Category: Uncategorized

Here is a blurb form my book:  Will the Real Christianity Please Stand Up

Hand in hand with the sinner’s prayer is the doctrine of eternal security. The most common phrase used to describe that is “once saved always saved.” I can see where some people might believe in eternal security, but I don’t think the doctrine stands up to the scrutiny of the scriptures.  Let’s examine further.

There are a couple of passages where it is mentions that Jesus will hang on to his sheep. However, at what point does one become a bona fide sheep and not a goat?

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. This phrase is repeated five more times in Matthew and Mark.

Paul, the author of most of the text that promotes salvation by grace was worried about his own disqualification as he described in 1 Corinthians 9:27.

There is a website that lists 36 scriptures that argue against eternal security at

I told you I granted equal opportunity for dissenting arguments. For a favorable support for the theory of eternal security, here’s the link to an article by Charles Spurgeon,

Very persuasive wasn’t he? Spurgeon didn’t get the reputation as one of the greatest orators of the kingdom for nothing.  However, let me offer another scenario. Check out this site dealing with a former evangelical pastor and tell me how you can justify eternal security for people who used to convert people to Christ – and perhaps believed in Eternal Security – but is now engaged in leading people away from Christ.

If those reverse missionaries don’t make your hair stand up on end, nothing will. Evolution had a role to play in the de-conversion of these debunkers. Ironically, Hector Avalos is now contributing to that site. He is the director of Religious Studies at Iowa State University, but happens to be a militant atheist. It seems the wolves have now been placed in charge of the sheep. I have to wonder how something like that happens in the middle of the Bible Belt.

Here’s another good example. A former born again Christian challenged people to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the only sin that Christ said would not be forgiven. None of us know precisely what comprises this sin, so these radicals just basically tell the Holy Spirit they’re blaspheming him and tell God to go to Hell. It seems that the poor lad gave up his salvation willingly. He went from a born again believer to a blasphemer of the Holy Ghost. Now tell me that once you are saved always you are saved. And now he has helped drag many others to the gutter of life to join him. You can see this blasphemy challenge which has been viewed by over a million people on Youtube at

Some theologians will bring up the argument that these people were never saved.  I find it extremely hard to swallow that rebuttal. In that case how does anyone know they’re saved?  This situation follows my belief perfectly. If they continue to follow Christ their entire life – even if they stumble and have to confess some more sin – they will endure to the end and be saved. However there is no way that someone who tries to persuade people to give up their faith in God and His son Jesus Christ are going to be present at the wedding feast.  The scripture says that the Spirit does not always strive with men and at some point the Lord turns them over to their own wickedness.

Am I the only one who has these crazy ideas about salvation being a little more complicated than “Jesus, please come into my heart and save me?” Luckily I’m not, or I might not have found the courage to expose my ideas to a world that doesn’t want to hear them.

Andrew Strom and Paul David Washer are two of the finest speakers I have encountered. You can find both of them on YouTube. Washer is the most animated and passionate supporter of the gospel I’ve seen. He is not reticent to make statements like “the sinner’s prayer has doomed more people to hell than anything else.” Strom is not quite as emotional but he is very disturbed by the state of the lukewarm church and by the lack of the preaching that repentance is necessary in order to follow Christ.

My testimony here is weak. You need to check out the words of men greater than I. Here is a link to an Andrew Strom article on the practice of asking Jesus into your heart:   Paul Washer declares war on the Sinner’s Prayer on YouTube at

Here’s another YouTube video that speaks volumes on this subject:

Just for the record, I’m not insisting that those who say the sinner’s prayer are going to Hell. Far from it. I’m saying that those who say that prayer as an insurance policy so they can feel good about living a life of sin are misled, misguided, and in jeopardy. If you truly are making the statement that you are submitting yourself to Jesus Christ and His Father, you will be on the path to salvation. If you’re just copping your bets (a gambling expression meaning making sure you can’t lose), I’m afraid you’ve been deluded. Washer uses an expression that I like. He mentions the discrepancy between regeneration and decisionism in regard to being born again. He maintains that being born again is something God performs as an act of recreating us as a new creature in comparison with a decision we make to be born again through confessing faith in Christ. Washer makes a compelling argument that those who are regenerated hate sin, love holiness, and manifest works.

By now, you might have the impression that I’m a rebel. Maybe I am. That would put me in good company since Jesus Christ was the biggest rebel in history. Like him, I’m not the kind of rebel who prescribes violence to overthrow a kingdom or country. I advocate love and truth to bring down hypocrisy, deception, and pride.  How do I rationalize the disparity between my own beliefs and those of the majority of evangelicals in the area of salvation? Let me give you an example in the form of an analogy.

Suppose that heaven was just on the other side of a chasm. The bridge that used to connect that area collapsed with the fall of Adam and Eve, isolating man with no way to reach his Creator. Then Jesus came along one day and stretched his arms across the chasm and became the new span of conduit, the bridge of life. Now men can walk across Christ to get to the Father. Jesus has provided salvation for mankind. Without him no one would make it to Heaven. But, Jesus says that no one can walk on his back without taking off his track shoes, golf shoes, baseball and football cleats. Even though Jesus has provided salvation for everyone, those who refuse to remove their footgear with the metal spikes will be denied the right to walk across that bridge.

That’s how I see this scenario. For those who preach that only Jesus can provide salvation, I can nod in agreement. Only Jesus could bridge the gap for all of mankind. But then comes the second part of salvation as outlined by Jesus in that passage with the young ruler. Go ahead. Throw the accusation at me that I’m preaching a gospel of works and not grace. I’m man enough to handle it. I like to think I’m like James. I’m showing my faith in Christ by doing the works that he commanded us to do. As I’ve stated previously, the great commission was to go into all of the world and baptize men in the name of the Trinity and teach them to obey everything that Jesus had commanded.

If you want to believe that you can accept Christ and reach Heaven without obeying Him, that’s your prerogative. If you fall short of your goal, you can’t blame me. My goal here is not to prove myself right. One of my favorite phrases is: “it doesn’t matter who is right; it matters what is right.”  I’m not sacrificing my time writing this to convince you of the truthfulness of my words for my sake. My desire is just to offer a counter viewpoint to what many churches are presenting as the gospel of Jesus Christ. What you do with this information is up to you.

From analyzing this situation, it seems the primary objection to works based salvation, which most will probably say that I am promoting here, is that it would cheapen, or even render of no importance, the death of Jesus on the cross. I can understand why we would never want to do that. As I have previously stated, without his atonement, our works alone would never suffice to scale the heights and storm the gates of the Holy City. So, even though we have a part to play, we must always be grateful for the blood of the Passover lamb and apply it liberally to our lives.

Let me mention briefly the event of Passover, one of the principal Jewish feasts. The Lord instructed the Jews to kill a lamb without blemish and sprinkle the blood on the sides and top of the doorframes of their residences. When the firstborn of every family was struck down by the angel of death, those under the blood would be spared. This presents a definite type and shadow for the arrival of Christ on Earth as an unblemished sacrifice to prevent the death of those under the blood. But what if the firstborn of a Jewish family had been out carousing the night of the Passover? Would the blood over the door of his family’s home have saved him or would he have forfeited that protection by wandering away from the source of immunity? I’ll venture that living in sin is symbolic of being outside the walls of the home. Even though the blood was applied, it could have been rendered of no effect by the failure of the victim to fulfill his responsibility of staying under that blood.

One of the most salient passages in the Bible to me is Mathew 7:21-27. It is worthy of quoting here.

“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

I’ve heard a bunch of different interpretations here to dance around the question. One noted preacher even claimed this was proof that God did not honor works. This exile banished to eternal destruction had done works of prophesying and casting out demons, etc, but apparently never accepted that works were not only not required but would be damning. I nearly tore out my hair upon reading that interpretation.

Why can’t we read this just as Christ said it and intended it? Those who live as a law onto themselves without heeding the admonishments of the Lord concerning sinful behavior are taking advantage of God’s grace. They think they are like ambassadors from a foreign country to Washington, DC, immune to the laws. We can’t choose Christ’s blood without taking his yoke upon us. Why can’t theologians accept that practicing sin will separate people from God – even those who confess belief that Jesus is the son of God. Is a smoker immune from lung cancer because they believe that smoking is harmful to their body? Their belief is only of benefit if they put it into action and toss the cancer sticks in the trash.

I’m not saying that none of us sin. There is a big difference from messing up occasionally as the result of anger or from a sudden temptation and a life of sin where the sinner knows he is breaking the commandments of God, but he continues in the sin. I’ll stop here on the subject of sin so I can concentrate on that in another chapter.  I know this is a topic that most Christians want to avoid – unless they’re talking about the sins of other people.

Jesus said that the duty of man is to believe that He is the son of God. Nowhere did he state that he did everything on the cross, and we have nothing left to do. The quotation of Jesus on the cross “It is finished” is misconstrued to signify that everything is done and nothing else should be attempted. Jesus meant His mission was over. The cup that He asked to have taken from Him had been drunk. The atonement was completed and the door to Heaven was open to those who choose to walk the path that leads there. That didn’t mean that it was finished for humans. It certainly didn’t mean that the fight with the devil was over. In fact, that battle only intensifies as time passes. Let me quote Matthew 16:24-27.


“Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Fathers glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.


I suggest that you might want to look over your life and see if perhaps you have not lost your life for Christ. After all, the Bible says that we should judge ourselves so that we won’t be judged by God. If you’ve been skating through life with the idea that you’re saved only by a little prayer you might have said when you were a child or when you were surrounded by friends who urged you on, or during an emotional upheaval, you might want to make some adjustments to line up your life with God’s desires.

One of the things I want to accomplish here is to give those who seek a logical explanation to salvation something that makes sense to them. There are groups who believe in obedience to God in addition to accepting Jesus as the son of God in order to reach Heaven. The majority of those sects have their own baggage that caused me to intellectually reject their doctrine and claims of being God’s true church. I’ve arrived at the conclusion that the true church of Jesus Christ is not a religious body, but the collective group of those who have devoted their lives to him. We must not be spinning our wheels paying allegiance to an organization when only the Creator of the world is worthy of our devotion.

I don’t want intellectuals to reject the gospel because they can’t find sense and order in Christianity. God is a deity of order, having formed the universe with the precision that makes a fine watch maker jealous. If they only find Christians who promote the sinner’s prayer, which the seeker cannot find anywhere in the Bible, the book claimed to be the inerrant and infallible word of God, they will face an intellectual tug of war. Christianity, in a way, should be a hard sell where the buyer is informed that the price cannot be reduced, taxes and shipping need to be paid, and that the product is going to cause great anguish in the life of the buyer. Of course the fact that the guarantee is out of the world should be mentioned.

Evangelists have reduced the decision to claim Christ to a no-brainer for those seeking the easy way which includes lavish promises of the good life and no mention of any responsibilities involved. They literally tell the listeners that the gift is free. Recipients don’t have to do anything to obtain this gift. Most people will want to sign up for those benefits. And we wonder why Christians have a divorce rate as high as the secular world. And we ponder why Christians are prone to falling prey to other issues that plague the ungodly: drugs, pornography, gambling, violence, and abortion. If people don’t believe there are consequences to their actions, why should they lose sleep over the dearth of integrity in their character?  Why should they agonize over their unfaithfulness to a Savior who took the ultimate in punishment in their behalf?

Ironically I was just at a banquet for a bible based drug/alcohol center. The director in his speech made the comment that humans only place true value on the things they earn themselves. Things given to them are taken for granted.

One of the most rewarding things in life is given the name “job.” I think we put excessive emphasis on our employment, but we should be grateful we have a means of supplying our daily bread for ourselves and our families through honest effort and the sweat of our brow, just as God decreed. We can work twenty-four hours a day, but if we are not receiving compensation for it through an employer, our efforts are wasted. The same goes in the world of the Christian. Through the death of Jesus on the cross, our good works becomes meaningful. Without Jesus purchasing our salvation through His death, our efforts would be in vain.


Why I Voted Deplorably

I have been challenged to explain how in the world I could support a certain scumbag presidential candidate. Before you jump to conclusions, I voted for my namesake –the other Donald J. Was he my personal choice? Heavens no. I find plenty about the man that is unpleasant. FYI: Mike Huckabee was my favorite. So in this case I really wasn’t voting for the man but for the party platform-and against the platform of the Democrats. My prayer is that Mr. Trump truly has found Christ and will be applying the principals of our Master in his rule as president (as he becomes discipled).  There is no guarantee that will happen, but I feel confident that our new president will stand by his promise to protect Christianity. Also he is surrounding himself with good people of prayer so that is a very positive move. And this is the main reason I was joyful that the dark horse candidate crossed the finish line first.

The major planks of the democratic platform involve activity which I consider deplorable (not my idea but because the Bible says so). Abortion and promotion of the LGBT agenda are in the forefront. These issues are so dangerous that I personally feel that they will lead to the great falling away that the Bible speaks of. I get it that we are to love people. However, love does not consist of just telling people nice things and condoning any kind of behavior in the name of tolerance and equality. Under Obama’s regime, the marginalization of any group has been condemned as long as the group isn’t Bible believing Christians. As we have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous rhetoric and sometimes litigation, not only from the insensitive dunderheads of Hollywood and mainstream media, but from our elected officials, it has become shameful to suggest that Islam does not worship the same God that Christians do. In the world of business, Ford and GM manufacture and sell different varieties of the same product. They use advertising to convince people that their vehicles are superior and should be purchased. They might even suggest the competitor is not equal to them. No one gets bent out of shape.

However in much of the world, the religious freedom to present competitive ideas and let people choose what they deem to be the best is not kosher. As people in other parts of the world have been imprisoned, tortured, and executed for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, Americans have been free to speak out – advertise if you like – what they have to give away. But those freedoms have been eroded in the last few years and some American politicians have been shifting toward the policies of China, North Korea, etc. The name of Jesus is no longer welcome in the US military or schools. I get the concept of separation of church and state. I don’t want any church taking over the US government. However, I don’t want the US government deciding who can preach and what the content of their sermons can be.  Some churches who profess to be Christian have already watered down the word of God. We certainly should abhor the idea of the government trying to squelch the Holy Spirit.

I’ve just read several books about persecution of Christians. To quote Princess Bride, it is “inconceivable” that gentle loving people are tortured simply because they believe that mankind is more than dust in the wind. That we are created in the image of God and that we have the potential to live with that creator in eternal bliss through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. The truth of Christianity is almost proven in the resistance of the world to oppose it. I don’t want to see such tactics employed in the country I love against people that I love. Hillary Clinton said that Christians will have to change their way of thinking. In other words, they’ll have to accept abortion and homosexuality, or at a minimum keep their mouths shut. If she had been elected, that erosion of freedom was going to accelerate.  In her excellent and touching congratulations speech the day after the election, Clinton said that one must fight for what is right. The problem is that she considers it deplorable if you see right and wrong in a different light than she does. I think her vision is skewed. I’m convinced she’s a champion of the trend to call good evil and evil good.  And that’s why I voted for a man who falls woefully short of my ideal candidate. Nuff said?

If you’d like to see more evidence of why the Evangelical vote enabled Trump to win – check this out:


I have consciously refrained from weighing in on the Colin Kaepernick situation, but I can’t ignore it any longer. This situation has now touched me where I live – Nebraska Cornhusker football. Three members from my favorite team (since I was knee high to a grasshopper) chose to kneel during the anthem Saturday night. One of them is among my favorite players on the team. I have to admit at first I was a bit bugged by this. I feared this was a situation that could lead to dissension on the team. And it puts the head coach in a bit of a quandary as far as preventing that dissension. After reading the young man’s rationale for his actions, I had to adjust my position. You can read Michael Rose-Ivey’s statement in its entirety here:

This is not the rant of a thug. There is a big difference between a protestor and a hooligan. Both those who want to honor law and order and officers of the law, protect the sanctity of our national anthem and patriotism and those who work for social justice to complete the process that was started by Martin Luther King and others, must understand this. Ironically I believe it was football and other sports that helped the color barrier finally be brought down. Those advocating violence must remember that those who live by the sword, perish by the sword and that equality was never obtained by killing innocent people.

The governor of Nebraska says this act was disgraceful but he respects their right to protest – but obviously not the protestors themselves. One of the regents in Nebraska stated that the three boys involved in this protest better be fired, even though the coach gave his permission. Perhaps the regent should rethink-or renounce his own position. That is not the worst of it. Michael Rose-Ivy received comments like, “you ought to be hung before the next game.” Do you not see that this type of attitude is exactly how things were during the Jim Crow days? Black men had to leave certain towns before dark or face execution. It chills my blood to think about a young man who had the courage to stand up (well, kneel in this situation) to fight for the protection of life. To be killed for such a position is the height of irony and insanity and the exact thing that our national anthem is supposed to celebrate – freedom of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. And should I note that these men were kneeling, in prayer, during the anthem. I do believe that kneeling is the most reverential position we can place ourselves. To me sitting would have been more disrespectful. Remember people, we do not worship our flag or anthem. We pay tribute to what it represents. The American flag is not just a bolt of cloth with red and white stripes and white stars on a field of blue. It embodies the concept of freedom. We all have the inalienable right to do whatever we want as long as it doesn’t break a law which was dutifully passed by a representative government seeking the best for all citizens as a whole.

Back to my first reaction of shock and a little fear. The Huskers have a good season going. I didn’t want anything to jeopardize that momentum. Distractions would not be good here. After thinking it over though, I’m a bit ashamed. This is much bigger than football. Much bigger. Nebraska players have dedicated this season to a fallen comrade, Sam Foltz, who was killed in a car accident. Husker fans, and actually fans and players all over the nation have honored Sam. Perhaps now is a good time to ask what Sam would do in this situation? I can tell you one thing – if anyone came to lynch one of his black teammates for exercising their freedom of speech, Sam would have punted them into the next county.

There are a group of young men who have opted to raise a fist in the air during the anthem, just as two black track athletes did in the 1968 Olympics. Not many remember the names of Tommie Smith and John Carlos today. Their raised fist was the sign of the Black Panthers. They were not protesting inequality. Their slogan was “Black Power” and they weren’t finicky about the methods they used to bring about that power. I admired Martin Luther King; the Black Panthers, not so much. The governor of Nebraska suggested that it would have been more respectable for the athletes to raise their fists rather than kneel. Really, Gov? I think the only one potentially guilty of disgraceful behavior holds the top political office in the state.

I grew up in the Vietnam War era. There was a protest movement back then which impacted all young people. People who criticized our presence in Viet Nam were told, “America: love it or leave it.” I was perplexed. Aren’t the people who truly love a country the ones who do their best to improve that nation and her people?

I don’t know what’s going to happen here with the Nebraska situation. Perhaps the coach will keep his team in the locker room during the anthem this week at their home game. Maybe they’ll come out and the whole team will kneel together. Maybe they’ll all hold the American flag together too. In any case, America needs to quit censoring those who see and speak out against the flaws. If Americans force people to conform to their own standards, what difference is there between America and a totalitarian government?

Intelligent people realize we still have a problem, and perhaps a growing one, with race relations. How do we solve it? Check out this YouTube sermon which nails it the best I’ve seen. This guy pastors in Charlotte so they have been impacted by the collateral damage of this maelstrom.

Color Me Deplorable

Hillary might consider me a deplorable. Truthfully, I don’t really care what she thinks. If God is pleased with me, then I am not deplorable in His eyes. But Hillary very well could be. She doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about what God might think however.

Our female presidential candidate considers those people deplorable who possess these characteristics:  racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamaphobic. Let’s break those down into their individual categories and examine them a bit more closely.

Racist: this is the new catchall term to sling at anyone you want to oppose. I’m convinced that the majority of people in the United State have no freaking clue what this word really means. Would these be the people who say “all lives matter?” Would these be people who think that all people, no matter what their color (there is only one race – the human race – proven by DNA studies) should be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes?

Sexist: this term totally baffles me. Perhaps it’s a replacement for chauvinistic pig the phrase that graced the lips of the kids in Archie Bunker’s household on TV in the 60s. I’ve never seen a situation where a female was accused of being sexist. In my eyes this is a term coined by the feminists in their battle for superiority, I mean equality. Yes, I believe a woman should get paid the same as a man for the same job. Yes women should have equal protection under the law, etc. etc. etc. There, am I off the hook on this issue? Or does the fact I believe that women should have the freedom to seek employment outside the home, but the greatest job of all is being a mom land me into the deplorable category?

Homophobic: I have to submit to you that this is totally a case of misnomenclature. Phobic indicates an unnatural fear. I don’t know of anyone who has unrealistic fears about homosexuality. There are people who I admit have a hatred for homosexuality and homosexuals themselves. Phobia and hatred are far from the same thing. And then there are those who oppose homosexuality because of their religious convictions. The ideal in that scenario is those people hate the sin but love the sinner. If standing up for what you believe without inflicting actual (not perceived) injury to people who believe otherwise is deplorable, then sign me up for a long tour of duty.

Xenophobic: fear of foreign culture. I admit I had to look up this word. Perhaps I have an unhealthy fear that soccer will soon surpass American football as the most popular sport in America. Not! I can safely say that in this day where terrorism raises its ugly head all over the globe, that wanting to limit the people who are allowed to enter our border is not a deplorable thing. We have immigration laws to handle such things. So do other countries. I don’t know of a country where you can just decide to drop in and take up residency. Why would not wanting that scenario make people phobic?

Islamaphobic: back to the question of irrational fear. I just broached this topic in my latest book. If a group of people makes threats to kill others who are not part of their group and they actually do so in heinous manners, wouldn’t fear of such a group be rational? So number one: there is reason to fear jihad minded Islam. Number two, the primary crime against Islam by Christians is that they refuse to budge on the position that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and the son of the living God. Christians are commanded to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. That basically forces us to claim that Islam is a false religion whether we use such terminology openly or not. That is labeled Islamaphobia. I can’t help but wonder what we should label the practice of Islamic followers killing or imprisoning those members of their faith that embrace Jesus Christ. I submit to you that Christians are not the problem with the unreasonable fear here. Thus if again standing for my belief in Jesus Christ makes me deplorable, chain me to the wall (in my best Chihuahua accent).

In summary, it appears that people who make public professions against homosexuality, transgender-ism, feminism, illegal immigration, forced resettlement of refugees from Islamic countries, and Sharia law are deplorable. Those who choose to champion such causes are the darlings of the main stream media culture shapers and obviously of the woman who would be president. I hate to be negative here, but Hillary’s use of the term deplorable here exceeds by far the paradigm of the pot calling the kettle black. Oops! Is that a racist joke? The Bible says that in the last days that evil shall be called good and good evil. So Miss Hillary, by deploring God’s truth and being worshiped as a “good” woman, you are fulfilling scripture. Just sayin’.


A PS just for jollies: here’s a definition found on the Internet which is very revealing in itself.  Christophobia is the irrational fear or hatred of Christianity or Christians. While Christophobia is a real thing, it is usually used as a snarl word by some Christians with a persecution complex and (at most) only a passing familiarity with reality. There’s probably a good overlap with the people who claim there’s a liberal bias in the media.

Hillary Clinton recently spoke at a black church and touted the merits of grace and humility. This approach has brought me into the discussion. I don’t write much about politics, but when a politician brings up faith, I jump in with both feet–well both hands anyway since all my compositions are done via a computer. One of my targets in the world of Christianity (and the subject of my latest movie Old Rugged Cross) is hypergrace. People who are caught up in the trap of hypergrace (also known as greasy grace, cheap grace, sloppy agape, etc.) will deny that there is such a thing. I argue that this concept is perhaps the most dangerous in our universe. People who feel convinced they have the truth usually aren’t continuing their search. In this situation, people who embrace hypergrace certainly don’t want to be convinced that they’re wrong because they want to believe that God is one dimensional, full of forgiveness and mercy for everyone. That’s not the God that’s revealed in the Bible.

Did you know that Jesus doesn’t mention the word grace a single time? Paul is the principal espouser of grace yet he is the one who writes that liars, cowards, adulterers, homosexuals, drunkards, etc. will not enter into Heaven. Hillary has already shown to the world that she is guilty of lying. Whether the nickname of Killary is appropriate for her is beyond us at this point. However, you might notice that she has filed zero lawsuits for slander (that I know of) against those who have written publicly (in magazines even) about the list of people near the Clintons who have died in mysterious ways. What’s up with that?

Here’s my point: Of course God has grace for those who repent of their sins and trust that the blood of Jesus will blot them out. But nowhere does the Bible indicate that grace will cover those who practice sin–those who scheme and plan their sins and never come to the point of contrition. Grace is a safety net for those who fall off the high wire act. Hypergrace never even gets on the wire but simply walks across the safety net. It may be possible to delete emails in this life and escape punishment, but the Judge of all mankind does not miss a single detail.

I have to admit that after watching Hillary cough almost nonstop in her speech the other day, I felt sorry for her. I envisioned her with the Heavenly Father’s arms around her giving her assurance that He loved her and that she didn’t need to lie or manipulate to make herself look good to others. He is the only one whom she needs to impress. And I realized that instead of heaping scorn and criticism upon her head, we need to pray for Hillary to see the light, especially if her health issues are serious. In the meantime, I urge you to avoid embracing Hillary Clinton as your source of theological truth. Well, any truth actually.


By the way, Old Rugged Cross premieres at the Dallas Theater in Dallas, Georgia on September 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM.  DVD’s are available also as of that date at



The movie Ben Hur of 1959 is one of my favorite flicks of all time. I was not exactly jazzed to hear of a remake, a concept which verged on being sacrilegious in my eyes. However, since the reboot was done despite my objections,  I felt compelled to see it. After all, the original title of the book written by Lew Wallace, the governor of New Mexico, was Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. My passion is not only to write and produce such films, but to support the works of others who present the gospel and the author of that gospel to the world. And I have to admit I was curious as to how they handled trying to replicate a classic.

One thing I refuse to do is compare these two movies other than to say there were few differences in the story line. To be fair, I’m reviewing this movie as if I never saw the original.  The pundits at Rotten Tomatoes didn’t make the same resolution and most have rejected this movie with only 28% giving it a favorable review. Could that be because Jesus has a role in this story? In my Bible reading this morning, I ran across Jesus’ statement that the world hated Him and would hate his followers as a result. I truly believe that Jesus hostility is on full display at Rotten Tomatoes. 92% gave a favorable rating to the latest Star Wars movie. That film doesn’t even compare to the new Ben Hur as far as depth is concerned.  I have to surmise that many people reviewing this movie started off wanting to hate it for one reason or another.

In my opinion the production values were excellent. I found nothing to complain about with the acting, cinematography, music, sets, or the dialogue. My favorite measuring stick is dialogue, and the conversations in this story did not leave me wanting in the least. Most people realize that friction/tension grabs people’s attention and brings them into the story. There was no dearth of that element. Well, what about the story itself. Isn’t story the quintessential component of this genre of entertainment? Since this movie followed the original quite closely, the story line is already a proven quality. What was there to not like?

Let me be transparent by saying my wife hated this film. She stated that reaction loud enough for probably everyone in the theater to hear as the movie neared its conclusion. The reason was the violence. This is not a film for those who are super sensitive to physical altercations and bloodshed. I admit that I looked away a few times myself.  As we exited the theater, I wished I had taken her to the remake of Pete’s Dragon instead.

However, I would not have wanted to miss Ben Hur. It awoke within me a semi-dormant realization that our world historically has been a very inhospitable place. I apprehended that my gratitude for human love has been diminished by my perspective in thinking that the world should be perfect and that all of the violence and hatred and sin have pulled it down to less than mediocrity.  This causes me to focus on all the problems. A person who explores a desert looking for the beautiful wild flowers that rise up despite the heat and lack of moisture, exults in finding beauty in a desolate place. My outlook has caused me to instead look for all the warts on the face of the world and to become disconsolate when I see so many. I’ve considered love to be the default behavior of mankind, and perceiving the apparent lack of it has jaded me. Instead I should have realized that the natural man really is not a noble creature and that I should be amazed by the amount of love that actually can be found in the world. It’s the glass half full or empty paradigm. Instead of mourning that there is so much evil in the world, I need to rejoice that there is so much good and brotherly love. And thus this movie did for me what all great movies must do, adjust perspective to clarify and correct worldview myopia.

This movie has a distinct theme, which is hammered home with a powerful ending. Despite the plethora of bloodshed, this was not a movie that glorified aggression. It demonstrates that violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred, but on the other hand love can engender love. We humans make the choice what we will embrace and reproduce. If we live by the “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” paradigm, we’ll have a bunch of blind and toothless homo sapiens populating our planet. A person of intelligence can only observe this gore and arrive at the conclusion that forgiveness and love must win this battle between love and hatred, or our world is going to be a miserable place and perhaps will destroy itself. And that takes us back to God, the author of love, and the light and hope of the world, a revelation that makes many movie critics very uncomfortable.

The police have a baffling case on their hands. A 19 year-old, clean cut, athletic and studious Florida State sophomore had to be subdued by a canine and several police as he was trying to eat the face of a man he had stabbed to death. The man’s wife was also a victim. A neighbor survived the incident with stab wounds and was able to summon the police. Here’s a link to the story:

The mystery to the officers involved here is twofold:  what was the motive for this young man, who had so much to live for, to enter the garage of a pair of strangers and perform such grizzly acts.  They don’t get it. The second mystery is how strong the young man was in shrugging off their stun gun and requiring multiple officers to subdue him.  (Police report says that Harrouff was “abnormally strong,” incoherent and making “animal-like noises.”). They had his body checked for drugs, hoping that some type of substance high would give them insight into this crazy crime scene. There was no trace in his body. And the culprit (can’t really call him a suspect since he was caught in the act) actually told the police that at the site as if he was mocking their efforts.

This was not an underprivileged kid who had undergone a traumatic life. His father is a respected dentist. Their relationship seems to have been a good one. Why in the world would a decent kid be making headlines like these? Perhaps the details of this one are more gruesome, but there have been other killings by people who don’t fit the stereotype of an assassin.  Many people mention when asked why they did committed a heinous and senseless crime, “a voice told me to.” Hmmm.  Where could such voices come from? I have a suggestion in this situation.

For those beleaguered and baffled police detectives, perhaps they might look in the Bible at Mark chapter five for a possible explanation of Harrouff’s behavior.  “And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.”

I’m not a psychic, but I’ll make a prediction here. We will be seeing more and more bizarre crimes that make no sense and that will challenge the writers of Abnormal Psychology textbooks. The devil has operated by stealth through the years, cloaking his presence from the general populace. My opinion is that as we approach the end of times, Satan will openly compete for the hearts of mankind. Will defense attorneys soon be using the Flip Wilson (the devil made him do it) defense?   I don’t think so, since they still have the old reliable “insanity plea” as a get out of jail card. However I’m convinced with the continued usage of pharmakeia (drugs), dabbling in the occult, and apparently soon to burst on the scene, after school satanic clubs, the young people of our world will be opening themselves to the demonic realm. Society will suffer as a result, perhaps even to the point where those seeking answers will consider the possibility that there really is a devil, and he is trying to ruin the lives of every human on earth.

Want some more dependable witness than my opinion?  You should.  How about this three part series on the topic?

And the drug connection:

Fallout from Star Wars

I don’t often go to the movie theater any more unless a Christian film is playing on the big screen. I made an exception this weekend by donning 3-D glasses for the first time in my life and watching Star Wars The Force Awakens. In many ways it seemed like I was watching the original (minus the effect of feeling fighter jets flying through my stomach. 3D was a neat adventure but I won’t need to do it again). The new movie featured pretty much the same action routines and some plot similarities of the 1977 classic.  By the way, this editorial is not a review of Star Wars per se.  The main reason for me spending my time to pen this is the phenomena of the movie itself and Christian’s attraction to this kind of film. It grossed $120 million on Friday the 17th, the first film to bring in over a hundred million in one day. This brings to mind the word “mania” and makes this observation I’m making of some relevance.
As a maker of low budget, indie Christian films, I would be totally stoked with a film that brought in $50,000. That would probably be close to the same ratio of cost to revenue for Star Wars. I have to admit it pains me to see people flock to the theaters to see “cotton candy” movies while movies of substance and fiber and eternal consequences never make it to the theaters and the DVD collect dust in a warehouse.

Did I just refer to Star Wars as cotton candy? Yes, I did. Why? I enjoyed the movie as I was sitting in the theater, but upon exiting I immediately began to ponder how there was almost nothing to chew on mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. There was mostly a lot of mindless shooting going on, giving one the impression of watching a kid play a video game. The motivation for the incessant violence is not portrayed- which is maybe not a bad thing. The overriding theme is good vs evil. Perhaps evil is best portrayed as mindless attempts to destroy that which is good. One can’t help but notice the allegorical nature of the theme as the two sides of the force correspond nicely to the spiritual realm, which is divided between light and darkness. One can’t really derive their theology from this movie, but a watcher can’t help but ponder the existence and source of evil upon this planet. That’s a good start to finding God, but only one step on a long journey in discovering that evil and good are not forces like gravity but actually originate with real beings – God and Satan.
To those who worship the medium of film and television, I’d suggest you take a serious look at your lifestyle. We may not build altars in the hills and worship at them, but our modern culture has found a multitude of idols to take the place of the pagan practices.  If you’re more excited about the release of Star Wars than you are to share the gospel with someone who has a one way ticket to hell, I’d say you’re in danger of being lukewarm. Nobody would ever want to consider that those who consider themselves a Christian could miss the glory train to Heaven, but Jesus said that if you’re lukewarm, he’ll spew you out of his mouth. I know that contradicts the modern evangelist who says you can purchase your irrevocable fare to eternal bliss by simply reciting a prayer. You won’t find that formula in the Bible. In reality, a born again Christian becomes a passenger on the glory train the minute he or she truly turns his/her life over to Christ. If you think you can hang around the world and catch the last train out of town, I think you’re sadly deluded.
In this current world we have a major chasm between Christian groups who believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in operation today and those who are convinced those gifts ceased with the death of the apostles. My gut reaction in watching Star Wars is that those who think the Bible is all they need and that God neither speaks to us today nor works miracles among us correspond to the resistance fighters who just rely on their weapons and their own intelligence. And those who receive spiritual power through the Holy Spirit are the Jedi knights of the real world.  The only dialogue in the whole movie that stirred my soul came at the end. Hans Solo was questioned about the authenticity of the Jedis and he responded.  “It’s all true.”  I say the same thing to those who reject God’s involvement in our lives today. “It’s all true, but if you want to try to defeat the devil and win lost souls to the Kingdom on your own power, be my guest. I just pray that you’ll quit labeling as false prophets and teachers those who have found a better way of living and fighting  I’d hate you to be compelled to explain to God why you stood against those He called and gifted. Be a resistance fighter against the devil, but do it as a Jedi, with the force of the Holy Spirit giving you the power to overcome.

Saber rattling is coming out of Iran again. They are promising to exterminate the Zionists and free the Palestinians. If these threats were not so serious, I would find this a brilliant stand up comedy routine. Why would I find the concept of threatened genocide hilarious? First of all, let’s revisit that platitude, “He who does not know history is condemned to repeat it.”

Let’s look at some history you might not be familiar with – especially if you’re a young person. I’m sure things like this are not taught in schools anywhere – except probably in Israel. In 1948 the British vacated the historic land that had been deeded by God to the Hebrew slaves as they exited Egypt, wandered in the desert for 40 years trying to figure out if God was bigger than the giants who inhabited the Promised Land, and then finally, under new management as Joshua took the reins from Moses, crossed over the Jordan River to their new home in Canaan. The Jews supernaturally had been given back control of the land they had been driven from two millennium previously – just as it had been foretold in the Bible. The world should have been astounded. And the Arab world should have been a bit leery as several countries massed troops and armaments along the border awaiting the pullout of the British. Ironically not only did the British not lift a finger to protect the fledgling nation, they actually imposed an arms import embargo which kept the Jews from preparing for the onslaught of several trained armies. In the world of sports comparisons – this matchup would have been the Bad News Bears vs the New York Yankees – and the Yankees were allowed to put their entire roster on the field at the same time. Are you getting the point that the odds against the Jews were insurmountable? Virtually impossible, to the point of being in the ballpark of the odds of life springing up spontaneously from chemical soup.   Then a repeat with the odds not quite as stacked in the Arabs’ favor in 1967. Same results. And again in 1973. Forty-two years have passed since that last real war. In that time frame, Israel has developed some revolutionary and bleeding edge technology, including in the area of warfare. They no longer are defenseless.

Can we use the “M” word here? Miracle. The only explanation for the advent of life is God. The only explanation for the victory of a bunch of rag tag freedom fighters against trained armies with exponentially superior weaponry. God is standing on His promises. And His prophets have foretold the attack upon Israel by Persia (Iran) and other countries in the end of days. Are the Iranians incapable of understanding history and of reading prophecy? Or are they pushed forward in their path toward destruction of their own country by demonic forces which override common sense?

We Americans who love Israel are upset because our seemingly also demonically influenced president and congress, have all but emailed Iran the blue prints for nuclear weapons in addition to adding to our unpayable national debt to bankroll the purchase of the raw materials Iran needs to complete their goal. All in God’s plan too? We need to remember: The American government is not Israel’s protector. God is. Let’s sit back and watch and pray as the greatest story ever told ever written unfolds its conclusion.

Here’s a link to a story about the threats: