Hockey mom, pitbull, lipstick!

Pitbulls

So, the difference between and hockey mom and a pitbull…. lipstick! I hope the title was tantalizing enough to draw your attention. It’s hard to believe that the first time I ever paid attention to that catchphrase in its entirety was twelve years ago! Then Republican Governor Sarah Palin was the witty, intelligent, beautiful, successful, traditional, and modest vice-presidential nominee: the definition of Christian counter-culture and an automatic and, therefore, a natural target for all sorts of slander.

I can still see her on the screen saying, “What’s the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?… The lipstick”. She was militantly Pro-Life, accented by the fact that she had a child born with trisomy and a daughter who had a child out of wedlock; Sarah was a strong proponent of 2nd Amendment rights and religious freedoms and unapologetically Pro-God and Pro-Country. Governor Palin was the kind of gal that would have Tim “the Tool-man” Taylor grunting for hours at all sorts of Americana!

Now before you think this is a post about politics, let’s discuss the pitbull and the hockey mom for a moment. Governor Palin was a self-described hockey mom, shuttling her kids from one sports event to another and basically in charge of her children’s educational and social calendar. She remarked that the only difference between this quintessential American matriarchal figure and a pit bull is just the lipstick: hockey moms have frazzled hair, are knee-deep in messy breakfast dishes, piles of dirty clothes, smelly kids and soiled uniforms, and the only distinguishing characteristic from an animal used as home security system: the lipstick.

What's the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?... The lipstick - @SarahPalinUSA Click To Tweet

Hockey moms

The media, needless to say, had a field day with her! Overnight, she became the dumbest, dullest, simplest, and most malleable mind in America (as they always attack your education and lack pedigree). Not to mention sexually backward and “anti-women”. That, in essence, is what the world thinks of Christian women and of Christians in general: dull-witted, naïve, gullible, and possessing a natural propensity to a “herd mentality”.  For Sarah Palin had to change to be touted as a bulwark of “what it means to be an American woman” would be, as Pink would say,  is  “everything you are”.

Too many times, as Christians living in this Post-Modern, Post-Christian society, we believe that the only way to get ahead at best, or tread water in the least, is to turn ourselves into whatever the culture expects of everyone; assimilate into automatons repeating whatever the mantra of the moment is. Christians have grown comfortable with the idea  of a compartmentalized “weekend only” Christianity. just don’t tell your friends that you’re going to church unless it’s those new hip churches where the pastors wear baseball caps on the pulpit and everything is a sports metaphor.  Unfortunately, we do little to help our own cause.

Although there is little we can do to address people’s ill-intentions and predispositions, what they readily do see of Christianity is this watered-down, teeth-less, “prosperity now” approach, that leaves people with a bad taste in their mouth even before they even encounter an actual Christian face-to-face.

Lipstick

I find it humorous. While this new spirit of the age preaches individuality and free-thinking and “everyone is right in their own way” they’ve built in an interesting little caveat. It doesn’t apply to a Bible-based Christian worldview or a wider Judeo-Christian worldview. 

The days keep coming and I get older and older. I realize just how very little I have in common with the majority of the people around me. The freedoms that I learned about as a schoolboy has become adulterated into obscenities. Too many people take vile personal licenses and call them “rights”.

So what if they call you names if they make fun of you? What if they ridicule you, belittle you, overlook you, and yes, persecute you!?The Western Church knows little of persecution. We think that hostile leftist politicians are the coming of the Antichrist while our brothers in the 10-40 Window put their lives and those of their families on the line every single day taking a stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Hockey mom, pitbull, lipstick! Click To Tweet

Other not-so-pretty things

Therefore, if your Christianity rubs people the wrong way, don’t stop. If the only redeeming characteristic about you is the lipstick, let it be; if they’re looking at you and wondering “what is Jesus doing adorning the face of that pit-bull?”, give Him praise. Let it be your testimony, that while you were yet a sinner, Jesus died for you (Rom 5), for me, for them, for us!

Therefore, wear your Christian peculiarity not with pride. The world encourages its inter-sectional herds it has created to be proudful. We do it with humility and grace. Give thanks that God saw it fit to save you. Tell them that they too can be wearing the lipstick on their face, all they have to do is ask Jesus to come into their hearts and do a miraculous new work in them.

But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - – Romans 5:8 Click To Tweet

There’s a bumper sticker out there somewhere that says “Not perfect, just forgiven”. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, or any other politician professing to be Christians are not perfect. Not by a long shot! However, neither are their accusers! We should not see what’s “peculiar” about Sarah Palin as an insult. Not as an insult to us. It is an opportunity for rejoicing. Firstly that we were different enough where people actually noticed. Secondly, we were counted worthy to suffer ridicule for His namesake.

And Buckley’s cough syrup?

If being a Christian was easy, everyone would be a Christian. “It’s not that Christianity was tried and found difficult; it’s that it was found difficult and [therefore] left untried”. Chesterton’s quote reminds me of the Buckley’s cough syrup commercial, “tastes awful and it works”. Every day Believers are called “bad” Christians. As Christians ourselves, let us not go along with the chorus and take a holier-than-thou victory lap for ourselves. But rather, come alongside each other and support those Christians. Remember, the accusation is not of looking like the world. The crime is of trying to hide behind their Jesus lipstick and failing miserably. I’m sure you can relate. 

It's not that Christianity was tried and found difficult; it's that it was found difficult and therefore left untried. - – G.K. Chesterton Click To Tweet

Doctrines of demons

There are lies, dammed lies and doctrines of demons

Pearl of great Price – Part 2

Mark Twain once said, “there are lies, dammed lies, and then there are statistics”. Unfortunately for all us, Mr. Clemens was wrong. When it comes to manipulating truth there is something that is more dangerous than statistics. Doctrines of demons.

Last time, we talked about the pearl of great price. That is what Jesus compared finding the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat 13:46) to. The parable tells us that for the person that finds this pearl would willingly make any trade necessary to own the pearl. The pearl not only represent the Kingdom but also represents Truth. Like the pearl of great price the Truth today is nearly impossible to find. On the other hand, doctrines of demons are readily available anywhere you look.

Versions of the “truth”

One of the difficulties that we encounter today is that there seems to be multiple versions of the facts. Even as I write this there are people out there disagreeing on simple facts. This can range from the current debate on the origins of the Covid-19 virus to whether Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon to the more tragic holocaust deniers. If you ask around you’ll find people that don’t tie the Chinese government to the covid outbreak in any way, don’t believe we landed on the Moon and have never heard of or don’t believe the “official” holocaust story.

Start with distortions

Now, you might think, “people are people and they come in all shades and shapes and sizes and opinions”. If that were the only thing at stake it wouldn’t matter to anyone. However, the truth is much more sinister. The different versions of the “truth” are necessary to the distortion of the Truth; having a binary conversation between up or down, left or right, right or wrong is much more effective for the purposes of distortion when there are many “shades of truth”.

Distortions the easiest ways to get rid of the truth. Simply take the actual truth and run countless different strains of it. With each version having a very miniscule variation in it, everyone will believe that their version is true to the original. However, once these ideas meet in the open “market place”, confusion is the only logical result. With so many versions available, not only will people question the truthfulness of other people’s versions but eventually question their own.

Add gradualism

Nowhere is this more apparent in society than the subject of sexuality. Just 50 years ago, terms like “deviant” were commonplace in sociology literature when discussing homosexual tendencies. It was an insult on the part of the sociologists as much as it was a way to describe the behavior: a deviation from the norm. It’s hard to imagine that it only took less than a generation to get to where we are right now.

Terms like “non-binary”, “fluidity”, and “seeking” are commonplace and it has reached epidemic levels in our schools. Unlike “deviant”, the new terms are neither meant to explain, describe nor inform. Quite the opposite. They are chosen by the demons in charge to create the greatest of gray areas, where the largest possible number of souls can commit themselves to a lost eternity. Such terminology makes it possible for 8 billion people on the planet to have different points of view on something that has been established by our nature for millennia.

Exhibit A

There is no better example of this than television. When HBO first came on the scene, it was mostly a place where you could find movies that had recently been in the theaters that had not yet made their way to “rabbit ear antenna” tv. The same television service is now filled with movies that could quite easily pass off as pornography. The fact that modern homes have multiple televisions where adults and children are not usually watching in the same room makes for the distribution of this material even more prolific among children than ever.

Not subtle enough

As we mentioned before, society didn’t arrive here over night. It was a slow, constant, intentional march in this direction. If you’ve ever read the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, you’ll know what I mean. You may hear people talk about a “swinging pendulum” and how it was worse when they were young. I don’t argue that the wild public orgies of the sexual revolution seem like a thing of the past. However, the spirit of that “godless freedom” remained in society even after the public orgies went back into the closet (for the most part).

When truth can be made distorted so easily and gradually enough to avoid detection, the points of view and perspectives multiply. Soon, the sheer plurality makes the search for truth no longer a sensible goal. In such a situation it is easier to seek consensus and compromise, preferably with a total absence of truth of any kind. As far as doctrines go, relativism is among the preferred by demons.

Relativism

With objective Truth defanged by 8 billion distortions of lesser value and the meaning of Truth buried by the gradual crossbreeding of the Truth, dilution of the Truth the result. But the goal can only be relativism. Since the Truth is so strongly diluted, it must mean that there is no truth. Better yet. It is all true.

Suddenly, everyone with an opinion is a Master of the Universe in the making. Over-confident and under-educated he is civil society’s worst nightmare. You cannot argue with this modern man. He knows it all: “God is dead… and we have killed him”, he’ll chant, thinking it came from some modern rock song.

This homo-modernus has finally met a god he can live with: himself. He is all-knowing. He is also petty, cruel, proud, and a scoffer of things about his paygrade. He’s given to fits of murderous rage, drug-induced psychotic episodes, and a freedom of libido without precedent. This modern man looks more like the ancient Greek gods every day.

Why are you telling me this?

Great question. Because that description can fit just as easily in the church as it does outside. We have let distortions, ever-so-minute, crawl into the Church. We have let these distortions fester and multiply and become a confusing Gordian knot. Since such things are better left untangled, we have decided to look the other way. After all, confronting some of these issues may affect church attendance and the all-important one as well: giving.

Gradually, left unchecked, these ideas and doctrines of demons, take on a life of their own. Well-intentioned churches and pastors and congregations conclude its better to compromise than to deal with the consequences. Don’t believe me? Have a conversation about politics with your pastor. See how long that friendship survives that encounter.

I need more

Still not convinced? Here’s proof. The State of California is home to the most and largest and biggest and wealthiest congregations in the country. Yet, their elected officials seem to take their policy directives directly from doctrines of demons. With abortions and late-term abortions and late-late-term abortions you would have to think that these super-mega-churches have no political clout whatsoever nor do any congregants vote. They had Reagan as governor with no mega churches but Newsom as governor with the mega churches. You see the irony there?

Doctrines of demons?

Ok. So now you’re on board but still think that calling them doctrines of demons is a stretch. After all, we’re all still Christians. Good point. So let’s see what the Word has to say on the subject.

1Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, 2through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 3They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.

Yup. Doctrines of demons!

At this point it might be worthwhile to make a list of the doctrines of demons that Paul identifies for Timothy. Some are more plain to see than others. The low-lying fruit is probably “legalism”. Don’t touch that, can’t drink this, don’t sit there, say it like that. It reminds me of the scene in Devil’s Advocate: “touch but don’t taste; taste but don’t chew; chew but don’t swallow”. Legalism is at opioid-epidemic crisis levels in our churches. The same people saved by Grace live under the Law. They tithe as foreigners rather than enter the throne-room as sons. With so little understanding of what actually took place on their behalf, they believe the New Testament but practice the Old. Perhaps it’s some kind of insurance policy that I don’t know about.

Forbidding Marriage

Where have I seen this before? Who forbids marriage? It’ll come to me. Not only do these peddlers of demonic doctrines adhere to legalistic practices that no longer apply to Christians, they even invent new ones. Furthermore, marriage is the first institution that God created. Its so important to Him, He set it up in the Garden. In the beginning. So what’s a demonic doctrine to do? Deny, deny, deny! Deny God and His institutions; deny God and the goodness of His Creation.

Fishy Fridays

Forbidding marriage and requiring abstinence from certain foods is only the most apparent of their fruits. If eunuch priests and not eating meat on Fridays were the Church’s greatest physical concerns, we would be in a much better place. No. Their deception goes much deeper than that. In his letter to Timothy, Paul described them as liars, hypocrites and having a seared conscience.

Jesus in fact has some very choice words for those who preach and practice such lies. Jesus calls the Devil the “father of lies”. He also calls those that practice deceit the children of the Devil (John 8:44). Lies are their native language, their nature. The Devil, his demons and those that practice his lifestyle can only teach deceptive doctrines. The Devil was a denier from the Beginning. These preachers of demonic doctrines have all the outside showings of godliness but deny its power.

And so many more

But beyond sex and food, what other doctrines are demonic? It comes down to this: anything that man does to add to the sufficiency of the work that Jesus Christ fully accomplished on the cross is a doctrine of demons. Whether it’s the need to speak in tongues to be saved, to only being allowed to worship on Saturdays, to praying for the salvation of the dead and so much more, demons are and have always been active in adding human work to the finished work of the Cross.

God: fickle,  petty, and weak

The “little foxes” are usually the ones that destroy the grape harvest (Songs of Sol. 2:15-17). When we think of doctrines of demons, we picture some openly unbiblical statement that “anyone” could plainly recognize. Unfortunately, demons have been working on this for a long time and their technique has been refined.  Things like “God will heal you in His own good time”. This distortion of the character of God points people back to legalism where they are looking to check off items from a list of “to-do’s”. Healing that is dependent on you might as well be dependent on your pet. This doctrine teaches that Jesus’ death covered sins only. Your bodily healing is contingent on how well you jump through some hoops.

How many times were you told that if you don’t tithe “you are robbing God” (Malachi 3:8)? Imagine a human that is able to rob God. And yet, we are constantly told that we don’t receive because we don’t give. Somehow, God is keeping track of our finances and He will only give to us when we’ve reached our minimum required. Just like an earthly father, I guess.

God deniers

Further still, there are doctrines that deny the deity of Jesus altogether. There are sects that describe Him as “a son of God”; you know which ones those are. Then there are entire religions based on the belief that Jesus was only a prophet. Islam, by definition, is a doctrine of demons. It denies the virgin birth, the death on the Cross and the resurrection. And this doesn’t just apply to Islam. In fact, any person, group or religion  who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh (2 John 1:7) is a liar. And since, as we said before, the Devil is the father of lies anyone who denies Jesus in the flesh is a child of the Devil.

Let my people think

I know it sounds harsh. We all have those friends out there. So, I would encourage you to take this as your notice. You have been served. Make sure you preach to your friends and family members that do not recognize or deny Jesus “come in the flesh”. No three-point sermon needed. A few words here and there and a life well-lived will do. But should the opportunity present itself, be ready to give the reason for your hope.