Christianity in Today's America

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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

Posted 8/4/10 at 12:48 PM | Dale Garris

Magic Words

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.“
Romans 4:16-18

What an incredible statement of faith! To believe not only the unseen, but the incomprehensible simply because God said so! Abraham believed God! But how is it that we so readily try to take this great pronouncement of faith in God’s creative power and ascribe it to ourselves?

Abraham had just settled in Haran with his brother and family when God told him to pack up and leave. Just when everything was going so well! Just go, God told him, and He would tell him where he was going when he got there.

So Abraham left.

Then God declares unto Abraham great promises that he would inherit the land, that all nations would be blessed because of him, and that his seed would be like the dust of the world. Pretty astounding stuff for a camel herder to hear. FULL POST

Posted 8/4/10 at 11:19 AM | Deborah J. Dewart

PRAYER ALERT! PROTECT OUR NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

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Atheists across America are busy these days, attacking religion in the public square. Michael Newdow has challenged the words “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance and the tradition of prayer at the Presidential Inauguration. So far he has not succeeded, but the battle rages.The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently persuaded a federal judge to declare the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional, and the case is now pending in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The issue could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

            In 1952, amidst growing concerns about the dangers of Communism, Congress passed a simple statute requiring the President to proclaim an annual day of prayer for the nation. The law was later amended (1988) to designate the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer. A Task Force was organized in 1989 to coordinate and plan events across the country. FFRF, organized by atheists, filed a lawsuit claiming violations of the so-called “separation of church and state.” That tiresome phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution, which was carefully written to protect religion--not erase it. Thomas Jefferson, writing to the Danbury Baptists to address their concerns about religious freedom, coined this phrase to reassure them of the liberty to practice their faith without government interference. The First Amendment declares that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” These two guarantees are complementary sides of the same coin, both protecting religious liberty. The government may neither compel nor prohibit religious exercise. FULL POST

Posted 8/4/10 at 7:44 AM | Michael Youssef

The Blessings of Surrender

Most Christians would admit that, at times, their Christian walk feels more like a crawl. We may feel our relationship with God has dwindled or that our work for Him is ineffective. We may even feel disillusioned about the path our life has taken.

God wants much more for us. He wants us to live abundantly and victoriously. He wants to empower us to do great things for His kingdom. But in order to live that triumphant life, we must first surrender everything to Him.

In studying the prophet Elisha, we see that God works miraculously to bring victory to those who surrender to Him. By emptying ourselves before God, He can fill us to overflowing. Are you in a situation where you feel inadequate? Do you feel like you have nothing to offer? Have you tried every human solution possible, only to realize you have no further options? If so, you can rejoice because your brokenness can be the foundation for God to do great things in your life. If you surrender to Him, God can bless you and fill you with the joy that only He can give.

Whatever we go through, whether small or large, God wants us to surrender to Him. When we lay our problems at the feet of Christ — truly place His will above ours — God is able to work fully in our lives. FULL POST

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