Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Are American’s Priorities

My post topics have kind of jumped around. I’ve started a series that regards why and how we chose to full-time in an RV and how we chose our RV. I have the first installment of a series on education and its deteriorating condition. I’ve posted about the passing of some American heroes. And, I’ve touched upon my religious and political beliefs.

Many of those series are not completed and once those are done, I won’t have as much to write about on the same topic. However, two things are priorities with me that kind of shape who I am. One is religion and my belief in God and the other is my allegiance to America. So, today I will touch on my priorities and ask the question, “What are the priorities of our other Americans?”

Today in Bible study at church, our study leader had some notes on the board that were from a poll or survey done in America. While I don’t know for sure the source of the information, I believe he said it was conducted by the Harris group. At any rate, some of the findings of that poll or survey are very disturbing. So, since I now get to be concerned with the findings, please allow me to burden you with the same.

The poll or survey was taken of Christians in America. It covered a broad spectrum of Christendom, thus the reason for the disturbing results. According to one of his notes on the board, this poll was taken of the “visible church”, of which I’m not sure of the meaning. Perhaps a reader might be able to enlighten me until I find the poll myself.


1. A majority of respondents accept the idea of Jesus as their Savior, but are not yet willing to call Him their Lord.

2. A majority believe Heaven is gained by good works.

3. A surprising percentage believes in some kind of reincarnation.

4. Oprah is believed by many to speak for God.

5. Less than 10% profess to be “born again” – as if we could be “un-born again” Christians.

6. Of the less than 10%, less than 4% (of the 10%) tithe to their church.

With point number 1, does this mean that the “professed” Christians want the salvation but are unwilling to fully accept Jesus? Perhaps it is just me, but I don’t believe that the two concepts should ever be separated. To do so is to be less than a Christian; to be nothing more than one who calls on the name of the Lord with the believe that nothing else is needed. While I am not God and cannot speak for him, I believe that the Bible is clear in this scripture:

“Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” Matthew 7:21

So, just saying that one has “accepted Jesus as their Savior” doesn’t mean that one is saved.

Point number 2 fails to take into account that there is NOTHING we can do to save ourselves (as I mentioned in another post) and that without God’s grace, we have no hope. We can do all the “works” that we want, give all of ourselves to charitable causes, expend every spare dime to our name to help people, but none of that will be enough to give us salvation.

Reincarnation, as mentioned in point number 3, means that we come back to this earth as another “carnate” being, or again, as a creature in the flesh. Perhaps I’m not learned enough, but I can’t find any biblical reference to coming back as another being. To expand upon that idea, the bible references “meeting Jesus in the clouds” upon His second coming, but I can find nothing to indicate that He will have an “earthly kingdom.” It may be that I am too unlearned to know, but if there were to be an earthly kingdom, why would we all (the dead and the living) meet him in the clouds?

Oprah speaks for God? What kind of mindset believes that any one speaks for God if they aren’t speaking from the Bible? While I respect the woman for what she has done with her life and how she has helped many others, I’ve not seen the credentials that she could speak for God. Many ministers that I highly respect would NEVER even consider such a possibility. Point number 4 is thus really a disturbing finding of this poll or survey.

Point number 5 flies in the face of the teachings of the Bible. A few verses for your consideration, the first two being the words of Jesus himself:

“Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3: 3

"Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'” John 3: 7

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,…” 1 Peter 1: 3

Point number 6 basically is saying that there is too many who are not acting upon devotion to God to help further his kingdom. While many seem to believe that “tithing” means 10% of one’s income, Jesus himself pointed out the widow who put in a “mite” in that she had given more than all that the rich had given. I doubt that God believes that we have to give everything we have, but he does hope for our commitment to Him.

It is my fear, based on the results of the above mentioned poll or survey, that Americans have been led astray of the teachings of the Bible, and that they are looking for a “religion” or “faith” that practices what “they” want to accept. God is the final judge as to who will receive a home in Heaven. It is fallacy to believe that our beliefs will be what save us. As mentioned in another post, we just as well worship an idol carved from half of the log we used to cook our meal.

Now, for a very minor touch of a point that may surface in detail later, I also fear for our country because there are so many who are unwilling to educate themselves to the dangers threatening our freedoms. A recent forum post has divided some RV enthusiasts who do not wish for politics or religion to be introduced to their favorite forums. They seem unwilling to believe that as RV’ers, their very dreams could be threatened by the actions of politicians and those that influence those politicians. While it is not a friendly topic, it is one that certainly needs a more studied consideration.

In regards to the reference above to us meeting Christ “in the clouds”, I have to believe the his radiance would surely make such a meeting to be in a beautiful place.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a poll. I have a hard time understanding some people. I guess it takes all kinds though. Ken


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