The Idols We Fear

Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods,
but also by setting up false devils;
by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law,
when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice.'
G.K. Chesterton

Christians, the overwhelming majority of them, anyway, are not exempt! For centuries, they have led the battle against Evil, often where there is no evil, but simply difference. As Chesterton noted, the evils of alcohol have been rammed down the throats of many a confessing Christian, when they should be looking inward, not outward for the heart of the issue. We have learned to fear war, or economic loss, rather than looking at our own lack of confidence. When men & women look outside themselves for either salvation or condemnation, they have set up an idol!

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Love Without Judgement?

There's a lot of talk going around these days, even among Christians, about how we shouldn't judge: quoting Matthew 7:1, the argument goes something like this; 'the Bible says we shouldn't judge others, because if we do, we'll be judged'. Well, that's not quite true! First of all, we need to remember that Jesus spoke these words to a certain people, at a certain time, in a certain place. .Jesus told His first-century listeners ( Jews, mostly ) that when they judged others for not keeping the Law, they condemned themselves, for though they may have kept the letter of the Law, like circumcision, cleanliness & tithing, they ignored the weightier matters, 'justice and mercy and faith' ( Matthew 23:23 ). Jesus' words in Matthew 7:1 do not say that we shouldn't judge, only that we should be prepared to be judged in the same manner that we do judge!

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Rest in Peace

There is a temple without walls, marble columns or polished halls
Built upon the living stone, made for you, and you alone

It isn't far from where you stand, distracted by this world's demands
Just inside, and up the stair, a friend is sitting, waiting there.

These are the first few lines of a song by Christian artist Don Francisco. In his immortal words, the artist shows how we, the People of God, are the dwelling-place of the Most High & because we are His dwelling-place, we can have peace in the midst of turmoil. While the cares of this world cannot fail but touch us; because we have His Spirit Within, we can weather any storm, overcome any obstacle!

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An Acceptable Time
Politically Speaking

'It's Time For a Change!'

Now where have we heard THAT before?!

But seriously, for the past 8 years, we have been experiencing a lot of 'change'! The 'winds of change' have been blowing for some time now & the defeat that the mainstream media just experienced is just one indication that much-needed change is on the horizon. The mainstream media has tried from the get-go & is still trying to cast Donald Trump, the new president-elect of the USA, Inc., in a bad light. Cries of 'racist', 'bigot' & 'womanizer' ( 'where have we heard THAT before?' ) are rife across the news media today! To some extent, these cries may be fairly well-founded, but like it or not, ready or not, here comes 'the Donald' & if he is able to keep his promises, some of that much-needed change!

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 The New Normal

'No Child Left Behind': sounds good, right? When one reads the Act passed by Congress in 2001, it'd be a hard sell to say that its intentions are anything but noble! However, what it translates to is setting an 'average' for 'success'. The standards by which students are now measured, by my calculations, are nothing more than the 'mean' of the body. This could be indicative of anything from one child being passed through the progressive grades while comprehending little, to a whole class being 'dumbed down' just so he or she can keep up!

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The Peace of Heaven
in a World at War

For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:21b

Let us first state this; we are not trying to make light of recent events in Paris, Nice, Dallas & other areas of interest all over the world, nor are we saying, 'I told you so'! However, these events & others like them show ample proof of 'you reap what you sow'. Again, we realize that innocent people got hurt, even died; we are not saying they got what they deserved, not by any means: the world we live in, though, one which operates by 'the law of the jungle' & exalts 'the empire of man', has the tendency to leave a swath of death & destruction in its wake!

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'Live & Let Die'; the Law of the Jungle

And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
John 11:26

Jesus spoke these words of comfort to the sister of Lazarus, who had just died. While they were meant to give hope to the believer in Messiah, they ARE a bit confusing: although many people in this world have faith in the Son of God, all of them eventually die, right? Or do they?! We know, from using our logic, that Jesus couldn't have meant that those who trusted in Him would live in this biology forever, so what DID Jesus mean when He gave Martha this hope? I believe that most Christians must admit that Jesus was speaking, not of our individual, biological bodies, but rather of our spirits, which are the part of us that has been given, through the Son of God, 'everlasting life' ( John 3:16 ).

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Culture Shock?

A righteous [ man ] who falters before the wicked [ is like ] a murky spring and a polluted well.

Proverbs 25:26 

I doubt if there's anyone who could pinpoint exactly when & where it all began, but, as far as the good ole U.S. of A. goes, we might pin it on the birth of rock & roll in the 50s, with those crazy hip-gyrations & such, or the 'free-love' 60s, The British Invasion which came in the same era probably didn't help much either! Most Christians would happily attribute it to 'the Fall' & say glibly that the main reason our culture is in the shape it's in is because of our fallen nature. Whatever reason, true or false, that one blames the degradation of society on, one thing's for sure, with scourges like the infamous Roe V. Wade decision which opened the floodgates of legalized abortion ( child murder ), the burgeoning porn industry & endless war, along with plenty of innocent blood on our hands, it's abundantly clear that America, especially her 'Christian' majority, is under the judgment of Almighty God!

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The Idolatry of the Age

You may have heard it said, 'preach the Gospel at all times & if necessary, use words'; truly, the best way to convey the Good News is through action: conversely of course, the best way to make a bad impression is also through action! How many televangelists do you know of, I'm generalizing here, that don't practice what they preach? Oh, I'm certain there are some that do practice what they preach, but when's the last time you heard one regaling the love of Jesus, while living in a multi-million dollar mansion & speeding past the homeless beggar in his Lexus or Bentley?

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Weak Christians
in an Age of Guilt-Manipulators

Judge not, that you be not judged.
Matthew 7:1

For what [ have ] I [ to do ] with judging those also who are outside?
Do you not judge those who are inside?
I Corinthians 5:12

 If you talk to anyone nowadays who makes the merest claim to be a Christian, ( though they're usually 'spiritual but not religious' ) about some inconsistency in their life ( usually some sort of encompassing & unrepentant sin ), you will likely have the verse from Matthew 7, above, thrown in your face! If you quickly back-pedal & stop condemning their ( wrong ) life choices, you might retain their friendship, but don't dare mention it again, because, 'only God can judge me!'

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 Redeeming Culture

Since 1972, these United States have been an almost silent witness to around 55 million murders! Most recently in the news are homosexual marriage licenses. For the past 40-50 years, society ( culture ) in this great nation have taken a decidedly down-hill turn. This is barely to mention even the wars & rumors of war that the U.S. Inc. has embroiled its subjects in!

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The Tolerable Christian:
'Friendship With the World'

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:4

And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.
 Luke 16:9

 Many Christians today read the passage above, from James, understanding that, quite literally, one cannot be friends with any who do not believe as we do ( AKA, 'the world' ); however, read in context with Jesus' statement from the Gospel according to Luke, it seems that we SHOULD make friends with 'the world', even unrighteous ones! What are we to make of this seeming contradiction? Can we or should we be friends with those who war against the Gospel of Peace? Of course not, but if we simply tolerate them, are we acquiescing to their violence, or simply living at peace ( loving ) our neighbor?

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The Degradation of Marriage

You've heard it said that America is no longer a Christian nation! However misquoted this statement is, there's a lot of truth in it! Though you might object that a good 70-80% ( at least ) of Americans claim to be Christians; since the beginnings of the sexual revolution in the 40s & 50s, leading up to the 'free-love' 60s & beyond, Americans have witnessed & countenanced much that, 50-100 years ago would have quickly gone the way of the 8-track tape! Abortion, one of the worst ( maybe THE worst ) by-products of this disease, which, in essence was legalized in 1972 is but one of the abominations that a truly Christian nation would not have allowed to flourish!

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Click HERE to listen to Tim Martin's latest sermon on this subject!

In introduction to an article by one such American who has awakened;

The Appeal of Apocalypticism

We are at war!

No, I'm not speaking of the War on Terror that many Americans are blindly fighting against an almost unassailable foe; I'm not even speaking of the War on Islam that seems to be fomenting in the hearts & minds of these & other Americans! I'm speaking rather of the War that the U. S. Inc. is waging, with the help of the Religious Right ( Moral Majority, etc. ) on the Hearts & Minds of all Americans!

 A Familiar Trap

The perpetrators of Friday’s attacks in Paris intended to start a four-part cascade: (a) Prompt an extreme response that will (b) alienate moderate Muslims who will then (c) throw their lot in with the lunatics running ISIS, so as (d) to cause a final apocalyptic war between Islam and everyone else. This is explicitly what ISIS has said it wants to achieve.

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A Nation at War

Is Almighty God pleased with the efforts of the U.S.Inc.( USA ) at empire-building? Right away, most Americans, including many Christians, would respond with a resounding 'YES'! 'Look at all the nations we have brought under our banner', they might say, 'America is without doubt the greatest nation in the world'. America has become great, in a manner of speaking, but at what cost? Is she not one of the most hated nations in the world? It would be hard to prove that there is even one nation on earth that does not harbour any number of enemies of America!

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 Signs of the Times
( 'the times they are a' changin' )

When it is evening you say, '[ It will be ] fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, '[ It will be ] foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites!
You know how to discern the face of the sky,
but you cannot [ discern ] the signs of the times.
Matthew 16:2 & 3
September 11, 2001 is a day that will be remembered in infamy! This day will forever be seared in the hearts & minds of many Americans, because, as reports have it, almost 3,000 human beings lost their lives when terrorists orchestrated what might constitute one of the greatest such attacks on American soil in almost 60 years. Why did the terrorists choose those particular targets over all others? Maybe it was because they were two of the greatest monuments to America's financial dominance in the world. A display of our arrogance and self indulgence. Money & power, America's idols!

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Eight hundred years ago this year, the year 1215, Stephen Langton wrote Magna Carta in a moment’s notice, King John signed it at the points of swords, and the Roman pope outlawed both Magna Carta and its drafter Steven Langton—
because it is contrary to the canon law of Rome. Stephen Langton, King John, and that Roman pope are now gone. Magna Carta, however, —the result of the sharpest adversity, a foundation of our common-law way of life—lives on. Since its signing, Magna Carta—as now also our United States Constitution—has been hacked, amended, cussed, misconstrued, and even chucked into the dustbin of
history. Powerful men have put it into a coffin, dug its grave, and formed its funeral procession. But somehow the intended corpse has refused to stay put, and
understandably so, because its principles are timeless.

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The Body of Christ   
( In the 21st Century )    

'Where do you go to church?'

How often do we ask this question without really thinking about it? Sure, everybody knows what we mean; we mean to ask them where they meet with others of like faith for the purpose of fellowship & corporate worship, but it's just easier ( simpler ) to ask 'where do you go to church?'! Why then don't we ask where they meet for fellowship & worship rather than playing along with the popular but ignorant notion that Church is where we meet, not who we are are?

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The Perfect Republic

Many Christians today, while opposing certain evils like abortion and homosexuality, are some of the most rabid supporters of empire-building by means of foreign wars.  Christians who voice their opposition to and rightly proclaim God’s hatred for these and other sins are too often eager to support the warmongery that this nation has been embroiled in for at least three quarters of her relatively short life. They justify their hypocricy with sentiments like, 'we must root out evil wherever it crops up', and 'we must support the nation of Israel at all costs.' Most of these same Christians, also would tell you that we must blindly obey any governmental authority!

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'There Outta Be a Law!'

How often have we heard, in one form or another, people, including many Christians, making such a statement? For Christians, of course, the answer is fairly simple: 'look at how the children of Israel did with law; it didn't work so well for them, huh?' The problem is not so much a lack of Law & Order, but a lack of righteousness! The problem is that most people, including many Christians, are slaves, just like the children of Israel were slaves to sin, whatever form that sin might take, whether it's the sin of idolatry to the Federal & State government, or disobedience to Natural Law & that of treating others like you want to be treated ( you reap what you sow )!

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 The True Patriot

The Kingdom of God is not now & never was nationalistic!

The question of whether Jesus would make a 'good American', itself begs the question, 'what IS a good American?' In today's day & age, a good American seems to be one who supports national pride, one who stands behind this 'great nation', even to the ignorance ( willful or otherwise ) of the evils that are perpetrated by her leaders & her citizens! A 'good American' is a patriot, put simply, 'one who loves, supports and defends one's country'!

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The Scourge of God

More & more Christians, in particular, theologians. are acknowledging the impotence of modern Christianity to offer an effective solution to the problem of evil, on a global scale! American Christianity, in effect & in particular, has become the purveyor of the Personal Salvation Gospel to such an an extent ( almost solely ) that it has become well-nigh useless & impotent in society! Today's Christianity, for the most part, promises an eternity in 'Heaven' & escape from the fires of 'Hell' ( one of the most infamous question asked by evangelists today is, 'if you died today, would you go to 'Heaven' or 'Hell'? )!

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 The Lord of Creation

Most Christians believe that Jesus is ruling now, but only in our hearts; Jesus, according to this belief system, has yet to return and set up His earthly Kingdom, which according to Scripture, will never end! While waiting for Jesus to set up His earthly Kingdom, most accept the earthly rule of those who are not in agreement with Him, and some even that are in direct & flagrant opposition to His rule!

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Agents of Reconciliation & Redemption

It's that time of year again; time to give thanks for all that we've been given in the past year ( yeah, it's almost over ) & time to look forward with joy to what we'll find under the Christmas Tree ( or parked in the garage, tied up to the dock, etc. )! As one of our local radio stations has been airing recently, 'it's the return of 'A Season for Giving'! ( Don't get me wrong; what with the colder weather ( higher heating bills, need for warmer clothes, etc. ) & the already weak economy and such, 'A Season for Giving' is a great idea! )

The Despicable Art of War

'War is a racket!'

How much truth is in that statement! Since time began, the strong have made war on the weak in order to exercise control, whether it be control of money, population, power or natural resources. Human beings have always endeavored to hold under subjection those who don't enjoy quite the same status of importance! With the advent of centralized government, human beings found a simpler way to exercise this control, by threatening & carry out war against anyone who opposed the decisions of the majority!

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The Taxation of America

And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants.

I Samuel 8:15 & 16

When Israel asked for a king like all the nations around them had, God warned them what the consequences would be for having such a ruler! Sure, there would be noticeable benefits, like safety & security, even comfort in their servitude, but there would be servitude: not only would this servitude be coerced, but this king would require a tithe, equal to, and in most cases, above & beyond what God Himself required!

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 The Prostration of American


In the eyes of many Christians today, the most newsworthy article in today's headlines is the massacre of Christian ( genocide, really ) in certain areas of the Middle East! While this is a most disturbing & unconscionable trend, we, as American Christians might ask ourselves several haunting questions; 'why are they being killed?' & 'if we were in the same situation, is our own witness enough to get us killed?' Have American Christians adopted a practical stance of 'country first, then God'? When it comes right down to it, are we willing to forsake our country rather than our God? Sadly, we as American Christians are not!

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Covenant Community Church
P.O. Box 99
Whitehall, MT 59759
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