Category Archives: Perspective

Public Morality

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

public morality

We are in an epidemic of sin. We have seen our nation degenerate into a country where lawlessness is the law and lawfulness is illegal. This dive into a spiral of death is the result of untamed sin. Society is almost out of options as our nation’s legal system is run to ruin by the judiciary where the will of the people and the Will of God are both dismissed by the higher authority of the bench. We need to remember the rule of old where morality was not publicly scorned but publicly displayed.

Daniel Webster, in a speech on July 4, 1802 said,

Ambitious men must be restrained by the public morality: when they rise up to do evil, they must find themselves standing alone. Morality rests on religion. If you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall.

We know God has given us His Will through His Word. We find in the Bible the truths of right and wrong, which echo our conscience, our God given conscience. We must recall the voice from within and present it without to those who need a reminder, a refresher, on what is right and wrong. We need to portray those who deceive, either willingly or by their own self-deception, the truth of morality and our need to follow it.

We live at a time when it is popular to be immoral. We find any number of comedians leading us to laugh about ungodly behavior. We are cheered on by them and cheer them on when they portray the disgusting as something humorous. There will be little to laugh about if we mock God in the temporal and find ourselves separated from God in the eternal.

Look at pornography (but don’t look at it). It destroys men’s concept of sex and relationships. Children and women are victims of untamed sinful activity that rape their bodies and maim their souls for life. Men who abuse women, and consider it acceptable due to consenting sex, leave a trail of broken hearts and lives behind them. How many people have been abused by heterosexual partners who then turn to alternate forms of sex like homosexuality to avoid the abuse they once suffered, only to find new forms of abuse in perverted sexual relationships!

Start with porn again as a root of abortion where the pleasure of sex (a gift from God) is perverted into the right to have sex without a responsibility to care for children. Abortion is linked to pornography, yet our society has allowed this stain on our public soul to persist. What can be done about it? Public morality can lead to the dismissal of false media like porn that promotes sin, and sex as sin, when sex is godly, Holy, and pure (God’s gift to mankind for pleasure and reproduction in marriage).

Public Morality is more than just decrying the woes of sin. It is also a praise of the values of virtue. We must live lives that show the merit of the just and virtuous. Living it in front of people is perhaps the best way to expose the lies of sin by showing a public example of moral living that produces the fruit of peace and happiness in one’s life. Temptations will come but by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, with faith in Christ Jesus, we can overcome sin and live a life of righteousness. Someone once said, ‘You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.’ thoughts come and go but living a moral life is a commitment made first by faith in Christ Jesus.

The more we surrender to the fatigue of the media’s constant bombardment against righteousness and their portrayal of sin as a virtue, the more likely it will be that persecution will come our way. We cannot hide from the evil that tests our generation. We must stand against it both in how we live and what we say. Public Morality is one way in which we can help rescue our nation from the snare of sin.

Cookoo over Coco – Another Unholy Day

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Coco

Disney has produced and is ready to release a new movie that highlights aspects of Halloween for the Holiday of Thanksgiving. Giving God thanks during this holiday season is replaced with a mistaken idea of another holiday – the Day of the Dead. Here once again, the dark spirit of Halloween is invading the Holy Days of the holiday season.

The idea of All Hallows Eve, now called Halloween, was a day of preparation just before the Day of the Dead. The Days of the Dead were observed from 31 October to 2 November, with Halloween starting the season on 31 October, All Saints Day following on 1 November, and All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead wrapping it up on 2 November. Disney has decided to extend this holiday season by a few weeks into the Thanksgiving season. In effect they have taken the darkness that surrounds the modern activities of Halloween and put them in the middle of Thanksgiving.

Coco is a movie where a child returns to his ancestors to visit them. However, they are all dead and only their skeletons remain. Ancient Latin American cultures have taken pagan festivals and ‘Christianized’ them to include having meals with their dead relatives whose bones sit at the table with them. This is the foundation for the movie Coco but it is not a tradition that serves a Holy God. God has clearly stated we are not to talk with the dead or touch that which is unclean.

The idea behind the original Christian celebration called the Day of the Dead was to commemorate those who lived before us who gave us our rich culture and heritage. To remember the lessons of the past and pass them on to the next generation is a good thing. The idea of taking the bones of dead people, touching them and talking to them is indeed a tradition born of a dark spirit that need not be propagated by Disney for children.

The idea of Thanksgiving is the simple idea of giving God thanks for his provision in our lives. Thanksgiving is a Christian Holy Day (holiday) that commemorates the blessings of heaven in the lives of believers of Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving was celebrated by Hispanics of the Latin (Catholic) tradition in El Paso years before it was celebrated by Protestant Pilgrims in New England. It is a rich tradition of giving God praise for the wonderful works he has done. This is the spirit of light that should permeate All Hallows Eve, the Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But it is being perverted by a dark spirit of Halloween.

One may pass on judging the movie but one cannot pass on seeing the light. A spirit of darkness is seeking to cloud the Holiness of the Holidays by adding the evil aspects of a perverted tradition that came from a modern Halloween spirit. This dark spirit need only be confronted by the spirit of light found in the Holy Spirit of God. This Holy Spirit of light tells us of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who came to earth to forgive us of our sin and lead us into a new life of light and holy love. Please remember to share the light with family and friends on the holidays and pray that God will help us keep the Holidays Holy.

Challenge the Darkness

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

HollowSanta

Ghouls in Christmas Attire (Walgreens)

The holiday of All Hallows Eve has been taken over by a spirit of darkness to the point that we no longer regard those who lived before us; celebrating the achievements of people in the past is what Halloween was originally supposed to be. Now, the Day of the Dead is about death and corpses. This dark spirit no longer resides in just one holiday as it is trying to invade the Christmas season. It’s time we invade the darkness with the Gospel of Jesus Christ during each and every holiday.

The idea of Christmas or any other festival being a holy day is what a ‘holiday’ means. Christmas, however, was taken over by commercial interests nearly a century ago and making money seems to be more important than celebrating God – a holiday. Choosing where you shop this holiday season may be as simple as noting who is celebrating what.

At Walgreens I was shocked to see the Nightmare Before Christmas display with Halloween creatures dressed in seasonal garb. Although the mid-90s movie tried to convey an image of importing Christmas into Halloween, the reverse is true with this display. As we saw Frankenstein last year carry the dark spirit or horror movies into the Christmas season, here again we are witnessing the invasion of Christmas by the spirit of Halloween.

The 31st of October is a special day to remember Martin Luther who began the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago. In keeping with his legacy of bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people bound by needless religious ritual, I decided that I would invade the darkness by passing out Gospel Tracts to children this year. I had a few on hand (next year I’ll buy more) and I handed them out with the candy that I gave to the children. In this way, the kids had fun and could learn of the Love of God.

This year, I plan on sending out Gospel Christmas Cards to family and friends. As commercialism and Halloween’s dead spirit are seeking to dominate the Christmas season, we need to remind people what Christmas is all about. The Cross of Christ could not happen without the Birth of Christ; God’s Son was given to us on Christmas day so he could free us from sin on Good Friday during Easter. No skeletons, no Santa, no bunny rabbits, just the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what Halloween, Christmas, and Easter are supposed to be about. Please remember to keep the holidays Holy.

A Cinder-Ella Story

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Cindy

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young girl named Ella who was abused by her step-sisters. She had great potential but could not realize it due to their constant intervention. She had to work like a slave girl cleaning the house and doing menial tasks. When ready to rest for the day, she slept by the fireplace whereupon she became covered in ashes and cinders. Such a sight she was, this little girl covered in black soot. Her sisters changed her name to Cinder-Ella.

The Story of Cinderella is very old and can be traced to ancient mythology. The origin of our recent version of this story came in the late 17th century in France. Cinderella’s story is timeless in that people all over the world suffer needless cruelty at the hands of others who are jealous of the beauty (inward or outward) that others possess.

Ella as a name means beautiful (Daniella, Eleanor, etc.). Cinder is a name refers to the burnt pieces of wood that come from a fireplace. Nigger is a bad word that comes from the Spanish term Negro and means Black. When Ella was given her nickname, Cinder-Ella, they were calling this young girl Nigger Ella. Calling people derogatory names is as old as the 1600s and even older.

I recall the time I met a young Black woman who told me her story. She grew up in a part of a city that was predominantly Black and poor. She didn’t know she was poor until she went to a school across town due to forced school bussing. After going to predominantly White schools, she saw how much people focused on her color. She said that over time she learned to consider the looks people gave her as being a matter of perception rather than of fact.

This attractive young Black lady said that if she wore a fine dress and went into a room with a number of White women and they looked her up and down from head to toe and then turned their noses up, she said she would consider these women to be racist. But if she went into the same room wearing the same dress with the same number of Black women and they too looked her up and down from head to toe and then turned their noses up, she said she would consider these women to be jealous. What’s to keep White women from being jealous of Black women?!

I met another young Black woman who was very attractive and extremely smart. She had only recently graduated from college with an earned degree in Chemical Engineering and was preparing for a job interview with 3M. She went to her interview and afterwards I asked how she did. She said that she didn’t think she was going to get the job and complained bitterly that they didn’t like her because they were racist. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was so arrogant due to her obvious good looks and smarts that the people who interviewed her probably reacted to her extreme self-pride.

Perception of racism is one thing; yet there is a reality still to account for. Bigotry will always be with us. And I’ve learned over the years that bigotry is color blind. It is a human emotional/mental virus that can affect anyone of any color and cause them to dislike another person of a different color. It is a spiritual problem as much as otherwise yet through prayer we can conquer this disease of mankind.

Rev. Dr. King Jr. told us to look past color to the character of another. Sidney Poitier said that he didn’t want to be treated any better or worse than anyone else because of his color; he just wanted to be treated like any other person. Treating people as fellow human beings is what it is all about. The Golden Rule, treating others like you want to be treated, is the rule to follow. Treating people like people, regardless of color is what it is all about. It’s all about peeps; and all peeps are peeps.

The hero of the Cinderella story was of course Prince Charming. To many Dr. King is this Prince. However, the true Prince of Peace is the Lord Jesus Christ. He puts a robe of righteousness on us by faith in Him; and through Him we grow in His goodness and grace. He can rescue the soul from the abuses put upon it by others; and from being an abuser of others ourselves. Grace upon grace and mercy upon mercy is His judgement for those who will receive it.

The hidden saga of abuse of a little girl called a Nigger by her step sisters has been lost to time. Cinder-Ella is a story of many women who are abused for any number of reasons and hope for a way out. Your Cinderella story may be different from others but one thing is timeless, God rescues the broken hearted, restores them to their rightful place, and pursues them as a Holy lover for eternity. Receive your Prince Charming – Jesus; and live happily ever after.

Please pray this prayer:

God of heaven, I believe in Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for me. I believe that he paid for the penalty of my sin, which I admit I have done. I ask for your forgiveness of my sin and thank you for your love. Please bring me closer to you so that I may know you. By your Holy Spirit, please make in me a clean heart, a renewed spirit, and a right mind that I may do those things that are pleasing to you. Thank you God, Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and now my Father in Heaven. Amen!

The Psyche Without a Soul

© Original Content Written by James R. Carlson

psyche

Psychology is a word that means the study (logy) of the soul (psyche). However, psychology today does not believe that mankind has a soul. So, psychology studies the soul without believing there is a soul. That leaves psychology soulless.

Psychology began with the idea of evolution. And as Darwin was a theology student and graduate, evolution began from the ideas of theology and philosophy. Psychology, therefore, carries the theology and philosophy of evolution. And as evolution has a theological foundation of materialism that came from evolution, the philosophies of psychology follow this viewpoint to the point of denying the spirit and the soul in mankind.

The problem with a soulless psychology is that the philosophy, or religion, of psychology denies the problem of sin in mankind. Jesus taught us that the number one problem of mankind is sin. That is why he died on the Cross, to pay for the penalty of sin and to redeem us from sin.

Paul also taught us about the psychology of sin. He said,

14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,

15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

[Roman 2:14-15]

Humanity has a conscience; can psychology say that? Our conscience witnesses to our minds moral truths; psychology doesn’t seem to echo this truth. When we sin against God we rationalize our behavior to excuse bad behavior; does psychology focus on this? Instead of a sin problem, psychology focuses on the material aspect of our lives – our bodies.

Instead of the sin of drunkenness, psychology focuses on the so-called disease of alcoholism. When homosexuals are stuck in the bondage of sodomy, psychologists say they are born to it. However, psychology simply abandoned them in the 1970s. Instead of offering relief from sin by faith in the Son of God, psychology is atheistic and denies the remedy God gave to us in Jesus Christ. The hope of mankind in the forgiveness of sin is dismissed as psychology has become an excuse for sin and its continued practice. Although they offer temporary relief to the conscience of man for the practice of sin, mankind is led to bondage and slavery in their sin with the advice of modern psychology. These are just two examples.

Christian psychology is an oddity to be sure. Instead of treating depression as an extreme focus on ‘self’ instead of focusing on ‘God,’ Christian psychology applies secular ideas to a spiritual need. Christian psychology even substitutes generic ideas of morality for true Christian spirituality. Using fallen man’s answers to solve the problems faced by redeemed man is contrary to true Christian growth.

Christian growth means recognizing our need for God to lead us by his Spirit beyond what the natural abilities of religion and philosophy can teach. Christian psychology only has strength when one is led to learn more of God by His Word and led into a new life by His Spirit. Works religion based upon the empty philosophy of psychology is a formula for failure.

Typical of psychology and the materialist perspective of this religious philosophy is the idea of brain chemistry. When one is depressed, psychology says it is because the levels of proper chemistry in the brain are low. To boost these levels one is given anti-depressants. And as the body is adjusting to the new chemistry, a series of dos and don’ts are applied as a moral philosophy to help people life a better life. These new rules of life are supposed to help one develop their own brain chemistry naturally. These rules, and they can be many, amount to nothing more than a religion of philosophy that apply generic notions of morality to one’s life without being real morals.

A review of the number of people who have followed this religion of philosophy (do this; don’t do that) shows how facile it is. Psychology applies the anti-depressant drugs to people to boost the chemistry of their brain until the religion of philosophy is successful in relieving the deficit. At some point, so goes the thesis, one can be rid of the medicine and live a normal natural life. But the number of people who continue to use these drugs throughout their life prove the emptiness of this religion of philosophy. Instead of dealing with life’s true problems, psychology becomes a crutch for a heart and mind tormented by sin sickness. Anti-depressants are no solution to mankind’s troubled soul.

In the end psychology is not a science but a philosophy of science tending towards a religion. The dos and don’ts are not born of materialism but of a philosophy that seeks to excuse immoral behavior by rationalizations. There is nothing wrong with people in psychology who want to help people but the days of snake oil salesmen are long gone; except for the snake oil philosophy of secular religion. Psychology denies the existence of God, His moral principles for a good life, and the salvation of mankind from the disease of sin.

It remains for professionals to detoxify those who have grown dependent upon anti-depressants. Like the drug addict, the release of a chemical addiction has to be done under qualified medical supervision. This release should also be conducted with qualified spiritual supervision. Doctors should be involved in dismissing the practice of administering anti-depressants. And the care of the soul should be left to those who minster the grace of God by simple faith in Christ Jesus. How horrible it is to have the Band-Aid of psychology put on the soul that needs the salvation of God.

For those seeking God’s blessing in their lives, please pray this prayer:

God of heaven, I believe in Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for me. I believe that he paid for the penalty of my sin, which I admit I have done. I ask for your forgiveness of my sin and thank you for your love. Please bring me closer to you so that I may know you. By your Holy Spirit, please make in me a clean heart, a renewed spirit, and a right mind that I may do those things that are pleasing to you. Thank you, God, Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and now my Father in Heaven. Amen!