"Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony?" (Job 28:29)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Call of the Huckster...

Check out our recent posting for June on the MotorSage website. Discussed are the fruits of labors and labors of love.

For those who wish, please be invited to check in at our weekly Bible study at:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fishing Ford?

EVERYDAY evangelism can be a lifestyle that includes casting a wide screen, and the kingdom's nets. See how to cast about...

Sometimes we need to go into the wide evil ditch to gather abundance for the church.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Driving thru Easter!

AN EASTER video message from the ministry of MotorSage promotes a heated topic. Put your focus on Christian evangelism and the disciple's life. Check us out on:

Check us out also on...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Evil Surely Enough!

Sisters and Brothers in Christ;

Having just received a picture of Coptic Christian children slain by Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, I feel it long past time for the church in America to gather its vocal power. We are a people saved by God's Word! Therefore we are called by the love of Christ Jesus sacrificed and Risen, to voice our power as voting American citizens to halt this horrible and sadistic religious travesty.

 Now there have been voices that say we should not show these stark pictures in the public square. I disagree. We Christians and all people of peace should see them. We should study each murdered child's face. We should examine the unspeakable anquish on the mother's face that reveals a depth of pain that cannot be caught by human lens.
 But let's not restrict our examination or comments to social media such as Facebook or Twitter! Let us also collectively and immediately call, email and write our governmental representatives, Senators and even our President. Tell them in the name of our loving God, who is alone holy, that we protest the lack of solid US response to this evil. While we decry our own sinfulness, we are called by Christ and so shout righteous outrage from the platform and pulpits of the Christian church.
 Our US president has tried to deflect the rising wail of those beheaded and burned to death by blaming social ills of poverty and ignorance as root, rather than risking focusing attention on the modern aberration of a violent religious mindset. His motivations for this erroneous position are hidden, and widely disputed. I fear that history will not judge him lightly.
 Irregardless of his leadership or lack of it, I give to you that same lament as a recent voice in history. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said to those seeing the rise of murderous Nazi powers during WWII that... if a person remains silent when evil rages and does nothing to stop it... that one is part of the evil!
  Let us pray for guidance then... and not shrink from railing against the Satanic! For those who wish to read more of our Christian right and responsibility to do such activities, please read the previous article I wrote on the topic of war. We need statements from our denominational leaders, from individual pastors, and from those that hear the Word of Law and Gospel proclaimed while seated in the pews...

I beg you to act on this issue quickly with great fear and trembling. Prayerfully offer your service before God. Please send this message to any and all Christians that you know who yet live in right scriptural mind.

                                                                              Blessings... Pastor Tom

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tilting at Terror...

OCCASIONALLY WE need stop and take notice of still small voices in our midst. What they say can affect our lives and how we look at unfolding events. The Old Testament scriptures are filled with such writings. They reflect the voices of those who repeatedly warned Israel of impending military actions, when our Creator removed his protection from them... even causing foreign powers to rise against them. Again in New Testament times Jesus, who I offer as God’s only begotten Son… prophetically warned his disciples about the fall of the Jerusalem temple, a monument that was deemed indestructible.
 Indeed, even in looking back at centuries since our Lord’s crucifixion and Resurrection, we see that many true prophets received reward from God during their life upon earth. Days of comfort followed them after the strife was over. However others suffered death at the hands of terror for their words of warning. You may remember a pillar of prophecy named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who warned churches and people concerning the horrors of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Also, Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, stood boldly in the crosshairs of politics gone berserk. He defied oppressions and suffered satanic wrath. But know this! God shall not be mocked. Thus commended to God, each true prophet’s rewards are yet unfolding unto eternal life.
 But dear Christian, also know this! Each and every faithful clergy called to serve our Lord is to perform the task of leadership in turbulent times. We must do this task without regard to threatening consequences for ourselves. Some will get ostracized, ridiculed, ignored, threatened, chastised or cast out by evil powers in either church or state, or even killed… yet we leaders of the church are still called speak the Truth of God that surpasses all human understanding.
 A prophet of God thus speaks freely of serious foreboding. In such seriousness, I thus offer you the words of a brother in Christ who warns of great unrest. In the following article, he noted that things are worsening for the Christian church working in this sinful world. Though I have not had time to investigate all of his points offered, there seems to be a familiar and news-proven pattern …


Americans are so controlled by fear of the government, at best they use the social media simply to gripe about how awful the political situation has become. They vent outrage over the loss of their rights. They post Photoshopped photographs as commentary. Perhaps the most valuable use of the social media has been the sharing of actual news, which is essential since the government controlled media openly admits it is paid to only publish what the government considers news. When will people honestly conclude that freedom of speech and the press are essential liberties? Political correctness is merely a form of censorship and tyranny. Political correctness is the enemy of the truth.
 As we read the news you will discover that millions of Christians are being slaughtered by Muslims in the Middle East and throughout the world. In France people are murdered just for exercising freedom of speech. In Sweden, the UK and other countries, European women are raped by gangs of Moslem men. Rape has become epidemic. Estimates suggest one out of four women will become victims. Muslims claim that if a woman does not wear a burka it is perfectly appropriate for her to be raped because she is not a Muslim. In some parts of Sweden blonde haired women dye their hair black to avoid being raped.
Muslims want to murder all Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and anybody else who is not a Muslim. This is not new to Christians. For centuries Moslems attempted to invade Europe. They raped, pillaged and murdered wherever they went. The only reason the first Crusade was called by the Pope was because Muslims were murdering Christians trying to visit the Holy Lands. The Pope believed Christians should not be slaughtered by Muslims. In the 16th and 17th centuries every European Christian from the Pope to Martin Luther to the poorest man in town wanted to fight the Muslim menace as they raped, pillaged and murdered within Eastern Europe and the Holy Roman Empire.
As much as somebody may wish to be a peace-seeking, accepting, loving and God-fearing individual, it is not possible to avoid confrontation with an enemy who will only be satisfied by your elimination. In the 1940s, it was impossible for the Nazis to exist side-by-side with democracy, Jews and numerous other groups. One can only coexist with others willing to mutually accept certain basic values and conditions for the relationship. Christians and Jews can agree to disagree about the Messiah and other matters and generally live together in peace. Unfortunately, Muslims believe sharia law must dominate every country where they reside, that they are above the laws of every nation, and that non-Muslims are not permitted to live. Consequently, Muslims cannot coexist with Christians, Jews or anybody else because it's impossible to coexist with someone who will only be satisfied by your death.
In the Middle East, Europe and the United States, political correctness and the lack of vigilance have resulted in an intense and brutal culture war. And so Europe and the Middle East have become inundated with rape, murder and turmoil because naïve politicians, obsessed with political correctness, aren't willing to enforce their laws.
If Islam was a religion of peace, as some suggest, and if the Koran is identical to the Bible, as even Pope Francis argues, then where are the crowds of open-minded moderate Muslims protesting the transgressions of the "few" so-called "extremists"? Why aren't the so-called moderate Muslims opposing the atrocities? Because Muslims have apparently conned naïve and foolish European and American politicians to tacitly support their acts of hate, no one stands up and opposes the violence. We can also read the Koran for ourselves and discover that the Koran has nothing whatsoever in common with the Bible. The Bible teaches love of God and love of neighbor. The Koran teaches obedience to Allah, says it is ok to abuse women, to lie and to murder one's neighbor. While there are no perfect Christians or Jews, Christians and Jews do not travel throughout the world trying to murder everybody who doesn't agree with them. The negligence of naïve and politically correct politicians has caused the situation to become dangerous for everyone as the world races toward an international confrontation with Islam.
Barack Hussein Obama, a Sunni Muslim and citizen of Indonesia who was born in Kenya, has apparently determined his legacy should include a treaty providing Iran with the green light to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Obama has already agreed to more than 80% of Iranian demands. Meanwhile, Obama has been supplying Muslim terrorists in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and other nations with American weapons, ammunition, missiles and tax dollars. Obama's own brother is the financial director for the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic terrorist organization. Obama has even placed the United States Department of Homeland Security under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama has also furthered the cause of Islamic terrorism by releasing Muslim terrorist leaders from captivity, allowing their return to terrorist activities as enemies of the United States. According to the United States Constitution, aiding and abetting the enemy constitutes treason. However, cowards and traitors in the United States Congress have refused to impeach or arrest Obama for regularly violating the Constitution and for horrendous crimes against humanity.
Obama is not a king and does not have any right to ignore laws he doesn't like or simply create new laws by executive fiat. Over the past six years Obama has abused his pen and phone, ignored the Constitution's separation of powers, has shown utter contempt for Congress, using every opportunity to circumvent and go around them. However, Obama is now outraged because John Boehner, Speaker of the House, invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session.
Over the past six years, Obama has also insulted and displayed contempt for Israel, a longtime ally of the United States, as well as Netanyahu. Normally, most would consider it a great privilege for Netanyahu to speak before Congress and the American people. However, because Obama knows Netanyahu will tell the truth he is outraged. So now he is even trying to interfere with Netanyahu's reelection as prime minister!
Obama has less than two years remaining in office. During this time he certainly wants to achieve his own ideological objectives. However, Netanyahu surely knows that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons will have catastrophic, ongoing ramifications for the future of Israel and the Israeli people, as well as the United States and the well-being of every person on earth. As Islam races toward global conflict, arming Moslems with nuclear weapons simply does not seem prudent. Does anyone trust Obama on any issue? Do you really think he will protect you? How about after 2016? Would anyone feel safer if he promised, "If you like your head you can keep it!"?
The reality is that America is at war and it's now time for brave men to stand up and act. Even a brief reading of the historical record clearly indicates that by the early 1770s the 13 colonies were far more prepared to fight for freedom than we are today. If you read the listing of abuses committed in the name of King George III, as found in the Declaration of Independence, you'll discover that the suppression of freedom and rights of Americans is far worse today than they ever were for our forebears. Our Founding Fathers would never have tolerated what we now accept as the norm.
Having been involved with the Pennsylvania militia for more than two years I must confess it has been extremely frustrating. Most individuals are so controlled by fear that they refuse to even share their real names or location in order to get together with other like-minded individuals and organize militia units. Of course that gives the tyrants enormous power. Only in very rare cases groups of individuals actually gather and organized active militia units, train and prepared for the war and chaos which are surely just around the corner. True to human nature, far more time and energy gets placed upon who is going to be the boss. I know a man who wears the rank insignia of a major general but has only about 20 men. After giving into frustration and quitting all militia activity, a friend wrote, "I can't believe I spent more than a year of my life hanging out with such jerks!" I surely can relate. No one is prepared to withstand anything like the British advance on the towns of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.
The purpose of the militia as stated in the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8) is to "execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions". The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and writings of the Constitution's Framers argue that the purpose of a well-armed populace is to defend the nation against those who would destroy it from either without or within. The militia is to fight against foreign invaders as well as against tyrants within our own government. However, even though America is today being assailed from both directions no one is willing to act. Can any reasonable person argue that foreign nationals illegally crossing the border from Central and South America and Muslim countries for the purpose of taking control of the United States is not a hostile invasion? Just because corrupt career politicians seeking additional votes don't seem concerned doesn't make us safe. Within a few short years they will be out of office, but we must deal with the consequences forever. Meanwhile, Americans frozen with fear won't likely resist either tyranny or treason anytime soon. And so each day the situation just gets worse, more rights get eroded, more freedom is lost.
That brings us to the impetus for this article. I posted a link about the burning of several mosques in Sweden. As would be predictable, I immediately came under fire by someone outraged that a Christian pastor could find anything positive in the burning of a mosque. After 35 years in the ministry, as well as the mental health professions, I am used to such attacks. Some are always looking for reasons to write-off clergy and mental health professionals as hypocrites. Of course, these condescending individuals never seem to look at their own particular issues. Obviously, only racists like Adolf Hitler and Al Sharpton could seriously consider systemically burning down mosques as anything but evil. However, the fact that some Swedes have finally had enough and found the moral courage to resist the evil in their midst is noteworthy to discuss.
As a Christian clergyman I certainly believe in loving the Lord my God with all my heart and mind and soul and my neighbor as myself. And of course, everyone is my neighbor. As a pastor and psychologist I have spent my life helping people for very little financial compensation. However, when someone arrogantly declares they are going to destroy my country, my religion, rape my daughter, kill everyone in my family and cut off my head, I believe it theologically acceptable to disagree. The Bible does not prohibit self-defense. God's Word includes the law as well as the Gospel. And the murder of innocent individuals is a violation of God's law. At the same time, the Fifth Commandment of the Decalogue, while forbidding murder, does not forbid self-defense, military service or the legal execution of wrongdoers.
In places like Sweden, despite the naïve forbearance of their confused and politically correct government, some Swedes have taken it upon themselves to burn down several mosques. In no way, shape or form are a few mosques anything close to the number of churches destroyed in the Middle East - or even burned down by Muslims in Europe - but nevertheless it is a sign that people are beginning to wake up and will no longer endure rape, violence and murder as normal everyday occurrences. It is ironic that an act of violence like burning of a mosque may be considered a courageous act of resistance, but armed defiance of the British at Lexington and Concord in 1775 was a courageous act of resistance to tyranny as well.
As a Christian I have compassion for others and despise the rapes, mutilations, torture, stonings and murders of millions of innocent people by Muslims. How can anyone not oppose such barbaric acts and thereby enable such horrors. Does not faith call us to put an end to such evils? As a Christian I would never condone the burning of a building filled with people. Nor do I think burning mosques is an acceptable goal. But the Swedes have been abandoned and left defenseless by their government, just as Americans have been abandoned and left defenseless by our government. That is why I can commiserate with the hopelessness and frustration of Swedes who apparently feel they had no other means of defending themselves and their loved ones other than burning down some mosques.
In order to defend against an enemy one must learn to be able to oppose the enemy in real circumstances with available resources. In the 1750s, during the French and Indian War, British General Braddock marched his troops across Pennsylvania as any army would march in Europe - tight columns in rank and file. But the French and Indians did not utilize European rules of engagement and attack out in the open as an army would in Europe. Instead, they hid behind trees and rocks and used the brightly red coats of the British troops as excellent targets. And so the British were routed and Braddock was killed. It would've been far better for the British if they had also adapted to the particular circumstances in which they found themselves.
Something must be done to stop the onslaught and evils of Islam. Although the Bible permits taking an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth, this is not the ideal way for which God calls us to live, and it is certainly not the Gospel. However, in times of war nations and individuals must do whatever is necessary to protect people from harm. When Muslims attempted to invade Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, neither Roman Catholics nor Protestants had any qualms about resisting Muslims - who hate Jesus and wanted to rape, pillage, murder and destroy Christianity.
Today's naïve, politically correct and irresponsible politicians have abdicated their duties to protect the people. This was not so in the past. The Holy Roman Emperors clearly understood their obligations, and took necessary steps to protect and defend their people from harm. At Vienna in 1529 the Muslims were repulsed, and then again at the Gates of Vienna on September 11, 1683 the Muslims were so soundly beaten they dared not attempt to menace Europe again for another 300 years. However, nowadays politicians like Obama negotiate with terrorists and make concessions. Wherever Muslims decide to settle in Europe or the United States, corrupt, self-righteous, naïve, irresponsible and spineless politicians and activist judges suspend liberty, inalienable rights and constitutional law, and set up "no go" or "Sharia zones" so that the Muslim invaders can conveniently get established. Such zones are not limited to Europe, but are increasingly also cropping up in the United States.
Citizen's militias typically consist of peaceful, law-abiding individuals. But when facing those who would fundamentally transform the United States into an Islamic caliphate under the domination of Sharia law, citizen's militias must resist tyranny and treason. With every means necessary, militias must resist, fight back and protect the people from enemies who wish them harm. And so this is why it is encouraging that some Swedish people have had enough of Islam, and are no longer willing to accept repeated rapes, beatings and murders as normal components of daily life. Since the Swedish government has not protected them, they have simply done what normal, reasonable people naturally do. They have used every means at their disposal to protect themselves, their families and their communities. Surely such circumstances are not ideal. It would be far better for the Swedish government - along with the American government - to responsibly enforce laws and protect people from harm. But until then the people must organize as militias and protect themselves.
Only those with the evil intent of an Al Sharpton would engage in racially motivated attacks upon others. Historically, Americans have never wished any harm on noncombatants and innocent people. Yet, at the same time, during the American Civil War General William T. Sherman's march from Atlanta to the sea removed a vital source of provisions for the Confederacy, ultimately shortened the war and saved numerous lives. Similarly, during World War II the United States Army Air Corps engaged in devastating carpet bombing of cities like Dresden, Germany, and dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, to shorten the war and save millions of lives. How were these actions any different from fighting Muslim terrorists? Hard choices must ultimately be made to have compassion upon innocent individuals and protect them from the enemy. In the big scheme of things, considering how many churches are being destroyed - often by burning - in the Middle East and how many Christians are being tortured, crucified and murdered by Muslims on a daily basis, burning down a couple of mosques is relatively insignificant. While not the ultimate solution, fortunately people are beginning to wake up and take action.
So how is resisting Muslim domination today any different than resisting Muslims domination in 1683 or resisting Nazis during World War II? No enemy can be defeated unless those under attack are willing to engage the threat. No nation can protect their people, win against an enemy, and insure peace unless they are willing to first identify the enemy and be willing to resist invasion. How many American wives and daughters must be raped and how many American husbands and sons must have their heads cut off before the administration will even use the words "Islamist" and "terrorist" and acknowledge that the enemy is in fact the enemy? The only way for western civilization to continue is for Islam to either be eradicated or somehow be contained.
And so when I read about women who have been systematically raped by gangs of Muslim men, as well as men, women and children who are being murdered each day by Muslims who believe they are above the law, I cannot help but feel compassion for the victims of Islam. Personally, I would sacrifice my own life to protect innocent victims. After 35 years of ministering with and counseling individuals who have been traumatized, I know that most will never fully overcome the pain. Obviously, it is a lot easier to intellectually make excuses and confabulate rationalizations defending the perpetrators who inflict harm than actively do something to end it. It is also much safer to hide behind intellectual discussions, ideologies, theories, esoteric books and excuses. But Americans must wake up and see the reality. How many people must suffer and die before Americans are willing to awaken from their slumber?”
                   …written February 1, 2015, by The Rev. Dr. Christopher Hershman

 Ironically, the text of this article was delivered to me on Facebook at the very time of my officiating in worship and preaching on the same subject. In my message, I cited that like those early Christians of Corinth known by Saint Paul, we are those who have to choose whether we are going to eat of food that has been offered to idols… or not! We have important choices to make. Do we munch on the everyday fodder presented to us by bias-laden news, without taking note of opinions such as those offered by Dr. Hershman? I think not. Let us hear these small voices that whisper to us that something smells rotten in Sweden and elsewhere.
 However, take note that this path is not without peril. In the past several years, I too have taken heated verbal abuse from persons who did not like my stance against heretical undermining of orthodox scriptural interpretations. Also, in the past few months, I have also received three online threats of bodily harm concerning comments written against radical Islamic terrorism. Some of these threats have come even from members of my own family. Vipers of any guise, you see, are indeed thin-skinned.
 What should our course be for future days then? Consider first that the baptized are set free in Christ to choose that course which you consider to be the right path. Some may choose to remain docile like sheep. Others may choose to run to the catacombs and hide, like the Christians in the days of Roman persecutions. Others may do like Pastor Bonhoeffer, and actively resist… even knowing the perils that may lie ahead. But brothers and sisters in Christ, above all please remember this… by baptism in the Spirit you are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and not by works. However in this freedom… if you remain lukewarm, the Lord who gave himself for us may spit you from his mouth… because when you were given the opportunity to help you failed to work at rescuing your neighbors. Given this, I would ask you to read a bit farther about this topic in my article entitled…

 Much to consider, and much weight to carry... I simply ask that you prayerfully consider your course.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Violence Driving Us to Christ...

GREAT UPHEAVAL broke out in headlines with the Muslim terrorist assault made on a publication office in Paris, France. In the traveling fray which followed, reports are that a total of seventeen persons were killed and others were wounded. Persons not even associated with the editorial staff of the notoriously satirical publication were harmed or killed. The world has been shocked. Many prayers have been spoken. And now… as expressed on US news outlets, new fears arise in the face of growing violence created by such demented forces.
 Amid this desolation, many voices express fear… not only for publishing venues that have offered cartoons and articles about religious subjects, but  also rises for various religious entities including synagogues and churches around the world. At the same time, moderate and peaceful Muslims cringe at the possibilities of hate-filled backlash. World-wide religious war has therefore commenced, whether or not any government or its representatives foolishly deny its presence and importance. These include foolhardy leaders of our own land.
 As we ponder the future, we are called to look at the past to see where we are and where we shall be going. “How did we get this way? What is the source for all this hate?” Many blame religious powers. We know that religion error has caused many past atrocities. History teaches us that these struggles have come from all faith traditions. I ask, “Does this mean all religious faiths are harmful?” Some sociologists have argued as such. We learn that strife occurs as religious and secular powers reach for domination, and I fear that even Christianity has suffered such sin. We must ask, “Where did this start? How far back does this penchant go?”
 The historical roots for our present hatreds go clear back in history to that high and shrouded mountain where it is described that Abraham, as a friend of God, answered sacrificial instructions. The event occurred in scripture after the jealousy of Sarah had sent his first son Ismael away. It is in the story concerning Abraham’s taking of his second son, Isaac to be a sacrifice. He led him up the appointed mountain...

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
                                                                                                   (Genesis 22:6-12)

 In the Hebrew mindset then, the prophetic future was pardoned as God, seeing that Abraham trusted him with his present and his future, then substituted a goat for the life of Isaac. Thus in the Hebrew scripture great inheritance belonged to Isaac, the ancestor of the Israeli nation. An animal sacrifice system was thus continued.
 However, we also hear that the Muslim faith, which recalls the same event, offers also that this latter privilege rightly belongs not to Isaac, but to Ishmael… given that he was Abraham’s first born son. They contend that the Israeli mountaintop experience recorded is moot since the rightful inheritor Ishmael had not been banished, but was really the one taken to the mountain.
 Therefore, the differing interpretations of this religious record set up an enmity between the Hebrew and Muslim faiths. The deep chasm has persisted between these two great belief systems and thus we inherit a near timeless dilemma. Strong adherents to being the “chosen” people wrestle violently and militarily, even in today’s time.
 As time passed in history, however, we Christians believe that God offered his own “Chosen One”. You see, each of these two religious systems performed various prayers, blood offerings and lifestyles to justify their sinful participants before God. Their traditional practices have changed little over past centuries, though try as they might… their purity of sacrifice cannot be found as everlasting for them. Both participants have offered much, including the lives of other human beings and their own as martyrs… to please the Creator. Therefore these zealous and jealous offerings track through history from way back. But you see… for both Hebrews and Muslims, the tendency for violence precedes even the faith history of Abraham. In Genesis we find the telling story of Cain and Able. The two brothers, as children of Adam and Eve, built up sin offerings before God, Able offered the carcasses of animals burnt on an altar of stones. Cain offered the produce of the land. Without explanation, God accepted the blood offering of Able and did not find Cain’s offering as pleasing. In rage Cain then murdered Able. But you can see, from this we can see that so deep is the offense of human sin and pride that only the blood of life poured out can rightly satisfy divine and perfect judgment. Therefore blood offering for offenses became self-perpetuating in the lives of God’s children. We see both the scripturally attested “Wars of YHWH” and the campaigns of Mohammed give evidence of the ongoing chasm between mankind and God. Therein we find the faith walk of both Hebrew and Muslim cultures trapped in historic violence.
 Then entered the Christians into the flow of history. Jesus lived, taught, healed, and died to pay the penalty of human sin. Being offered up on a cross to be the sin offering made for all who would believe in him…Jesus freed us from the penalty of sin. Only the "perfect" sacrifice would satisfy God, therefore God offered his own. Thus as Christians, we need not make necessary the expression of self-justifying violence. Jesus, the Risen Christ, the Prince of Peace, reconciles with God those who are baptized in his name. Jesus restores their relationship to God the Father, who is the Creator of all. However, I fear that the centuries since the crucifixion and Resurrection reveal that the church of Christ can also possess a penchant for violence. The church, though called forward in peace, has too often made war with entities from both within and without its sanctuaries. True are the words that Saint Paul noted… “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death”.
 Therefore, given this checkered history, let us within the Christian church not rain judgment and eternal condemnation upon either Hebrew or Muslim, without truthfully looking in the mirror. Let us only be thankful that we have received grace upon grace through forgiveness made available in Christ Jesus.
 But know this! It is in the very receiving of this grace-filled guarantee that we Christians are set free to work for good amid this sinful and turbulent world. And though forceful resistance of arms against evil powers in this modern society may be needed from us at times, we are also called to work hard in order to keep the peaceful precepts of God’s immutable Law.
 Remember, the keeping of the Law is not that we may fulfill the Law or structure a new, grand society! Minions such as Adolf Hitler tried the latter. The commandments… the Law… expressed by any faith system… simply condemns us. The Law rightly stated drives us to know our need for salvation. It is through the Law and our hard striving toward its fulfillment that we show all humanity our collective need for salvation. Let it be known, we sinners cannot meet the perfect Law! The Law thus drives us to seek salvation in Jesus, as provided by God, the Father Almighty.
 We might ask in prayer then, “Since Christ is the answer, when shall all this striving and death end?” The answer is found in our scriptural Christian inheritance, The witness of John comes to us from the book of Revelation. He told us truly. God related to us through his lowly servant as he strengthened the church that labored beneath the powers of ancient Rome. John said that we shall see eternal heavenly peace only when evil powers are defeated at the last by Jesus Christ. We read…

“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Revelation 5:11-14)

 The key lay in the words, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain…” Though we certainly know that this book and its contents are yet debated, as to when all things shall unfold… we are called by the Holy Spirit to agree that our ultimate answer to this present violence lay not in bullets, bombs or clandestine monitoring of evil powers. Instead, since these finite human efforts shall only work to curb horrid events temporarily. we shall find absolute truth only in knowing that when the last trumpet sounds we shall be rescued from the powers of sin, death and the Satanic by our Lord Jesus Christ alone.
 Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, I exhort you to not blanch from facing evil in this world. Let us work tirelessly within the present turmoil to protect the threatened, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and free those who are imprisoned and harmed by sin and evil. Let us thus be witnesses to the love of God made available through Jesus Christ. Most of all, let us keep our eyes on the cross, looking prayerfully and witnessing for the coming day of our Lord. In this way we shall find ourselves working in league with the angels and heavenly hosts on that final day. So it is written, and so it will be.