Monday, June 27, 2011

War Against Words

"This is war!" Three words shouted by a madman just before he opened fire on the people gathered at First Baptist Church, Daingerfield, Texas in the summer of 1980. His "war" came without warning and was unleashed with tremendous fury on the innocent.

It was a war no one knew existed until it erupted that June morning. It was a war I will never forget. It has left permanent visual images on my mind. Since that day, there have been similar one-man acts of war that have ambushed innocent people on college campuses, churches, schools, and other public places.

There are wars we know are wars, and there are wars we remain unaware of until we're under attack. There are visible, strategic, correspondents-on-the-ground wars and invisible, surprise, no-one-knew-this-was-coming wars. Pearl Harbor and Nine Eleven rank high on our nation's memory of surprise attacks.

There are at least two ways to be invisible. One is to fly under the radar so that no one sees you. The other is to be so cleverly disguised that no one sees you even when you're right out in the open. There is an invisible war taking place right now. It is not flying under the radar. It is out in the open. Yet, few see it.

Even though it is a war on all fronts, it continues to go unnoticed. The reason it continues to go unnoticed is because its strategy is one of slow erosion. The outer defenses have been systematically removed with intellectual sniper fire. Yet, it is not a war against man, though man is a casualty. It's a war against paper. Paper? Paper. Documents. Parchments. Scrolls. It is a war against the authoritative documents once respected and obeyed in this land.

The strength of this nation is directly linked to the principles, values, and Divine guidance found in written form. The primary source of the U. S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, our nation's authoritative documents, is the Bible. Those who question that fact wear a darker blindfold than Lady Liberty. Not for the sake of justice, but for the sake of defiance against the notion of an involved God in the affairs of man.

The content of our conduct contained in those parchments of liberty and law are reflective of that which is contained in God's Word. State Constitutions are an even greater reflection of a Biblical foundation. Yet, we now live in a day when all the authoritative documents of our land, especially the Bible, are under fire.

Liberties are being squeezed into handcuffs. Laws of God-ordained human conduct and decency are being court marshalled. Man has assumed an editing role over what God has written and drawn red ink X's over sections that do not meet with their approval or desired lifestyle urges.

When men elevate themselves above their authoritative documents, there is anarchy. When men tell God who He can and cannot be and what He can and cannot do or say, the insane have truly taken over the sanitarium.

We have mislabeled arrogance and called it wisdom. We have substituted pride with what we were told was enlightenment. We have forced nature to accept what is unnatural. We have become so subnormal that the normal is now seen as abnormal. We celebrate homosexuality and mock celibacy. We fight vociferously to save whales in icy waters and send scalpels into hearts beating with human life inside human wombs. We have decided humans are evolved monkeys and then wondered why our children act more like monkeys than humans.

This is a war that is fully engaged and rapidly gaining strength. We need to be students of history. When Israel behaved similarly, turned her back on God's Word and God's ways, allowed man-made gods equal status to the God who made man, the God who made man removed His hedge of protection and allowed peoples of distant lands and purveyors of pagan religions to cart them off as conquered enemies.

To engage this battle for the soul of this nation, let us return to the primary document of true faith which includes the following directive: "If My people who are called by My name, will 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 heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The hope of healing for this nation is real. You have just read the prescription needed to bring healing. Will we fall to our knees...or be brought to them?

On the Battlefield of Prayer,
Perry Crisp

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homeless No More

Last Saturday, Max Melitzer's life and world changed. Max started out the day the same way he had for at least four years - pushing a shopping cart that contained his few possessions, roaming the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah, eating at rescue missions, and sleeping outside.

Max had no home and no hope...until Saturday. As Max pushed his shopping cart through Pioneer Park, a man approached him and asked if they could sit and talk. Max sat down on a park bench and received the news that his brother who had died of cancer last year left him a significant amount of money in his will. Max knew that his brother had died, but had no idea that he had been included in his brother's will.

David Lundberg, the private detective hired by the Melitzer family to find Max, told the Associated Press, "He'll no longer be living on the street or in abandoned storage sheds. He'll be able to have a normal life, and be able to have a home, provide for himself, and purchase clothing, food and health care."

Last Saturday, Max sat down a poor man and stood up a rich man. He had done nothing to improve the status of his life. Nor was it blind luck that reversed his course. Max's life changed because of a generous gift from someone who loved him more than he realized.

Max knew that his brother had died. But he didn't know that his brother's death turned the tumblers that opened a vault that would change his destiny.

You probably have some level of knowledge regarding the person named Jesus of Nazareth. The Christ. The Messiah. It is also quite likely that you have been informed that Jesus died on a cross 2,000 years ago.

But did you know...

•Jesus loves you more than you realize?

•Jesus was heaven's generous gift to you that opened an eternal inheritance you could never earn or repay?

•Jesus' death turned the tumblers that opened heaven's vault that could change your forever destiny if you will accept Him by faith?

Max received an inheritance from someone who loved him. An inheritance that came only after death. Max has a choice. He can either accept or refuse the gift. But how could he turn away from that sacrificial gift of love without rejecting the giver? I'm sure that Max feels unworthy and humbled by the gift. But I'm also sure that he loves his brother now more than ever because he knows how much his brother truly loved him.

Your response to Jesus is the same. You have the same options Max has, yet with eternal implications and consequences. I yearn to testify that I have accepted the sacrificial gift from Jesus, though no one is less worthy of it or more humbled by it.

Jesus loves me, this I know - for the cross tells me so.
Perry Crisp