Category Archives: Devil

Shut Up and DO Something!

Heirs of the “Restoration Movement” (Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ – and a plethora of groups believing this and that) have largely been an innocuous force in the contest for the souls of men and women.  There are several reasons for this in my opinion (and I have been “at it” for over 50 years).

  1. We have preached “the church” instead of “The Christ.”  I have, in the past been as guilty of this as anyone.   You can claim to be “non-denominational” but this is about as denominational as you can get.  Our message must not be the “church of Christ”, it must be the Christ of the church.
  2. We have invested our resources in buildings.  With the money we spend on construction and maintenance, we could feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick and reach a hurting and hungry world with the only message that can save them.
  3. We have fought each other and not Satan.  We seem to have forgotten that he is the real adversary —  not those who are seeking to follow Christ even if they do some strange things you don’t find in the Bible.  We can work all that out as allies in the fight against our real adversary.
  4. We have done everything except what Jesus told us to do.  He never said to build “Christian Colleges and Universities (they seldom stay that way very long anyway).”  He never said “Go forth and build buildings throughout the world,”  He never said, “build hospitals, put your denominational name on them and charge the same outrageous prices that other hospitals do.”  He never said hand out food, clothing and drill water wells but don’t worry about connecting it with the gospel (I know this is not the case in all instances).
  5. We put would-be missionaries through the ringer (remember those?).  We make them sweat, strain, wear out tires and/or automobiles travelling around begging for support and ask them, “How little can you live on?”  Meanwhile human beings are dying and going to hell.  What’s the matter with us?
  6. Our job is to be Christ to our world (starting with our communities).  Our job is to speak, act and conduct ourselves as He did.  He still draws men and women to Himself.

I can probably think of some other things but this is my short list.  All this has to change and all the lectureships, “summits,” conferences seem to this writer like exercises in futility.   Let’s shut up and DO SOMETHING!

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Filed under Change Agent, Christlikeness, church, Community, Devil, discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, Jesus Christ, Kingdom Growth, Missions/Evangelism, Religion

The Satanic Western Diet

I have no idea to whom to attribute the following little article to — I just found it in my collection.  If you know the author, I will give full credit to him/her. Some of my readers may not know that I recently endured double bypass surgery.  I have determined to never do that again.  I will recommend a couple of books that have converted me to a plant-based, fat-free diet.  In the meantime enjoy the little parable below.

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

And Satan created McDonald’s. And McDonald’s brought forth the double-cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, “You want fries with that?” And Man said, “Super size them.” And Man gained pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair.   And Satan froze the yogurt, and he brought forth chocolate, nuts and brightly colored sprinkle candy to put on the yogurt. And woman gained pounds.

And God said, “Try my crispy fresh salad.”  And Satan brought forth creamy dressings, bacon bits, and shredded cheese. And there was ice cream for dessert. And woman gained pounds

And God said, “I have sent your heart healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them.”  And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained pounds, and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And God brought forth running shoes, and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.   And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and EPSN2. And Man gained pounds.

And God said, “You’re running up the score, Devil.”

And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.   And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said,

“It is good.”

And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery…

And Satan created HMOs.

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Filed under Devil, Diet, Food, Good & Evil, Heart, Humor, Ignorance, Science, Vegan

Where is the Love?

L
GOD
V
E

If love can’t be found among God’s people – where can it be found?  In the gospels and letters, Christians are admonished over and over to love one another and our neighbors. Love is our identity.  It is how we are recognized as followers of Jesus.  It is the badge that marks us as Christians.  It is the quality that sets us apart from the dog-eat-dog culture of materialism and greed.

What an unmitigated tragedy when the lack of love is noted among congregations of self-proclaimed Christians!  It is so contrary to what we should be that it even occasionally makes the news.  Most of the time, however, it is merely observed and noted.  The results are ugly.  People are driven away from such hypocrisy.  I am always reminded of what Gandhi, who lived and died a Hindu, had to say about the Christians he observed, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  Yes, some unfriendly observers may be looking for something wrong – but we make it too easy for them.  Lovelessness is always starkly obvious and always a source of ammunition for those who oppose any form of faith.

Recently one such unfriendly website chronicled the story of a young couple who dared to question leaders of their church about the expenditure of funds (to which they had contributed) and the lifestyle of some of the leaders (who lived off these funds).  If their account is credible, they became the object of scorn, anger and denigration.  Ultimately expelled from their church, their faith took a fatal hit and they are no longer practicing believers.

I really can’t verify this account but it is too much like some of my personal experiences and stories from others over the years to reject out of hand.  And, if true, what a repudiation of the love we should embrace and practice!  We have handed a gun to Satan and asked to be shot.  We have presented a sword to our adversaries and asked to be run through.  Truly, we are our own worst enemy.

I repeat: if love cannot be found among the people who purport to believe their God is the personification of love, where will it be found?  No matter how wonderful we think we are, without love we are nothing.

People killin’, people dyin’
Children hurt and you hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
‘Cause people got me, got me questioning
Where is the love?

—Black Eyed Peas, “Where is the Love?”

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The Life of Rafferty

Since I became aware of the death of Gerry Rafferty I’ve been thinking about how we hear so many truths from unexpected sources.  For example, it is all too easy to go Back, Jack and Do it Again because You Don’t Always Get What You Want.  When You Can’t Hide Your Lying Eyes and Life in the Fast Lane makes you lose your mind, The Devil is Pleased to Meet You (we could go on but I’ll stop with these classics).

Rafferty’s rendition of Baker Street, has never failed to move me…not only with its haunting music, but with the truths in his lyrics.  In so many ways, they describe the life of Rafferty including his struggle with alcohol and his reclusive spirit.  The lyrics speak of misguided struggles leading nowhere, lessons learned but not heeded, of truths realized but never internalized.  Sadly, you and I have probably known some pathless pilgrims on Baker Street.

Winding your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well another crazy day, you’ll drink the night away
And forget about everything.

This city desert makes you feel so cold
It’s got so many people but it’s got no soul
And it’s taken you so long to find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything.

You used to think that it was so easy,
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re tryin’, you’re tryin’ now.
Another year and then you’d be happy
Just one more year and then you’d be happy
But you’re cryin’, you’re cryin’ now.

He’s got this dream about buyin’ some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands
And then he’ll settle down, it’s a quiet little town
And forget about everything.

But you know he’ll always keep movin’
You know he’s never gonna stop movin’
Cause he’s rolling, he’s the rolling stone.
And when you wake up it’s a new morning
The sun is shining, it’s a new morning
But you’re going, you’re going home

Rafferty never found the lasting inner peace longed for in his lyrics.  From his beginnings as an unwanted child with a dysfunctional family to the end of his life, his history is one of hopelessness addiction and unrealized potential.

Would Jesus Christ have made a difference in his life?  I think so, but you be the judge.  Since Jesus is the bringer of light and life, peace and hope — I believe it would have made a huge difference.  And since fellowship with His followers brings comfort, compassion, encouragement and shared strength, I am confident his life could have been very different.  Tragically, we shall never know.

Look around my friend.  Do you see someone on a hopeless highway, trying to find their way home?  Help them find the way to a new morning.
♦♦♦♦

My Blogs:
Whitticisms
: dwhitsett.wordpress.com

In the Charamon Garden: charamongarden.wordpress.com
Whitsett Woodcarving: whitcarv.wordpress.com
Mission South Pacific: missionsouthpacific.wordpress.com

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Filed under Biography, Christlikeness, church, Community, conversion, Culture Wars, Current Events, Devil, Faith, Jesus Christ, Life, Meaning of Life, morality, Religion, Satan

Enemies Within

trojan-horse-from-troy-the-movieBrethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things (Ephesians 3:17-19).

The most effective enemies are those of which we are unaware…the ones we fail to recognize as enemies.  In our subconscious we probably already know some entities are not helping the cause of Christ; that they are, indeed, major hindrances.  They are hindering enemies especially because we have become familiar and comfortable with them.  It is much like making a pet of a tiger.  We pet them, feed them, love them…and then one day, they have us by the throat.  They are attitudes, actions and situations that divert us from truly following Christ.  The world notices and these same diversions become hindrances to unbelievers and ammunition for anti-Christian activists.  And here is the kicker: so often, we shoot ourselves in the foot (pun intended).  This is a post that hopefully will challenge us to do some thinking about who and what our enemies are.  As usual, your comments, pro and con, are welcomed.

Striving for Acceptance

It’s not easy being different.  And yet, being different is part of our Christian walk.  We are different from the world not because we try to be but because following Christ separates us from those who aren’t.  Sadly, many who claim to be Christians lie, cheat and steal just like their worldly counterparts.  But the similarities don’t end there.  Too often our values and ambitions are the same as those outside of Christ.  To place our hope in riches, to ignore injustice, to place comfort above compassion and status above service proves we are still of the world.  Here’s the truth: the way of Christ runs counter to the ways of the world.  Never forget it. Continue reading

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Satan, the Opportunist

“Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose…(Acts 6:1)”

“When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:13)”

Success for God is failure for Satan. He will oppose, in any way he can, the progress of the kingdom. We can count on it: when things are looking good, Satan is looking for an opportunity. And, being a thorough demon, he usually finds one.

The church in Jerusalem was enjoying a brief run of popularity. In spite of the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira, “…the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women were constantly added to their number” (Acts 5:13,14). Then, all Hell broke loose. The first trouble came from outside: the arrest and flogging of apostles with a warning to shut up about Jesus. Then it came from inside with a complaint of unfair distribution of food. When it originates inside the body our out, it is the work of our adversary. Satan will not abide such advancement since it means retreat for him.

It is highly dangerous to discount his ability to disrupt any forward movement on our part. He will shut us down us if we let him. It is wise to aware of his schemes and strategies and to be assured that he will employ them against us. The warnings are clear:

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:26,27).
“…so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

It is when disciples are growing numerically and everything looks good that we should be on guard. I have, with my own eyes, seen savage wolves filled with the lust for power, tear successful churches apart. The carnage is horrible.

In the case of Jerusalem, seven godly men were chosen to answer the complaint and the tables were turned on Satan. “The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).

In Australia, several churches are making decisions and plans to recapture the purpose and mission of the church. God will surely bless such decisions but we must be warned: Satan is also making decisions and plans.

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