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Thursday, April 17, 2014

What of the True Gospel?

There are many gospels to choose from. Blink, turn your head, cough into your hand, or get distracted for more than a millisecond and another gospel pops up, seemingly out of nowhere, and the easily beguiled flock to it as swiftly as they did to the previous one.

To be honest, I’ve gotten so sick of what’s been happening in Christendom of late, I’ve been ‘off the grid’ as the kids like to say, just me, my Bible, my wife, and time to think about where the church is headed if something is not done about the destination we’re barreling toward.

Up until a couple days ago the gospel du jour had to do with blue moons or red moons or blood moons or some hyper spiritualized thing someone borrowed from some long lost pagan mystics while they were still dancing around fires in loincloths.

I don’t even know who came up with it, I just know I got allot of e-mails warning me that the moon would bring with it much global chaos, more than likely sparking the third world war, and I should, forthwith and without delay, get to my safety pod.

Everyday it’s something, and in the dustup Jesus gets left behind. We lose sight of Him, and eventually forget to remember Him altogether.

There are many gospels making the rounds today. There is the do nothing gospel, there is the big tent gospel, there is the magic genie gospel, and as I watch them come and go, and oscillate in popularity I keep asking myself what of the true Gospel?

Will the true Gospel ever have center stage again? Will the true Gospel ever be received and embraced again, or are we watching the last flailing spasms of a dying thing once known as the church?

I’m struggling here. I’m struggling to understand how so many can be so blind, indifferent, deceived, and callous while still claiming to be of Christ, and insisting upon fidelity to His standard. I’m struggling with how so few see the wolves for what they are, and treat the true shepherds with a disdain formerly reserved for torturers and sadists.

We are on the edge of profound, cataclysmic change, and if this is the best the church can muster, if this is the level of watchfulness and alertness we can bring ourselves to given everything that’s been happening in the world, the slaughter will be unprecedented.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sometimes It's You!

With the removal of personal accountability and responsibility for one’s individual actions, the entire construct of civilized society begins to crack and creak and eventually crumble in on itself. All one need do in order to utterly dismantle civilization is do away with the notion of each individual being individually responsible and accountable for his or her actions, and sooner or later, the gears will grind to a halt, and what we came to know as civil normalcy ceases to be.

Wherever you turn, whatever the context happens to be, we see that the notions of taking responsibility for one’s actions, or being accountable in some form or fashion have long been dead and buried.

If you’re fat, it’s not your fault; it’s the burger and pizza joints down the street. If you run out of money halfway through the week because you just had to get that seventieth tattoo on your back of a worm on a hook that has real deep and personal meaning, it’s not your fault; the mean-old-meany you work for just isn’t paying you enough. If you can’t get a job because you purposefully and willfully made your face to look like a crash test dummy after the fact, replete with ear gauges, nose studs, and lip rings, it’s not your fault; people today just don’t want to understand individuality and artistic license.

‘What about not judging a book by its cover, huh, what about that?’

Well, contrary to popular sentiment, you can tell quite allot about a book by its cover. I know, I know, it goes against the grain of today’s society, but there it is, the truth unfiltered. If the cover depicts a bleeding skull skewered by knives and spears, chances are better than good the contents of the book will not chronicle the heartwarming relationship between a boy named Boo and his three legged puppy Tripod. So, yes, more often than not, the cover will give you hints as to what the book contains, but that’s not what this post is about.

 Yes, partially this post is a vent of sorts, but there is a bigger picture sort of angle I wanted to get across, and that is, we’ve taken this idea of zero personal responsibility and accountability, and seeing as it worked so well for the world, we’ve spiritualized it and brought it within the household of faith.

We’ve driven ourselves into this intellectual cul-de-sac, put the car in par, shut off the engine, and have commenced to waiting for something, anything to happen to vindicate our newly minted stance that try as we might, there is nothing we can do in regards to our spirituality, that the game is rigged, the die is cast, the story is told, and whether you’re in or out is a pre-established thing that has nothing to do with whether you repent or not, live holiness or not, worship Christ or not, or deny yourself and pick up your cross or not.

‘You have no say so, and have nothing to contribute. You’re just a speck on the river of eternity, unable to do anything but to let the currents take you where they may. It’s not your fault!’

But you see, sometimes it is. Yep, sometimes it’s you! Sometimes it’s your fault! Sometimes the outcome of the decisions you’ve made up to this point is the reason you find yourself in the place you’re in, and you’ve got no one to blame but the individual staring back at you in the mirror. We are all subject to certain universal laws, and one of these laws is that there is no action without an equal and opposite reaction. Another is that there is no decision we make whether for good or evil that does not come with inherent consequence.

Rather than wait to be pursued by God, rather than wait for Him to drag you into heaven, why not do as the Word instructs and pursue Him instead? Why not knock and see if He opens? Why not ask and see if He gives? Why not seek and see if you find?

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Random Thoughts

Recently, the loss of a basketball game in Tucson was enough to compel fans to rampage, and start a riot. Police in riot gear were called out, and they disbanded the crowd who had by then started to hurl beer cans and other things at the line of police.

Keep in mind this was over a basketball game.

We think ourselves a civilized lot. We think ourselves sophisticated and evolved enough to deal with any issue through diplomacy and conversation, never resorting to violence, and rarely if ever allowing our tempers to get the better of us. What we think of ourselves is a lie, and the high and lofty stature we see ourselves in is an illusion.

Some of you may think I’m blowing this out of proportion, or wondering what if anything this has to do with anything, but to better contextualize my random thoughts I would pose the following question: If seemingly intelligent individuals would do this over a basketball game, what would they do to survive?

I keep getting e-mails on how I think people should prepare for the eventual, inevitable turmoil on the horizon. I am asked, repeatedly, whether I think it’s a good idea to stock up on food, on water, on guns, on ammunition, and a dozen other things.

My answer is always the same, because I can give no other answer. If God tells you to stock up on food, on water, or on anything else, then do what God tells you to do. If you proceed to do these things thinking that they will somehow save you, spare you, or be an acceptable replacement for the protection of God, taking it upon yourself to do proceed without His specific instruction, then you are of all men most pitiable.

There will be angry, terrified, desperate people in the streets when those days come, and they won’t be angry over a basketball game, but rather starving and with nothing left to lose. There will be no police in riot gear, there will be no tear gas and rubber bullets, there will only be chaos, wherein every man will fend for himself, and the strong will do their utmost to take from the weak if they are able.

Every safety net we've come to rely on, every government agency sworn to protect the average citizen, all of it, in an instant will be nonexistent, and the vile among us will have free reign doing in full view what they now do in the shadows.

One need only think on the reverberations the total collapse of societal etiquette will have for an instant, to realize that save a supernatural protection, save being safe under the shadow of His almighty hand, all we do to spare ourselves, to save ourselves, or insulate ourselves is woefully insufficient.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the reality of human nature absent the light of God’s grace illuminating it, and it isn't shiny, happy people chasing butterflies and playing harps… it is hooligans doing their utmost to destroy anything and anyone in their path just because they can. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Speaking in Boscobel Wisconsin

This coming Sunday, I will be speaking at the Boscobel Assembly of God, where else but in Boscobel Wisconsin. Service starts at 10:30.

The address is as follows:

Boscobel Assembly of God
301 Chestnut St. 
Boscobel WI

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Follow Thru

I grew up in what one might call tight quarters. There were seven of us living in a scaled down version of a two bedroom apartment, with one bathroom, a kitchenette, and a living room that doubled as the ministry headquarters. As such, discipline was a necessity, especially as my brothers and I grew.

Of all the adults in the house, all three of us feared grandma. It wasn't because she was meaner than the rest, or had a shorter temper. It was because grandma followed thru. Whenever she warned us of impending consequences for a certain continued action if said action was not summarily terminated, the warned of consequences were always forthcoming.

Grandma would not relent, and when she promised something, she was true to her word.

Although grandpa tried to be a disciplinarian in his own right, all three of us knew he didn't have the heart to spank us if it came to it, but because we loved him, and he was grandpa, we tended to obey him more thoroughly than we would grandma and her switch, or wooden spoon.

One either obeys out of love or out of fear, and since there is no love lost between Russia and the United States, love will not be the catalyst that compels the Russian Federation to acquiesce and give up their plans for expansion. Make no mistake, a plan for expansion is exactly what this current foray into Crimea and Ukraine is, and they started with Crimea because the Russians knew they needed the access to the Black Sea that Crimea offers.

This isn't over by a long shot, and the best tool we had to dissuade the Russians has been rendered null and void by the idiotic bluster of men who think themselves more powerful than they really are.

The best tool in our arsenal when it came to dealing with the Russian kind of mindset was the follow thru. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. If you draw a line in the sand, when your adversary steps across it, don’t just shrug your shoulders and say, ‘oh well, I guess that didn't work’. It only takes one show of weakness, one instance wherein your adversary discovers you have not the stomach to follow thru on your threats for him to understand that all there is is hot air and empty threats.

Words are only words when there is no action forthcoming, and as the old rhyme so aptly reminds us, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

At this point our weakness is on full display, and this only serves to embolden those who up until now were still weary of the legend of American might. With every misstep, with every failure to act, and with every instance we don’t follow thru on our promises, we further alienate our allies, and embolden our enemies. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Speaking in Oconto Wisconsin

I will be speaking at the Harvest Assembly of God in Oconto Wisconsin this coming Sunday. It's the first meeting I'm scheduled to speak at since I've returned stateside, and due to the wife's advanced stages of pregnancy, I don't know how many more outings I can realistically commit to.

When the one you love needs you to put on her shoes, take off her shoes, and help her out of bed, you kind of want to be there because you love them.

Anyway, the date and location are as follows:

Sunday March 23, 10:30 AM
Harvest Assembly of God
161 McDonald St
Oconto WI 54153

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Deadline Paradigm

The first time I heard a man singing about playing chicken with a train I was about halfway to Georgia, sitting in a truck stop diner. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, count yourself fortunate. It’s a silly tune, but one that sticks with you for some reason, and though I’d only heard it once I’d find myself humming I played chicken with a train for a few days afterwards.

What we are doing at this juncture isn’t so much playing chicken with a train as it is playing chicken with a charging bear. The best one can hope for under these circumstances is that the bear just barrels into us, knocks us to the side, and continues on its merry way, but chances are better than good that after knocking us over he’ll take his time in mauling us for good measure.

Of all the things we could have done to assuage the escalating crisis with Russia, setting a deadline was by far the most uninspired and unintelligent thing.

From what our esteemed politicians have said, Russia has until Monday to reverse course as pertains to the Crimea region, or face repercussions and consequences.

Setting a deadline, especially with one such as the current Russian leader is a horrible idea because there are only three possible outcomes to the scenario.

The first possible outcome, and unfortunately one that is highly unlikely, is that fearing any further verbal tongue lashings from our Secretary of State, the Russians will blink, tuck their tails between their legs, and recall the troops they’ve already dispatched to the region.

The second possible outcome is that Monday comes and goes, the Russians call our bluff, we do absolutely nothing, and our impotence is on full display for the whole world to see. The danger in this is that like any apt predator Mr. Putin can sense weakness, he has an innate ability to detect fear, and he seizes the aforementioned moments of weakness and fear to capitalize and exploit his rivals.

We’ve been caught off-guard, but rather than admit it to ourselves and think things through, we think bluster and empty threats will save the day.

What we must realize is that we are not threatening some banana republic, we are not threatening some island off some coast that’s no bigger than a hamburger patty, we are threatening a nation with almost twice the landmass of our own, with at least equal if not superior military forces, and enough of a nuclear arsenal to make the entire planet an uninhabitable sandbox a thousand times over.

No, they might not be as surgical when it comes to the more finite details of delivering warheads and such, but whether by a chainsaw or a scalpel, dead is still dead. Think blunt object if that helps. Their philosophy is not so much being able to get a rocket through a keyhole, but making sure that if said rocket lands anywhere on your continent it’ll do the job.

The third possible outcome, and one I dread even contemplating is that in trying to save face we do something truly stupid like declare war, and if this occurs, come Tuesday morning we will be waking up to a new world, more readily likened to the stuff of nightmares than anything heretofore known as reality.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.