Christianity in Today's America

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Posted 8/18/10 at 8:27 AM | Michael Youssef

Modern-day Idolatry

While traveling to Australia and England this summer, I was amazed, but not surprised, at the fever-pitch level the so-called "environmentalists" have reached. Every second word on television is "environment" ... "green" ... "mother earth." Every second commercial boasted that their product is "earth friendly."

It was not surprising, therefore, for me to pick up the Herald Tribune (the global edition of the New York Times) on Monday, July 26 to find that every second editorial was about how sad they are that the U.S. Senate decided against taxing Americans more for gas and electricity.

What most of the non-discerning Christians have failed to do is understand that this "environmentalist fever" is truly a religion. Just like the pagans of old worshiped the nature gods Baal and Ashtoreth, those folks are worshiping Gaih (mother earth).

But there is something that is overlooked by many, if not most, believers. There is a powerful parallel between Israel of old falling for this form of idolatry and of the well-meaning Christians of today. They too have drunk the "Kool-Aid™" of modern-day idolatry and fallen into false worship of the gods of nature. Even after the published evidence of how those earth worshiping "environmentalists" falsified data at the University of East Anglia in England, secular-humanist evangelists continue to mislead simple Christians with their earth worshiping. FULL POST

Posted 8/17/10 at 2:36 PM | Michael Youssef

Mercy and Justice

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then, I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

We know this verse well. We hear it quoted often when America faces challenging times – as we are today. This promise, spoken to the nation of Israel, reflects the heart of God that we see throughout Scripture.

Our God is a merciful God. He desires to hear from us and He provides many opportunities individually and nationally to return to Him. He delays His righteous judgment and allows everyone the opportunity to repent and turn to Him. He is a most merciful and gracious God.

Yet, this same God is a God of justice. Mercy and justice are two sides of the same coin. They go together. You cannot have one without the other.

And, so, we face a challenge today like none I have experienced in my lifetime. We are beginning to see the justice of God poured out on America.

We have experienced a string of natural disasters this decade that have had devastating impact. We have been at war for the past decade – losing the lives of our nation’s best men and women. We are facing mind-boggling financial challenges, our freedoms are being taken away by a power-hungry political class, and we seemed even powerless to stop an oil leak off our coast. FULL POST

Posted 8/16/10 at 1:14 PM | Michael Youssef

Fatherly Advice to President Obama

When President Anwar Al Sadat of Egypt came to power in 1970, he was hell-bent on erasing the memory of his powerful predecessor, Ghamel Abdel Nasser. This desire, combined with Sadat’s feelings of insecurity and inferiority, drove him to coddle the Jihadists, thinking that they would be good to him if he released them from prison and recognized them as major players in his new structure.

Tragically Sadat underestimated—or conveniently ignored—an overriding characteristic of Jihadists: their respect of power and decisiveness. They detest weakness and compromise. They view anyone who is anxious to ingratiate himself to them as weak and, more importantly, confusing—especially if they believe they are being used as pawns in a political scheme.

And so, for Anwar Sadat, the “tiger” he thought he could unleash on his enemies to serve his own political purposes turned out to be the very tiger that devoured him.

If Barack Obama thinks that he can domesticate Jihadists by throwing them a bone or two, he will wake up one day and realize that he, too, has committed Sadat’s fatal mistake.

Endeavoring to domesticate and coddle the sworn enemies of the United States could completely backfire on the current American Administration. And, since these radical extremists do not distinguish between the Americans and their elected officials, it is the American people who will fall victim to their terroristic plots. FULL POST

Posted 8/13/10 at 11:01 AM | Michael Youssef

Know Your Real Enemy

All around us we see the work of Satan. He tempts us to sin. He plants seeds of bitterness, hate, and envy in hearts. He deceives us with his subtle lies and half-truths. And we only have to look as far as the news to see the results on a global scale: Hatred and anger incite countless skirmishes around the world. Greed and selfishness fuel corruption, leading to worldwide crises. Extremists are persecuting Christians for their faith in Jesus Christ, even in democratic nations founded upon Christianity. Satan's campaigns are weakening our religious freedoms. While we must take responsibility for our own actions, we can almost always trace the original source of our contention to the plans of Satan.

As long as we live in this world, the devil can and will try to pull us down. The good news is that we can learn to fight him and not give in to temptation. But it is a growth process as we learn about our foe and as we discover how to overcome him.

There are seven main points to consider in our continuing battle with Satan:

  1. Remember the victory is ours.
  2. Lay down your life.
  3. Lock the doors each morning.
  4. Put on your battle gear.
  5. Praise the Lord.
  6. Pray for the other person.
  7. Start thinking of heaven.

Walking in each of these areas will bring peace and joy into our lives, knowing that the devil cannot bring us down. The first point, remember the victory is ours, points to Jesus' victory on the cross when He declared, "It is finished" (John 19:30). He completed our salvation and has provided everything we need to live victorious lives, and we are now seated "in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). FULL POST

Posted 8/12/10 at 8:17 AM | Michael Youssef

Racism: Fact or Fiction?

Have you ever asked yourself this question?

"Why are we having more debates on 'racism' today when we have the first black president in our history?"

There are several reasons that I, an African-born American, can offer here.

  1. "Racism" is used as a tool on the part of those who are benefiting from stirring the pot of "racism."
  2. "Racism" is far less real than some of the political merchants make it out to be.
  3. "Racism" is a condition of the heart. And as long as the heart of this nation is rejecting the God of power and might -- the God who alone can change the heart of men and women and thus the heart of the nation -- then this issue among others will be used as a political football.
  4. Until we repent of all our sins and turn to God, enthroning Him upon our hearts and therefore upon the heart of the nation, "racism" will be one of those issues that will be used and abused by many.

America is in trouble not for lack of "a dialogue on racism," but because we are running away from God.

Recently former congressman and former college football star J.C. Watts, a black American, was asked about the race issue. Here is how he answered it: FULL POST

Posted 8/11/10 at 9:34 AM | Michael Youssef

Islam is Steeped in Revenge & Retaliation

Islam is a religion and political system steeped in revenge and retaliation. Christianity is a religion steeped in spiritual renewal, based on a personal relationship with God through Christ.

Historical & Theological Quick Facts

In dealing with Islamic terrorists, several historical and theological facts must be recognized:

– Islam and Christianity do not worship the SAME God. Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all monotheistic – they each advocate the reality of one god. The only trait Allah and Jehovah hold in common, however, is this: God is Creator of all.

– Islam and Christianity differ greatly in beliefs about Jesus. Muslims regard Christians as blasphemers for proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They regard Muhammad as the only true prophet. Christians, in turn, regard Jesus as divine and the savior of all mankind; they regard Muhammad as a misguided come-lately religious man.

– Islam and Christianity have historically used very different means to further their cause. Islam advances on the groundswell of power. It seeks submission, humiliation and conquest of all who do not believe in Islam. Christianity, in sharp contrast, advances on the groundswell of personal conversion. It seeks the renewal of the human heart, which in turn, will result in obedience to God’s commands. FULL POST

Posted 8/9/10 at 12:01 AM | Dale Garris

A Final Call from God

“Andthe Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation,that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. AndMoses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar,and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonementfor them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.

AndAaron took as Moses commanded and ran into the midst of the congregation; andbehold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and madean atonement for the people.

And hestood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Numbers 16:44-48

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There is a very serious word from the Lord for the Churchhere – one that, if ignored or dismissed, will result in tragic consequences.

Immediately prior to the above passage, Korah, Dathan andAbiram had risen up against Moses. They feltthat Moses had taken too much authority upon himself and they were not willingto submit themselves under his leadership. His ways were too severe and harsh. They had just finished burying a man whomMoses had commanded them to stone to death for simply gathering sticks on theSabbath. Moses said God told him to havethe congregation stone this man, but of course, the only one that heard Godspeak was Moses. FULL POST

Posted 8/6/10 at 12:38 PM | Deborah J. Dewart

“Know Thy Neighbor”?

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Have you ever signed on a petition on your way in or out of the grocery store? You might want to think twice after reading this article!

            Thousands of Washington State voters were alarmed in May 2009 when their governor signed legislation dubbed “everything but marriage,” granting expanded benefits to state-registered domestic partners. Many rushed to sign Referendum 71: “Preserve Marriage, Protect Children.” If they could gather enough signatures quickly, the new law would appear on the November ballot and perhaps be overturned. FULL POST

Posted 8/5/10 at 11:09 AM | Deborah J. Dewart

OBSERVATIONS OF THE “REASONABLE RATTLESNAKE”

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           In 1934, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) erected a Latin cross on Sunrise Rock in California’s Mohave National Preserve. The cross was to honor the sacrifice of World War I soldiers. For decades no one objected. The cross was repaired and even replaced, but it stood peacefully. As Chief Justice Roberts observed in a recent Supreme Court case involving the cross, it was--at least until lately--seen by more rattlesnakes than humans. Summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees, and travelers in this remote region are warned accordingly. FULL POST

Posted 8/5/10 at 8:09 AM | Michael Youssef

Majestic Mosque in NY: America’s Wake-up Call

The vast majority of Americans are frustrated and angry over the building of a majestic mosque and Islamic center near the heart of Ground Zero in New York City. Muslim leaders are using western language of “tolerance” and “freedom of religion” to gain approval for placing that monstrosity exactly where they want it. While in reality, Islamic and Arabic media outlets are triumphantly, if not blatantly, saying that Islam is a superior religion, therefore it can build a mosque anywhere in the world, and the infidels need to shut up and accept it.

When you realize that in Saudi Arabia (the most likely bank rollers of the $100 million project) it is forbidden even for Christian foreigners to worship in their own homes, you will soon realize the contempt they hold for the West in general and Christians in particular. One of the most celebrated Islamist clerics and head of the European Counsel for Fatwa and Research, Sheikh Al Qaradawi, was quoted as saying:

“Islam invaded Europe twice and then left it. … Perhaps the next conquest, Allah willing, will be by means of preaching and ideology. The conquest need not necessarily be by the sword. … Perhaps we will conquer these lands without armies. We want an army of preachers and teachers who will present Islam in all languages and in all dialects.” FULL POST

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