The Pilgrims’ religion dominated their everyday lives. In spite of brutal living conditions, they celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621.
The terrorist attacks in Paris, France and Bamako, Mali were barbaric, heinous crimes against humanity. I condemn the perpetrators and those who find pleasure in twisting and indoctrinating young minds to do evil.
Still, even though the USA is thousands of miles away, it feels like the terrorists have struck the homeland again. Everyone seems frenzied by fear.
But that’s because professional scaremongers have chosen to spread fear instead of speaking life to the wounded and give comfort to those who have lost their loved ones.
Surprisingly, some of those spreading fear are people who aspire to become President of this great country–along with a few unscrupulous lawmakers. Some of which have worked long and hard to make it difficult for the terrorists to strike the homeland like they did on 911.
Naturally, in time such as this people need good strong leadership to quiet their spirit and calm their nerves. Instead, bluster and empty rhetoric are what some people choose to offer.
The beloved FDR would have loved this moment, not for the unpleasant occurrences in France and Mali, but the opportunity to give comfort to those who need it. Furthermore, we have not had a major terrorist attack since 911.
FDR became president when the depression reached its depth. But he stepped up to the plate and provided solid leadership. Here is a popular quote taking from his opening remarks at his first inauguration: This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.
So, those who seek to spread fear for political gain, remember this, “Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverb 18:21). “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy word thou shall be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37).
As we navigate the ups and downs in this wretched world, sometimes it becomes necessary to take a new direction. But change is a hard pill to swallow for some of us. So, many of us who are short-sighted and the narrow-minded put up barriers and resist every notion of change.
Then, one day a spiritual awakening happened, and suddenly you morphed into a completely different person. And for the first time you realised that you were wrong all along. It now becomes clear that the path you had chosen leads to a dead-end street.
Still, you have to decide whether to stay stuck in your old ways or reset and embark on a new direction. Thankfully, like apostle Paul, some of us choose to explore a new direction.
Today one of the most famous religious institutions–the Catholic Church, finds itself between a rock and a hard place. The head of the Church wants to take the institution in a new direction, but members of the ruling bodies vehemently oppose. Still yet, this hardened opposition is not base on Biblical principles. If anything, it is base on Church traditions sprinkled with some moral principles.
Therefore, it is not blasphemous to say the Catholic Church got stuck in tradition, in the same way, the Pharisees was when Jesus called them whitewashed sepulchres. For it appears that majority of its members both in the ruling bodies and the pews are more concerned about public opinion than winning souls for the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus was on earth, He ran into similar opposition. Luke 5:30-32 documents one of His encounters with the religious class. The Bible says Levi put on a great feast for Jesus, and there was a great company of tax collectors and sinners among them.”But the scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, they that are well needed, not a physician; but they that are sick.
32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
These ideas offer Christian alternatives to Halloween activities. They are simple suggestions to start you thinking and planning. Add your own creativity and there’s no limit to the possibilities for family fun on Halloween!
Fellow Christians and non-Christians, John 8: 7 (“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”), is undoubtedly one of the most powerful yet humbling Scripture in the New Testament. Unfortunately, many Christians either do not think the context of the passage apply to them, or they flatly do not understand it.
I have arrived at this harsh conclusion after observing fellow Christians for many years. I have realized that many of us, especially some who preach from the pulpit, are pompous and stuck-up. Like the Scribes and Pharisees mentioned in John 8, we enjoy pointing out the sins of others but we cover up ours. We even look down on the people we labelled as sinners with disdain.
Naturally, one do not expect a follower of Jesus Christ who truly understand Jesus’ mission and what He meant when He said: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32), to exhibit a repulsive attitude toward the people Jesus came to save. Unfortunately, none of us is blameless in this regard.
But if we are going to talk gospel according to Jesus and the disciples, then we must first come down off our high horses and face the harsh reality. The church cannot grow if we continue to pour water into the faces of those who need Jesus in their lives. Many of these people do not know that they need Jesus. Therefore, it is our solemn duty to tell them why they need Him.
As Christians, we must never forget where we were when we found Jesus. Some of us had been in similar situations as the people we now condemn. But just like Paul, we had an awakening and we turned our life around. Notice, Paul never forgot the life he had lived before he met Christ, but he never returned to it. And most noticeable, he was never Stuck-up, pompous, judgmental, or condemning.
There is a litany of Scriptures counselling us against fear. Scriptures like:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34. And: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26, are among some of the most quoted ones.
Still, despite the positive energy those Scriptures emit, everybody has fears. And, depending on one’s priorities, fear can either be spiritual or temporal. And sometimes both.
According to my dictionary, “Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, whether real or imagined”.
Honestly, my biggest fear is spiritual. And it has to do with Jesus’ return, and I am not ready. There is no one among us who can predict the future. One could be in a state of readiness today, and the Bridegroom returns tomorrow and you are not ready.
Everybody remembers the parable of the ten virgins Jesus told His disciple on the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 25:1-13). The only reason the five foolish virgins did not meet the Bridegroom was because they ran out of oil. And it could happen to you.
What is your biggest fear?