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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Sad State of Affairs


For the most part the watchmen are no more. Some just grew weary and disillusioned and out of utter frustration abandoned the watchtower, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t blame them. I’ve been there, experienced the frustration, constantly feeling as though I was just screaming into the void, having my words misunderstood, being made to wonder why I put myself through it all, if perhaps I’m just an intellectual masochist who needs to feel pain to know he’s alive. But, since I’ve never been a quitter, and there are extenuating circumstances to consider such as standing before God one day, I press on, each day wearier than its predecessor, taking delight in the little things life offers when they are offered.

Others, more shrewd and self-serving absconded as well, but not before ransacking the castle treasury and taking as much as they could carry. Either way, the end result is no more watchmen on the wall, and that ought to be a thing of great concern for all.

Meanwhile the people of the city revel as though the enemy were not at the gate, and as though they were not in imminent and mortal danger. Even though something doesn’t feel right, most choose to ignore it, finding more distractions to fill their time rather than seriously consider what is happening all around them. Sometimes truth itself is overwhelming. The magnitude of it, the sheer force of it, will often paralyze an individual for an instant or for the rest of their lives depending on their constitution, but I would rather have the truth than the lie any day of the week.

I have epiphanies in the strangest places. One such place was an asylum for the mentally insane in Romania, during a visit to see how we could help, whether monetarily, with foodstuffs, clothes, or any other things we had available at the time.

The doctor in charge asked if I would like a tour, and since I’d never been to an insane asylum before I nodded in the affirmative, and we began the walkthrough. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I grew up in the early nineties, and snuck over to the neighbors often enough to watch television to have formed an opinion as to what I was going to see. It was nothing like that. Yes, some of the residents were obviously disturbed, but most were just sitting alone by themselves, either drawing or playing with some object or another.

There was one woman that drew my eye, not because of how she looked, but because of what she was doing. She looked normal enough, had on a bathrobe, and her hair was combed, but she was standing in the corner and bleating like a sheep. The whole time we talked, the whole time we walked through the recreational area, this woman did not move, she just stood in the corner, facing the wall, and bleated.

‘Does she ever stop I asked the doctor?’

‘Not unless she’s heavily medicated,’ he answered, ‘what else does she have to do anyway?’

That’s when I had my epiphany. What else do the instigators, flame throwers, baiters, the professionally offended, and the litigiously prone have to do?

Other than the clear departure from godliness, one of the things that has brought about the sad state of affairs we currently find ourselves in is that we’ve given ear to the crazies, and not only that but convinced them that they are not in fact crazy, but perfectly sane when calling for the wholesale slaughter of one ethnic group or another, the murder of unborn babies without apology, the destruction of the family, or a dozen other things that I would rather not go into because I’m about to put my daughter to bed, and I want to be able to smile at her.

We pander to the lowest common denominator, and elevate them to celebrity status.

Case and point, there are tens upon tens of thousands of men and women serving in the armed forces, and honorably so, and other than the thirty second blurb from time to time informing us that they are not being given the medical attention and treatment they rightly deserve for having served this country, they are rarely mentioned.

One of them decides to put on a skirt, some lipstick and some eyeliner, and he gets an hour long special on one of the premiere news outlets of this nation.

Are you married with children working hard just to get by? Eh, so what, you’re boring.

Are you barely twelve, unwed, and on your second pregnancy? Perfect! We’ll give you a television show.

And so, the state of affairs gets sadder still, until it did not surprise me one bit when an effeminate fellow called me a breeder under his breath as he attempted to sit my family and I in a restaurant recently.

Two cheers for progress. Hip! Hip!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Most Dangerous Theory


There is a most dangerous theory making its way through the ether infecting both believers and non-believers alike. It would seem at the height of political correctness, it decided to couple with utter idiocy, and this theory is their lovechild. It pains me to hear anyone spout such nonsense, but it pains me doubly so when I hear believers defend this nonsense in their never ending quest to be relevant, edgy, cool, non-offensive, and all inclusive.

The theory I speak of is that of moral equivalency. In the eyes of the proponents of this theory, there is absolutely no difference between the little old lady dressed in her best outfit making her way up the church steps on a Sunday morning clinging to her Bible, and the bloodthirsty brute who in the name of his god slaughters innocent men, women, and children with no more a dilemma regarding the matter than one would have between ordering the chicken or the pasta on a transatlantic flight.

Even to one who could never be accused of brilliance or genius, the stark difference is evident between the two. One of these things is not like the other, yet many, some even within Christendom insist on the notion of moral equivalency, as though that is some excuse for murder and mayhem.

We are reticent to call things by their proper name in this country due to political correctness, and I fear the day will come when our insistence upon this foolishness will be our own undoing.

I’m sorry to be blunt, but if you believe the dad trying to keep a roof over his family’s head and food on the table while teaching his kids a sense of morals in an world absent morals by taking them to church on Sunday morning is on par, and on equal moral footing with guys who go around crucifying people and beheading them, then you’re an idiot and there is nothing I can do to help you.

Yes, I know, the overly sensitive will be all aflutter because I called a certain and by my estimation quite large segment of the population idiots, but it’s a little late in the day to sugarcoat things for the sake of sparing the crazies their feelings.

My next article will be called ‘The Sad State of Affairs’ and it will tackle how we got here, and yes, a large, overwhelming part of it has to do with promoting, elevating, and honoring the crazies and the perverts of our society rather than seek to show them the error of their ways.

But back to today’s rant….

To the proponents of moral equivalency, and those who continue to trumpet the lunacy that there is no difference whatsoever between Christianity and Islam, perhaps it will take some goat herder or failed rapper standing behind your kneeling form, cupping your chin, and gleefully sawing away at arteries and viscera to make you realize that the danger lay elsewhere, and not in the group of individuals whose only form of condoned killing, is to kill folks with kindness.

To those believers who continue to insist upon this theory and support it, I say stop embarrassing yourselves and making yourselves look the fool. If you believe these two opposing religions to be on equal moral footing, then you don’t know Jesus, you don’t know the message of the cross, nor do I believe were you truly saved and renewed in mind and heart. Take a long hard look in the mirror, contemplate the things you have been saying, and for the sake of all sane, rational folks who are trying their utmost to continue pointing the way to Jesus, and highlighting the fact that He is unique, one of a kind, Lord, King, and Master, shut up.
 
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Your Lord or Your Idol?


The main stream media has a new evangelical darling, and all it took was for him to blurt out something they agreed wholeheartedly with to make him a sensation, a star, an up and coming theological powerhouse the likes of which we have not seen since Joel Osteen.
 
In a moment of profound umbrage, fed up with being fed up, a pastor of some sixteen thousand congregants recently declared, ‘I’m done with stupid rules’, and that’s all it took for this profoundly simplistic utterance to go viral.
 
I don’t know the man, I don’t presume to judge the man – in the end God will judge us all anyway so why should I tire myself out – but his words got me to thinking about a broader implication, and why it is we are seeing such a lethargic, impotent, woefully inept and ignorant church prancing about as though they’ve seized upon the key to all wisdom for the first time in human history.
 
Whether Jesus is your Lord and your King, or He has become an idol of your own making, is the key to determining how you live your life, how you conduct yourself, and how you will view the ‘stupid rules’ set about in Scripture, spoken by none other than Christ Jesus, such as daily denying oneself, picking up our crosses, and following after Him.
 
You obey a Lord, you obey a King, but you don’t have to obey an idol. An idol can be anything you want it to be, demanding nothing of you for it can make no demands. It is an idol, formed by the hands of men, worshipped for no other reason than to placate the burdened conscience, and compel certain individuals to think of themselves as spiritual.
 
All idols require is worship. Jesus demands transformation.
 
Rather than being Lord of their lives, for many a soul today, Jesus has become an idol. Jesus is whatever they want Him to be, whatever they need Him to be, without the burdensome issues of obedience, servitude, self-denial, regeneration, transformation, and other things we need not fret ourselves with, muddying up the waters.
 
We want Jesus on our terms, He wants us on His terms, and the only way we’ve found to get around this sticky wicket, is to pretend to worship and obey Jesus, but a Jesus of our own construct, who doesn’t have any of those stupid rules, who doesn’t require any life change, who doesn’t demand repentance, or a breaking of ties with the darkness, but is simply overwhelmed with emotion at the sight of you sitting in a pew every other Sunday chewing gum and wondering when the service is going to be over, or if you’re going to have to wait in line at the local buffet if the preacher drags the closing prayer on longer than he ought.
 
This is largely the reason the Western Christian cannot wrap their minds around men and women being martyred for the cause of Christ, unwilling to deny Him, unwilling to betray Him, but going to their deaths faithful to the end as a true servant ought.
 
You can change idols easily enough, but to change Kings is to knowingly betray your King for His enemy, to knowingly become a traitor to He who has shown you boundless love, mercy, grace and goodness.
 
You hear these inane ruminations that could only come from the mind of a lazy, fattened, ignorant, casual Christian, such as ‘why didn’t they just lie and say they would convert to Islam’, or ‘why didn’t they just cross their fingers and say whatever the masked men wanted them to?’
 
Because they understood the difference between worshipping an idol, and serving a King! They understood, and paid the ultimate price, fully understanding what it means to follow those stupid rules, and lay down your life for the cause of Christ.
 
At this point, we the Christians of America ought to burn with shame. Our cheeks ought to glow red, we ought to avert our gaze, but we have long since lost the ability to blush, we have long since lost the ability to feel shame, and as long as there’s one or two luminaries out there telling us they’re tired of all the stupid rules, or that willful, continual, habitual sin isn’t really sin, but merely not God’s best for your life, we stumble ever onward toward eternity, believing wholeheartedly that we’ve outwitted God, and discovered the loophole that will let us into heaven while our hearts are firmly tethered to hell.
 
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Foolishness of Foolish Fools


When was the last time your God asked you to behead someone with a knife? How about to simply kidnap someone and declare them your betrothed, your one and only, the half that completes you ‘til death does you part? Perhaps it wasn’t an act, but rather a declaration such as vowing to drown everyone else on the planet except for your little clique in their own infidel blood. When was the last time God asked you to make such a declaration? Not recently? Perhaps never?

Yet here we are, being told by our spiritual betters that all religions are religions of peace, and the god of each is so similar that it would not be untoward in the least to broad brush the entire matter and say we all serve the same god just under different pseudonyms.

Remember that time, in the not so distant past when religious leaders of every stripe were falling all over themselves trying to be the first to lick the boot of power and echo the ramblings of other fools who said that we had nothing to concern ourselves over in regards to the religion of peace? Remember how we were told time and again that all they do is bake muffins for the cripple, make paper-mache dolls for pyromaniac adolescents, and knit booties for three legged kittens? We just thought they were different because they had beards…never mind the meat cleaver in the grizzled gentleman’s hand, go give him a hug.

There is politically driven rhetoric, there is religiously driven rhetoric, but what stinks worse than a rotting carcass in the midday sun is politically driven religious rhetoric. For the sake of a seat at the table that never materialized, your spiritual leaders betrayed you, sold you out, pimped you out, deceived you, and lied right to your face.

They were almost sycophantic in their demeanor, slavish in their devotion, ever eager to parrot the nonsense they were fed, about us just not understanding traditional quirks and so finding such things as dismemberment, mutilation, decapitation, torture, murder, rape, and slave owning off-putting was done so out of ignorance rather than out of a justified sense of moral outrage.

We were purpose driven right into heresy, and anyone who tried to warn that these people neither walked like a duck, quacked like a duck, nor wanted to hug you, were branded haters and closed minded.

What I want to know now is if such esteemed luminaries as Rick Warren will own their words, or backpedal as though their life depended on it, insisting that they didn’t say what we thought they said, and if they did say it then we heard it wrong, and even if we heard it right, we’re only talking about a small, minute, infinitesimal number of individuals, a few hundred thousand at most, who want to see us drown in our own blood, so what’s the big deal anyway?

Sometimes the foolishness of fools is breathtaking to behold, and what’s even more astounding is that no one calls them out on it. Will anyone ever point to that Hillsong fellow and call him a deceiver and a heretic? Likely not because they have good music, and he’s more of a positive motivator than one of those stuffy preachers who insist on sanctification and the such. He never claimed to know the Bible, or teach the Bible, but rather to inspire people to be better versions of themselves, to be positive, to believe in prosperity, or whatever else rehashed drivel is popular nowadays.

If the sheep didn’t love it, such shepherds would cease to exist. Because the sheep love to be deceived, because they are willing to believe even the most aberrant of lies if it means that they can hang on to their sin, then it’s alright by them, and when they are told that murderers, rapists, and other such fellows who revel in the taking of life and shedding of blood worship the selfsame god that they do, they nod their heads, and smile, and go on about their day.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Intermission


I tried. I really did. I stopped watching the news altogether, only glanced at the headlines on my homepage from time to time, and didn’t even read the free newspaper anymore; in short I did everything I could to avoid current events, thereby being able to likewise avoid talking about or writing about current events. I took a page out of man an American pastor’s playbook and surmised that ignorance was indeed bliss, and if I could remain ignorant of what is going on, the bliss would continue unabated.

It worked for a while. We’ve been busy with the baby, she’s just this amazing gift that does something new and precious and unique and astounding every day it seems, but even though I avoided seeking out the news, it came to me nevertheless.

Friends and brothers keep sending e-mails, e-mails I inevitably open, with links to articles, and opinion pieces, and breaking news of varying kinds.

I’m the kind of person that if something is gnawing at me, eventually that thing bleeds over into everything else, and unless extricated, leeched out of my system by way of addressing it, it begins to slowly affect other areas which have no tangential connection.

As such I am taking a short break from discussing the first epistle of Peter, and penning a few articles about what’s been gnawing at me of late.

For those of you who are squeamish, insist on political correctness, or get the vapors at the slightest provocation, I would suggest you stay away for the next few days, since what’s been banging around in my head isn’t pretty, but is true.

I’ve been waiting for someone to say it so I wouldn’t have to, but no one has, and I feel as though I must.

As soon as my intellectual detoxification is complete, we will return to our discussion of 1 Peter. For those of you who were looking forward to continuity, I apologize in advance, but knowing myself, this is for the best. I hope you understand.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Time of Our Sojourning Here Part 4


It is said we are all born with two primary fears. Every one of us is born with the fear of falling, and the fear of loud noises. Every other fear we must learn through experience, we must learn through education, and we must learn through practice.

‘No Fear’ might be a great tag line for a t-shirt, but there are some thing we ought to fear, and rightly so. I fear getting electrocuted, so I don’t go around licking live wires. I fear being mauled to death, so I don’t go around slapping grizzly bears across the snout. I fear God, knowing He is just and holy, so I do my utmost to be what He expects me to be which is nothing less than holy.

It is not as though the time of our sojourning here is inconsequential. If it were, then it is doubtful God would have included so many warnings in the Bible as to how we ought to conduct ourselves while sojourning here. It is because there are consequences to our actions while we journey here, and it is because how we conduct ourselves while here is important that God inspired it to be included in the Word.

There are certain fears we, as children of God ought never to have, and at the top of the list, number one with a bullet, is the fear of man. It is because we do not fear God that we fear man. Yes, the preceding statement was profound in its simplicity.

When we fear God, there is no fear of man to be had. When we fear men, then there is no fear of God to be had. You cannot fear man and God equally, and as such you must choose to fear one or the other.

So why is it that we have lost the fear of the Lord in our modern age? Why is it that we no longer fear God? We no longer fear God because as is the case with so many things, our modern age has stripped of meaning, some of the most profound truths.

‘And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear;’

If you call God Father, then you already know that He judges without partiality according to each one’s work. In calling God Father, there is a certain level of intimacy that one must assume, and a certain level of knowledge that one reasonably expects to exist.

Even a word as often used as father has been so butchered, that men today call God Father, without understanding what the word means, and without having the requisite relationship a father has with his son or daughter.

Is God your Father? What does the word Father mean to you?

Does the word father mean the individual who provided, cared for, protected, disciplined, taught, instructed, and loved you throughout your life, because that is what the word father means! It is not simply about biology, it’s not about seeing a picture of someone who is long gone, having abandoned his family, and being told they are your father.

This is partly the reason why our reaction toward the reality that God is our Father is so tepid and lifeless. It is because the word has been redefined, or because at least 50% of individuals today have a negative association with the word.

‘I was with you up to this point preacher, but come on are you insinuating that people’s perception of a word’s definition has a direct effect as to how they react toward it?’

Yes, that is what I am saying, not insinuating, but saying. Look at men’s definition of the word sin over the past few decades, and you will see that I am right. Sin used to be defined as death, and as such, men used to guard their hearts against it, and be ever vigilant in their walk.

Now that sin has become a relative term, a moral choice upon which another individual cannot pass judgment because everyone defines sin differently, the church is full of all manner of vile practices, and no one says a thing about it, because they will be smacked across the mouth with the ‘do not judge’ paddle.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Time of Our Sojourning Here Part 3


Men often confuse the fear of the Lord, with terror, or phobia, but true fear of the Lord is neither of these things. True fear of the Lord has more to do with reverence for the Lord, and respect for the Lord, than it does fear in the sense we’ve redefined it in our modern age.

When you boil it down to its essence, the fear of the Lord possesses three important components. The first of these three aspects is the selfsame reverence for the Lord we mentioned, and it is a necessary component. What you do not revere, what you do not respect, you can neither obey nor lay your life down for.

Hebrews 12:28, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

Reverence and godly fear are like fingers on the same hand, always found together. Why are reverence and godly fear necessary for us as believers? Because by possessing these two, we are able to serve God acceptably.

Yes, there is an acceptable way of serving God, and an unacceptable way of serving God. There are sacrifices and offerings God receives, and others He does not. We strive not merely to serve for the sake of serving, but to serve acceptably, and in order to serve acceptably reverence and godly fear must be our constant companions.

What troubles me is that some will see these words as radical, even though they are included within the pages of Scripture. Some might even say that they’ve never heard something like that before, which again, is troubling for a different set of reasons altogether.

The fact that some people have written in and said they found this series on the first epistle of Peter refreshing and new goes to show just how out of favor true biblical teaching has fallen among the learned men of letters who call themselves doctors of theology and other grandiose titles.

When we possess reverence and godly fear we go about God’s work cautiously, we do not do anything haphazardly, and we do not seek our own interest but only the furtherance of the kingdom of God.

I may sound like an old fuddy-duddy by asserting the following, but one need only see how today’s average churchgoer dresses and how they act when within the house of God to realize that there is not an ounce of godly fear, nor is there any particular reverence for God.

If you take more time to make sure you are dressed appropriately before going to a concert, or going to a game than before going to the house of God, then your actions betray the reality that you revere those things more than you revere God.

No, this is not about having a dress code in church, or mandating everyone wear the same ankle length dress and three piece suit, it is not about being legalistic, it is about being reverent, and letting everything that you are trumpet that reverence, whether it be your attire, your mannerisms, your posture, or your attention.

When you go for a job interview chances are you don’t show up in sweat pants and an ‘I’m with stupid’ t-shirt, because you want to present the best possible side of yourself, since you are hoping to acquire gainful employment by both your qualifications, but also your appearance.

When we don’t put forth the same effort when coming before the King of Kings that we would going for a job interview, then I’m sorry, fuddy-duddy or not, there’s something off-putting about that.

You are come before the King! You are come before Almighty God! Show the reverence and godly fear the situation calls for, whether it be in your choice of attire, your being on time, your attentiveness, your worshipfulness, or your veneration.

Be in awe of God!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.