KDs are designed/developed/inspired/mused/auto-suggested/indigested to make folks think; an especially uncommon experience among Democrats, Republicans, and jingoistic mainline denominationalists who continue to discourage dissent with their ever-threatening thought police.
warned us about false prophets: “Beware of false prophets who come to you in
sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
Succinctly, a true prophet points to
Jesus by the book alonefor existential peace and eternal
salvation. A false prophet points to
anyone or anything other than Jesus to steal peace and salvation.
The challenge is false prophets, as
Luther explained, often come as “angels of light” to trick us into believing
there are other paths to personal peace and eternal salvation. They come, again, in sheep’s clothing. They come looking like one of the good guys
Jude observed, “They slither into the
church and turn the grace of God into religious promiscuities by denying Jesus
as the only Lord and Savior of humanity.”
Paul said something like this: “They
tickle, endorse, enflame, and enable our lusts and seduce us to the dark side.”
Or as Isaiah noted so long ago, “They
say bad is good and good is bad and light is darkness and darkness is light.”
They mirror the damning madness of
their master; or as the Rolling Stones sang, “Confusing is my game. Can you guess my name?”
Or as Dylan crooned, “But the enemy I
see wears a clock of decency.”
Republicans or Democrats.
Uh, sound like any politicians that
you’ve heard in DC or Springfield?
Sound like any pulpiteers and
pewsitters that you’ve heard?
Remember, walking into a church makes
a person into a Christian about as much as walking into McDonald’s turns a
person into a Big Mac.
Just because they’ve fooled enough
people to get a seat in Congress and swore to uphold the Constitution doesn’t
mean they mean it.
Just because they’ve made it through
college and seminary and denominational scrutiny and church votes and said they
love Jesus and Holy Scripture doesn’t mean they mean it.
If you doubt that, look at all of the
socialists in DC and Springfield.
Look at all of the syncretists and
universalists in American pulpits and pews.
Like Islamofascistnutball savages, they
sneak in across unsecured borders to ravage, rape the soul, and steal
existential peace and eternal salvation.
Jesus was clear and conclusive in His
invitation to everybody: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
The Church has always echoed
its/His most essential invitation/guarantee: “Believe in Jesus and you will be
saved…There is salvation in no one else.”
The Church has always fenced
its pulpits and leadership from anyone who does not believe in Jesus by the
That’s because the Church wants
to be God’s salvation army.
I like how Francis Chan put it in Letters
to the Church: “The Church was meant to be a beautiful army, sent
out to shed light throughout the earth.
Rather than hiding together in a bunker, we were supposed to fearlessly
take His message to the most remote places.
People should be in awe when they see His people with a peace that
surpasses comprehension and rejoicing with inexpressible joy.”
Before anyone suggests or conspires with
darkness to mislead, Jesus and people who follow Him by the book are more
inviting, welcoming, and including than any other “religion” in history.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, everybody
and all of you, and I will take care of you.”
Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor
Greek nor slave nor free nor male nor female nor color nor class nor culture
distinctives in the Kingdom. We are all
united and equally saved by grace through faith in Jesus.”
That’s why everybody needs Jesus.
Because everybody wants to be saved
forever and overcome the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in
the modern world, everybody needs the only One who can make it happen.
David understood the need for Him;
singing the prayer, “As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You,
God. I thirst for God, the living God.”
Speaking for everybody’s need, David
asked rhetorically, “Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me?”
His answer: “Put your hope in God!…Our
Savior and our Lord!”
Jesus expands or fills full the
meaning of Psalm 42 in His 4th beatitude in Matthew 5: “Blessed are
those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Peterson’s paraphrase captures the
Greek sense of our Lord’s wording that brings a contented cow to mind and
recalls David’s panting for God deer that represent everybody: “You are blessed
when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.
He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”
Do you remember the opening scene in The
Wizard of Oz?
A vexed Dorothy Gale tells Uncle Henry
and Auntie Em that mean old Miss Gultch is threatening to take Toto to the
sheriff and have him destroyed for chasing her cat and biting her.
Caught up in the midst of the hard
farm life of Kansas, Auntie Em tells Dorothy to go someplace where there isn’t
Dorothy asks Toto, “Do you suppose
there is such a place, Toto? There must
be…It’s far, far, away.”
Then the screen lights up and our
hearts pound with the thirst and hunger of everybody else panting for a better
place somewhere over the rainbow:
Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
There’s a land that I heard
of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow
skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare
to dream really do come true.
Everybody thirsts and hungers and
pants for that.
Staying with that movie classic that
just turned 80, that’s what compelled Dorothy’s new friends to head down the
yellow brick road with her to Oz’s wizard.
The Scarecrow wanted a brain.
The Tin Woodsman wanted a heart.
The Cowardly Lion wanted courage.
Dorothy wanted to go home.
Pero the wizard turned out to
be a poser yet still could see there was a greater Spirit that had already come
through for them; for the Cowardly Lion always ended up leading the charge, the
Scarecrow always ended up figuring things out, and the Tin Woodsman was always
rusting up about something pulling on his heart strings.
The same was true for Dorothy.
The good witch Glinda said Dorothy
could always go home to Kansas because she had learned a great truth: “If I
ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my
own back yard. There’s no place like
That’s the message of Psalm 42.
That’s message of the 4th
beatitude of Jesus.
That’s the gospel.
Wholeness, happiness, joy, and eternal
salvation aren’t somewhere over the rainbow.
It’s as close as Jesus is to you and
me and everybody else.
Blessings and Love!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus! Shatter the sound of silence! Salt! Shine! Leavenate!