are prizes awarded only to those peoples who fight to win them and then keep fighting eternally to hold them.” —Sergeant Alvin C. York, in reply to those who asked, “What did war get you?”

12 Quotes From “Churchill’s Trial”

Churchill's TrialIn Churchill’s Trial, Larry Arnn has given us a fascinating look at Winston Churchill’s battle to keep freedom alive, both in the moment of crisis and after the crisis has passed. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are a few of the quotes I highlighted as I read.

“Mankind has never been in this position before. Without having improved appreciably in virtue or enjoying wiser guidance, it has got into its hands for the first time the tools by which it can unfailingly accomplish its own extermination. That is the point in human destinies to which all the glories and toils of men have at last lead them. They would do well to pause and ponder upon their new responsibilities. Death stands at attention, obedient, expectant, ready to serve, ready to shear away the peoples en masse; ready, if called upon, to pulverize, without hope of repair, what is left of civilization. He awaits only the word of command. He awaits it from a frail, bewildered being, long his victim, now—for one occasion only—his master.” —Winston Churchill 

“Science is necessary, and also science is a master. As the human ability to make grows, the human ability to control the engines by which we make diminishes. The logical problem is relentless: we may stay as we are and lead shorter lives of pain and trouble, or we may use our capacity to make our lives easier and safer. If we do that we will gain power, and we can use that power against ourselves.” —Larry Arnn

“No material progress, even though it takes shapes we cannot now conceive, or however it may expand the faculties of man, can bring comfort to his soul.” —Winston Churchill 

“We must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence. …

“All this means that the people of any country have the right, and should have the power by constitutional action, by free unfettered elections, with secret ballot, to choose or change the character or form of government under which they dwell; that freedom of speech and thought should reign; that courts of justice, independent of the executive, unbiased by any party, should administer laws which have received the broad ascent of large majorities or are consecrated by time and custom. Here are the title deeds of freedom what should lie in every cottage home. Here is the message of the British and American peoples to mankind. Let us preach what we practice—let us practice what we preach.” —Winston Churchill

“There is enough for all. The earth is a generous mother; she will provide in plentiful abundance food for all her children if they will but cultivate her soil in justice and in peace.” —Bourke Cockran

“Human relations are not a contest in which the advantage of some requires the disadvantage of others. That means in turn that government need not have the authority to allocate resources, at least not comprehensively. A government with such power would be in one sense at war with any citizens who have more than others, effectively with all citizens but the few poorest.” —Larry Arnn

“In republics, the greater danger is that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.” —James Madison

“He who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions.” —Abraham Lincoln

“Democracy properly understood means the association of all through the leadership of the best.” —Winston Churchill

“Our hearts will ache…if we have not a vision above material things.” —Winston Churchill

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” —James Madison

“We now watch the workings of a written Constitution enforced by a Supreme Court according to the letter of the law, under which anyone may bring a test case challenging not merely the interpretation of the law, but the law itself, and if the Court decides for the appellant, be he only an owner of a few chickens, the whole action of the Legislature and the Executive becomes to that extent null and void.” —Winston Churchill 

More quotes coming soon…

Churchill’s Trial (book review)

Churchill's TrialI have read so much written by and about Winston Churchill, that it’s hard to imagine learning something new about this remarkable man. And yet, I was amazed at how much more I learned in reading Churchill’s Trial by Larry Arnn.

It’s easy to take for granted the freedoms people have in countries like England and the United States because of the foresight of the framers of our Constitutions. But there are trials which put these freedoms in a precarious place, and if it were not for strong and insightful men—like Winston Churchill—those freedoms could have disappeared.

Churchill played key roles in his country, and in world politics, through two world wars, a global depression, the coming of age of new military super-powers, the dawn of the era of atomic warfare, and the rise of Communism. In all of these intense events, the temptation was there to make radical changes to meet the challenge of the moment. Churchill had the wisdom and foresight to leverage the strength of his country’s Constitution, without undermining it nor setting a precedent which would erode future freedoms.

In what Churchill did for England, he also helped strength the resolve of key leaders in the United States, who faced similar challenges in a shifting geopolitical climate. Churchill not only saved the world from the spread of fascism and communism, but he did so in a way that would guarantee freedom for millions of people in generations to follow. The question before us now is: Will we learn from Churchill’s example, or will we fail the trial we now face?

For history buffs, political junkies, and fans of Winston Churchill, Churchill’s Trial is an excellent read.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

%d bloggers like this: