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Tag Archives: Christians

Drifting Back Into Church

For a decade I stood in front of teenagers as a Bible teacher informing students of the importance of attending church. At the time, one of my close friends was a famous author who wrote books on Church Growth and Spiritual Gifts. When I was able to teach a couple of elective courses, I began to implement this material into my curriculum. Thus, I challenged juniors and seniors to ascertain their spiritual gifts. Once discovered students were encouraged to apply these talents within a local congregation or youth group.

But sin, finding an opportunity through the commandment [to express itself] produced in me every kind of coveting and selfish desire. For without the Law sin is dead [the recognition of sin is inactive]. I was once alive without [knowledge of] the Law; but when the commandment came [and I understood its meaning], sin became alive and I died [since the Law sentenced me to death]. 10 And the very commandment which was intended to bring life, actually proved to bring death for me, Romans 7:8-10.

As Easter Sunday approaches I find myself in an awkward predicament. Due to a strange sleep schedule, working nights, my body has become lazy, like the sluggard described by Solomon in the book of Proverbs. After attending church in January, other priorities have replaced church resulting in a three month absence. A rationalizing mind hides behind the two movie scripts I have been working on due May 1st. Despite pulling all nighters writing each weekend, there is no excuse for abandoning a body of believers. Thus, I find myself as a casual attender, like the Christmas and Easter crowd who will flock to mass this weekend.

Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! – 2 Corinthians 12:7.

Within two chapters of the Bible, the apostle reveals some sort of secret sin that haunted him. Romans 7 hints to times in life when Paul wanted to do right, but the sinful nature caused him to do that what he despised. Every Saturday night I have intentions to go to church on Sunday, but my flesh has become too weak snuffing out the presence of the Holy Spirit. In the passage above, Paul reveals a physical ailment that hindered his daily life. This pain was a messenger of Satan attempting to steal Paul’s joy. If everything goes as planned, I will be drifting back into church Sunday. However, unless I tame my flesh like 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, I won’t become the man of God the Lord desires.

by Jay Mankus

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The Dawn of a Social Media Blackout

Beginning in the 1970’s, the Plato System was developed at the University of Illinois.  Plato’s message application forum Talkomatic introduced the first on-line chat room.  The concept of Usenet was conceived in 1979 and established by 1980 as a joint venture between Duke and North Carolina University.  As operating systems such as Mac OS and Windows emerged in the 1980’s, online Bulletin Board Systems and Internet Relay Chats grew in popularity.  This technology conceived social media platforms like My Space and Facebook in the 1990’s.  AOL launched instant messaging inspiring the film You’ve Got Mail in 1998.  Meanwhile, Windows Live Messenger set the stage for blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter.  When you consider modern search engines like Google, social media has become a powerful form of communication.

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, 2 Timothy 4:3.

Unfortunately, the last decade has revealed the ugly side of this new domain.  Since the 2016 presidential election, cyber bullying, fake news and verbal assaults are a daily occurrence.  Meanwhile, Christians, conservatives and historians are being silenced by several social media moguls.  Sites are being demonetized, posts have been removed and videos have been banned without any logical explanation.  Every week stories continue to spread about cyber police silencing content that offends atheists, liberals and progressives.  Diamond and Silk recently accused Facebook of blocking 1.3 million followers from receiving their newsletter.  Meanwhile, Twitter has been exposed for using algorithms to prop up liberal viewership while taking away followers from accounts deemed too conservative.  How long will this censorship be allowed to continue as a social media blackout?

And will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable], 2 Timothy 4:4.

As I look to the Bible for answers to my concerns, there are one of two possible explanations.  First, this is merely a sign of end times, that Jesus’ second coming in the form of the rapture is drawing near.  The book of 2 Timothy, chapter 3 provides a detailed list of what to expect prior to Jesus’ return.  The apostle Paul eludes to a time when arrogance, disobedience and narcissism influences the culture.  The more I read 2 Timothy 3, the more plausible this theory become.  Yet, current social media conditions can be directly tied to post-modernism.  This worldview is highlighted by a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies.  When post-modernism is embraced, the concept of moral absolutes disappear.  Thus, as social media sites appoint monitors to examine the content of individual domains, judgments are made based upon worldviews held.  As Theism is being replaced by secular humanism and post-modernism, Christians need to do a better job of explaining their beliefs.  Unless conservatives start engaging other worldviews with biblical principles, this targeted social media blackout will continue until hearts and minds are persuaded by love.

by Jay Mankus

Who Should I Believe?

Technology may enhance some aspects of life while destroying others.  Prior to personal computers, the media held the news in its own hands.  Today, blogs, cell phone cameras/videos and you tubes allow the public make the news or go back in time to see if what is being presented is accurate.  Thus, this cultural shift is making the nightly news and print journalism obsolete.  However, you still have to decide, “who should I believe?”

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me,” John 14:1.

A good friend recently visited the church in Charleston, South Carolina where nine Christians were shot to death during a Bible Study.  This up close and personal view gave a different perspective than media’s typical spin cycle.  The congregation was welcoming, full of love and yet still hurting, struggling to cope with the loss of loved ones.  This unique access confirms that I am more likely to believe a friend than a stranger on television.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed,” John 20:29.

Nonetheless, often you don’t have an option, relying on second and third hand information.  During the Dark Ages, Christians didn’t own a Bible of their own, forced to trust the interpretation of a local priest.  Today, doubting souls can open this book for themselves, investigating matters on their own.  While commentaries, religious leaders and scholars provide their own beliefs, eventually everyone will have to make up their own minds.  May the Holy Spirit guide you as you make this important decision about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

by Jay Mankus

My Two Cents on Lent

Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing until Easter Sunday, Lent is a season of preparation for Christians.  This forty day period commences with a service remembering God’s words to Adam, ” from dust you were created out of, from dust you will return.”  Like anything in life, it takes time to prepare one’s heart to transition from the natural to the supernatural.  Thus, Lent serves as an annual journey to embrace the memory of a resurrected Messiah.

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” – Genesis 3:19

Unfortunately, this tradition is often limited to six weeks instead of maintaining faith throughout the year.  Sometime after Easter egg hunts end, when chocolates candies disappear and the emotion of this spiritual holiday ceases, people go back to their former ways of life.  Like hibernating animals, faith goes into hiding, sleeping until the winter is replaced by Spring.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:20-21

Now at the half way point of Lent, its not too late to awake from a spiritual slumber.  Though shocked upon receiving the tragic news that his children perished, the Lord gave Job a heavenly perspective.  Instead of blaming God or becoming bitter, Job remembered the gift of life.  Therefore, as the season of Lent continues may the Holy Spirit transform you to become grateful for the hidden miracles in life.

by Jay Mankus

U-Turn or Bust

Since reading one of his chapters in Steeling the Mind of America, David Barton has become one of my favorite authors.  In his most recent work, U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots, I was shocked by what his research uncovered.  According to Barton, only 34 % of Americans believe in absolute truth.  If these numbers are true, this explains a culture who allows lies to be told, opinions to be elevated to fact status and morality based upon doing what’s right in your own eyes.

To add insult to injury, public schools in Texas are now teaching children the Pilgrims were America’s first terrorists.  Instead of reminding youth of Islamic militants who held American ships captive like pirates, the history of events like the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli are vanishing.  As parents struggle to provide for their families, the state and federal government are brain washing children with liberal, new age and progressive worldviews.  Unless the United States get’s back to its founding principles, it’s U-turn or bust.

When things began to change for Christians as Nero rose to power over Rome in the first century, the apostle Paul left a good piece of advice, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  Whether you’re a child, adolescent or adult, don’t take my or David Barton’s words as gospel.  Rather, test everything you hear, read and see.  Do your own thorough research; then once complete, you can cling to that which you have found to be true.  The sooner you turn around toward the truth, the less likely you will be busted by lies of the devil.

by Jay Mankus


Noah: An Accurate Movie or A Mockery?

From 1999 t0 2002, I spent time researching, visiting and interviewing staff of upscale public golf facilities for Travel Golf Media.  Whether I was reviewing a grand opening, the newest teaching series or latest theory on the game of golf, I approached  each project with an open mind.  Although I hoped to write a positive message, I maintained a high journalistic standard, giving an honest assessment of what I experienced, read and saw.  Subsequently, I made enemies and friends through each review which leads me to Paramount’s 2014 depiction of the biblical account of Noah opening this Friday.

Starring Russell Crowe as Noah and Emma Watson, its apparent that revisionist historians, naturalistic scientists and environmentalists combined to make a mockery of the Bible.  If you read the first 8 chapters of Genesis and view this film, its clear the writers of the script disregarded Deuteronomy 4:2, adding modern theories into ancient texts.  When you consider the introduction of rock people, a righteous man who hates mankind, wanting to kill them and combine this with a “The Day After Tomorrow” mentality, Jews, Christians and historians will leave theaters disappointed.  Unless you enjoy bad humor, most religious people will walk away shaking their heads wondering how Hollywood could miss the point of this classic true story.

The rationale for my critic is based upon real science, proven by archeology and supported by the Bible.

1. Noah lived on earth during the days of Pangaea, Genesis 1:9-10, a giant continent surrounded by oceans.

2. The initial climate on Pangaea in the days of Noah do not contain rain, Genesis 2:5, consistent with the Open Canopy Theory, slowing down the aging process, Genesis 5:1-32, creating an environment for dinosaurs to thrive, explaining why fossils have been found in polar regions.

3. The people in Noah’s time thought he was crazy, since streams watered the earth, Genesis 2:6, making rain unnecessary, as the world was busy indulging in sins of pleasure, Genesis 6:5-7.

4. Thus, the Lord found favor in Noah, choosing him to build an ark, Genesis 6:8-17, using the forests God created in Genesis 1:11-12.

5. Noah spent years following God’s instructions, Genesis 7:5, fervently preparing for the first day of rain.

6. Prior to the atmospheric change, tectonic plates began to shift, creating a series of earthquakes as geysers erupted throughout the continent, Genesis 7:11, marking the end of Pangaea, gradually breaking away into 7 distinct continents, opening areas for rain water to recede.

7. Finally, rain fell from the sky, Genesis 7:12, as flood gates from the new atmosphere led to a global flood.

8. As the temperature changed to our current conditions, water receding in the polar regions froze, establishing the first ice age on earth.

Don’t just take my word on these issues.  Go see Noah if you have the money, read the first 9 chapters of the Bible and research this information, coming to your own conclusion, Matthew 9:12.

I look forward to reading your comments, opinions and thoughts on Noah, the Bible and reflections on your own worldview.

by Jay Mankus

 

Caught in the Middle

Children can become casualties of war, caught in the middle of their parent’s divorce.  As a teacher, I’ve seen this far too often, with kids used as pawns to make the other spouse jealous.  Maybe this explains Jesus’ tone within Matthew 18:1-9, a warning to all adults to insure their actions do not lead a little one astray.

As a friend, its not uncommon to be caught in the middle of infighting.  Gossip, slander and half truths are the usual suspects, aimed at swaying you to their side of the argument.  Unfortunately, playing favorites is easy to fall prey to, something the pagans of Jesus’ day indulged, Matthew 5:46-47.  Yet, God expects Christians to possess higher standards, Matthew 5:48, striving for perfection in Christ, Philippians 4:13.

Casting Crowns addresses this issue in their song Somewhere in the Middle.  From their The Altar and the Door album, Casting Crowns sings about the ongoing tug of war that exists within each soul.  The disciple Peter and the author of Hebrews highlight this dilemma of being in the world, 1 Peter 2:11-12, yet called to look beyond this present world, Hebrews 12:1-2.  Thus, as you find yourself caught in the middle of right and wrong, remember the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 12:1-2 so that you will conform to God’s ways!

by Jay Mankus

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