Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Christians, Creation and Evolution ... Which one doesn't fit?!"

"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  ... God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.  And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day" (Genesis 1:27, 31).

Most people who know anything about the Bible know that it begins in Genesis 1, verse 1, with these words:  "In the beginning, GOD created!"  But a growing number of Christians do not understand the problem with believing in evolution ... the unbiblical theory that the various species of life, even including man, evolved from primitive forms of life over billions of years.  Even Christian colleges and universities are opening the door to other "theories" that outright deny the biblical account of creation or cast serious doubt as to its importance.

We have begun to view a DVD series by Russ Miller, "Creation, Evolution and Science Ministries," during our Education Hour on Sunday mornings.  Anyone with a computer can go on line to and download this series for a small cost.  Quotes from Russ are also heard regularly on "Real Remnant Radio," (, a new 24-hour internet radio ministry, founded to proclaim the truth of God's Word to the world.  Both of these ministries believe the Bible to be the very Word of God, true from cover to cover.  That is also our starting-point at Lighthouse Community Church Nondenominational!

My purpose in writing this particular blog is to attempt to FIRE UP Christian parents and educators!!  We need to understand the consequences of sitting back and allowing Satan and the world to indoctrinate our children and young people with lies that are not supported either by God's Word OR by the evidence of science.  If you are reading this and have children in school, from Kindergarten through colleges and universities, your children NEED to hear the TRUTH!!  As a pastor I feel ashamed that we have let this go on for so long.  While never believing or teaching evolution, I have not made it a point to speak often about it or to encourage our Children's Ministry or our Youth Ministry to combat these lies that our children and young people are hearing.  We need to do better!!

Russ points out so well at the beginning of his series that the teaching of Darwinian Evolution (1859) denies the original creation of man in God's image, rejects the idea of mankind's "fall" into sin, which separated him from God, his Creator, and thus removes the need for a Savior and makes the rest of the Bible and God's plan of salvation a fairytale.  If Darwin's theory of evolution is true, then Christianity is a lie.  They cannot both be true.  So which is it?

The facts are that there is NO evidence for Darwinian Evolution and there is MUCH evidence for Biblical Creation.  I cannot begin to go into all the evidence that Russ presents, but he makes a great point when he says that true science is the friend of the Bible and of the true Christian.  True science examines the evidence and arrives at truth, contrary to evolution, which begins with a theory and then manipulates the evidence in a vain attempt to "prove" it.  Too many Christians have been intimidated by false evidence and have failed to realize that the teaching of evolution is a religion!!

Darwinian evolution, established when Darwin wrote his book in 1859, begins with a philosophy that is directly contrary to where the Bible begins.  It begins by saying, "In the beginning there was no God ..."  ... at least not the God who created all things for His glory, who separated Himself from man because of mankind's sin, and who sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for sin and to reconcile all who believe to Himself.  This God, the only TRUE God, does not exist in the religion of evolution.

For the first one hundred years following Darwin's book most people who believed the Bible rejected Darwinism and its teaching of billions of years of evolution.  Even public education left the subject of our origins to parents and churches to teach.  But since 1960 secular humanists have taken control of the textbooks and have promoted what they now call "Neo-Darwinism," no longer as theory but as fact.  The old saying seems to be true:  "Tell a lie often enough and people will begin to believe it!"  Because nearly a century of efforts to prove the theory Darwin wrote about failed to produce ANY evidence, those who did not want to believe in the God who created all things decided simply to stop calling it a theory and to present it as fact.  This "fact" is now presented to grade school children and by the time they are in Middle School and High School they have accepted it as truth.  Meanwhile, Christian parents and churches have been silenced by those in high places who say that we're just trying to push our religion on the unsuspecting masses.

Enough!!  When the Apostle Paul entered the city of Athens, into a culture of philosophers who were much like our culture today ... wanting to consider every idea without coming to any conclusions ...  Paul saw all of their statues and idols and altars and pointed out one that said, "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD."  Paul's response was, "Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.  The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth" (Acts 17:23-24).  He then went on to call them to repentance, to turn from lies to the truth, for God has appointed a Judge for all men and has given proof of this by raising Him from the dead.  In this obvious reference to Jesus, Paul connects the belief in God as the Creator with His plan of salvation - sending His Son that whoever believes in Him might be saved from His coming judgment.

More than 70% of children raised IN the Church today are leaving Christianity behind.  How many of these have been influenced to reject God's Word as truth because they have been led to believe that the Bible is not true from its very beginning.  When Christian colleges begin teaching that there was not really an original couple, Adam and Eve, you know that we have allowed Satan to win the battle in the educational realm.  Further, we in this country have believed the lie that the Constitution of the United States forbids the teaching of creation in public schools and we have retreated into our church buildings with our heads bowed and our tails tucked between our legs, apologizing for our failure to understand the difficult facts of "science."

True science cannot contradict God's Word.  All of the evidence that has been found and all of the evidence that ever will be found must support the unchangeable Word of God.  If it appears to contradict anything God says it is because we have failed to interpret it correctly or our information is as yet incomplete.  There are some things that cannot be proven, which must be accepted by faith.  As modern science has uncovered more of the complexities of the human body, including DNA studies and genetics, all of the evidence ... ALL of the evidence makes evolution impossible.  There is absolutely NO evidence that living matter has ever come from non-living matter, or that one species mutated to another species ... NONE!!  Yet, this "theory," which hardly qualifies as a theory because of its lack of support, is presented in textbook after textbook as fact.  Shame on us for allowing this to happen!

And now the same is happening with history.  Secular humanists are now re-writing the history of our nation and of the world to exclude God, the Bible, Christ and sin.  Never mind that they have no explanation for the evil in our world today and no solution for the future.  There is no good news apart from the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are in an inescapable mess and all we can hope in is human ingenuity and/or luck to change our course.

GOD offers something better!  From the beginning to the end of the Bible God reveals a path that leads to life and that is filled with love, joy, peace and hope for those who come to know their Creator through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we need to FIRE UP!!  We need to proclaim from the rooftops, "Our God reigns!!"  Jesus is on the throne and His Spirit dwells within the hearts and minds of His disciples.  Are you one of them?  Have you been deluded by the lies of the false religion of secular humanism?  Are your children even now being led astray by the lies they are hearing from people they are supposed to trust and respect?  What can you do?

Check out and learn yourself so that you can teach your children and others.  Talk to your pastor and others in the church where you attend and call their attention to these resources.  Use them in small groups and begin to gather a group in your community that will challenge the status quo.  There are some states where Christians have demanded that creation be taught.  To date, the courts appear on the side of the secular humanists and their religion, but our churches are called to be LIGHT!!  Let's let our light shine and proclaim truth.  Let's equip our children with the evidence they need to stand firm in their faith amidst the lies of the world.  Let's lead them to the God who sent His Son Jesus Christ, to a Savior who is also Lord, and to the power of His Spirit to give them strength to stand when all those around them head the other direction.

To do less is to fail this generation.  To do less is to fail to glorify God.  The heavens declare His glory! May we be found doing the same.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Again ... it's not the guns, people!"

"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God" (Romans 8:5-8).

Another tragic shooting and the politicians and media and others line up again to declare that we need to take away the guns.  Is that REALLY the problem?  I have never owned a gun, but with our nation and the world in the state it is, and growing worse, there may come a time.  In the meantime, the arguments I hear for "gun control" are so misguided that it makes me wonder if those who are speaking are that ignorant of what the real problems are or if they just want to appeal to the greatest number of people who are on a "side" in the debate about gun control so that they can get re-elected.  And when I hear people bring the Bible into the discussion and twist it to support a particular political agenda, it makes me angry and compels me to respond with truth!!

First, the problem is not guns, it's HUMAN NATURE!!  The verses I quoted above reveal the truth that human nature is self-centered, not God-centered or even other-centered.  Human nature is selfish and bent on having its own way.  The increase in anger and violence in our culture is the natural outgrowth of a society that is determined to ignore God and to elevate the power of human wisdom.  Within the heart and mind of every person is a natural inclination toward God, our Creator, but the sin within us refuses to acknowledge the truth, rather suppressing it, covering it up, denying it (Romans 1:18).  In that same chapter, Romans 1, the Apostle Paul goes on to say,

"Although they knew God (deep inside), they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. ... Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts ..."  (Romans 1:21-22, 24).

Human nature is turned away from God and toward self.  Parents soon realize that allowing that nature to go unchecked leads to disaster.  Toddlers and very young children will try to control their parents, the world around them and everything in it - when it is clear that they cannot even control themselves.  Schools try desperately to help parents (or in too many instances be substitutes for parents) as they try to guide this sinful nature into some form of decent, acceptable behavior.  By the grace of God, most people abide by the laws of man in order to avoid the consequences.  Yet the sinful nature is rebellious at its core.  Only the Spirit of God can change the heart and mind so that it WANTS to please God by obeying HIS laws.  Yet we have removed the Bible from our schools and the majority of homes (even those who claim to be Christian) rarely if ever open it, ignoring God's command in Deuteronomy 6:6-9:

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Only those who are born again by the Spirit of God, who have Christ dwelling in their hearts and who have their minds and hearts set on things above can win in the war against the flesh, the old nature of sin.  No amount of willpower or good intentions or psychological warfare or social programming can do what the Spirit of God can do through His Word.  The FIRST problem is that most in our nation "have a form of godliness but deny its power" (II Timothy 3:5).  The result:  People are "lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God"  (II Timothy 3:1-4).  It's sad, but true!

We should not be surprised when people do horrible things.  We should be thankful that God, in His grace, restrains people from being as evil as they COULD be!  Those in churches who still hold to the truth of God's Word need to understand its power and teach their children and help parents to do the same.  Together, we CAN make a difference!  But does this leave us helpless to do anything else to stem the tide of violence that seems to have become almost a natural part of our everyday life?  Are people right when they say we can expect more shootings and more violence?  Isn't there anything else we can do?!  Not everybody is going to come to know Jesus!  What about the rest??

I would love to paint a pretty picture of the future, but God's Word does not allow me to do so.  Truth is truth.  There ARE, however, some other things that we as a society should focus on.  One is mental illness and another is violent video games.  In the last two shootings both of these have been factors in the lives of those doing the shooting.  God tells us that those of us who know the truth are no longer in the darkness of the old nature of sin.  We can see more clearly than others, not because we are so smart, but because God gives us wisdom by His Word and Spirit.  Let's pretend for a moment that someone might actually listen to what I'm about to say.  God says to those who believe in Jesus Christ and who know the true God, our Creator, "You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:8-11).

The mental health community needs to take a hard look at the treatment of mental illness and the government, which has been given the role of protecting society, needs to take an active role in arriving at a way to identify those who have mental illness that has expressed itself in violence or appears to be heading towards violence, and then intervene.  When mental health "professionals" are hindered from identifying potential "shooters" by privacy laws and mandated confidentiality, something needs to change.  Sadly, even some of the medications that are given today can and do cause agitation, anger and even violence.  This is very quickly becoming an epidemic.  Many people are helped with certain medications today and are able to live relatively normal lives.  However, extreme caution needs to be used and a closer monitoring by doctors, psychiatrists, parents, families and friends needs to take place.

In this latest instance the young man who killed twelve other people had reported that he was hearing voices and that people were after him.  He had expressed his anger with gun violence before.  With all of our modern technology, why are these signs not being put together so that proper action, even hospitalization or some other kind of strict monitoring, can take place.  This is not everybody, but in virtually every one of the last several instances, mental illness has played a part and there was somebody, or several people, who knew of the problem and who had even been warned of the problem.  We can do better, but someone has to take responsibility.  Just blaming the problem on guns won't fix the problem.  This was a rifle.  Anyone can get one.

The second thing we can do is to eliminate completely the senseless violent video games that too many young people, especially young men, are drawn to.  In case you haven't noticed, the rise in shootings has coincided quite closely with the promotion of violence in movies, television and video games.  Most people may be able to differentiate between reality and fantasy, but those with a mental illness cannot do so.  Even those who may simply be faced with bullying or isolation or a host of other negative social experiences can be moved to express their anger in violence.  "Virtual violence" feeds the old nature of sin and removes the inhibitions that God has placed there to restrain evil activity.  Parents and others must first of all monitor what their children watch/"play", and all of us should be demanding that these video games be outlawed.

"Freedom" is an elusive goal, because the sinful nature MUST be restrained.  Absolute freedom does not exist.  It hasn't since Adam and Eve first rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden.  As our society demands that a person's privacy be protected, even when they are an obvious threat to themselves and to those around them, we expose ourselves to the kind of violence we are seeing.  When we refuse to confront sin and allow video games, movies, etc., to incite the sinful nature we set ourselves up for tragedy.  It is just a matter of when and where the next one will be.

It's hard to know how to pray these days.  I pray for the families directly touched by such senseless violence.  I pray for a nation and its leaders as we move towards self-destruction in so many areas of life.  I pray for the Church, for those who KNOW the truth because they know Jesus Christ and have been made "new creations" by the power of His Spirit at work within them.  We have a job to do.  We are called to be "light in the darkness" and that requires "speaking the truth in love" to all and pointing them to the only One who can help, to the One true God, our Creator, who has come to us through His Son Jesus Christ to lead us out of the darkness and into HIS light!!

Perhaps someone who is in a position to do something in our nation's government will read this, or perhaps enough people will pass it on to those in high places that people will begin to realize what the real problems are and try to address them.  Meanwhile, brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, let your light shine!!  Tell people the truth and point them to Jesus.  There is a new world coming soon; "a new heaven and a new earth ... the home of righteousness" (II Peter 3:13).  Those who know Jesus will be there someday.  God is with us, do not be afraid!  He will rescue us and fill us with joy unspeakable.  Serve Him today and be faithful in what He has called you to do.  He IS LORD!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Evil will not win ..."

Most people in the United States know the name of the leader of Al-Qaeda who with the help of others planned the attacks that took place on American soil twelve years ago today ... I will not mention his name here.  He is dead, along with others whose desire was only to seek, kill and destroy.  But there are others ... a seemingly never-ending and growing stream of people bent on destruction.  Their motives are varied:  from an insatiable craving for power to a deep-seated hatred borne of lies and deceit.  The blindness of SELF destroys many from the inside out.  The spiritual state of mankind is desperate and hopeless.  9/11 ... a date that brings to mind the remembrance of intense evil ... and since then Iraq, Afghanistan and other examples of the growing evil around us ... cause us to pause and move some to wonder if evil is winning.

Truth is truth, the facts are facts, history is history.  Evil may win some battles, but it will not win in the end.  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has promised that HE will win the victory for those who come to Him through faith in His anointed King, Jesus Christ.  Our God reigns!!

Psalm 2 points to the hope that those who know Jesus Christ can have as we live in this world today:

"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One.  'Let us break their chains,' they say, 'and throw off their fetters.'  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, 'I have installed MY King on Zion, my holy hill.'  I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:  He said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father.  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.  You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.'  Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment.  Blessed are all who take refuge in Him"  (Psalm 2:1-12).

We live today in the most uncertain time in the history of the world and of mankind.  Ours is the first generation to have the capability to destroy ourselves and yet, the technology to communicate with people all over the planet at the same time.  There is great potential for good and people want to be optimistic as they look at the future of planet earth and of mankind.  The problem:  evil ... evil that resides within the very nature of humanity.  God has promised that evil will not win in the end, but He has told those who are disciples of His Son Jesus Christ that there will be suffering and trials until Jesus returns.

"Mark this:  There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power" (II Timothy 3:1-5).  So it is today as many consider themselves "religious" and basically "good," but who reject God's Word and make for themselves gods of their own invention.

When evil rears its ugly head in moments like 9/11 much of the world is appalled that men are capable of such acts, but we should not be surprised.  Hatred and murder and anger and worse lie within the human heart.  It has been so since Cain killed his brother, Abel, shortly after Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden and were cast out of God's presence.  Satan himself rebelled against God, his Creator, in heaven itself, and one-third of the angels followed him.  What we see on the news every day is the result of this rebellion against God.

We need a Savior!  Every person who has ever walked this earth has needed a Savior.  Evil brings the judgment of God, sooner or later, or both.  Evil deceives people and makes them believe that WE can overcome the evil in men and in the world all around us.  Only the one true God offers real hope in the midst of all the evil around us, and that hope is found only through faith in Jesus Christ.  Today, however, many are being deceived into believing that all religions are equally valid paths to this one true God.  Even some who claim to know Jesus believe that the followers of Mohammed or Buddha or the Dalai Lama or other religious leaders are all following the same "god."

The longing for peace in this world and for unity among all of mankind leads people to ignore God's offer of forgiveness and salvation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, God's own anointed King.  Satan is the father of lies and as I have written previously, religious diversity leaves millions without a Savior.  Many today have heard the name of Jesus, but have never heard the truth about who He is or what He came to do, or that He is coming again to establish God's kingdom in a new heaven and a new earth.

Evil is spreading.  That's not a popular message, but it IS God's message.  Those who think that evil will stop advancing, that it will somehow implode and disappear, are self-deceived.  It is wishful thinking.  Whether we should have carried out a military strike against Syria or not can be and will be debated - apparently for an extended period of time ... but this much is certain:  the evil that motivates men like the leaders of Syria, Iran, North Korea and other nations will not just go away.  And that same evil resides in US, which is why we must continually question our own motives.

Christians, those who have been born again by the very Spirit of the God who created us, true believers in Jesus Christ, have the answer.  We have the answer not because we are so smart, but because God has opened our minds and our hearts to receive the answer He has given in His Word, the Bible.  It is found in the words of Jesus when He says, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life."  By faith in Jesus, believing that He died on the cross to bear God's wrath against your sins, that He rose again and ascended into heaven, from where He reigns over all things until He comes again to establish His kingdom on the earth ...  by believing all that the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ and what it means to be called by God to be one of His disciples, you can KNOW that there IS hope!!

Evil will not win ... because God has promised!!  Things WILL get worse before they get better.  It is important to know what the Bible says about the end times.  God says that many will fall away and will perish because they did not love the truth (II Thessalonians 2:10).  Others will remain in the darkness in which they were born, looking only for a solution in this world and hoping for the best.  They will follow anyone  (right now, the leaders of Russia and Syria) who will tell them that there is a chance for peace in this world.  They will sacrifice their morality, their compassion for people brutally killed by dictators and their integrity for a "chance" at peace, all under the disguise of "diplomacy."  It is like a lamb negotiating with a lion.

God has taken all of this into account.  He knows the end from the beginning.  He allows people to reject Him, to carry out their evil designs and to mock His name, even as Jesus allowed Himself to be beaten and spit upon and crucified.  Satan and evil thought they won ... surprise!!  Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death and now He reigns until He makes His enemies His footstool.  The calling of the Church, of those called out of the world to follow Jesus Christ, is to live in this world to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ until He comes, offering forgiveness and hope and life to all who believe in Jesus.  God knows those who are His and all whom He has chosen will hear the Gospel and be moved by His Spirit to believe and be saved.

Judgment will finally come on mankind - on ALL of mankind.  I have been told that some will not believe in a God who will send people to hell, but you see, we ALL deserve to go there.  "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and "the wages of sin is death!"  (Romans 6:23).  But that same verse goes on to say, "but the GIFT of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Have you received that gift?  John writes in his first letter to the churches, "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart.  Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son (Jesus).  And this is the testimony:  God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life" (I John 5:10-13).  "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Evil will not win ... JESUS will win!!  It is not some generic "love" that wins, but the love of the God who sent His Son to die on the cross to take your place and mine, the love of the Savior who suffered God's judgment for all who believe, for all whom the Lord our God will call.  Is God calling you today?  Will He use you to tell others about Jesus so that they will come to Him to be saved.  Wherever you are in the world, you can know today that God is with you, that He loves you and that there is hope in Jesus Christ.  Evil will often seem to be winning.  Do not be afraid.  God is with you and He has promised.

If you are reading these blogs from anywhere in the United States, or in one of the many countries who have people reading these words, I encourage you to tune in to to be encouraged to persevere in your faith and to share this good news with others.  Tell others to read these words and to pass them on ... not because I have written them, but to build one another up as we see the end of this age drawing near.  May the Lord encourage you today as you seek Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, through Him we have access to His very throne in heaven (Hebrews 4:14-16).

God bless you and keep you in His love and grace!  I would love to hear from you.  If you want to send me a personal note or a question, please email me at

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Syria, the United States ... and what to do now!"

The purpose of this blog is to share Biblical truth that reveals God's grace to those who come to Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, God-in-the-flesh, true man, true God, who died to pay the penalty for our sins and rose again in victory over sin and death.  HOPE in this world and for the life to come is found only in relationship with the living God, the Creator of all things, the only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who has revealed Himself in His Word, the Bible, and in His Son Jesus Christ.

Those who are regular readers know that I refrain from commenting on merely political matters, believing that my calling is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it applies to every circumstance of life.  Because there are readers from many countries around the world, I seek to resist the temptation to address issues that are of interest only to those in the United States.  Therefore, I pray that what follows is not only faithful to God's truth, but also to His grace and His purpose in sending Jesus to bring life to all who believe in Him, from every people, tribe, nation and tongue.

Questions continue about whether the United States should engage in a military strike against the current government of Syria because of their use of chemical weapons against their own people.  Let me say to begin that there is little if any question that this has happened - on multiple occasions.  For those who want further proof, it is quite likely that nothing will satisfy.  It is probable that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but was given time to move them before the Gulf War - possibly even to Syria.  The debates rage on and Iraq has been brought up over and over, but the fact remains that these governments have killed thousands upon thousands of innocent people in their nations - both using chemical weapons (as well as others) to do so.

One more point needs to be made before I go on.  The United States of America stands squarely under God's judgment for its approving the killing of millions of unborn children through abortion.  We are NOT morally superior to other nations when it comes to our "standing" before a holy God.  The sin of abortion (as well as other sins) brings disgrace upon our nation.  If we approach the subject of Syria simply from a comparative moral perspective, it is difficult to make the case that we have the "moral right or duty" to respond to the atrocities in Syria.  God's truth makes it clear that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, where good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10), and "God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

So if the United States is not capable of responding solely on moral grounds, should we then do nothing as chemical weapons are used by leaders in the Middle East or elsewhere?  Having just listened to hearings in the Senate of the U.S. (one of our branches of government), I heard several different arguments, but one stood out:  Can we know whether military action will make things better or worse? Is it possible that things will be worse if we conduct a military strike against the people who are responsible for this horror?

Let me attempt to answer those questions.  EVIL exists!  The Bible says "There is none righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10).  God instituted laws and governments to control evil.  Romans 13:4 states that those who govern are "God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."  That is the purpose of human government.  In our day, since World War II, the United Nations has existed as a gathering of the nations of the world in order to attempt to maintain order by keeping EVIL in check, no matter where that evil comes from.  However, over the past decades it has been proven that the United Nations is unable and/or unwilling to keep evil in check; in fact, the nations assembled cannot even agree as to what evil is ... EXCEPT when it comes to something like the use of chemical weapons.  Here, at least, the nations of the world have agreed ("in principle") that such weapons should not, must not, cannot be used by any nation, either against its own people or the people of other nations.  Like the nuclear non-proliferation treaties, the nations of the world have attempted to restrain EVIL by agreeing that certain actions are not to be tolerated.

The present situation, however, is complicated by certain nations on the Security Council of the United Nations, specifically, Russia and China, appearing to either approve of the use of chemical weapons or being willing to ignore it.  The same is true with North Korea, Iran and other nations seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.  EVIL is present everywhere in the world and in every nation of the world.  And when governments are allowed to ignore even those agreed-upon restraints established by the nations of the world (Syria previously signed on to this agreement), it is up to the rest of the nations of the world to "enforce" these restraints.  To fail to do so allows evil to proceed unchecked and is not only a national security issue, but a world-wide security issue.

Having said all of that, if the world fails to act, as it appears it has and will (see even the vote of the government of the United Kingdom, let alone others), should the United States act on its own or with the support of very few others?  Should our government conduct military strikes in an effort to enforce international laws?  It is very interesting that those who say this would be contrary to international law say little or nothing about the use of chemical weapons - a clear violation of international law.  These appear willing to overlook the killing of hundreds and thousands of people by a government that claims to be part of the international community, while at the same time condemning the very punishment of this government, which IS the responsibility of the national community.

I am not trying to be a "good politician" by avoiding the answer to the question as to whether the United States should act, but am simply trying to point out the inconsistencies in the arguments against our acting.  Every time you ask the wrong question, you will inevitably get the wrong answer.  "Is there any guarantee that military strikes by the United States will make things better instead of worse?"    What Secretary of State John Kerry said to Senator Rand Paul was exactly right:  there is never a guarantee when it comes to military action.  However, he also stated that it was a guarantee that the government of Syria and other like governments would be emboldened to act without restraint in the future if this action is allowed to happen unchecked.  God's truth would agree with that.  Evil will continue until Jesus comes and the Bible says it will increase.  The often MIS-quoted verse, Proverbs 29:18 ("Where there is no vision, the people perish.") actually says, "Where there is no revelation (commandment), the people cast off restraint."  To allow evil to advance unchecked, whether on a personal level or a national level, leads to further evil.  The Word of God and history bear that out.

Many demand that we have a stated goal for conducting military actions against the Syrian government.  It is simply this:  To restrain evil.  Will it work?  There are no guarantees.  But to the question, "Is it any business of ours" (the United States)?  The answer is:  Yes.  In fact, it is the business of anyone who has the God-given capability to do something.   Questions of when to go to war are always difficult to answer and we often come up with the wrong reasons.  I grew up in the 1960's and could have very easily been drafted to go to Vietnam.  God spared me that horror and the "cause" of that war may have been just at the beginning, but it was clearly not fought with the intention of winning against evil.  It became a horrible, unjust, senseless and useless occupation.  We should have learned from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan that we cannot MAKE people act justly towards each other.  We cannot force people to stop sectarian fighting that has been going on for centuries and suddenly desire a democracy such as God has graciously given us.

BUT, when it comes to being used of God to attempt to restrain some of the worst evil ever to come on the world, we must be ready and willing to respond.  In this day we do not need to send in troops or occupy nations, nor should we.  We have been given the means to use our freedom to restrain evil where and how we can, and sometimes, perhaps now, that will require military action.  In the end, a "man of peace" will bring a counterfeit peace to the Middle East and all the world will follow.  The whole world is weary of war.  But this "man of peace" will be an instrument of Satan to bring the world to the brink of destruction, and then the end will come, when GOD pours out HIS wrath on the nations and upon all who have rejected His offer of forgiveness and life through faith in Jesus.

Since we are a "global community," the words of Romans 13:4 apply not only to individual governments, but also to those who have "signed on" to be part of the United Nations:  "He is God's servant to do you good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."  To do less is to decide that it's everyone for himself, or every nation for themselves.  Are we ready for the consequences of THAT?  We will eventually get there ... maybe in God's plan we're there now, but if not, then the only "reason" we need is this:  To restrain evil.  That's really what Secretary Kerry was trying to say ... which didn't seem to satisfy some of the Senators, but which is the best answer that can be given.

In all of this we must keep this truth in mind: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear. ... Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,  I will be exalted in the earth.  The LORD Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46:1-2,10-11).  God offers His grace today to those who draw near to Him through Jesus.  One day soon, the time will come for God to pour out His wrath upon the earth.  Until then, His grace is still available.  Come to Him today and find true HOPE as you live in the joy of His presence!!