Are We Yet Slaves?


The annals of history show the early days of the United States fraught with slavery.  It was a time that tainted the flag of freedom showed as a cloak of burden. The slavery in the United States presented an institution that was anti-Constitutional, yet many fought to keep certain of the citizens downtrodden by hatred and selfishness. Slavery meant that segments of the population were under the control of the masters with no freedom to choose or live any other way except as instructed. The ever present bondage meant that the slave was beholden to his master no matter the slave’s desire.

There were also instances wherein slaves were freed. The freed slaves were no longer beholden to their masters. However, some slaves chose to live in a state of slavery except they were often counted as indentured servants. They chose to stay because in the master’s house there was comfort. There was a place to sleep, and food to eat. There was no need to buy food because the master took care of everything. As long as they stayed with the master the master made sure they were well.

Not much has changed in these United States. There is still slavery except that the slaves are not bound by chains. Some have been freed from the harsh taskmaster; yet they have given him allegiance because of the things he provides. Often these taskmasters present all the comforts of that can be had. Fame and fortune sometimes come with giving in to a taskmaster that loves only what can be done to further his own mission. However, there is no true freedom. There is nothing but constant appeasing of the thing that seeks only destruction.

The fact of the matter is that there is no reason for anyone to be enslaved. This is particularly true when it comes to sin. While it is true that the sin nature of man is natural it is more natural for the Son of God to come and provide a path of freedom from the sin. His vicarious death on the cross meant that no one has to give in to the bondage of the yoke of sin. All one needs to do is accept the atoning death of Christ as atonement for his own sin. However, there are those that choose to live in the bondage of sin, even though the Messiah has shed His blood so that sin can no longer have mastery of its subjects.

Galatians 5:1 shows Paul encouraging the church at Galatia with the words “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The yoke Paul refers to is sin. Sin is a relentless slave master that promises all the world while doing nothing more than pulling the slave deeper into the abyss of death and destruction. Are we yet slaves to sin? Must we give our lives for a few comforts and a little pleasure?  Must we remain in bondage so as to seal our eternal fate out of the presence of a loving God?

The fact is that Christ did make us free. In His freedom the liberty is without bounds. All we need do is shed the robes of sin and replace those robes with the garments of praise. The praise will serve only to keep sin far from the one singing praises while building that relationship between God and man. And then there are those that choose not to walk in the liberty provided by Christ. There are some who chose to stay with the slave master who will only use them until they can be used no more. Are we yet slaves? Must we where the yoke of bondage that serves only to choke the life out of us?

Living as a slave to sin is living to fulfill the lust of the flesh. Adultery, fornication and uncleanness are tools of the slave trade. Must we give in to lasciviousness and idolatry? Are witchcraft, hatred and variance so important that we must relent our freedom? Are we yet slaves to wrath, strife and seditions? Must we give in to Envyings, murders, drunkenness, and reveling? Do we have to lay down our freedom for the temporary fulfillment of desire?

The death of Jesus served to set man free from the power of sin. Sin enslaves and separates while salvation joins and liberates. If Christ died for our sin are we yet slaves to sin?

Relenting is Not an Option


I have to say that it is really getting personal now. The attacks on Christians and Christianity are an unbearable truth. Christians in countries highly influenced by Islamic terrorists are being killed as though they are bugs on the floor. They are being beheaded merely because they are Christians. College students are also being attacked by those seeking to please Allah. They are shown no mercy only because they have chosen to worship and serve the One and only God. All this is going on while other Christians are forced to denounce the Holy One or suffer dire consequences.

As if this were not sad enough activities in the United States are not much better. Consider the Indiana and Arkansas laws which are but a mirror of Federal law instituted about twenty years ago. The laws have nothing to do with discrimination and all to do with the enforcement of the 1st Amendment. Yet many were riled by the gross misconception (or ignoring of the facts) that the laws were the target of homosexuals. Out of this the attacks on Christians were such that at least on pizza establishment was forced to close its doors at least temporarily.[1] And there are other attacks on Christians. These attacks are legal and political and serve only to shame Christians.[2]

Well, I have had more than I am willing to take. I am weary of the President bemoaning Christians while extolling Muslims.[3] If Mr. Obama is the Christian he purports to be why does he not defend Christianity? Why is the Muslim prayer at sunset the most beautiful thing that falls on his ears?  Why, does the good President, not extol the virtues of Christianity above all? Perhaps, and only perhaps, he enjoys Islam above the teachings of Christ. Well, I have had enough and I will not relent on the virtuosity of the Gospel. Relenting is not an option!

Scriptural texts clearly show that Christians will suffer persecution. Even more, Christians are not promised an easy time. The God-head new in advance these things would be which is, in part, why the Holy Spirit was sent. Nonetheless, Christians are encouraged to stand in the face of adversity. Ephesians 6:13, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” This text clearly shows that there will be opposition to Christians. The Christian is not to be unprepared rather; he is to be ready in the face of opposition.

Consider two significant words in this text, “evil day.” There is no doubt that these are evil days. Right is wrong and wrong has become right. The less than two percent of homosexuals in this nation are all but discriminated against yet they hold themselves as being beaten and downtrodden. Frankly, I am vehemently opposed to homosexuality even while I embrace those that are entangled by this unseemly (Romans 1:27) behavior. As Christians we are called to love and love has much to do with doing what is right even in the face of apparent wrongs.

Just as it is wrong to steal, cheat, lie and commit adultery it is also wrong to commit homosexuality. Furthermore the Constitution clearly provides Christians the right to celebrate Jesus without retribution.  However this has not stopped special interest and political detractors from doing all to silence Christians. Well, I will not be silent. I will not give in to the pressures of political correctness. I refuse to lay down the standard of holiness because some choose to live contrary to God’s Word. I will not give up and I will certainly not give in. Relenting is not an option!

[1] http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/04/01/indiana-pizza-restaurant-forced-close-after-backlash-refusing-cater-gay-wedding

[2] http://www.theconservative.info/html/war_against_christianity.html

[3] http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/dgreenfield/obama-defends-islam-attacks-christianity-at-prayer-breakfast/

He Didn’t Have to Do It


The story has been told time and time again. It would take little effort to examine the incarnation of Christ from an academic viewpoint. However, academia is not the reason for the incarnation. In fact, the only reason for Christ laying aside some of His attributes was because love was the impetus for the sacrifice. Love looked through the annals of time and realized that without the redemptive work of an incarnate Christ, man would be forever dammed.

Pardon my imagination. I am sure that a conversation took place in Heaven. The Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit engaged in a discussion centered on finalizing the plan of salvation. The Old Testament paved the way with multiple foreshadows of how the plan of salvation would play out. The time was ripe and the season ready for the Son of man to humbly present himself. And, so the Son of God took on the flesh of man and walked the earth. For the last three of His thirty-three years Christ worked tirelessly to restore the broken relationship between God and man. He sought to put to rest the consequences of sin. This is a work He didn’t have to do yet He saw reason for salvation.

At this juncture to rehearse the story Good Friday might serve to bore some while encourage others. To talk about the mock trials and the thorn of crowns would cause some to weep and others to repent. The fact of the Via Dolorosa might consider some to look at their own sorrows, or even consider the fact the Christ did not have to suffer unjust lashings. He did not have to suffer the lies and embarrassments of a false declaration of guilt. No, Jesus did not have to suffer at the hands of the man over whom He held ultimate authority. Still, nothing was to stop the King of kings from fulfilling the will of the Father.

No, Emanuel did not have to suffer the cross. He could have avoided the nails. The thirst He suffered showed that the God-man suffered as a man; yet, His determination to redeem man was born from the God He was. This Jesus, the One betrayed with a kiss, could have called ten thousand angels to come to His defense – but He stayed on the cross. His blood dripped from His torn and broken body. He refused to come down. The mission was not accomplished so He could not come down. He stayed on the cross because He sought to please His Father as He worked to heal man. The Saviour after much anguish, after considerable pain, and untold humiliation chose to bow his head and die. He died so that man would not have to die in sin. The death of the Anointed One meant that there would no longer be a separation between God and man as the Blood of the Saviour was now available to wash away the sin of the world.

The story, however, does not end at the cross. No, the story is just to begin and cannot be contained in the words of this essay. The torn veil says much. The darkened sky and earthquake was more than one soldier could take. Yea, the centurion indicated that this One on the cross must have been the Son of God. And, then there were those dead lovers of God that were freed from the grave. The confrontation of our Lord and Saviour with the enemy would have made headlines today. Death was not able to keep Him. The grave could not hold Him. The keys to death, Hell, and the grave were snatched from the hand of Satan. The victory had been won!

O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Christ did get up from the grave. He held the victory then and holds it now. Now He sits on the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me all because He wanted to restore that broken relationship. All He asks is that we follow His perfect example.

If Christ has not risen in your heart now is the time. Do not put it off until tomorrow as tomorrow may be too late. Don’t, I beg you, let it be said to late; let the Lord in. Now is the time of salvation. Now is the time to let Christ rise in you!

Getting Ready to Go


Some of you may be aware that this past week I was in Lynchburg, VA at Liberty University participating in an intensive for the degree I am working on. The trip was a long one that entailed considerable planning. I did not simply go on the trip on the spur of the moment. The decision was not a sudden spontaneous act that I thought might be a good idea one morning. Instead, a lot of preparatory work went into not only the physical trip but also the work that had to be done prior to my arrival.

Preparation was key to the success of my trip. For instance, there was great need for lodging so I reserved a hotel room no less than a month in advance. This allowed me to get a good rate as well as guarantee a hotel room. A car was also needed so one was reserved well in advance. Not only were these major things reserved but also the financing for the reservations as well as gasoline, food and other incidentals. I also had to study and otherwise prepare for the intensive in order to be successful.

My trip to Liberty is a parallel to the things Christians need to do in anticipation for the return of Christ. I Thessalonians 4:15-17 reads, “15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Attention is drawn to verse seventeen where the phrase “alive and remain” points to those who have prepared for the inevitable return of Christ. The indication is that these are those that chose to put on the whole armor of God. They have cleansed their hearts and laid aside the works of the flesh. Moreover, these that seek the return of Christ have built relationships with Him by prayer, Bible reading, church attendance and the like. They wait with anticipation while doing all possible to do the will of the Father.

Matthew 24:44 admonishes its audience with the words, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Mankind is to be ready at anytime. In order to be ready preparatory things must take place. Among the very first things in getting ready to go with Jesus when He returns is to receive Him and Lord and Saviour. This is not a mere belief in His existence. Instead, it is turning away from those things that offend Him in return for a life that seeks to please the resurrected One. Getting ready to go means the old man has been discarded in exchange for a new person in Christ.

There is no doubt that Christ will return and it is certain that no man knows the day or the hour. Yet it is encumbered upon all looking to His coming to get ready to go.

The Inevitability of Change


I am currently reading A Practical Guide for Successful Church Change by Ramsey Coutta. In his work the doctor outlines his arguments for the inevitability of change within local church bodies. This change can be good or bad depending upon how change is presented by the leadership and how it is received by those who may or may not embrace the change. Suffice it to say that not only are there changes in the local Houses of Worship but also there comes changes in communities, families and individuals. Change is a thing that will happen either by reason of prompting or by natural course of action. Either way there will be change and that change will come.

Now, it might as well be said that I am not expert on change. However after having been on this Earth for more than five decades I can say with certain confidence that change is inevitable. Take, for instance, the young babe born just a few days ago. A number of changes have already taken place. For instance the babe is no longer protected by the womb of his mother. Instead of being fed through the umbilical cord the child must be fed by mouth. The change of growth is persistent and leads to a lifetime of changes. As such we can be certain that change will come in this life. Change is inevitable and should often be embraced.

The point of this message is to encourage all that are facing change with at least some trepidation.  Some are changing marital status while others may have lost a loved one to death. Some are walking into new jobs while others are at the threshold of retirement. Some are moving to a land in which they have never been while others are merely changing local addresses. Either way there is change coming and as a rule change serves only to strengthen that which is already in us. Do not be afraid to embrace change as nothing ever remains the same except God who is immutable. Even as I pen these words things are changing all around me to include the things that are happening to propel me into the future. So go ahead and change. Let God uphold you as you walk toward and into your destiny of change.

Heavenly Father, first I thank you for giving me this forum to be an encouragement to your people. I also ask that you comfort those who are facing change with anxiety and grave concern. Please allow them to rest in and trust You as you have their best interest at heart. Thank you for changing not only me but also all those that have chosen to serve you as that was the best change we could have made.  We love you Lord and thank You for making positive changes in our lives.

Just So You Know


First and foremost I would like to thank all who follow me as I seek to use my pen to draw attention to issues of the day juxtaposed with biblical ideas. Those of you who read regularly realize that I am not simply writing as a way to make political statements rather part of my goal is to challenge Christians to stand for the Word of God and be Christians. There are so many attacks on Christendom that standing sometimes becomes a challenge yet the Christian should be encouraged to know that the remnant in which he sits is part of the larger Church.

Now, many of you may know that I am a fan of academia. This is the case because I firmly believe that if one is to be successful at his craft there must be some learning and grooming. Many of you know that I recently completed an internship at Huguely Hospital in Fort Worth, TX as I reported weekly on the program and its impact. Now I am set to start a chaplaincy residency. God has been gracious and doors are opening for me to that end. I will soon have choices of what program I want to enter. Yes, God has been very gracious to me! With this it should be also known that I have been accepted into Liberty University’s Doctorate of Ministry program concentrating on Evangelism and Church planting.

Working these two programs contemporaneously will be a tremendous challenge and a challenge I look forward to. With that said I am not sure how I will continue working on my blogging. No, there will be no laying it to the side; I am just not sure if I should do series as I did with the study on Deuteronomy, highlight points of my residency or take totally different courses. I tell you what, if you have any suggestions please reply to this article. While no promise will be made to that end I would love to hear your viewpoints.

One final thing; I will be a little transparent in saying that the past few years have been quite a financial struggle for me. There are reasons that I will not get to in this forum yet you can be sure that the difficulties I have endured have nothing to do with malfeasance on my part or anything else nefarious. With that I ask that all that willing and able to share http://www.gofundme.com/workingondestiny as I will keep it up for just another week if I get no responses. Either way I continue in thanking all who support me by reading, responding and sharing the words I pen.

God Speed!

Another Crusade


Fighting wars is no new thing. Fighting has been going on from the time Cain killed Abel so it comes as no surprise that man has sought to kill fellow man stemming from jealously and fear. Such was the case during the Crusades beginning in 1095 wherein Catholicism sought to defend itself against the ever increasing stronghold of Islam. The initial loss to Catholicism caused the determined Muslims to fight even more for that they construed to be a “holy war.” That fight has been going on from that time to this with the idea that Islam should be the world religion and those that do not adhere, even different thinking Muslims, need to suffer the fate of death by the hands of those that fight in this jihad.

There have been many instances of late wherein Islamic terrorists have committed acts of violence not only in the Middle East but also in Canada, Australia and the United States. One of the most horrific acts was reported just yesterday. The report is that a Jordanian pilot was burned alive by Islamic jihadist. These Islamist, calling themselves ISIS, have no regard for human life. There is no respect for opposing viewpoints. Their holy war is just another means of silencing those that do not give in to Islam and yet our President refuses to publically admit that the enemy the world is fighting is a war against Islamist seeking to kill the rest of us. There is definitely a crusade going on yet there is another crusade that many will not engage in.

Christians are also called to a holy war however that war is not to seek out and kill those that disagree with us. Instead the Christian is called to a jihad of sorts. Now, this is not to say that Christianity is to give way to Islam; that is far from what is being suggested here. Instead an examination of the original idea of jihad is the Muslim idea of an inner struggle. The Arabic term has much to do with striving and has little to do with the idea of holy wars. Still the Christian would do well to understand that we are called “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24). With this the Christian is not to fight against a physical enemy as a way of life rather he is to work diligently in keeping the faith (II Corinthians 13:5).

It is true that many Muslims seek to tear down Christianity by any way possible. And Christians are to be determined to fight another crusade. Certainly there are times when nations must take up arms in the matter of self preservation. So must Christians lift holy hands to a Holy God in complete surrender to His will. The fact is that Islam does not recognize the spirit realm so it takes its jihad against all who are not like it. However Christendom has another crusade wherein it realizes that the fight is not against flesh and blood rather it is against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). The Christian crusade also involves standing to live (I Thessalonians 3:8) rather than putting forth the false idea of martyrdom. This Christian crusade means fighting for righteousness and giving even our enemies a chance at salvation.

So, while the Islamic State continues to wreak havoc the world over Christians need to maintain holiness and faithfulness to the One and only God. Fought properly the holy war of Christians can and will soften the heart of the most dedicate Muslims. With that, Christians, let us crusade not out of malice and vitriol but rather with love and compassion so that we might win some; even if some are Islamic terrorists.

A Word to Men


Now, I know this is not an easy subject to discuss. It is even harder to have to endure the examination. Yet this is not a thing that can any longer be ignored nor should it be. Yes, I know that real men do not go to the hospital to see doctors especially when there is no obvious problem. Still I argue that real men take care of themselves in every way. And that taking care of themselves may have the reciprocal effect of benefiting men’s families. Still the most important benefactor is the man himself; after all men are just as important as everyone else.

Let’s get straight to the matter at hand. Last year the Veteran’s Administration Clinic in Fort Worth decided it was time that I had a colonoscopy. This was a matter I knew was coming and should have been addressed a couple years ago. It was something I was not looking forward to. Now, I was not concerned that I was inflicted with cancer; God had been taking excellent care of me. I had never been invaded before and wanted nothing to do with any invasions. Insofar as I am concerned that aperture is for one purpose and one purpose only. Hence my grave concern about the introduction of any object into my being.

To say that I had some apprehensions about this invasion is to put nicely the concern that I had. The class that I was required to attend did little to squash my concerns. The risks involved barely seemed worth me surrendering my “virginity” yet I knew that it was more than prudent for me to take care of this one and only body that I will ever have. God has given certain wisdom to doctors and that wisdom should not be taken lightly. Nonetheless the day soon approaching was not one I was looking forward to. It was a day that I did not want to come yet it was a day that must need come to pass. And so the day came.

It is important to keep in mind that I have never been sedated before. The closest I came was when I cut my hand as a Corrections Officer that that cut required stitches. I was given “laughing gas” and I can say there was nothing funny about it. I was told the effect of the sedation would be very much like that gas. I must also admit that day I went in kicking and screaming. Now, I did not cause a ruckus in the clinic however I did let the nurses and clerks know that this was something I was not looking forward to. This is especially true when I was placed in a room whose walls were thin white curtains with others just a breath away from me and told to remove my clothes; all of them. I was then to put on this mini dress that barely covered my essentials. To say that I was uncomfortable does not begin to tell the tale.

In the clinic there were a number of people fussing over me. Silly jokes were being told to make me at ease. Nurses were doing this and that while a doctor dropped by ensuring that all was well. Then came the time of the event in which I was wheeled a few yards away into a room wherein more care takers would fuss over me. I heard the doctors give instructions as to the type of medication I should be given. Then there was the voice of one care taker saying “You are going to feel something cold” and I did. The next thing I know there was a voice saying “All finished.” I heard the words and I knew what they meant I just did not know that I was finished. Boy, if that is like being high that is a feeling I never want again. And then I heard a voice saying that a polyp was found and being sent to the lab. That did not quite sink in because, frankly, I was still circling the airport.
Look, I am no doctor and have very little knowledge of medical processes. This is why I regularly see my doctor and that is because I love me. While that may sound a bit arrogant it is very necessary for men to love themselves. When a man loves himself he will do all to take good care to protect himself in all possible ways. This is even true for men of faith. It is because of faith that all is well with me. God has seen fit to allow me to have very good health and that is a thing I do not take lightly. Part of the reason I am doing well is because I head the advice of doctors whose responsibility is to help me be well.

Men, stand up and be men. Love yourselves enough to see your doctors regularly. And when the time of the colonoscopy comes let the doctors and other care givers do their jobs. The right crew will have your best interest at heart and will do all to protect you in every way. No, it will not be easy yet it is very necessary. Do it for your wives. Do it for your children. Above all do it for yourselves. You are the most important person in your world and deserve the blessing of good health. With that I can report that the polyp found in me was benign and I am doing well. So, men, remove the robe of hesitancy and go take care of you.

The State of the Church


Last evening the President of the United States of America presented his sixth State of the Union address. During the address a number of issues were raised. Some of those issues caused a collective scratching of heads with many across this great land. One such item was that the President touted financial success by reason of policies he has implemented and that the nation’s unemployment levels have steadily gone down over his tenure. Unfortunately the only reason the unemployment levels appear to have fallen is because about ninety-three million people of fallen out of the employment picture and are not looking for work because of the lack of jobs and have exhausted all benefits. This is not to mention the fact that when the President took office the debt was about nine trillion dollars and now stands over eighteen trillion dollars.

There are many other items that can be addressed in the President’s speech however it might be more beneficial to discuss the State of the Church as the Church has had many successes over the past year. For instance the Church is strong and growing. Despite the attacks on fundamental Christianity the Church has not folded. Instead Christianity is beginning to stand its ground in favour of traditional Judeo-Christian values and refusing to relent to the boisterous cry of those that seek only the demise of the one entity that recognizes the one true and living God. Evangelical Christians are digging deeper in the trenches of holiness as it furthers the Great Commission.

Even so there are problems in the Church. And problems are nothing new in the Church particular if one considers the issues Paul addressed concerning the Church at Corinth. This is evident in I Corinthians 3:3 where he states that “ye are yet carnal.” This carnality meant that the church was much like the world at large and that carnality was detrimental to the Church in a number of ways. The same is true with the Church today. There are many that cannot eat the meat of the Gospel as they are still on milk. Among many there has been no growth so that some local bodies have become stagnant. This stagnation has led to frivolous programs called ministries which serve only to create social clubs in these Houses of Worship. These things ought not to be so.

Likewise there has been a pulling away from the historical teaching of Christ in futile efforts to reach those presumed unreachable in traditional terms. Hence music has changed from worship to entertainment wherein in some localities it is becoming increasingly more difficult to determine if the churches are parts of the Church or clubs. This, in part, has caused a double standard with congregants wherein lives outside the local bodies are less godly and more carnal. This is to say that many of these in the Church are Sunday saints and often barely that. As such the State of the Church is weakening because the Great Commission has been changed from going to all the world and teaching the Gospel to bringing the world into the Church by compromising the Gospel.

And there are hosts of other matters in the Church that need to be addressed just as they were addressed by Paul. Schisms in the Church caused unnecessary divides just as they do today. With this the Church needs to lay aside petty differences in order to further the Gospel while using the love of Christ to embrace each other so that the world can see the love we have one for another and be positively affected by it. This love means that there is no fornication it the Church. Lies will become a thing of the past as the truth becomes all the more paramount with the true and living God at the helm. This will result in respect for the people of God as pastors and ministers work tirelessly to hone their prophetic skill thereby pointing men to the foot of the cross.

It is absolutely true that the State of the Church is strong and that many are being brought into the fold. Likewise there are problems that need to be addressed in that strong things, even the church, need to be maintained so that the strengths do not become weaknesses. Let us, then, lay aside the carnality which seeks only to uproot that which is holy and pick up the ways of righteousness which serves to bolster and under gird a strong a prospering Church.

Appearances, Appearances


There has been much talking here of late about appearances. Specifically much of that talk has been around President Obama and some of the latest optics of his administration. One such was the sending of three White House representatives to the funeral of Michel Brown who would have gone unknown except for the fact that he robbed a store and at minimal challenged a police officer. Unfortunately no representatives were sent to New York where two offices were killed as they sat in their car. Now there is much discussion about the recent show of solidarity against Islamic terrorism in France wherein at least forty Heads-of-State joined arms yet no one from the United States was sent to stand with the world standing against a common enemy.

There are hosts of other optics that can be pointed out such as this administration’s refusal to call Islamic terrorism Islamic terrorism. This goes to the point that appearances mean everything. For instance, if one were to go to the “block’ in downtown Baltimore around midnight and he sees a young lady scantily clad going into a strip joint (or out of one for that matter) he might deduce that the lady might be at least a dancer. Such is the case within Christianity. Appearances mean not just a temporary opinion or view but rather appearances mean everything. What one dresses like, acts like and who he associates with speaks volumes about who that person is.

For instance if a married “Christian” man were found in the same area of Baltimore without his wife and he was just a bit inebriated with young ladies on either arm it might be said that Christianity might not be his chief practice. The fact is that appearances make all the difference in the world. This is why the Christian is called to holiness. Holiness is not merely a state of mind rather it is the way of life of the Christian. This is why Christians stand in the face of that which is unrighteous and unholy. This is why preachers preach and teach against succumbing to the pull of that which turns against God. Appearances is why Christians walk and talk far differently from non-Christians.

With this Christians need to walk arm-in-arm in solidarity against the things that God calls sin and unite with the love of Christ. There are neither big sins nor little sins so that lies are just as dangerous as homosexuality. Stealing is not worse than reveling while drunkenness and the lack of a sober mind can be synonymous. These are matters in which Christians can rally together and be examples for all that choose not to celebrate the God of our salvation. Christians need to present the optics of solidarity from one house to the next so that our common enemy cannot penetrate the wall of togetherness.

It is very true that together we stand and divided we fall so Christians, I beg of you, let us stand together and present a picture of holiness which will serve only to please the Father as we continue to lock arms for the standards of holiness and against unrighteousness.

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