Faith and the Decline of America's Christianity

Rev. Charles Finney 1792 - 1875
Rev. Charles Finney 1792 - 1875

“If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

~ Rev. Charles Finney,

Minister and Abolitionist said these words back in the mid 1800s.

These are some strong words coming from a minister.  Can you imagine if a minister today spoke with such courage and conviction?  Can you hear the outcry from the masses?  We would hear shouts of “Keep Religion out of our Government!” all across the country.  Rev. Charles Finney did not listen to those voices, although I’m sure he heard them.  He joined the ranks of ministers throughout history, right here in America, who called upon their congregations to let their voices be heard and to stand up to the oppression that too much government brings.  Can anyone deny that those things that Rev. Finney warned against are not happening today?

Painted depiction of the Prophet Isaiah
Painted depiction of the Prophet Isaiah

Where are our Rev. Finneys of today? Where is our Isaiah? Where is our Elijah? Where is our modern day prophet crying from the wilderness? Where are America’s prophets,calling on the citizens of this nation to repent like the days of the Isaiah? Do we even have any? What would they tell us? Would they be as outspoken as Rev. Finney? Who would dare stand up and tell America that she needs to repent? Would they have the strength of character to call on Washington and demand that America adhere to its Christian principles?

Martin Luther King Jr 1929 - 1968
Martin Luther King Jr 1929 - 1968

One of the last great prophets of our time had the courage to stand up on a national stage and tell all of America, that she was wrong.  He had a dream.  And for trying to make that dream a reality, Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered.  So, who does America turn to when we, as a nation, need guidance?  Who out there is America’s barometer?  Do we even care that our moral compass is off kilter?

Mega Church
Mega Church

Sure, we have popular ministers. They grow these colossal churches that bring in millions of people with millions of dollars. But in their weekly sermons, they water down their messages from God in order to stay politically correct. Where is their backbone? They hardly have the courage to stand up for what is right and good, let alone condemn the acts of oppression and greed that now besiege our country. Their message is smooth; their message doesn’t ruffle any feathers. Where would Isaiah be without ruffling feathers?

The people begged him, just as they do now,

“Prophecy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceit” (Is 30:10).

We have members in our own Congress who have come out publicly stating that our Constitution and the Bill of Rights are just not as important anymore, as our Founding Fathers intended them to be.

This is unbelievable to me. Despite what they say now, this country was founded on the premise of freedom, religious freedom topping that list. Why? Because that is what was important to the pilgrims. They didn’t come here just for a new farm or to open a new store. They came here because of religious persecution in Europe. There was a price on the heads of these ministers. The ideas that these ministers were teaching their congregations were so outrageous that the government in England tried to stop them by targeting these churches and burning them to the ground. These ministers, known as the Black Robe Brigade because they wore black robes, preached about the individual’s relationship to God. Therefore, it was the individual, not the collective that needed rights.

Never before has there been such an idea. Europe was aghast at the very idea of it. Throughout history, governments have alwaysfashioned the rights of the people in a collective manner. The individual did not matter as much as thecollective. These are the principles that the ministers taught the pilgrims.Their individual rights and responsibilities to God and to their country wereparamount. And it was these sameprinciples that guided our Founding Fathers as they wrote our Constitution and theBill of Rights.


I want to hear these principles taught again. I want to hear ministers preach this from their pulpits. God gave you unalienable rights. These are not given by a government: they are endowed by our Creator.

This kind of thinking was unheard of in those days and most certainly considered seditious against the king. It is precisely these rights that caused a war, thus gaining America her freedom. As we look at our government now, these rights, these precious God-given rights, now seem to be for sale to the highest paying lobbyists.

Oh, the smoothness and deceit that we long to hear. . . . . . . . .What do you think Isaiah would have said on September 12, 2001? Would he cry out for America to repent? Or would he say smooth things?

Rev. Billy Graham
Rev. Billy Graham

Gathered together days after 9/11, to honor those that lost their lives during one of the greatest tragedies ever in American history, Rev. Billy Graham had the attention of the entire world. Did he call for America to repent? He did not. Although, I have always liked listening to Rev. Graham, I was deeply disappointed in what I heard him say that day, “I have been asked hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer totally, even to my own satisfaction. I have to accept, by faith, that God is sovereign, and He is a God of love and mercy and compassion in the midst of suffering. The Bible says God is not the author of evil."

Really? He doesn’t know? Didn’t he read the prophets?

He states that the Bible says God is not the author of evil? Well, then maybe he didn’t read them, cause that is not what my Bible says. The Bible very clearly states that God is the author of evil.

Shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord has not done it ?" (Amos 3:6)

I make peace, and create evil(Is 45:6-7).

Rev. Graham stayed smooth and said the things our wounded hearts wanted to hear, the things that made us feel good, the things that soothed our raw emotions. But is that what Isaiah would have said?

What does America really need to hear? Were we taught that almost all of the civil liberties that we enjoy in this country are due to the principles of the Christian religion? How about our children who are our future? Are they being taught that?  Of course not.  This is not something to be ashamed of. This is genuine Christianity and it is to these principles that we owe our freedom. When we took God out of education, we also denied the religious foundation of this country. So be very aware of what is being stripped away from you, from me and all of us, as individuals, when you hear it said that we are not a Christian nation. To hear that from the podium of the White House shows the brazenness of the attempt to undermine our individual rights for the good of the collective.

Part of me understands the reluctance of our ministers, after seeing what happened to a lone citizen who had the audacity to ask an unpopular question in front of the world. All eyes turned to this man, some with respect but most with derision. Countless hours and a lot of effort were spent devising ways to discredit him. But isn’t that what God calls true prophets to do? To ask the unpopular questions? To take the country to task?

We need ministers who reject the lie that our ideals come from man’s enlightenment. We need these ministers to stand at the pulpit and tell us that our conscience is decaying, that we are lacking discernment and that Satan is playing around in the halls of our legislation. We need an Isaiah to come forward and tell us that the church is too interested in worldly pursuits and that is why the world has lost interest in Christianity. We need an Elijah to show us that our government has become so corrupt because we denied our Lord.

We need ministers who will stand up and pronounce, and for people to believe, that our individual freedoms and our independence stem from one thing and one thing only: the Biblical concept that all men are created in the image of God and because of this, all men are equal.



Comments 62 comments

thevoice profile image

thevoice 6 years ago from carthage ill

great direct hub read all people are created equal I enjoy reading peoples thoughts about life religion thanks


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the compliment. Equality, how can we possibly believe anything less? I appreciate the feedback.


thevoice profile image

thevoice 6 years ago from carthage ill

great hub its my joy reading


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks the voice, I enjoy reading yours too.


roadrunner 6 years ago

Amen! Great Hub.It was a pleasure to read.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks my love, sure appreciate the compliment.


TinaMarieTad profile image

TinaMarieTad 6 years ago from Michigan

Joni..you are spot on in this article. The decline of Christianity breaks my heart. It is being burried because of the other religions fighting for equality. Great Hub, please keep the hubs coming!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you Tina.

Ah, there's the rub.....Not only do we want to hear smooth things, we now blur the lines to keep it smooth.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

Joni, what a breath of fresh air you are! "The pulpit is responsible" ~ wow, and amen! Those who have the Spirit of Truth and speak accordingly are not liked by the majority; boldness is hated by the majority; even "churchianity" members hate to hear the truth with boldness and try to shut up the spirit of the prophets saying, "love and peace". Jesus said He didn't come to bring peace, but a sword. That sword is His Word by which every man alive will be judged. If the Word be in us through faith and if we be sealed with the Holy Spirit, we do not come into condemnation. The world may condemn us, but we are not of the world. Their condemnation is coming and faster than they know. Those in rebellion need to repent, for today is the day of salvation!! Praise God, sister; Praise God!!!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Praise God indeed Judah's Daughter.

Thank you for your uplifting comments.

After reading your Statement of Faith, I do believe that many are being led to use their voice.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

I so relate to the Church at Ephesus in Rev 2:2-3 & 6: "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary...You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." Oh, that the Bride not abandon Her first LOVE, our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ!!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

And to them all.... "then he who has an ear, let him hear."


IFD1253 profile image

IFD1253 6 years ago from Indianapolis, IN

I enjoyed this thought provoking hub. It is truly sickening to see how not only our founding fathers' intentions, but also their motivations are knowingly being trampled upon. It is no coincidence that our country rose to great prominence by adhering to their plan, nor is it a surprise that a failure to do so is leading to our demise.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you 1FD1253. Making the connection of individual rights to the belief in God by the founders was eye opening for me as well. Strip that away and it is no wonder we have lost our foundation.


susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

I am sure you have been attacked for expressing your faith in God just as I and many of us have. In-fact, often right here on the hubpages forums. You inspire good and loving feelings here and I only hope some non-believer's and those who have lost their faith, will receive this message. It's a fact, America's founding father's were onto something great! Joni.. a wonderful hub!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the compliment Susan. Lost friends and attacked. But the faith stays strong. Thanks for your encouragement.


ecoggins profile image

ecoggins 6 years ago from Corona, California

Wow! yes! Where are our Finneys? our Isaiahs? D.L. Moodys? Who will say here am I send me? Who will simply and bravely go knowing that the word to go has already been given? Great hub.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

There is a song out there now that states that very theme, "Lord, Send Me." Thanks ecoggins, glad you stopped by.


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 6 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

Joni, I compeltely agree, but I would toss into the fray, the Bible publsihers are also responsible for a watered-down pulpit. The new versions are coming out without any gender bias, politically correct, etc. You know what God's word says about changing the words of this book. One Bible version even trades places with Jesus and Satan in two places that I know of. I don't believe this is the sole reason for the prophesy of the weak church coming true before our very eyes, but it is a contributor, and a contributor to weak christians and division in the church.

Great hub! Keep em coming!

- Harlan


Marliza Gunter profile image

Marliza Gunter 6 years ago from South Africa

Great hub...yes..the truth hurts...the sword cuts deep...they even killed the only Son of God for His bravery and outspokenness of the Truth...


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Harlan, I had no idea that publishers were doing that. I'll have to check it out. I have many different versions that I study from but I have not run across anything like what you mention. Whether anyone considers the Bible to be PC matters not, God holds everyone equally accountable, and He sure doesn't need man to improve upon it. Thank you for stopping by and for your comments.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Marliza, thank you for your comments. The truth does hurt. And we must remember that God set the bar. We didn't and therefore, we don't get to change it whenever we want to.


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 6 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

Joni,

Check Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

What Christian does not know that Lucifer is satan?

Now, here is the same verse in the NIV.

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

What? Is not Jesus the Morning Star?

Lets see who the Morning Star is in some other verses in the Bible? I'll even use the same NIV:

2 Peter 1:19,

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Was Peter preaching that Satan would arrise in their hearts? Or Jesus?

Revelation 22:16,

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."

Actually its supposed to read bright AND Morning Star. Bright is a noun, not a verb, but the NIV changes it to an adverb.

Now take a new christian, perhaps in a hotel or a foreign land that has no christian churches - say he picks up an NIV. What are the chances they could become a little confused about who Jesus is by these two verses? Perhaps they are wondering why Jesus fell from heaven? Perhaps they decide its all junk and turn away.

Finally. Why has this been done? Why is the NIV the number one bible in the world today? Did you know this same NIV bible removes the blood of Jesus over 44 times? Its gone - the saving blood of Jesus Christ that washes away our sins - is gone! I guess it makes the bible easier to read and understand when they remove the blood of Jesus.

Why? A little known fact: Westcott and Hort the producers of the NIV - did not believe in the blood of Jesus. They admit it in their own writings.

Quotes from Fenton John Anthony Hort - NIV translator.

Concerning Jesus' death on the cross: "The fact is, I do not see how Gods justice can be satisfied without every man's suffering in his own person the full penalty for his sins."

In other words - Jesus didn't pay for your sins.

"Certainly nothing can be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christs bearing our sins and sufferings to His death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy."

Not only did he not pay for them, the doctrine is a heresy, according to Hort.

Hort's position on hell...

"Certainly in my case it proceeds from no personal dread; when I have been living most godlessly, I have never been able to frighten myself with visions of a distant future, even while I held the doctrine. "

There are many, more examples online of what these men believed. If you care to, google "Westcott and Hort beliefs". These are the men who produced the Greek text from which the NIV comes. I usually don't talk about this subject much because people seem to get upset with me. All I can say is, based on their own writings, the things these men believed is NOT equivalent of those who I want translating my Bible. You will find these men were also involved in a lot of occultic activities too.

Satan is the god of confusion. He introduced it into God's word and now these publishers are making tons of money off the faithful with their flowery sales pitches on how diligent they were in producing the latest and greatest.

Why did they need to produce and sell the latest and greatest? Money!

Beware!

In your standard Christian store there over 50 versions of the Bible that all say different things in different places from version to version. Why?

Copyrights!

If I decided to start a bible printing shop tomorrow and printed NIV's I would get sued or copyright violation; sued for printing the word of God... supposedly.

Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Psalms 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

I don't mean to whomp on you - forgive me if I have or do. Many christians study with several versions. If God's word is pure, why do we need several versions to study from?

To understand it better?

If God doesn't need man to improve upon his word, why are there so many versions?

To improve upon his word so we can understand it better?

How many versions do we need?

AB, ARSV, ASV, CEV, DT, ESV, GWT, GNT, HCSB, NKJV, NASB, NCV, NIRV, NIV-UK, NLT, RSV, The Message, TNIV, WENT, WNT, - just to name a few and then you get into the Men's version, women's version, kids version, teen, on and on it goes. Its about money and I believe the beginning of the watering down of the church into a one world religion.

Check it out, or call me crazy...

People get upset with me on this, but its my witness.

... Praise the Lord.

- Harlan


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

I won't call you crazy. I see the change in my Bible as well, although it does notate below that the reference here is to Lucifer.

However, and I find this interesting to note, the Jewish Bible from the original Tanakh translation, writes it this way,

" How are you fallen from heaven, O Shining One, Son of David."

In their notes, they apply this mockery to the king due to his aspirations to god-like stature. Isaiah refers to the son of Dawn, who is in Canaanite mythology the son of a high god El, matching Egyptian mythology's god Eos, aka - radiant one.

The Jewish version seems to fit with the context of the rest of the poem as well. Something to think about.


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 6 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

I believe that Jesus is also called the "Son of David," in the New Testement, which again begs the question, why is Jesus falling from heaven?

That aside, Nimrod the son of Caanan, who was the son of Ham, who was the son of Noah, was also the first king after the flood. He was not a godly king, rather a satanic king who proclaimed himself to be god. Combine that with the tower of Babel and the changing of the languages, I believe Nimrod to be one in the same as all the names of these other gods from various races and cultures, handed down through oral history etc.

The problem with that is, Nimrod lived and died before David, therefore he could not have been the son of David in lineage. The prospect of two evil kings who proclaimed themselves to be god is quite possible, but in my studies thus far, all these gods and goddesses generally lead back to Nimrod, his wife Semarimis and Babylon.

It is my personal theory, that after Ham's brothers Shem and Japheth rode into Babylon and slew Nimrod in the street for his evil human sacrifices, that his wife Semarimis relocated to Egypt and set up shop under her new Egyptian tongue, and name - Isis, however, it is just a theory based on study and historic religious migration and doctrines of the day.

Anyway, it all makes for interesting study and I enjoy it all very much. I still find the issue of confusion to be a red flag for me. Regardless, so long as one knows who Jesus is... for we know there shall be many false Christs.

When I was a child I used to imagine men walking around in tattered white robes saying they were Jesus. Now that I am an adult, I don't think that is what he meant. I think he meant beware, many will say here is Christ or there is Christ, but it is not Christ. As Satan himself said, "I shall be as an angel of light, I shall like the most high." Society looks for the image of the beast, some evil, scary red-faced devil with horns and a tail to define satan, when in reality, he is tapping on our shoulder appearing as God or Christ.

Aside from the Isaiah verse in question, there is still the issue of the Blood of Jesus being removed from the NIV over 44 times, and the principle translators stating they didn't believe in Christ's blood as payment for our sins, rather - the individual paying for their own sins.

For me, this presents real problems with the NIV that cannot be explained away in a foot note at the bottom of the page, which brings us back to your orignal point - the growing weakness of the church.

The NIV is the number one selling bible in the world. It is slowly being changed to fit with all the world religions. I believe it is one of the tools being used to usher in the future global church, One World under One Religion.

Many people do not agree with me and I am fine with that. But one thing we cannot deny is the church in America was stronger 150 years ago before we had 50 different bible versions, TV, Movies and Gossip Magazines at the grocery store; just a sign of the times.

Thank you for the reply, I look forward to more of your great hubs!

God bless you always,

- Harlan


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

This article is fabulous! Thank you very much for having the courage to speak the truth boldly. You are blessed with the gift of discernment and you have used it here exactly as intended by our Maker. I could not be more impressed.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

joni that was some powerful stuff ! And boy I do not think there is any doubt that America has lost its moral compass. And that many celebrate that. I do not think so much people do not believe in God as they choose to listen to the voices that tell them there is no God , do whatever you want , and do not worry about there being consequences !

After all people do not want to feel something as bad as guilt for their actions, that is archaic thinking. I love the hub , great work ! One thing we do know is that Reverend Wright is not the new voice ! Oh by the way I hit the thumbs up again


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you James, that's high praise indeed. Makes me feel like I get it right every once in a while. So glad you liked it and commented.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Tony, thanks for your comments. When everything is someone else's fault, it is hard to learn to learn about consequences. And Wright is definitely wrong.


bornblond8dg profile image

bornblond8dg 6 years ago

This is a very well written article...although i don't have my bible right in front of me i don't think that God causes evil...i think he allows it look at the evil that happened on the cross when they murdered Jesus who had done no wrong...i believe also that God didn't make us to be robots and he gives each and every soul the freedom to choose right from wrong...but i think that to interpit scripture to say that God causes evil is to say that God is a sinner as well, so i'm not real sure if that interpitation is exact.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you very much for your comments bornblond8dg.

I would like to point out that I am not interpreting anything. I am quoting. Those are actual verses. There is more proof throughout the Bible.

"…thus said the Lord, Behold, I frame EVIL against you, and devise a device against you…" (Jer. 18:11).

"…and experience of EVIL has God given to the sons of man to humble him thereby" (Ecc. 1:13, Concordant Old Testament).

"Out of the mouth of the Most High proceeds not EVIL and good?" (Lam. 3:38).

Either we believe it all or none of it. We can't just pick and choose the verses we like.

Do you really think that God didn't know that Adam & Eve would eat the apple? The tree was The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Of course He knew. He created it.


Specialk3749 profile image

Specialk3749 6 years ago from Michigan

Great hub! I agree with you totally that we really need ministers who will stand up for what they believe and preach it! I feel that my generation has slacked off and the only way we are going to get it back is by teaching our children to be different and stand up for what they believe. It is going to be tough for them because of how wicked our world is. Thanks for a well written hub!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you so much for your comments Specialk. You are so right about teaching our children. Knowing what is right and wrong seems to be a forgotten value.


bornblond8dg profile image

bornblond8dg 6 years ago

Yes I believe God Knew that Adam and Eve would eat the apple but he didn't make them do it they had the freedom to choose right from wrong.I think God allows all the evil in the world but he doesn't cause it.He could stop it at any time but chooses not to just yet just like the evil that happened on Calvary but was ultimately for the good to those who would repent and be saved.I think the bottom line is if God initiated evil that would make him a sinner just like mankind but as we know God has never committed sin do you see what i'm trying to say.I know what the verses you wrote said and i still haven't looked them up in my own Bible but sometimes it can mean different than we're actually interpiting it.Just like there is a verse in the Bible about if you have faith you can handle snakes and not be harmed but yet i don't believe it means for us to actually go out and do that.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you for stopping back bornblond and for following me. The last thing I want to do is start a disagreement with you or with anyone else here. I am in no saying that God is evil. But He did plan it. How could He not? Either He is God of ALL or He isn't. This isn't plan B. If we believe that everything happens according to His plan then we must accept that everything is part of His plan.

My intention when bringing up Adam and Eve was to point out that God intended man to know good and evil.

I agree with you about the snakes (yuck) and about how easy it is to take things our of context. It is important to be able to back up what we say, especially when we quote the Word of God. So thank you for keeping me on my toes.


fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

After reading this Hub all I could do was thank God for directing me to such an insightful and well written discourse on the true cause of the state we now find this country in. I stand ashamed for not crying these truths aloud in the street while so many perish in their sin and others suffer because we as a church do not speak out boldly of this country's need for repentence. I hear Your voice calling out in the wilderness from Your daughter...Joni. Thank you Lord for it!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you Fred. I feel shame at times too. All we can do is speak the truth. You know it is; you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Thank you for commenting. I appreciate the encouragement.


MCWebster profile image

MCWebster 6 years ago

Hi Joni,

What a great article! Very direct and honest.

We personally do believe that there are prophets on the earth today, and that they continue to teach repentance. The only problem is, there are very few who listen.

The question of why God ‘allows’ tragedy to happen reminds me of a little story I once heard. A man was sitting in a barbershop, getting his hair cut. He and the barber were talking, and the man concluded that ‘there is no God.’ When the barber asked for the reasoning behind this, the man replied ‘well, if there is a God, why does He allow all these horrible thins to happen?’ The barber thought about this for a little, then suddenly he said, ‘well, you might as well say that there are no barbers either.’

‘What do you mean?’ the man asked. ‘How can you say that? You’re a barber!’

The barber pointed out the window. ‘You see that person with the unruly long hair? If there are barbers, why is he allowed to walk around with that horrible hair?’

The man replied, ‘well, because he has to make the choice to come in for a haircut.’

And the barber said, ‘exactly. So it is with God.’

We believe that one of the gifts we’ve been blessed with in our lives is the gift of free agency. This does not mean that there aren’t consequences to our choices (whether negative or positive), but it does mean that God will not force us. He teaches us what we should do, He has given us a conscience, He gives us guides like the Scriptures, He maintains an open communication with us (prayer) if we choose to use it, but in the end, it’s our choice.

We are tested on our choices.

There is a painting in our home of Christ standing at a door. There is no handle on His side, so He stands at the door and knocks. We are the ones who need to let Him in.

Thank you again for a terrific article. It was much appreciated.


Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 6 years ago from Atlanta Ga

Your hub was a great choice.ALL the apples in the barrel

did not decay.

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Divine-and


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you very much MCWebster for your kind words. Yes, I agree there are true prophets right now speaking out, but I'm afraid their voices go unheard for the most part. Glad you stopped by and Welcome to HubPages.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment Apostle Jack. Welcome to HubPages to you too. No, not all the apples are bad. :)


Michael Adams1959 profile image

Michael Adams1959 6 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

What an awesome hub, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. look forward to reading more


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you Michael. I look forward to reading more of yours as well.


goldentech 6 years ago

Enjoyed the hub, I especially liked one of your comments. If we believe that everything happens according to His plan then we must accept that everything is part of His plan. Wow, I have never thought of it that way before. You write clearly thank you.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you goldentech and thank you for commenting. Welcome to hubpages. Eager to read some of your work.


tfhodge profile image

tfhodge 6 years ago from California - U.S.A.

'The Christ Consciousness' is a way of living the walk of love. Though many profess to be 'Christian', they practice not. Great hub!


friend.g 6 years ago

I'm not an American, but whatever you wrote very much apply to my country and other countries too- "The pulpit is responsible".

"If my people, which are called my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I'll forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2Chroninles 7:14

God din't say it would take everyone in nation to turn things around. He just said, "If MY people......."

This promise is the hope for America and my country India too. Great hub!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

tfhodge , Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Hypocrisy is rampant. There is an adage that fits here......Say what you mean and mean what you say!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you friend.g for your comments. The quote, saying the pulpit is responsible, applies to their job. You are so right that it is we, as individuals, who need to be ever watchful and responsible.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

The Bible said the 'love of the greater number would cool off' and 'men would become lovers of money' this is so true these days.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Yes it is BobbiRant. Thank you for stopping by and adding such great reminders.


Sundaymoments profile image

Sundaymoments 6 years ago from United States

I love this hub; it speaks a bold truth that many believers and non believers alike run from. I agree with tthodge's statement that many proclaim that they are Christians outwardly; however, when it comes to truly walking the walk they do not walk it!!!:)~~


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thanks Sundaymoments. That statement is sadly true, giving real Christians a bad reputation to overcome. When we read stories of supposed Christians doing horrible things it gives fodder to nonbelievers. Then it is no wonder that even the word Christians becomes a anathema.

Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate the comment.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

I got to believe that I was directed to this Hub Joni. This is an issue that has been tugging at my heart for some time now. My former Pastor and friend, passed away four years ago, was a passionate man, who preached this from the top of his lungs. He never sugar-coated his messages or tried to tickle our ears. He preached straight out of the Bible. I truely miss him. Your message is nothing but honest and true...we need a wake-up call, I thought 9/11 was it. I was wrong. Anyway, I am rambling, but I want to extend my gratitude for your convictions and for sharing.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you CMerritt. I am sorry that you lost such a dear friend. Sugar coating the true Word of God and keeping it smooth, seems to be the popular way it is done now.

We can't pick and choose which parts of the Bible we agree with. It comes as a whole package and this is not taught in far too many places of worship.

I thank you for reading this and for adding your thoughts.


Slave2No1 profile image

Slave2No1 5 years ago from Oneida, NY

What happens to the Shepherd when the sheep he tends have eaten all the grass? What happens to our faith in ANY institution, (religious, governmental or business), whose leaders become exposed as greedy, flesh-driven sinners? We search for a light in the darkness and when we finally find the flame, we get nothing but burnt. If faith in God was all that we needed to save ourselves from drowning, we'd all be fish in the first place. Man-kind tends to believe we are above all other species on Earth, yet the only 'sin' that any other creature has ever 'committed' is one in the name of basic survival, for themselves and their off-spring. How is it that we are so arrogant to think we are better than that? Yes, we could be and maybe even should be, but apparently we aren't. IF what has been, is now and will take place in the future is HIS plan, either way, no matter the out-come, good or bad, no amount of Bible-thumping (Torah, Koran, etc.) will change it. We have lost faith in ourselves to BE better people. If we (unto ourselves) don't fix what is inside each of us, we can't help anyone else. 'Selling' faith (door-to-door? In text or on Radio & TV?) doesn't do it either. We have to look inward, not outward. HE is in us; What will be, will be. - Amen


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago Author

Welcome Slave2No1. Yes, I agree that any man or any institution that we might follow here on earth can easily be exposed as greedy and sinners. Isn't that why we are told to follow the Word of God and not the word of man? Not others interpretation but the true Word itself? Man can not lead people on a godly path without the help of God. Plain and simple. When our leaders fail to seek and obey God's counsel, then the path they choose to guide this country may not be the right path. Thank you for reading and for your remarks.


Slave2No1 profile image

Slave2No1 5 years ago from Oneida, NY

Thank YOU for becoming a fan, as I have very few so far. I sincerely hope that you've enjoyed reading (some of?) my HP posts, (and that any of your followers -who happen to read this- will too.) Apparently, my posts tend to be a bit less popular than yours as most of my topics are a little more specific to a much smaller group. Also: TYVM for your reply to my comments here.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago Author

Slave2No1, I really do appreciate all the comments on my hubs and I try to respond to them all. Thanks again.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Joni,

Excellent and well put. As a preacher, I have to admit that the blame belongs on the pulpit. America has fallen apart because its "preachers" have fallen apart. Thanks for bringing the Truth to light.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago Author

Thank you lifegate, appreciate your stopping by. As I said on your hub, I wasn't as nice as you.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 2 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Joni Hello sister. God Bless you for this timely hub. Much is absolute truth. And there are things we do not understand but God will reveal it to us in His time. He has not left one rock unturned. Much damage does come from the pulpit. Much has been watered down. Much of the church is law and not relationship with Jesus. All of that and more is true as it has been for all of time. The good news is this. There are great and wonderful men of God and none are perfect. Many pour out the truth and spell it out loud and clear. Many move form that pulpit to a softer version. Many more than you and I might be aware of. I believe many love going to the popular church because they are not convicted. But mind you the Holy Spirit has His hand on His children and knows what He does. It is all in the grand plan. The gift of discernment is powerful given by the Holy Spirit. We wrestle not with flesh and blood but with powers and principalities of darkness in high spiritual place. Our war is a battle of Spiritual. Many have no clue that claim Christianity. It is sad but all we can do is pray they will hear truth. I truly believe the church's that do not shout truth will fall. God has written in Revelation to the churches. Let us hope many come to the truth and share the full gospel message of Christ with out wavering. For myself I have friends that have left a church because they felt empty.. They moved on to another church where there is outpouring of the Holy Spirit and praise to God are born again So at least some are searching and God will lead them. Thank you for writing such a topic. I know it is a difficult one to tackle you did good sister. May Gods favor abound on you in the coming year as you rejoice in the Lord. Share the good news girl and keep going. My Love, Your sister Skye

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