Wednesday, November 25, 2015


by Dan Jones

Sometimes, the words do not come to me for this blog.

And that’s okay, because sometimes my words are not the best words.

As I sat down to write this, I searched through various Thanksgiving messages from Charles Spurgeon, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Pugh and many, many Thanksgiving prayers by anonymous authors, searching for the one that seemed “right.”

Then, I came across this page: which lists hundreds of Thanksgiving proclamations from 1723 to present.

Now, I cannot say I read every one of them, but it’s pretty clear that claiming we are not a Christian nation cannot be supported on the basis of what is contained on that page. Our thanks and praise have been directed to the great I AM since the foundations of this country.

And yes, one of those proclamations stuck out from the rest.

There is a prayer in the middle of FDR’s 1940 Thanksgiving Day proclamation that is just as apt today as it was 75 years ago:

 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - A PROCLAMATION I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-first day of November 1940, to be observed nationally as a day of thanksgiving. In a year which has seen calamity and sorrow fall upon many peoples elsewhere in the world may we give thanks for our preservation. On the same day, in the same hour, let us pray:

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; Amen.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed. DONE at the City of Washington this 9th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-fifth. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT  

Today’s Praise

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

War is Not Hell

by Dan Jones

It seems every blogger in the blog-o-sphere is writing about the attacks and the bloodshed in Paris.

All over Facebook, we have washed our profile pictures in blue, white, and red to stand in solidarity with the French.

In the comments sections of all the articles about French jets bombing the defacto capital of ISIS, there are voices shouting for bloodshed and war and revenge. One article ended by saying the French are truly doing the work of God.

And a video has been posted by the jihadists swearing by the name of their deity that they will attack Washington D.C. next and many more will die.

And on the radio at the very moment I write this, a song is playing with the lyrics:

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

And I am sitting in my nice, safe, warm home eating slices of dried mango and drinking purified water in a country where I am free to worship God and say pretty much anything I want on this page before me.

Yes, I am safe at home.

But many are not.

And many of us may think we are safe when we are not.
After all, if it can happen in Paris, can’t it also happen in Minneapolis, or Mankato, or Maple Hill?

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 NIV)

As Christians, we know that even if death should come upon us, our souls are safe. We will go to our ultimate home where we will be safe for all eternity.

But is the rest of the world ready?

As I sit here writing this, it seems war and an escalation of war is inevitable. It seems clear that ISIS will not suddenly come to its senses and relent from its stated mission to draw Christians into a war at a place called Dabiq for the purpose of bringing about the end of the world.

And that’s where all of this gets very, very twisted. The Muslims of ISIS believe that Jesus existed and that He was a great prophet, but not the Son of God. They do not believe He died on a cross and rose again to bring forgiveness of sins, but they do believe He will return again at the end of the world as messiah and ruler. His return, they say, will follow a great battle between Muslims and Christians at Dabiq, a small town on Syria’s northern border.  

They want us to fight them there—which is why what they are doing is designed for maximum media impact. It doesn’t just look like they are looking for a fight, that’s exactly what they are doing.

That’s why they have expended so much time and effort on the propaganda aspect of this. That’s why the films they make to provoke us are of such high quality.

They want us scared. They want us terrorized. They want us to think, “What will I do?”

And the enemy of our souls agrees. Worry about yourself. Worry about your family. What will you do? What will you do?

And because of that fear, the hot burning voice of hate in our hearts calls for revenge.

And the violence will escalate and the death toll will mount.

And every person that dies without knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will go to hell—terrorist and victim alike.

And while “Revenge!” is still on our lips, what of the souls we made no effort to save? What of the millions we were too nervous or scared to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Make no mistake, our Bible clearly says governments have been put in place to bring punishment on those who do wrong. (Romans 13:4) But while our rulers and the rulers of other countries make war and carry out what seems inevitable at this point, and we will support our troops--we are not allowed the luxury of sitting back and smugly cheering this on like some kind of armchair generals.

No, war should always break our hearts because war is not hell. War sends people to hell and hell is much worse than war because wars eventually end.

So, as we sit in your safe and warm homes tonight and the name of someone who does not know Jesus comes to our mind, the Holy Spirit is telling us to fall on our knees and pray for the words and the courage to speak the Word of Life to that person today. It is also a good day to consider supporting Kinship Christian Radio, which sends out the gospel of Jesus Christ 24 hours per day, every day.

Because “tomorrow” did not come for those 132 people in Paris.

Today’s Praise
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice. Psalm 50:6

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Come Home

by Dan Jones

As you may remember, last week I wrote an incredibly biased blog in defense of Contemporary Christian Music.

Shortly thereafter, I was listening to one of the songs I mentioned in that blog and a couple of lines left me astounded and overcome.

The song is “Come as You Are” by David Crowder and it repeatedly urges us to lay down our burdens, to come find mercy, to come and kneel, to lay down our hurt, to lay down our hearts, to stop wandering and come home. And then it says:

Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace.

And as those two simple lines ran through my head, in my mind’s eye, I had a vision of sitting at an immense table with the Father, the Spirit, with Jesus, and with all the believers—like a family sitting down to supper.

There was a soft, golden glow to the scene and I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace and comfort and warmth and safety and love.

And I felt at home.

I felt like I was with family. 

And I realized that this is what those verses meant about being children of God adopted into His family.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15 ESV)

And, sitting at the table with me were people just like me. People who had wandered far, far away and wasted the gifts He had given us on sinful things until we found ourselves slopping somebody else’s hogs and wishing we just had a taste of the garbage those hogs were eating-- because that would be better than where our stupid choices had taken us.

And when we had realized that, and come back in shame and dejection, He had seen us coming a long way off and run to meet us. And, even though we would be willing to be His slaves, He hugged each one of us and kissed us and put a robe on us and sandals on our feet and a ring on our finger and declared that we were his living child!

And He threw a great banquet for us where the whole family sat at the table and rejoiced in a Father who has the mercy and the grace to never stop loving us.

And at that table where the whole family is gathered, there is bread and there is wine.

And we are reminded that the Son, the only begotten Son, gave his very own body and blood to make us sons and daughters in this family.

We are reminded that love wins because it is the greatest love that ever was or over will be.  It is a love that even death cannot kill. It is a love that triumphs over death.

The bread is raised up and it is blessed, and then it is broken, and the wine is poured out and all the members of the family share it with one another.

And there is rejoicing because we know that nothing can ever separate us from this great love-- this family that God Himself created for the express purpose of nurturing and growing and fostering and multiplying an abounding, never-ending love.

And we know that we are home.



Today’s Praise
I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 8:11 NIV)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fake Gunfighter

By Allen Jones

I’ve been on a bit of a western kick lately, and that usually makes me think of my time in Deadwood, South Dakota being a gunslinger. Yep, you read that right, I was a gunslinger! (the scary fella in the picture is me!)

I dressed up as a cowboy everyday, walked the streets in character, talked to tourists, and got into a gunfight three times a day.  

Pretty normal job to say the least.

Seriously though, It was so much fun, and I love the old west.  Getting to dress up and be a gunfighter everyday was fantastic.  I find myself still craving it sometimes.  I just want to go and get into a gunfight!

I’ve actually grown up with guns my entire life, I’m very comfortable with guns, being a hunter and also collecting replica old west pieces.  Of course, when I was a gunfighter we were using blanks.

During that summer, I mostly played the gunfighter who came out on top. I got to shoot the bad guys and live most of the time.  Every now and then I got to be a robber and die on the streets of Deadwood. (That was always fun too)

Everyday I was shooting blanks in a fast draw situation and fake winning, and that starts to get into your head a little bit.  I started to feel really confident with my pistol, and started thinking if I actually lived in the old west I could probably do pretty well for myself.

Well, after that summer, my father and myself went out shooting (with real bullets), and we brought our own replica 1873 Peacemakers, the classic revolver of the old west.  

This was the first time I had shot a real bullet since Deadwood, and I was feeling awfully confident.  

So I started trying to replicate fast draw scenarios (safely mind you, I wasn’t just whipping my gun around) and I couldn’t hit a thing!   Time after time, I kept missing the rather large target.  So eventually, I took my time and actually aimed the gun so I could hit something.

My dreams of being able to shoot like a real gunfighter came crashing down, and I realized it was all pretend.  I was not nearly as good as I was pretending to be back in Deadwood.

In our Christian walk, it’s so important to  make sure we’re not doing the same thing.  

For example, to make sure that I’m not chatting on the radio, or writing this blog, day after day shooting spiritual blanks.

And once I’m away from the mike or computer, out living my life, that I’m disregarding God’s teachings and instructions for my life.

We need to make sure that we are spiritually prepared, spiritually loaded in God’s truth, not  pretending to be something in the Lord that we’re not.

Jesus says in Matthew Ch 22 “ But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.  They tie up heavy, cumbersome, loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

Christ is referring to the Pharisees in this passage, the ultimate hypocrites of Jesus’s day.

The perfect example of fake gunfighters using blanks, but when encountered with true spiritual problems, and true relationships, they just don’t hold up.  

They were more focused on the act, the show, than actually living for God.

And it so very important that we take the same message to heart.  That what we do in the name of the Lord isn’t for show.  

That all the things that I say isn’t just to fill time on the radio or a blog.  But that it’s the speakings of my heart from my focus on God.

I find that it’s so important to take quiet time in prayer.  Time where God can talk to me, and I can truly soak in what he is putting on my heart.  Then go and live it.

 Not to simply say or write the words, but live with Christ always by my side, always thinking of the teachings of Christ, so I may know how to respond in any situation, in a manner that glorifies God.

It's all about being spiritually ready, so when we encounter a real life situation, we don’t find that we’ve just been performing a show the entire time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An Incredibly Biased, One-Sided, and Tendentious Defense of Contemporary Christian Music

by Dan Jones

One of the things I have always strived for in writing this blog is fairness, balance, and respect for opposing points of view.

There are plenty of blogs out there that do no such thing.  From what I see of blogs currently available on the internet, the more opinionated and bombastic the blog is, the more followers that particular blogger generally has.

But it’s not my objective to promote myself. This is not the Dan Jones blog. This is the Kinship Christian Radio blog. The objective is to bring glory to God while lifting up, supporting, and encouraging believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  If readers who are not believers would find the love of Jesus Christ in the words the Holy Spirit grants me and come to faith, then let the LORD be praised!

And if what I write here fosters discussion and thought about what we believe and why, all the better!

That having been said, please be prepared for the most biased, one-sided, and blatantly tendentious blog I have ever written. (Yes, I purposely found a ten-dollar adjective to put in that sentence.)

Now, as a blogger for a Christian radio station, which plays Contemporary Christian Music, and which has opened my heart and my mind and my soul to deeper and greater faith, it’s abundantly obvious that I cannot possibly attempt to pass myself off as objective on this subject by any stretch of the imagination.

One of the chief criticisms of Contemporary Christians Music is that it creates an emotional response in people.

To this I say, “Well, I should hope so!”

I contend that songs that bring attention to God’s incredible glory, the awe-inspiring beauty of His creation, His boundless love, the incredible depth of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, the glorious victory in His resurrection, and all God has done for His dearly loved children are good things.  

I contend we should be emotional about those things. We should be shouting, “PRAISE JESUS!” and “HALLELUJAH!” in our cars, in our homes, and in our church services!

I’ve been in a church or two where the “worship” service seemed as dead and hollow and withered as a jack-o-lantern two-weeks after Halloween—and I’ll take a congregation singing “In Christ Alone” with hands raised in glorious praise over that any day.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11 NIV)

So I don’t buy the concept that enthusiasm for the Lord is somehow “entertainment.” That enthusiasm derives from the awe I feel for Him, not from anything remotely like a Super Bowl® half-time show.

It also occurs to me that the Apostles were not lacking in an abundance of zeal and enthusiasm in those first days of the early church when the Holy Spirit came on them with a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire over their heads. (Acts 2)

And, I think that’s really what irks me most about criticisms of Contemporary Christian Music.

For example, one Sunday we sang “Come as You Are” by David Crowder in church. While that particular song does not have a complex theological message, the lyrics tell us the Jesus has mercy on the broken-hearted.

After the song, a woman of the congregation who had just lost her husband to a tragic accident came forward in tears and praised God because it was true that, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.”

The song ministered to her. It helped her heal. It blessed her. And that is Jesus touching and healing someone in need.

And that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

So if I am emotional, even zealous, in my admonition that we should by no means kill Contemporary Christian Music, it is because I see the work of the Holy Spirit in it and through it to change and bless and minister to the hearts and minds and souls of many in need of Jesus.

And for that, I will not apologize.

Today’s Praise
So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure
From “Come as You Are” by David Crowder.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


by Dan Jones

The other night, I announced to my wife, “Me and the other Christians have decided Halloween is evil, so we’re going to ban it.”

In the space of a heartbeat, the woman whom I adore beyond measure shot me back a look that said, (in an entirely kind and loving manner) “You, sir, are being a big dumb Pharisee.”

Now, because I have been married to my lovely wife for nearly a quarter of a century, I received the communique she issued as clearly as if I were the Captain of the Titanic when his boat made first contact with that fateful iceberg.

(For those of you who have not yet learned to decipher the non-verbal communications of your wives, I urge you… No, I implore you, to devote yourselves to serious and careful study of this silent language.  Failure to do so will result in pain and misery for all parties involved. You have been warned.)

Earlier in the day, someone had posted on Facebook an innocent-enough article entitled, “Why Christians Absolutely Should Not Celebrate Halloween.” Which is here:

As you can see, the pastor who wrote the article has at least ten very good reasons why we who call Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior should absolutely, positively have nothing to do with Halloween. Her arguments are firmly rooted in scripture. Her interpretation of those scripture passages is spot-on, and her reasoning is impeccable.

And so, I shared the article to my own Facebook page.

Within moments, I had a number of responses.

One was from a wonderful friend with a great sense of humor who posted a picture of Clint Eastwood holding a large gun and shouting, “GET OFF MY LAWN!”

Another was from a local pastor, whom I respect greatly. She pointed out that answering the door on Halloween night allows her to exercise the gift of hospitality by offering children a treat for honoring her by coming to her door without fear.

Another response was a private message from a godly young man whom I know to be a true believer and friend of the Lord Jesus Christ whom I had hurt by posting the article. He made a number of very good points in a clear, calm, loving, and intelligent manner.

All of which validates my wife’s point that I was being a big, dumb Pharisee by summarily advocating a total prohibition of Halloween. (Apologies to those of you who correctly point out that not ALL Pharisees were evil, awful people.) 

I still think the article has some excellent points, but here’s the deal.

We are dearly loved by our Lord.  Our mission is to love God and love our neighbors with everything we’ve got so that He would be glorified and so that others come to Him and be saved.

That is extraordinarily unlikely if we stand in the front yard pointing an enormous firearm shouting, “GET OFF MY LAWN!”

Zero souls saved. Zero glory to God.

Likewise, let’s say the doorbell rings on Halloween night, and you go to answer it. Standing in your doorway is six year-old Suzy from two blocks down in the cutest little princess costume you have ever seen. Suzy says, “Trick or Treat!” and you respond with, “Hello, Suzy.  As you know, I am a Christian and I believe Halloween is evil so I am not handing out candy this year. Instead, here’s a Gospel Tract that tells you how Jesus died to save your soul.”  

News flash: Suzy is not going to read that gospel tract.

Suzy is going to tell all of her friends how awful and nasty you are and you may very well spend the next morning washing egg off your bay window.  (Not that Suzy herself would ever chuck a dozen Grade A Large at your window, but the local hoodlums may have overheard her talking and had an overwhelming impulse of vigilantism.)

And then we come to the young man who believes in and trusts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, who has participated in a Zombie Run or two, and who sees it simply as fun with no glory intended for the enemy of our souls.

That’s a good point, too.

While we often complain that the true meaning of Christmas has been sapped away by its commercialization, that is probably even more true of Halloween.

Without going into a lengthy history of Halloween, its origins do include ghosts and pagan sacrifice. Christianity gradually supplanted the original intent, but also blended with and incorporated some of the original content. 

Halloween in America has morphed and changed back and forth since it came to America, to the point where many now consider it a secular event. (The word “holiday” should not be used because Halloween is not a legal holiday, and that word literally means “holy day.”)

So how should we, as Christians, treat Halloween in a way that does bring glory to God and open hearts, minds, and souls to Jesus Christ?

Certainly, one way to respond is to simply ignore it. After all, if we believe Halloween is evil and a tool of the enemy, we can take the Bible’s advice and resist the devil so he flees from us.

That’s probably not going to work because resistance is active, not passive. The devil loves to be ignored by those who would speak the truth.

But, I think I found a better answer on a website called “Grace to You.”

“There's another option open to Christians: limited, non-compromising participation in Halloween. There's nothing inherently evil about candy, costumes, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. In fact, all of that can provide a unique gospel opportunity with neighbors. Even handing out candy to neighborhood children—provided you're not stingy—can improve your reputation among the kids. As long as the costumes are innocent and the behavior does not dishonor Christ, trick-or-treating can be used to further gospel interests.” (Emphasis added.)

Personally, I like the idea of buying the biggest, best candy bars you can find and handing them out with a genuine, heartfelt “God bless you!” to Princess Suzy and anyone else who shows up at the door. 
In my mind, that's much more like being salt and light than being yet another Christian who pulls out a soap box and, in his or her best Pharisee voice, calls for yet another ban or boycott of something he or she has found offensive. (As if there are not enough people in this world being offended by something.)
That having been said, I can also tell you that I by no means have all the answers on this topic. I would genuinely appreciate a thoughtful and loving discussion of any ideas would like to share.
 Today’s Praise
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (1 Colossians 1:13-14 NIV)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Steel-Toed Gospel

by Dan Jones

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 13-17 NIV)

Recently, I was pondering the above verses and something kind of jumped out at me.

Here we are with this description of the full armor of God. Obviously, I'm going to picture a warrior standing firm before the onslaught of the enemy, in full battle attire ready to vanquish evil foes. 

He’s got a big, thick belt to hold all kinds of implements of destruction (and one certainly would not want whatever that belt is holding up to be falling down in battle), a heavy armor breastplate to guard his internal organs, a tough shield to deflect flaming arrows, a helmet to safeguard his noggin, and a razor sharp, double-edged sword capable of cutting through bone right to the marrow.

It’s all great stuff of exactly the type a warrior should have…but right in the middle of it, we have shoes.


Shoes don’t seem like a huge priority to a warrior.  I mean, sure, you’re not going to go into battle barefoot. There are rocks all over the place on the battlefield and you sure would not want to be charging into battle and get a little sharp stone stuck in your pinky toe. That could be embarrassing—or even fatal.

But shoes certainly aren’t as cool and manly and macho as swords and armor-plating and tool belts and tough-guy helmets, and a big shield with a big red cross in the middle of it!

So, I wondered why those shoes were so important.

Maybe they’re big, steel-toed hobnail boots that we’ll use to crush the 
enemy’s head under our heel as we harken back to Genesis 3:15.

Okay, so they probably didn’t have steel-toed boots in Jesus’ time.  (Answer: No. It was pretty much all sandals of various types. And, yes, there are experts in ancient footwear and they do post this stuff on the internet.)

And, come to think of it, in the middle of all that shoe talk, it says the sandals are the gospel of peace.

Peace? Why is this Warrior of God wearing peace sandals?  (No, I’m not going into the hippy thing. I have some standards here.)

Then, when I start really pulling at the laces of those verses, something else jumps out.

Before describing any of the warrior’s battle-gear, the verses say the objective is to stand.

Stand your ground. Do everything, but stand. Stand firm.

And, it says the gospel of peace is strapped to our feet in readiness--in preparation.

The warrior being described here is not being prepared to go on the offensive—he is being prepared for a defensive battle.

The gospel of peace is the root, the foundation, the anchor that enables this warrior to resist the onslaught of the enemy coming straight at him. In fact, all of the armor described is for defensive purposes. The belt girds up the loins, the breastplate protects the heart, the shield extinguishes flaming arrows, and the helmet protects the mind. Sure, a sword can be an offensive weapon, but this warrior’s sword is the very word of God, which does not shed blood—the sword speaks of blood already shed for you.

For when we stand with our feet firmly planted in the knowledge that God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will never die but will have eternal life, what fear could we have in battle? What fear can we have when we know that death has been defeated before the battle ever begins?

We are not told to rush into battle, we are being told to stand. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) Stand on the gospel, knowing that we are ready for whatever comes.  Stand in the peace that passes all understanding knowing that we need not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks the darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. (Psalm 91)

And, if we must walk—even if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need fear no evil, for the Lord Jesus is our shepherd and we shall never be in want. And we shall dwell in His house forever. (Psalm 23)

Come to think of it, the Gospel does seem to have steel toes.

Today’s Praise

They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. (Psalm 20:8 NIV)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mutiny, Sedition, Treason, and Other Crimes Against the World as We Know It

by Dan Jones

Did you ever think of your dear, saintly grandmother as a mutinous rebel?

That’s right. Your grandmother, who went to church every single Sunday without fail, who never uttered a word harsher than “horsefeathers,”  who saved the little chips of soap left over in the bathroom so she and her rebellious grandmotherly co-conspirators could make soap for Christian orphanages in Africa—they were all rebels dead-set on a grand conspiracy to overthrow the entire world.

A recent article about the Apostle’s Creed, used the phrase “cultural mutiny” to describe the act of reciting that most well-known of all confessions of Christian faith.

Author Tony Reinke explains that there was a time when calling anyone other than Caesar “Lord” was an act of treason punishable by death.

All four gospels are quite clear that Pilate asked Jesus if He were a king. Pilate was not at all concerned about the Jew’s charge of blasphemy and told them to go and judge Him by their own laws. (John 18:31) 

So, when Jesus tells Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world, (John 18:36) Pilate has no grounds to execute Him because He is no threat to Caesar.

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” (John 19:12 ESV)

In essence, the Jews were shouting that Pilate himself would be guilty of treason if he were to release Jesus. An exasperated Pilate replies,
“Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:15b ESV)

And, in doing so, they claimed allegiance to this world and enmity with God.

That’s why claiming Jesus as our Lord and King is the ultimate act of sedition.

Because in doing so, as Reinke points out, we are claiming allegiance not to what the world offers us, but to what Jesus promises us.

As Christians, we are in rebellion to the world’s promises of happiness through money and power and sex and whatever that world is trying to sell us in cute little thirty-second blurbs in between scenes of lust and greed and appetite on that glaring box of an altar that all the furniture in our so-called “living rooms” is facing.

We are claiming to be in rebellion to this world. We are claiming that the unseen is eternal and what is seen is temporary and passing away with no more eternal significance than a double thick mocha grande cappuccino frappe latte with a fried egg on top.

We are claiming that this world is no accident. We are taking a stand and saying that God the Father created this world-- that it is not some gigantic accident of infinite nothingness that at some point in the infinite past somehow coalesced itself into an infinite somethingness and, in a flash of light, exploded into a giant, complex, expertly crafted, infinitely beautiful creation that somehow sings His praises beyond our ability to grasp or imagine.

We are claiming that His love, His bloody horrific unjust terrible death on that cross, paid for all the hurt and pain and evil that was and is and ever will be in all this world and erased all the guilt of every human being’s sin since the beginning of time to the end of time as we know it—all through simply believing that He stepped out of that tomb ALIVE for all eternity on that Sunday morning.

We are claiming that true life and true joy originates and propagates and lives and breathes and walks hand-in-hand, not in seeking all those things for ourselves through the acquisition of toys and houses and cars and money and more and more stuff, but in giving ourselves away to God. We are claiming His Holy Spirit lives in us.

We are claiming that love wins--forever.

And, in doing so, we are a rebellious, seditious, treasonous, mutinous lot because we are claiming that neither the world nor anything of this world will ever be our King.

And if collecting soap chips is your special act of rebellion, so be it!

Today’s Praise.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


by Dan Jones

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12 NIV

If I were a pastor, I would make seeing the movie “War-Room” mandatory for all members of the congregation—which is probably one very good reason God has not made me a Pastor.

But, it’s a superb movie.

The premise is that spiritual battles are won through prayer.

And for that, the movie gets an AMEN! Make that, underline, italic, bold, all caps. AMEN!!

In the movie, the main character’s spiritual battle is for her marriage, but I’d like to take that a bit further.

As Christians, we fight a spiritual battle every day. 

Whether it’s resisting temptation, maintaining good and godly relationships, doing our jobs to the glory of God, living lives that are salt and light to the world, or having the courage to witness to others, we all face spiritual battles.

But one thing we seem to have forgotten is that wars are not fought one-on-one.

No, in a real war, armies go up against each other. 

There may be some hand-to-hand combat and certainly the fate of any fighting force rests with the individual soldiers, but Generals do not send their troops out as individuals. 

Even snipers do not travel alone.

Soldiers are sent out as platoons, companies, brigades, regiments, patrols, etc.  

And one of the core, hard and fast rules of the military is, “No soldier left behind.” You never leave your buddy to die in a muddy ditch alone so you can run away.

But, that seems like exactly what a lot of us Christians are doing.

We see the events of the day unfolding and we are disheartened. When some hate-filled Wiccan shoots Christians in the head because they are Christians and the media ignores it, then later tries to claim that’s not really what happened, we feel like we’ve lost a battle.

When the president makes it about a political cause before the bodies are even cold and justifies it by saying prayer is not enough, we curl up in our muddy trench all alone and mutter something about “end times.”

See, that’s the purpose of terrorism.

That’s how the enemy works. He strikes a blow like a kamikaze that’s specifically designed to generate a lot of attention (a.k.a “media coverage”) that will dishearten us and cause us to live in fear, because when we are afraid, we are a wholly ineffective fighting force.

Well, I will not be afraid.

And, let us be crystal clear here—the real enemy is NOT other people.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

The real enemy is the enemy of our souls who uses lies to steal and kill and destroy.

It is the lies the real enemy puts in the minds of other people that are his weapons. That’s why the Bible says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 NIV)

So, how do we do that? What are our weapons? How do we demolish arguments and every pretension?

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV)

So, we put on the full armor of God and we PRAY!

And do we go into battle alone?

All throughout the Old Testament, the people of Israel came together for group prayer, repentance, and fasting when they sought the Lord. Esther 4:16  2 Chronicles 20:3-4 Ezra 8:21 Isaiah 56:7

And in the New Testament, the Apostles regularly came together in group prayer. They even delegate duties to others to focus on corporate prayer. Acts 6:4

Jesus himself says, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18: 19-20 ESV)

So, we need to come together, fast, and pray. There are battles every day. And, while great victories can be won in our individual prayer closets for our personal battles, societal battles are won in corporate prayer. As I’ve written in the previous two blogs, many miracles, Awakenings, and wholesale spiritual changes of whole countries have come as a result of corporate prayer.

And, yes, while godlessness and lawlessness will increase before Jesus comes back one final time, that is no reason to give up and cower in a muddy trench all alone. In fact, it’s all the more reason to gather together in prayer in order to bring as many people to Christ as one possibly can before it’s too late to do anything about it.

Today’s Praise.
But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (1 Peter 4: 13-14 NIV)