Better to Reign in Hell than Serve in Heaven?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Saul AlinskyThe midterm national elections are upon us in a few weeks. Some have called politics "a blood sport" and with all the drama and personal destruction going on, one might wonder what makes people want to run for office at all. Surely some want to help and serve others and make the world a better place. For some the motive may be more about pride or ego to make a name for one. But if we are honest, it seems clear in this hour that some of our leaders run for office to gain power and control over others. Sadly, for some, power appears to be a drug or narcotic that becomes as addictive as alcohol or cocaine. A few leaders just crave the "high" they get when they taste power in office and seem willing to do anything to get elected...literally anything.

Now deep down inside we all feel powerless at times. We live in a fallen world and there are times when we all would like to be in control and gain personal power. This attempt to gain personal power and control is humanity's way to deal with the need to replace the Lord and His power and control. After all, if we believed the Lord is the Lord, Almighty and in control of everything, we wouldn't go after power and control at all because it doesn't belong to us. However, since most people don't believe this truth they go after power and control anyway.

Whatever Happened to the Fear of the Lord?

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Fear the LordEvery poll today tells us that the vast majority of people believe in God or some sort of Deity...over 80% in America. However, the real problem we face today is that people seem to have little fear, awe or reverence of the Lord that deeply changes their behavior. Instead, our belief in God has often just come down to acknowledging God's existence, but not much more. This gap between belief in God and a healthy fear of the Lord that really shapes how we live is the spiritual crisis of the day.

Now this shift and change in how we live out our spiritual lives has been largely centered in the growing loss of a reverential fear and awe of the Lord. It is a change that has been growing for a generation or so. It has been created by a society that has been shaped by growing prosperity, incredible technology and rapidly changing moral standards. As these changes have transformed our Nation, the idea of an "old fashioned, moral God" than can judge our behavior and punish our sin has become less popular. This newer view of the Lord has even led some in the professing Church to give the Lord a "makeover" to attract more potential converts to a more user-friendly deity. The reverence and fear of the Lord has been replaced with what a church or ministry has to offer religious consumers.  Any attempt to discuss God's holiness, judgments, our sin or moral accountability has fallen on hard times. And if a church ever mentions the existence of Hell and a final judgment, for many it is time to find a new church home.

The Accuser Lives

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DevilIf someone was to ask me if I believed that the devil exists and why, here is my answer. Firstly, the Bible does not hesitate to discuss the existence of the devil and the spiritual battles we face each day connected to that reality. How can anyone look at the Lord Jesus' public ministry and conclude otherwise? In numerous passages such as Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:21-28, Luke 8:26-39, John 8:39-44 our Lord was engaged in spiritual warfare with the demonic realm. That battle continues through our Lord's public ministry and consummates in Revelation 20:10 with the destruction of the demonic realm. So, the main reason I believe in the devil is because of what the Bible says.

However, the 2nd reason I believe that a devil exists is watching the history of the world and things that happen in life, especially this current hour. How else can you explain a world being overwhelmed with lies and accusations that are designed to destroy people's lives and gain power? Such a spirit is not entirely of this world. Discerning these issues is hard for people, including Christians. People don't like to mention such things because they are unsettling and unseemly. And yet, the battle underway in America today cannot be simply explained away with politics. There are clearly huge things going on today that point to the existence of the devil and a spiritual battle that is increasing in intensity as our Lord Jesus' return is drawing near.

America & the Rise of Political Violence

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Ernst RohmThe Bible tells us that there is never anything new under the Sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). And with that thought, we have reached a pivotal moment in American history that needs to be understood and discerned by everyone, whatever our political views as we face the future. This current moment in American history has already happened before, but few ever believed it would emerge in America. You see right now we are watching the slow but steady growth of sanctioned violence that is beginning to surround our political disagreements. It started small, but it is growing each day. Do you see it? If this trend continues to grow, and is left unchallenged, it will ultimately lead us to an America none of us recognizes.

This movement toward sanctioned political violence started small like these things always do. It mainly started when people started telling us that we just couldn't say certain things. It was called "Political Correctness" and people were told there were just things we shouldn't and/or couldn't say. People were told they couldn't say certain things about marriage, sexuality, the family, gender, history, science, Israel, police, immigration, patriotism.... the list goes on. Every topic is on this list, by the way. The reason these topics were "off limits" was because they made some people feel bad. Some even felt hurt or hated by some of this speech. As a result, a new term began to grow in America called "hate speech" and it seems to be gaining influence and power by the day. You see its influence and control in our media, on our college campuses, in our tech companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook and in public discourse. Most people used to turn to the 1st Amendment of our Constitution to protect our speech and differences of opinion, but more and more people seem to be intimidated by the growing cultural pressure to say nothing. Increasing numbers of Americas are afraid of speaking out at work or in their communities about anything. Many people now believe that if they speak out they may not only face public scorn but violence. That is true because for a vocal minority of Americans freedom of speech is never seen as a right that justifies "hate speech" on any level. Sadly, no one really seems to ever know what "hate speech" really is, but that is not even a discussion point for public discourse for those exact reasons. By eliminating needed healthy, public debate on issues, we have forced our society into a bunker of political correctness to hide...and the worst is yet to come.

What Happens When "Feelings" Rule the World?

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EmojisOne of the major, unseen battles going on today in our lives is the attempt to define the relationship between truth and feelings. This conflict is at the heart of the entire Biblical story of redemption, yet sadly it is rarely discussed today. So then, what is the relationship between truth and feelings and why is this issue so important to the Lord and His work in our lives?

For a long time, our society has been moving toward to a place where feelings define reality instead of the truth. In other words, if people feel something is right it must be right, even if it makes no sense or is hurtful and destructive. As an example, if people feel that 2+2=5 then that must be correct, and it becomes the new standard against which mathematics must be measured. The real message of a feelings-driven world is that truth doesn't exist outside of a person's subjective experience of reality. In such a world, facts never matter. Most of us have been in such a conversation with someone where the facts didn't matter, and the conversation ended up becoming an argument that went nowhere. Sadly, this exact issue is where our media, culture and society has been moving for years...and the worst is yet to come. When feelings take over and run the world you are headed for a disaster. That is true because reality eventually shows up at our door and it usually gets ugly! As an example, just imagine filing our taxes using 2+2=5 math. Sooner or later the IRS would audit us, and we might even end up in prison, as a result of our feelings about math and how we define truth.

Making Sense of the Chaos...Rebuilding the Tower of Babel

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EU Parliament StrasbourgDoes anyone remember the "good old days?" I do. I remember growing up in a sheltered life in suburban Chicago. Life was good. We had fun summers that included swimming at the beach, camping trips, picnics with my family, fireworks on the 4th of July and a good public school where I played football and ran track. People knew Communism was wrong because communists didn't believe in God and we could sing Christmas carols at Christmas. People went to the same-sex locker rooms for PE (Physical Education) and boys never thought they were girls. No one ever talked about killing or impeaching the President in public and we had "In God We Trust" on our money. Men opened doors for women and kids went to the Principal's Office when they caused trouble instead of a lawyer. For some of us such things truly seem like another world today because it was, and I miss those days for myself, my children and America.

And while I miss the "good old days," I am not naïve enough to say that we didn't have problems back then. I was almost drafted during the Vietnam War and some of my friends were experimenting with drugs, so life was far from perfect. But these days it almost seems that we are seeing life move into a level of personal and societal chaos that is hard to explain. A good argument could be made that it is unlike anything seen in human history and it seems to grow more chaotic by the week. Honestly, who would believe some of the stuff going on today? I don't have the room in this brief article to cover the chaos. You all know what I am talking about. How much longer can we go on like this? Does this chaos have an endpoint, or do we just have to get used to it? These are but a few of the questions that everyone should be asking, but few seem to be anymore...even in church. Perhaps many feel there aren't any answers, or at least ones they can ask without offending someone in our politically correct world.

The Resurrection of Karl Marx

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Karl MarxWe are living in an incredible time. At the heart of the drama unfolding today is watching America fighting for its identity as a Nation. Every day there seems to be a new battle going on that is intent on dividing Americans and weakening our Nation on the world stage. Sadly, these battles seem to be largely coming from inside our Nation rather than from other nations. It is a spiritual and political war that has largely been created by the American media and progressive political leaders that is dividing the public against itself. This growing division has increasingly become more emotional, rancorous and mean-spirited by the day. As a result, our civil discourse seems to be at an all-time low. It is almost as if there is a new Civil War going on right before us.

Now this past week offers us an excellent example of this growing division at work. The current battle we are told is over the supposed outside influences of Russia on our Nation's democracy, elections and President Trump's decisions and judgment. These issues have gone on a couple of years now and the amount of time and energy they consume in our public discourse is just incredible. We seem to be hearing about this "Russian hacking" of America narrative 24/7, but does anybody really know what this is all about? Are there any answers that will help the average person make sense of things? As we turn to history, informed by the Bible, we will find that there are some clear answers to be found.

Without the Law, There Is No God or Sin

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Kavanaugh family Trump-2In the last few days there has been an avalanche of anger, protests and outrage in response to the recent nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by President Trump. From the moment the announcement was made on Monday there were protests outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. and around the Nation. At the heart of these protests was the belief that the laws of America were going to be dramatically changed by the new Justice and that America would never be the same. Some of the fears and rhetoric about these legal possibilities have bordered on hysteria. Consider this reaction by former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe as representative of the fears and hyperbole going on right now,
The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come and will morph our Supreme Court into a political arm of the right-wing Republican Party.
At the heart of much of the fears about Judge Kavanaugh's appointment to the Court is the fear by some that abortion will be restricted or made illegal in the future, gay marriage and sexual freedoms might be challenged, needed healthcare would not be available and laws might be interpreted in ways that would "threaten" people's lives...by the millions. As a result, the coming battle to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court promises to be intense and downright nasty as our culture wars over the Constitution, law, truth, right and wrong continues to unfold.

Who Were the Real Nazis?

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Simon Wiesenthal 1982The word "Nazi" strikes fear and horror into the minds of almost everyone. Many people remember hearing about or seeing pictures and newsreels of the horrors of the death camps, torture and murder of millions at the hands of Hitler and his supporters in Germany. For the Jewish people in Israel and around the world today, the Nazis still evoke a visceral reaction as they reflect on the over 6,000,000 of their fellow Jews that were murdered during World War II. For Simon Wiesenthal, pictured here, the word "Nazi" was not an abstract concept. Mr. Wiesenthal was a survivor of the Holocaust himself. He was incarcerated in several camps during the war until his liberation from the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp on May 5, 1945 by the Allies. Following his release, Mr. Wiesenthal spent the rest of his life, until his death in 2005, searching out Nazi war criminals trying to escape their past, so they could be brought to justice. His tireless work and desire to educate the public about the horror of the Nazi era is commemorated in the Simon Wiesenthal Center located in Los Angeles.

And while most of the Nazis that lived during World War II are dead or nearing the end of their life, it is very important for the world to remember and understand the conditions that allowed the Nazi regime to take control of Germany and much of Europe during the 1930's and 1940's. History tends to repeat itself, so with Mr. Wiesenthal as a witness to the past, all of us should work together to educate the world so such a thing is never allowed to happen again. That desire is embodied in two words you will sometime hear quoted when looking back on the Holocaust and this tragic period, "Never Again!" May that be so in America today by God's grace.

The Facebook Nightmare

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ZuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just completed his second day of questioning before Senate and House Committees regarding Facebook's role in our society and issues related to the possible manipulation of our liberties under the Constitution. If you have a chance to listen to the interviews, I would encourage you to do so and share them with others. The interviews are chilling to say the last and are a prophetic picture of the technology nightmare coming our way. It is already here! These interviews have to be one of the most important and scary interviews in American history regarding the future of our Nation, Constitution and the loss of freedoms in our Nation, the Church and our world today.

What started out as an initially innocent social networking company, designed to help people stay in touch and share their lives with their family and friends, has seemingly turned into a sophisticated web of manipulation and control for profit and political gain. In today's hearing before a Congressional Committee, Mr. Zuckerberg allowed the public to get a measured glimpse of what is going on behind closed doors at Facebook. Today's hearing made it abundantly clear that Facebook is engaged in political activism and has been using the data from its almost 3 billion users in an attempt to shape reality, control free speech, brainwash its users, manipulate their thinking, influence people's buying and selling, attack the Christian Faith and even determine political outcomes. And all most of us wanted to do was to share our latest vacation pictures with the people we love and care about.

Understanding the Deep State...What Does the Bible Say?

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Deep State RootsWe live in fascinating times. Do you agree? One of the great pictures of that fact is the recent emergence of the term "Deep State" into our culture. Have you heard about it? That term, which is now being used frequently, has just come into our vernacular during the last Presidential election cycle. The term has been used to describe officials in the government that are working behind the scenes to sabotage and subvert the constitutionally elected leadership of the Nation. In other words, the "Deep State" refers to people that are breaking the laws they are put in charge of upholding. This lawless behavior may include revealing classified materials, violating the Constitution, manipulating and destroying people's lives without due process and even attempting to remove the President from office through a legally manipulated impeachment. There is no question that our Nation has moved into a very scary time when the rule of law is not being upheld by those appointed to do so. So, when the police become the criminals you have reached a turning point in any society.

As Christians and students of the Bible, the lawless patterns underway in the "Deep State" are not new. The story of the Bible is about another "Deep State" going on against the Kingdom of God from the beginning. The Bible's view of the world is that a group of individuals under the influence of demonic power are working against the Lord and His legal and righteous authority and purposes in the world. The entire course of human history can be explained using this storyline...including the current drama in Washington. This lawless spirit, that refuses to submit to the Lord's authority, is embodied in the spirit of the antichrist, a spirit that is the enemy and counterfeit of the Lord Jesus Christ and His rightful authority over our world. The Bible tells us in I John 4:1-3 that this spirit is at work right now.

Would a Loving God Build a Wall?

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The WallFew issues have so polarized America recently as the idea of building a border wall to keep illegal immigrants from entering our Nation. All you have to do today is just raise the issue of illegal immigration and building a border wall and you have created a firestorm. We saw that drama come to a head this past Tuesday as President Trump gave his "State of the Union" speech, outlining his plan to build a wall to help stop illegal immigration. And while a strong majority supported the plan, others have resorted to soaring rhetoric that condemns all such walls as a reflection of white privilege, racism and mean-spirited politics that are not reflective of America's greatness for all people. For some, the building of such a wall is something that even God Almighty would not do, so how could we think of it?  After all, many people strongly believe that God would only unite people and never divide them with walls or unfair laws.

At the heart of this great battle and debate is the idea that our common humanity with others overrules any immigration laws. As a result, increasing numbers of people are beginning to call for "open borders" where people are seen as citizens of the world, not any particular nation. This growing belief has even led to the formation and growth of what are called "Sanctuary Cities" that see themselves being raised up to protect vulnerable immigrants from laws and regulations that are unfair and ignore the needs of our fellow human beings. This sanctuary movement has recently grown to the place where the State of California has now become a "sanctuary state," the first in America's history. Right now, this showdown between our laws and the politics over immigration policy is perhaps one of the greatest dangers to our Nation as a whole, since its outcome will dramatically shape America one way or another for the future.

Next Stop: Trump Station, Jerusalem?

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Train-5In what must be the #1 Biblical story of 2017, we see the astonishing announcement that the Israeli government is seriously considering naming a future new train station near Jerusalem's Old City after President Donald Trump. As you may recall, President Trump just acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6, and vowed to move the United States embassy there from Tel Aviv in the near future.

As we shared in a previous edition of the Carlson Report on December 7, Jerusalem has always been the center of the Lord's purposes for us through our creation and redemption and so Jerusalem is not only the eternal capital of Israel, but of the world. Because the prophetic things under way are so spectacular, we need to catch our breath and take a moment to reflect on exactly what is going on because the events are momentous for the entire world.

All Have Sinned!!

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Matt LauerOne of the saddest, but most insightful events going on today is the explosion of sexually exploitive behavior against women. Lately, it seems there is not a day that goes by without some new national figure being caught for sexually inappropriate behavior. The most recent case of NBC anchor and icon Matt Lauer being fired for such behavior is part of a shocking tsunami of sexual abuse that has been going on for years. Sadly, what we are hearing about is probably just the "tip of the iceberg" and we can be sure that in the days ahead other women will be coming forward to challenge those in power and the public eye with new allegations of sexual wrongdoing.

Did you ever stop and ask, "How did we get here as a nation?" How did America end up spending much of its news and media time covering the sexual excesses and abuses of its leaders? Surely the issues underway now have been building for over a generation. And while all of this tells us a lot about our society and politics, it ultimately tells us much more about human nature and what the Lord is trying to say to us.

Dividing and Conquering America...NFL Style

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Take a KneeIf there was one principle that is at the heart of showing us the depth of the spiritual battle we are in today, it would be the attempt by certain groups and individuals to "divide and conquer" our nation. So, whenever you see a spirit that moves people away from truth and turns them against one another, you can be sure you are dealing with a spirit that is opposed to the Lord and His purposes. That is true because the Lord Himself is a unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our Lord's own nature and work in redemption is designed to bring people together by uniting people in the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the way, the truth and the life.

For the last 50 years or so we have seen a spirit of division attacking America and our institutions at every level. That divisive spirit has attacked the family, marriage, the Ten Commandments, the Church, the Constitution, our legal system and the nation itself. The way it works is simple. Find a "supposed injustice" or "victim," protest it loudly with the media, take it to court and turn people against each other. This pattern of finding new "victims of injustice" has polarized the entire nation and it is getting worse every week. In just a few short years our country has been turned against itself and our future as one nation under God is surely in doubt. Only the Lord knows how long this pattern can and will continue.

Anybody Remember 9-11?

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September 11How could I ever forget the day when someone called me on the phone the morning of September 11, 2001 and told me to turn on the TV right away? Something incredible was unfolding in New York that would forever change our view of the world......maybe. Most of us remember watching the horrors of the 9-11 plots to bring down this Nation and possibly trigger a world war. We watched in unbelief and horror as the World Trade Center fell into a pile of ash, dust and debris in a matter of seconds, as though a nuclear bomb had fallen on it. We saw numerous people jumping to their deaths to escape the inferno of the flames. We grieved as we began to hear the endless, tragic stories of almost 3000 people that had been murdered in cold blood in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on that Day. We also began to learn over the next few days about how the 19 hijackers, from a radical Islamic group inspired by Osama Bin Ladin, had carefully planned this diabolical plot of evil for years. It was as if Hell showed up and let the world see its ugly face, if but for a few hours.

In the wake of that tragedy, the Nation came together for a season. People bought and displayed American flags by the millions, held prayer meetings and memorial services. Our Nation and its leadership began to ask hard questions about the nature of Islam, good, evil, right, wrong and how all of this could happen. The Nation began a soul searching on many levels of how to respond. People wanted to know how we could all work together so something like this would never happen again. All of this eventually led to a war in Afghanistan and Iraq, new surveillance measures by our government over our lives and deeper questions about our national security. Without a doubt, 9-11 forever changed America and the world....maybe.

Accusations from Hell

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AccusationOne of the most deadly and destructive forms of public discourse today is rooted and grounded in accusation. Accusation is the idea that someone has done something wrong, sinned or broken the rules without any clear and verifiable evidence, facts or truth to establish it. In a way, accusation has become the new public courtroom in America where everyone is on trial for something that goes against what the cultural agenda has established by the media and those in power. If someone dares to stand up for anything these days they are often torn apart under a torrent of media attacks, fake news and accusations by nameless sources with unproven facts. These personal attacks have changed the world as we know it, and the worst is yet to come.

Media attacks and accusations are all based on the premise that there is something "right" and something "wrong." Since the Lord has hardwired us for morality through the Law and our conscience, it is impossible to move totally away from morality on some level, however it might be manipulated. The goal of all accusation is to declare that someone is guilty in order to bring about public shame and destroy their voice in the public square.

America's Journey to Heaven or Hell

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Antonin Scalia Official SCOTUS Portrait cropEvery election, including this coming one, is ultimately about a choice that people make regarding the rule of law over their lives. So when America goes to vote this coming Tuesday in the presidential election, people will NOT just be voting for a candidate. In the end, people will be voting for whether or not the rule of law will be upheld. This is true because the next President will be deciding what happens to the Supreme Court through their nomination of a judge to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. America's entire Supreme Court and the rule of law hangs in the balance.

Our Constitution gives the president the power to nominate judges to the Supreme Court in Article II Section II. These nominations are evaluated, reviewed and either ratified or rejected by the Senate. Every president appoints justices to the Court that either sees the Constitution as a fixed body of unchanging law OR something that changes with the culture and needs of the people. Sadly, because several justices on the Supreme Court over the years have seen the Constitution as a culturally conditioned document, our nation has increasingly become lawless. After all, how does the Constitution ever provide legal cover to justify abortion/infanticide or gay marriage as an example? Both of these current Supreme Court "laws" never had any basis in the original intent of Founders when the Constitution was written.

When Watchdogs Become Wolves

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PaparazziIf there is one spiritual principle in play during this year's Presidential election cycle it is the power of the media to corrupt the truth. Simply put, the media and the press are now defining the "truth" and creating reality for most people. They have the ability to make anyone into a sinner or a saint and to get the public to believe just about anything, whether it is true or not. What everyone needs to understand in this hour is that the patterns we are seeing rapidly emerging in our nation have a prophetic fulfillment in the Bible.

Every person makes decisions based on the information they have been given. Whether we fully understand it or not, we usually end up doing what we have been conditioned to do. As an example, if people hear stories that drinking water in plastic bottles causes cancer, people will drink less water in plastic bottles, even if there is no data or research to prove it. In a similar way, when people hear that one candidate is "good" or another candidate is "bad" they vote accordingly. Few people seem to realize that these decisions are often not entirely "free," but have been carefully influenced by others with a hidden agenda. As a result, independent and objective thinking by the public is an increasingly rare phenomenon.

Can Liberals Be Morally Outraged?

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Bill and HillaryIn what has to be one of the most astonishing cases of moral hypocrisy in political history, Democratic Candidate for President, Hillary Clinton has asked the voters of America to abandon Republican candidate Donald Trump over a recently released video/audio tape. The tape in question shows Mr. Trump engaging in a sexually explicit and degrading conversation about women with a reporter that was recorded over 10 years ago while he was a private citizen.

Response to the tape has been strong from both Democrats and Republics alike. Some are publicly distancing themselves from Mr. Trump, while others have called for him to drop out of the race altogether. And while Mr. Trump has apologized for his behavior and comments to the nation in Sunday's Presidential Debate, the controversy will continue in the minds of many and may even affect the results of the election.

What is simply amazing about this recent turn of events is that Candidate Clinton and her husband, former President Clinton, seem to expect the nation to support them in their moral outrage regarding Mr. Trump's behavior regarding some comments about women. Somehow their personal behavior, the last 50 years of a liberal, progressive agenda in government and the moral collapse of the nation under their direct influence seems to be conveniently forgotten in their quest to gain power and return to office again.

Politically Correct Police in the Last Days

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crying baby narcissistWhile Americans are living in a brave new world of political correctness, almost no one understands what is going on or why. Our society is being totally transformed by a group of "PC Police" that want to control everything in life from where we go to the bathroom to how we refer to God. Universities, once a haven for the First Amendment, are being transformed into havens for fragile students and faculty that need to create "safe zones" on campus where no one will be offended by a different idea. Even America's pulpits are being shaped by politically correct Bible translations and sermons that might find it hostile to use non inclusive gender language or refer to the Lord as a "Him" or "He."

If the truth be told, most of us would be shocked how fast this new world ethic of political correctness is sweeping the globe. As an example, some of the schools in Sweden will not even refer to boys and girls anymore as "boys" and "girls" lest a person's gender be socially conditioned, instead of a "free" choice. Our businesses and companies are spending millions of dollars on "sensitivity training" to make sure no one is offended in the work place with an inappropriate comment about gender, race, sexuality or the latest "PC Issue" that changes every week. Few doubt that this explosion of politically correctness will stop. Sadly, many Americans are beginning to live in fear about how to behave in a world where the slightest misstatement in our schools, work places or public institutions may have serious repercussions for our personal and professional lives.

The Rise of the Totalitarian State

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Uncle Sam ControlWhat would you do today if your government told you that you needed to wear an orange shirt or you would have to pay a large fine? And upon further investigation, you found that the reason you were asked to wear that orange shirt was simply because a politician in Washington liked orange shirts. You might think this was some sort of bad movie. After all, this is America, the land of the free and home of the brave. Right?

Well, that scenario is not just a bad movie because it just happened last week. Did you miss the news? Instead of forcing people to wear an orange shirt, every school district in America was just technically forced to comply with President Obama's executive order through the Department of Education to wear an orange shirt. That directive said that every school in America receiving federal funding must create a bathroom policy that allows transgendered individuals to choose their own bathroom, regardless of the due process of law through Congress. If school systems do not comply with this directive, they stand to lose millions of dollars in government funding.

Are You a Liberal or a Conservative?

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Trump Clinton USA presidential election 2016It's been an amazing week in politics. As of Tuesday, it looks like controversial businessman Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for President after his main rival, Senator Ted Cruz dropped out of the race. Many of Senator Cruz's supporters and other Republicans don't feel Mr. Trump is a true conservative or conservative enough, triggering deep division within the Republican world. A similar battle is going on in the Democratic Party between Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. However, on the Democratic side, people seem to be fighting over who is more "liberal" and what it means to be a true "liberal." Invariably, all of this leads to an obvious question on whether or not people have the slightest idea of what the words "conservative" and "liberal" really mean.

If you spend a moment and think about it, the words "conservative" and "liberal" are just words that change with the shifting winds of culture and politics. They are just words with subjective definitions that literally mean something different to every person. As a result, it is impossible to have a civil discourse today about these terms because virtually everyone starts from a different place. The same problem is also true in the Church world as well. After all, what is a "conservative" or "liberal" Christian? The Bible never uses these terms. The Church has turned to these labels because Christianity has become so confused in our culture today with a hundred counterfeits all around us of what it means to be a Christian.