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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Some Gave All

I have never served in the armed forces. I was never required to leave my family, my wife, and my children behind, fly off to some far off land and run the risk of bleeding out in the desert under a hot sun. I have never had to see good friends die in my arms, or tell someone who just had half their face blown off that it’s not so bad. I’ve never had to put pressure on a wound and tell a brother in arms to hang in there, even though I knew the wound was fatal. I have never been forced to take another human life to defend my own.

I have never been in the heat of battle with bullets buzzing by my head, I’ve never had to question if we were doing the right thing, nor have I ever had to write a letter to the family of a fallen soldier informing them that their loved one was coming home in a box.

I have never had to live with the nightmares of the hell I had to endure on the battlefield, I have never had to contend with being spat upon by the selfsame people for whose freedom I put on the uniform and waged war.

I will not be so vapid as to try and put myself in a soldier’s shoes, or in the shoes of a family who has lost a loved in one in combat.

I do not know what it’s like to be a soldier, but I respect those with the wherewithal and fortitude to do the hardest job known to man.

It’s easy to conflate the wars which politicians choose to entangle a nation in, and the soldier himself. If for some reason we deem a war unjust, then we tend to transfer the questionable morality to the soldier himself. The distinction must be made, and we must separate the nobility of the war from the nobility of the soldier. The soldier follows orders as a good soldier must. He defends the nation and the homeland at the risk of his own life because he took an oath to do so.

This is memorial day weekend. It is a weekend set aside not to debate the fundamental morality of the wars this nation has engaged in, or whether it was the right thing to do at the time, but to remember those who have fallen in defense of this nation. It is an opportunity to reflect, and once more acknowledge that this freedom we are so readily willing to cast aside came at a price, and throughout this nation’s short history noble and decent men laid down their lives to preserve it.

It has been said that if you can’t intelligently argue for both sides of an issue, then you don’t understand the issue well enough to argue for either. To an extent, I agree. I believe I can hold my own arguing both sides of entangling ourselves in foreign conflicts, both for or against, but this weekend is not about that.

This weekend is about those who gave their last full measure of devotion, those who sacrificed everything because their nation called on them to do so. Such men must be remembered. Such men must be admired, and the memory of them must live on. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Sometimes It Is!

Better late than never! I’ve heard this saying bandied about more often than ever before recently, and in reference to a wide variety of things. I will not deny that the saying is true sometimes, but then again, sometimes it’s not.

If we’re discussing going on a diet to shed a few pounds, or going to the gym to get in shape, I suppose it is better late than never. If it finally dawns on you that you might be in danger only after the wolves have boxed you into a corner and are showing their fangs, the saying may do very little for you at this juncture.

I wonder when it was that the average Roman citizen realized the empire had crumbled? I wonder when it was that the average Roman citizen realized that the empire was no more?  I wonder when it was that the average Roman citizen realized they would die at the hands of those they had taken into their bosom?

History tells us by the time the average citizen realized it the dye had been cast, and there was no turning the tide, but I still wonder how long before the deathblow did it dawn on them that their choices had brought them their inevitable demise.

As has been the case with the fall of every great empire, it is certain some saw the writing on the wall far in advance, tried to warn and sound the alarm, and were mocked and ridiculed for their efforts.

Self-destruct? Us? We are the great Roman Empire, and nothing will topple us. Yes, we have grown soft, but it is our right. Yes, we have opened our gates and welcomed in our midst those who would do us harm, but we cannot live in fear. Yes, our governing class plots and schemes towards its self-interest and is actively working against the will of the people, but we are too busy with circus and bread to concern ourselves with such things. We are the eternal city! We will never fall!

After the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a lady was quoted as having asked Benjamin Franklin, “what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” To this, Benjamin Franklin simply replied, “a republic if you can keep it.”

It was the selfsame Benjamin Franklin who said that the moral and religious system which Jesus Christ transmitted to us is the best the world has ever seen, or can see.  

Undergirding it all is yet another Franklin quote which profoundly states that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.

To understand the peril this nation finds itself in, and determine whether or not we are repeating the destructive ways of empires past, we must come to terms with three undeniable truths:

1. We are no longer a virtuous people.

2. We have abandoned the moral and religious system which Jesus Christ transmitted.

3. Too few are willing to stand for the republic in order to keep it.

I wish I had better news. I wish I could bring myself to sugarcoat the situation we currently find ourselves in, but I am a realist, and I respect those who read what I write far too much to attempt any sleight of hand or twisting of the truth. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Picking Battles

There’s a war on for everything nowadays. There’s a war on poverty, a war on drugs, a war on the patriarchy, the system, capitalism, babies, political correctness for and against, your mind, your wallet, your kids, your individuality, fur, meat, God, Christianity, reason, science, and the list goes on.

Everyone is fighting for or against something nowadays. Some things are noble and necessary like the war against abortion on demand, while others are less so, like the war on Christmas. It goes without saying that you can only fight so many battles at any given time. Hence the reason for picking and prioritizing which battles are worth fighting. Notice, I did not say picking which battles you are likely to win, I said picking battles that are worth the fight.

If the criterion upon which you pick your battles is whether you will win or not, every victory will be hollow. It’s like a heavyweight boxer picking a fight with a wheelchair-bound anorexic. Sure, technically he can put another notch in the win column, but does it really count?

If you never pick a fight with a giant, you will never slay a giant!

Not engaging in a battle because you are outnumbered or because you believe your odds of winning are less than optimal, is not pragmatism, it’s cowardice. This is why I have no respect for Christians who choose not to engage the enemy based on political expediency, or positioning. It is a fowl thing to sheath one’s sword and acquiesce to the enemy because you believe it will benefit you personally at some point in the future.

There are vivid examples throughout the history of mankind, wherein certain individuals chose to betray their principles, their nation, and their brothers in arms for personal gain, or to save their own skin. Whatever their reasoning, however iron clad their defense of their actions, such men were branded traitors, and their names live on in infamy.  

Timidity has no place on the battlefield. You stand, you fight, you do the hard thing because it’s the right thing to do, with no consideration of how others will perceive you, or what others will think of you.

Fear of man fuels cowardice, and once we give in to it, we will always find an excuse for why we didn’t stand, and why we didn’t make our voices heard. In our unending quest to please men, we have surrendered to impotence, and because the heart of man is exceedingly wicked, we grow to resent those who still dare to fight.

I have no qualms about burning bridges as long as I know I’m on the right side of the bridge. I have made my peace with the reality that I will be hated for His name’s sake, and it is a badge of honor I wear proudly. The mindset of the warrior isn’t whether his enemy will like him, or think he is a nice fellow. The mindset of the warrior is to vanquish his foe and survive the day.

Be prepared, be on guard, and be ready. Whether you pick your battle, or the battle comes to you, the battle is inevitable. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Devil Inside

It takes a lot to make me cringe. It takes, even more, to make me wince. I’m not what one might call easily rattled. I’ve seen a lot in my forty-four years of life, some good, some bad, and some grotesque, enough so that it takes something out of the ordinary to make me react.

Yesterday I had to change the oil on my wife’s car. It was long overdue, and the blinking service soon light had gotten to the point of being annoying, so much so that I finally relented and made the appointment.

There isn’t much to do in one of those waiting areas other than wait, so I started surfing news sites on my phone when a headline caught my eye. It had to do with counter protesters at a pro-life rally because nothing says Tuesday like protesting against people who want to keep babies from being murdered.

I clicked on the link, and thankfully, the volume on my phone was turned to low. The scene was of an elderly woman who in any other context would be deemed grandmotherly, screaming profanities at a young woman holding up a pro-life sign, with such force, ferocity, and determination, that I couldn’t help but wonder if the screaming harpy voice wasn’t dubbed over the gray-haired woman as she moved her lips.

It took me a full second to realize that no, it had not been dubbed, this was not some well put together scam, the devil was screaming through this elderly woman, and the things coming out of her face were vile enough to make a sailor blush. Her demeanor and the violence of her renunciations went beyond passion. They went beyond someone peacefully, coherently, reasonably trying to get their point across. 

The devil in this woman raged, and as sure as the sun sets in the west if this woman would have been given half the chance, she would have chocked the life out of the pro-life protester without batting an eye.

Evil is real. Evil exists. Evil is evident in our day and age, but it surprises you when it is made manifest through an octogenarian who would not be out of place bouncing grandchildren on her knee and baking chocolate chip cookies.

It is the closest to rabid I have seen a human being, and I’ve visited mental institutions and insane asylums. Only darkness can make someone manifest in such a manner. Only the devil can project such naked hate toward someone whose singular desire is to save a human life.

The battle before us is not one that is simply a difference in political ideology. If you believe this, then you are deceived. This is a battle between light and darkness, between a cult of death, and the defenders of life. It is not a battle we can afford to lose, nor is it a battle we can fight halfheartedly.

A cornered animal only gets more aggressive as it approaches its demise. For the first time in a generation, the godless are seeing their agenda collapsing, their certain victories becoming less certain, their momentum slipping through their fingers. They rage so because they know they are losing ground, and the more ground they lose, the more they will rage.

It’s not as though they won’t put up a good fight; they will. Their father, the devil, will speak through them, threatening, mocking, insulting, demeaning, but it is from a position of impotence and weakness, not one of confidence and strength.

They are backed into a corner, and they know it. Even if they never admit it, somewhere in their darkened hearts, they know they are advocating for the termination of a defenseless human being, the purest form of evil. They have made their bargain, they have sold their souls, they have capitulated human decency because only such a one can call a baby nothing more than a parasite. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

It's What He Says!

A baby faced devil is still a devil. It’s one of those things that seems to have escaped us, even though we have seen throughout history that the look of a man is irrelevant as far as potential for evil is concerned.

I am more interested in an individual’s character, in the words that he speaks, and the passion he speaks them with because it is those things, the nuances of them, that reveal the heart of a man far more readily than his appearance.

I’ve run across men in three-piece suits that were hard-pressed to put a coherent sentence together, and I’ve run across men in overalls with blistered hands, that spoke with an eloquence likened unto poetry. Appearance is meaningless. Content is everything.

I have children. Therefore I have a vested interest in the future of this country. I cannot bring myself to sit idly by, twiddling my thumbs, scoop out some navel lint, and wait for the rapture bus to come rolling by. Even if I believed that we would be caught up into glory before all the nasty bits of the Bible start coming to pass, it would not absolve me of my responsibility to be salt and light. It would not absolve me of my responsibility to sound the alarm when I saw danger on the horizon.

I’ve been watching the twenty some odd individuals vying for the Democrat party nomination intently. Most of them are certifiable, droning on about policies that would bankrupt the country if implemented, and making promises they have no intentions of keeping. It’s as if they’ve all come down with logorrhea, and they can’t help themselves.

As I said, most of them are too crazy to be dangerous, but there is one that has my warning bells going off, and not in a good way. To look at him, one would think he is harmless. To hear him speak, one immediately realizes there is a deep seeded hatred for the people of God, the ways of God, and the Word of God. The rage this individual feels towards Christians is almost uncontainable, and once in a while, it comes spilling out. What is worth noting, is that he, himself identifies as a Christian, all while openly glorying in a lifestyle the selfsame God he claims to serve, condemns.  

It’s beyond narcissism to call oneself a Christian, then proceed to systematically discount everything the Bible says because you think God was wrong. It’s beyond narcissism to call oneself a Christian, then equate Christianity to Islam and contend they are equally violent faiths.

Individuals who feel as though they are entitled to rewrite Scripture to suit their proclivities are inherently dangerous because once that horse has been let out of the barn, it’s next to impossible to corral it once more. Once you twist scripture to make one allowance, you’ll do it over and over again, and each time insist that you are doing God’s work, that you are noble and pure as the driven snow, when in fact you are living in rebellion, practicing that which God considers an abomination.

Listen to what such individuals say, the words they use, the hatred with which they address those who still insist on the truth of Scripture, and you just may get a glimpse of the future if ever such individuals gained power. 

With love in Christ, 
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Vengeful Gnat

If Christians stood up against darkness half as much as they stab at each other, we just might get somewhere. Before I get flooded with e-mails, I must delineate a nuanced point that seems to escape some folks nowadays. There is a difference between standing up for truth and calling out individuals when they attempt to insert heretical teaching into otherwise Biblical doctrine, and running around screaming Ichabod because someone wears a wedding band and you chose not to. What is troublesome is that most Christians will do the latter rather than the former far more passionately, because for some unexplained reason we are more willing to defend personal preference to the utmost, than we are to defend the truth. 

It is something that has been happening with disturbing regularity of late. Someone has a personal conviction about something the Bible does not identify as sinful or harmful, yet they take it upon themselves not only to make general doctrine of their personal conviction, they insist anyone not willing to shave their heads and wear clothing made out of hemp exclusively, is a spawn of darkness itself.

They are the self-appointed bouncers to heaven’s gates, and they will deny you access for any trivial thing they deem inexcusable. If perchance you don’t fall in line right away, if you attempt to point out the fallacy of their argument, not only are you eternally banned from entering heaven, you are summarily sentenced to the outermost darkness.

We isolate ourselves from each other by the demands we place on each other, allowing not an ounce of grace to shine through. It’s our way or the highway, and if it’s the highway, then buddy, it’s the highway to hell.

Instead of happy warriors with one common enemy, we have become vengeful gnats that buzz around each other’s heads, more of an annoyance than anything substantive, but somehow pleased to no end with ourselves. We actively look for points of contention with other believers rather than attempt to find common ground. Something as trivial as worshipping on a particular day of the week is enough to cause a schism.

While we bicker and backbite, and feel spiritually superior to our fellow brethren because we do some arbitrary thing while they do not, the enemy is advancing, his armies are purposeful, and they are ready for battle.

I know, I know, Jesus wins in the end, so we have nothing to worry about. If it were that simple if it were that perfunctory, why are we repeatedly instructed to put on the armor, to stand, to fight, and to overcome?

Either God is an alarmist, and He just wanted to harsh your mellow by including all those verses in His Word, or there’s more to it than staring at our navels and wondering where the fuzz comes from.

It’s easy to think it’s easy until reality demonstrates that it’s not. Men who considered themselves on solid footing have been swept away because they were too self-assured, and did not guard their hearts. Men who seemed like the spiritual juggernauts of a generation were brought low because they did not anticipate the enemy's attack, and were blindsided.

Don't be one of those people who realize they can't take on an army by themselves only when they're surrounded, and the enemy is closing in. Lone wolves are great in movies but don't do so well in real life. We need each other, we need to be able to count on each other, we need to fight side by side, and together as one advance against the darkness. 

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

What It Is!

Clumps of cells don't have beating hearts. Clumps of cells don't have hands, fingers, toes, and feet. Clumps of cells don't have chubby cheeks and crooked smiles. Clumps of cells have none of these things, but human babies do.

The debate regarding abortion is raging in this country. For the most part, the lines have been drawn, sides have been chosen, and flags have been planted. Granted, there are outliers like Pat Robertson, who is willing to let babies die presently for a possible, potential future repeal of Roe vs. Wade.

Thankfully, the vast majority of those embroiled in what is quite literally an existential battle as far as the babies in question are concerned, understand that you do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. You do the moral thing because it is the moral thing to do. You don't gamble with the lives of the unborn because you think the current bill is too extreme, and would never be upheld by the Supreme Court. You take the win, live to fight another day, and face the next foe when it appears.

Let's just say, for argument's sake, that Pat Robertson is right, and when it finally gets to the Supreme Court, the Alabama ruling will not be upheld because it is too extreme. How many dead babies would he have been comfortable with from this time to that? A hundred, a thousand, ten thousand? What’s the cutoff? When does it go one baby too far?

You don't indulge a lesser evil because you hope that at some point, you will do away with a greater evil. 

You fight every evil, great or small, with every breath that you have, and every ounce of energy you can muster. You win enough battles, and eventually, you will win the war. But if you give up ground consistently in the hope that you will one day find the perfect opportunity to strike a deathblow to your enemy, chances are you will eventually run out of ground to surrender, the opportunity will never come, and your enemy will defeat you without you ever having struck a blow.

How many lives is the off chance of potentially overturning Roe vs. Wade worth? That is the question we must grapple with. The question we must answer honestly. What I know is this: because of the bill that was signed into law by Alabama’s governor, lives are presently being saved. It is not hypothetically, it is not potentially, it is literally. It is an undeniable fact that murder of the unborn is currently, presently, at this very moment being prevented because of this new law.

Let's not be coy. Let's not beat around the bush and try to soften the blow. Abortion is murder. Alabama has made the killing of babies by abortion illegal, and punishable by time in prison. This is a good thing.

It appears Missouri is in the process of enacting the heartbeat bill, Louisiana is not far behind, then other states are soon to follow after that. Why would any rational human being put off saving a human life? Why would any Christian sit idly by in the hopes that nine people in black robes will do the right thing in some future time when we can stop the bloodshed now?

All one need do to understand how impacting this heartbeat bill is is watch the reaction of the godless and those for whom the slaughter of innocents is a religion unto itself. If it were meaningless, if it had no teeth, if it didn't have the very real potential of saving countless lives, they would not rage so. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.