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Toward the end of the first chapter of Genesis we read “…God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He Him male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…”

There are many things to learn from those words. The passage shows two things about women. First, woman, as well as man, were created in the image of God. He did not create woman to be inferior to man. Both are of equal value; both important. Second, the woman was expected to have authority over God’s creation - both are equally responsible to care of the Good Earth!

This text flies in the face of the current heated debate about gender. The biblical model for sex is straightforward (no pun intended). The fact that humanity was created male and female is both visually and biologically obvious! Follow the science.

Today gender has been redefined allowing for an individual to determine their gender, regardless of sex at birth. One can make a choice “LGBTQ+” as if you are ordering from a menu. In this selection process, there are no rules, constraints, or boundaries.

For the many thousands of years of human history since creation, God’s model of gender has not changed - He has inscribed it into every human’s DNA:

  • Females have two “X” chromosomes.
  • Males have one “X” and one “Y” chromosome.

There is no third option.

Those are the cold, unemotional, unbiased, biological facts whereas gender “choices” are a function and a matter of feelings! This has created a spirit of confusion throughout the nation and other western countries.

What follows is a shortlist of fallout from this change in gender identification:

  • During the nomination process, Supreme Court Justice Jackson was asked if she would give a definition of woman - she couldn’t or wouldn’t.
  • Words such as “she” and “her” are banned in favor of gender-neutral pronouns.
  • The title “mother” is out - “pregnant” is out and replaced by “birthing person”. Do we now celebrate “Birthing Person’s Day” rather than “Mother’s Day” in May?
  • Women’s sport has been ruled a major setback when male transsexuals were permitted to participate in female swimming events competing against biological females. One male swimmer stands heads and shoulders above his female competitors and is much more muscular. His physicality has enabled him to crush record times set previously in women’s swimming - the female teams have no chance to compete.
  • Transsexual studies and gender studies are being taught to 7, 8, and 9-year-olds. When parents object to this curriculum, a number of school districts responded that the children belong to the school during school hours.
  • We are dragging young kids who are confused about adult issues at this age to think about sexuality and gender. They are too young to deal with this stuff. This is a moral abomination! Gender-neutral bathrooms further add to the confusion.
  • In gender-neutral Bibles, God is not our Father- Jesus is not God’s son.

The Bible records in 1st Corinthians 14:33 (KJV) “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”

Here is a serious warning from Jesus - Matthew 18:6 - “But whoso shall offend (hurt) one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Jesus is the guardian of children! In God’s economy, all life is sacred and precious. Seven precent of the population declares themselves as part of the LGBTQ+. Many young people are being hurt by the confusion of these times regarding gender. More than 40% of people who have undergone gender reassignment regret the decision years later and have seriously considered suicide.

A similar percentage who struggled with their gender identity and considered a surgical alternative did not proceed with surgery because over time they outgrew their feelings and accepted their biological assignment happily with no regrets.

Bible believing Christians have unchangeable biblical truth as our Guard and Guide in times like these. Our values are biblical and therefore they are timeless. As such, we find ourselves as counterculture.

Sadly, in this day of perpetual rage and anger, those with whom we disagree will take whatever steps they feel necessary to silence opposing views. Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” The Lord encourages and instructs us to speak the truth with love and compassion - we should not get in “peoples’ faces” with whom we do not agree. We have a factual and beautiful story to tell. We can rejoice in God’s gift of sex for the purpose of perpetuating the human race and as an intimate source of joy in a life of marriage between a man and a woman whose lives

In many dictionaries, the words “trust” and “truth” are one word apart on the page.

The definitions:

Trust: belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective.

  • Psalm 91:2 (King James Version), “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.”
  • Psalm 146:3 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”

Truth: The quality or state of being true - fact in accordance with the actual state of affairs.

  • John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
  • John 16:13 “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth…”

Trust and truth go hand in hand. They are basic and necessary ingredients in human interactions — marriage, friendship, leadership, business, government and church.

All stand or fall to the degree we trust them to tell us the truth.

Polls show (if you can trust them!) that 60% of young adults believe nobody can be trusted!

Historically, Americans have trusted in our foundational institutions but over the past few years that confidence has been eroded.

Is it any wonder? When so much of daily life has been politicized. Personally, I have begun to lose trust in many institutions, e.g., the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), NIOSH (National Institute of Safety and Health). Two years ago, they told us when we “flattened the curve”, closures and mandates would end. For two years they’ve told us to get the vaccine and “you couldn’t get COVID, and you couldn’t give it.”  Results: many of us got the vaccine and we got COVID! We were encouraged to wear a mask to keep from getting COVID. Eighty percent of the population put on the mask only to find the mask doesn’t deliver on it’s promise. And while many are mandated to wear a mask, we see so many public personalities not wearing one. Hypocrisy.

Am I right to be skeptical?

Science: In 1915 Albert Einstein wrote a paper whose equations indicated the universe was expanding or perhaps collapsing in on itself. The “settled science” during this period was that the universe was eternal and unchanging. It had no beginning and time had no beginning - so, when his calculations directly challenged this idea, Einstein balked - why? He feared challenging the establishment’s view—rather than let math and physics say what they said and imply what they implied, Einstein decided to punt. Science continues today to enter a door marked Creation/Design if that’s where their discussion takes them. Am I right to be skeptical? “Is Atheism Dead” (Eric Metaxas, page 16, published by Salem Books).

Education: As education introduces social issues into the curriculum, so many times they come out at those issues from a decidedly liberal/progressive perspective. Gender issues, Critical Race Theory, voting, American History. When parents object to what is being taught, in comes the Federal Government labeling parents as terrorists! Is this the role of the Education system? Meanwhile, students are failing math, science, reading—Am I right to be skeptical?

God has given us a number of warnings about placing trust in our own human wisdom, intellect and arrogance because there are consequences coming from a system which influences society away from God.

Jeremiah 17:5 says, “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.”

We are living in a time where it seems those who influence us appear to have no problem lying to us – the news Media appears to be the biggest offenders. As a result, polls say only the tiniest minority of Americans have any trust in them. Who to trust? Answer: Proverbs 3:5,6 tells us … “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” You see. Truth and trust really are perfect together.

The following is a prayer invoked by Pastor Robert DiSalvio on September 22, 2001, following the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center terrorist attacks:

“We thank you Father for the beauty of your creation that we see around us. Grass, trees, blue sky and Your loving touch in the kiss of the sun’s warmth on our face. But, dear Father, our hearts are not as peaceful as our bucolic surroundings would suggest. Seventy-five miles from here there is a scar in the ground - A wound so deep and wide it has become a vortex into which our nation’s thoughts, emotions and fears have been drawn.

Hear our prayer, O Lord, for mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children who have lost loved ones in New York City, Washington DC and Somerset, Pennsylvania.

Hear our prayer, O Lord, for even one missing to be found.

Hear our prayer, O Lord, for the thousands injured, especially for those still in hospital beds.

Hear our prayer, O Lord, for heroes, who with bloodied hands and heavy hearts, dig through broken and pulverized concrete, shattered glass, twisted steel, and God help us, broken pieces of humanity.

Hear our prayer, O Lord, for men and women of the Armed Forces being transported, even as we pray, to meet their mission and their fate. Give them courage, strength, and Grace to do what their nation has called them to do.

Hear our prayer, O Lord, for our nation and its leaders. Give them wisdom. Be with our president George W. Bush as he makes decisions no man wants to make but leadership, by definition, demands.

Be with those who are tearful. May they seek You, the God who wipes away tears.

Be with those who are fearful. May they be reminded to “Fear no evil; for You are with them.”

Be with those who are angry and would strike out at innocents. Help them to be angry and sin not.

Hear our prayer, O Lord for Delaware Township blessed with so much natural beauty, material resources and spiritual heritage. Help us to reach out to those in need with our bounty and Your love.

Be with our children. Protect their minds and hearts. Be with their parents, clergy, faculty and staff at Delaware Township School and Hunterdon Central High School as we all seek to surround those little ones with a sense of love and security. Be with our township leaders, police, firefighters and all the others who serve the citizens of this oasis off the banks of the Delaware River.

O Lord, You are our refuge in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though we mourn let us not be terrorized into immobility. Even though we have been viciously attacked let us be judicious in our response. Even though innocents have been killed, reveal ways for us to avoid striking innocents.

We are a people of peace who look forward to a day You promised when “Nation shall not lift up sword against Nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.  I ask those things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

God Bless America"

The apostle James offers some valuable inspired insight into human nature which, I believe sheds light into what is happening in America in 2020-21.

James 3:13-16; 17,18 — The King's James Version (KJV); He writes:

13 "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."

A shortlist of characteristics enumerated in the text indicates how we often approach thorny, troubling issues and situations: bitterness, envy, animosity, lying, selfishness, ego, devilish behavior, sensuality, confusion. evil.

These negative behaviors seem to permeate what we see being acted out on our city streets.

Tensions were already high on one Saturday in April 2021 in Brooklyn, N.Y. after the shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man by police. A prominent Washington member of Congress grabbed a megaphone to speak to growing number of protesters. — Here is her “wisdom” on the situation: “we’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more controversial! They’ve got to know that we mean business!”

That kind of angry, bitter, language has turned many “peaceful” protests violent as it did that Saturday in Brooklyn.

We’ve seen how the violence has destroyed private property and businesses primarily in black communities robbing families of their homes and dreams of a better life. Violent protests have become the order of the day while non-violent protests a la Dr. Martin Luther King are unacceptable. Why? As one commentator observed: Because the issue is never the issue. The Revolution is!”

As another example of man’s dogless wisdom, we hear a lot about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and The Black Lives Matter movement (BLM).

At a recent school board meeting in a city in Virginia, parents were speaking out passionately against the teaching of CRT. One woman a parent and recent immigrant from Russia spoke out:

“I grew up under the communist system which promotes the philosophy that the oppressed working class must overthrow the oppressors. The Capitalists! Critical Race Theory exchanges race for class where an oppressed racial minority (people of color) must overthrow their white oppressors and the oppressive system they have created!”

Black Lives Matters (BLM) was co-founded by a person name Patrisse Kahn-Cullors. She is a self-identified trained Marxist (Communist). BLM makes skin color everything. How far we have come since Dr. King aspirations that all people would be: judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character!”

If you say white lives matter too —you are asking for trouble! That statement is “unacceptable” to BLM!

To say racism is wrong is not strong enough — it is sin!

America is not “great” because of the skin color of its founders. America became “great” because the Judeo-Christian Biblical values many of them held — values that are shared by any who will accept them.

America’s history is marred by slavery and discrimination — But those terrible things have marred almost every continent throughout history.

Commentator Dennis Prager: “if it were given the ubiquity of slavery throughout worlds history every country and ethnic group on Earth would be hated. America is hated for its values and its successes”.

So, what has human “wisdom” with all it’s anger, violence, vitriol and hatred accomplished in it’s quest to solve America’s problems!

Recent surveys show murder rate higher than it has been since the 1990’s.

Recent Gallup Poll informs race relations at their lowest in 20 years.

Disappointing, right? Remember the characteristics that James wrote (v13-16) are the driving forces behind so much of what we humans do?

Let’s compare them to what James writes are the characteristics of divine wisdom.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Did you see them — utterly pure, peace-loving, gentle, approachable, tolerant, kind actions, no favoritism or hypocrisy… Peacemakers who find: Peace. I’m no prophet, but I believe if we don’t change from the wisdom that has brought us so much negativity and exchange it for divine wisdom, we will continue to be at war with ourselves — you know how wars end? Death and destruction — innocent people die or are hurt— can’t we end this madness?

Call your state, local, Federal representatives, write to your local newspaper editorial sections — speak to those in your sphere of influence. Christ's salvation is the answer, and it is free to all: Red and Yellow, Black and White. We are precious in his sight!

It finally dawned on you, there is something to be said about healthy eating and exercise. So you decided the best route to the exercise piece was to get a bike.

You went to Amazon-- found the bike for you and ordered it. Since you're on Amazon Prime shipping was free and expedited. Three days later a big truck pulled up to your driveway -- Two men proceeded to unload a huge box, which upon your instruction and with your supervision, they deposited in your garage.

You immediately noticed two brightly colored stickers one which read: "Handle with care" and the other which made your heart sink, read "Assembly Required".

Upon opening the box you discovered" two tires, a seat, handlebars, a frame, a box containing the pedals, a chain, brakes, other assorted gears nuts, bolts, and brake components.

You breathe a sigh and prepare to assemble those various components part which on their own are not a bike until they are put together.

Exercise on the road to healthy living will not be yours until all the parts are assembled.

This illustration given to me by my brother in Christ Arne Abrahamson brings to light that each believer is a component that when fit together form the church of Christ.

The Apostle Paul has given a very fitting admonition for the believer today- Hebrews 10: 25a "Not forsaking the assembling of our selves together as the manner of some is..."

Covid, the CDC, and government edits have caused many churches and ours as well to close meeting houses out of an abundance of caution so as not to spread the virus. We shut down for a relatively short period of time but immediately began our growing telephone ministry.

God has used that technology not only to keep us together as a spiritual family but also to expand our ministry beyond the walls of the meeting house.

Several months ago we opened our doors to let in any who would worship together, to assemble together physically. Manyhave done so. "Praise the Lord!"

Psalm 68:6 "God setteth the solitary in families..."

We are members of the human family and require the love and compassion of others. The members of Christ's family need, no require the fellowship of one another. We cannot survive in the oppressive atmosphere of America's secular society for a long period of time before we suffocate from its constant bombardment of their antichristian philosophies and worldview!

Hebrews 10:25 told us "not to forsake assembly"
10:25b tells us why: "but exhorting one another and so much more as ye see the day approaching"

If you have been listening to the Amwell Bible Study of Revelation on Wednesday evenings you know we are fast approaching the Rapture!

There is safety, blessing, nourishment, strength, and joy in the assembling of ourselves together. It is spiritual exercise we desperately need to carry on each day.

If you are reading this blog and you are not sick, not distant geographically. I invite you to begin the process of coming back to "church".

Do it in a manner that is safe for you-- don't look to what others do or how they do it.
Pray, fear not, trust the Lord.

After more than a year apart it's time to claim the truth of Psalm 118:8: "it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man".

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