Heresy of Perfectionism and Voting

© Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D., 20 October 2016

The heresy of perfectionism is an old one in the history of the Church. In one form, it is thinking that we can obtain absolute moral perfection in this life by the power of our wills (Pelagianism). In another form, it is demanding that others conform to our level of conformity to God’s word, or we will excommunicate them from our presence.

Christians have a type of perfectionism in politics today. Every Christian is flawed, but in our hypocrisy we want others who are flawed in the same way we are before we will associate with them.  But just think of what the Lord had to work with: hoof in mouth disease Peter, doubting Thomas, tax collecting Matthew, Christian-murdering Paul, and so on. If the Lord Jesus had refused to use them because they were not perfect, we would have no Church today.

Likewise, some Christians are so self-righteous that they will not vote for a professing Christian who is flawed, like Donald Trump. If they can’t have one who conforms to their view of righteousness, then they will not vote at all. Actually, that is not quite true, for a No vote for Trump is a Yes vote for Hillary Clinton. They forget that the Son of God was incarnated to save sinners, to promote His kingdom with good-for-nothing Christians, not that I’m saying Trump is a Christian, but James Dobson says he became one recently (click here). He may not be, but God is so sovereign He even used wicked Pharaoh to accomplish His purposes.

The Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” (Rom. 9:17 NKJ)

The Triune God has been striking straight blows with crooked sticks like Pharaoh since the world began. Consider some of the arguments some Christians give for not voting for Trump:

  • “Trump made some disparaging remarks about women that was played on some media just recently.” We don’t justify that; indeed, we say it was awful. BUT Trump apologized for it so why aren’t you forgiving him? Is that an unpardonable sin? What happened to forgiving 70 x 70?
  • “It is a matter of the lesser of two evils.” Duhh, then why not opt for the lesser evil? Or, do you want more evil? In fact, in every election to any office we’re always choosing the lesser of two evils because no one is perfect.
  • “But someone who professes to be a Christian should not act that way.” Granted, but does that mean that we put a more wicked person into office? Moreover, consider the larger picture. Trump has gathered some good Christians for his administration, such as Pence as Vice President, who professes faith in Jesus. Trump has good appointments to the Supreme Court who will rule according to original intent of the Constitution, who will not engage in making laws, who will protect our Second Amendment rights, Trey Gowdy as the no compromising Attorney General, who, in contrast to Obama’s lying, cheating Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, will actually promote justice and not personal plans. But Hillary will appoint those who will continue abortion, the murder of babies, the destruction of the family with more LGBT rulings, will effectively take away our Second Amendment rights of self-protection, will tax and spend, AND continue persecution of Christians in the USA and worldwide. Indeed, Hillary has said that she will continue Obama’s agenda. What in the world is the matter with us that we would rather have the devil than one who is flawed? Recall what St. Paul said about his own life:

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. (Rom. 7:15-16 NKJ)

Yet, Jesus still used Paul!

Or, how about this objection:

  • “Christians can vote for Trump, but they can’t do it in the name of Christianity.” How silly; then whose name do they invoke if not the Triune God’s name? Is there some neutral, moral territory in the world? I think not, for Jesus is King of kings and everything is His, right now. Voting for Trump is morally a good choice.

Some Christians seemed to be saying that if they cannot get an uncompromising Christian in office, then they will help to put in office a Triune God hating anti-christ, who will murder babies, destroy the families, attack Christians and the Church. What is wrong with us?

Yes, indeed, it is a matter of the lesser of two evils, and I will honor Christ by voting for lesser Trump.


Did Adam lose the world to the devil?

(c) Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D. 2016

Some misguided Christians today think that Satan is now the ruler of this world, and that it is not for Christians to have dominion on earth. Perhaps that could be possible when Jesus returns, but not now. They cite such passages as Satan is the “god of this world.” Yet the expression that Satan is the “god of this world” does not mean he is lord of lords, but that he is the god of this world in the sense that many worship him—not that he is almighty. His work is primarily in blinding the minds of people to the Gospel (2 Cor. 4:4; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Eph. 2:2; 1 John 5:19), but even that blindness is stripped away when the mighty grace of Jesus brings one to belief in Himself (Matt. 11:27; Acts 13:48; 16:14; Phil. 1:29).

Furthermore, that Satan is called by the Lord Jesus “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30) does not mean that there is not a Ruler above him, Who is Ruler of the universe and the Ruler of all rulers. Because there is a governor of Tennessee, do we conclude that there is not also a President of the United States who has greater authority than the governor? Besides, the Lord also stated: “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31). What else does the expression “Lord of lords” mean except that Jesus is the ultimate Ruler and that NOW?

And was it not true that during the temptation when Jesus commanded Satan to leave Him in Matthew 4:10-11 that Satan did so immediately without a word? Did not the demons obey the Lord every time He commanded them and without hesitation? Where do the health and wealth people get the idea that Satan owns this world? Here is how Frederick K. C. Price reasons.[1] God gave Adam dominion over the earth. This dominion was a legal dominion, much like we would deed someone property. The earth was deeded to Adam by God; it was his [Adam’s] to do with as he pleased. This dominion included not only the animals but also the mineral rights so that he owned all the gold, silver, diamonds, oil, and so forth. When Adam sinned, he gave his property to Satan, and God no longer had a legal right to the earth. Now the planet is Satan’s, and even God must honor this agreement. Redeemed man can reclaim his original inheritance and be rich. Capps agrees: “It’s illegal for God to come to earth and destroy the work of the devil with His divine Godhead powers.”[2]

Yet the truth is that though Adam came under Satan’s dominion to some extent, primarily Adam was under God’s curse for sinning. God never indicated that the land or earth at that time was not His. Indeed, He cursed it to bring forth thorns, but he never gave it up. Kenneth Hagin says: “If God is running everything, He does have things in a mess.”[3] Fred Price is even more blatant:

“God can’t legally do anything in this earth realm except what we allow Him to do.” He also says, “God does not have physical possession of the earth, Satan does,” and “If God came here, He would be arrested as a trespasser.” Price goes on to condition his audience to accept these blasphemies with such statements as these:

“Evangelicals consider this heresy, and they would never say this.” “Tradition and theology reject this.” “I hope you don’t think God is running this world, evangelicals think that.” “If this is an example of how God runs things, I don’t want to go to heaven.” They distance themselves from the evangelical community with such statements (“we” versus the “evangelicals”), thereby separating themselves from the body of Christ, and establishing themselves as a cult.

Price uses two other passages to promote the idea that the world is Satan’s: Luke 4:1-8 and Matthew 9:35-38. The major passage for Price is: “And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish’” (Luke 4:6).

Our first response must be that Satan is a liar (John 8:44). Price says that Satan is telling the truth since Jesus did not rebuke him, which is also a common dispensational argument from this passage. But it is an argument from silence that leads Price to the deafening conclusion that Satan was for once telling the truth. But even if the Lord had not answered the devil, the inference is not valid. In the most elementary logic class one learns that he can conclude anything or nothing from what is not stated. But the Lord did answer Satan: “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (v. 8). The Lord answered the real point behind Satan’s pseudo-offer: worship reveals Who the real God is, and we are to worship the Triune God only. If the Lord had said the kingdoms did not belong to Satan, He would not have been confronting the point of the offer, admitting perhaps he was right. Observe also that Satan instantly obeyed the Lord when He commanded him to leave, which showed Who was really in authority.

Secondly, God the Father made the same offer to Christ. Psalm 2 is a Messianic Psalm, using the name “Messiah” in verse two (sometimes translated “anointed”) and the word “Son” in verse twelve. In verse seven the Son quotes the Father:

“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’”

This verse is quoted several times in the New Testament of the resurrection of Jesus. The Father raised Him from the dead, and, to the consternation of the nations (vv. 1-3), He made Jesus King of kings. In other words, even though the nations did not want Him ruling over them, and even though they sought to cast off His “bonds” (vv. 1-3; bonds=His law, see Jer. 2:20; 5:5), the Father laughed and made Him King over them anyway. In light of this, the Father says to His only Son: “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession” (v. 8).

Now who has made the genuine offer of the world to Jesus, the Father or Satan? Who is the liar, God the Father or the devil? Who really owns the world and could offer it to Jesus, the Father or Satan? In the verses that follow the Father’s offer, it is obvious that the Son did ask and the Father gave Him the nations, for He shall rule them with a rod of iron (v. 9), and the rulers must repent (vv. 10, 11) or perish under the Son’s wrath (v. 12). The Lord Jesus emphatically stated that “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” at the resurrection (Matt. 28:18; see also Dan. 7:14).24 Of course, all these things are speaking of Christ in His Messianic office, not in His essence. In His essence as God, He has always had dominion over the earth (Ps. 24:1).

We Christians have already won, now let’s face down our ancient foe in the NAME of our eternal Savior who rules by omnipotent power not only inherent in Himself but also inherent in the words of the Gospel. AMEN.

[1] 04/27/92 broadcast, WPTY-TV Memphis, TN, 12 p. m.

[2] Charles Capps, God’s Image of You (Tulsa: Harrison House, 1985), p. 50.

[3] Kenneth E. Hagin, The Interceding Christian (Tulsa: Faith Publication Library, 1991), p. 13

God’s Persevering Grace

(The Rev. Dr. Curtis Crenshaw, Th.D.)

“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6 NKJ)

Several years ago I had a discussion with someone who was ready to give up on the Christian life, saying it was too difficult, that it seemed that the Triune God did not care. In our frenetic speed of life,[1] we sometimes forget that God is persevering with us more than we are with Him. God finishes what He begins, unlike us. If He did not, we would never make it to heaven. As humans, you and I are always beginning things that we never seem to find time to finish. But consider God’s matchless grace in Philippians 1:6, that what He begins He finishes: “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Look at the butterfly wing—was it begun and not finished? Look at the woodpecker—was its specialized bill not finished? Look at the atom—was it a partial work? Look at the moon—is it a work abandoned? Are the tides out of control? Look at yourself, the apex of God’s creation—will you be thrown away after the work was begun? God works by a plan. He begins a work of grace in us, not as an experiment to see if we and He can make it together, but that He may complete His design in and for us. Can you imagine an architect who begins a project without plans, just going along to see how things work out? (Of course, non-Christians have no future except the judgment. Our appointment would be the same if God the Father had not chosen us to be His: Eph. 1:3-4.).

If the Triune God began a work in us but did not finish it, who would lose more, God or us? It would definitely be God, for then He would be known as a failure. Others could say that God just could not handle it, that He gave it His best effort but finally gave up on us, that we were just too much for Him, that our sins were more than He could overcome in us. But that would nullify the cross, that God the Father could not bring justice and mercy together, yet that is precisely what Romans 3:26 says He did; namely, that He was both just in His judgment and the justifier of sinners:

“to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

That is my favorite verse, and quite contrary to Islam. The verse says that God the Father was just in putting to death His Son but also quite merciful toward us. In other words, we deserved eternal death for our sins, but the Father is just so He offered One to take that judgment, even JESUS, the final solution for us, who volunteered to be our substitute. Moreover, the Father is merciful so He extended His mercy to us through the Son. Thus at the cross, God was both just and the justifier of us sinners. If He failed in this endeavor, He would not be God.

Islam, on the other hand, has a god who can’t be both just and justifier. Muslims say Allah does not require payment to show mercy but just hands out mercy. Thus, their god is compromised. But the Triune God, in the same act, the cross, demonstrates both justice and justification (mercy). My only hope in life and in death is the cross of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Moreover, according to Paul here in Philippians 1:6, who initiated the work in you, you or God? God! And if God did, will He decide against it later? As one man expressed it in a hymn:

  • “I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
  • “He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me;
  • “It was not I that found [Thee], O Savior true;
  • “No, I was found [by] Thee.”

And is it not true that we love Him because He first loved us?

“We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NKJ).

Notice, by the way, that most modern translations of this verse leave out the word “Him.” It is true of course that we cannot love anything without Him, but that is not the point John is making. Rather, he wants us to know that our love for the Triune God was not first, was not the cause of Him reciprocating His love back to us. No, indeed, God’s love initiates and we reciprocate. We are not masters of the sovereign King’s grace to use as we wish; we do not make Him “fall in love” (I hate that expression) with us because we are so lovely, and He could not help Himself. Our loveliness did not overwhelm Him, because we have none.  His love and grace are initial and ours responsive, for it was He who began the work in us, not we in Him!

And how do we know that God has begun a work in us? We can tell by our obedience, by the love we have for God, mankind, God’s Bible, by our faithful attendance at worship on the Lord’s Day, reading His word, the Bible, partaking of Holy Communion, praying, and so on. Faith, hope, and love will be the hallmarks of our lives.

Let me give you a good example. Years ago I led a man to Christ who was only 18 years old. He mouthed some words, good words, but I wondered how committed he was to them. He was very much in love with a young lady, but she was not a Christian. When I told him and showed him from the Bible that God did not allow a believer to marry an unbeliever, he paused for a long time and said with tears in his eyes: “If that’s what God says, that’s what I’ll do.” His life has revealed the same commitment for decades. More than anything else, one’s obedience to God reveals whether there has been true conversion or not, but our obedience does not merit our acceptance with God:

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:3-4 NKJ).

And do you know why it is God who first seeks us, and why we are responsive to Him, why it is that He saves us in this way? One reason is so that we cannot boast (see Ephesians 2:8-10). We’ll never be able to say that God did 99%, but if it were not for the 1% I did, I would never have made it to heaven.

Let us rejoice that for all those who trust in the death and righteousness of Christ for forgiveness of sins, our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has taken charge of our salvation, that our sins are forgiven, that His Name and reputation are on the line, and that by His persevering grace, we shall make it home! AMEN.


(Just for the record, the word “him” is widely supported in many—if not the majority—of manuscripts. Here are some of those manuscripts: ‎‎  א 048 33 81 436 1067 Augustine Byz Lect etc. Here is why “Him” was left out of most modern versions as stated by modern critics of our NT: “Feeling the need of an accusative object after the verb . . . some copyists added Him.” How, in the name of all that is rational, can one get inside a copyist head to know he would “feel”? I call that subjective nonsense. Moreover, I can’t imagine why we would give our New Testament to unbelievers to determine what should compose it. As the 39 Articles states, “the Church [is] a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ”, Article XX). The Church, not unbelievers, should be in charge of our most precious deposit, the written word of God. Part of the problem today with so many versions is that we’ve given our most precious heritage to those who hate the Author. Publishing houses who translate and sell Bibles for money have control over the text and its translation, but that is the Church’s bailiwick. Barth Ehrman, who writes a lot in the area of textual criticism (what should be in the New Testament Greek) is an avowed atheist. I’ve read his books closely; they are full of subjective theories as the one I just quoted. More on this to come.)


[1] Our lack of time for anything significant is part of God’s judgment. In our refusal to obey His Sabbath, He is taking away time by rubbing our noses in so many details that we don’t have time for family or for Him. We run around doing nothing and think we are accomplishing something. We are self-deceived.

Response to my last article: “Loving Darkness”

The man who responds is a dear friend and brother  from “down under”.


Thanks Curtis for this latest article. We have the same cursed influence spreading over here. The Victorian government has mandated that a Safe Schools Program must be taught in all government schools by 2017-18, in order to deal with bullying at school. However the chief designer of this program, Roz Ward, a self pronounced Marxist academic at Melb[ourne] Uni[versity] has publicly stated that this program has nothing to do with bullying, but everything to do with changing society so that the homosexual minority becomes normative. Then another Melb[ourne] Uni[versity] academic wants to see pre-schoolkids being taught the transgender rubbish. Family Voice sent a petition of 14000 signatures to the Commonwealth Government urging them to stop funding this Safe Schools program; the government reviewed the program and has called for some radical changes to it promising to cease funding a little later. [Right, I believe that.]

With a national election for both the lower and upper houses of federal parliament due July 2, [2016], the danger is that Labor may win, & if so, the moral filth out of Labor’s sewers will stink all the more.  We pray the coalition (Liberal & National Party coalition) will be returned to power. There is a significant number of evangelicals in the government & some strong conservatives, who though not Christians, are as forthright for the right things as any Christians are.

[Pray for Australia. Pray for the USA. Let the Church at large repent and confess Jesus as Lord.]

Loving Darkness

((c) The Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D.)

Two main truths are presented in the following quote: I. There is condemnation; II. Some people practice evil

I. And this is the condemnation,  [two reasons for condemnation] that

(1)        the light has come into the world,

(2) and men loved darkness rather than light,

because their deeds were evil. [reason they love darkness]

II. For everyone practicing evil

                            hates the                             light

and does not come to the   light,

lest his deeds should be exposed. [Reason ungodly hate Christians]

(John 3:19-20 NKJ)

The “light” above is God’s holiness and righteousness. Read also in John 1 John 1:5-2:2) for the same idea.

I heard this on radio recently:

  • In China you can criticize evolution but not the government while here in the USA you can criticize the government but not evolution.

I don’t know which is worse; they are both ungodly tyrannies. Both countries engage in thought control, just as George Orwell predicted of the USA in his prescient novel, 1984. He was only off by a couple of decades.

My two smaller grandkids spent the night last night. My daughter and her husband have turned off their TV at home so the kids wanted to watch cartoons. I thought I would see what they are like. One was all violence, anger, revenge, yelling, screaming, blowing things up. We changed channels, and immediately two teen age cartoon characters were talking about a very racy lesbian scene in a movie they had seen, which was “cool.” I changed channels again. People tell me the comedy shows are just as bad, if not worse so I avoided them.

Next I scanned the menu on my satellite TV, and one program was called “Dating Naked.” My grandson had stepped out of the room, but I thought this surely can’t mean what it says—but it did! I quickly changed channels again before he returned. Finally, we found a nature show, but then there was the ever present evolution, though in this case only mentioned slightly. Whatever happened to the days of good clean cowboy violence, like the Lone Ranger, or Ramar of the Jungle, Tarzan, etc. Those may be on oldie channels if you can find them.

So now back to the “real” world. Could it be any worse? I guess you’ve seen lately that Obama by executive order has mandated that all public schools must honor LGBT people or lose their federal funding. (When will morality become more important than money? At least there are eleven states who are standing up to Obama: UT, AZ, OK, TX, OK, WI, LA, TN, AL, GA, ME. At least five states are in the South.) Obama is bypassing Congress in making laws. More particularly if one “feels” like a girl one day (regardless of the biological plumbing), he is permitted to enter the girl’s restrooms and showers. It is not objective biology that determines one’s gender but how one “feels,” and no one must challenge that or he will be guilty of discrimination. If one does not bow to the golden calf of newspeak, then follow misdemeanors, felonies, or civil fines in the tens of thousands or combinations thereof. Parents will wonder what has happened to their children as they self-destruct against God’s law, and children will murder their parents when they don’t get their way. PARENTS: You must take your kids out of public school and put them in a good Christian school, no matter what the cost is. Their precious souls are at stake. Your children are more important than new homes, new cars, nice clothes.

Christians are being setup as the great scapegoats, those who allegedly hate others (newspeak for holding people to a moral standard). No amount of logic makes any difference when you’re dealing with “feelings,” hate for righteousness, love for sin. If anyone challenges their love for their gods, it is all out media war, throwing bottles of urine and excrement at Christians, wanting to crucify (!) us. BUT in the long run, we Christians win; Satan has never learned that the Church is a gas fire: stomp it and it spreads; leave it alone, and it burns out. We have been somewhat successful in applying the Holy Scriptures to this land, so that we have been left alone, by which I mean, we’ve had few challenges. Now we have sown the wind, we are reaping the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7), and challenges are abounding.

Those who love darkness are becoming increasing irrational, such as the following.

Antony Flew was the leading atheist scholar in England for 50 years against theism. He embraced theism or intelligent design a few years before he died because nothing else explains the design of the universe, the laws of nature, the origin of life itself, our intelligibility,[1] or the delicate balance of nature for us to live on earth. How could something come from nothing; how could life come from lifeless matter, such as molecules in motion; how could consciousness come from raw matter (non-consciousness); how could reason come from non-reason; how could self-conscious thought come from physical objects; how could the consistent laws of science come from random particles; how could persons come from non-persons? The atheist tries to argue that random chance begets intelligence, persons, balance of nature, order, and meaning. In short, chance or chaos gave rise to order. At every point, the atheist is irrational, contradictory, and functions by faith that is irrational, and make no mistake that “irrationality is the prelude to destruction.”[2] John Dryden, the seventeenth century English poet, said:

  • “For those whom God to ruin has design’d,
  • He fits for fate, and first destroys their mind.”

Today we might say it this way: “Those whom God would destroy, He first makes mad.”

We are mad, not legally insane, but mad with rebellion against the Triune God and His character as revealed in His holy law, such as the Ten Commandments. The USA is mad against the Incarnation of the Son of God, against His perfect obedience to His Father, against His death on the cross for our sins, against His bodily resurrection. If it is true that to whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:28), then the USA is in for horrendous judgment. Those prosperity preachers who tell us we can have all the goodies we want if we just magically say the right incantation into the air audibly, will have nothing to say when judgment falls (and it has begun). Make no mistake: turning to darkness or sin darkens one’s reasoning abilities. Reasoning is then only used to support one’s desires, not to determine those desires.

There is only one solution, which the world hates with an unholy passion: repentance from our sins and faith in the Lord Jesus for forgiveness of sins. Anything else is damnation forever. AMEN.


[1] See the excellent work by Antony Flew, the former atheist, There Is A God, published in 2007. Flew announced his change from atheism to theism in 2004, though sadly as far as I know he did not become a Christian before his death on April 8, 2010.

[2] Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983), p. 165.

Modern Heresies

In the Reformation of the 1500s, both sides believed the Bible to be God’s infallible word, both held to the Holy Trinity (one God in three equal persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and both taught that Christ was fully God, perfect man, one person, and no mixture of the natures of deity and humanity so as to dilute them. Today the crisis is worse as even “Christian” people wonder if the Bible is God’s word, if the Trinity is really all that important, and if Christ was only a good man or something less than God. One student at the seminary where I teach said he was summarily dismissed from his position at a “Bible” church because his position on antichrist was “wrong.” I asked him what they asked him about the Trinity, person of Christ, work of Christ, etc., and he said “Nothing!” We live in an age where what one believes about antichrist is more important than what he believes about the Son of God.

There are two ways to be heretical: formally in belief and practically in one’s practice, and our age is given to both.

In formal heresy, there are many in mainline denominations who take delight in denying the historic faith as expressed in such timeless statements as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, which all branches of Christianity have held (Protestant, Orthodoxy (with one adjustment to the Nicene Creed), and Roman Catholic). Modern heresies deny that Christ is the only way to God; indeed, they deny that He is God. They deny the Holy Trinity. They pretend that all religions are the same, which means that none of them mean anything, an insult to all religions that they have no truth claims.

But one can also be heretical in one’s practice, in morality, such as the sexual promiscuity that is rampant today in so many circles. One may be right in his beliefs, but if his morality is contrary to God’s holy commandments, then he/she is heretical:

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 Jn. 2:3-4 NKJ)

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals1, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  (1 Cor. 6:9-10 NKJ)

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21 NKJ)

There is no hope for anyone unless they repent, which means that they confess they are wrong, take God’s view on both belief and practice, and bow to His Lordship. There is not enough room in this universe for two lawgivers: God and man, which is what man wants—his own pretended autonomy.

The serpent’s lie to Adam and Eve was that they could be their own lawgiver, determining for themselves what was right and wrong. We know the consequences when our first parents believed such. Indeed, even in the New Testament many centuries later, God has stated that there is only one lawgiver: the Triune God (James 4:12). He, and He alone, determines what we should believe and what we should practice.

But when our culture dreams up beliefs or ethics out of its mind instead of listening to God, they have created a god after their own image to worship, who, “coincidentally,” will approve their latest fad in unbelief and immoral ethics. The only way one can know anything about God is if He tells us, not when we dream up things that He must allegedly approve. Indeed, the only way we know anyone is by self-revelation.

Was it the great St. Augustine who said that God created man in His own image, and man has been returning the favor ever since? People thousands of years ago made physical idols, and we make mental idols. In both cases, a new god is created after the heart of sinful mankind. Paul the Apostle noted such in his own day in Romans 1:18-25:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

The great crisis today is Who is God, Who is Christ, and What shall we do with our sins? The Modern answer is that God and Christ are whatever we make them to be, and there is no sin except by OUR definition. Thus, our culture makes Jesus to be a benign and irrelevant weird man who lived two thousand years ago. Today we are being taught not to believe in an objective Triune God but in ourselves. AND likewise we are being taught that we can invent any ethic we wish for our private lives. But in the public arena, the “god” who rules there is the government god: “To hell with Jesus, and all hail to Caesar.”

But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:15).


Trump Trumpets his own Trumpet,  but King Jesus has him Trumped.

Trump Trumpets his own Trumpet, but King Jesus has him Trumped.

(© The Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D., 7 May 2016)

When Donald Trump first entered the presidential race, I told several friends that he would be a meteor: burn brightly but soon burn out. Most of other 17 men in the GOP race seemed to be fine Christians, perhaps with one or two exceptions. Most of them were men of principle. That the least Christian—if he is Christian at all—is Donald Trump, the man now who is the presumptive nominee for the republican party has been chosen, is a commentary on our culture. Again, the man who has no fixed moral principles, but is a populist (one who favors what the general population wants, not what is morally right), is the one whom it would seem would be the GOP nominee.

And what are the great issues? Are they righteousness, reversing abortion, reclaiming the historic and biblical definition of the family against LGBT (or LGBTQ)? No, the great interests are jobs (a good concern), health insurance (a good concern), immigration (good concern), but no bringing people back to the Triune God. You might say, that is not a politician’s job but the Church’s job. To some extent, I agree, but politicians should make laws that favor God’s righteousness, that make it easy for the Church to evangelize, that encourage preachers, pastors, to give out the Gospel. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech. . . .”

That does not mean freedom “from” religion but freedom “for” religion, and in the day that was penned, it meant not to favor one Christian denomination over another one, not that Buddhism should have equal rights with Christianity. Today many want to proclaim that it means freedom “from” religion; indeed, there is even an organization called “The Freedom From Religion Foundation” that tries to shut down any public expression of Christianity. They do not seem to bother other religions. Wonder why? It is because only Christianity threatens the immoral status quo.

If you have not noticed, there is a war going on in our culture, and it is hand-to-hand combat, the devil versus Christ, his demons, minions, and voluntary soldiers of unrighteousness versus the Church, who hate the Triune God and Christians, and who oppose both at every opportunity. We Christians are asleep, full of apathy, and we really only care about ourselves. We will compromise almost anything to keep our toys, our money, our peace, and will only oppose those when they take these things away. We are like the proverbial frog who boiled in the water as it increased degree by degree. He got used to each new temperature.

We do not recognize the Lordship of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords. He rules in the churches, but not in the culture, or so we think. There is even a “Christian” theology that pushes such a view with its rapture doctrine and escapism. “Get me out of here, Lord, there is nothing even You can do!”

Now, as everyone in the republican party gets used to Trump as the presidential nominee, our temperature is rising. Now we have one who will negotiate everything, even abortion, or so he recently said. The temperature goes up. He is willing to consider more debt. The temperature is rising. He says he opposes LGBT, but he implied he might be willing to negotiate even that. WE are at 200 degrees. If he is opposing the Triune God Himself, how is he going to “make America great again”; and if anyone believes that Trump can do that, he is an idolater, for only His sovereign majesty, the King of kings, can make America great again. If anyone looks to Trump as our savior, he blasphemes. The difference between Trump and Obama is one of degree (hot degrees), not kind.

Don Henley, a singer in the UK, has written a good analysis of our cultures and who God is:

  • A new age is dawning
  • On fewer than expected
  • Business as usual
  • That’s how the headline read.
  • Some shaky modern saviors
  • Have now been resurrected
  • In all this excitement
  • You may have been misled.
  • People want a miracle
  • They say oh Lord, can’t you see us?
  • We’re tryin’ to make a livin’ down here
  • And keep the children fed.
  • But, from little dark motel rooms
  • To six flags over Jesus
  • How are the mighty fallen
  • So the Bible said.
  • You don’t have to pray to a little tin god
  • Step out of the way for a little tin god
  • You might fear the reaper, you might fear the rod
  • But you never have to get down on your knees
  • You don’t have to holler, please, please,
  • No, you never have to get down on your knees
  • For a little tin god.
  • Throw down a rope from heaven
  • And lead the flock to water
  • The man in the middle would have you think
  • That you have no other choice.
  • But to wander in the wilderness
  • Of all the upturned faces
  • If you stop and listen long enough
  • You will hear your own small voice.
  • But you don’t have to pray to a little tin god
  • Step out of the way for a little tin god
  • You might fear the reaper, fear the rod
  • But you never have to get down on your knees
  • You don’t have to holler, please, please
  • No, you never have to get down on your knees
  • You don’t have to holler, please, please
  • You never have to get down on your knees
  • For a little tin god.

And yet as I’ve said many times in the past decades, much of the fault can lie at the feet of preachers:

  • An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land:
  • the prophets prophesy falsely,
  • and the priests rule at their direction;
  • my people love to have it so,
  • but what will you do when the end comes?
  • (Jer. 5:30-31 ESV)

Read all of Jeremiah which reads like it was written last week.

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”