Friday, March 29, 2013

Beware of the bashers.
     When ministers bash, trash and blast things it should raise a red flag.  A minister is sent by God to love, help, spread truth, defend truth, preach and proclaim.  And in all of that comes a lot of standing against evil.  But standing against evil and “bashing things and people”, are two different things.  Now to be fair, some good preaching is called bashing by haters of good preaching.  And some bashing is called good preaching by haters of whatever is being bashed.  But if ministers are not careful they will fall more into the category of cult leader than preacher.  When we preach and people do not respond as well as we want them to then we feel pressure to “do more about it”.  Then we try to get it a little tighter and tell it a little more plain.  If they still don’t respond well enough we can choose to single them out or even run them off to “clean up” the atmosphere of our ministry.  Listen friend, you cannot choose for an individual, you can only love them, tell them the truth and live a good example before them.  If you live good and preach truth and stand against evil, you will not have to worry too much about being surrounded with those that love evil.  But I’ll tell you what is bothering me.  The idea that if you bash, you are deep and spiritual because “you don’t care what anybody thinks” OR if you say anything about anything that is evil or wrong then you are automatically a basher.  Since we are on facebook let me use it as an example:  If you get up in your pulpit and say, “everyone that is on facebook is going to hell”, then you my friend are an idiot.  That is the most broad and blanket ignorant statement that you can make.  But if you are a spiritual leader and you do not constantly remind your people or the pitfalls and evils that lurk on facebook, you are foolish.  The predators, curse words, lewd conversations and pictures that are on some people’s facebook pages are appalling.  If you have a minister that does not warn parents to have an age limit or ask parents to consider not letting children get on it until they are of age or give examples of problems with it, then I would question that minister’s sincerity.  But if you have a minister that blasts any and all who would be on it as non-christians or people that should not be a member of his congregation then I would question his allegiance.  Is it to God, the lover of the soul, or himself, the Icon of the local church, or the fellowship, the controllers of the people, or???  Look at it this way, I am no great defender of facebook, that is not my point, but I can easily see why it is one of the hottest topics to “bash”.  I have been in and out of cultic leaning ministries and movements all my saved life and one thing you have to have to have a cult is control of the conversation.  The last thing in the world you would want is people openly talking to other people outside of where you have any ultimate say so about it.  In a cult, control is the key, in Christianity free will is the key.  Those that “do right” in a cult are well controlled by their leaders.  Those that “do right” in Christianity are well submitted to their faith.  I know many great and Godly men that don’t believe in facebook at all but I don’t know any that would just bash and slam everyone that has it, as if they are more shallow, more worldly or more ignorant than themselves.  Those just aren’t the attributes of a Godly man.  I love the “Holiness Way” and I am an ultra conservative minister but when a preacher’s preaching starts “telling” you what you are and are not allowed to do in your house, on your job, with your loved ones.  I get concerned.  Even when it is a good thing.  Why can’t they take the time to TEACH the people and EXPLAIN their reasoning and USE SCRIPTURES, If they have any, instead of just saying things like, “It you have a television in your home, you are going to HELL.”  Believe it or not, I heard that again last summer at a big campmeeting by one of the most used preachers in holiness.  I don’t have a TV and I wouldn’t have one and a have some very sane and challenging arguments against them but how do I know who is going to hell?  It’s like the mayor of New York city banning all soda drinks over 16 ounces.  “When some debated him he said, “Your are for cancer and early death and children with rotting teeth.  You hate children and you want the people to die.”  Then you had the knuckleheads on the other side saying, “If I want to drink 10 gallons of mountain dew while bathing in a tub full of red bull I should be able to.  Yes, you should have that choice but you are an imbecile if you take it.  Don’t be silly people.  Of course we are drinking too many sugary drinks and of course it is causing problems and the City of New York should have had a huge advertising and educational campaign to “help” the people that want to be helped, but nooo, they wanted to just force their control over the people by “outlawing” pop?  Get a grip.  So, some of the same “great conservatives” that want the mayor of New York to be impeached for imposing “his will” on the people, also want to “make” their congregation members do or don’t do certain things instead of educating and filling with doctrine and flooding with prayer, thus helping the people that want help.  And if anyone debates them they might just say, “You are for sin and you hate Jesus and you want all of our children to die and go to hell.”  And then they put you, the reasonable saint, in the category of rank evil.  Why?  Normally it is either a greed for power and you are in the way of it or a laziness of study and they can’t answer you clearly, logically and biblically.  I hate to say it but most preachers that I hear anymore are just repeating things that they heard “popular” preachers say or they are just saying things that they know will gain them influence in certain groups.  
     I do not like TV, I think we drink, (and eat), way too much garbage, I am for standing against evil, I don’t want the government being my big brother, I believe in submitting to Godly leadership and I see no reason what so ever to not stand up to cultic indoctrination.  In my humble opinion one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between sound doctrine, that should be submitted to, and cultic practices, that should be ran from, is this test.....Are they sincerely trying to teach “us” for our own good and God’s glory or are they bashing “things” for their own power and influence?  Am I a soul that they shepherd over for Christ and His kingdom or am I cattle that has their “brand” on it and makes them look like a big shot if I “do right”?  
     LISTEN TO THE PREACHER, BE LEARY OF THE BASHER.  This is merely my own humble opinion.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went.

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."

It w as obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.

"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked. "Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

"You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the centre of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section..

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.

I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."
She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE,whichever differences that person may have, don't turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.

From an old dandelion! Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. 
Leave the rest to the powers that be.