Christian, God

The Danger of Societal Pressure

Have you ever kept silent because what you know to be true isn’t politically correct? Have you ever been out to dinner with friends and something controversial comes up like homosexuality, transgenderism, or abortion? Have you noticed how much influence TV has on what people believe?

As I was reading in the book of John this morning, I was struck by the fact that Pilot refused to do what he knew was right (to release Jesus). It was more important to him to please the crowd who cried, “Crucify Him!”. And so he bent to the pressure.

“Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.” John 19:1-16 NIV (emphasis mine)

How difficult it can be to do what is right when the pressure of the crowd demands we do otherwise. We can be tough on Pilot for giving in to the crowd, but going against the tide isn’t easy especially when there is a lot at stake.

I believe it is only going to get worse. Our culture is changing faster than we ever dreamed possible. Who will stand up for truth? Who will say, “No! This is not right!”?

Research done by the Cato Institute reported that self-censorship is on the rise in the United States, with 62% of Americans saying the political climate today keeps them from expressing their beliefs. And “77% of conservatives … feel compelled to keep their beliefs to themselves.”*

If we can’t openly speak the truth of God’s Word, truth will be silenced and deception will reign.

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1 NIV

How much easier that will be if truth is silenced. God’s Word is the source of truth.

Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? See my page Who Is Jesus?

*From the book Foreshadows, by Steve Miller

Photo by Valiant Made on Unsplash

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Christian

Quote of the Week, 1/4/23

If we don’t want a baby, we must take responsibility for our actions before a baby becomes a reality. God has made us capable of having babies, and when one has been conceived, it is His intention for that child to come into the world. The moment the child is conceived, he is a person, and to abort a pregnancy is murder of a human being.”

J. Vernon McGee

Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? See my page Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Michal Bar Haim on Unsplash

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Christian

Love Does Not Affirm a Dangerous Path

2 Minutes

I want to say, upfront, I am preaching to myself in this post. Maybe it will speak to you, too.

We must not affirm sinful behavior just because it’s a popular trend in our culture. If you aren’t sure about which trends are evil and/or dangerous, the truth can be found in the Bible. God’s Word is Truth and the final authority. The Word says,

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6 NIV

Going along with anything and everything is not love. Sin brings pain and heartache. It always does. That’s why God warns us against it.

Pastor David Jeremiah says, “This is the way sin works: it comes covered in an attractive veneer that hides its evil and hideous consequences.”

Standing for truth is not being legalistic, as some accuse. Speaking truth protects the innocent. Truth is the antidote for deception and deception is the enemy of mankind.

Standing for truth isn’t hard to do when evil is something society detests. But what about when sinful behavior is something our culture affirms? What sin does our society affirm? All you have to do is watch TV to find out.

I never thought I’d see the day when women would celebrate because they had won the right to murder their unborn baby. But many women in America demand abortion rights during all months of pregnancy, and they call it healthcare. It’s not healthcare we’re talking about. It’s killing your baby. If we are going to have this discussion, let’s be honest.

There’s a reason abortion advocates call it healthcare. It’s more palatable to call it healthcare or women’s rights than to call it what it is: taking a life, killing a baby. How can we even have a real discussion if we don’t consider all facets of the issue honestly?

Abortion is just one evil that our culture affirms. There are many others. My question for you is: Will you love? Or, will you affirm evil? To affirm evil is not love. It takes courage to stand up for what is right.

I’m not asking you to protest or to march with signs. I’m just reminding you of what God’s Word says.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6 NIV

What other sinful behaviors does our culture affirm that are, in reality, dangerous paths? Will you stand up for truth to protect the innocent and/or the misinformed? It won’t be easy, but it will be loving.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Read my page Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Luca J on Unsplash

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Christian

How Can We Know What Is True?

The diversity of beliefs and ideas in our world today is enough to make your head spin! Something may sound good, but is it true? And how do we know?

The news concerning the possible overthrow of Roe v. Wade this week is a good example. Both sides are adamant that their opinion is right, but no two viewpoints could be more different.

And that’s not all. Even within Christianity, we find differences of opinion on matters of great importance. Certainly, everything that is put forth can’t be true. So how do we know what is right and what is wrong?

There is only one way. And that is to read and study the Bible. I’m not talking about studying books about the Bible (although some of them are good). I am talking about reading and studying God’s Word for yourself.

My pastor recommends using a Bible Reading Plan. There are excellent plans to read the entire Bible in one year. In this way, you can ensure that you are reading all of the Bible. This is vitally important to understanding the whole counsel of God’s Word.

I am most thankful that my pastor encourages personal Bible study. Nothing could be more important in the life of anyone who wants to follow Jesus and live by Truth. We have to take personal responsibility for being a discerning and wise Christian. Sitting in church services is not enough. We must personally study God’s Word.

We can only judge between what is wrong and what is right when we know what God says to be true. We can know this only from Scripture.”

TIM CHALLIES, THE DISCIPLINE OF SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT

God has given the Church a great gift: the Bible. It is the only source of pure Truth. We can trust it. And we must.

In a world where accepting new ideas is so popular and widespread, we have to remember to hold it all before the light of God’s Word.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 NIV

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7 NIV

“All your words are true;
    all your righteous laws are eternal.” Psalm 119:160 NIV

It is my prayer that we will highly esteem God’s Word and honor it in our lives by obeying Him and trusting His ways as we seek truth in a complicated and diverse world.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

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Christian, women

Supreme Court and the Mississippi Abortion Law

What is this case all about?

  • The Mississippi law, which makes most abortions illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy, is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.
  • Roe, is the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion and barred states from banning the procedure before fetal viability.
  • At stake is the state’s right to legislate abortion. Is abortion really a constitutionally protected right?

According to New York Times reporter, Carl Hulse, the Supreme Court is likely to release its decision in the case at the end of its term in June or early July. In the meantime, America is talking about women’s rights and the rights of the unborn child. At least we’re talking about it. And that’s my point. We should be talking about it.

At some point, we have to think about what abortion really is before we can honestly decide how we feel about it and judge its merits. We can’t shut out reality just because we have good reasons to help out a woman with an unwanted pregnancy.

In my view, whether it happens at 15 weeks gestation or 24 weeks, it’s still taking a human life. Does anyone argue with that? And that’s the real issue, isn’t it? Should it be legal to take a human life? Should it be a constitutional right?

We have to lay the cards on the table. We have to look at all the facts, not just the ones that support our opinion. We must carefully consider the evidence provided by both sides.

Although it is tragic if a woman dies from an illegal abortion, it is still important to look at some of the facts we may rather not face. Especially the fact that that is your baby growing inside of you. The following link describes the growth of your unborn child.

https://www.webmd.com/baby/ss/slideshow-fetal-development

ARRIVED!

What God says:

Psalm 139:13-16 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

God was intentional in every aspect of our individual creation. He has a plan and purpose for every human life from conception.

Let’s think about this…

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Featured image: Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

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Christian

Friday’s Verse, 4/23/21

“You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,
 who freely strut about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race. Psalm 12:7-8 NIV

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

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