Category Archives: Miscellaneous

In 1798 the U.S. Congress passed a number of bills onto which President John Adams placed his signature.  These measures are commonly known as the Alien and Sedition Acts.  These bills were formulated and executed because of the fear of foreign influence within the newly formed United States of America. The U. S. Was on the brink of war with France, and there were many French within the states.  Any one of them could be spies or terrorists or simply attempting to disrupt American life and politics.  For this reason, the acts were put into place.  Immigrants now had to wait 14 years, rather than the previous 5, to vote and be considered true citizens.  Also immigrants could be deported if felt so necessary.  There were other measures as well.  The sedition act was a measure to curb what we would call “Fake News” today.  It states, in part:

. . .[I]f any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute. . . being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.

This obviously was not a very popular measure among many Americans.  This was, after all, an assault on the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.  Is it not the citizens right to have free speech?  Didn’t Voltaire often get quoted (and still does) for his, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”?  Is it not an American right to deliver “Fake News”?  It may be the right of Americans (the acts would expire or be repealed within years), but for Christians it is neither right to create, spread, or receive such news.

We are first and foremost citizens of heaven, not of America.  As such, we have our own laws.  We have rules of conduct as we represent our Most High God and King.  Rules such as: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–dwell on these things,” (Philippians 4:8, HCSB).  Or rules such as: “But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head–Christ,” (Ephesians 4:15, HCSB).  Or still more: “Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action,” (1 John 3:18, HCSB).  Of course there is the actual command not to bear false witness and imperatives not to be a part of gossip.

We are first and foremost citizens of heaven, not of America.  As such, we have our own laws.  We have rules of conduct as we represent our Most High God and King.

Why?  Because truth matters!  God is true though every man be a liar.  For His children to be about gossiping, lying, bearing false witness, spreading fake news is not simply a slap in the face to the children of God, but to God Himself.  We as citizens of heaven should have been the first rather than the last to shout the injustice of fake news.  We as citizens of heaven should decry any untruth that shows up on our social media pages.  We must be, must be careful not to simply “like” or “share” any news story without it being supported by the truth.  We have no right to spread any falsehood just because it supports our point of view (whether political, religious, or personal).  As John Adams once stated: “Facts are stubborn things.”  As Christians we ought to want to know facts.  We ought not seek to spin facts our way, but rather seek to have the facts unadulterated.  If we cannot stand on truth and factual argument then we are doomed.  We have no credibility within the church or with those outside.  We cannot claim to know the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, while sending people down the road of falsehood.  As Paul wrote the Ephesians, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another,” (4:25, HCSB).

As Christians we ought to want to know facts.  We ought not seek to spin facts our way, but rather seek to have the facts unadulterated.  If we cannot stand on truth and factual argument then we are doomed.

I call upon my brothers and sisters in Christ to reject Fake News.  Expose it for what it is.  Do not forward it through emails or speak of it in groups.  Do not “Like” it on social media, but abhor it.  Do not share it; don’t even think about it.  It is not just dangerous to pizza parlors; it’s dangerous to your soul.

As always, I’d love to hear from my readers.  All I ask is for respect.  All comments will be published as long as they are respectful (even if they are in disagreement with me).  If you liked this post, feel free to share it with others.

There’s a quaint saying in churches, especially smaller churches.  We like to say, “It’s not all about the numbers.”  It sounds spiritual doesn’t it?  Numbers are cold and dead.  We are about the souls, warm and living.  We don’t care about putting notches in our belts.  We want spiritual growth, not necessarily numerical growth.  But here’s the problem: the Bible uses numbers to tell God’s story.  It uses numbers to tell of the spiritual growth of the church.

If we go to Acts, we see first: “While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise,” (Acts 1:4, HCSB).  Who is the them?  Verse 2 tells us it was the apostles whom He had chosen (minus 1 of course).  That’s 11 of them.  In fact, these apostles are named in verse 13, and then more are added to the 11 when it says that the women, Mary, and Jesus’ brothers were with them.  Obviously Luke was keeping track of numbers.

The Bible uses numbers to tell God’s story.  It uses numbers to tell of the spiritual growth of the church.

Within the 10 days of Jesus’ ascending and the descending of the Holy Spirit, the apostles picked another apostle to join them.  The number who were with them at this point was 120 people (that’s a number)!  When the Spirit came and the tongues were preaching the word, we find out at the end of chapter 2: “So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them,” (Acts 2:41, HCSB). More numbers!  But it gets worse!!! At the beginning of chapter 4 we see, “But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000,” (v. 4, HCSB).  What’s with all the numbers?  How could Luke write something so unspiritual?

Of course, by this time, the church in Jerusalem was growing exponentially, and the numbers drop off of Luke’s radar.  But what it would seem Luke was doing was showing how the church was growing.  In fact, he even said such in chapter 2.  The new Christians were “praising God and having favor with all the people.  And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved,” (v. 47, HCSB).  The health of the church (praising God and having favor with all the people) seems to be linked to the salvations that were happening.  In other words, spiritual growth produces numerical growth.

I know this is not a hard and fast rule.  I have heard of matured Christians going to be missionaries and seeing no success.  But that is the exception that proves the rule.  We ought to be surprised when God doesn’t bless the matured believer with fruit.  We should be scratching our heads and bowing our knees and asking God for fruit, for the salvation of souls and the growth of the mission church.

I am encouraged by our church’s numerical growth.  To go from 21 as a low in 2013 to nearly double that in 2016 is a praise!  It confirms that God is doing something within this body.  It confirms that spiritual growth is happening (we are not the gimmicky type).  What visitors often see is that Highland View is a small church.  Some don’t mind, most do.  What they do not see is that Highland View is a growing church and a growing church (that grows for the right reasons) is a church about which to be excited.

The health of the church (praising God and having favor with all the people) seems to be linked to the salvations that were happening.  In other words, spiritual growth produces numerical growth.

So while it is not all about the numbers, some of it most definitely is about the numbers.

I’d love to hear from you.  Send me your thoughts; as long as they are respectful, I will post them.  You don’t have to agree; just be kind.  If you liked the post, share it.  Thanks!