What is “That” in Philippians 3:12b?

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What is “That” in Philippians 3:12b?©

by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

Philippians 3:7-16 has long been a focal section of the Scriptures for me.

My initial fascination was with the word “that” in verse 12b of the NIV 1993 translation:

…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

It is crucial, however, to read all verses 7-16 in order to see how pervasive the hold of “that” (whatever  “that” is) had on the Apostle Paul – being so comprehensive as to not only become the sole objective and pursuit in his life – but also being a reflection and imitation of the “that“for which Jesus Christ Himself, had taken hold of Paul

I wanted to know (I needed to know) what “that” was.

Now, almost forty years later, the one answer I have repeatedly found is this: 

The “that” of Phil. 3:12b is having a single, primary life purpose and mind-set of, continuously, constantly and uncompromisingly doing the work and the will of the Father.  

That” (the knowing, gaining and living a life in the likeness of Christ) is the life Paul was pursuing and had captivated him to his core.

It is the same “that” by which Jesus had taken hold of all the apostles; and the prophets in the Old Testament and of all the individuals mentioned in the “hall of faith” of Hebrews chapter 11.

AND, it is the same “that” all professing followers of Jesus are commanded to engage in as disciple-makers – as well as closely related to, if not identical to, “the work of the ministry” in Eph. 4:12 (ESV) – in which leaders are instructed to equip and train their congregations. 

It is also the same “that” to which all believers are to daily admonish, teach and exhort one another. (Heb. 3:12-19)

The goal/prize of engaging in “that” is knowing Christ, gaining Christ and being found in Christ (Phil. 3:8-9) for which God has called us heavenward. (vv.14-16).  It is eternal life and the ultimate joy of existence! 

Although no human during his or her life on earth can ever attain the full maturity and perfection of a “that” life exemplified by Jesus, perfection was Paul’s target and IS to be the target of every professing disciple of Jesus – to be pursued with all our mind, heart, soul and strength. The three, primary elements of which are: 1) being positioned in Christ, 2) having the priorities of Christ and, 3) engaging in the practices of Christ

For further study of a “that” life expressed in Phil. 3:12b true discipleship in Christ, the following thoughts and references are recommended:

  • We are to seek “that” with all of our mind, heart, will and strength. (Lk. 14:27)
  • We will be able to “that” by taking Christ’s yoke upon us; understanding He will never leave us or forsake us, even as we experience and encounter rejection and persecution of different kinds and degrees; for wherever we go and whatever we do, He will be with us. (Jos. 1:9, Matt 11:29, and 28:20)
  • Living a “that” life means doing everything, all the time for the glory of God. (Col. 3:17, 1 Cor 10:31)
  • Having Christ’s priorities and commitment to a “that” life are the requirements of true discipleship and, without them we are not and cannot be His disciples. (Lk. 9:62, Lk. 14: 26-27 and 33, Jer 29:13, 2 Chron 16:9 & 15:2)
  • Those who are truly disciples/apprentices of Christ seeking His “that” likeness will do the same work of the Father that He did. (Jn. 9:4, 14:10b-c, 14:12, 17:4, 17:18)
  • Those who are truly disciples/apprentices of Christ seeking His “that” likeness will testify to the Truth as He did. (Jn. 15:27, 18:37 and 20:21)
  • A “that” life of true discipleship to Christ will always be seeking first and foremost His kingdom and righteousness (Matt 6:25-34) as “that” is the very foundation of the Gospel  and every Christian’s personal ministry. (Prov. 3:5-6, and Matt. 16:26)
  • Matt. 5:1-11, 7:21-23, 7:24-27, Rom. 8:28, & 12:2 are all pertinent to living or not living a “that” life.
  • Lk. 6:40 and Eph. 4:11-16 are epitome verses related to the equipping, training and ultimate result of a “that” life as disciples of Christ.
  • A “that” life, “the work of the ministry” (Eph. 4:12a NASB), primarily means “bringing” and sharing the Gospel (see http://www.lionelwindsor.net/wordpress/wp-content/2016/09/Windsor-Pages-from-9781906327446-txt.pdf) – e.g. for going and making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20.

* * * * *

Perhaps the two, most potent, hitting-the-nail-on-the-head prayers by Jesus and the Apostle Paul in the Bible applicable to the calling and needs of true disciples of Christ, in the pursuit of perfection of a “that” life, are found in John 17 (paying particular attention to vv. 6, 9, 13-15, 19-23) and Eph. 1:18-20.

May every person, who professes or seeks to be a disciple of Christ, fully embrace and constantly engage a “that” life as branches of the Vine for our desires, our focus and our strength. (Jn. 15:1-8)

END

Have a great week!

Bob

(And to my family, Love, DAD)

2021.12.22-P.E.A.R.s- What-is-“that”?

PERMISSIONS:  You are encouraged and permitted to reproduce and distribute a “P.E.A.R.”TM in any format – provided you do not alter it in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and do not make more than fifty physical copies without further written permission by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.  However, all reproductions must include the statement: “Reproduced with permission from Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

An Ugly Word!

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P.E.A.R.sTM

An Ugly Word©

by

Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

“God has a plan and a will for every person.  He lays before each of us a direction, a set of goals, a purpose for living.  No person needs to flounder through life wondering – ‘why am I here? Where am I headed?’  God’s Word makes it very clear why we’re here and where are going.”  [Success God’s Way by Charles Stanley]

My question this week is this:  If Rev. Stanley is right – then why don’t we fulfill that purpose?

I personally believe the answer is found in an ugly word – “procrastination”.

Generally, the word “procrastination” means putting off something we know we ought to be doing.  There is nothing positive or beneficial to be gained from that process.  It is, in fact, a cowardly decision.

Even when steps are taken to deal with a procrastinated endeavor, it is usually approached grudgingly and gradually.  We sort of ease into action taking one tiny step at a time.  Unfortunately movement in that fashion builds no momentum and puts our forward progress at risk when even the smallest obstacle or distraction is encountered.  Basically, we’re looking for an excuse to stop and procrastinate some more.

To overcome the ugly habit of procrastination, we need, instead, “to move ourselves suddenly; to leap or spring ; to act in a way that provides a sudden transition in a hasty and eager manner”.  

Such is the definition of “jump” in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.  How that term might apply as a process for over coming procrastination in pursuing the goals and purpose God has for our lives is found in the following quotations:

  • Bruce Wilkinson in “The Prayer of Jabez”: “Instead of standing near the river’s edge, asking for a cup of water to get you through each day, jump into the river!  At that moment, you will begin to let the loving currents of God’s grace and power carry you along.  God’s great plan for you will surround you and sweep you forward into the profoundly important and satisfying life He has waiting for you.”
  • John Eldredge in “Wild at Heart”: “When it comes to living and loving, what’s required is a willingness to jump in with both feet and be creative as you go.” 
  • Bob Buford in “Half Time – from success to significance”: “It is time to jump.  There is really so much more for you to gain by putting one thing (God’s calling to you) in your box (as the priority of your life) and then going for it.”  
  • Charles Stanley in “Success God’s Way”: “Take the plunge.  Jump into the arms of God [for He says], I’m going to catch you.  Come on, jump!…So finally, you say to yourself, ‘I’m going to take the risk.  I’m going to jump and see what happens.’…Unfortunately, many people are too afraid to trust God to help them set goals for their lives, but I firmly believe that if you are willing to jump into the arms of God and trust Him with your life, you’ll learn to walk with the Lord to greater heights and to greater satisfaction than you’ve ever dreamed possible.”

* * * * * 

Are you living with the ugly word of procrastination in any part of your life?  Have you perhaps dangled your foot in the river which holds the current of God’s direction and purpose for your life and then pulled it back for fear of getting completely drenched?

If so, how does that make you feel?  

In a sense, there is no one more miserable than a person running from God’s purpose for their lives. 

He has a good and perfect plan for you; one that will prosper you, fulfill you and make you whole.  Shed the ugly word of procrastination regarding your pursuit of those rewards.  Instead, jump in with both feet and experience the completeness of what you were meant to be.

Have a great week!

Bob Alderman

(and to my family, Love Dad)

PERMISSIONS:  You are encouraged and permitted to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided you do not alter the material in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and do not make more than fifty physical copies without my further written permission.  For web postings, please include a link to my website www.thegreatestlaw.com and for all other distributions include: By Robert E. Alderman, Jr.  

9//14/04 – updated permissions section 2021.11.01

How Did Jesus Do What He Did?

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“How Did Jesus Do What He Did?”©

by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

[Originally written for my P.E.A.R.STM blog on 10/29/10]

Good morning!

The transformation of someone who has received Christ as Savior and Lord into the “likeness” of Christ is the bedrock of Christianity and the substance of eternal life.  Pastors frequently encourage their congregations to emulate Jesus and be Christ-like in their behavior.

It is understood that Jesus, though embodied as a man when He was on earth and subject to all the same temptations faced by each of us, lived a sinless life of holiness and perfection.  Moving to that same manner of living is what we are called to as well.  (Matt 5:45, 1 Pet 1:15-16)

Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel or engage in a trial and error approach to find a way to do that.  The answer to the question, “how did Jesus do what He did?” is given to us in the Bible.  The bottom line is Jesus wasn’t a “do-er” (in the sense of relying on His own power or abilities) but rather was a “be-er”.  He rested and relied entirely on the strength and presence of the Father working through Him.

A 24/365 (24 hours a day/365 days of the year) absolute reliance and dependence on the indwelling of God the Father in Jesus is how Jesus did what He did.  

The same is what is offered and is available to us through Christ and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us – as we grow in our understanding and acceptance of that reality with all our mind, all our heart and all soul as Christ did with the Father.  It is God, not us, Who enables us to do whatever He calls us to do.

Our only responsibility is to “be” available to Him and to “be” willing to accept His power, love and wisdom in the place and stead of our human frailties and inadequacies.  Such is the substance of a “be-er” in Christ.

Bob Alderman 

P.S.  For more on this, a great book to read is “The Saving Life of Christ” by W. Ian Thomas.

HUMAN RATIONALIZATION and SPIRITUAL MALPRACTICE©

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Human Rationalization and Spiritual Malpractice©

by

Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

Have you ever worked yourself into a tizzy over some little thing, or perhaps gone the other way and convinced yourself that whatever you were doing or not doing was acceptable conduct?

I know for me personally, my emotions or desires will frequently lead my mind in either of those directions if I don’t filter the process through a litmus test of God’s Reality or carefully compare the tint and color to His Palette of Truth.

This is very important, because the rationalization capabilities of the human mind (if left to its own devices and not Spiritually guided) will all too often produce color blind results.

Most all of us have heard and/or used the following rationalizations:

“Everybody’s doing it.”  (The “Aw, gee, Mom!” argument that somehow large numbers of participation (whether real or perceived) make it right.

“No harm, no foul.”  (Well, God didn’t strike me dead, so what I did must not have been too bad.)

“Live and let live.”  (He doesn’t bother me; I won’t bother him.)

“It’s not my place to say anything.”  (It’s not in my job description.)

Recently, I listened to a dialog of pros and cons between members of a professional listserv to which I belong through my estate planning law practice.  The question raised by one member was whether or not there could be legal consequences (maybe even criminal charges) brought against a client who married a third party just to obtain social security benefits as a “surviving spouse” when that party dies.  This marriage of convenience was being considered, because the inquiring member’s client and the client’s real “spouse” were homosexual and not entitled to social security surviving spouse benefits from one another.

Within a short time, the dialog grew into a discussion with several members participating and quickly became an argument as to the “rights” of homosexuals with one side of the argument being that since 4-10% of the population (the accuracy of those numbers was also debated) is now homosexual, they should be recognized and given the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples.  If that were to occur, the argument went, there would be no need to fabricate a marriage of convenience to obtain social security surviving “spouse” benefits.

One of the elements of that argument was the human rationalization that:  “Everybody’s doing it, so we should accept it and change our laws to accommodate it.”  (It’s the “Aw, gee, Mom, all my friends are doing it, so that makes it an okay thing to do” argument.)

Though as humans we may want to rationalize in that direction and reach out to others in love as a commendable action, we have to remember that God is the One who provides the rules for living.  For Him, the argument that “everyone’s doing it” or that the percentages of participation have increased will not cause Him to alter His holy ways.

Perhaps the two best known examples of this in the Bible are:  “Noah and the Ark” and “Sodom and Gomorrah” found in Genesis chapters 6 and 19, respectively.  Though virtually “everyone was doing it” (living a life style contrary to God’s teachings), the known world, except for Noah and his family, was destroyed in the first instance, and in the second, the entire population of two cities and the surrounding valleys, except for Lot’s family, were destroyed because of their iniquities.

In the latter, even Abraham used human rationalization during his conversation with God seeking to save those cities if just a few righteous men could be found (beginning with fifty and moving down to ten).  Though God said he would spare the cities under those circumstances, it was not for the sake of the multitudes violating His laws, but for a few who might be found striving to live as God required.

A few years back (possibly even ten or more), I read an article in the Los Angeles Times arguing that the Bible needed to be re-written in order to be more tolerant of mankind’s society and culture.  The writer’s position was actually one step past rationalization.  Knowing that the Bible could not in any way be reasoned or interpreted as approval or acceptance of what the world has become, his solution was for mankind to write their own rules.  

In other words, if the Creator and Ruler of the universe doesn’t suit your fancy, then declare and reason that you have the right and ability to be the creator and rule maker yourself.   Such is perhaps man’s most egregious rationalization.

The second rationalization phrase set forth early in this P.E.A.R. is closely related to the first and need not be addressed separately.  However, the third and fourth present a slightly different twist to the human mind’s rationalization process – somewhat like the flip side of the same coin.  They’re similar, yet different from the first two.

“Live and let live.”  (He doesn’t bother me; I won’t bother him.)

“It’s not my place to say anything.”  (It’s not in my job description.)

The reasoning of the mind on these is basically this:  if we can’t change something into what we want it to be, just ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist.  Don’t get involved.

When it comes to the Bible and God’s teachings, this is what I call Spiritual Malpractice.

Ken Sande in his book “The Peace Maker” puts it this way.

Any doctor who diagnoses cancer but fails to report it to a patient would be guilty of malpractice.  After all, a patient can be properly treated only after the disease has been identified.  Sin [all disobedience of God] works in the same way; left undiagnosed and untreated, it causes grief and spiritual deterioration – leading ultimately to death [eternal separation from God].

Every believer and follower of Christ is charged or entrusted (somewhat like a doctor) with a biblical Hippocratic oath of ethical conduct to save as many in the world from the disease of sin as they possibly can.  It is part of their Christian job description whether they want to admit it or not.  If they remain silent, they commit Spiritual malpractice and will be held accountable for their inaction on judgment day.

* * * * *

Avoiding the errors of human rationalization (trying to make Reality into something we’re willing to accept) rather than honoring God’s Word, or stepping forward to be ambassadors of Christ and proclaimers of His Kingdom are not easy to do.  Both will bring consternation from the world and charges of being intolerant, judgmental and self righteous.

So, what’s the answer?

Do it anyway, because that’s what God commands.  Believers are to be watchmen and to warn those who are dying and if the believer fails to do so, the blood of those who could have been saved but were not will be on that believer’s hands.  (Ezekiel 3:16-21). 

Even exposing the darkness (speaking against conduct occurring contrary to the light of God’s Word) is an affirmative requirement.  If action is not taken, a tacit acceptance or approval may be inferred.  (Eph. 5:7-16)

Always speak the truth in love, however, with the goal of salvation not condemnation.  Those who hear what you say may still take offense, and you may even feel that you bumbled the opportunity.  Yet, the Holy Spirit will use it for good and perhaps be the beginning of a seed that leads to Life.

The bottom line is this: Whatever you do, don’t engage in human rationalization or Spiritual malpractice when it comes to God’s Word and commandments.  Be the messenger and take the ridicule just as Christ did as that is your purpose on this earth.

Have a great week!  (and to my family, love Dad)

Bob Alderman

083105 – updated 8/26/08

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRT AND CHRISTIANS©

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRT AND CHRISTIANS ©

by Robert E. Alderman, Jr. 

The primary foundation of the Cancel Culture’s mindset are principles developed as an offshoot from Marxism known as the Critical Race Theory. CRT hates free speech, reason or debate, capitalism, facts, truth, history and God just as Marxism did – but CRT uses race, gender and other herd mentality divisive tools to attack Christian-Judaeo values and safeguards in our Constitution rather than the single, workers v. management approach of historical Marxism.

With its broadened points of attack through emotional rhetoric, fear tactics and bullying alongside censorship partnerships with big tech multi-media and liberal news organizations, the CRT’s propaganda has become an avalanche roaring down the mountain sides of America seeking to destroy everything in its path. 

If you are not yet thoroughly aware of what CRT is, what it stands for, how it uses “identity politics” to create hate and division, now controls the-we-hate-America-platform of the democrat party, AND is actively striving to infiltrate every corner of our educational systems – please use the link in the endnote below to read a great, eye-opening overview published recently by The Heritage Foundation

The article is a long-read, but well worth the time – for yourself as well as anyone else with whom you may wish to share it.

Although I expect to write subsequent articles and provide additional reference materials related to the subject of this P.E.A.R. , for now I simply want to paraphrase a poem I came across many years ago that succinctly expresses the primary difference between Christians and the CRT Cancel Culture:

Racists and sexists is what they shout, 

And then draw circles to shut us out.

But with our God and the will to win; 

We draw circles to pull them in!

[no source reference for this paraphrase]

Until next time,

Have a great week,

Bob

(and to my family, Love, DAD)

Link to: Critical Race Theory, the New Intolerance, and Its Grip on America, The Heritage Foundation, BACKGROUNDER, No. 3567 – December 7, 2020: https://www.heritage.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/BG3567.pdf 

DO NOT BE DECEIVED – PART 4a

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 Do Not Be Deceived© – Part 4a

(Book Review of: We Will Not Be Silenced)

Chapter 2-3: The Progressives’ Agenda: Hate and Destruction

by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

I am anxious to get to the last chapter of the book in this review series, as that’s where the “answer” to the chaos and anti-God perspectives being ram-rodded by socialist Marxism in America is given by the author. Although there are short statements throughout the book pertaining to “strengthening what remains” of a righteous America, the last chapter is where he addresses that issue directly as to what is the correct viewpoint or counter-action for Christ followers during this time of darkness.

However, the middle chapters 2-9 contain important and valuable insights that every American should know, come to understand and recognize in order to avoid having their minds further deceived, AND to recover from the deceptions which have already engulfed us.

In those middle chapters, the author exposes the multi-headed agenda of the socialistic Marxist’s ultra-left/progressive mind-set which is one of hate for and the destruction of everything that constitutes the American way of life – especially its Judaeo-Christian foundation.

At the beginning of this series, I listed the author’s chapter titles that provide brief labels for their respective content.  In the table of contents, he also adds a one-sentence description as follows:

Chapter 1: Title: How We Got Here – Description: A survey of the forces used to dismantle the core values that built up America.

Chapter 2: Title: Rewrite the Past to Control the Future – Description: The strategies being used to delegitimize our Judaeo-Christian past in order to make way for a wholly secular and Godless society.

Chapter 3: Title: Use Diversity to Divide and Destroy – Description: How harmful cultural ideologies are keeping the races in perpetual, endless conflict.

Chapter 4: Title: Freedom of Speech for Me, but not for thee – Description: The growing trend to stifle and shame those who uphold conservative or Christian worldviews.

Chapter 5: Title: Sell It as a Noble Cause – Description: How propaganda is used to shape a populations’s perception of reality so they will not change their minds even when confronted by compelling counter-evidence.

Chapter 6: Title: Sexualize the Children: Description: How school curricula and popular culture are leading our children into sexual confusion and warped ideas of personal identity.

Chapter 7: Title: Capitalism Is the Disease; Socialism Is the Cure – Description: Why socialism is initially attractive yet ultimately leads to failure, and how capitalism can create wealth that furthers Christian work everywhere.

Chapter 8: Title: Join with Radical Islam to Destroy America – Description: Why and how two different worldviews are willing to set aside their differences to eradicate Christianity and capitalism.

Chapter 9: Title: Vilify! Vilify! Vilify! – Description: How disagreements today are no longer resolved with mutual respect and civility, but through shaming and outrageous denunciations.

If you have not yet obtained this book and have already read it for yourself, I continue to recommend that you do.  It’s simply the age old wise advice: “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”. In other words, if we come to understand what we’re dealing with, we can then take proactive preventive measures or at least be better prepared to take the right action when we face the devil-prompted changes that are happening – and will continue to get worse if the train wreck speeding down the tracks of America is not heeded.

Again, the best way for me to express the substance of each chapter is to share a few direct quotes.  In doing so, I will paraphrase the description of the chapter in a straight forward statement of the democrat party’s agenda covered by the author in that chapter:

CHAPTER 2: Lie about and erase American history in order to write a new and false history:

The first step in liquidating [the word now being used in leftist politics and media is “reprograming] a people is to erase its memory. Destroy, books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history.  Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was.” [a quote in this book from “The Velvet Revolution of 1989”]

The secularists are insisting that we turn a corner so that we lose sight of the Judaeo-Christian influence of our past.

They know that if we lose our history, we will lose our future, a future they wish to control.

Standing in the way of the secularist agenda is the US Constitution…that guarantees our basic freedoms, the separation of powers and due process.

[The agenda by] The radical secularists is to establish a permanent grip on power in the government [by packing/altering the US Supreme Court from nine justices to fifteen or more and then appointing anti-Constitution/anti-God men or women to the additional slots; and attempt to increase the number of states – that would give them additional House of Representative and Senate and abolishing]… the Electoral College, which helps to ensure that all states have a voice in national politics. 

[These changes would eliminate all the “checks and balances” created by the constitution and give them control of the government in perpetuity. We would then be a one-party-dictatorship-of-do-as-they-say-shut-up-or-else-country!]

CHAPTER 3:  Seek to create a never-ending division between races, genders and income levels within the population through non-stop claims of racism, sexism, slavery, etc.

The democrat socialist battle cry is: Don’t solve problems, use them!  Stir up discontent. Create Guilt.

Race is their pretext, power is their goal.

Their assertion is: If [people] in one group underachieves it’s the fault of the achievers; if one group is poor, it’s the fault of the wealthy.

Remember, the goal is not to foster unity or common ground, but to assign blame and ensure that people will be put into categories so that tensions between groups can be enflamed and maintained.

The German-American Marxist philosopher, Hebert Marcuse had a strategy for destroying the influence of Christianity…He proposed to exploit groups that were being depressed, then blame Christianity and capitalism for their oppression.  This, he believed, would hasten the demise of the enemies of Marxism and help establish the Marxist state.  In all of this, God was seen as the ultimate oppressor.

In the world of political correctness, arguments are resolved [not by rational debate of pros and cons, truth and facts, but] by social force and shaming [and violence].

[This agenda is being pushed under the “woke” banner (see End Note 1) whereby so-called injustices, racism, sexism, etc. are being “seen” and asserted in every nook and corner to the point of absurdity – all for the purpose of generating hate and destruction! Just during the time I have been working on this article, both Dr. Susses’ books and Mr. Potato Head are now being called racist and sexist!!!  The extent of the democrat/progressive party’s hate and destroy mindset seems to reach a higher state of absurdity everyday.]

Surely the so-called hard sciences like math are objective, not subject to the social justice and race theories that are applied to disciplines such as sociology, history, and politics.  But no more, these theories are now being applied to mathematics. [In Seattle Public Schools math is now considered and is being taught as oppressive whereby] a new ethnic studies curriculum will teach students that ancient mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by western culture. Math is accused of fostering a litany of more serious crimes: imperialism, dehumanization, and oppression of marginalized persons.

[The actions and words being used by the socialistic Marxist movement in seeking to carryout their agenda] …can be so intimidating that the fear of being misunderstood can tempt us to retreat into the safety of silence. This would be a mistake. Thankfully, most black leaders welcome honest discussion without pre-judging people because of the color of their skin. And that should be true of all of us.

[Bold wording and underling in the quoted text has been added by me.]

* * * * *

Many more substantive statements from the author of could be shared from just these two chapters (2 and 3).  However, I try to keep each P.E.A.R. to three pages or less.

I will continue in the following parts of this series to provide more of his disclosures.

In the meantime, buy the book; read it and share it with others – if you are not already doing all of that!  Also, share with others the realities of what is playing out right in front of us and encourage them to follow the Fox News Network (and even some foreign news networks) where these realities are reported – that are otherwise being censored by the mainstream media.

In spite of all this, every day is a day the Lord has made; we will be glad and rejoice in it! So…

Have a great week!

(And to my family, Love, DAD)

End Notes: 

1. “WOKE”: First used in the 1940s, the term has resurfaced in recent years as a concept that symbolizes perceived awareness of social issues and movement. By the late 2010s, woke had been adopted as a more generic slang term associated with left-wing politics, progressive or socially liberal causes such as anti-racismLGBT rightsfeminism and environmentalism. It has also been the subject of memes, ironic usage and criticism for its methods and consequences.[2][3] Its widespread use since 2014 is a result of the Black Lives Matter movement. (from Wikipedia)

DO NOT BE DECEIVED – PART 3

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Digging for TRUTH

 Do Not Be Deceived© – Part 3

(Book Review of: “We Will Not Be Silenced“)

Chapter 1 – Where are we and what do we do now?

by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

In less than a month since President Bidden’s inauguration, he and his appointees have already  set targets and even implemented several executive orders for the dismantling of America.

Prior to the election, too many American voters were blind to the democrats’ Marxism-socialistic agenda of what would happen if that party gained control of the presidency and Congress.

Perhaps this review of Chapter 1 in “We Will Not Be Silenced”  by Erwin Lutzer will open more eyes to the realities at hand; explain a little bit of how we got here and give a glimpse of what we  now must do.

In the first two paragraphs of chapter one, Lutzer provides this quick synopsis of where we are:

The secular left does not believe that America can be fixed;  they say it must be destroyed.

[Their goal] is a future in which every one will be equal “on their terms” and the disparities [they claim exist] of the past will be read about only in history books [which they intend to re-write to depict only the “history” they want people to believe – but not the real history of America]

Those who resist this utopian vision are to be vilified, bullied, and shamed until they admit to the mistakes [claimed by the left to be reality] of the past and embrace the secular left’s great hope for the future. 

The reality – as the author goes on to address – is that Marxist socialism never has been successful in any country at any time, but rather brings only suffering, poverty and loss of hope to the people.

He also identifies sources of wickedness that has brought us to this point and explains it is not something that has suddenly occurred, but has existed as a philosophy/faith beneath the surface of America for at least a century.  The reason these “isms” have not been at the forefront of American politics until now is the fact that the strong Judeo-Christian principles upon which our country was founded and followed for two hundred years have previously kept them at bay. 

Now that Marxist-socialism serves as the banner of the democrat party, their goals are exactly the same as what has always been the Marxist philosophy, namely: to establish state supremacy over all aspects of life for the people –  by suppressing virtually all individual rights and freedoms

This philosophical religion was first implemented around 1917 in Russia and subsequently failed (as have all flavors of socialism whenever and wherever attempted). Yet, its devil-based tenets were adopted by some individuals and organizations in America, existing under the radar for most of us until the turn of this century. 

Except for the Fox News Network, all social media and news organizations by neglect or intention did not report its covert rise in the democrat party.

Chapter 1 is where the author identifies supporters of this movement, including some of their books and the processes, by which its infiltration gained control of our educational institutions, the minds of current democrat party leadership and their political platform.

He describes that platform – straight from the annuals of Marxist writings – as encompassing five “pillars” by which the functionality of any nation are defined and governed: social, political, educational, religious and, most importantly, family life.

Proponents of Marxism desire to become “god” over everyone of those pillars – either because they have zero belief in the one true God, or believing their wisdom is greater than God’s with respect to right and wrong, morals and how government should be structured and administered.

Thus, the current leadership of the democrat party have bought into Karl Marx’s philosophy that the five pillars of a free society (under which Judeo-Christian principles have made America great and the number one designation for immigrants world-wide for more than two hundred years) must be torn down before a nation can be changed into a new, anti-God economic, racial and moral culture.

Very, very briefly, here are some of the author’s commentary applicable to the Marxist agenda:

[It]…seeks to neuter the police force to destabilize the existing social order; they know that anarchy is an important step toward destroying capitalism and Western culture.

It emphasizes and tries to create a focus on victimhood through constant accusations and claims of sexism, racism, religious bigotry, etc. – not with the intention of bringing about reconciliation, but, instead to keep the races [and other cultural identity groups] in conflict with each other.

The biblical roles in marriage and faith in God are deemed obsolete and harmful [thus, it seeks] to give women the ability to be promiscuous and still be able to decide whether they want to bear children or not.

Illegitimacy would serve the Marxist cause well because out-of-wedlock children…can more easily be directed to secular values and state benefits.

Marxists believe one of the benefits of mothers joining the workforce is that their children must then attend state-sponsored day care centers and schools where they can be taught the errors [from the Marxist perspective]  of creationism, the church and the Bible. Children can also be indoctrinated about the evils of capitalism and the benefits of socialism.

For this to become a reality, the education of children has to be taken out of the hands of the parents and surrendered to the state.

The doctrine that men and women are alike in all aspects (in fact, we are now told that even a man can give birth to a child) is now an article of faith that permeates the minds of many progressives.

[Thus] if biblical teaching about marriage can be redefined, then social order can be transformed.  

Homosexual activists learned early on that the advancement of their agenda can be achieved through bullying, threats, and when necessary, violence.

…when it comes to cultural Marxism, science, history, biology and reason must be cast aside to maintain current orthodoxies. Freedom of speech and diverse opinions are strictly forbidden – or else.

[Organizations today that are dedicated to this agenda] includes black lives matter using a slogan that hides its real agenda…One of its cofounders admitted, “We are trained Marxists”.

* * * * *

The conclusion to chapter 1 in the book is given on four pages, (36-39) the substance of which is found in the following excerpts – including an introduction as to the purpose for which he has written this book as well as what he sees as America’s future:

The purpose of this book is not to inspire us to “take America back”. We have neither the will nor the clout to reverse same sex marriage laws or to halt culture’s obsession with destroying sexual norms and erasing our shared history.

It’s highly unlikely we will ever reverse the laws that restrict religious freedom in the military or return public education back to the control of the parents rather than school boards that proudly adopt the most recent sexually liberalized curriculum.

So, I write not so much to reclaim the culture as to reclaim the church….I want to inspire the church to courageously stand against the pressures of our culture that seek to compromise our message and silence our witness.

This is not a time for us to hide behind our church walls, but rather to prepare ourselves and our families to stand bravely against an ominous future that is already upon us.

It’s vital for us to understand that behind the headlines is a raging spiritual battle that can be confronted only by prayer and repentance followed by action in keeping with repentance.

The America we thought we knew is no more…we might not recognize our true condition until we wake up and realize our wings have been severed.

I write this book for anyone who has a burden to “strengthen what remains”, as Jesus told the church in Sardis. Revelation 3:3  … that is what the last chapter is based on…[and]  I believe it is with Jesus is saying to the church today.

The underlying philosophies and attitudes advocated by radical secularists are so dominant in our society that they must be identified and seen as a threat to our freedoms and the strength of our churches.

I pray that you will become better informed, more challenged to speak up for your faith, and more willing to act on the conviction that the day of complacent Christianity must come to an end.

We know that only God can rescue us from coming to destruction. We must call on Him as never before.

END

Have a great week!

(And to my family, Love, DAD)

I Then Will Be A Toad!

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I THEN WILL BE A TOAD!

by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

One of my long ago, collected “quick thoughts” seems applicable to the current waive of censorship and attacks on free speech by the so-called progressive movement of the extreme left:

Two men were arguing an issue when the first man said to the second:

“Think as I think or you are abominably wicked; you are nothing but a toad!”

The second man after careful thought regarding the options that were given to him, replied:

“I then will be a toad.”

[I have no source for this, but the propriety of the reasoned conclusion is self-evident.]

In America, we have always had the right to be “toads” – i.e. incognito “princes”.

Without the free and constant right to engage in free speech, through arguments, disagreements, debates, everyday conversation and elections, neither side nor third party-on-lookers are given the opportunity to truly evaluate, learn and grow – either in the direction of modifying or becoming more confident in their current perspectives.

Gregory Koukl in his book “Tactics” expresses it this way: “…when arguments are few, error abounds.” And: “Those who refuse to dispute have a poor chance of growing in their understanding of truth.”

* * * *

Since and even before America declared its independence, the never unwavering, until now, pillar of free speech – the centurion of all other rights – has been summarized in this proclamation known by all of us – even the extreme, progressive left:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!”

Unfortunately and sadly, the progressive left leaders – currently in political control of America creating ever expanding censorship and banning free speech pertaining to their platforms and objectives – have: a) no rational support for their positions (otherwise they would not be opposed to argument on such and would, in fact, welcome it); b) are not interested in Truth, and c) want to preclude everyone else from pursuing it as well.

Still, Truth will ultimately prevail!

Have a great week!

Bob

(and to my family, Love, DAD

Light of God in the Coming Darkness of Socialism©

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Light of God in the Coming Darkness of Socialism ©

by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

Anyone in this country who still thinks the democrats’ “cancel culture” agenda of hate will be directed against only a few, big targets and never against heretofore law abiding and God fearing  American citizenship needs to think again, and again and again – until they wakeup to the writing on the wall and reality as to what is happening in America!

The ugly head of progressive-socialist-Marxism has already begun – faster and more hateful than most people may have expected. 

This includes Parler being shutdown as a social media conduit for free speech; music artist Pink having his contract cancelled for simply being present at a Trump rally; big tech and media executives acting as self-appointed, quasi antichrist czars totally disregarding the provisions of our Constitution and biblical principles; book publishers engaging in censorship by breaching their contracts with conservative and/or Christian authors; and companies discriminatorily terminating or threatening to terminate employees as well as seeking to block all prospects of future employment to anyone who has supported Trump or in anyway stands-up for moral decency, individual freedoms and absolute truth.

The January 2021 issue of “DECISION” magazine has several articles addressing this issue. I touch on two of them in this P.E.A.R.™ – one on the darkness of socialism and one on the Light of God.

The Darkness of Socialism – is made clear in “The Coming Socialist Storm” by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. – and needs to be fully grasped in the minds of all Americans:

Socialism…is a false faith…which has its roots in Marxism.  …one of the deadliest and most destructive ideologies ever to effect humanity. It produces poverty, not wealth. It undermines human dignity and destroys economies. Promising utopia, it delivers disaster.

True socialism requires state [government] ownership as the means of production, the means of distribution and the assignment of labor. Socialism sacrifices liberty as it promises equality. But the equality never comes. The only winners in a socialist system are the bureaucrats in the vast, all powerful government that socialism requires.

Socialism contradicts or subverts everyone of [God’s] economic principles: …the dignity of work (Eph 4:28), that those who refuse to work should not eat (2 Thess 3:10), …affirms private property (Ex 22:7), condemns theft (Ex 20:15), covetousness (Ex 20:17), Saving (Prov 13:22), land ownership (Acts 4:34-37), investment (Matt 25:27) and that the laborer is worthy of his wages (Luke 10:7)

[The progressive left] may say they only want a welfare state, but the policies they now champion, like the “Green New Deal” or a national health care system, actually require some form of hard socialism and socialism means taking someone else’s money and sacrificing individual possessions[Thus] they cannot escape demanding policies that lead to human misery, economic deprivation and denial of liberty.

The policies they are proposing are more radical than most voters realize.

It is market capitalism, not socialism, that since 1990 has lifted more than a billion people worldwide out of extreme poverty.

[We] need to also recognize that socialism thrives on driving antagonism throughout the culture…packaged often…as a movement toward unity. That is a lie.  It’s a call for class warfare in the United States.

In his courageous 1978 commencement address at Harvard University, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn declared that “socialism of any type and shade leads to a total destruction of the human spirit and to a leveling of mankind into death”.

[Underling and bold emphases added]

* * * * *

The Light of God:

Yet, even in the coming darkness of socialist Marxism, every person having a personal relationship with God has the assurance and joy of God’s inextinguishable Light – expressed by Robert J. Morgan in his article “An Unstoppable Church in an Unstable World”:

I have found comfort in a handful of words spoken 2,000 years ago by a non-Christian.  His name is Gamaliel, a leading Jewish rabbi in New Testament days …who watched as thousands of people began turning to Jesus [when the governing rulers then were also trying to restrict and control Christians].

Paraphrasing famed preacher Vance Havner’s words [who expressed the perspective of Christians as they endured the persecution witnessed by Gamaliel]: 

They can’t take away our wealth, because it’s stored up in Heaven. They can’t take away our freedom, because we’re free in Christ. They can’t take away our happiness, because our joy is within us. They can’t defeat us, because we’re more than conquerors. They can’t silence us, because the Word of God cannot be chained. They can’t kill us, because we have eternal life.

[Emphasis added]

This is why “In God We Trust” has been and always will be the Truth, the reality, the ultimate strength and hope of Americans living as spiritual aliens in this country whose supreme citizenship is the kingdom of heaven.

END

Have a great week!

(And to my family, Love, DAD)

Ready or Not; You’re at War!©

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Ready or Not; You’re at War!©

by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.

[Preface: This P.E.A.R. TM was originally written and published in 2013 – prior to the existence of this blog. In light of 2020 and the in-fighting occurring in America and likely to escalate in 2021 in our political arenas and against individual freedoms, its content seems even more applicable now.]

Have you ever had a day, a week or longer when you just got hammered by life but you couldn’t seem to figure out why?  Or, maybe you’re currently going through a period of time in which the dice of living keep coming up snake eyes.

This can be especially true – actually even more so – if you’re trying seriously to find your way to Christ and to live as His disciple, because there’s a war going on for your soul.  And, whether you’re ready or not, you’re at ground zero of that battle!

You’ll understand a little more about the what and the why of the happenings in your life by taking a moment to briefly review the history of the world and the battle that’s been raging for eons within it between God and the devil.  It’s a battle in which the human race (you, me and others) serve as both the focal point of the battle as well as potential warriors for one side or the other.  

The existence of this war is why Walter Henrichsen in “Disciples Are Made Not Born” says that Jesus “invaded” the world of human history.  It’s also the reason Jesus said Himself, “Do not think I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”  (Mt.  10:34)

A short explanation of why and how this war began is found in Revelation 12:1-5, 7-8 and 17:

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.  She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.  Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red Dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads…  The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child at the moment it was born.  She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter…  And there was war in Heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon, and the Dragon and his angels fought back.  But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven…  Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Thus, the devil became the Prince of darkness and ruler of earth bent on making war against those who are drawn to God and seek to follow Christ.  Because of that, the world (until Jesus frees it) is “enemy territory” – with much of mankind caught in the devil’s prisons of deceit and lies  – designed and intended to prevent us from receiving the treasures of life with Christ.

This is why Jesus said (John 10:10), “I have come that they [meaning you, me and all others who accept the message of the Cross and follow Him] may have life to the full.”  His purpose is to make available to us that which we can never have in the prisons of Satan- where, the thief [the devil] comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” 

It was in the Garden of Eden that the red Dragon (the Devil) used his lies, trickery and deceit to take Adam and Eve as his first prisoners.  From there, he moved on to their children and all who have been born into this world since then; continuing thereafter with his same successful strategies in all aspects of our lives today.  

This is the war, ready or not; want it or not, that we’re in; fighting not for earthly direction – which is trivial and of short duration – but for the eternity of our souls.

John Eldredge in “Waking the Dead” (with “dead” being what we are spiritually in our souls if we’re not living for Christ) reminds us that having life to its fullest is not only what God intended for us in the Garden of Eden, but also is what He offers to restore to us through His invitation to join the Army of Christ.  It is because of that invitation that the war exists.  

The devil’s attacks against us will happen not only after we’ve joined God’s Army, but also in the very process of our recruitment – because the devil, as the Enemy of God, wants to impose different marching orders and a different destination for our lives.  

In this war, Jesus’ plan or purpose was foretold in Isaiah 61:1 which reads: “God has sent me…  to heal the brokenhearted; proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners.”  Mankind, (you, me and others) are those prisoners, captives and brokenhearted.  So long as we remain in the grips of the devil held by the invisible bars of lies and deceit that he speaks to the thoughts of our minds – just as he did in Eden – believing that we don’t need God or can do quite well without Him, the devil is perfectly content to leave us alone.  

However, if you try to escape for yourself or to lead a rebellion to free others from his prisons, the devil will come hard against you.

Walter Henrichens (again in Disciples Are Made Not Born) calls this war “a battle against the gates of hell”.  To succeed in that battle or war, we need (as the Apostle Paul tells us in Eph. 6:11), “to put on the full armor of God so that you’ll be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

The reason we need the armor provided by God is because this war is not of the flesh, but of the spirit (it’s a battle for our souls), and thus our weapons cannot be of the flesh (of our own making and effort) for our flesh and strength are weak.  Instead, we need weapons of divine power to destroy the devil’s fortresses. (2 Cor 10:4)

* * * * *

In closing this P.E.A.R., it’s important to remember that we are not on this earth to kill time.  We are here with the opportunity to keep our souls from being killed – and then to serve in God’s Army to free others as well.

Satan desires to keep us from knowing that and, thus, to keep us from fighting this battle.  He would be perfectly content to have us stick our heads in the sand and pay no attention to the war.  If that doesn’t work and we begin leaning toward God, the devil sends his demons and warriors to discourage and intimidate us.  At other times, he will try to entice us into his snare or to sweet talk us into believing this is not our war to fight.

Do not let him do that (to you or others you know).  Wake up and dress yourself in God’s armor and join the fight for your life and your soul.  Because…ready or not, you are at war.

Have a great week!  (And to my family, Love Dad)

Bob Alderman