The Lion, The Witch, and the Happy Meal: ChristianBeware!

Written by Dean Taylor on . Posted in Deception

Narnia

At the end of a short visit with my brother and his family this past weekend in South Carolina, we said our last goodbyes over a late night dinner at the local McDonald’s.

I don’t care much for fast food—especially McDonald’s—but facing a 13 hour drive home we agreed with my brother that it might make a nice grand finale for all our children.

My brother and I grew up at total odds when it came to spiritual things, he an agnostic evolutionist, and me the professing fundamentalist. It seemed we were always at odds on just about every topic. Looking back, I regret most of those debates we had in our childhood.

Swift Seduction A Look at the Spirit and Growth of Contemporary Christian Music

Written by Dean Taylor on . Posted in Deception

Musician

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col 3:16)

“Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” (3 John 1:11)

Modesty for Men

Written by Dean Taylor on . Posted in Modesty

As news reports from Iran leak stories concerning their growing political unrest, pictures of protests, demonstrations, and riots reveal a sad condition. Among the complaints—one that has caught a lot of the American attention—is the discrimination of women. Notable figures from within Iran have begun to speak out openly about some of the problems. CNN recently reported, “Increasingly, women’s voices are gaining power as their numbers rise and their demands grow louder. Even the granddaughter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the architect of the Islamic Republic, voiced frustration at the way women are treated.”

The Beauty of Holiness

Written by Dean Taylor on . Posted in Modesty

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (I Cor. 6:19)

There are few areas in the Christian walk that cause more debate and conflict than the biblical teaching concerning Christian dress. It seems as soon as the issue is even hinted at, walls immediately raise and images of Pharisees with long phylacteries, tasseled robes and furrowed brows quickly come to mind. While this is very unfortunate it is not completely without reason.

The sin of hypocrisy is exemplified by the act of looking righteous on the outside while the inside remains corrupt and wicked. This is a real threat, and we who believe in dressing modestly must not ignore it. The scripture plainly states, “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (I Sam. 16:7) We cannot fool God with outer appearance while the inside remains wicked.

Beware of the Leaven of Herod!

Written by Dean Taylor on . Posted in Non-resistance

Devotion to the flag

Mark 8:15

I was at work one day last month when I heard a news report over the radio, announcing a historic change. The announcer reported that Goshen College had just broken with 116 years of tradition by beginning this year’s series of basketball and baseball games with the playing of the national anthem. Standing to their feet, with bowed heads and reverent gestures, the “Anabaptist” college sang—for the first time in their 116-year history—their devotion to a flag. Apparently there was quite a stir, as news reporters and onlookers came out to witness this historic event. I had to wonder what the rival team, a Catholic university called “The Saints,” must have thought about it all.

Goshen College, 1898
Goshen College, 1898

As the radio announcer continued to report on the dispute that arose over this incident, I remember feeling somewhat embarrassed. Most of my coworkers know where I stand on these issues, so I felt as though someone was publicly exposing the sins of one of my family members.

It reminded me of another humiliation I had a few years earlier during one of the presidential elections. This time one of my supervisors, a Jewish man, was asking me who I was going to vote for in the upcoming election. I used the opportunity to explain to him the Christian concept of the two kingdoms. I explained to him that—simply put—Anabaptists don’t vote. He disagreed. An Amish man was right in front of us, so he challenged me, “Are you saying that this Amish man doesn’t vote?”

Being painfully new in Lancaster County, I smugly answered, “That’s right, just ask him yourself!” I stood there, confident of my Amish brother and his response to this Jewish man. Then he leaned over and asked the Amish man, “Are you going to vote in this election?” To which the Amish man enthusiastically replied, “You bet I am! I voted in the last election, I certainly am going to vote in this one!”

Gott Mit Uns (God With Us)

Written by Dean Taylor on . Posted in Non-resistance

Gertraud “Traudl” Junge

Whose side is God on?

Gertraud “Traudl” Junge was the secretary for Adolf Hitler during WWII. After the war, Traudl carried a lot of remorse about her involvement with the Nazi Party. Shortly before her death in 2002, she recorded her experiences and regrets on a video interview entitled Blindspot. Throughout the interview, Traudl recounts her time with the Nazi party, and especially her time with Adolf Hitler. As she recounts this sad time, most of her memories come across more like confession than anything else.

You won't find those here . . .

Written by Dean Taylor on . Posted in Non-resistance

Good's Store

An interesting thing happened last month here in Lancaster County. The day was September 11, and an apparently patriotic elderly gentleman went into Good’s Store looking to purchase a few new flags to adorn his lawn—as a kind of “9-11” memorial. When he couldn’t find any flags in the store, he asked one of the sales clerks why they didn’t have any flags. He didn’t like the answer! In a statement to the Lancaster newspaper, the man reported:

“After looking for some time, I inquired as to where they (US Flags) were kept. The clerk and then the manager’s answer astounded me. I was told, ‘… we don’t sell those here and we never will’. ‘You won’t find THOSE here ...’ the little girl at the register said as she wrinkled her nose. I was confused, so I pressed further and asked why. I was told firmly by the manager ... ‘We are a conservative Christian store and we don’t take sides; having American flags does that.’

Why Revival Leaves

Written by Dean Taylor on . Posted in Revival

Why Revival Leaves, by Dean TaylorLate in the 1950s Leonard Ravenhill wrote a book that quickly became a classic on the subject of revival entitled Why Revival Tarries. It addressed the perplexing question: If God earnestly desires to pour His gracious Spirit onto all flesh, then what is preventing it? In other words, what is stopping us from experiencing this outpouring, and what would it take for us to experience real revival like we have read about? I think it is a question that does indeed challenge each of us as we long for more from God and desire to see true revival in our day. But perhaps the thought that should vex us even more than why revival tarries, is the question—why does revival leave? Why, when a people have experienced a genuine presence and outpouring of the living God, would they turn away from it and choose another way?

As I have studied revival and church history, the question that often troubles me when looking at a particular work of God is—what happened that made this group lose every trace of all that God had done through them? Why does the glory of God leave? The Lancaster revivals of the 1950s, the Wesleyan revivals of the 1700s and 1800s, the East African revivals of the 1940s, and even the famous Welch Revival of 1904 are all for the most part gone. Why?