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Love is not exclusive: An open letter to Matt Walsh

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Dear Mr. Walsh,

I am a longtime follower of yours, but over the last few months it seems you are spending a lot of time calling out leaders of various faiths for not being Christian enough. Why would you want to alienate others who are also trying to do God’s work of spreading love the way they have interpreted it? The Bible leaves lots of room for interpretation. Was that unintentional? Perhaps there was a purpose for the parables instead of absolute answers.

No two people are going to believe the exact same thing nor hold the exact same approach of what is best to reach people to live an inspired life, even if those two people are reading from the exact same Bible. The important thing is getting others into the boat of doing good, loving all unconditionally, and bringing people together. What good does it do to divide us this way? Most of the time I applaud what you stand for, but I think this is wrong.

There are many different types of Christians with many different messages. But why focus on the differences? Jesus would surely want us to focus on the similarities… to love each other as brothers and sisters as we are, not push those who are slightly different outside of some line you have decided absolutely cannot be crossed.

I admit I know very little about all the different types of Christians that exist and the idiosyncrasies you insist on calling out. But I don’t need to because that’s not important. That line of thinking misses the greater message – that love is more important than our individual sects. We are all in this together. Christians from all walks are spreading their way of understanding the best they know how. They aren’t spreading evil. Anything outside the limits of your defined box doesn’t necessarily make it evil. As long as you are acting as a conduit of unconditional love, you have nothing to fear, ever.

The greatest of these is love. Not faith. That means your faith should never be more important than love

You have lost the purpose of following Christ in the first place. There are moments as a father when my daughter will give an extra piece of candy to her little sister just because she knows it will make her smile. But there are also moments when my daughter knows I’m watching and gives that candy to her sister only because she wants to be recognized as kind. See the difference?

Being a good Christian isn’t the end goal. Being Christian is supposed to be a means to a life of good, love, and worth. Don’t do good just because it keeps you within the Christian box and therefore gets you to Heaven. That is a selfish motivation. Do good for a better reason: Because you have love in your heart. Do good because you love unconditionally, and you truly want to help others be happy. It is the only thing that matters in our time here, and it’s how we grow in spirit. By learning in every action how we can perform that action in a loving way, we challenge ourselves spiritually in every choice we make.

When you are on your deathbed you won’t be thinking of how much money you made or how many people you excluded for being inadequately holy. You will be thinking of the way you treated others, and the litmus test for that judgment is unconditional love. If you are acting in accordance with love for your neighbor, you will be proud of your actions as you lay there reflecting on your life. But if instead you are acting out of fear, those will be the actions that haunt you in your last days.

Love

Love is the means and it is also the ends. It is the lesson and the reward. It is the guide and the destination. We are meant to spread that love where ever and whenever we can, without restrictions. Only then are we truly walking in the light of God.

First Corinthians 13:13 is certainly very cliché, especially at weddings, but it holds an insight that many of us often overlook.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

The greatest of these is love. Not faith. That means your faith should never be more important than love… Unconditional love, not just love for your family and friends. Love for all. And not with conditions like, only if he is a Christian, or only if she acts the way I think she should. Unconditionally means as they are. Love him because he is. For if we only love those who love us back, what kind of love is that?

Dan Alexander

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Culture and Religion

Matthew 22:37 – ‘love the Lord thy God’

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Matthew 2237 love the Lord thy God

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

We’ve all heard this verse, but have we really contemplated it? This is a verse that sits in the middle of many different things happening. The Pharisees and Sadducees were questioning Him. His answers were profound and defining.

This important portion of this message is echoed three times: all. Love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the most important Commandment according to Yeshua.

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Culture and Religion

Scouts BSA: Proof that moral leadership matters in life

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Scouts BSA Proof that moral leadership matters in life

In the Age of Trump, where the Fellowship of the Pharisees and their so-called evangelical followers have given “God’s chosen president” a “mulligan” for his sexually immoral past in exchange for a seat at his table, the damage being done to the Gospel of Christ is obvious.

Another consequence of this kind of hypocrisy has been the destruction of moral leadership in nearly every area of American life. For example, let’s take a look at Scouts BSA, formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America.

In a report by NBC New York yesterday, we learned that nearly 8,000 adults are suspected of sexually abusing more than 12,000 children in the Boy Scouts over the years, and that these incidents have been kept secret according to victim’s rights attorney Jeff Anderson.

“For many, many years there’s been an excavation of what are called the ‘perversion files’—those are files held and hoarded at the Boy Scouts of America headquarters.

“Those ‘perversion files’ that they’ve had reflect that they have removed thousands of offenders of childhood sexual abuse over the years and they’ve kept that in files secretly.”

While the abuse appears to have been going on since the 1940s, recent decisions by the Boy Scouts created an environment that essentially guaranteed it would happen with greater frequency, thanks to the institution of LGBT-friendly changes to their leadership requirements.

In the summer of 2015, then-president of the Boy Scouts and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates abandoned the organization’s commitment to develop moral character by lifting the ban on homosexuals serving as leaders due to fears of possible lawsuits.

The lawsuit excuse was a lie as the Supreme Court had already upheld the BSA’s right to exclude homosexuals. In reality, Gates, the guy responsible for ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, simply wanted to open scouting to the LGBT community, regardless of any consequences. Moral considerations be damned.

Here’s an irony for you. Scouts BSA announced a few months ago it may go bankrupt due to the lawsuits over sexual abuse and declining membership. I guess Gates missed that one.

By the way, Scouts BSA also made a policy change in February 2017 to recognize children by their “gender identity,” and the reason Boy Scouts of America changed the name to Scouts BSA is because it’s now open to girls. How long will it be before we hear about a “straight” leader sexually molesting these new additions to the Boy Scouts?

In the end, however, it’s not an LGBT or straight issue; it’s a moral leadership issue. Unfortunately, morality no longer exists in the Boy Scouts because their first duty to God no longer exists, due in no small part to the rise of the lukewarm church and cheap grace theology.

Moral leadership matters in life; and in politics as well. But we’ll never see it again in America unless something changes in the heart of the church.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Culture and Religion

Fasting facilitates changes

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Fasting facilitates changes

As strange as it may sound, the three words that I used to build the title of this article took a bit of thought. Believers in Yeshua look to fasting as a way to do many things and the topic is both extremely complicated and exceptionally simple. Those three little words, “fasting facilitates change,” were chosen very carefully.

It’s important to state up front that I’m not an expert on fasting. I’ve done it twice and I’m about to start again, so at least a little of this article is geared towards helping me to focus my own thoughts on the matter. Hopefully, it can be a blessing to you as well.

The reason that fasting is so important to modern day Christians is a little different than it was in the time before and during Yeshua’s walk on the earth. The presence of “the world” is so much stronger today in that western society has positioned Christianity and pretty much all religions as a pastime rather than a way of life. We are drawn to this world due to perceived financial obligations, an unbelievable availability of distractions, and a general sentiment that is pro-secularism and pro-humanism. As a result, our own walks with the Lord face worldly roadblocks… at least that’s the perception.

Let’s discuss what fasting is and isn’t.

What fasting is

I have done a little research. Not enough. Everything from here on out is not very scriptural nor is it purely doctrinal based upon the writings of experts.

We know that fasting was used in the Bible to deprive the body in a way that would allow a clearer connection with the soul and spirit. It’s like turning down the signal between the world and the body so that we can hear the other two signals better.

Our bodies need nourishment and depriving it of this nourishment allows for clarity of message. It is a powerful tool for change, one that I believe can have a similar but slightly different effect as prayer alone. In a way, it’s the humbling demonstration of physical weakness that allows us to be more in touch with the Holy Spirit.

We are a haughty people. Stiff necked. By allowing our bodies to enter into a state of weakness, it makes true supplication possible and allows our Father to work through us to purge ungodly spirits at work on us daily.

What fasting isn’t

I’ve read some about the psychological effects of fasting. It bordered on heresy because it focused on concepts like hallucinations, harnessing raw emotions, and spiritual enlightenment. I cannot say for certain since I have not experienced those things first hand but the descriptions certainly made it seem as if fasting was being used to allow the wrong spirits of disillusion and corruption go to work on us rather than the Holy Spirit.

This is not a vision quest. It’s not about looking in. This is about opening up through utter humility to let the Holy Spirit be our guide. Fasting with prayer to the Father in the name of the Son and supplication from a perspective of lowliness and humility are the things that allow a fast to work in us properly. Denying our bodies of food and drink will open us to many spirits. Prayer to the one true God is the only way to make sure it’s the right spirits that fill us through our physically weakened state.

Fasting is not casual. It’s not a diet. It’s not a status symbol or something that we should discuss with others unless absolutely necessary.

Fasting is you and the Holy Spirit on a personal journey to cleanse your own spirit and prepare it to do the work of the Father. Anything else added to it diminishes it.

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