Tag Archives: Ten Commandments

Making Sense Out of the Nonsense

My husband and I were keeping our evening ritual of watching our favorite news channel when yet another story was reported that made no sense to me whatsoever. In my usual tone of controlled outrage coupled with staggering unbelief at the news story I had just heard I said, “That is crazy! What is wrong with people? Don’t they understand what they are doing?”

I expect that you make some of those same comments, wondering how seemingly normal, well-educated people can make the decisions they are making today. To be honest, it outright baffles me.

A few days later God dropped a word into my spirit—derision. I began my search and it didn’t take long to find the Scripture the Lord was pointing out to me.

Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing?   The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.”  He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. ~ Psalm 2:1-4.

I grabbed my Hebrew dictionary and looked up the word derision. The root word “la′ag” means mock, laugh, or scorn. As I thought of these verses in light of our current lack of common sense, I couldn’t help but wonder if God is looking down and laughing at America! Are we a nation being held in derision?

I know we don’t like to think so. After all, our modern-day message of the gospel is that God sits in the heavens and just waits to pour out blessings and wealth on His people regardless of their behavior. Besides, we are still His specially favored nation. Aren’t we?

But let’s consider a few things happening today. Are not people in high places in our land setting themselves against God by determining that there are other gods that must be recognized? Does not our nation long to be free from the Laws and Commandments of God as spelled out in the Bible? Hasn’t this specially favored nation declared that it is no longer a Christian nation? Yet, when such announcements are made, we say little and do nothing. We have tolerated God’s commandments to be removed from our schools and now the public square because we are afraid of political correctness, losing elections, and a biased news media.

Could it be that God looks and laughs at our choices and says, “If America no longer wants to be a Christian nation, then so be it. Let’s see how that works out for them.”

I am afraid we are seeing how it works—not very well. It is not a pretty picture, to say the least. We can no longer make sound and reasonable decisions, we are up to our necks in debt, and we are not unified on any subject. Right is twisted and scorned, while wrong is praised and honored. Hatred seems to be the growing response towards those who break the law, riot, abuse and kill the innocent among us, but also for those who simply have different political views.

I believe it is totally possible that America is being held in derision. God could very well be mocking us for our senseless choices and our lack of courage to take a stand for righteousness; and collectively, we are now paying a high price.

I may not be right; but if I am, it sure helps make some sense out of all the non-sense. ~ Janie Kellogg

Small footprintKey Scripture: Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. ~ Proverbs 14:34 (NIV)

Killing the Sacred Cow

Today, I see America as a nation deeply divided in our beliefs, our values, and the solutions to our problems. We can see these sharp differences played out daily on the political front. It is clearly right verses left; Republicans verses Democrats; Conservatives verses Liberals. I believe the divisions are more intense than they have ever been in my lifetime.

 

Similarly, I see the Church of Jesus Christ divided in our beliefs, our values, and the solutions to our problems. We may even see families, marriages, and friends divided on these same points. In short: We believe what we believe, and we greatly value our beliefs.

 

Far be it for us to move from our position, even for the sake of benefiting the whole.  Our stubbornness is deep seated—rooted in who we are and where we came from. None of us can easily make that humbling statement the “The Fonz” struggled with on the popular Happy Days TV show:  “I was wwwrrrooong.”

 

Why? Our human nature will go to great lengths to keep from admitting we are wrong about anything, especially one of our “sacred cows.” The meaning of sacred cow is something too highly regarded to be open to criticism or curtailment. I am confident that we all have them—sacred cows, that is—and giving them up is not easy. In some cases it would take heaven and earth to move us off our cherished position.

 

If you don’t think you have a sacred cow, here are some controversial beliefs that exist among Christians. See if you agree or disagree:

 

~ Members of my denomination (fill in the blank) are the only ones going to heaven.

~ Water baptism is necessary for salvation.

~ Once saved, always saved.

~ The gifts of healing and miracles do not apply to the church today.

 

These statements, whether true or false, greatly divide the Church of Jesus Christ. Few of us are willing to consider, much less accept, opposing views. When our beliefs are too highly regarded to be open to criticism, they become a sacred cow.

 

Remember the rich young ruler who came to Jesus looking for the missing ingredient to life? He confidently told Jesus that he had kept the Ten Commandments since his youth.1 Although he had been perfect in keeping the Jewish laws, he had one thing too valuable to give up—his riches. When Jesus gave him a sure-fire solution to resolve the deep hunger in his heart, he sadly turned and walked away. Why? His riches were not open to curtailment. Keeping the Jewish laws was doable; killing his sacred cow wasn’t.

 

Jesus desires to control every part of us—to be Lord of all of my life and all of your life. That happens only when we give up our right to be in charge and yield to His Lordship. We must by an act of our God-given free will allow Him to have His way with us.

 

I fear that we mostly give lip service to statements like “I surrender all” or “Jesus, take me, mold me, use me, fill me,”2 to which Jesus willingly says “Yes!” The process begins, and He shows us which of our sacred cows has to die first. (Did I mention that we have many such cows?) To that, we sadly turn and walk away—our hearts still hungering for more of Him. We forfeit that precious and desired fellowship with Jesus for the thing(s) of earth that we cling to—be it riches, relationships, or beliefs.

 

Whatever He asks of us must be relinquished sooner or later. He knows our hearts and our allegiances, and He will not settle for partial loyalty. He must be Lord of all or not Lord at all.

 

Get ready to kill your sacred cow—that is, if you plan to go on with Jesus. ~ Janie Kellogg

 

 

1Luke 18:18-25

2 The Potter’s Hand Lyrics, Hillsong