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What's at Stake

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If you’re like me, you’re struggling to process what you see in the news everyday. We all sense the seriousness….the heaviness…..honestly, the “wages of sin” all around us and the temptation is to despair or even to just turn it all off and hope it goes away. Seeing lawlessness and disrespect and violence erupting all over the country, and for me – all the targeting of historical structures – is beyond heartbreaking. But not for the reason you might think. I don’t value the statues more than people…..but I value TRUTH – God values truth – He IS truth! And the chaos in our nation is a symptom of massive deception.

Listen – I’m not the only one saying this but be sure you’re hearing this: This isn’t about statues, this isn’t about George Floyd, this isn’t about reconciliation or even real justice. What is happening right now… this dystopian experience that we’re all now living in … is about a militant and lawless “fundamental transformation” of our country. It’s about convincing you that America is and was essentially wicked from her founding in order to justify overthrowing our constitutional republic… which is ironically the only real hope for actually upholding justice and protecting liberty when deployed as designed.

Battle lines are being drawn and many around us aren’t even seeing it. It is urgent that we see what is happening for what it really is. Please hear me – I know there are well-meaning people who have been swept up into the events of the day and there are legitimate questions about ethnic prejudices and how our justice system works that are being raised. It is right to listen and to be sure that the ideal of equal justice (not special justice) is being achieved. Some of this stuff is hard but - Christians – we’re supposed to be salt and light in our culture and that means we can’t abandon these discussions and debates. We need to engage our hearts and MINDS but as we engage with them, our first goal must be to come at these questions from a biblical worldview. Is “race” a biblical idea? How are we actually supposed to “see” each other? If prejudice is a heart issue, if that’s the real problem-what is the answer? What is civil government’s role in all of this….biblically? What does God say that “justice” is? How do we line our brains and our actions up with the answers? Those should be at least some of the questions and that is not what is happening right now.

Our culture – and many well-meaning Christians are reacting to worldly philosophy and assumptions with worldly solutions and reflexive symbolic gestures. It’s particularly insidious because it seems “appropriate” – after all it appears to be what’s being requested by people we care about and didn’t know we’d wronged. Aren’t Christians supposed to be humble and to love our neighbor? Folks – we need to stop. We need to prayerfully and carefully consider what we’re doing. Right now people are responding to shrieking demands based on false ideas that have been subtly woven into our culture for many years, bending the knee to political correctness that will take all of us (including those people that BLM purports to help) down the road to true oppression.

You’re being told (if your skin is white) that your very whiteness makes you an oppressor and that you can’t speak to the issue. Y’all – this is bald-faced bigotry. It the height of actual ethnic bias and it’s a deliberate, textbook, manipulative strategy employed by Marxist organizations. A 2016 report by a think-tank called The Frontier Center analyzed BLM and noted that their methods include “creating an atmosphere of intimidation through threats of violence and shows of force, and incorporating a culture of self-censorship in which those with “privilege” have a lesser voice than the oppressed.” This is NOT loving your neighbor and we shouldn’t support it.

I’m telling you – ideas have consequences and there’s an enemy out there who’s been advancing on the battlefield of ideas for years, seizing ground and Christians – including me-either didn’t know about it or thought “Critical Theory…..Liberation Theology….Marxist interpretation of our history…gosh – that seems hard and kinda esoteric….I have more urgent things to think about.” Well, here we are. Do ideas matter? You bet….what’s internal works out to impact the external….what’s down in the well comes up in the bucket….the root bears fruit or as Proverbs 23:7 says: “As a man thinketh, so is he.” Yes, ideas have consequences. One of the first homework assignments in World History I to memorize Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world rather than according to Christ.”

So I’m ringing the alarm bell! Hidden under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement are incredibly ungodly and devastating ideas – ideas designed to take captives - from the bold promotion of sexual sin to the declared goal of the destruction of the traditional nuclear family and the rule of law. They stand starkly against God’s plan for humanity…they stand starkly against all the things that actually strengthen American communities of every color. None of us should be bending a knee to that.

Our families, our churches and our constitutional system need defending RIGHT NOW….the idea of rule of law needs defense…..our understanding of individual liberties and protection of private property needs defense.

Understand that, to the best of my ability, my goal is to come at this from a biblical worldview. At the end of the day, it’s not what “Mrs. Caruso” thinks that matters….it’s seeking after what God thinks. What are His principles for families, for churches, for civil government?

No matter who you are – whether you know Christ as Savior or not – I am telling you - it’s the fruit of THAT worldview (commonly called Judeo-Christian heritage) that established America….that inaugurated the greatest birth of freedom, the most incredible opportunity, the most substantial protection of individual lives, liberty and property EVER seen in history. …. and y’all – it’s not because those first comers were better than anybody else. Not at all. “For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!” But they brought with them a playbook for civil government– in God’s providence – that was based on biblical ideas about God and man and civil government. They set in place a system under the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that was unlike ANYTHING in history and set in place standards of truth that would bring liberty to millions and millions. It’s incredibly practical. Unlike Marxism, what we have is a non-utopian system that actually agrees with God, recognizing the sinful nature of man and putting protective measures in place like representation, dividing power between three branches, instituting checks and balances, and protecting individual liberties. It took time to rid America of slavery, but the standards of truth found in those documents helped us do it. What we struggle with is SIN. Yesterday we saw corruption of justice within the halls of the Supreme Court. They crossed over into the role of the legislature today, advancing the path for sin in a way that will impact millions. And two weeks ago, at the most personal level, we saw an individual law enforcer tragically violate his oath and take the life of George Floyd. The solution is not to abandon the ideals of America….” but to RETURN to their original intent… correct our path. . . again to live up to the actual standards expressed in those documents.

The charge that America was hopelessly wicked from her beginnings and must be destroyed is a lie. It’s been perpetuated cunningly and subtly for years in museum displays, in history texts, in documentaries, in universities and most recently in the NY Times sponsored 1619 curriculum (roundly criticized by a wide range of secular scholars but still being used). The agenda has been to train our young people to think like a Marxist, dividing all of society into oppressed and oppressors…. to convince them that America was bad…..bad from the beginning, plagued by “original sin” that negates any positive accomplishments. Groups that have studied BLM and Antifa recognize that this is part of their core message. The Frontier Center’s report states that “If Black Lives Matter succeeds, it will have re-engineered the minds of America to view our system, our history, and our future, through the lens of division and hate.” Their “core message is built upon, depends upon, and has as its ultimate goal, the larger retelling of the American story as one of oppression and racism.” They retell the story of America as one of oppression and racism in order to justify destroying it and they’re not hiding what they see as the solution: this constitutional republic, its ideas, its history and all that it stands for must be overturned; socialism (soft communism) is the answer.

Friends – we stand at a turning point in our nation’s history. Truly evil ideas seem poised to be embraced by Americans eager to avoid social shaming or the devastating effects of the “cancel culture.” I am horrified but at the same time I choose this day not to be overwhelmed and not to fear. Why? Because God gave me a beautiful gift 18 years ago when he taught me to see all of time as HIS-story and then allowed me to teach it, so that I could rehearse His mighty works in my OWN ears year after year. It’s understandable that we would be overwhelmed but I’m here to encourage you. I know that the numbers and the social fervor and the billions of dollars may seem to be on the side of evil, but I also know that God has always worked with a remnant…. I remember and hope my students do too….that the mighty Assyrian army besieged Hezekiah and Jerusalem and mocked them for weeks but when Assyrian King Sennacherib arrived to finish the job, an angel of the Lord killed 185,000 men in one night. The enemy packed up and went home without even a battle. Over and over its recorded how God intervened on behalf of His people. This was to train the people of God to trust not in horses, not in chariots, but in the name of the Lord their God. ( Psalm 20:7 ) When the Spanish Armada - the largest naval force ever gathered- sailed against England, “God blew and the enemy was scattered!” The same thing happened here in America in 1746 when the French fleet sailed against an unprotected New England coast, like Israel so many times before, New England under threat of utter destruction… stood still and saw the salvation of the Lord (Exodus 14:13).

There are many things we can do in this moment.

First, pray. Pray hard. The battle is real and it’s not against flesh and blood, but is a spiritual battle against “the forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” As followers of Christ, engaging in this battle on behalf of our nation is our responsibility. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says…..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 will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land. I’ve begun praying everyday at 7:14 AM as part of a larger group and there’s something encouraging about thinking about the power of praying in unity with fellow saints. I’d love it you’d join me.

Even as we pray, let’s keep the right mindset. You all know….I love America but what’s important here is God glorified….not America glorified. So let’s pray that evil would be exposed, that wicked leaders would fall, that justice would be restored, that God would protect us and be pleased to have mercy on us and that in all of this HE would receive all the glory.

Secondly, let’s commit to understanding the issues by reading good sources and financially support those organizations that are providing that information or are actually on the front lines. I’ve started a list of those I trust on all kinds of topics on the Resources page of my website, including some of the stuff that we’re just hearing about like Critical Race Theory. Know that for some I can’t know everything about them and If I find them untrustworthy, they’ll be removed, but I do think we need a central clearinghouse to help us learn truth and understand its counterfeit.

I do have other thoughts about “what to do” and I’ll be talking about that in the next few days. For now, I know one thing that I can do – that I’m called to do – is teach what I’ve learned. So, I’m going to periodically be posting short (like 10 minute) history lessons related to what’s happening around us.

I’ll leave you with this one: Sunday was Flag Day….a good time to reflect on the words to a song, written by an American lawyer - Francis Scott Key – one September night in 1814 as he strained to see if the American flag was still flying over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during a brutal night-time bombardment by the British. It was that night that our flag got its nickname….”the Star Spangled Banner.” After a miraculous victory (and there’s so much more to the story I’d love to tell you), Key published the words to what would become our national anthem. We all know the words to the 1st stanza but oh, that God would bring us back to the ideal Key expressed in the 4th – the place that Americans still stood at that time….recognizing that it’s not by our wealth, our military power, our technology or anything else that we are preserved. It’s by trusting in God and his mercy alone. Let this be our praise and our prayer:

Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust":

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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