Tech Tyranny…and the Silencing of God

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Big TechIn what has to be the most overt attempt in American history to seize power and control over people's lives, America's tech companies have quickly moved to control public speech and the free flow of information and discourse with their seductive platforms. Literally overnight, technology companies such as Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and others are using their power and influence to literally take control of America. You might say we are currently experiencing some sort of "tech coup d'état". What is most shocking about this takeover is that these companies not only want to control free speech and information in America, but they are blocking anyone else that attempts to bypass their influence.

As a case in point, these tech companies recently conspired to prevent a rival social media company called Parler from gaining access to needed technology to keep their platform running. Parler's ability to connect with the public was destroyed overnight and will most likely take months to start again. And while all this behavior seems illegal and smacks of a monopoly or antitrust issue, in today's progressive and leftist legal environment, it is hard to believe that any of these issues will be adjudicated in the near future. That means that the average America is being controlled by just a few powerful tech companies that largely determine everything we see, think or hear in public. Gone are the days of healthy competition and choices in the marketplace that used to be the hallmark of our Nation that helped to keep us free as a people and reinforce the freedoms given by our Constitution. Those days are gone as our Lord's return nears!

What Is God's Will for this Election?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Election 2020As Americans get ready to vote in this Presidential election in November, we seem to be heading toward some sort of watershed as a Nation. Perhaps never before in American history have the issues been so big and the possible consequences so profound for our future. Families and even marriages have been divided over the candidates. Each day it seems we have a media civil war going. Never have we seen such anger and rage in almost every area of our society from sporting events to the political signs in our neighbor's front yard.

But with all that is happening in America we must ask ourselves a simple question: "Does God care who wins?" Does God have an opinion, will or even a favored candidate or outcome"? Overall, people bristle about such a question. It seems inappropriate if not outright wrong to even raise the issue. You might find it interesting that this question is not a new one. It was raised before at another important time in American history: during the Civil War by then President Abraham Lincoln. During that time, both the Confederate States and the Union strongly believed God was on their side. They all believed their cause was right and just. President Lincoln addressed that question this way in a very famous quote,

Can We Have Social Justice...without Jesus?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Social Justice-One of the most dramatic moments of world history is underway right now...and few seem to understand it. America has been turned upside down by riots, looting, chaos, mayhem and murder in an attempt to find something that is being called "social justice." What started out as some local police problems with a few people has been turned into a worldwide movement to overthrow America and other nations as we have known them. Once this revolution accomplishes its goals, life is supposed to return to "normal" because we will have achieved a paradise of "social justice." However, no one is quite sure how you make this happen when the means you use to bring "social justice" destroys the very social order you are trying to save with injustice. But like most things that are based on lies, no one is allowed to ask any questions for now. Someday we are told, after the revolution, everything will start to be "clear" as we begin to live in our "social justice" paradise.

But the glaring and troubling problem with this "social justice" revolution is that no one on earth, even its most ardent supporters, have any idea of what "social justice" is really about. Not a single person on earth can define it. Just ask them. In the end, no one can define it because it doesn't exist...as conceived by them. But that is not something anyone will tell you right now. If anyone decides to ask those troubling questions about its definition or "what is it?" they will be attacked as "racists" or some other term designed to eliminate any further discussion. So, imagine for a moment then, that the whole world is being burned to the ground by a group of people that are willing to die for "social justice," but that none of them has the slightest idea of what it is, what they are doing or why they are doing it. Welcome to the brave, new world of "social justice."

God Almighty Speaks Out on the Media

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Media CrossroadsWhatever the future holds for America, the Church and/or our lives, there is no question that the media will be a major instrument that the Lord will use to bring about that future plan. Right now, America is totally consumed with the media. In some ways, it has become our new national "drug" of choice. We seemingly can't escape it and its influence on our lives. Every day we are told 24/7 what to think, what to believe, what is right, what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. It is almost as if even the Lord doesn't exist anymore apart from a media's narrative that shapes people's view of everything...including God. It has often been said that "perception is reality" and that can be a true statement. People never act against their own beliefs and those beliefs may or may not have anything to do with truth or reality. So, if you want to know what people believe, or how they will act, just find out what the media told them to believe and do. Sadly, rarely do people listen to the Lord and His Word to understand the truth and realities of life. If people just read and studied the Word, like they listen to the media, we would be in a major revival.

Now the concept of the media has always been around from the Garden of Eden. In the Garden, the devil was the first member of the media, and acted as a mediator of truth and reality by calling God a liar and telling Adam and Eve they would not die when they disobeyed God's commandment. Nothing has changed! Today we are watching demonic power filling our culture and lives with lies as the media mediates and distorts truth and reality 24/7. Like the devil, which the Bible refers to as "the prince of the power of the air" according to Ephesians 2:2, the media controls our thinking and the world via the airwaves. The media has become the new expression of the "prince of the power of the air". The media has become the invisible power that works behind the scenes to influence everything.

The Hidden Battle: Christ and Antichrist

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Police BadgeFor the first time in American history, Americans have started to wonder about their personal safety and whether or not they will even be safe in their own homes and neighborhoods in the future. Sadly, the reason for that is that also for the first time in American history there are serious discussions underway all over the nation about "defunding the police." Now the very idea of "defunding the police" would have been thought to be absolutely crazy just a few weeks ago, but suddenly it somehow seems to be a "reasonable plan" by a growing number of people. These defunding discussions are far from just idle talk. As an example, New York City has just decided to defund their police budget by $1 billion, and some say that doesn't go far enough. More cuts are being demanded. Other cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle and many others are also moving in this same direction of reducing their police budgets.

All of this irrational behavior is in response to the recent national protests about the role of the police in our society based on some anecdotal evidence of abuse in a couple of isolated cases. Unfortunately, there seems to be little or no attempt to carefully study what is really going on or to take a serious look at the ramifications of any of these changes and how they might affect their communities and the safety of the public. Instead of a thoughtful, deliberative process, within our democracy, these changes are coming from a mob mentality, and reinforced by the media that has a huge political agenda. Little push back seems to be coming from our elected officials that are supposed to be sworn to protect the public's safety and uphold the law and Constitution. America is surely living in an unprecedented time of growing lawlessness in our streets and halls of government. Sadly, hardly anyone discerns that the removal and/or changing of the police and their powers in any society is foundational to cultural Marxism and their history of revolutionary changes in other societies all over the world. Their current goal is that of taking control of America and entirely changing the Nation forever.  Such a Marxist takeover is accomplished by taking control of the streets with a new authority structure they create.
 
The reason why this issue is so important to discuss and understand is because we are really seeing, perhaps for the first time, the hidden battle of life that points to life's ultimate meaning and purpose. That battle dramatically reveals the ongoing conflict between two kingdoms that have been at war with each other from the beginning of time over who will rule this world. One of those kingdoms is headed by the Lord Jesus Christ and the other kingdom is headed up by the Antichrist. The Bible is very clear that this battle has always been going on and will culminate in the coming of the Antichrist just before the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In I John 4:1-3 we hear,
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
This is the hidden battle that explains all human conflict. As a result, everything that is under way tonight has little to do with election-year politics, racial issues or social justice. The real issues we are seeing unfold right now are prophetic insights into the ancient, spiritual battle outlined in the Bible that will continue and grow in intensity right up to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and His final rule over and restoration of the world forever more.

Perhaps the best way to understand this battle raging on our streets tonight between Christ and Antichrist is to see that at its heart this is a battle between "law" and "lawlessness." You see, the very existence of any law in the world is the ultimate witness to the reality of there being a lawgiver. As the great Christian writer C.S. Lewis said in his classic book, "Mere Christianity," the very idea of people believing things are right and wrong comes from human conscience and a spiritual law that God wrote into our DNA. That is why people know it is wrong to murder someone. No one needs to have that written down on a piece of paper. That belief and truth is not something people made up or figured out on their own. And while the idea that murder is wrong is written down in the Bible as the 6th Commandment, "Thou shalt not murder" (Exodus 20:13), it goes much, much deeper as a witness to THE Lawgiver, the Lord Himself.

One of the ways we know this is true is because the animal world does not have a conscience, nor any written or spoken laws. Human beings, however, are not animals, but rather carry the image of God on their lives and hence are spiritual and eternal in nature according to Genesis 1:26-27 which states,
Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
All animals, on the other hand, operate out of instinct and naturally follow the laws hardwired into their DNA that are innate from birth. Animals don't need to have anybody tell them what is right or wrong and no one needs to enforce a law on them. As a result, you will never hear about "Defunding the Polar Bear Police." It is a story that doesn't make sense and doesn't have to be written. The animal world is self-regulating and external laws are not necessary. Whereas, since humanity is created in the image of God and spiritual in nature, the law must exist and be upheld to reflect God as the Lawgiver, maintain divine order and express the rich blessings of Creation. When that doesn't happen, you are only left with sin and lawlessness.

That is why the Bible always defines sin and leaving fellowship with God as a form of "lawlessness." And when that lawlessness becomes a way of life for people it starts to reflect not only a rebellion against the Lord, but it becomes an actual kingdom with a king. So, this battle between upholding God's laws and rejecting them ends up framing life as we know it. The Lord's kingdom and His laws are headed up and reflected by the Lord Jesus Christ, the goal of the law (Romans 10:4). Meanwhile, the kingdom that has chosen to go its own way without God's laws is headed up by the Antichrist, a person the Bible appropriately refers to as the "man of lawlessness." In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 we hear the story of how lawlessness becomes the defining witness to the arrival of the Antichrist and the entire idea that without God's laws humanity becomes god.
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
The Apostle Paul is telling us here that when people or a society throws off the laws of God and becomes "lawless," that lawless spirit will ultimately become embodied in the spirit of the Antichrist that we are now watching taking control of our nation. Eventually, this lawlessness will not just reflect societal unrest, but it will become an actual person that will embody a final attempt to dethrone the Lord Jesus Christ and His lawful rule over the world, an attempt that started in the Garden.

These days it is very rare for a Christian to ever hear a message about the Antichrist. Most churches and pastors avoid such subjects entirely. Most people today in the Church world just want to "feel good" ...whatever that means and get out of church by noon for lunch. The idea of such things happening right in front of them, as we are now witnessing in America, is just too much for people. Sadly, many churches would rather watch their society fall apart than face the clear teaching of the Bible given by the Lord to help and protect them. And without the Church standing up to this lawless spirit unfolding before us, our nation will not be able to stand in this hour. Without a spirit of faith, courage and discernment operating in the Lord's people, Goliath always takes over as we are watching each day. It is almost as if America is standing powerless before a giant of lawlessness that refuses to back down. Right now, America needs some Davids to come forward and stand up to this unfolding giant of evil and lawlessness in the power of the Lord with His truth and law. Are we willing to be that person? If we won't come forward, who will?  Can the Lord's people just sit back and watch this lawless spirit take control of our lives, families, nation and world?

In the end, hell cannot be stopped with platitudes, articles like this or weak kneed political leaders and cultural Christianity. Ultimately, hell can only be stopped by the cross and those willing to embrace its' call on their lives. Our Lord stood up to hell,  the demonic realm, evil, lawlessness, sin and death with His finished work on the cross and triumphed over them as we hear in Colossians 2:13-15,
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Our Lord's sacrifice and death brought hope and new life to the world that evil could be conquered and that good could and would prevail amidst overwhelming odds when the right sacrifice was made. The cross remains the defining issue for every spiritual battle we face. It represents the eternal truth that sacrifice is required for every important battle. The unfolding lawlessness engulfing our nation right now requires that the Lord's people make sacrifices and stand up for the Lord. Without such changes and new steps of faith, America as we know is coming to an end. Do you see that truth unfolding?

And finally, whatever anyone believes about evil or the Antichrist, his arrival is nearing. Who can miss this exploding spirit of lawlessness pointing to the coming Lawless One? The signs are everywhere for those who are awake to the Lord and His truth. We are clearly living in a defining hour for not just America but more importantly the professing Church. May our Lord speak to every Christian, every pastor and leader about the hour we face and may we all finish our spiritual journey in this life without any regrets. May we joyfully await the glorious coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will come and destroy the Antichrist by the splendor of His coming ( 2 Thessalonians 2:8). Amen.

What is Really Happening?--Understanding America’s Cultural Revolution

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Chairman MaoAs Americans stand by and watch our society being destroyed one statue at a time, there seems to be no end to this movement of chaos and mindless mayhem. As a matter of fact, while I am writing this article, a band of people are trying to tear down a statue from the Civil War in Allendale, Michigan, a short distance from my house.  It almost seems as if this growing movement of lawlessness and wanton violence against our history as a nation, monuments and statues will not be satisfied until America has literally been leveled by this "scorched earth" agenda. The twisted narrative driving this tells us that America is supposedly an evil and "racist nation" and there must be a revolution to change it and make it right...or else. Of course, no one has the slightest idea of what that "new" nation might look like, but why bother with details at this point. Just burn the place down, destroy any remnant of "racism," however you do it...and we will rebuild something better to replace it later...maybe.

Now as this chaos continues to unfold, I think most Americans are shocked and largely clueless about what is going on. Most Americans have never had anybody really explain to them the cultural earthquake that is underway in our nation. But if you stop for a moment and think about what has been happening to America the last 50 years or so it will all start to make sense. Most of us missed the current narrative we are seeing unfold as it was quietly growing. We didn't want to think it might be serious. We hoped it would go away. We weren't sure how to fix it. So we said and did nothing!

What Happens to a Nation When Politics Becomes Its God?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

RiotMost of us have been watching the national chaos the last week or so that has been unfolding since the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Sadly, Mr. Floyd's life was ended by some of the worst police abuse of power we have ever seen in American. All of us should be in horror for what has happened and should pray that justice will be done for Mr. Floyd. At the present time, the police officer responsible for this crime has been charged with murder and we hope and pray that justice will be done as soon as possible. This horrific crime has also unleashed a series of protests, some peaceful and some not, that have raised serious questions about a variety of issues in our nation.

At the heart of these recent battles is the goal of finding true justice for what has been done. Some of the protestors are peacefully demanding that justice be done for Mr. Floyd, while others are looting and destroying property as their way to express their version of justice. But finding justice for Mr. Floyd, at any level, is only the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Floyd's death also touches on much deeper issues regarding supposed injustices that have been committed by our entire society. In other words, if America were not an unjust society, then Mr. Floyd would not have died and so everyone is somehow guilty. As a result of this widespread guilt there is a call for something to be done; something must change. But what exactly needs to be done? How do you change an entire guilty society? After all, changing an entire society in any way is not an easy thing to do, so multitudes of people seem to just be left with their anger and nowhere to go with their feelings of injustice.

Approaching Omaha Beach…with the Greatest Generation

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Omaha BeachAs Memorial Day approaches, it is a good time to stop and give thanks to the Lord for the amazing freedoms we have in America. But as we celebrate our nation's freedoms and greatness this Memorial Day weekend, America is also a nation that still needs to be defended. That is true because our nation is facing its greatest challenges to maintain our freedoms from within. It seems there are many forces at work today that want to reshape or fundamentally transform America into a different type of nation that has little in common with the Constitutional Republic founded on July 4, 1776. And while much could be said about all of those forces within our nation, let it suffice to say that all of them are connected to having America sacrifice for them, not the other way around. Selfishness is truly America's greatest battle. Few seem to remember President Kennedy's Inaugural address in 1961 that said in these famous words, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Those words have never rung so true as today. America seems to be lost in a growing sea of selfishness and entitlement that it is threatening the future of the Republic as we have come to know and love it.

Thankfully, it wasn't always that way. Just one generation earlier there was a group of people that wanted little if anything from America. Their goal was to give something to this nation. Their lives were shaped by the Great Depression and World War II and they were primarily givers not takers. They were used to hard work and didn't tend to think others owed them anything. They wanted to work. They didn't want someone to take care of them. Many of them had immigrant parents and were just glad to be here in the "land of the free and the home of the brave". Many of their parents and grandparents had come from Europe and around the world to find a new beginning, a chance to be something else, a chance to improve their lives and that of their children. This generation has been called the Greatest Generation by many today because virtually everything that we have has come to us as a result of their lives and sacrifices.

Killing People and Doing God a Favor?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Cross SunsetIt is hard to believe our national lockdown has been going on for only a few weeks. It seems like months! How about you? How many of us can remember the innocence of Valentine's Day when things seemed "normal" and we were going about everyday life buying flowers and cards for loved ones. Since then, it is not just the lockdown that has made this a difficult time. The really difficult part of this time has been watching what has been happening to our wonderful nation. At the heart of that concern is being shocked by a variety of extreme measures being taken against American citizens during the pandemic. These measures range from being fined, arrested and even jailed for just taking a walk, simply going to dinner with a family member, trying to work in some way to feed your family or listening to a sermon at a local church in your car. The list is long and growing. Such government actions have raised serious questions about whether we are even living in America anymore. Sadly, all these unfolding measures, designed to keep us "safe", are more like something from an emerging totalitarian state we might have read about in high school or seen in an old war movie about Nazi Germany. Surely none of this can be happening in the "land of the free and the home of the brave", as the Star-Spangled Banner says so wonderfully at its close?

Now the most shocking thing about what is happening to America is that every single action being taken by a variety of government leaders is seen by them as "good", "necessary" and "essential" to keeping us "safe". Such actions seemingly cannot be questioned because they are for the public good, right? And while the Constitution and Bill of Rights are under assault like never before, everyone making these draconian decisions sees themselves as faithful servants protecting and caring for the public. Virtually all these leaders apparently remain convinced of their mission from God, the government or themselves to "save us" from ourselves.

Should Life Be "Safe" According to Jesus?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

SafetyOne of the most fascinating things going on during our current pandemic is the idea that the government's job is to keep people "safe". Somehow this idea of being "safe" has literally taken over our culture as our number one value in just a matter of weeks. In the "good old days" of about 2 months ago, people would say to each other as they parted, "Have a good day!" Currently people are saying to one another "stay safe". Can you imagine being able to change how the world interacts in such a basic way? This concern about being "safe" has not just become a new parting phrase between people, but a new cultural obsession that is beginning to define how we see our lives. Whereas we used to be enjoying our lives, our new focus is just being "safe".

Now there is nothing wrong with being "safe" and there is nothing wrong with making safety a priority in life, because if we are not safe we won't be able to enjoy life. But an important question is begging to be answered that few want to answer. That question is this: Are there any other things in life that are more important than "staying safe"? If keeping people "safe" is the main virtue of life, then there isn't anything we shouldn't be willing to make sure that happens, even if those measures are extreme. As an example, this goal of keeping us "safe" has become such a mission for some of our leaders that they have decided to do it without the support of the rule of law under the Constitution. Have you noticed? As a result, we are beginning to see people's fundamental rights being denied for the sake of keeping people "safe". Right now, millions of people are under house arrest, confined to their homes, others are being fined and a few have even been shot in certain areas of the world so they can be kept "safe" by their governments. And let it be said that none of these actions are ever being taken by anyone who doesn't think they are doing "good" for the world.

God, Government and the Shutdown

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

WorkerIt is no understatement to say America and the world are living at a unique moment of history, perhaps never to be repeated. Right now, the world is on a global "lockdown" as we attempt to escape the global COVID-19 pandemic. And while many Americans are not working right now, such a situation cannot go on in its present form forever and everyone knows it. The reason for that is simple; a society cannot survive without people working to provide for their basic needs and so that we can generate a tax base to support the government and run our nation. But what if those presuppositions are wrong or seen very differently by people? What if people decided that they didn't really want to work as much anymore? What if people decided to just let the government take over most things and support their lives so everyone could be kept safe from the pandemic?

It might shock people to know that such a system has already been underway in America for a long time now and is increasing rapidly by the day. We call that system socialism and it has been gaining momentum in our nation in dramatic ways as of late. Have you noticed? No, if we are honest, more and more Americans are falling under the spell of socialism each year, especially the young. As a result, increasing numbers of people and politicians are in NO hurry to go back to work, especially if working might get in the way of the government taking care of us and keeping us safe during the pandemic.

Does Anything Panic God?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

CoronavirusBy now, most of us are watching and perhaps experiencing the panic over the coronavirus that is taking control of our world. Nations are in turmoil, the entire nation of Italy is quarantined, no one can enter Israel without being quarantined for 14 days, stock markets are hanging in the balance, people are fighting over toilet paper and basic supplies for life and the media is preparing us for the end of the world as we know it. If you look at the news right now, it seems like almost every story is about this flu-like virus that some say may be a sign of the end of life on planet earth. Most of us have never seen such a panic going on and according to some the worst is yet to come.

Now if we step back for a moment and take a deep breath, we might begin to understand that the panic under way is much more about how things are being presented to us and a lot less about the reality behind them. Very few people are discussing the facts surrounding this virus and its real effects on people. So it turns out the media is not just reporting this news but making the news.  The more people panic the more they panic others in a self fulfilling way. Panic creates panic and right now there is no end in sight. But, if we are honest, we simply don't really know what is fully going on. Right now, we can't easily understand the facts of the matter without the media's polarization of this issue. That will take some time, but not too many people have any interest in doing that because of a variety of hidden agendas.

Can You Create Heaven on Earth without God?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Bernie SandersWithout question the greatest trend going on in the American political landscape today is the rapidly growing idea that we can create a heaven on earth without God. The greatest spokesman for this rapidly advancing idea is Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont. Recent primary election results from Nevada, and around the nation, have turned the self-proclaimed "socialist' Senator from Vermont into a political "rock star". Enthusiastic crowds fill his political meetings like they are at an Elvis concert. If you watch the faces and cheers for Senator Sander's coming from his supporters one must wonder why people are so excited. Have we all missed something? Is it a new drug or way to get high? What explains this growing political euphoria that seems to be spreading like wildfire and may be leading us one day toward a new view of America we have never seen before?

Now the answer to all these questions is somehow rooted in the basic idea that no human being can live without hope. The Lord has hardwired all of us to look for hope in our lives and everyone is looking for it one way or another. And so it turns out that Senator Sanders has tapped into people's need for hope by presenting himself as an American, political "savior", a person who can help fulfill that longing for hope inside us. The Senator has promised to create a sort of heaven on earth for his followers with his visionary plan to change America into a socialistic paradise. So, it seems that anyone who can create such powerful feelings in their audience is not only going to be very popular but may even be President one day. For now, that someone appears to be Senator Sanders, a possible savior for millions of people.

Understanding It All...the Battle of the Ages

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Fighting CoupleOne of the goals of the Carlson Report is to help our readers develop a better Biblical discernment and to understand the times we are living in. Discernment is often the missing ingredient in our churches and electorate today. In general, people have little idea of what is happening. Our thinking has become shallow and confused by a steady flood of media and the outright manipulation of the truth. Many of our churches, and Christian leaders, do not even have a basic Christian worldview regarding fundamental Christian doctrine. Instead, our churches and leaders are adrift in a media world that is largely influenced by partisan politics. Sadly, such confusion rarely allows us to sort out these challenges and make a difference for the Lord at such a time as this.

Just recently most of us probably saw the image of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, tear up a copy of President Trump's State of the Union speech, while standing behind him before millions of people. Few things in American political history have so clearly demonstrated the rancor, rage and alienation going on in our nation at the present time. These deep divisions in our nation are obvious to just about everyone that is not living in a cave. Our political divisions have spilled over to our families, schools and workplaces. It seems there are no "safe spaces" where you can go without the media bringing this political war into our daily lives.

Christmas Scapegoats

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

President  Melania ChristmasRight now, most of us are looking forward to a blessed Christmas holiday with family and friends in a couple of weeks. Christmas is always a season of wonder that allows us to publicly celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. Christmas reminds us that the Lord of Heaven and Earth had an amazing plan to enter this fallen world as a human being, our Emmanuel, to save and redeem us from our sin and give us life eternal. Christmas has historically been a season, whatever our beliefs, to express kindness and love toward all and celebrates a little good will toward our fellow humans. Christmas has been a special season to work a little less, love a little more, sing some Christmas carols, drink some hot cocoa and take some time to celebrate the gift of life the Lord has given us and enjoy it with everyone the Lord sends our way.

However, this year's Christmas season is going to be a very different one. It appears our President is possibly going to be impeached by our Congress in just a few days. It would only be the 3rd time in the American history that it has happened following the impeachment of Presidents Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Somehow impeaching the President at Christmas has left us in a troubling place in what is a normally supposed to be a joyful time. So it seems right now that the Grinch may be trying to steal Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge is saying "Bah Humbug" and King Herod from the birth narrative of our Lord in Matthew 2 is attacking the children in Bethlehem again.

We Only Have 18 Months to Save the World!

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Lunar LandingOne of the most amazing events in human history was when 3 Americans landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969 as part of the Apollo 11 mission. This weekend, we have come to the 50th anniversary of that historic event and there are many stories and events scheduled to help us look back and remember. Who could ever forget Neil Armstrong's incredible statement as he stepped onto the Moon, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"? I remember well watching the TV with my family as a young teenager and being amazed at what was going on. Most of us looked at that event with awe and started to believe that just about anything could be accomplished with the right plan and determination. In some ways, July 20, 1969 was a watershed moment for American culture and technology like no other before or since.

And yet, 50 years later it is simply amazing to realize that millions of people in this nation and around the world don't even believe the moon landings ever happened. For some it was a total fake, staged for public consumption and political purposes. In a recent poll done by PC Magazine, that reflect similar polls, it was found that 10% of the American public do not believe the moon landing happened at all. Even more incredible is that this unbelief reflects about 18% of all those between the ages of 18-34. And so as many are looking back on this great event, it seems that more than a few are left thinking it was all a lie.

The Incredible Discovery that Ends Racism

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Blood-TransfusionDuring the last two nights the American public had the opportunity to watch the Democratic Presidential Debates. The current debates signal the beginning of a long battle to determine who will be the next President. One of the issues in the debates and that is being replayed over and over in our public discourse is the issue of race. There are few conversations today where the charge and accusation of racism is not being made by someone against someone else. For many, the issues surrounding racism have grown weary and divisive, mainly because there seems to be no end in sight or way to resolve the issue in a satisfying way that will allow our divided nation to move forward.

The most important thing that could be said about issues surrounding race and racism is that it is a spiritual issue, not a political one. Sadly, many of the people that talk the most about racism seem to have little interest in really solving the problem. For them, divisive racial issues create power over others and allow them to control public discourse for their political advantage. The real hope that we all should be praying for is that all our leaders, political and otherwise, would begin to understand that unless there is a deeper understanding and discussion of race taking place we will never find a way to come together.

Is Life Worth Living?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

NewbornDid you ever have a moment when you wondered if life was worth living? Most of us have probably had such days. They often come after we face great losses, pain, trials or certain problems that make life seem overwhelming at times. Anyone who has lost a loved one or experienced depression and grief surely understands these issues. During such seasons it can even feel like life is too much to handle or face each day. All those feelings and experiences are pretty typical for everyone now and then. It would be nice if life was just "fun" all the time, but these painful realities have a way of reminding us that we live in a fallen world that needs the love of God and His gracious redemption for us in the Lord Jesus Christ.

But no matter how hard life may be at times, our great comfort always comes when we know our lives are valued by someone. If a person knows someone loves them, values them and is willing to be there for them it makes all the difference in the world. Sadly, some people don't always have family and friends around to remind them they are loved and valued. The hope is that everyone can realize that the Lord ultimately values their life. In the end, it is the cross and the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ that establishes the value of our lives in this world and the next. In I Peter 1:18-20 we hear about the foundation of our redemption and value to the Lord,
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

The Seduction of Socialism

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Ocasio-CortezAlmost everyone in America now knows the face of the new Congresswoman pictured here as that of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14th District). Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has identified herself with socialist parties in this nation, even though she ran as a democratic. There is not a single news cycle today where there isn't some story about her. She is young, attractive, articulate and often well dressed in expensive clothes. In a recent interview she was wearing designer clothes that cost an estimated $3500. Her shoes alone cost $600. She looks like the face of something new, fresh and wonderful. The public can't seem to get enough of her, or at least that is what we are told by the media. More than a few people see her zeal and energy to be part of the needed answers for the challenges we face in America. Some might even think of her as a "savior" that could help America find a new way forward in a day of political conflict, division and gridlock.

The problem, however, with Representative Ocasio-Cortez is that none of her ideas or policies make any sense. Not a single thing she believes has any basis in fact or reality. If you were to test her ideas against history, economics or anything Biblical she would come up empty. The ideas Representative Ocasio-Cortex espouses are simply silly when you come down to it. It is hard to understand how a single person would believe them. And yet, she has over 3 million Twitter followers that have exploded since her recent election to Congress, large press coverage and an increasing number of people that actually seem to believe her, especially our young.  That fact shouldn't entirely surprise us when you consider that over 40% of our millennials have socialistic sympathies. Something BIG is underway in our Nation as we are watching the shaping of our national character toward socialism. Do you feel it? What increasingly seems to be true is that growing numbers of people believe that no one who looks like her could tell such big lies to so many people with such a nice smile on her face.  Surely something she says must be true, right?

God Cried First

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Freedom Tower PinkMost people today have lost the fact that God cries. Somewhere in all our wrong ideas about God, we have lost the idea that our tears and sadness come from being made in God's image according to Genesis 1:26-27. We feel things deeply inside of us because God did first. Our Lord Jesus Christ felt the pain of the cross before the world was created when He knew what would have to be done to redeem the world from its sin. Our Lord came into this fallen world and personally saw and experienced what sin and death had done to everyone. Our Lord cried when He heard the news of Lazarus's death and saw the pain of His dear friends in John 11:33-35,
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. "Where have you laid him?" he asked.
"Come and see, Lord," they replied.
Jesus wept.
So, when the New York State Senate passed their radical abortion bill last week it surely seems the Lord cried. According to an article by Faithwire author Will Maule, this bill would effectively remove any restrictions on abortion up to the day of delivery with no criminal penalty. The New York legislators have really legalized open infanticide in our nation. Maule writes,
The New York Senate was seen erupting in feverish applause after voting 38-24 to approve a bill which would allow abortion up to birth. Heralded as a major victory for pro-abortion activists, the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) was signed on the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

Toxic Masculinity in a Genderless World?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

RamboOne of the fascinating things that just happened is the firestorm over the recent Gillette razor commercial that aired nationally, in anticipation of a possible Super Bowl ad. Did you see it or hear about it? The commercial was not just trying to sell Gillette razors to men, but was yet another attempt by our culture to not only define masculinity, but reject a toxic version of it. So it now appears that even a growing number of advertisers are joining the culture wars and trying to define what it is to be a real man or a real woman. And yet, in our increasingly genderless world, it is surprising that anyone has any idea of anything about male and female anymore. How could anyone define toxic masculity when many don't believe male and female even exist ?  Today's politically correct ideology has created a scenario in which people are not even sure if they can mention a person's gender, lest someone is offended. This emerging gender identity chaos has simply become overwhelming and is destroying the entire fabric of our society and few are even willing to speak up about it.

If you really want to stir up an even greater controversy in our society, try assigning a gender to God. If you're not sure about that, just start using different gender labels for God in a group setting and see what reaction you will get. The moment you try something like that people can literally come unglued when God is referred to as a "He" or a "She". This battle over defining gender, at any level, has led our society to a moral and spiritual free fall. If we are honest, few in our society today have even the slightest idea of what a man or women is suppose to be anymore.

Jesus on Unity and Division in America

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Christians as trash-2Well, the midterm election drama is over for now and the results confirm what everyone knows about our Nation. We are a deeply divided Nation, more than people know. It seems clear that our Nation is going to be in an ongoing political war for the foreseeable future. And while most of us are already weary of this division, the worst is yet to come. You see the real division in America has never been about Red States or Blue States, or the many issues that supposedly are dividing us from immigration and race to abortion. Those many issues are just symptoms of a much deeper topic that is rarely discussed today that is spiritual in nature.

You see the only issue that ever causes division in any family or nation is how to deal with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, if we were able "connect the dots" behind all our political battles they would all end up at Jesus' feet because He is the Lord and God of this world. In speaking about division in life our Lord said in Matthew 10:34-36,
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. A man's enemies will be the members of his own household.

Should Anyone Vote for Molech?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

Moloch the godAs the political chaos continues to grow in our society as we head to the National mid-term elections, it is a good time for everyone to stop and gain some perspective about where we are right now. Surely not too many people in our society are having any "fun" with all the partisanship and rancor going on. Families are being divided. Friendships and even marriages are strained. Studies tell us that about 70% of Americans are "stressed" about the current state of affairs in our Nation. Some people have had enough and are just "tuning out" or "dropping out" altogether, with many not even bothering to vote at all for a variety of reasons.

We seem to be living in a time when it is virtually impossible to sort out the truth amidst the media storm of sound bites coming at us 24/7 from every direction. What is truth? Who can we trust? What should we do? Many people have no idea of how to vote in this election and on what basis. The issues seem so complex, and voter polls seem to change every 15 minutes showing a deeply confused electorate.