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Baby Jesus or the Man in a Red Suit?

According to Washington Irving, the concept of Santa Claus emerged in the United States beginning in 1773.  In Washington’s 1809 book the History of New York, Americans borrowed from Sinterklaas, a thick-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat.  Commercial stores began to advertise Christmas shopping in 1820, followed by separate sections for holiday advertisements in 1840.  In 1841, thousands of children visited a Philadelphia shop to see a life-size Santa Claus model.  The tradition of blending a real life Santa Claus to attract Christmas shoppers began in 1918.

Now they were also bringing their babies to Him, so that He would touch and bless them, and when the disciples noticed it, they began reprimanding them, Luke 18:15.

For the unchurched, Santa Claus has slowly replaced Jesus as the reason for this season.  As atheists, liberals and progressives continue to be offended by nativity scenes set up in public squares, law suits, public pressure and political correctness is eliminating the traces of this sacred holiday.  As a generation of babies, toddlers and young children have sat upon the laps of adults dressed up as Santa Claus, the concept of a baby Jesus is fading away.  Meanwhile, when asked by men in a red suit, “what do you want for Christmas,” Santa Claus has been elevated by many unknowing children to a god like status.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ, Colossians 2:8.

Apparently, fairly tales and wise old tales was not just a modern phenomena.  According to the apostle Paul, first century leaders who opposed Christianity began to develop plans to mislead followers of Christ.  These schemes appear to have been successful in deceiving some believers who did not possess a strong spiritual foundation.  The context of the passage above refers to becoming rooted in Christ, relying on the Bible and prayer to serve as a spiritual guide through life.  Anyone who does not practice similar spiritual disciplines are vulnerable to believing in lies, John 8:44.  This dilemma has led me to ponder, who will today’s children believe: baby Jesus or the man in a red suit?

by Jay Mankus

A Clash of Two Cultures

The National Education Association was founded in 1857.  This group is the largest labor union and professional interest group in the United States.  This status also makes the NEA the most powerful and influential special interest group, swaying politicians to continue to fund education programs in their annual budget.  Prior to the 1970’s, education was left up to each state, giving local PTA members, parent teacher association, the ability to impact school curriculum.  However, in the last fifty years, education is being now controlled at the national level through objectives like Common Core.  With liberals and progressives now editing, replacing and writing new curriculum, the stage is set for a clash of two cultures.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, 2 Timothy 4:7.

If you have children, you will be taking visits to colleges and universities that your daughter or son have interests in attending.  These tours may reveal an institutions true intentions or they might be hidden to avoid choosing an alternative school.  From my experience, these schools of higher education roll out the red carpet, trying to impress and persuade as many as potential students as possible.  As a former high school teacher, graduates often visited me relaying the good, bad and ugly sides of college.  Although many colleges on the east coast of the United States were founded by Christians for Christians, few traces of faith remain.  Just as public education removed Bible verses and prayer from its curriculum in the 1960’s, colleges have used revisionist history to scrub significant events like the Magna Carta from textbooks.  If generations grow up without a biblical worldview, college professors can introduce new ideologies that clashes with what parents and grandparents were taught.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses, 1 Timothy 6:12.

These factors set the scene for current events like Antifa members taking over downtown Portland, Oregon, protestors harassing conservatives in public and marches on Washington.  From where I sit, observing day to day events, its like the Jerry Springer show on steroids, stirring the pot until emotions bubble over into a shoving match.  Perhaps, everyone needs to go into their corner, take a timeout out to relax and begin to act like a grown up in front of children who are watching.  America is on the verge of a new Civil War.  However, instead of re-enacting the events of 1861-1865 on a battlefield, this clash will between cultures.  One clinging to the Judeo Christian values of America’s founding fathers.  The other eager to usher in a progressive era replacing the Bible with a different set of moral and political standards.  I hope I am wrong about this clash, but if you watch cable news it appears this clash has already begun.

by Jay Mankus

Straight Out of the Saul Alinsky’s Playbook

Saul David Alinsky was born in 1909.  During the span of his 63 years on earth, Alinsky invested most of his time as a community organizer, socialist and writer.  Saul Alinsky is best known for his 1971 book Rules for Radicals.  Modern leaders such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have credited Alinsky for successfully running movements for change.  Saul Alinsky’s book contains 13 rules to promote social change.  Three of these rules are applied by the mainstream media daily.

About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, Hebrews 5:11-12.

As I hear, read or see another conservative being attacked, criticized or slandered by Hollywood elites, liberals and progressives, you can make the connection that these troubling comments are coming straight out of Saul Alinsky’s playbook.  For example, the fifth rule states that ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.  If you watch modern comedy shows, jeering, mockery and scorn emulates this rule.  Meanwhile, the eighth rule: Keep the pressure on serves as a mantra to chip away at the founding of America’s Judeo Christian values.  Finally, political talking points are shared throughout cable news and print media outlets to fulfill rule thirteen: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning], 1 Timothy 4:1-2.

In the passage above, the apostle Paul refers to what the world will be like during the end times, prior to Jesus’ second coming.  Perhaps, constant vulgar comments are merely a sign of individuals turning away from God.  This void is being replaced by deceitful and seductive spirits causing once normal human beings to act like crazy people.  If this trend continues, doctrines of demons will spread into all avenues of life, corrupting souls and poisoning minds.  May these troubling times serve as a wake up call to test everything you hear, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  The more you study the word of God, your eyes will be opened to Satan’s attacks against faith.

by Jay Mankus

How Did We Get Here?

I recently watched a film produced by Andy Garcia back in 1995.  Starring Andy Garcia, Bill Murray and Dustin Hoffman, The Lost City takes place in Havana, Cuba in 1958.  This movie reflects the hardship Garcia endured while growing up in Cuba under a dictatorship.  After an interesting beginning, the mood changes as young relatives attempt to rebel against this communist regime.  Without spoiling the plot, the consequences are chilling.  During a live television interview with President Fulgencio Batista, giving the appearance of peace and tranquility, members of the resistance are eliminated.

Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:16.

At some point over the last half century, liberals and progressives have become infatuated with modern socialist leaders.  This admiration may be based upon the absolute power many of these leaders possess.  Whether it’s controlling the press, rigging elections or ruling without any restrictions, this environment is tempting.  Yet, anyone who watches the Lost City from beginning to end, will realize this is not the way to treat a nation of people.  The scary part of this is as I watch cable news, listen to radio updates and read newspaper articles, America is approaching communist and socialist traits.

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! – Psalm 31:5

If the events of a news story does not fit a specific criteria, facts are altered, words taken out of context or the entire narrative is ignored.  Meanwhile, a camera can distort reality, making a crowd of protesters much larger than it is.  In addition, edited interviews can distort someone’s actual response to a question.  The end result is a plethora of fake news.  When there is no one to police the media, false narratives spread without challenge.  This is how America got here, to a daily media circus attempting to control what Americans think and believe.  Unless people take the time to check, research and test what is broadcasted, America will soon become the Lost Nation.

by Jay Mankus

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