Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

A Quick Political Thought

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 20, 2010

What is the perfect political landscape?

We have seen in the past 19 months what happens when one party has a virtual super-majority. Say what you want on the political realm, one thing is definitely true, more laws have been written, rules created, taxes taken, debt incurred, money spent, and powers shifted than in any time in recent history and probably all of US history.

So what would we get if the power swung to the right to the same degree over the next couple elections?  Most likely, more of the same… too many new laws written, rules created, money spent, etc.

I propose an alternative.  51/49 split in the Senate to the political Right, 50/50 split in the House, and keep the President. At the next election, reverse it all. Elect a Right sided President, a Left leaning Senate and 50/50 House. Continue this process alternately, indefinitely.

Simple theory here – Only that which really matters will actually get done because it will take actual common ground to do it.

No new theoretical manipulations can be applied to the economy; no pie-in-the-sky dreams can be implemented. We’ll just have a government with little power and a people that are free to fix the economy themselves because the government, for the most part, will be out of the way.

Oh, yeah, and someone in the court that would actually enforce the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Thoughts anyone?



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The Power of a Geneology

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 9, 2009

This is the most amazing Bible study of which I ever had the privilege to be part.  I can’t take credit for its discovery, (That would be Chuck Misler), but I love to use this to open people’s eyes to the true power of the Word of God.

The genealogy we are going to look at is found in Genesis 5.  It takes up the whole chapter – so I will abbreviate it here. The list of names and their meaning are below:

  • Adam – “man”
  • Seth – “appointed”
  • Enosh – “mortal”
  • Kenan -“having”
  • Mahalalel – “sorrow” “God”
  • Jared – “shall descend”
  • Enoch – “dedicated” “anointed”
  • Methuselah – “his death shall bring”
  • Lamech – “the lowly”
  • Noah – “Comfort”

If you take these names and read them out in order as a sentence in English, here’s what you get…

“Man appointed mortal and having sorrow but God shall descend anointed; his death shall bring the lowly comfort.”

Read that again….

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is embedded in the very genealogy of Scripture.  God breathed every word in this book.  There is a reason for every letter and word used.  The power of the word of God oozes with the good news of our savior no matter how deep you look and no matter where you look – even in a genealogy!

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Some Thoughts on the End Times – Part 1

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 1, 2009

I might as well do what everybody else seems to do and give a quick thought [teaching] on the End Times.

However, you probably won’t find this quite is comfortable sounding as the Sunday morning version.

Most End Time teaching basically follow this format.

  • The End Comes
  • The Church is Raptured
  • All chaos errupts
  • Jesus comes with all the believers and reigns a 1000 years
  • Final judgement
  • Everyone designated for Hell go there, those designated for Heaven, go there

I may have left out some detail, but you get the gist.

The biggest problem I personally have with this format is that

  1. It isn’t exactly a healthy and accurate assessement and
  2. It gives a false sense that the Church is not going to experience trouble

I call this Sunday morning approach the “Escapist Syndrome

Basically, the Book of Revelation is approached as a letter for those who are left behind.  What I find strange about that is that a large portion of the church teaching that I hear around the nation is on a subject that, according to the syndrome, doesn’t even apply to them.

2 Thessalonian 2:3 and 1 Timothy 4:1 along with other scriptures, speak of a “falling away” in the last days. This has to be about believers, because non-believers can’t fall away by definition. I have always thought that apathy would be the culprit, which may still be the case.  But I fear that there is going to be another unintended consequence to current teaching that will cause many to flee the faith.

There is a phobia, I believe, in pulpits to talk about bad things.  Blessings and prosperity, God’s best for your life, God loves you, all have their place, but we are inundated by an unhealthy amount of rose petal teaching. Even roses, though, have thorns, and the teachings of Jesus, Paul, James, and John do a much better job painting reality and have a much more balanced approach to understanding the end times than we American Christians pocesses.

The Right Balance

Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” – Mark 4:16 and 17

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-40

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” – Matthew 24:9-13

Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. – John 15:20

And I could go on and on.

I think that church leaders fear that if the truth of persecution, the reality of hard times, and the fate of being hated as Jesus was hated were preached from a pulpit, they wouldn’t fill the chairs on a Sunday morning, but I think that the greater disservice is not telling followers of Christ the truth.  Tough times are coming! The church in America will be one day like the church in China and North Korea having to hide their $10,000 signs and abandon the $20 million buildings.  It is only a matter of time.

But in it all, no matter what happens, Jesus prepared us for this inevitable outcome.  All the prayer in the world, though it may delay it, will not stop it because it is part of the Plan of God.

I will end this part with what I consider to be the problem facing the future church because of the methodology of church teaching today.

The falling away will most likely come from Christians who have succumbed to the escapism syndrome and when the persecution in American and other “free nations” comes, they will ask the question,

Why? Why didn’t you tell me?  Why did you get my hopes up?  Why didn’t you prepare me?”

And they simply won’t have the strength to stand up under the pressure because they will feel betrayed and misled.  They will think that Jesus is not ever coming back because they never thought they’d be thrown into a prison in America just because they gathered with like believers.  The concerns of their world will outweigh their perceived need for a savior.

They thought is was all about prosperity and glory, but will find that the reality of the coming of the Son of Man will be like the birth of a child.  It will be painful while the child prepares to arrive, but the joy for those that endure to the end will be like holding that little baby in the arms.  All the pain in the birthing process will quickly fade in the joy of a new life with Christ forever.

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The True Power of Evil

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 11, 2009


Numbers etched in our conscious for as long as we live.  Those numbers no longer represent a date, but a traumatic event in our country.  To those who do not remember their exact location the day the towers fell, the impact of this day lessens a bit – similar to those of my generation trying to put their minds around a Pearl Harbor, Nazi internment camps and the American Civil War.

The visual nature of our existence fuels our emotions, and as time passes, we want to put the images of that day eight years ago far behind us in order to relieve ourselves from the pain. I understand that desire, but the reality still remains – evil in the hearts of men, still wants to destroy America, and to a greater extent, what America stands for.

Evil is a powerful force bound up in the hearts of all of us.  It always starts with a selfish drive and when unchecked, progresses to a destructive force where the objective evolves into the denigration of those that do not agree with the one birthing the evil thoughts. Before you know it, irrational and ungodly thoughts and actions spew from that person until a greater evil force found in the depths of Hades drives the destroying force in the evil heart to actually destroy one’s own self – e.g. suicide bombers and airplane hijackers.

As powerful as evil seems, it pales in comparison to the true power of good.  Contrary to popular opinion, good and evil are not opposites.  For an opposite to exist, there needs to be equality to the opposing power.  However, only good exists in power, evil prevails only in the absence of good.  Evil loses to good every time like darkness loses to light each you flick a light switch in a darkened room.

Let’s look a little deeper into this idea of light and darkness.  Darkness really doesn’t exist of its own power; it only exists when light disappears.  Darkness cannot stand up one day and say, “I think I’ll defeat light today.” Darkness cannot make that call because light, which operates at a higher plane than darkness, determines whether darkness will exist. This can be said about hot and cold. Cold does not truly exist.  The lack of heat gives the illusion of cold from the reference point you give it. To achieve true cold, you must remove all heat.

If I consider hot above 72 degrees and cold below 72 degrees, then I define the power of cold.  But my definition distorts the reality that cold exists only in the absence of heat. I allow 71 degrees and lower to be the dividing line between hot and cold.  We determine in our minds where to draw the line.

If I define evil as the act of men flying planes into a building in to kill innocent people, then I deceive myself because, though the emotional stirring in me is strong because of such a heinous act, my emotions hide the truth that I raised my evil threshold.  The line I draw to define where evil ends and good begins really defines my understanding of good and not evil.  Living in the culture of the day, we tend to alter our interpretation of that line based on social interpretations.  I might determine that the evil line of those individuals started the day they believed in their hearts that those that didn’t see things their way should die. In doing this, I lower my evil threshold from an act of violence to a heart condition.

For example, once upon a time, the evil threshold stopped at killing children. Today, killing them before they breathe air is societally acceptable.  Tomorrow, that line will move to make it permissible to kill them when someone determines that their quality of life won’t achieve some predetermined level. We are already opening our minds to that concept with our elder population through euthanasia.

The issue isn’t even that fact that we kill babies.  Our problem of evil travels back to the very thought that people THINK that they can justify it in their own minds.  It starts with a selfish thought, progresses to a justifiable belief, and eventually manifests as a heinous act.

The cure to evil exists in the promotion of more good in the hearts of people, and not just human good, but the good found only in the heart of God.  Jesus said it, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good.” (Mark 10:18)

We are not battling a villain on a battlefield in the Middle East as much as we are waging war against an unseen enemy that prowls around seeking people to devour.  We battle for the hearts, souls and minds of people.  Necessity determines that we must take a physical stand against the tyranny of the devil’s schemes revealed in man’s actions, but on a much higher plane, we need to make war in the spiritual realms.

“Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

If the soldier on the battlefield is the only one doing battle, then our battle is in vain.  However, if we couple that with the spiritual warfare needed in a time of depravity, then there is hope that this evil can be saturated with enough godly good to drown out its perceived power.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

If this generation falls to the evil power that prevails in man’s hearts, then it is not because we did not kill enough “enemy combatants” (terrorists), it is because we did not take seriously enough the power of good that exists in God and that is given freely to his children by the power of the Holy Spirit.  It will be because believers around the world did not vest prayer and fasting and go to war against the real enemy to win the hearts, souls and minds of this generation.  It will not be because we did not have enough “good laws”, it will be because the good law of God’s love was not written on the hearts of men.

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What’s a Believer to do about our Political Situation?

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 29, 2009


This article is a bit longer than normal, and certainly more political than most of the ones I publish, but I felt such an urgency to write it that it kept me up half the night.  I finally succumbed to the drive to write and woke up at 5 AM on a Saturday morning to put it all down… That in itself should tell you something.

The UnderGroundChurch Pupose:

The purpose of the UnderGroundChurch is to prepare the church and anyone seeking God for the days ahead which include new methods of doing church in an increasingly hostile environment and understanding the environment from prophetic angle so that as things occur in our American society, we can take hope that no matter what actually happens in America, two things are always true:

1)      America, as great as she once was and to some degree still is, is not the center of God’s plan.

2)      God has a plan that will unfold.  It will be messy, and that is by design.  It is not to be feared if you are a believer, but to be embraced as a time of refining, rebuilding, reorganizing and revival in the church. 

The Dream:

Last night, I dreamt of a changing world.  It was such a powerful dream that I still remember every detail of it, which for me is extremely rare.  The following is that dream.

My family and I just installed a pool at the house (that’s the good part, hope that it comes true someday). As we are swimming in the rather frigid waters, I was talking of creating a solar heater system to make the water somewhat bearable.  As we were conversing, two rocket ship like objects blasted out of the earth about a mile away in town.  They looked almost alien in their appearance with technologies that couldn’t be manmade.

They landed on the town, sprouted four legs each and began a journey that lead them straight toward us.  As they walked along, their powerful pace and frightening appearance cause everyone around to pause in fear.  I looked to the street where some military vehicles pulled up.  I was set back by their inactivity; I mean, they are the military here to protect us, so why weren’t they shooting it or something?

I walked over to them after the craft stepped over our house, and as I approached, I saw them waving green flags that had a camouflage pattern.  This certainly intrigued me, so I asked them what they were doing. Their answer literally woke me from my slumber.

The soldier there told me that everyone would be issued three flags.  As the robot like crafts passed by, you were to wave the flag that represented your support for our government.  The first flag was the one the soldiers were waving.  It represented support for the current government.  The camouflaged nature of the flag meant that your support didn’t necessarily mean you agreed with everything, but that you wouldn’t do anything about it even if you didn’t agree; therefore, your support was implied, and you were safe.

The second flag was white with some symbols I didn’t recognize in a circle in the middle.  The white flag told the alien looking craft that you were a believer, and that you wanted to practice your faith.  You were committing to practice your faith in so far as you didn’t speak against the current system of government, and that you weren’t going to make any waves.  You were just going to be spiritually minded and not concerned with the political or social environment around you.

The final flag was red. This represented you as a rebel to the ways of the government and that you opposed the direction the government was taking and that you were willing to fight for freedom.

In the absence of waving a flag, the default interpretation of your intention was that you were a “red flag waver”.  A red flag waver was the enemy and would be captured or killed on site to preserve the new American way of life.

Waking Thoughts:

As I awoke, I reviewed the dream and was reminded of a speech almost a half-century ago in 1961 that Ronald Reagan gave about the threat that lay before the American people.  This speech, which I was reminded of recently and which I have posted below, coupled with the changing times made me think of the challenge before the believer.  Do we get involved?  If so, how involved do we get?

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:

  • from bondage to spiritual faith
  • from spiritual faith to great courage
  • from courage to liberty
  • from liberty to abundance
  • from abundance to selfishness
  • from selfishness to complacency
  • from complacency to apathy
  • from apathy to dependency
  • from dependency back to bondage.


The Constitution was given as a framework of the nation for two reasons:

1)      To limit the powers of the federal government, giving governmental powers not specifically granted in the Constitution to the state governments (see the unenforced 10th Ammendment)

2)      To protect the citizenry of this great nation for a government that, by design, seeks to grow its power, intrude in people’s lives, oppress its people and in the end, control everything – thus ending our republic (See the first 10 Amendments, a.k.a. the Bill of Rights)

The Bill of Rights aren’t freedoms granted by the government for us, they are our protection measures given to protect us from an out of control government.  Over the past 50 years, those rights have been diluted by ideologies foreign to the framer’s original intent.  The Constitution is no longer a framework, but an obstacle.  Freedom is no longer a right by default, it is a privilege given to a few.

What is Our Precedent?

Again, I ask, “So what is the believer to do?”  Is there Biblical precedent to do anything? Is their historical precedent to do anything?

Biblically speaking, there is a precedent.  Nations don’t just popup out of thin air, they are made.  God made a nation called Israel with rules, laws and ceremonies to govern their activities.  It wasn’t just a gathering of people to worship him; it was a nation under God to be governed by the will of God.

In the New Testament, there is not much political precedent to “rebuild” government, but rather an underground approach to change the hearts and mind of the leaders.  God wasn’t building a church-state, but a people whose hearts were bent toward him.

Paul actually sacrificed his freedom, rights and dignity for the chance to change the heart of Caesar.  He willingly was led captive to Rome so that in the hopes of real change, he might show the leader of the world the love and power of a humble Messiah; any governmental change would have been a byproduct of that change in the heart of Caesar.

Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, a group of God fearing, Bible believing men made a choice to break from a tyrannical king to create a new nation with the hope of freedom.  It cost many, many lives to establish that new nation, and many more to keep it, but in the end, it became one nation, under God which impacted the world in ways never before seen.

What makes the founding of this nation unique is that never before was a nation created by the people for the people.  It was designed specifically to allow for the people to drive the growth of the nation.  It was not the intention of the framers to take on power over people but to empower the people.  Freedom was granted to the people and only the people could choose to give it away.

What next?

This is a tough question to answer.  At what point does out nation cross that line where the vote no longer works, where freedom is gone, where society is lost to government control, where the “American dream” for a brighter future gives way to an “American memory” of what once was?

A day may come when the people’s voices are no longer heard and a rebellion foreseen as possible by the framers of our nation actually manifests. That day I believe is sure to come as long as a thirst for freedom still exists in our nation.

This is a possible outcome, but is not necessary if we can take action while our voice is not silenced.  We are believers first, but as believers in America, we are obligate to work hard to set a tone for America. 

In setting that tone, we must always understand that you can’t legislate morality, virtue and character.  You can’t “make” people believe in God; you can’t force your opinions on others.  Unfortunately, the government is not bent that way and because they are men and women given power, they can be corrupted and lose sight of why they are there in the first place… to defend freedom.

We must fight for the hearts and minds of the American people.  That is our first call.  You don’t legislate change, but you can inspire people.  If the last campaign taught us anything, it taught us the power of inspiration. 

The Political Tone:

President Obama won the election without telling anybody what he actually believed, how he was actually going to do anything, without any opposition, without any leadership or governing experience, without any executive or military experience.  He won with one word, “change”, which in itself doesn’t say anything.  However, the word spoke to people because they wanted something different, and they didn’t really care what it was as long as it wasn’t the status quo.  They were voting against the current circumstances, not for the direction that has been set in the past 8 months.

He has set a tone in our government not seen in this country in 50 years.  The tone is one that has been tried for over 100 years and has failed every time it is implemented.  But what it speaks to is the destruction of our political infrastructure, our freedom and our way of life.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties do not exist today.  The Democrats have been taken over by the minority extremists in their party that seek to undermine the whole point of our Constitutional government. The party of JFK, fiscally conservative, socially balanced and defenders of national freedom, has given way to liberal extremism, apologizing to the world for being a leading nation that stands up for absolute truth in the face of relativistic ideology.

The Republican Party has lost its voice, its power and its conservative roots.  The party of Lincoln and Reagan is now leaderless, and the leaders that try to step up are either spineless or shut down by pseudo leaders and the media.

Real Change:

The only political change you can believe in is change back to the system that actually works and not an experiment that has repeatedly failed.  There is a swell of opposition to the current direction of our nation because of legitimate fears that our freedom, our way of life and our history will become a memory. 

As believers in Jesus, we can capture this wave of change and fight to win the hearts and minds of the people, not just for political reasons, but for eternal reasons. 

“By our apathy, by our acquiescence, and by our ignorance, the church of Jesus Christ has consigned itself to irrelevance and impotence in the ongoing struggle for the soul of America.”—Alexis De Toqueville

People are circumstantially driven.  The feelings are based largely on their environment.  Fear is a powerful weapon that is used quite extensively from both the left and right.  Quotes like, “If we don’t pass this legislation now…”  can create a sense of desperation where there really doesn’t need to be panic. 

Believers are not to drive people with fear.  We use the opposite force, FAITH!  Fear and faith are both of the same substance, but have vastly different results. Fear is the belief that it’s all bad; faith is the belief that it’s all good. 

Our Choice Matters

We can cry a rally call for conservative values, Constitutional ways, American spirit, and  Godly principles, but we must do so with a heart of God.  We must stand on truth, not fear.  We must do everything for people, not for selfish interest or power.  We don’t do it to legislate morality and virtue but to facilitate an atmosphere where people have a choice.

The best and worst part of freedom is that we have a choice to make choices.  This is the essence of Love.  Love only exists when the choice not to love exists.  If I have no choice but to love, then I am not truly loving. 

God gave Adam that choice in the garden, and Adam chose not to love.  That choice still exists for each one of us today, and God still waits for our answer. 

So always remember that whether we win or lose, we fight the good fight of faith and that if we don’t operate in love, we are nothing and our message means nothing.

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The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 1 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 13, 2009

Philippians 2 is my favorite chapter in the second half of the Bible because it is an illustration given by Paul, which turns out to be the greatest description of Jesus in the Bible.  I want to explore it over the course of the next few posts.

Read the whole chapter HERE.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (vs. 1-5)

 This is the story behind the illustration Paul is about to give.  The goal Paul is seeking is that the church would be “Like-minded”.  The like mindedness is based on your condition in Christ (e.g. encouragement from being united, comforted by His love, fellowship with the Spirit, tenderness and compassion). Here’s the outline of Paul’s desire for the believer in being like minded.

  1. Same Love – We may have different approaches to methodology, but we are of the same source of Love.  Agape type love is the strongest love in the universe.  It is not dependent on feelings, but is selfless, loving others even when you feel they don’t deserve it. Jesus did it for you, you have no right not to love others in the same way.
  2. One in Spirit and Purpose– (lit. one mind of understanding) This spirit is not the “Holy Spirit”, but represents being on the same playing field in the spiritual understanding within each and every one of us.  We are three part beings – body, soul and spirit.  The spirit is the foundation of the person and if we aren’t unified here, the rest of our unity will crumble.
  3. Don’t function with selfish ambition – The word is erithia, which means “electioneering”. It is a political word that has come to define the cut-throat life of politics.  The believer’s attitude has no room for electioneering.  Churches that play this game, are not exhibiting a Christ-like attitude.
  4. Don’t have vain conceit – Literally, “empty-glory” – We like to be recognized for accomplishments, but when that attitude consumes us, we begin to take glory for things we really don’t have anything to do with.  When we take glory, God doesn’t get it.  But when we direct glory to God, it reflects back to us.  Empty glory leaves God out of the loop. Fulfilling glory focuses on Him.
  5. Humbly consider others better than yourself–  This humility is a “modest consideration of one’s own self”, literally, “low-hearted”. Christ was one of the most meek and humble individuals to walk the planet.  He had every reason to consider himself something special, but it was his heart’s desire only to bring glory to God.  John the Baptist understood this when he said, “[Jesus] must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30).  Jesus echoed that with his Father (John 8:12-30).  A good acronym is JOY (J)esus first, (O)thers second (Y)ourself last.
  6. Look to other’s interest first – He is not saying to neglect your things, he is saying that you have to consider others needs equal to your own.  This is hardest of all because we are selfish by nature, but through Christ, even this is possible.

All of these are examples of the attitude the Christ has.  If we are “Christians”, then we are to be “Christ Like” (that’s what that word means).  Therefore, if you want to be Christ Like, then these seven attitudes need to be adopted as your attitudes.

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Independence, Interdependence and Dependence

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 2, 2009

This Fourth of July, we Americans celebrate the Independence of our country from Dependence on Britain through an Interdependence on each other. This is the summary of our nation’s title, “The United States of America”.

This principle defines freedom.  When any part of this is removed, freedom is diminished.  As Dependence upon government grows, freedom diminishes.  As Interdependence on each other lessens, freedom diminishes.  As Independence gives way to “one world governments” and we aim to please as opposed to aiming to lead, then we become less of an independent nation.

Each of these ingredients must be balanced appropriately.  Even in our own lives, true freedom comes when we are independent from sin, interdependent on one another and dependent on God.  If I become dependent on self and less of God or I believe I can be a Christian without interdependence on my fellow believers or I become more independent from God, I become more and more in bondange and less free.

Our freedom as believers is found in Christ; we must become more and more dependent on Him and less dependent on our own strengths and understanding.  Our freedom comes in relying on the gifts of others in the church through blessing one another.  When we function in the strength of a union… a body, then we truly experience power.  The hand can’t tell the foot, I don’t need you.  (1 Corinthians 12:15)

Finally, we need to be more humble in our approach and less “independent”.  We are not “know-it-alls”, we can’t be a Christian on our own, in our own strength; as we do that, we isolate ourselves from the power of God in our lives.

The church is more than a title, it is a function.  It is not a place you go, it is a state of being.

Jesus is more than an escape ticket from Hell, He is a life and freedom giver here on earth today!

So while we celebrate our Nation’s independence with all the pride and excitement it brings, so too celebrate your dependence on God, and remember that it was our nation, under God, founded on a dependence on God that made us great.

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Hypocrisy is a Good Thing

Posted by undergroundchurch on June 26, 2009

Hypocrisy is not all bad.  I know that people that jump on those “being” hypocrites, but the reality is that there are two very important realities associated with hypocrisy.

  1. Hypocrisy shows that there are moral values in a culture. You cannot be a hypocrite unless a moral standard is set – whether in the mind of the hypocrite, or in the mind of the accuser or both. 
  2. If moral equivalency is the rule, then nobody can be a hypocrite. By definition, moral equivalency denotes that there is no moral baseline.

When an individual is accused of hypocrisy, usually the one holding to the accusation does not bear the same moral equivalent in their own mind, yet the feel obliged to make accusations using rules by which they don’t abide.

Those with little risk of being a hypocrite are the ones that should concern society most.  They live with no standard, moral base or absolutes that provide a platform on which character and integrity are built.

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A Martyr’s Death

Posted by undergroundchurch on June 22, 2009

Neda Soultan is becoming a historic icon through nothing that she did, only what was done to her.

Her fame has swept the world as today’s Iranian symbol for freedom. I’m sure that she did not travel into that street thinking that she could be anybody.  She probably had no ambitions of her own to think she could ever lead a revolution. However, her innocent demeanor has landed her on the front pages of a nation’s revolution, and her tragic death by the bullet of a soldier has fueled an entire nation’s rally cry. She is and forever shall be – a martyr for the cause.

Martyrs have always been a catalyst for revolution throughout history.  The word for martyr comes from the Greek and it means “witness”.  Their deaths testify or are witness to some cause, situation or movement and empower people to do more, be more and overcome more.

Most martyrs die never even expecting or possibly imagining the symbolism they would personify. Nevertheless, timing, circumstance and fate expands their seemingly small sphere of influence to a world changing stage.

Some martyrs, like Neda, are unwilling participants that become a symbol; others become a martyr because their passion and drive put them in situations that brought about sheer risk.  Martin Luther King Jr. is a good example of this.  He exposed himself to danger, but it was not his intent to die. He had a passion, a drive and a dream, but they did not including becoming a martyr.  That was for the rest of us to decide.

Still there is a level of martyrdom that even goes beyond this. It is where a cause or purpose is so important that death itself is possibly a byproduct for your belief.  Many people around the world die for a cause because they believe in something. 

Though he did not die that day, “tank man” became a symbol for the freedom in China that fateful day in Tienanmen Square where many others were massacred.

 He simply stood there knowing that it could very well be his last moments of life.  He didn’t really stand a chance against four tanks, but he was going to do everything in his power to make his belief made known to those who would try to kill him.

From a biblical point, Stephen was this type of martyr. He stood before the leaders of the Jews of his day who were accusing him, and testified of Jesus. He knew, as many others who were tossed to lions, burned on stakes and skinned alive, that his words could very well be his last. In fact, Paul the apostle, at that time called Saul, held the coats of the people that murdered Stephen giving his approval.

As powerful as the faith based martyrdom is, there is another more powerful and potent martyrdom that lasts beyond death.

This martyrdom isn’t about ideologies or belief systems, it is not about politics, movements or fate.  This martyrdom is about one thing only… Love.

This is the martyrdom that Jesus says is the greatest love that any person can show another person, “That you lay your life down for your friends.” (John 15:13) This description of perfect love comes right after he challenges his disciples to “love each other as I (Jesus) have loved you”.  He not only tells them to love each other, but he shows them how to do it by laying his own life down for them, you, me and everyone in between through his voluntary death on a cross.

The famous scripture posted at every sporting even (John 3:16) tells the whole story of the love of God.  He loved us, not just in word, not just in life, not just in healing a few people, not just in preaching a good message, making bread out of nothing, turning water into wine, or even creating the heavens and earth.  He loved us “so much”, the verse says, “that he gave us his only son” to die for us, that if we “believe on Him, we will have life everlasting.”

You can tell me you love me, you can write it down, you can live it out, you can do everything for me to show you love me now, but when you die for me, you are showing me that your love is not constrained by our temporal existence, your love is for now and forever and that you are willing to give it all to prove it. That is what Jesus did for you.

He was the greatest martyr the world has ever known.

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December 21, 2012 – a day that will live in infamy

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 28, 2009

I watched a History Channel special called Decoding the Past: Doomsday 2012. What I found interesting was the number of societies that had an oracle that spoke of the end times time-frame and the problems that will occur then.

I don’t put much value into oracles speaking of end time prophecy; that said, I do place complete trust in the Biblical teachings. 

Every society in the world has a historic occurrence of a global flood in their histories.  Even though God has provided only one way to him through Jesus Christ, he has in the past communicated with other cultures and spoken oracles to other societies concerning things he was doing.  These oracles or prophecies harmonized with Biblical prophecy and therefore were not outside God’s revelation in the Bible.

An example of this is the famous story of the Magi that came to visit Jesus at his birth.  These were not Israelite men, but they somehow got special revelation to look to stars and seasons to discover where the messiah would be born.  The fact the Jesus would be born in Bethlehem is a well documented Biblical prophecy, but the special revelation given to these men along with the method they should use to find Jesus was extra-biblical.  To limit God’s utterances to only that which is written in the Bible is somewhat narrow minded.  But to trust any oracle not in line with the Bible is foolish.

When reading the Revelation of Jesus given to John in the Bible, you can see great detail of events that will happen. Many of these events are planet related events that affect seas, rivers, mountains, the mantle, tectonic plates and the like.  Asteroids plummet to earth and ships, people and fresh water are destroyed because of it.  All these things can be explain, not simply because of their miraculous nature, but the fact that God is in charge of nature and can use nature to accomplish his purpose.

Jesus told us that many things would happen leading up to the end – wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes and famines. (Matthew 24:5-12) He then says that these are just the “beginnings of birth pains”.  Just today there was another earthquake in Mexico and a new plague of swine flu broke out last week quickly spreading around the world.

There are human engineered events, societal events and planetary events.  He tells us that, like birth pains, these events will come on gradually, rhythmically and more frequently.  Eventually, the events will climax in the events described in Revelation.  I want to look at just a couple of the recent scientific observations that are rather interesting to note in view of biblical, extra-biblical and scientific revelation.

First, Revelation 9 speaks of a star that falls to earth opening the abyss and letting out some plagues. The angel of the abyss is Abaddon (which means destroyer).

In early March this year, a 40 yard wide asteroid DD45 passed 38,000 miles from earth. It was so close, it actually passed between earth and our geosynchronous satellites.

In 2004, astronomers discovered an asteroid that will pass by earth twice in the near future once in 2029 and again 7 years later in 2036.  At first, they thought the asteroid had a very good chance of hitting the earth; that fear has dropped slightly, but it is still in the real realm of possibility.  What makes this one unique is that they named it Apophis (which means destroyer) the same name as the destroyer released by the star which falls to earth opening the abyss. An asteroid impact on the earth would cause much destruction and could do much of what is in Revelation 9.

Even a small impact from the 40 yard wide asteroid that passed by last month would be equivalent to several atomic bombs. There are thousands of these asteroids floating around. In fact, the one that passed by in March was accidentally discovered four weeks before it passed by. 

Second, on December 21, 2012, the Mayan Calendar predicts a cataclysmic event.  This is based on the earth passing through the Milky Way’s galactic equator. Many scientific theories abound, but one rather prominent one is that the earth’s magnetic fields could reverse. 

This would not be a real concern if it hadn’t happened before, but there is physical evidence that this has happened before [check out NASA’s research]

The magnetic field is the primary defense against the solar winds and the power of the sun’s radiation. Without this field, life would not exist on earth.  If it shifts, which could take hours, days, months, or many years the earth could be exposed to the full brunt of the sun during that shift. 

Revelation 16 documents the final wrath of God – the bowl judgements.  These judgements happen quickly and everyone of them could easily describe what would happen just from the shifting of the magnetic fields.  If you want to look at one complete site dedicated to December 21, 2012 information, go to http://www.december212012.com/. I am not foolish enough to call this a done deal, what it does is that it give good food for thought.  Many dooms day predictions of the past were poorly researched hypothesis that worked primarily on emotion, but do not let the bad prophets of the past drop your vigilance.

I’ve listened to a lot of sermons on Revelation, but very few times do I ever hear anyone try to analyze how it might unfold.  It’s a totally different feel when you study end times prophecy with the view that it is totally plausible with scientific verification verses studying it like it’s only theoretical. 

And for those of you that want to believe that you won’t be here when it all happens, just keep in mind that you will still go through the birth pains.  These birth pains will get worse and some of the things that happen during the seven years of tribulation will probably have precursors similar to the real events.

Footnote: Just a point that needs to be made, the web sites mentioned in this article are not endorsed by me, but are just given for starting points and reference.  It is good to study, but everything must be judged.  A prophet is proved by whether or not his prophecies come true. Many false prophets have come and gone, but the Word of God – the Bible is the only sure thing.

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