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Letter Explains Mitt Romney for Commencement Speaker at Liberty University

Mitt Romney at Liberty University

Every since Liberty University announced that Mitt Romney was going to be the Commencement Speaker (see also the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the CBS News, and even the POLITICO) for this year’s graduation class [some] people have been in an uproar (so says the Daily Kos anyway, the people I know had no problem with it at all). Most of the uproar comes in the form of the fact that Romney is a Mormon, and doesn’t align with Liberty’s theological vision, which is correct, he is, and he doesn’t.

Yesterday, the Office of the Chancellor, or Jerry Falwell, Jr. addressed concerns with the statements below. I guess at some level an explanation was needed, but the one presented below is a great example why this is no different than any other speaker Liberty has had in the past. I for one am glad that they have such a wide variety of speakers at Liberty. I’m sure there are those who can shred the theological explanation below, but it’s good enough for me, and it goes beyond just the criticism of having a Mormon speak at graduation, the letter explains why Liberty’s mission statement, to train Champions for Christ, includes welcoming Mitt Romney, regardless of his faith or politics.

Dear Students,

My office has received hundreds of messages from students and 2012 graduates who are thrilled and honored that the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States will be our Commencement speaker. Some graduates have also inquired about Liberty’s policies regarding the doctrinal beliefs of graduation speakers. These same questions seem to surface every spring and I am writing you in response to those inquiries.

First of all, it is important to remember that Liberty actually has two Commencement speakers each year. Long ago, most universities ceased their practice of including a Baccalaureate service during their Commencement weekend, but we have insisted on keeping this service as a demonstration of our Christian commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

This year our Baccalaureate speaker is Luis Palau. Dr. Palau is an evangelist who has preached the Gospel to a billion people. Palau is often considered second only to Billy Graham in his influence for the Gospel, and, as is our tradition, he will be clearly delivering the Gospel at Baccalaureate.

For twenty-five years Liberty has traditionally had leaders from the worlds of politics, business, and entertainment speak during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday. Most of these leaders have not traditionally shared Liberty’s doctrinal convictions. In the last few years, our Commencement speakers have included an evangelical filmmaker (Randall Wallace), a Mormon commentator (Glenn Beck), a Jewish economist (Ben Stein), an evangelical actor and athlete (Chuck Norris), an evangelical – now Catholic – politician (Newt Gingrich), a Catholic commentator (Sean Hannity), a Southern Baptist senator (John McCain), and an Episcopalian chief of staff to President Bush (Karl Rove). In all, at least 20 of Liberty’s 38 Commencement speakers have fit in this category.

My father’s vision for Liberty University was both a theological and a cultural vision. Theologically, it was to found the world’s preeminent Christian university where every faculty member professed faith in Jesus Christ, agreed with our doctrinal statement, and sought to fulfill the Great Commission and live the Great Commandment. Culturally, it was to found a university that held in high regard our nation’s founding principles of limited government, the free enterprise system, and individual liberty. Liberty’s tradition has been to focus on the first part of this vision during the Friday night ceremony and the second part on Saturday morning.

Liberty’s commitment to an annual Baccalaureate service has ensured that we have never held a Commencement that did not include a strong gospel message from an evangelical leader.

I am sure that members of the Liberty University community will treat Gov. Romney with the respect he deserves, regardless of whether they agree with his religious or political beliefs.

When my father traveled the nation speaking at many secular universities, he was often met with boos and hisses by those who held different theological beliefs than he. I am so proud that Liberty students have gained a reputation for treating those whose beliefs are different than their own in a Christ-like manner. You have shown respect to speakers as divergent from Liberty’s worldview as Ted Kennedy, Bob Beckel, and Tim Kaine.

Gov. Romney is a man who has excelled in business, governed a state, and even managed the Olympic games. He has been faithfully married to his wife, Ann, for 43 years, and they have 5 sons and 16 grandchildren. Gov. Romney is a leader of global significance, who might eventually be the leader of the free world, and we are honored that he accepted our invitation.

An invitation to speak at Commencement is not an ad-hoc endorsement of a presidential candidate or even of that particular speaker’s religious or political views. The ultimate purpose of having a prominent Commencement speaker is not to promote the speaker or his views but rather to inspire and challenge the graduates and showcase Liberty and its mission.

My prayer is that having the presumptive Republican nominee as our speaker will cause many who have never heard of Liberty to take notice of what Liberty is doing to train a generation of Champions for Christ. Perhaps, many of them will consider a Christian education over the secular alternative.

Sincerely,

Jerry Falwell, Jr.
Chancellor and President

That explanation won’t cut it for some, but for many, no explanation would suffice at all.

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Google Drive vs Dropbox, Amazon, or Microsoft Sky Drive for Cloud Storage?

Google Drive Storage

There was some great news from Google this week concerning cloud storage, and while it isn’t up to what I want in replacing your hard drive, Google Drive is a great step forward in drive cloud storage with 5GB free, and apparently I’m grandfathered in to my 20GB $5/year plan (see screenshot below). Finally Google put some effort into developing something we can truly use instead of trying to beat Facebook or Twitter at social networking. Eventually, this type of storage is going to do away with our need to keep purchasing more and more hard drives to store our files with only a small flash drive needed on the system for the OS. I have almost 8TB’s of data stored on local hard drives at this point, so this lousy 5GB of storage won’t help that, but it’s a start.

If you aren’t familiar with using cloud storage, until now, there was really only one real option, and that was Dropbox. Yes there are those like Box.com and Amazon Cloud Drive (provide 5 GB), and Microsoft’s SkyDrive (offers 25 GB) who just made some nice improvements this week, probably in anticipation of the release of Google Drive. Each of those have some significant disadvantages, and I don’t ever really consider them to be viable options because of their limitations or issues. Apple’s iCloud is great for backing up devices, but it doesn’t even offer an option for drive storage in the cloud. While I love Dropbox, the basic computer user still isn’t really familiar with Dropbox, and they are with Google. That doesn’t make Google better than Dropbox, but it does make Google Drive easier to integrate with your friends or family to share files. So which one is better, Google Drive or Dropbox? There services seem to be almost identical, but Google has some significant advantages over Dropbox.

Google Drive Storage 20GB $5 year

The biggest news, at least to me, about the Google Drive launch in the fact that they are going to allow you to keep up to 100GB of data stored for a reasonable price of $5.99, it’s just too bad once you get above that, it’s outrageous, but that too will change. This is great on multiple levels, and something probably only Google could do with some massive data centers that companies like Dropbox, and perhaps even Microsoft, just don’t have. When you are looking at possible server farm potential for cloud storage, the biggest possibilities right now are Google, Amazon, and of course Apple who just built a massive cloud server farm in North Carolina, which is even visible from space now. All of this is good for those who want all files stored in the cloud instead of on local home hard drives that fail.

Advantages and Disadvantages in Google Drive vs Dropbox

  • More storage – 5GB of Storage on Google compared to 2GB on Dropbox (you can gain more on Dropbox)
  • Blanket Existing Coverage  - most of us already use Google for just about everything from email to Internet searches
  • Google Recognition – sometimes this is negative, but in this case, everyone has heard of Google, tech-nerds know Dropbox
  • Integration and Development in OS – both have ability to run within MAC OS-X or Windows but Google has greater development potential. The biggest plus here is with Google Docs and other Google products.
  • Automatic Syncing – both have this as well, that’s the point of cloud storage
  • Works with iOS and Android – both have this too (Google Drive says coming soon on iOS), but the Dropbox versions could use some better features, hopefully Google will do this
  • Backup – this is a big question for me, what happens with my account and my files if the company goes Chapter 11. Google has less chance to do this.
  • Potential Increases in Storage – Google is known for increasing storage size constantly, and to me, the more storage the better
  • Integration with Google Apps – Not sure how soon this is on their radar, but at work we use a Google App account
  • No URL Links – Dropbox just released this feature this week, a feature that lets you have a unique URL for each file. I see no mention about this in the Google Drive information but it has to be in the works, they couldn’t have just overlooked this feature. For now, I only see this available on Dropbox.

For now we all have to wait until Google actually rolls it out instead of just giving us the information, and of course, they developed the Android OS before the iOS, so us Apple iPhone and iPad users will have to wait even longer. Still, it’s a step in the right cloud storage direction!

Space Shuttle Discovery Makes Historic Landing in Washington

Space Shuttle Discovery

Days when the national news like CNN and Fox News actually cover something for more than a 3 minutes sound bite seems to be the huge exception to the rule today. That is, unless, there is actually something going on live they can’t manipulate into a proper commercial break spot. Lately I have come to loathe the repetition of information on the news and documentary-reality shows. This morning was one of those non-stop coverage points for the historic landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery, and an end to a space program, really the only one I have ever known in my lifetime.

Since this is really the only space program I have ever known in my life, it has been sad to me to see it being dismantled over the last 12 months, but I’m sure they know what they are doing and it’s time to move on. Being an average objective observer of the program over the last 30 plus years I certainly can’t offer any inside knowledge for anything NASA, I will just miss watching something I have known since I could was old enough to know what a rocket was. Discovery had a beautiful landing this morning on the back of that giant NASA Boeing 747SP-21 (see some pics here). Ben Cooper over on Airliners.net captured a great sunrise shot of the departing N905NA / 376 (cn 20107/86) captioned saying: “Farewell, Discovery! Shuttle Discovery departs Florida for the final time in history at sunrise, atop NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, bound for the Smithsonian in Washington DC.” Well said.

Is True Christianity Represented on CNN, Discovery, and History Channel?

CNN Belief Blog

Can we really know the true meaning of Christianity today? The answer of course, is an emphatic yes, of course we can, but the answer always seems to change depending on who you ask. Our culture is filled with blogs and news articles like the CNN “Belief Blog” and the Washington Post “On Faith” section, which constantly adjust the meaning of Christianity to suit their own needs, mostly to be politically correct. Make no mistake, these are secular institutions, writing for a single collective purpose and goal in mind, to make a monetary profit. These are businesses, and in business to make money (nothing wrong with that).

These news blogs ask good theological questions like Are Mormons Christians?, because they are hot-button topics, but they often give politically correct answers, ones rarely correct to true Christianity. The Mormon question is a great example, where the press wants to find some way for Christianity to accept Mormons as Christians. If they knew the differences between Christianity and what the Mormon’s say they believe, they would understand why this is just never going to happen (see a good article A Comparison Between Christian Doctrine and Mormon Doctrine). To a learned Christian, Mormons will never be considered “Christians,” even if the Mormon’s say they are, and that is just one small hot topic today of thousands.

I love the Discovery Channel series “Who is Jesus,” and the History Channel’s The Shroud of Turin, but taking serious Christian spiritual or doctrinal advise from these places would be like determining the true meaning of Christianity via the Discovery Channel and History Channel. Sadly, I’m guessing this is where many people in our culture today decide what true Christianity is and isn’t.

The truth of Christianity of course is only found from Scripture, period. If that’s so can a true biblical view also be presented to our culture by means of a secular for-profit company? I think Charles Schultz was one of the first to try and answer that question in our current day when he had Linus read from the book of Luke. After reading another blog post this morning asking “Can we really know the true meaning of Christianity today?”, it made me think… how quickly could you/we/me answer the question? Would the answer come from our deep seeded bias’ we all carry, or would it be a Biblical answer?

There are almost countless ways to answer that question in truth, but here are two quick ways to explain the true and real meaning of Christianity. It’s simple… we make it complex.

  • John 13:35 Jesus says :: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (something also expanded on by Paul in Romans 12:9-21)
  • Romans 10:9-10 Paul says: That is the outpouring of our decision for Christ… “because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved”

Those are just two quick ways to answer that question, there are many more.

Earth’s Year is 365.2422 Making Today Leap Year Day Since Creation

So today is Leap Year Day, caused by the fact that it takes the Earth 365.2422 days to rotate around the sun, not 365 days of the Gregorian Calendar we use today. There have been a bunch of different people and organizations all over the world that have attempted to created the perfect calendar (Changing Times, Is It Time to Overhaul the Calendar?), but for all of our earthly existence we as humans have never been able to create the “perfect” calendar. This sounds like such a simple thing, especially with all of our computer power and mathematical knowledge, how in the world can we not be able to figure out how to create the mathematically perfect calendar?

The reason why we can’t create the perfect calendar is much easier to answer. God’s creation is so complex, so complicated (to us), that God just didn’t make our solar system divisible evenly. Our calendar is so directly tied to creation that our calendar has actually always been in place since Genesis.

Genesis 1.14 :: 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,t and for days and years,15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

This God did on the 4th day of the creation, yes this was just the 4th day. Man was not created till the 6th day. So we can safely say that the calendar, the mechanism for determining seasons, days, and years has ALWAYS existed, since it existed before man. It was a gift of God. A gift to the man he had not yet even created.

Now look at Genesis 3:17-19. 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Then, go to look at verse 24: “So he drove the man out….”, that is, out of the garden and into the unprepared fields. Then, we move over to chapter 5 verse 5: “In all, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died” (see also God’s Calendar and the Seven Day Week).

So that is how, one the Gregorian Calendar was wrong, but since creation’s foundation, we have always had the perfect calendar in place, God’s calendar, which takes 365.2422 days to rotate around the sun. Since this day only happens, approximately, once every four years I hope you enjoy it, though in reality it has always been in place, so we should enjoy every day God has made, and rejoice in in, right?

I love the photo above, it reminds me of God’s promise, and his creation, and I took it from my back porch. Happy February 29th everyone.

Gay Dallas Judge Tonya Parker Refuses to Marry Homosexual Couples in her Court

On the surface, if you are one who stands behind Paul on Romans 1:24-27 (among many other verses of course), you would think this judge refusing gay marriage in her courtroom is a good thing (see YouTube video Judge Parker talks about LGBT issues in her court). But today of course, you can never look at something on the surface level, or by the headlines, and really get the full picture. This judge is taking her stand as a form of protest that the Texas legislature has not passed a law permitting Gay marriage, so she is refusing to marry gay couples in her court room, and instead is choosing to pass the buck down the line to her fellow judges (I’m sure they appreciate that) to wed all the gay couples coming to her courtroom. She says:

“I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state because I feel like I have to tell them why I’m turning them away,” Parker said. “So I usually will offer them something along the lines of, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people.’ And it’s kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can’t be performed for me, so I’m not going to do it.”

I pick this topic up this morning briefly (this is a great post too), as I have about once a year, because of the similar nature it has to do with a post I did years ago that still resonates with the gay marriage debate, Christian Photographer Who Refused Gay Wedding Lost Lawsuit. Our culture is at such a point today where we have utterly refused to see the Truth that before long, posts like this will be considered hate speech. It is already to a point where in Colorado you can’t openly speak what the Truth of Scripture says about the homosexual lifestyle, something you haven’t been able to do in Canada in a long time.

Frankly speaking, I’m tired of this country acting like the homosexual debate is a matter of civil rights, but that’s what happens when we blend Truth with sin. Eventually when the state of Texas makes it legal for Gay couples to marry, as I am pretty sure all states eventually will, I hope as the post above stated, they will offer the same courtesy to a judge who refuses to perform Gay weddings due to their religious beliefs, though that judge will probably be sued. My point is basically this… I am for equality, free speech, and the freedoms this country were founded on, but don’t exchange one freedom for another like they seem to have already done in Canada and elsewhere. I have the right to say homosexuality is a sin according to God’s word (one that is equal with any other sin we all commit on a a daily basis, both needing of repentance), just like others have the right to say it isn’t. My question is, when does openly speaking about Romans 1 become “illegal” in America?

None of this changes Paul’s words in Romans. Nothing ever will. No matter how much we debate the topic in this country of whether homosexuality is a sin or not, God’s words in Romans (and many other places) will never change. You can change the laws in the country, you can even put people in jail or sue them for speaking the Truth or taking a stand for their beliefs, but even if Heaven and Earth pass away, God’s words will never pass away (Luke 21:33).

My Father-in-Law and a Real Dallas Morning News-paper

I am still going through all the different shots from last weekend but pulled this shot out of my Father-in-Law that I just love. I hadn’t seen a news paper in so long that I had to pull out my camera. I love the mix of old and new this shot portrays. To see more shots from the weekend you can go to the Flickr gallery or you can see Deborah’s blog post as well. I will be adding more to my Flickr gallery as I can get them sorted out, but today the photo of the day is my Father-in-Law David reading the newspaper.

The Earthquake and Evangelical Thoughts on the Unreached in Japan

I have been trying to think of something intelligent to say about the earthquake in Japan but seeing the news and the pictures coming out of that country just leaves a person almost speechless. It’s different than Haiti of course, and you don’t see “text to donate” messages being flashed all over the place (why I’m not sure), you barely see the donate to the Red Cross for that matter.

Since our news cycles seem to rotate in and out so fast today, the coverage of the Japan earthquake will soon diminish to nothing but another historical fact, and they will move on to who’s winning the NCAA March Madness tournament or something else newsworthy like Lawmakers Pitch Gov’t Takeover of Driving Age (FNC) or The moments that make us fat (CNN), both of which were on the front page as of this writing.

But for the time being, news, for the most part, is still coming fast and furious from Japan. What the earthquake did do was, along with many other stories, bring awareness to the evangelical movement in Japan. A recent article from a magazine out of Korea called Konnect, titled A Personal Message from Dr. Michael Oh: The Everyday Tragedy of Japan gives some sobering statistics and offers a Christian perspective of the current events.

Japan is the largest unreached nation in the world. In Japan they are reporting upwards of 1100 dead so far. Again, it is very possible that that number will multiply 10 fold. But every 11 days an equal number of Japanese (1100) take their own lives. In hopelessness they turn to suicide. Every day is a tragedy in Japan for those without Christ.

Honestly I really had no idea the Japanese people were one of the most unreached developed nations in the world, no did I know they dealt with such a horrible suicide rate. Perhaps it’s because the source is out of Korea where the evangelical Christ movement is extremely different than here in the United States, perhaps we in this country are too involved with the four walls of our own country to notice, or both. According to Operation World on Japan, there are about 2 million Christians among a population of almost 127 million people.

If nothing else turns your heart towards the people of Japan it would be the photography coming out of the earthquake. Some of the photos are so incredible it’s just hard to comprehend from a vantage point of Auburn Alabama. The shot at the top was provided by GeoEye showing an area of Natori, Japan on April 4, 2010, left, and March 12, 2011. (GeoEye/Associated Press) I like the photo coverage from the Boston Globe on their blog called “The Big Picture“, which is sort of a pool from many photographers.

For some of the shots on the earthquake see: Japan: New fears as the tragedy deepens, Japan: Vast devastation, Japan: earthquake aftermath, and Massive earthquake hits Japan.

Prop 8 Proves Homosexual Lifestyle Acceptable to God

Of course this is utter ridiculousness, but, that severely flawed logic seems to be what is prevailing in our culture today. This topic, which I usually just tend to leave alone, is overpowering the news, blogs, and culture lately (and is certainly nothing new under the sun, gay’s have been trying to justify their actions for millennia, see Why is Being Gay a Sin? for a civil discussion, Does Romans 1:26 Condemn Lesbians? for the absurd justification, and then an honest “Christian Perspective”, not forgetting to throw in Anne Rice who recently “quit” Christianity on Facebook [comments in pdf,] with Mark Driscoll’s response for the Washington Post, because she didn’t want to be “anti-gay anymore”, and the countless trash talk about Proposition 8 in California).

With Proposition 8 being overturned by the California courts, this seems destined for the Supreme Court (where they probably don’t want to deal with it either). The Boston Globe did a huge photo spread called Same Sex Marriage about a week ago and the responses to that article show why this, unfortunately, is THE topic of our day for Christians and the church.  This discussion really wasn’t intended to launch into whether being gay is a sin or not, but to show the absurd arguments on both sides, which lack any careful thought.

This comment below is typical when reading trash talk on the news sites, and was made by someone who used the title “I Feel Drawn Towards Christianity, But I’m Gay”, which then received very complimentary responses, with little question for the lifestyle itself, or with sound argument for or against Christians and the homosexual lifestyle, and what scripture has to say about it’s effects and consequences.

I was surprised in a few ways, one by how openly acceptable the Christian responses were to this person.  Not that they were accepting of the person, that’s great, but accepting of all aspects of the persons lifestyle, with not much need for contemplation (although some did suggest the person generically seek God’s direction). The other surprise was how utterly weak the reasoning and arguments were that were used on both sides.

I am certainly no expert on this topic whatsoever, and there are many who can soundly argue, on both sides, but those seem to be few and far between.  No gay person I talk to (and many Christians for that matter) can give a sound theological argument, backed and based on scripture (since this person “feels drawn to Christianity”).  The majority of the arguments put forth are emotional arguments, which are impossible to argue against in a rational manner.  This is the argument that was given in this particular case:

The Bible also condemns divorce, the eating of pork and shrimp, and says that men shouldn’t sit on the same chairs as women who are menstruating.

The argument seems to lack even a surface level study of scripture, but most Christians responded with nothing other than an emotional response.  As with much of Scripture in our culture today, these verses are taken so much out of context for the use of the argument for a homosexual lifestyle I am surprised they were made? I am not being mean or hateful in spirit here, but seriously, if you are gay, this is your argument?

  • The Bible condemns the eating of pork.
  • We eat pork today.
  • Therefore, homosexuality is ok in the sight of the Lord.

There are so many things that could be addressed but at the basic level, in Mark 7:18-19 Jesus declared all foods to be clean, he didn’t declare all forms of sex to be clean. A better argument that perhaps shows a little more clearly why scripture says that the homosexual lifestyle is sinful in God’s eyes (and there are many things that are actually still seen as sinful in God’s eyes today, besides homosexuality), would be:

Point 1 on Sin:

  • The Bible says sin is detestable in God’s eye’s.
  • Therefore any continuous sinful act is not honoring to God.

Point 2 on Marriage:

  • The Bible defines sex outside of marriage as sin.
  • The Bible defines marriage as a monogamous union between a man and a woman.
  • Therefore any nonrepentant sexual relationship of any kind outside marriage is sin in God’s eyes.
  • Therefore a nonrepentant homosexual lifestyle is sin.
  • Therefore a nonrepentant adulterous relationship is sin.
  • Therefore any sexual relationship before marriage is sin.

I rarely see those “hateful” Christians everyone seems to refer to today that will acknowledge that the last three are equally sin, and equally condemned by scripture, but, that doesn’t mean that either is less or more acceptable to God as a way to live that honor’s God. I do not say that in a hateful manner but in an examination of scripture.  I also recognize that many, or most, “gay Christians” will take issues with my argument above and defend it away in some manner.  The statements above are all based on scripture and can all be backed theologically with sound argument.

Our culture as a whole is continually refusing to see objective truths in the Bible today. Whether we like to ignore them in our day or not, they still exist, there are still things that God says are good, and those things God says are bad, we just seem to have so much knowledge in everything that we have no knowledge in the actual truth anymore.

The Economy, Big 3 Auto Bailout, and the Church // Part 3

This is the last and final, part 3 of this particular topic.  If you missed the previous two posts, check them out at part 1 and part 2.

The Church: A Response to a Bad Economy?

I spend a good bit of my day running around on the Internet, and many places I stop are with people of faith, churches, organizations and groups trying to raise funds, in a “bad economy”.  There are usually two responses.  One (to me) Biblical, and one not.  One based on fear, the other based on belief.  One worried about their 401k balance, the other excited to see a time when the need for the church among the un-churched is growing.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

What happened just after September 11th 2001?  People ran to the church.  Some because they were scared, some because they didn’t know where else to turn, some came back after a long time away, but the number of people attending church (doesn’t mean it was meaningful by the way) went up dramatically.  What makes hitting people where it really counts (in their 401k’s) any different as far as possibilities within the church to help others?

I took this photo below at “Ground Zero” a few months after the terrorist attacks on New York city.  They still had not torn down the last few damaged buildings that are outside the photo here, and this “cross” was still standing as well.  It was incredible to me to see a cross, carved out of mangled steel, standing above all the mess that was ground zero.  It was an unreal time of horror, terror, and despair in our country, and yet, Jesus didn’t change, the world did.

Cross on I-40 in Oklahoma

My church at the time in 2001 (a 35,000 member church) was trying to decide if they should start a $40 million building campaign in the middle of the 911 economic turmoil.  They decided to follow God and not the economy and great things were done.  Why should the church back down when times are bad?  Be responsible yes, but fearful????

People are scared, people are fearful.  Why?  Uncertainty.  If we are Believers… why are we living in fear and uncertainty?  Because we can’t buy the normal $500-$1000 of Christmas presents this year?  We have the most certain thing in the world.  A risen Savior.

Cross from the Twin Towers Wreckage

If you like the cross as a symbol you need to drive out I-40, past Amarillo, past Oklahoma City, and look at one of the largest crosses I have personally ever seen (first photo above).  It is a magnificant symbol right on the interstate for all to see.  We should be like this cross on I-40 in Oklahoma.  Big, bold, tall, ready to reach out and help those who are hurting and searching.  We should be excited to be in these “times”, they are new times of new opportunities.  As the Church, let’s not watch this opportunity pass us by and wonder why we didn’t make use of this special time in our history.