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Tag Archives: ideology

Seeing Criticism for What it Is

The book definition for criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone or something based upon a perceived fault or mistake.  The key word here is perceived as modern criticism is usually based upon ideology.  Subsequently, if your beliefs, convictions or worldview varies from the socially acceptable norm, condemnation, denunciation and nitpicking will arrive fast and furious.  When the media chimes in, criticism often snowballs like an avalanche.

They preached the good news to that city and made many disciples, then they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening and establishing the hearts of the disciples; encouraging them to remain firm in the faith, saying, “It is through many tribulations and hardships that we must enter the kingdom of God,” Acts 14:21-22.

Shortly after being stoned by his spiritual opponents, on the verge of death, the apostle Paul gets back on his feet to share a lesson learned from this near death experience.  As he walked back to the same town where leaders wanted to kill him, Paul realized that anyone who wants to preach the good news about Jesus Christ must embrace hardship and tribulations.  Essentially, Paul is saying “don’t take religious criticism personally as they hated Jesus first,”

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing, James 1:2-4.

James, the earthly brother of Jesus builds upon Paul’s words in Lystra.  Trials build character resulting in spiritual maturity.  While criticism can and will be deserved from time to time, Christians must see criticism for what it is, a refining process that leads to genuine faith.  The more faith is tested, endurance and inner peace will shine through.  No one likes to be criticized, but when you see it through the lens of the Bible, spiritual growth is achieved.

by Jay Mankus

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Why is this Separation Necessary?

During my introduction to a variety of church denominations in high school, I was naïve to the drastic differences that existed.  Since I was taught to focus on religious traditions, I was accepting to other ones that I didn’t know about or understand.  Some of my closest friends were Mormons who didn’t drink or smoke, a positive influence for any parent worried about their children getting involved with the wrong crowd.  When I got to college, there was a greater emphasis on theology, specific beliefs, doctrines and interpretations of the Bible.  This biblical teaching that I absorbed confused me, forcing me to re-examine former beliefs that I held.  I guess you can say I was stuck somewhere between loving others for who they are and confronting ungodly practices that strayed from the Bible.

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.   For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,” Matthew 10:34-35. 

Today, Universalism has been embraced to avoid offending other churches, denominations and religions.  The mindset behind this ideology uses love as justification and rationalization, claiming “surely a loving God would not condemn his own created children.  This worldview suggests there are many paths to heaven, even if it means accepting other religions that contradict or stray from biblical accounts.  During a blunt conversation with his disciples, Jesus reveals the division that will occur within families that hold different religious beliefs.  This isn’t a matter of if, but when this spiritual rift will arise.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,” Matthew 25:31-32.

In the Parable of the Sheep and Goats, Jesus unveils a glimpse of what to expect in the future.  At the end of time, God will separate sheep from the goats.  Based upon John 14:6 and Acts 4:12, Jesus is the only path, the sole way to heaven.  Thus, the sheep are symbolic of those who accept Jesus into their hearts, Romans 10:9-10, enduring persecution for the sake of Christ.  Meanwhile, the goats are individuals who try to find another way to heaven, straying from the instructions in the Bible.  Coming to grips with this separation is tough, especially if loved ones are stuck on the other side.  Yet, I’d rather someone tell me the truth now, while I am alive, than after it’s too late.  Hopefully, this explains why this separation is necessary.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Consequence of Tasting Forbidden Fruit

As a former teacher, defining class boundaries during the first week of school is helpful to maintain a healthy environment.  This introduction allow students know what’s in play and what’s off limits.  However, once these expectations, guidelines and standards have been laid out, they are meaningless unless rules are enforced.  Earlier on, life on earth was simple.  There was only one restriction, do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge.  Everything else was accessible and acceptable in God’s sight.  Nonetheless, the little kid in each of us seek to do the very opposite of that which we are told.

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die,’” Genesis 3:2-3.

Although Eve’s age is not mentioned, she is likely a teenager in the passage above.  Drawn toward a gossiping busybody, Eve becomes curious, pondering the point behind this new ideology.  Sure, a snake speaking would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up, yet it appears animals and human beings could communicate.  Sounds strange right?  Well, years later Balaam had a conversation with his donkey.  Anyway, Lucifer begins to speak through this serpent with a slight lisp.  Knowing right from wrong, Eve corrects this being.  Instead of moving on, avoiding this shady character, Eve becomes intrigued with this new thought as lust for the fruit hanging from the Tree of Knowledge takes over.  It doesn’t take long for irrational thoughts to take over, excusing this decision to disobey God within her mind.  As sin is tasted for the first time, enlightenment follows.

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:4-5.

As a child, I believed this to be a literal event.  Years later, many adults refer to original sin as an allegory or metaphor.  However, the real question is why would God want to protect Adam and Eve from this tree?  What is so dangerous about knowledge?  How could enlightenment corrupt mankind?  I didn’t know the answer to these questions until I watched movies like Lucy, a 2014 film starring Scarlet Johansson and Morgan Freeman.  When you add this content with Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull from 2008, I begin to see God’s fears come true.  When individuals become so consumed with knowledge, the most simplistic things in life become lost.  During the Age of Enlightenment, mankind stopped looking for answers to life from above, toward heaven and began to look from within their own minds.  This is why God restricted Adam and Eve from tasting forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.  This is the consequence God feared, a time on earth when the Holy Spirit would be ignored and replaced by minds obsessed with human consciousness.  This explains the words of the apostle Paul within 1 Corinthians 2, when fools know more than the wise due to this search from within.  Look up, not within.

by Jay Mankus

America’s Uncivil War

Rarely does a war develop overnight.  Usually there are a series of events which convince one side to consider a response.  Acts of aggression, conflicts or injustice tend to trigger battles that can last for years.  On some occasions leaders earn the support of their country due to just, moral or social causes.

No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him, 2 Timothy 2:4.

Such is the case of America’s Civil War.  The country became divided over slavery following president Abraham Lincoln’s election.  Northern states wanted to free slaves while the South fought for state rights.  In February 1861, seven southern states declared their secession to form the Confederate States of America.  An attack on Fort Sumter commenced this four year war.  In the end, history remembers this period as a positive step in the right direction since the North’s victory gave birth to the civil rights movement.

Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division, Luke 12:51.

One hundred and fifty years later, a different kind of war is developing.  However, this battle isn’t between state lines.  Rather, America’s uncivil war is based upon ideology.  Liberals and Progressives have joined forces to rid America of conservative values.  Activist judges, indoctrination using education and revisionist historians are slowly erasing the works of America’s founding fathers.  With most of the mainstream media on their side, God may soon be banned from America, using the same strategy that kicked the Bible and prayer out of public education.

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask, James 4:1-2.

The earthly brother of Jesus shines light on why this uncivil war continues.  According to James, the root of uncivil acts, behavior and words comes from unfulfilled desires.  When people don’t get their way, internal frustrations come out in various forms of rage.  Social media tempts angry souls to vent everything within.  This just adds fuel to the fire igniting like minded individuals to carry on this war.  The only means to peace or a truce rests in God’s divine intervention to send another revival to save this land that I love.  May God have mercy on us all.

by Jay Mankus

Coming Together

History tends to move in cycles, rising and falling as leadership, ideology and worldviews change.  There are moments in time for conquest, peace and war.  Each major event leaves its imprints on civilizations, cultures and society.  At some point, regardless of what you feel, it’s important to come together.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water, Hebrews 10:22.

The author of Hebrews encourages individuals to do the same thing with God.  This process begins with a sincere heart.  Like the guilt, remorse and sorrow Adam and Eve endured following trespassing against God’s lone rule in the Garden of Eden, modern citizens experience a similar feeling.  This conviction serves as a sign to get your life right with God.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful, Hebrews 10:23.

The final step to coming together involves hope.  One of the ploys the Devil uses is making people feel like God hasn’t forgiven them after publicly confessing sin.  Thus, many place their trust in feelings, not faith.  Thus, clinging to an unswerving hope is what will get you through periods of darkness.  Finally, life isn’t complete unless you begin to spur on others toward love and good deeds.  This mindset sets the stage for truly coming together.

by Jay Mankus

It’s a Yes or No Question

In an ever expanding politically correct world, expressing your true feelings can be dangerous.  If honest, heart felt opinions are shared which don’t fit into the socially accepted ideology, expect Twitter to light up.  When human beings are verbally assaulted, its natural to become coy, hiding what you really believe.  This sets the stage for responses to be on the fence, often giving maybes to a yes or no questions.

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one, Matthew 5:37.

In his sermon on the Mount, Jesus verbalizes his concern over people falling into the temptation to give lukewarm replies.  When asked a question, you shouldn’t confuse or lead people on.  Rather, just come out and keep the vows you make.  Anything that you can’t commit to, just say no.  Any other choice or option is inspired by the Devil.

Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that,” James 4:15.

The earthly brother of Jesus adds to this concept.  However, James encourages individuals to take life one day at a time.  Trying to please people can lead to disappointment or cause someone to be over extended.  Therefore, keep your life in the context of the Lord’s will.  Life is too short to promise this or that.  Rather, live each day as if the Lord is returning today.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Going Backward in Time

The teaching of Eleanor Roosevelt introduced Americans to the concept of being progressive in the early 1900’s.  Progressivism began as a social agenda but grew into a political movement.  This ideology was thrust into politics under FDR’s presidency attempting to change all aspects of life.  More than a hundred years later, education, medicine and theology have been influenced, altered and changed.  Yet, has society progressed or are we going backward in time.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, Isaiah 43:19.

One of my many responsibilities at work is to test various products.  Over the course of a month, I come in contact with videos with suspected defects.  Sometimes its the packaging, region or issues with freezing.  This research allows me to keep up with genres, trends and a wide range of content.  This past week I tested a hit television series to determine if customer complaints were accurate.  While no defect was found, I began to wonder, “if this series is so popular, why is it going backward in time?”

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun, Ecclesiastes 1:9.

According to one of the wisest man to walk the face of the earth, there is nothing new under the sun.  Old ideas are repackaged like a used car salesman trying to get as much as he can out of a clunker.  This role is played by the devil, using deception to lead the gullible, innocent and young astray.  Anyone who does not possess a solid spiritual foundation is susceptible like Adam and Eve in the garden.  Therefore, before you begin to go backward in time, let the light and truth of the Bible to show you the right path to take, Psalm 119:105.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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