It amazes me how those who cry for "tolerance" the loudest are always the most intolerant of people who are "intolerant" to THEIR view. You can't have it both ways, you are either tolerant of everything, or, you must be intolerant of something, in which case you condemn yourself by YOUR own standards. The "Reverend" Ann K Evans A recent letter proclaims tolerance but yet strongly condemns anyone who takes issue with the "day of silence" observed and sanctioned by the Danville School teachers and administration. It would be interesting to see the outcry by all those of the "tolerant" mindset if their happened to be a day of silence in our schools for all the millions of aborted babies in our country! But no, that is not politically correct, and therefore can not be "tolerated"!
There is a deeper agenda to the organization behind this "day of silence" movement than just stopping "gay bashing" (see their website at www.glsen.com). The cover of stopping "gay bashing" is just that - a cover. Their overall goal is for full and unabashed acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle in American society. This must never happen, as it will truly be one more major stepping stone in the decline and fall of America as we know it.
Please do not get me wrong, we should, and MUST, treat everyone with kindness. However, that does not mean we must accept what they stand for, or what they practice. And speaking of Jesus (as the Reverend did in her letter), He did treat everyone with some degree of respect, BUT, He never, ever, condoned sin!
(ran 05/12/05 in daily item w/ italicized sections left out and added sections in green)
Man has always tried to justify himself and his sinful ways. The easiest way to do that is to attack the Bible.
Some outright reject it without any investigation. Some know just enough to confuse themselves and others. Some know it quite well, but wrest it to their own advantage, whether for power, prestige, or monetary gain.
However, a few approach it with an honest and good heart, coming away born again into a new and right relationship with God. These people are not necessarily theologins, professors, or special in any way, except in their humble approach towards God's word. they let the Bible speak for itself and let scripture interpret scripture.
If one sripture seems to contradict another, then they investigate a little deeper and harmony is found. They know that when Jesus says "I am the door," "I am the vine," or "Ye are the salt of the earth," he is using figurative language.
They also know that when he says "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations," he is being literal. And when he says "... shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven," he is speaking in hyperbole, or apocalyptic language.
Jesus said we can know the truth. We must "rightly divide the word of truth." In other words, we need to put some effort into it.
The Bible in one sense is literal, for it is literally the word of God. We will be judged by it in the end.
God's word is just as applicable to today's society as it was throughout the ages. It exposes sin, it convicts sin, and it judges sin.
Don't just brush it off, unless you are brushing it off to read it!
MIKE SULLIVAN 2002
It is a sad state of American morality when you can not buy modest clothing for your 14 year old daughter in the popular clothing stores. When will we stop being herded in whatever direction the entertainment industry directs us?
Just because Brittany Spears - or whomever is the popular star at the moment - dresses suggestively, that doesn't mean we should dress our kids in like manner.
Luckily, I found a store on line that will help me dress my daughter appropriately.
If we dress our young girls the way Hollywood influences them to dress, don't be suprised with the results.
Be a parent, not their best friend and do what you know is right. Let's demand better things for our children than what Hollywood has to offer.
Mike Sullivan 2002
First, I would like to address those Homosexuals who are "religious". There can be no church of practicing homosexuals, practicing liars, practicing fornicators (that's sex outside of marriage for those who don't know), practicing drunkards, or any others who willfully sin against God.
The word church comes from a Greek word which corresponds to the thought of "the called out". The church of Christ is called out of the world of sin and into the kingdom of light. Jesus spoke in Luke 13:3 "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish". If we could still live in our sins and be part of the church, then why should we have to repent? Repentance is a change of heart. It is an acknowledgement of sin and a steadfast effort to refrain from sin. Sin is a transgression of God's law.
Secondly, let me say that we are all sinners. Not just the homosexual, but the liar, the drunkard, the gossip, the fornicator, the adulterer, the thief, the proud, all of us have sinned against God in one way or another. Everyone is condemned outside of Christ. However, some of us have acknowledged our sin, repented of it, and humbly submitted to God's commands for salvation thereby being saved from God's wrath. We trust in the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But, if someone continues in sin, then they are in rebellion against God and are in a fallen state.
The point is, just as the drunkard must put away his booze, and just as the fornicator must abstain from sex, the homosexual must stop practicing homosexuality.
You can not face God and sin at the same time. One of them has to be in front and the other at your back!
Mike Sullivan 08/2002
In opposition to the letter to the Religion Editor in The Daily Item on Nov 1st, I propose to any who would read this letter, that God has interceded in human affairs in a once for all event that is the very pinnacle of eternal history. (Jhn 3:16)"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16 is probably the most known verse in the Bible. Unfortunately, when we know and say things over and over, the meaning and it's impact can get lost.
God the Son, who was from everlasting to everlasting (Mic 5:2), left the glories of Heaven in obediance to the Father, and suffered and died a cruel death to pay for mankind's sins (Phil 2:5-8). On the third day he arose from the dead and was witnessed by over 500 people before ascending into Heaven.
All other graves; Mohammed, Buddha, Wesley, Calvin, all the Popes, and all others who have died still occupy thier graves.
Not so Jesus Christ - He lives! He is God's final revelation. Through his word (the Bible) we receive everything we need concerning spirituality and salvation (Jhn 12:48, 2Tim 3:16-17).
The moment has come, and like the saying goes about not seeing the forest for the trees (Jhn 1:10), I submit unto you that we are smack dab in the middle of the greatest blessing of all, and most of us don't even know it, or, outright reject it.
Many look to a coming Kingdom, but the kingdom is here in Christ's church (Col 1:13,18).
Many look for signs, apparations, and other prophets or messengers (angels), but the Bible warns us against such fooloishness in Matthew 12:39-41, Gal 1:8-9 and Deu 18:18-19 which reads: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their bretheren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he will speak in my name, I will require it of him."
This prophecy is fulfilled in Christ (Jhn 14:24)"He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."
Look no further than your Bible for your prophets, signs, wonders and revelations.
These things were but tools for God to confirm his word (Heb 2:3-4) "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation; which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will?" See also Mrk 16:20.
The author of the letter "Will We Miss The Moment?" asks us to consider Jesus' promise of a "Counseler" (his word, but actually translated consoler, advocate or comforter, per Strong's Greek Dictionary) as God's next intervention/prophet.
The Comforter or "Counselor" referred to in John 16 is identified in Jhn 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your rememberance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
In the context of the surrounding verses, we find Jesus making the promise to his disciples who went on to give us the Holy Scriptures inspired by the Holy Ghost (1Cor 2:12-13). The Spirit works through the word of God.
Look no further, dear people, than God's word. Be led by the Spirit as you learn and apply God's word to your life. The greatest gift is before you - don't miss the moment. The hidden mysteries of the ages are yours for the taking. (Col 1:25-28)"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:"
The key to Bible understanding is through prayer, and in letting scripture interpret scripture. Look at the context of the verse, who is being spoken to, and the circumstances surrounding the situation being addressed, and you will narrow many Biblical misconceptions down considerably.
Truly, we do have much to learn. But we must learn God's ways, not our own (Jer 10:23), then we certainly will not "miss the moment"!
Michael Sullivan in The Daily Item 11/08/1997
I would like to reply to the editorial "Hate speech against gays". Hate is a very strong, piercing word. I'm sure it will be outlawed in our politically correct society. But hate is a necessary word. Just as man has tried to eliminate the word "sin", now he must do away with hate.
Both words are related, as they both deal with the very core of our humanness. You see, man is sinful by nature, and God HATES sin. (Rms 3:23)"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". (Rms 5:12)"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned".
It is not a matter of homosexuals, but of homosexuality. It is not a matter of adulterers, but of adultery. There is no such thing as a little sin or a big sin, any and all sins separate man from God. (Rms 6:23)"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord".
By acknowledging sin, and how God hates sin, we can look beyond political correctness to spiritual correctness.
There is only one remedy to man's dilemma, and that is Jesus Christ. (Rms 5:8)"But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". All are welcome in Christ's church; homosexuals, adulterers, liars, cheaters, stealers and sinners of all types. (2 Pet 3:9)"the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance". The key word here is repentance (to turn away from sin). All are welcome in God's kingdom if they will be subject to the King's authority.
True Christianity does not produce hate, but offers hope to any sinner who is willing to lay aside there own desires.
Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. He loves sinners, but he hates sin. (1 Cor 6:9-10)"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not decieved: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God".
Jesus died a torturous death on a Roman cross for any and all who will accept their own cross and follow him (Mth 16:24). He paid a great price. He has done his part, we must be willing to do ours.
This is not hate speech, this is true love. If a car is going the wrong way on a one way street, is it love to keep your mouth shut, or is it love to warn the driver of impending danger?
Michael Sullivan In The Daily Item 02/10/96
Most of us are familiar with the parable of the frog who, sitting in cool water, will stay in the water even as it is heated up until the frog is boiled alive. Sadly, most of the human race is not faring any better than this frog. The "civilized" world is sitting quite comfortably as our surroundings are heating up day by day, as unheeded wisps of steam warn us of our impending fate. We think of ourselves as so much more "enlightened" than generations past. I am afraid if one searches out history, you will note each enlightened society boiled over and evaporated into nothingness.
Only one thing stands the test of time: God's word! In it's purist form it accomplishes exactly what God wants it to accomplish - man's salvation. In it's perverted form it accomplishes Satan's wishes. From the begining he has misused scripture to man's bane. The saddest part is that Satan's work is so easy. Man is eager to "wrest the scriptures" to his liking. Oh how we love the "salad bar' approach to our religion, pick and choose just what suites us. I am inclined to say that God has prepared a feast, and he doesn't want any picky eaters - we are to eat the whole thing!
Tolerance is the cry of many these days, from politicians, to what men call "the clergy", to the person in the street. Many seem to agree with the 1960's phrase "do your own thing". People of America, this is in direct contrast to God's word! How shall we stand? Believe me we won't. Just look around you at this country and the state it is in (not economically, even though that's where most put their trust): Legalized abortion (murder of the unborn), murder of the born (kids killing kids, kids killing parents, parents killing kids, adults killing each other), rampant divorce, gambling, glorification of people (sports stars, rock stars, movie stars, etc.), alcohol, drugs, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, lying, cheating, swearing, disrespect of elders or authority, and the list goes on. Do you feel the water getting very hot my little froggies? Probably not. Too many have been desensitized to sin. Most people wouldn't even see many of these things as wrong.
God sees a problem with all these things and he has his word to prove it. I would like to close with a few scriptures for you to give consideration: (Prov 14:12)"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death." And (Eph 5:6-11)"6) Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.7) Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9) (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]." Get out of the water, tolerate sin no longer!
Mike Sullivan in The Daily Item 10/11/97
Much has been said concerning Christianity in the "Between You and Me" column since it's conception. The comments I would like to address today are those concerning the existance of God, the importance of the church, and Jesus Christ (Christianity) as the only way to Heaven.
Some mind speakers alluded to their disbelief in the existance of God. If you are a true atheist, I'm not going to persuade you in these few paragraphs to believe. I would, however, ask you to meditate on these scriptures: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptable God into an image made like corruptable man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lust of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.(Rms 1:18-25) The God of the universe has revealed himself through the very existance of creation. The fools blindfold themselves against this evidence with a fairytale called Evolution. God also reveals himself in the holy scriptures; "All scripture is given by insperation of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2Tim 3:16-17) The fools blindfold themselves against this evidence with the fatal condition of ignorance.
Others reject God in anger. Some say "If there is a God, why is there so much sorrow and pain?" God created everything good in the beginning. When sin entered into the picture, so did sorrow and pain. Read Genesis chapters 1 - 5. Satan, sin, and our own human weakness is to be blamed, not God. God in his mercy and grace, uses sorrow and pain to strengthen and teach his children. One can either deal with "bad things happening" by being angry and resentful, or, trust in God's word when He says: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."(Rms 8:28)
As for the church of Christ not being necessary for salvation, let me just state: There are none saved outside the church, and any that are saved are in the church. Look at the following scriptures:"And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the begining, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminance."(Col 1:18). "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." (Eph 5:23). "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."(Acts 2:47). People, don't be led by fools. Believe God's word and live.
Now, for the crux of the matter. Is Jesus Christ the only way to Heaven? Let me start with a very sobering verse: "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Mat 7:14). It is not because God made salvation hard to find, but because of mans' willfull pride and arrogance blinds him from the truth. Jesus provided the pointer when he said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (Jhn 14:6).
Jesus was God in the flesh: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (Jhn1:14). God's love and grace was manifested in Jesus and his ultimate sacrifice on the cross. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rms 5:8). Salvation is "in Christ" and "in Christ" only. "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazereth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here whole." (Acts 4:10). "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Gal 3:27).
Truth exists, but you must seek it with a willing heart, willing to do the will of God as laid out for all His childeren in the Holy Bible. Jesus says "seek and ye shall find."
Mike Sullivan submitted to Daily Item on 06/01/1996 and 06/18/96 but they never ran it.