Posted by Joel Johns at 3:13 PM
Posted by Joel Johns at 3:13 PM
Posted by Joel Johns at 12:02 PM
I once broke into someone's privacy fence, went to the back of the house and began breaking windows. It all started when I left the house on the way to the printer to pick up some envelopes for the church. I had to stop for gas, and as I was pumping the gas, I smelled something funny. It was the same smell my GI Joe action figures made when I was younger so it caught my attention. A few blocks away there was a brownish smoke rising, so I decided to drive over and see the obvious army of GI Joes. What I found was a house that had just caught fire. Now I am no hero, but being the only one there, I began to yell and pound on the door. No one answered. A semi-truck driver arrived and we kicked in the front door. Again I yelled but no one answered. I tried to go in but the smoke was thick. I was scared. Instead of going in, I broke into their privacy fence and went from window to window breaking them. Yelling inside. No answer. The dog barked. The fire trucks arrived, a paramedic bandaged up my bloody hands. I left and got my printing. As I left the print shop, I saw a car stop at the end of the road-block, a woman got out and yelled at the cop, "That is my house." She is panicked. Crying. She runs down the street. I leave there shaken. It was a Thursday. I arrived back at about 10 that morning and my pastor tells me that I can have the rest of the day off. I am still shaken. Finally, around noon, I called the TV channel, because I am overwhelmed with the fear that someone was in that house, that maybe the panicked lady had a child home sick that day. The person comes back to the phone. The house was empty. I am still shaken. 10 years later as I type this, I am still shaken. I hope that I will always be shaken.
Over the last week I have been shaken. Some would define all the virtual yelling and breaking of glass as hate. I do not. It is the overwhelming sense that the house is on fire. I am on scene, and something must be done. What is first classified as hate, ultimately will be seen as love. And conversely, what is now seen as love, acceptance and tolerance will ultimately be seen as the greatest form of hatred. Condoleezza Rice wrote in her biography that "Today's headlines and history's judgments are rarely the same." Be careful how you define hate. Be careful how you define love. Be careful how you respond to the smell of GI Joes burning in the distance.
Posted by Joel Johns at 9:58 AM
Posted by Joel Johns at 8:46 AM
Posted by Joel Johns at 12:05 PM
Before we get to the reason why I believe Obama will be re-elected, let me see if I can bring you into my perspective on the state of the human mind when it comes to change of direction.
People change their direction/mind when they are open to change of direction/mind. What opens their minds? Glad you asked....
1. They are STUCK because they are looking at a situation from a wrong point of view
3. They are SUFFERING the consequences of bad decisions
For an example of this, let look at the story of the prodigal son from the Bible.
The Parable of the Lost Son
Posted by Joel Johns at 9:29 AM
There will be two times of peace in the middle east. The first will be under a great world wide ruler that will be able to bring peace on earth for the span of 3 1/2 years. This great leader is the one the Bible calls the Anti-Christ. The second, and final peace will be brought under the Prince of Peace during the millennial kingdom when He rules and reigns over all the earth for 1,000 years.
To understand the events of this week, and for that matter, the last 1,500 years you must understand Genesis 22. I personally believe that without a firm grasp of Genesis 22, Christians may find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Before we begin, we must understand that Islam is not at war with Jews and Christians because of cultural differences or issues of free speech or even modesty of women. At its core is the fact that as long as Christianity and Jews are allowed to exist on the earth, Islam's core religious tenets will be in question.
For the purpose of understanding the conflict, we will combine Christianity and Judaism into one faith, that we will call the faith of the Bible. (The Jewish Old Testament combined with the Christian New Testament.)Or as it has been called the Judeo-Christian ethic. The link between these two world religions and by extension the nation of Israel and America cannot be underestimated.
The First Conflict: Isaac or Ishmael (The Jewish Conflict)
The root of the conflict between Islam and Biblical Faith exists in the account of Abraham on Mount Moriah. This is the place where in Genesis 22 the Bible states that Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac. For Jews this is a key historic event and for Christians this is a major picture of Isaac as a type of Christ and the lamb as a sacrificial substitute. (This also explains the constant battle for Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount)
In Islam, Abraham's first born, yet illegitimate son Ishmael was the one in the story. Ismael, the son of the Egyptian slave Hagar, is the forefather of the Ismaelites, of which Mohammad claimed to be a descendant. This conflict is core to understanding why these two worldview will always be in conflict.
The Second Conflict: Jesus or Mohammad (The Christian Conflict)
The root of this conflict between Islam and Biblical Faith exists in who's narrative of God you will accept. Though Islam claims that Jesus was a prophet, their mantra is that "there is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is His prophet." The exclusivity of Mohammad is as central to Islam as the exclusivity of Jesus is central to Christianity. There is no way to find an amicable resolution to this conflict.
For people of the Bible, there are some choices. Will you accept the narrative of the 24 hour news cycle that makes this about oil, or land, or insults? Will your loyalty be to the Bible, and Jesus? Will you stand with Israel? Will you accept the idea that Islam is peaceful, or that peace can be achieved through a two state solution, or by democratizing nations in an Arab Spring?
Posted by Joel Johns at 7:10 AM
I am a conservative that is right of Romney. Romney, let's not forget is a New England Liberal. One who has drifted with the expedient political winds. I will hold my nose as I cast my vote for him for the first time in November. Not because I disagree with his politics, but because I believe his is a far cry from the godly men we used to elect into office. American politics IS moving forward, but in what direction?
I am a conservative and I watch FOX News because I believe CNN Is a minion of the left wing. I was surprised that even their reporting showed the all out retreat of the Democratic party from the morality of our past. The Democratic national convention last night removed "God" from their official platform to the cheers of atheists who are quoted as approving of this forward motion. (See CNN article here).
I fear that my statements about November's election may be construed as political. It is not. It is, above all moral. I am watching as both parties move forward but they are facing away from God's word, and towards a secular humanist state.
Please understand that we get the politicians we elect. They are in the most basic sense, a reflection of our national values. I do not mourn the election of any politician more than I mourn the national sin that would choose such a politician.
Last night, the Democratic Party endorsed Contraception, Abortion, Gay Marriage. And this to thunderous applause. These are the issues that eclipse any political agenda. These are not political issues. These are moral issues. The danger is that those who believe in democratic principles are being swept forward in a moral tidal wave.
I can agree to disagree on economics and jobs, and politics. I cannot agree to disagree on morality and scripture. It is clear to me that both parties are moving forward in the wrong direction. Both parties are abandoning their biblical moorings and increasingly supporting and promoting ungodly lifestyles. The difference is that the Democratic party last night made it loud and clear that they wanted to win that race.
Broad is the road that leads to destruction, and forward is the way that we are headed. It may be too late to exit the vehicle before the cliff. The brakes may be out, but I choose to be in the car that is traveling "forward" in the slow lane.
It is my prayer that morality would be the reason Christians go to the polls. Not politics, not personality, but bible. That we would humble ourselves and pray and seek God's face and forgiveness and repent from our forward direction, and head back to the bible.
Posted by Joel Johns at 7:17 AM
I began blogging in 2006 way before it was cool, and while Facebook was still in diapers. It served as a way for people who did not know about us and Cornerstone to get a look behind the curtain before attending one of our Sunday services. In those days I felt that it knocked down some of the weirdness of attending a church that meets in a school and it allowed people to "check us out" before they checked us out. At that time, we were running an average of 108 in church, and it was a great way to interact and spread announcements.
Enter the Facebook Era. In September of 06, Facebook became available to normal people. Not that college students are abnormal, but let's face it. College students are abnormal. I was an early adopter on Facebook because it did exactly what I wanted the blog to do. It allowed me to communicate with our people in a timely manner and allowed them the ability to get to know me and my family apart from Sunday.
Through the years, I blogged less and less and about less important things and it became more of a nuisance than a real outlet for serious discussion and thought. By 2011, the blog was an after thought and needed some attention.
As the church has quadrupled in size, I found myself with a thousand Facebook "friends" and a more diverse congregation of people from all walks of life. Along with the growth and diversity came a shallower interaction with everyone, and an increased pressure not to be offensive to people who may not agree with my theology, philosophy, humor, politics, you name it. I found myself typing a status, only to delete it before posting, putting up a humorous picture, only to take it down as the sensitive were offended.
So last week I sat down and tried to put on paper a "Philosophy of Facebook" Now this was a personal exercise and I do not believe everyone needs one, but I needed to figure out its purpose and place. I came up with a few types of facebookers to consider....
Posted by Joel Johns at 1:59 PM