Why we’re perennially shocked at deaths in large numbers

Photo illustration only, not of the crash mentioned below.

Photo illustration only, not of the crash mentioned below.

Almost an entire professional soccer team, with a gaggle of journalists and flight crew, perished Nov. 29 as they were arriving for the South American Cup in Medellin, Colombia. The team came from southern Brazil. Many of the journalists were well known nationally. Everyone is in shock over the loss of 71 lives. Only six survived.

Apparently, electrical failure was reported by the captain before the plane, owned by a Bolivian company, fell from the sky.

The loss of life is tragic. There is reason to be sad and to mourn. I wrote a short devotional piece, on DeusConosco.com, to help people deal with this moment. Continue reading

#corollaries, #death, #fear, #mission, #murder

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12-8-2015 California Murders

On December 2, 2015, 14 people were murdered by 2 Muslims in San Bernadino, California, and more were seriously wounded. Before the bodies got cold, two things happened: (1) cold-blooded politicians called for “More Gun Laws.” This violates the Constitution we are under, and ignores the fact that California is one of the most gun-regulated States in the Union, but didn’t stop it. Guns don’t kill people, evil hearts do, and Jesus said, “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19 NKJV). (2) The ignorant New York Daily News headlined: “God Isn’t Fixing This.” Oh, but He IS! He “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30 NKJV), and will judge “each one,” “according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#constitution, #evil-hearts, #gun-laws, #murder, #muslim, #repent

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7-3-2015 Sin is Sin

No one asked Jesus, “Whose sin is greatest?” But we know the answer: someone else’s! Jesus said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:20-23 NKJV). Is morality what we don’t do? We don’t murder, but commit adultery? We don’t steal, but we covet? We’re not wicked, but are full of pride? No one’s sin is worse than ours, “because all sinned” (Romans 5:12 NKJV). Temptations are “common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV), and so is sin! Jesus said: “preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#adultery, #baptized, #believes, #covet, #greatest-sin, #morality, #murder, #pride, #saved, #steal, #temptations, #wicked

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(#197) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:19-21-Are We Pampered Servants?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 29:19-21: “A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond. Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. He who pampers his servant from childhood Will have him as a son in the end.”

The term “servant” indicates someone who works for someone else, and though Moses was “a servant” in God’s House, Jesus took “the form of a bondservant” (Philippians 2:7), He was “a Son over His own house, whose house we are” (Hebrews 3:5-6), that is, the church of Christ (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 1:22-23). Jesus’ obedience under Moses’ Law (Hebrews 5:8-9) is our example for obeying Jesus’ Law (Matthew 28:18-20).

It is a disobedient servant who will not follow carefully-worded instructions, so that “though he understands, he will not respond” with obedience. No one has become a servant of Christ by confessing to be saved before being baptized (buried) into the death of Jesus (Romans 6:1-7); no servant of Christ ever added mechanical instrumental music to the singing required in worship (Ephesians 5:19-20); no servants of Christ ever murdered to expand the church (John 18:37; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6); no servants of Christ enjoyed the recreation of fleshly appeals (Romans 13:13-14)!

There is no hope for “a fool” (one who disobeys God) unless he/she repents and obeys God’s Will. One who is conceited must become humbled in order to learn obedience to God: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18). The person who is “hasty in his words” is trying to justify him- or herself, rather than listening to what must be changed to please God. “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). No one can “testify” their way to salvation without doing what God says!

A pampered servant will soon “think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3). This is why all those who have been taught that once they’re saved, they’re always saved, and cannot lose their salvation become spiritually arrogant, thinking they are “bullet-proof!” “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Paul addressed that attitude (and doctrine!) when he wrote: “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).

Jesus Christ said to His disciples: “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:16-17). Truly, as Paul wrote, “if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #church-of-christ, #fleshly-recreation, #fool, #god, #hasty-in-words, #instrumental-music, #jesus-christ, #murder, #obedience, #once-saved-always-saved, #proverbs, #saved-before-baptism, #self-justified, #worship

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“What About Abortion?”

“What About Abortion” is my article in the August, 2013 issue of Gospel Gleaner: http://gospelgleaner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/August-2013.pdf. Nominal subscription is required for monthly hard copy.

#abortion, #bible, #conception, #faith, #god, #life, #marriage, #murder, #planned-parenthood, #salvation, #sin

Hypocrisy on Stage

Let me say ahead of time that my comments here (along with their inserted comments) reflect the hypocritical use of religion by liberal (I don’t approve of conservatives doing it either in case you’re wondering) elected leaders in the American government much more than it reflects my stance on the issue at hand.

Diane Feinstein (Senator of California) had a press conference today (1/24/2013) concerning her proposal to introduce legislation to ban “assault” weapons. That seems like typical duck-tape politics to me, but the LOL (and that’s the first time I believe I’ve ever used that) moment came when remarks were made by a guest introduced by the senator before the proposal got underway.

The guest was “the Very Reverend Gary Hall” (forget reverend, could someone tell me how a man can be biblically called very reverend??? I wonder if that makes the regular reverend people feel a little smaller???) who represents the National Cathedral (not a church that belongs to God, but a bastion of moral and religious relativism) in D.C.. I’d like to say a thing or two about Gary’s comments and the prayer that followed.

Gary said,

As people of faith we have the moral obligation to stand with and for the victims of gun violence and to work to end it.

Statements like this make me wonder in a way that causes exasperation. No amoral law can solve a moral issue!!! It is already illegal to murder someone is it not? Regardless of the weapon being used, murder is a moral issue that this government is approaching in an amoral way. People need to be taught about the spiritual consequences violating God’s law along side the consequences of violating the law of the land.

Gary also said,

We’ve tolerated school shootings and mall shootings and theatre shootings and sniper shootings and workplace shootings and temple and church shootings and urban neighborhood shootings for far too long, enough is enough…I don’t want to take away someone’s hunting rifle, but I can no longer justify a society that allows people other than military and police to own weapons like these, or that permits the sell of high-capacity magazines….

If the issue is about the taking/protection of innocent life, then why aren’t all innocent lives given the same intolerant attention and care by Mrs. Feinstein? If life is sacred (and it is) then who sanctified it? How can you look for moral support for an issue like “gun-control” while ignoring real moral obligations to protect innocent lives who live within the womb of their mother? I’ll tell you how…you find someone dressed up in a hypocrite’s costume with a collar and you let them give a speech. Are the 50+ million innocent lives (approximately 3,700+ per day) that have been violently ended not enough? How can one not justify a society that “fails” to restrict the ownership of amoral objects like guns in the way a particular person wants (gun ownership is restricted to law-abiding people mind you) while finding the ability to justify a society that rips apart children piece by piece, or flushes them down the toilet!? Yes, enough is enough, and the pro-abortion senator who called the press conference should be told such.

Gary then prayed,

Oh God, you made human beings in your image, and you’ve given us hearts with which to feel the pain of others and minds to create solutions for human suffering…we ask all this in God’s holy name….

Where did the separation of church and state go today? A prayer to God (which I am in support of) sounds like religion to me…maybe it’s because he represents a “cathedral” instead of the church? I don’t know (or do I?). How is that prayers at graduations violate the “separation” rule but this didn’t? How is that prayers around the flagpole violate the “separation” rule but this didn’t? How? Seems to me that the “state” only approves of the “church” when the “church” approves of the “state’s” position. Be a contrarian (you could be called much worse) with that and you might be accused of being a “constitution thumper” (oh wait, that whole “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” is that little Declaration thing isn’t it?). What solutions are being offered anyways? Are people going to be taught to value life because we’re made in the image of our Creator??? Ah, that would violate that whole “separate” thing wouldn’t it? I guess they’re going to have to convince people who don’t mind violating the law by murdering others that it will be really bad if they do so with weapons deemed unacceptable.

There was much hypocrisy shown on that stage today. It was a show about a political stance, not a stance on a moral issue – murder is already wrong and illegal…unless it’s the murder of victims who cannot speak! Religion for hire is not a religion that brings one higher. Religion for hire reveals a religion desperate to stay in the lamelight. Dress it up in whatever way you want, hypocrisy only washes the outside of the cup while ignoring the nastiness on the inside.

And by the way, Gary, whose name was that prayer asked in again? We have to be careful with that one, don’t we?

May the longsuffering and patience of the Almighty God continue to be with our nation as it has been with us (1 Timothy 2:1-6).

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#abortion, #church-and-state, #hypocrisy, #murder, #politics, #religion

Guess it Depends on Who is Killing Kids

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#abortion, #kids, #murder, #planned-parenthood, #prolife