Life, the Universe, and Everything, from the Outside In

Archive for the ‘hope’ Category

Curing Apostasy

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There is a major problem in the Church today. Whether we are talking about the Roman Catholic, United Methodist, or Independent Baptist, Free Presbyterian, or the various Brethren churches, there is a problem that is costing the Kingdom countless lives every day; and the greater the problem grows the smaller it gets in the eyes of the leadership. Sadly, this is not even a contradiction.

Looking at a website a few minutes ago, there was a mention of praying for American bishops who had yet to come to faith in Jesus Christ. The sad news is that there likely are some. The sadder news is that they are probably quite few. Why is this sad? It’s an old truism that a convert to Liberal Christianity is a rare bird to find. Liberalism just does not have a lot to offer that the average sinner does not already have. Freedom to sin? Why even call it sin? A broad range of opinions? Go to any pub, flower club, or lodge! Tight camaraderie? Stop by your local Kiwanis, Rotary, or motorcycle club and get all you can handle! So why would an unbeliever want to convert from agnostic to skeptic? Liberal Christians, especially the clergy, are seldom “made,” but far more often unmade. Talk with, say, an Episcopal priest about how he or she came to enter the clergy, and you will hear the same kind of “calling” story you would hear from, say, a Congregational Methodist. Later in the conversation, though, the Episcopalian might go on to reveal just how open he or she is Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Robert Easter

Sunday, 14 September, 2008 at 19:20

Posted in faith, growth, hope, restoration

The Billy Generation

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The “Boomer Generation,” also known as the “Love Generation,” and the “Beemer Generation” among others, born between 1946 & ‘64, has done the most, good or bad, to shape the contours of America-as-we-know-it. This generation has written the schoolbooks, movies, sitcoms, and newscasts, and shaped current social trends and Government policy. According to recent polls, nearly 80% of Americans acknowledge a “born again” experience. By all rights, this should be the most authentically Christian nation anywhere, and any time, in history. Yet in the past thirty-five years over fifty million lives have been violently extinguished by abortion, more children nation-wide are growing up in single-parent homes, chronically neglected by absentee fathers (or sometimes mothers) as they learn to esteem the “thug life” as honorable, and homosexuality is being pushed as a new normality,

What has gone wrong? We can go into particular causes for a lot of that stuff, but the root to it all is Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Monday, 1 September, 2008 at 14:59

Aborting our Souls?

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The Wall Street Journal today, in a story about an upcoming report on the effects of the abortion trauma on the mothers involved, quotes one clinic director, Susan Hill, who runs clinics in five southern states, as saying that, “‘..women today need less counseling, less psychological care than they did in 1973,’ when abortion was legalized but still carried an enormous stigma.” We might speculate that this is in line with the overall loss of sensitivity for human life, generally. Over the last thirty or so years we seen a shift from a time when the film, Bonnie and Clyde

(From Warner Brothers, no less- What’s up, Doc?) stirred such controversy over its gory scenes. Now Hitchcock’s style of suspense stories has been replaced by “splatter films,” and pop music now features brutal rape and murder in place of undying love and devotion.

Ms. Hill, who has been in the business of “providing abortions” for thirty five years, said she, “has tried offering postprocedure counseling sessions — but very few women show up.” In her words, “They want to get past it and move on with their lives.” Overlooking the possibility of all kinds of motives for not returning to the “clinic” to walk through that trauma all over again, it might be good to consider the real effects on all the people in this picture. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Tuesday, 12 August, 2008 at 15:32

War on Terror, and Faith

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The “War on Terror.” The US has, in the past, declared war on poverty, and on drugs. In both cases little progress was made on those fronts. It’s really hard to wage a negative campaign against a negative concept. In this one we seem to have a war with a few more concrete objectives and photo-ops, but until the Western governments get what, and why, it is they’re fighting they stand to lose a lot more than their confusion lets them see. The war that has embroiled the “Western Powers” is far more far-reaching than a bush operation against a motley bunch of sand bandits, as the American Press would have us believe. What we are looking at is an ideological war- a campaign of values, ethics, and dogma that forges the rival Islamic sects and nations into a de facto coalition, and either joins Liberal Western leaders with them or at least keeps them out of the way. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Thursday, 7 August, 2008 at 20:42

What Gospel?

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Today we see a vast spread of what we call Christianity. Churches are springing up worldwide, largely influenced by the glut of “Good Christian Teaching” from the US. The problem, though, is seen in looking at the state of affairs in the US Church. Substance abuse, teen pregnancy, STDs and marriage breakdowns match if not outstrip the “sinners” who never darken a church door. The “Hardshell Baptist” has become a standard, and a bye-word, for American religion in general: Quick enough to state a position, but completely unable to give a reason for it which reflects in a godly life. The shell is there, and in good repair, but the yolk has been sucked out years ago, leaving what looks like a healthy egg, but neither food nor life inside.

Severe words? Yes indeed. Un-called-for? Then why do we have cities in the middle of the “Bible Belt” where churches outnumber filling stations, nearly 90% of the people report being “born again,” and the biggest two industries seem to be illegal drugs and prostitution? Why does the head of the Evangelical Alliance have to resign because of a queer sex scandal, the biggest “evangelists” on the media circle the wagons when asked about their finances, and one of their number pack a sports stadium while refusing to confess Christ as Savior on national television? Ranting? Yes. Called-for? What do you think? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Sunday, 3 August, 2008 at 18:02

Pearls Big Enough to Walk Through!

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[Picking up from “Eternal Candyland’ (below):]
We read in Acts that Paul’s gospel was that “that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” A pearl only comes from patiently dealing with trouble. A piece of grit gets up under a clam’s neck and troubles it, and the way the clam deals with the trouble produces something of lasting beauty and value. In order to get into that city, to see Christ, it will take perseverance. In fact, in we read that God, “will give eternal life to those who persist in doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves…” Jesus said, “The gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to (eternal) life, and those who find it are few.” So those that see those gates of pearl will be the ones that know what the pearl is all about.

At about this point, some will be asking if we’re talking about our own hard work saving us, or impressing God so much he’ll just have to let us in. Short answer- not even a little bit. Come back for the next installment to see what kind of road we’ve got for the journey!

Written by Robert Easter

Tuesday, 25 March, 2008 at 23:00

Eternal Candyland?

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God’s plan for Israel never was a free ride to a candy-coated oblivion. Jesus, the Son, didn’t come with any Big New Plan. There is a difference between the Old and New Testaments on what trust in God looks like, but the real story is that, “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” is true here if any place. There is a price on faith. It’s called obedience. Really,
is there a difference?

Back to the candy shop: Western Christianity has gone from real faith in Christ for salvation to a “prayer of faith” for a promise of eternal self-indulgence, to a “word of faith” for the same selfishness here and now. It’s become popular to think of the Afterlife as being defined by our “fondest dreams!” There are some references to the New Jerusalem with the pearl gates and streets of transparently pure gold, where Christ is the light of that city. While I have no problem with that city being a real thing in the future, let’s look at those gates and streets.

Written by Robert Easter

Tuesday, 25 March, 2008 at 0:17