The Devil Works in Insidious Ways

RON WHITE HEADLINES UPCOMING CMT COMEDY SPECIAL IN WHICH HE JOKES ABOUT BEING BANNED BY CHRISTIANMINGLE.

RON WHITE HEADLINES UPCOMING CMT COMEDY SPECIAL IN WHICH HE JOKES ABOUT BEING BANNED BY CHRISTIANMINGLE.

CMT just issued a press release promoting “an evening full of laughs” featuring comedian Ron White. “The cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking White headlines the 90-minute special,” said CMT, “giving his thoughts on being banned from the popular dating site ChristianMingle,” among other hilarious topics.

I find it interesting that CMT, which is owned by Viacom (which also owns MTV and VH1), would so prominently mention White’s riff on ChristianMingle. Especially in the wake of the recent arrest of a Del Mar, Calif. man charged with raping a woman he met on the online dating site.

Police suspect that Sean Patrick Banks used different aliases to prey upon unsuspecting women on the Christian site as he traveled frequently across the country for his job. Investigators are currently trying to identify other of Banks’ pitiable victims.

I don’t know whether CMT thinks it funny that ChristianMingle has been infiltrated by an online sexual predator. But there should be nothing funny about it to Christ followers, including those of us who usually find “Tater Salad” – as White is known – amusing.

Because what we are witnessing with ChristianMingle is spiritual warfare. And I say that not just because I published a Valentine’s Day post praising the site, an online destination place for hundreds of thousands of Christian singles looking for love with someone with whom they can share their faith life.

The Bible warns us that our adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And I am convinced that nothing so appeals to his appetite than devouring – corrupting – the pure, the innocent, the holy, the Godly.

It began in the Garden of Eden, when the evil one corrupted Eve, who then corrupted her husband Adam. And such corruption has continued down through the ages, to this very day, manifesting itself in ways most sordid.

Indeed, is there anyone who doubts the devil successfully infiltrated the Catholic Church? How else do my Catholic friends explain the more than 10,000 child sexual abuse claims against more than 4,000 Catholic priests here in this country?

Or what about the unholy partnership between the Girl Scouts of the USA – founded by Daisy Gordon Low to promote the spiritual development (along with the physical and mental) – with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortionist?

Is not the entertainment industry under demonic influence, most obviously the adult film business, which devours young females barely older than Girl Scout Ambassadors (16 to 18 years of age), subjecting them to the most profane sexual degradation.

And who does not imagine that the evil one did not whisper in the ear of the president of the United States when he justified his endorsement of homosexual marriage by invoking the Golden Rule? When he blasphemously insisted that to “Treat others the way you would want to be treated” is to blithely accept a lifestyle the Bible declares “an abomination”?

Those of us who are Christ followers must be always on our guard against our adversary, the devil. And we must pray without ceasing for God’s divine protection, that neither we nor our loved ones fall prey to that roaring lion.

God is Alive and Well (For Those Wondering)

RELIGION IS AS POWERFUL AND INFLUENTIAL AS IT’S EVER BEEN, FRANK NEWPORT ARGUES.

RELIGION IS AS POWERFUL AND INFLUENTIAL AS IT’S EVER BEEN, FRANK NEWPORT ARGUES.

God bless Frank Newport. The Gallup Poll’s editor-in-chief is author of the recently published book, “God is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America.” It punctures the myth that the ranks of the nation’s non-religious are growing by leaps and bounds. 

The myth has gained currency in the mainstream media, thanks to a dishonest poll published this past fall by the left-leaning Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. By playing fast and loose with polling data, and by employing semantic gymnastics, Pew was able to make the dubious claim that 20 percent of Americans “do not identify with any religion.”

A close inspection of Pew’s poll reveals its bias.  A mere 6 percent of those responding to its survey described themselves either as atheist or agnostic. Another 14 percent said they were “religiously unaffiliated.” Pew lumped the 6 percent and the 14 percent together, describing them, collectively, as “nones.” As if they march under the same Godless banner.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

The overwhelming majority of those who are religiously unaffiliated believe in God. A fifth even said they pray every day. The dichotomy is explained by Pew’s deliberately misleading poll methodology, which  made no distinction between religious “affiliation” and “denomination.”

The fact is, there are many of us who faithfully attend church each and every Sunday who have no fealty to a particular denomination.

Indeed, my wife and I have been members of Assemblies of God churches for most of our nearly 14 year marriage. But we recently relocated and joined a church that offers the same traditional, conservative Christian message with which we feel comfortable (and even the same praise and worship music we love), but it happens to be Baptist.

Pew would categorize us as “religiously unaffiliated” because we do not identify ourselves as Assemblies of God or Baptist (or any other denomination), but simply as Christ followers.

They would term us “nones,” as if we are of like minds with the God deniers, the atheist and agnostic types who think people like us “superstitious” or otherwise intellectually challenged.

Drawing upon more than a million Gallup interviews, Frank Newport dispels the myths promulgated by Pew’s pollsters; deconstructs the wrongheaded views of the “New Atheists,” as he calls them.

“Religion,” the author argues, persuasively, “is as powerful and influential as it’s ever been in American society.”

And contrary to Pew’s insinuation that religion is receding in relevance to a rapidly growing number of Americans, Newport posits that “religion will be even more important in the years ahead.”

Gallup’s editor in chief  did not write his book with Pew in mind. Nor did his publishers release “God is Alive and Well” to follow shortly after Pew’s anti-religion poll generated so many headlines in the mainstream media.

But the timing could not have been better if Newport had planned it. It’s further evidence for those with eyes to see and ears to hear that God remains in control of the order of things.

What It Means To Be NOTW

NON-CHRISTIANS MAY KNOW WHAT ‘NOTW’ STANDS FOR, BUT NOT WHAT IT TRULY MEANS.

Most non-Christians are confounded when they see vehicles on the road with an NOTW sticker affixed to the window or bumper.

They either don’t know what the letters stand for or – if someone clues them in – they  don’t know what exactly the phrase means.

Not of This World.

Two polls provide some insight. One, from the Public Religion Research Institute, was released a few weeks ago. The other, from Baylor University, was released last year.

In the PRRI survey, 81 percent of the 2,500 sampled said that religion played an important role in their lives. And most of those said they believe they are living in a country with a divinely ordained place in human history.

What’s interesting is that 20 percent of those surveyed confided that they were jobless at some point or another during the past two years. Some 42 percent identified themselves as either working class or lower income. Yet, most thought there were better days ahead.

That optimism in the face of economic adversity is irrational to those without a faith life. That explains the finding by Baylor researchers that people who are worriers, who are maudlin, who are depressed are less likely to attend church or consider themselves very religious.

Conversely,  said Kevin Dougherty, a sociologist who worked on the Baylor study, “What we picked up on is, religion is a motivator for people who say that, despite their circumstances, they believe with hard work things will get better, and, maybe by God’s grace and help, we are going to make it.”

Indeed, 73 percent of those surveyed by Baylor said they believe God has a plan for their lives. And those who accept that God is in control, who humbly submit themselves to His divine will, have a peace that surpasses all understanding.   

That’s what NOTW means.

Those who are not of this world know that nothing shall separate them from the love of Christ. Not tribulation, distress or persecution. Not a the loss of a job or a home foreclosure. Not a bad prognosis from the doctor or the passing of a loved one. Not the betrayal of friends or the attacks of enemies.

We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

As the Apostle Paul proclaimed, “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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