Wednesday, November 09, 2016

An Open Letter to the New President

Dear President Trump,

Congratulations on a hard-fought win that has taken everyone, but you, by surprise. I wish you the greatest of success in the 2017-2021 term you will serve. If I may, I want to give you some counsel you have undoubtedly already received.

First, make it your aim to please God, not man. Even though we voted, and enough of us voted for you to win the electoral college, it is ultimately God who establishes leaders. If you draw near to Him, he will draw near to you. The Lord God takes delight in answering those who call upon Him in Jesus' name. You have told us you are a Christ-follower. Pleasing God above all else is what Christ-followers do. Do not think that spending time in prayer and Bible study is a drain on your time. The wisdom you need is found in the pages of the greatest Book ever written.

Second, surround yourself with wise and moral men and women. And as you choose them, find those unafraid to disagree with you. You need to be able to see your important role from several angles. Given your success as a businessman has undoubted taught you that and much more.

Third, keep your word that you gave to us in your campaign. Seek to implement through Congress the proper legislation to fulfill your dream to "make America great again." Many--very many--of us are sick of the Executive Branch using executive orders to force an agenda down our throats. We do not want a monarchy; we want a representative republic.

Fourth, as you said early this morning in your acceptance speech, do all you can to unite this nation around the values that make it great. God will give you wisdom to know which points of discussion we can compromise on. After all, none of us has the perfect answer to all the woes that can plague a nation.

Fifth, I urge you to appoint a White House chaplain. Find a wise, godly man. You and the hundreds you employ will need  his counsel more often than you realize.

Finally, for anyone reading this, I urge you to give hold this man up in prayer. His role will be challenging. He needs the prayers of God's people. Whether you voted for him, or not. pray for this man and his family.

Once more, many heartfelt congratulations on your victory.

Respectfully yours,

Kevin Shearer, D. Min.

Friday, October 14, 2016

America's Lose-Lose Election Is a Win-Win for the People of God

Let me be clear: I will vote, Lord willing, on November 8th. I will not shirk my privilege that so many died to let me have. Our nation is the most unique in all of history--at least known history, from the Romans to today. So, not to vote, not to take advantage of this unique privilege, is a travesty perpetrated upon the lives of those who enabled this great nation to exist.

That being said, this is the election that appears to be a lose-lose election for the United States of America. On the one hand, we have a lying, cheating, power-hungry candidate who will stop at nothing to win. On the other, we have a lecherous, leering, loud-mouth who will stop at nothing to win. Both will tell the public whatever they believe they need to in order to be elected. Both will wave the excrement-filled diapers of the other. Both engage in a level of vitriol not seen in our lifetime. I understand from some history sources that some 19th Century candidates were equally vicious towards one another. That time period notwithstanding, we are acting like lawless, barbarous, buffoons.

Deep lines appear to have been drawn in the sand. Did I call those lines? Perhaps it would be better to call them crevices. There is a fast-growing divide that threatens even the church. I seldom agree with men like Glen Beck; but he has said it well when he said that this election has injected poison into the church. Take what Mr. Beck says with a little salt; but know he has made a good observation.

For those among us who say that the future of the nation is at stake; that if the candidate currently leading in the polls wins, we will have set a future of activism from the judicial bench and socialism from congress and the White House, I agree. We are on a dangerous path. And we do well, as a church, to warn against it.

For those who tell us to keep our opinions to ourselves and let this play out according to the Sovereignty of God, in part, I agree. No one, neither you nor I, will change the sovereign plans of God. He is Narnia's Lion, who does what he wishes. It is not my business to guess what the sovereign plan of God is for the United States and then vote to make that happen. But to be quiet and let things play out is a stoic fatalism that does not characterize true Christianity. Christians must be a voice for righteousness.

So, barring something heretofore unseen, there will be an election on November 8th. And one of two ill-fitted candidates, both of whom John Piper said should drop out, will be elected. And for America, the choice is not good. Period.

But it is a win-win for any and all who follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Why, some may ask, would I dare make such a statement? Let me explain, please. If God hears the cries and prayers of many Christ-followers who have prayed for years for God to stop this tide of unrighteousness that characterizes the laws of this land, then perhaps that means this nation will slowly turn away from the legalization of so many sinful things. Perhaps we Christ-followers will see this nation survive a few more years so that we can continue to send out men and women to the lost around the world (which is one of the primary reasons, I believe, that we exist in the first place).

If, however, God allows the unChristlike forces to prevail, then it may mean that the church will have to shine more brightly than ever in the darkness of American society. I believe many, if not most, churches will be even smaller than before, because many will leave the church in disagreement over its clear moral stance. I also believe, though, that such a "purging" will present to the world a clear choice. There won't be such a confusion of the fabric of culture and the fabric of Christianity.

And who knows? It may also be that such a loss portends the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. It could be that the unChristlike forces win because Jesus is about to rapture the church from this world and prepare us for His coming kingdom.

Any way you look at it, for Christ-followers this is a win-win time.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Turmoil of Broken Fellowship: thoughts from my notes on James 4:11-12

I am preparing for Spanish worship at this juncture. We are studying The Letter of James, a study we celebrated earlier this year at our church. These are my notes from chapter 4:12-12 -

There is something refreshing about fellowship between believers. Believers should be in harmony with one another. The Psalmist called such harmony good and pleasant (Ps. 133:1). Fellowship reflects the perfect unity between the godhead. When one of the Triune God speaks, he speaks in perfect harmony with the other persons of the godhead.

Believers, thanks to the old nature, have an unholy tendency away from such fellowship. Our words too often tend towards slander. At the drop of a hat we can open our mouths and speak against one another. James tells his readers to stop doing that. The wording used is one that means to backbite, or to tear another to pieces. MacArthur described it as mindless, thoughtless, careless, critical, derogatory, untrue speech directed against others.[1]  In all likelihood, such a cruel activity would take place out of the presence of the person being verbally shredded.

Yet God teaches that the mark of a godly man is that he refrains from speaking against others (Ps. 15:3), while it is the mark of an ungodly man that he slanders others (Ps. 50:19-20). Solomon even warned about going around with talebearers (Pr. 20:19).

I suppose in heaven we will finally learn just how many walked away from the church because of a poisonous, backbiting tongue. We will learn then how many died bitter and broken, poisoned by their own lips as they attacked others. Historians recorded that David Livingstone’s wife died of a broken heart from the backbiters of the white settlements in Africa. The dripping sewage of a backbiting tongue only serves to show just what wickedness can arise from the human heart.

For James’ readers, two things were happening: by speaking against one another, they were speaking against the Law and they were condemning the Law. Can there be a more dangerous place than that of elevating oneself above the Law of God? Can we, who are imperfect, place ourselves in the position of speaking harshly against and criticizing—even condemning—that perfect Law of God? According to Phillips, It is the work of the Spirit of God to apply the Word of God to the consciences of the people of God. That is not our work but God’s work.[2]

If we are in the position of speaking against and condemning the Law, we have also chosen to speak against and condemn the Lawgiver. There is one who did that in the most evident of ways; his name is Lucifer. He declared in Isaiah 14 that he would be like the Most High God. He was soon cast down. One day Lucifer will be forever cast away, because there is only one who can save and only one who can truly destroy. It is in the power of the Sovereign, Omnipotent God, not us.

[1] MacArthur, 221
[2] Phillips, 147

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Protecting Freedom of Conscience

Well, here we go again! Mississippi has made the news! The link I am sending you to compiles many news sources (at first glance, all from the leftist, liberal perspective) for you to choose from. Why, even our most prominent local television station has gotten into the leftist camp. The news reported said that residents reacted to the new law protecting freedom of conscience. Then the report they showed was an interview with one--that's UNO. EIN. E (for you Chinese speaking folks)--person of the clergy. And that one person of the clergy? You guessed it! She is a Lesbian "Pastor." Fair and balanced you are not, WDAM!

Now, I'm less interested in the content of the bill at this point, as I am in the motive behind it. The title of the bill indicates that motive, which is to protect freedom of conscience. We seemed to have lost that in this nation. It seems that we are not allowed to have an opposing opinion from that of the most current popular trend. Whether it is the former Occupy Wall Street movement, or the LGBTQ Campaign for Human Rights (Doesn't that title sound so noble?), or Black Lives Matter (which is, in fact, organized by the LGBTQ movement); or even the Stop Trump Movement, if you disagree with the tenets of the faith of those groups and others, you are a bigot, out of touch with reality, and a pariah in the world, worthy of extermination. 

For me, it is a sad time in our journey. We have reached that place where activist groups now demand that we submit to their perceived truth. Even a group of "Dummycrat" Attorneys Generals have stated they will punish anyone who publishes statements against the theory of climate change. May I ask the obvious? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE???

The extremism of the left has pushed those of us who believe that the Bill of Rights are there for a reason to the point we have to protect ourselves from their legal punishment.  To be sure, these angry men and women won't be content to accept the laws. They will punish Mississippi. They will call for boycotts. They will beg Hollywood, the casinos, and big business to pull out and leave us to wallow in our poverty.

Well, there is a price to be paid for protecting our freedoms. Ask the fathers of the American Revolution. Read some history. Learn that some sacrifices are necessary for the sake of the human conscience. If we must suffer an economic downturn for a time, then so be it. As for me, I salute the bravery of Governor Phil Bryant, and the men and women of the Mississippi Congress.

To any LGBTQ who may read this: I respect your right to your opinion. I don't agree with you and your chosen lifestyle. But I respect your rights. I don't want to jail you. I don't want to punish you by refusing to shop where you shop. I only ask you respect my rights. If you did, then laws like HB 1523 in Mississippi would not be necessary.

And that's my line for the day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What a Difference a Day Makes!

On the Saturday before Resurrection Sunday, men hid in fear. Ladies wept in deep grief. Religious leaders laid down that evening with a feeling of relief. I imagine Peter walked as far as Sabbath law permitted, beating himself up for having denied Christ. Thomas was angry; even bitter. Disbelief and denial that Jesus was really dead ransacked the minds of Jesus' disciples. That was Saturday.

Then came Sunday. Then came the crack of dawn. A contingent of brave ladies found an empty tomb. The Savior found Mary Magdalene. Mary found the disciples. The disciples found resurrection life in Jesus Christ. That was Resurrection Day. What a difference a day makes!

When was your Resurrection Day? When did that one day make a difference for you? If you claim to know Christ, you should have an idea about that. The Bible teaches in Romans 6:4 that we had a resurrection day. Before that day, you walked in slavery to your sin nature. You walked in the devil's chains. You walked in death, powerless to do anything but follow the ways of this world. But then comes Resurrection Day, the day you meet Jesus. And now you walk in life. You walk in the Spirit. You walk in freedom.

If you can't point to a resurrection day in your life, let me help you. Write me at and I will share with you the greatest news I can share!

Jesus is most certainly the Risen Lord!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Have You Found Your Way, Yet?

In 1989, while we were still in transition in Lima, the mission board gave us a Nissan, double-cab pickup for our family, and pointed us south to the city of Arequipa. They gave us general directions to the Pan American Highway and said, “Follow the signs.” Lima was in chaos in those days. Thanks to terrorism, most lights were out at the major intersections. You had to drive with two sets of eyes. As hard as that was, that was the easy part. We knew at the other end of that long, two-day drive, we had a home. Figuring out how to get to that home is another story. Our truck was loaded to the top of the camper shell on our new truck. And off we drove, headed to our new place of ministry.

On the second day we made it to Arequipa. We had visited the city. We had visited the house that would be our home. But we rode in taxis and we had only been from downtown to the street we lived on. We were acquainted with the city and the general way to our house; but we did not know it. It was only general information for us. There was no such thing as a Garmin. No such thing as access to GPS. No such thing as a cell phone. You just drove, stopped, and asked. People pointed in a general direction and you drove, only to have to stop and ask again. We got there finally. But someone had to show us the way.

Sometimes, in our rush to live life, we assume we will find our way. It's human nature for many of us, after all, to be independent and figure things out for ourselves. But there are some things you simply can't figure out for yourself. You need someone to show you the way. When it comes to eternal life, God has taken care of that.

First, God expects those who understand the way to tell others about the way. And why wouldn't we want to do that? Think about it. You know the way to the greatest place and the greatest person; why wouldn't you want to show others that way?

Second, God sent the Holy Spirit to show you (us) the way. It's not enough that I tell you. The Holy Spirit is the one who does the convincing and teaching about the way. He is even the one who makes you want to find the way. He is the one who illuminates your heart so that you can see the way. He is the "GPS" we didn't have when we went to Arequipa. 

Third, if you want to be in that place of eternal rest and joy, and in the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords, then God expects you to take the one way he has provided. The Lord may point out the way, but you have to choose to travel down that way. 

By the way, if you are looking for eternal life, Jesus is the way. There is no other way. 
Jesus is the Truth. He has answers some of you are looking for. Jesus is the life. You want to be satisfied? You will find the most satisfying life in Christ Jesus.