Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Let the little children come unto me and forbid them not"

Government schools are beyond reform.  Christians must decide how to educate their children.

It's like watching a horror movie

Its like watching a horror movie - Kevin Probst
Have you ever watched a movie that just kept you spell-bound. The normal plot would be a tragedy of mammoth proportions. A whole society is at risk. The dark clouds of utter destruction are lurking about. Just as the asteroid is about to hit the earth a hero ascends from the ashes. He has an idea that no one else thought of. He swings into action and saves all of mankind and they live happily ever after, forever indebted to their savior.

Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a horror movie. American society seems to be swirling in a huge vortex, like the one I see everyday in the white porcelain bowl in my bathroom. Our troubles are many: excessive government spending, a broken educational system, impotent churches, illegal immigrants, Iraq, Afghanistan. I could go on and on.

I don't know why Americans voted for the most left-leaning, most inexperienced man on the ticket when they elected a president two years ago. But I think they were caught up watching the movie. The fear they felt as the asteroid approached overwhelmed them emotionally and they made an irrational decision. A messiah rose out of the ashes. He said he had new ideas. He promised them hope, change and salvation. He declared he knew how to stop the whirling vortex. So, they threw themselves on this self-proclaimed messiah.

Now, millions of Americans are realizing that Clark Kent isn't going to transform himself into Superman. He declares the recession over but all the indicators say differently. Instead of grabbing the bull by the horns he has incessantly whined for two years about the problem he inherited. No man is perfect but the man elected president is bullish in his refusal to be responsible for any errors made. He spits in the eye of our friends and he kowtows to our enemies.

They arrived in Washington declaring "we are the people we've been waiting for." Like a team of players, isolated in a locker room, telling each other how great they are. They begin to believe the delusion and they step out onto the playing field thinking they are world champions, not because they have participated in the war, or even because they have won any major battles. They believe they are great because they convinced themselves they were. They promptly proceed to get their tails kicked by people who know how to live in the real world.

Now the rank and file are beginning to desert. A large dose of reality purges away the delusion. They have finally realized that it takes more than just a suit to govern a nation. The illusion that all they had to do was show up in Washington D.C. and the country would be miraculously transformed has now been shattered. You can't just show up with a dream, you have to have a plan to make the dream become real. You shouldn't choose a leader because of their age, or color, or gender. It is now more obvious than ever before that the primary traits needed to govern a country like ours is to be a person of substance and character.

Obviously, neither political party is inundated with such people. That's why instead of looking for a messiah, we should look to the Messiah and prayerfully ask for mercy and direction.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Do Christians Sin?

Do Christians sin?  by Kevin Probst

In the days of John the Apostle there were a group of heretics called Gnostics. They claimed that man has a dual nature, the flesh and the spirit. They taught that the flesh was evil and sinful and there was no way a person could refrain from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. They believed that the soul was detached from the body and whatever sin affected the body could never cross the great gulf that separated body and soul. This philosophy provided a foundation for a society to indulge in sin frequently and habitually with no feelings of remorse or guilt.

The Apostle John was appalled by such teaching and he wrote a letter to refute Gnosticism. In a nutshell, John taught in his first epistle that a person cannot claim to be a Christian and continue sinning. He said that a person who is saved and has a vibrant, living relationship with Christ will not only feel a hatred for sin but he will find an enabling by the Spirit of God to assist him in avoiding sin in his life.

But John’s epistle seems to have a glaring and troubling contradiction. In 1 John 3:6 he says “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” It seems John is saying that Christians don’t sin. He seems to reaffirm this in 1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin”

But earlier in his letter he had said quiet clearly that “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 Jn. 1:8) “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” Some would argue that John is writing to non-Christians who claim they have not sinned. How can this be when 1 John 2:1 reveals that John is writing to those he calls, “My little children”? John is not claiming sinners as his children. He claims those who have been converted to Christ as his children. He then goes on to say, “these things I write unto you, that you sin not.” Why would he be warning Christians to “sin not” if sin wasn’t a possibility?

John is not teaching that a Christian cannot sin, he is teaching that a Christian should not sin. At this point it may be very important that we perceive of what sin was in the mind of John and what it might be in our own minds. I believe John was defining sin as he had learned it from scripture and from the teachings of Christ.

The Bible teaches that sin is faithlessness. Romans 14:23 “But the man who has doubts is condemned ….everything that does not come from faith is sin.” What Christian has never doubted? Yet, the Bible clearly teaches that entertaining doubt is sin.

The Bible teaches that when we know to do good and fail to do it we sin. James 4:17 “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” Who among us who call ourselves Christians would declare that we always do the good we ought to do? Are not all guilty of occasional sins of omission?

Finally, the Bible teaches that “Everyone who sins breaks the law.” (1 John 3:4) If we live as if there is no law are we not living as if there is no God? If we live as if there is no God are we not living as the atheists do?

1 John 3:6 in the original Greek text reads like this, “Whosoever is born of God does not continually, habitually practice sin.” Do Christians sin? It seems they do but it’s not that they have to. The difference between a Christian who sins and a non-Christian who sins is that the Christian will immediately feel remorse and grief and seek repentance and ask God to help him to “sin no more.” When a non-Christian sins he has no restraining Spirit within to keep him from returning to the sin he enjoys so much so his sin, though unfulfilling, becomes frequent and habitual.

Christians cannot habitually sin. Sin is incompatible with God’s law, it is contrary to the life Christ lived and sin contradicts the person of the Holy Spirit who comes to abide in those who have repented.

So, it seems John is not denying that a Christian might sin, but he teaches clearly that a Christian cannot live in habitual sin. A Christian living in habitual sin is behaving as if Christ never existed. Though he may claim to be a believer he is actually practicing atheism because he is acting as if God doesn’t exist.

If Christians are continually living in habitual sin then Christ would have to look at his sacrifice on the cross and report to the Father that it was all in vain because people can find no deliverance from the sin in their lives.

I think Paul summed it up well in Romans 6:14 “Sin shall not be your master.” The true test of whether or not we are Christian is to apply this verse. If Christ is master of our lives, sin cannot be. If sin is master of our lives, Christ cannot be.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

I preached last night on one of my favorite verses. I love Matthew 11:28 and I often draw strength from that verse when I’m feeling the weariness of a very busy schedule. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Isaiah 40:31 is similar and is another one of my favorites, “But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

I love to hear others share their favorite verses and tell why they are favorites. But, what I’ve observed lately is that you don’t have to be a Christian to have a favorite verse. Even heathens seem to know the Bible. Perhaps the favorite verse of those who are pagan comes from Matthew 7. Verse 1 which reads, “Judge not that you be not judged.” This verse becomes a shield of defense for those who refuse to look honestly at their own beliefs or behavior.

We live in a culture that refuses to accept absolutes. Every decision and behavior is judged in relative terms. “What’s right for you may not be right for me.” The idea that there is a collection of absolute truths in a divine book is unacceptable and threatening to unbelievers. It is impossible to lead another to Christ if they fail to see their need to come to Christ. They will never see a need if they never honestly see themselves as sinful beings. Christ was very upfront when it came to talking about sin because he knew the first step to salvation is admitting sin. When they feel themselves being drawn to consider their sinfulness they pull out the Matthew 7:1 card.

Christians don’t often understand Matthew 7:1 and so when confronted they generally turn another direction. Isn’t it interesting that if you continue to read in the very same chapter (v.6) Jesus says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine”. If Jesus is demanding that we not judge in verse one is he not clearly declaring we must judge in verse 6? If we are to obey the admonition in this verse we must make a determination if someone is a dog or if someone is a pig.

The true meaning of verse one is NOT that we cannot make a discernment regarding another person. We must use insight to make determinations regarding others lest we make an assumption that all of mankind is right with God and there is no need to evangelize. Christ left his disciples with a great commission, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." How could that commission ever be carried out if we were incapable of determining who is and who is not Christian? Christ taught clearly that we can be fruit inspectors. “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” – Matthew 12:33.

Matthew 7:1 means that we are not to set ourselves up as the final judge of another. We are not to play God. We are not to trespass into that realm that belongs to God alone. The final determination regarding one’s relation to God can never be decide by anyone but God. In that sense, we are never to judge another. But, it is obvious by the context of the chapter that Christ never intended to take from us our ability to discern, in fact, he is teaching that we must foster our skills of discernment.

There are no gray areas here. Christ taught that the fruit is either good or bad. There is no in between. We are either children of God or we are not. When it comes to Christianity, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

The issue is not so much whether we can or cannot make determinations regarding another, the issue is usually that when we do make those determinations they must be done in a Christ-like manner. Christ didn’t mince any words when he let others know where they stood, but he always did it in a most loving and merciful way. We must endeavor to do as Christ did.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Doublethink - taken from Randall Hoven's "The Curious Logic of our Governing Elites"

1. President Bush was bad for the economy because he spent too much. President Obama is helping the economy by spending a lot.

2. The boy scouts are wrong for having policies that inhibit pedophilia. The Catholic church was wrong for not having policies that inhibit pedophilia.

3. Grabbing a person by his shirt and pulling him toward you is an "enhanced interrogation technique" not in the Army Field Manual. Dropping a bomb on him and killing him and anyone near him is OK.

4. It was foolish to let Saddam Hussein go in 1991. It was foolish to go after him in 2003.

5. It is wrong to ask a person for identity papers even after he has committed a crime and fits the profile of an illegal immigrant. It is OK to ask every citizen in the U.S. to prove he or she has health insurance.

6. The phrase "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of Law" means:

a. It is OK to deprive property owners of their property and

b. It is NOT OK for a state to outlaw depriving life to any baby whose head has not left the birth canal.

7. The way to increase jobs is to raise taxes on those who provide them and give money to those who don't have them.

8. A guy who made a $34,000 mistake on his own taxes is the best choice to be in charge of the IRS and the entire federal treasury. - Tim Geithner

The guy with 13 ethics charges against him, including misusing federal resources and not paying taxes on his villa in the Dominican Republic, should be in charge of writing the country's tax laws. - Rep. Charles Rangel

The guy who told us in 2005 that a housing bubble was nonsense and Fannie Mae was in fine shape should be writing in 2010 the regulations to overhaul all finance conducted in this country. - Barney Frank

9. It was right to take John McCain to court, through oral arguments and written opinion, to prove that he is "natural born" despite both his parents being U.S. citizens their whole lives and despite being the son and grandson of U.S. Navy admirals. It was wrong to think Barack Obama should have to prove his birth status to anyone prior to taking the oath of office as president.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"He Created Them Male and Female"

"He Created Them Male and Female"

.by Kevin Probst

We in western culture have been very engaged in bringing equal rights to all peoples. Blacks, women and many other groups have all fought for and won equal rights. We don’t believe in discriminating when it comes to hiring, or firing or paying someone an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. The feminist movement has fought nobly to earn proper respect for women and as a result women have been able to make magnificent contributions to our society. It seems sure a female president is just around the corner.
But like all good and legitimate movements they are susceptible to being taken over by some radical fringe group. Look at the Islamic faith, look at the Democratic Party, look at the conservation movement. The women’s movement was also hijacked by radicals who have now been ridiculed by the Rush Limbaugh types as being “feminazis”.
Among the harmful things done by this fringe movement has been to blur the distinction between the roles of females and males in our society. Modern research has confirmed the genetic and behavioral differences that distinguish men and women. Young boys who are given dolls to play with tend to hit each other with them instead of cuddle them. Many may say that women can play football as good as men or that men can nurture babies as good as women but they fool only themselves. Men and women were created in the image of God with certain distinct differences that enable them to fulfill certain roles God intended.
The radical feminist movement scoffed and scorned those women who chose a family over a career. Some women decided they didn’t want a daycare worker being the primary caregiver for their children so they decided to stay home with their children. This is not financially feasible for some but for those who can afford it or who are willing to make major sacrifices to travel this road, do they really deserve the sneer they receive from those who chose a different path. If it’s truly all about a women having the right to make choices then why is keeping a baby or deciding to nurture a baby always the wrong choice.

There is much gender confusion in our society today and now I witness many forty and forty-five year old women wanting to have or adopt babies. I assume it’s because as they’ve aged they’ve developed a different idea about things or maybe they have finally connected with that inner calling to procreate and nurture children. I have yet to hear a man on his death bed say that he wished he had spent more time at work. Now that many women have entered a man’s world and have won the right and found the means to totally dedicate themselves to their profession I’m sure I will never hear a woman on her death bed say such things either.
The state of manhood and womanhood is in crisis today. Our roles have been confused and our identities clouded by unscriptural philosophies. Men have gravitated toward two basic groups. They are either considered weak and feminine, submissive to the women in their lives or they have embraced the opposite extreme of becoming brute-like and defining their masculinity by how cruel and domineering they can be to the women in their lives. Young college-age men often measure their masculinity by how many young women they have laid. True love and romance has little to do with these conquests. They are evidence of a man who loves himself and uses others in his life to satisfy the desires of his own flesh.
Women in our society have embraced the great lie. This lie is pumped into our homes through television and the modern music we listen to. It is the deception that a woman’s value is determined by how physically beautiful she is. Our middle schools are filled with young girls who have all sorts of psychological hang-ups because they are driven to be perfectly beautiful and develop perfect bodies. Women who realize the power they have to affect the fleshly desires of a man will sometimes get drunk on that power. Like the topless dancer who finally asked herself, “If I have all the power in this room over these men, why am I the only one not wearing any clothes?”
God created us male and female. He intended that we have differences. We should study the biblical roles of men and women and embrace fully what God intended us to be. God gave women a greater capacity to love so she would love God with all her heart, mind and soul. God gave women all the tools necessary to nurture and care for her friends and family. She has such a great responsibility to mold and shape little boys to be men and little girls to be godly, wholesome women. She wasn’t just created, she was ‘fashioned’ by God as his crowning creative achievement.
God created men to be honest and passionate. Men were intended to be leaders and warriors on assignment from God to protect their families and teach their little men to be men of integrity. They are to teach their daughters what to expect of a man who claims to love her. Men are to trample on fear and weakness and stand firm for honor and virtue. We are to love the gift that God has ‘fashioned’ and love her deeply and gently. We are to anticipate her needs and always be there to support her.
When two join to become one it is like the perfect storm. They have weaknesses and baggage that they bring into the relationship. They have difficulty understanding each other and they often struggle in their attempt to communicate and coexist. But God uses the difficult people in our lives as the chisel under his hammer and with them he sculptures us to be the kind of person, the masterpiece he intended.

This is a most beautiful piece of music

Friday, September 10, 2010

Maxine's Solution

Leave it to Maxine to come up with a solution for the mess that America is now in economically.

I bought a bird feeder. I hung

It on my back porch and filled

It with seed. What a beauty of

A bird feeder it was, as I filled it

lovingly with seed. Within a

Week we had hundreds of birds

Taking advantage of the

Continuous flow of free and

Easily accessible food.

But then the birds started

Building nests in the boards

Of the patio, above the table,

And next to the barbecue.

Then came the poop. It was

Everywhere: on the patio tile,

The chairs, the table ...


Then some of the birds

Turned mean. They would

Dive bomb me and try to

Peck me even though I had

Fed them out of my own


And others birds were

Boisterous and loud. They

Sat on the feeder and

Squawked and screamed at

All hours of the day and night

And demanded that I fill it

When it got low on food.

After a while, I couldn't even

Sit on my own back porch

Anymore. So I took down the

Bird feeder and in three days

The birds were gone. I cleaned

Up their mess and took down

The many nests they had built

All over the patio.

Soon, the back yard was like

It used to be .... Quiet, serene....

And no one demanding their

Rights to a free meal.

Now let's see.

Our government gives out

Free food, subsidized housing,

Free medical care and free

Education, and allows anyone

Born here to be an automatic


Then the illegal's came by the

Tens of thousands. Suddenly

Our taxes went up to pay for

Free services; small apartments

Are housing 5 families; you

Have to wait 6 hours to be seen

By an emergency room doctor;

Your child's second grade class is

Behind other schools because

Over half the class doesn't speak


Corn Flakes now come in a

Bilingual box; I have to

'press one ' to hear my bank

Talk to me in English, and

People waving flags other

Than 'Old Glory' are

Squawking and screaming

In the streets, demanding

More rights and free liberties.

Just my opinion, but maybe

it's time for the government

To take down the bird feeder.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why are we so polarized?

Why we are so polarized ?

I've never witnessed such polarization in American society. Many young Americans know what the word 'bipartisanship' means but they've never witnessed it in action. President Obama continues to whine about his opponents, "they talk about me like a dog" and "If I said fish live in the sea, they'd say no." Don't expect Obama to win over any of his opponents with such juvenile behavior. The president who was supposed to bring us unity has only created more disunity and polarization among us. Whether he has done this purposely or not might be debatable.

When I was a child I used to accompany my mother to a discount store called Cutter's. They had cheap sunglasses with colored lenses. If I put on the yellow lenses my world was yellow, if I put on the red lenses the world was red. The way the world appears to us depends on the lenses we look through.

Obviously, Republicans and Democrats interpret their world through different lenses. The distinct worldview of those on the left and those on the right is the reason we are so polarized. When Barack Obama says he wants 'hope and change' for America he is interpreted differently by conservatives and liberals.

When Obama says he wants to bring "fundamental change" to America liberals get very excited. Fundamental change to a liberal means heaven on earth. A utopian society in which there is no poverty, no crime and no war. Obama may truly be the 'messiah' who will bring a utopian society in which there are no borders, there are no competing governments and there are no destructive weapons.

When Obama says he wants to bring "fundamental change" to America conservatives nearly go apoplectic. Those on the right view America as an exceptional country, a country that has emerged as the world's most successful nation because it is exceptional. Our success is not something we should feel guilty about, rather, it is the result of being blessed by the God of our forefathers who was very pleased when they founded a country based on belief in Him. Why would we want to change? Why would we want to abandon a country created by men with a conscience toward God? Why would we want to be like Europe? Why would we want to take the same path as the Soviet Union?

I remember when my older brother brought home his first Beatles album. Liberals and conservatives loved Lennon's song 'Imagine'. A liberal might get really excited about a world without countries but a conservative who believes in the exceptionality of the United States doesn't want to think of a world with no borders. A conservative believes that the founding of this country had a lot to do with God and they don't want to think of a world without God. And if there is no heaven or hell a conservative worries about the effects such a belief might have on the prevalence of immorality in our society.

A liberal looks at Obama's hope and change and sees heaven on earth. A conservative looks at Obama's hope and change and sees hell on earth. We couldn't be more polarized than that!

Monday, September 6, 2010

David Barton Capital Tour

See what really went on in the early history of our capital.  Those who would like to revise our history by eliminating God will hate this!!

Slaying the Giants in our Lives

Facing the Giants in our Lives - by Kevin Probst

Jesse had three sons who were enlisted in the army of Saul. They found themselves looking across the valley of Elah at a giant of a man named Goliath. Goliath was over nine feet tall, a frightening monster of a man whose armor itself weighed 150 lbs. The tip of his sword weighed 15 lbs. Goliath shouted across the valley to the Israelites twice daily…"Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your servants; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our servants." 1 Sam. 17:8-9

Jesse sent his youngest, David, with some cheese and bread to deliver to his older siblings. When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, saw David he scolded him for not staying with his father’s sheep. David could have argued with Eliab but he was much more concerned with the boastful giant across the valley.

David informed King Saul that he was very skilful with a sling and he could kill the giant just as he had killed the bear and the lion. He was mocked and ridiculed but Saul decided to suit him up for battle, perhaps to teach him a lesson or perhaps to try to humiliate Goliath by sending a boy to fight.

David refused the armor of Saul, too awkward and cumbersome. He strode down into the valley of Elah toward the giant. Goliath was enraged that a boy had come to do battle. "Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" David wasn’t intimidated at all by Goliath’s angry words. In fact, there was some pretty good smack going on in the valley that day. David retorted by saying, “This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”

David stopped at the stream running through the valley and picked up 5 stones. It’s not that he didn’t think he would need more than one stone to fell the giant. It’s that he knew that Goliath had four giant brothers and so he was prepared should they show up uninvited to the contest.

David’s brothers were amazed to see the younger go into battle with no sword. “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." Said David. Goliath seemed stunned that this youth would have such courage. So, David slung the stone, God picked it up in mid-flight, added accuracy and velocity to it and it sunk between the eyes of Goliath. David ran to him, pulled the sword from his scabbard and decapitated him, proving to all who witnessed that he knew how to get ahead.

What are the giants in your life? Is your family struggling with debt? Do you have low self-esteem? Are you bitter about the sinful and painful things that happened in your past? Is the giant in your life cancer? Depression? Fear? Wayward children? Betrayal? Is it an unfaithful spouse, a guilty conscience, poor health or chronic pain? There are goliaths all about us but God gives us a strategy for fighting and defeating the giants in our lives.

Notice that David didn’t waste time or energy on insignificant battles. He could have argued with Eliab but chose instead to focus on the main event. Notice also that David didn’t go into the battle unprepared. He had spent many a night on the hillsides caring for his father’s sheep. He learned to know God intimately during those years of solitude.

David also kept his heart in the right place. He dare not approach Goliath without the knowledge that his heart belonged to the God who was about to defend him. David wasn’t about killing this giant to bring glory to himself. Oh no, he made it very clear that “the battle is the Lord’s”

Do your giants seem unconquerable? God is in the business of conquering giants in our lives. He helped Moses cross the Red Sea. He helped Esther save her people. He helped Joshua conquer the land of promise. He walked with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego through the fiery furnace. Know this, the giant in your life is not too big for God!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

An Opinion I'll Keep to Myself

An opinion I'll keep to myself

I wanted to write an opinion about an issue that is mystifying to me. Why do African- Americans strongly support a president who opposes the values they treasure most? African-Americans favor school choice but Obama eliminated the D.C. voucher program at the expense of thousands of black school children in Washington, D.C. Most African-Americans oppose gay marriage but Obama has bent over backwards to appease those in the homosexual movement. Most African-Americans oppose illegal immigration because It only exacerbates the unemployment problem of the black community yet Obama refuses to address that issue for fear of losing future democratic votes. African Americans have been victimized by abortion (50% of African-American babies are aborted: yet they voted for the most pro-abortion candidate in history.

I have chosen not to write my opinion regarding answers to the previous questions. The culture in which I live prohibits me from doing so lest I be misinterpreted as a racist or bigot. ( I'm white). I may not have the correct answers to the questions listed above but I know the answer to this question: "Who will Obama throw under the bus?" Answer: "Absolutely anyone!"