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Monday, March 23, 2015

What Now?


“Up until a few weeks ago I thought you were crazy. I heard some of your teachings online, and whenever you would talk about persecution coming to America I snickered, thinking it could never happen here. In my mind I compared you to the UFO folks; entertaining, but nothing more. I apologize. I see it now, and it scares me. What now? What will become of the church when persecution does come?”

This is how a lengthy e-mail I received over the weekend started. Even some who vehemently refused to see the writing on the wall can’t ignore it any longer, and the pervasive ‘what now?’ has become a constant drone, like white noise you don’t notice until you do.

Some have taken the position of being incensed, of calling the world out on its hypocrisy, duplicity, double standard, and willingness to gloss over the reality of persecution coming to a neighborhood near you, as though the world cares a whit that they are incensed.

In their mind your silencing is for the greater good, and that’s all the justification needed to come down like a hammer on any dissenters and individuals brave enough to point out the inconsistencies in any given matter.

Although far more believers are seeing the inevitable persecution on the horizon, there is still confusion as to what will become of the household of faith, and what will have to be done in order to get through it.

The first thing that will occur shortly after persecution begins is a great and mighty sifting in the midst of those calling themselves believers. Anyone not wholly committed to Christ, anyone not wholly sold out to Him, will fall by the wayside as so much dross, inventing ad hoc theologies to justify their cowardice and faithlessness.

Seeing as the world loves anything that undermines truth, they will promote and popularize these new heretical theologies, furthermore alienating true believers and those who realize there is no compromising with the darkness.

As the persecution will continue to intensify, true believers will have no choice but to go underground, to star meeting in secret, meeting in homes, in barns, wherever they are able to congregate and fellowship and encourage one another.

I believe it is at this juncture, wherein it will be dangerous to call yourself a Christian, and doing so may cost you everything, that we will see the power of God flood those who remain faithful, and as a direct result, the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit will no longer be a rare occurrence, but something common and even expected.

Good will come of persecution because it will inevitably draw those who are sincere in their desire to serve Jesus, closer to Him. Good will come of hardship because it will teach the faithful greater dependence upon God. Good will come of the fire because it will eliminate every impurity, and make the gold pure as it ought to be.

I realize some of you are torn between praying to be counted worthy to escape these things, and praying for boldness to endure to the end. I cannot tell you which to pray for, but I know which I am praying for.

Personally, I want to see the power of God manifest fully among His children. Personally, I want to walk through the fire without getting burned. Personally, I want to see God continue to prove His faithfulness in every area of my life, and as such the only thing I can pray for is courage, and boldness, and steadfastness to stare down the coming storm without an ounce of fear, and prepare my heart for what is coming.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Outsiders


I’ve been doing more praying than writing lately. I’ve been doing more praying than pretty much anything else if I am to be perfectly honest, and I think anyone seeing the world for what it has become, and watching the chess pieces moving on the chessboard with lightning fast speed can do nothing less.

We knew these things were coming, for long and long we knew. Seeing them up close, however, does make one catch their breath and realize these are just the outlying storm clouds. The brunt of the storm itself and the true fury thereof has not yet arrived.

My heart breaks as I watch more and more people tether their hopes to the church, thinking it a place of refuge and safety, only to have their hopes shattered at the revelation that the church is full to the rafters with godless wolves who are tirelessly bringing in destructive heresies, hoping to seduce, to tempt, to deceive, and to shipwreck faith in the Christ, as well as the Word.

It seems like every other day there is some Christian college somewhere embracing what God abhors, and lest anyone have the temerity to say anything about it, they’ve already taken preemptive measures and painted any who would object as being bigoted knuckle draggers whose only place on this earth is a cave somewhere.

There no longer remains reverence for the Word of God, and as such we can call it a story book, the ramblings of long dead people who had nothing better to do than sit down and scrawl some chicken scratches on some parchment, or an antiquated tome likened to an instructional manual on making buggy whips.

There is no outrage, and this outrages me. There is no outcry, no call for the immediate dismissal of those who would slander the Word of God and compare it to nothing more than useless dross and filler.

With each passing day those who continue to cling to Christ and stand on the Word will be labeled outsiders. With each passing day those that refuse to be indoctrinated into the new and glorious heresy will be marginalized, shunned, and made out to be the worst kind of humans.

Most of you already know this; you’ve prepared your hearts for it. You’ve steeled your constitution, and are ready to brave the crashing waves of hatred and vitriol. This post is not so much for you, but for those who still walk about with their heads in the clouds thinking if only they make enough compromises, if only they acquiesce enough, if only they become more and more like the world, the world will eventually embrace them.

As long as you cling to Christ, you are a foreign entity and the world’s singular purpose is to expel you. The only way to be at peace with the world is to betray the cross, and sadly more and more ‘spiritual leaders’ and men of renown are doing exactly that.

For the past six years or so I’ve been warning of coming persecution only to be mocked, ridiculed, and even laughed out of some churches. It’s good to see some are at least are catching up, seeing what’s on the horizon, and beginning to sound the alarm.

Make your peace about being an outsider. Make your peace with the reality that you will be ostracized, maligned, marginalized, and persecuted. Pray not to be spared these things, but rather pray for the boldness, courage, and strength to endure them.

The hour draws nigh, and He who sees all will judge in righteousness and holiness among His own. You will know when this has commenced from the wailing and mourning that will pierce the silence.  
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

And Now You Know!


Some months back, when I called Rob Bell a heretic, I got a ton of hate mail calling me unloving, intolerant, a knuckle dragger unwilling to see beyond my own legalistic dogma, jealous, envious of another man’s success, and a few other choice things that I cannot repeat here lest children happen upon my blog.

Recently, Mister Bell pulled the mask off altogether and spewed a few more nuggets of worldly wisdom that has all of Christendom apoplectic, wondering why they couldn’t see the man for what he was sooner.

I’m not much for ‘I told you so’. Not to toot my own horn, but if I were a fan of the ‘I told you so’ fad, I’d spend half my waking hours telling people, ‘I told you so’.

That this man is still called a pastor is an outrage to reason and sensibility. That this man is still touted as a man of God is beyond the pale, and anyone calling themselves a Christian still defending his teaching should really consider visiting a mental health specialist sooner rather than later.

To answer the question that is on so many a mind, the question being how exactly Mister Bell could come to the conclusion that the church is a hair’s breadth away from embracing every vile and wicked act as being the embodiment of love, one must look at what he thinks of the Word of God, then look no further than that.

Since I do not want to be accused of putting words in Mister Bell’s mouth, I will quote verbatim his response to a question posed by yet another luminary of the modern day American Church and Spiritual movement, Oprah Winfrey, regarding what seems to be the gotcha topic of the moment, homosexual unions.

“I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone.”

Bravo, well done, hip hip, you virtuous and brave defender of the faith, you. To call this man a pastor is like calling someone who mutilates cats in their basement a doctor. I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore. Seriously! How much more idiocy must we put up with until there is a resounding chorus of ‘enough’ from the household of faith? Does anyone even care anymore? If no one else does, why should I?

As I said, one need only look at Mister Bell’s reply to understand how little he thinks of the God of the Bible, and the Bible itself. Rather than calling it the inerrant, infallible, absolute Word of God, Mister Bell refers to the Bible as simply letters from 2,000 years ago, chiding those who would quote it as less than intelligent individuals who are waging a losing battle. In his not so humble opinion, if your only defense for the position you hold is the Bible, then you are a fool, an imbecile, a clueless troglodyte who deserves to be segregated to some desert somewhere, where you can live out the rest of your days quoting 2,000 year old letters to others of your ilk. This man still calls himself a pastor and others refers to him as a pastor! I’m sorry I feel the need to reiterate this, but it’s just beyond me.

It is because he thinks of the Bible as nothing more than a collection of letters that he can spout the idiocies he spouts without an iota of apprehension or fear.

These are the men you have chosen to lead you to green pastures and pure waters. These are the men to whom you’ve entrusted your spiritual wellbeing. These are the men who are held in high esteem, and seen as forward thinking luminaries of the new spirituality. These are the men who are supposed to introduce you to Jesus. Good luck with that.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Consequence of Everything


There are consequences to everything in life. There are consequences to action, as well as to inaction, to ignorance as well as to knowledge, to foolishness as well as to wisdom. Nothing we choose to do or not do, say or not say, embrace or shun, is absent consequence both in the instant we’ve made said choice, as well as from that point forward throughout your existence, and oftentimes far beyond.

I believe we’ve lost sight of this all important fact as a society, and it is one of a handful of reasons we are in the condition we are in, circling the drain ever so precipitously, clinging to anything whether it be a straw or a clump of earth just as long as we can keep alive the flicker of hope that we can return to former glory, and rediscover the righteous path we’ve long abandoned.

The problem as I see it is that all most of us do is hope. We don’t act, we don’t speak, we don’t exhibit righteous anger as the grossest of perversions befouls what ought to be the most sacred of places, we keep silent, keep our head down, go about our daily labors, and hope.

While we’re doing all the hoping, they’re doing all the acting, and in case you haven’t looked at the scorecard lately, we’re down by a lot more points than we’d like to admit.

Even our prayers are a cross between resignation and acquiescence, no longer praying for God’s will to be done, no longer praying for His justice to shine forth, no longer praying that He judge righteously, but rather just praying that the disease stops short of our doorstep though it may engulf the rest of our town.

We tell each other our tales of sorrow, and even then in hushed tones, because we fear reprisal, we fear the spotlight, we fear being singled out by the machine,  we fear being thoroughly chewed up, spat out, and left for dead, and this fear is what the darkness is betting on to keep us silent. The silence of the righteous is like catnip for the devil, and with each silenced voice he grows all the more emboldened.

Given what we’ve seen of late, this fear is completely justified, and the fact that Christians, and men of substance are being targeted is not just your jangly nerves working overtime, but a present reality. As children of God, however, we must move beyond the fear, and by faith override the inherent need for self-preservation, for only then will we have the wherewithal to stand boldly and declare sin for what it is, knowing that reprisal is a given.

We are seeing the consequences of silence and acquiescence all too vividly in our society, and the longer we remain silent, the worse it will become.

When the bell tolls, and the bill comes due, we will likely be in a mad rush to find someone to blame, someone to pass the buck to, but will ultimately realize that though the blame can likely be spread around a bit, by and large the brunt of it must be appropriated by those who chose silence over vocal opposition to the darkness, and who having done the math realized that going along to get along would ensure their comfort and ease far longer than standing up for the truth would have.

Every man values one thing above another. We either value truth more than we value our flesh, or we value our flesh more than we value truth. Our actions will speak the truth of it even if our lips might not.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Almost Funny


‘I will not eat you,’ said the wolf to the lamb. ‘Just climb into my mouth for warmth.’

I have been relishing peace of late. I have been watching my daughter grow, enjoying the calmness of the world, at least calm compared to what is about to descend like a thunderclap, and spending quiet time with God. Simplicity is good for me. Simplicity works.

It’s not that I’ve willed myself not to write anything the last few weeks, it just hasn’t happened. Between feedings, naps, diaper changes, walks, and other mundane things that bring me great joy for some inexplicable reason, I go to bed exhausted each night, only to get up and do it all over again. This morning I finally gave in and checked to see what’s happening in this world of ours, and although it came as no surprise, I found it sad that things are continuing to escalate.

I am still fascinated by some men’s willingness to believe their sworn enemies at their word. I am still unable to process how some actually believe that advice given by another who intends to do them harm is in their own best interest.

Some world leaders are not amateurs, and they know exactly what they are doing. Some of them have big plans, big dreams, big aspirations, and what’s more they are ruthless enough to succeed given the right opportunity and set of global circumstances.

One of the first things any form of combat teaches you – whether it be boxing, judo, karate, or the dozens upon dozens of martial arts disciplines – is to never telegraph your next move. Telegraphing your next punch, means that your enemy will be able to defend himself against it, then retaliate to such an extent as his abilities will allow.

If your opponent is truly skilled, then if he feigns left, usually the next blow will come from the right, and if he telegraphs his next move, knowing his skill level, you dismiss it outright because you know it’s a feign.

Another golden rule of battlefield strategy is to know your enemy. Only once you have come to know your enemy can you understand what motivates him, what drives him, and what his endgame is.

The moment someone with an undeniably strategic mind moves the first piece on the chess board, your question must be, ‘what is his endgame?’

Once you’ve identified what the endgame is, you can rightly predict your opponent’s next move, even if he tells you his intent is the complete opposite.

If not for the outright incompetence on display regarding Russia and their strategy, this entire situation would be almost funny. If not for the imminent danger the world is in, one might just shrug their shoulders and go on to the next story.

Contrary to their recent statement, Russia has big plans, and annexing what they perceive to be prodigal children of the old Soviet empire is just the beginning.

Some are breathing a sigh of relief thinking that the entire drama in the region has reached its apex, and is ready to die down, not realizing that the unpleasantness with Ukraine was the first calculated move, soon to be followed by many others, and with each move that goes unopposed they grow all the more emboldened in their pursuits.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fervent Love Part 5


While she was alive my mother was known as the generous lady. If you had a problem, a pressing need, some issue you couldn’t see yourself out of on your own, it was common knowledge that you went to ‘the lady with the orphanage’ and if there was any way that she could help you, she would.

Even when there was no money to give out, there was always a sympathetic ear, a hug, a shared cry, and for many these gestures of heartfelt empathy were enough, because they realized someone actually did care, someone actually did take an interest.

We garner reputations by the way we live our lives both within the household of faith and without. Are you known as the guy with the face tattoo and eye piercings, or the guy who spends much of his free time reading to the elderly in the retirement home? Are you known as the lady who screamed at the bag boy for bagging your groceries in paper instead of plastic bags, or as the lady who makes Christmas boxes throughout the year for the poor kids in the community?

Our actions define us more than our words ever will. I can tell everyone within earshot that I am generous and magnanimous, that I give of myself, of my time, and of my resources, or I can do these things consistently without bothering to see if anyone is noticing, and eventually you will be known for it, because men notice.

Men likewise notice when we call ourselves believers, Christians, followers of Christ, and soldiers of the cross, yet equal them in their thirst for debauchery and lawlessness.

It is the same within the household of faith.

If you are always the one comforting the bruised and broken, if you are always the one reaching out a hand to help those who have stumbled, the body will take note, and you will be identified as one who has fervent love for the brethren, and as one who realizes that when one member suffers, the whole body suffers.

Likewise, if you are always the one beating a brother when he’s down, if you’re always the one trying to trip everyone else up just to get a few paces ahead of the crowd, it will be noted, and you will likewise be labeled as what you rightly are.

Are you a defender of the Gospel, or are you a cowardly lemming trying to keep from being seen and singled out? Your actions will determine how you are perceived, not the words you speak about yourself.

I am a man of words, but I also realize the futility of words, especially when it comes to the titles we afford ourselves and the accolades we shower upon ourselves. There’s a reason public relations firms make so much money, and it’s not because they tell the truth about their clients.

It is because those who hire such companies have no substantial accomplishments, and are not known for anything they’ve done in life, that they must resort to fanciful reinterpretations of their endeavors, and downright lies to make them seem more than they are.
An individual whose accomplishments are evident need not brag or boast about themselves, nor do they need to publicize what they do. They will be known organically, by their very nature, because eventually who you are, what you are, will be made clear to one and all, whether to your glory or to your shame.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fervent Love Part 4


This idea of a compromising god, this idea of a god which is, at the drop of a hat, more than eager to make any concession we deem necessary, is a god fashioned by compromised men, for compromised men, and has no resemblance or similarity to the one true God, the God of the Bible.

No matter whom we think ourselves to be, no matter the pedigree we boast of and hold in high esteem, no matter the works we have worked, no matter the sermons we have preached, no matter the accolades we’ve received, God will not compromise for our sake.

The thought that God makes concessions, or that He will acquiesce to our whining and complaining is utter folly. Stories told by immature children to other immature children.

Within the framework of such discussions, many are quick to point to David as the go to, although, oddly enough, no one ever seems to point to Uzzah. If we do our due diligence we soon discover that God made no compromises with David, and that He dealt with him justly, but all many seem to remember is that he got away with the whole Bathsheba debacle, even though he really didn’t.

What’s more, you’re not David, and neither am I, and while he was under law, we are under grace, the blood that was spilled on our behalf far more precious than that of goats, lambs, and oxen.

Many a soul have cherry picked their way out of the presence of God, into the deepest of darkness, because rather than submit to the authority of He who was, and is, and is to come, they tried to find loopholes and excuses for their pet sins and vices. Enamored with ourselves as we might be, God doesn’t play favorites, nor does He believe, as many of us tend to do sometimes, that we are indispensable, essential, and necessary to the Kingdom, and as such God will have no choice but to turn a blind eye, swallow bitterly at the lawlessness we practice, but in the end do nothing concerning the matter because He needs us so.

I’ve heard enough people say they were integral to the plan of God, then turned out not to be so integral after all, that I’ve come to realize, each man, to the last is expendable, and as soon as they remove themselves from beneath the covering and the authority of God, as soon as they cease to walk in obedience and humility, God will find another way of bringing His plan to fulfillment.

The thought that we are somehow more special than our fellow man, more special than those we sit next to in church on Sunday, or more special than those we come in contact with on a daily basis, is oddly comforting to some folks. Never once does it cross their minds however, that the person sitting next to them in church is having the exact same thoughts about themselves, thinking themselves somehow special, and preferred in some way or fashion of God.

How we can gloss over the written Word wherein we are told that there is no partiality with God is a mystery I have yet to solve, but just because we think ourselves a certain thing, it does not mean God is beholden to share the selfsame thoughts.

Oddly enough, it is God who likewise says His thoughts are not as our thoughts, but He must have been talking about something else, not about how special we are, because let’s face it, how couldn’t God think that we’re special?

Seriously though, if we put as much effort into seeking after humility as we do thinking we are somehow superior to others, many of us would be much further along in regards to our spiritual maturity than we are at present.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.