THE ELECTION

I Kings 19:18 Yet have I left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto
Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

With this election I am very disappointed as a patriot at the low turn out. As a parent I am disappointed that very few care about an issue which will affect our children for decades to come. As a pastor I am disappointed at the lack of action from the Christians. But success is never certain and failure is never final. The battle is not over nor will be as long as there is a breath in my body. To the Christian who may read this I would like to offer these words of encouragement. Several years ago a race track interest wanted to get county subsidy to build a track after off track betting was legalized in Texas. All the pastors of this town showed up to oppose this and gambling and spoke directly on this subject to the media. You saw bumper stickers saying “Just say Whoa” and the election was defeated. This can be done again, booze can be voted out the same way it was voted in. And we must fight back! The enemy said vote yes so we don’t have to have another election, but be sure there will be another. The lovers of money will want liquor stores next then bars and who knows what next. Remember that Wal-Mart is  in litigation with the State of Texas to be allowed to sell hard liquor in all its stores in this state. I believe that many Christians did not vote because they felt the election was already lost, that no one would vote with them. But remember this election was decided by less than 300 votes, and Canyon has churches that have that many voters. In the last election over 1000 people voted against booze and had a similar margin. If we will band together and SHOW UP AT THE POLLS we can beat this. We can make this city an oasis of water in the midst of alcohol. Pray. Talk to your friends. Get a fire in your soul. You are not alone, you are not isolated. God has others who oppose this sin and awaits your action. Will you join together and get the victory? Remember “Where there is no vision the people perish.”

STAND WITH THE FLAG

Much has been said about the athletes refusing to honor the American flag so I thought I would throw in my two bits. I my father and several relatives have served under that flag, I in the United States Navy. While the America of today is much different that the America I enlisted in it is still my country.

     Once my daughter was preforming at the old high school here in Canyon for a Christmas production. The very last thing they did was take a large V.A. American flag and unroll it over their heads which took up the entire gym floor. As they started to unroll Old Glory I immediately stood to my feet . I didn’t see anyone else do it and felt a little uncomfortable standing alone but since it was the right thing to do I remained standing. Soon I saw people across the gym begin to stand then people next to me til all who could stand were standing.

After the performance my daughter told me I was the first to stand up. Then she said “See Daddy you made a difference.” And that is what I still want to do. Even if I stand alone for the King James Bible of 1611, even if I stand alone against Liquor, even if I stand alone on Bible doctrine, even if I street preach alone I want to stand to the end and make a difference. Success in this world means nothing. I don’t care what others think of me for I know what they think of my Lord. The only thing that is important is “Well done thou good and faithful servant. 

THE FAILURE OF THE 21ST AMENDMENT

As we approach another election on the local option I would like to remind voters of the failure of the 21st amendment. Most people have heard that prohibition was a failure but history does not bear that out. With the exception of 4 heavy population centers crime went down during prohibition, and the crime increase is attributed to illegal EUROPEAN immigration. Banks in cities were opened as saloons closed down. Both alcohol induced psychosis and cirrhosis of the liver decreased. Cities were able to sell their jails and divorce and domestic abuse decreased. It is to be remembered that the reason the 18th amendment was introduced was because of the unbelievable drinking rate of the time. Only recently has the United States returned to the pre-Prohibition rate and America has a lower drinking rate than Europe. Thomas Edison testified before congress that after Prohibition was passed his employee’s wives no longer came to him asking for an advance on the paycheck because their husbands now took the whole check home instead of to a bar.

Now let us look at the 21st which repealed the 18th. 88,000 deaths per year because of alcohol and many times more than that in injuries like falling off of ladders. Children either go hungry or depend on tax payers to feed them while their parents go to the liquor store. Domestic violence, rape. and divorce and plain old shacking up and splitting up, single parenting have skyrocketed. And of course since the youth see the hypocrisy of their parents, now calls are being made for the legalization of  street dope.  Cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure, alcohol induced psychosis, cirrhosis of the liver, overflow hospitals and mental wards. And the tax revenues are far less than the tax expenditures that are made to answer these problems. The CDC recommends as a help to decrease these problems to lessen the density of alcohol outlets. But God has a better plan, Look not upon the wine when it is red. Be not among winebibbers. Be not drunk with wine. Vote no to booze and Vote no to the Devil. Glorify God by turning out to vote no. Even if the election is lost to us that vote will be registered in Heaven with a well done at the judgment seat. Thank you for your time ad attention and your no vote.

TRAIN UP A CHILD

The Bible says “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” We were at the Amarillo Craft Beer Festival to preach against it and to give people helpful literature to warn them of the sin and effects of alcohol. As my 7 year old son began to preach one of the participants turned around and said “You have little kids doing that?”. Many people have objected to us having our children out there saying that the little ones could not understand the issues going on. I would like to answer these assertions.

First of all if I do not teach my children to do what is right the world will certainly teach them to do what is wrong. I see people bring their children into bars. If I follow the same reasoning that is put before why aren’t these parents brought to task for taking their children into a place that they do not yet have the wisdom to understand the issue? Many parents also give alcohol to their children before they can decide whether it is right or wrong, some put it in their baby bottles. This is known as a double standard or just old fashioned hypocrisy. Also, why can’t a young child understand the issue? It is quite simple after all. There is a Creator, Jehovah God, who gave us His Word the Bible. The Bible warns of God’s punishments for sin and recreational use of booze is sin. God tells us that are saved to “preach the word” and “lift up your voice as a trumpet”. It is quite a bit more simple than the concept of patriotism and at the 4th of July parade I saw many youngsters waving American flags.  It is just as much right to teach children to preach the Bible as it is to teach them to love their country, and the Bible and God will be around long after our country has gone the way of the Roman Empire.

Also I spoke to a young lady who professed atheism. She said that she believed everyone had a moral code in their hearts. I put forth the thought to her that the moral code had to come from somewhere and that God is the final authority in morals, as some people have demented and corrupt morals. I would like to add this thought. Even if it could be right that everyone naturally has morals and they can trust them, surely after a couple of drinks of booze the inhibitions and judgment sectors of the brain shut off then no set of morals matter. Remember that the Bible says “A fool trusteth in his own heart.’ Put down the bottle and pick up the Bible

CRAFT BEER: AMERICA’S NEWEST RELIGON

Deuteronomy 32:17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

Often in our country things that start out as a pastime eventually become a religion. Take sports for instance. Many a man who will not go to church Sunday will be excited about a football game he is watching. He will yell and shout (behavior he deems fanatical in a church service) and will become physically aggressive against anyone who criticizes his favorite team. He can name all the players but can’t name the 12 apostles. Look at rock and roll music. No one can deny that the music rose to religious status under Elvis Presley and don’t forget that the wicked group called the Beatles popularized Krishna worship as well as pot smoking in the United States.

Thus it is with craft beer. Beer drinkers suffer from an inferiority complex because beer has none of the sophistication of wine, brandy and so forth while it is equally as sinful. So the micro-brewery phenomenon started and the history, culture, science, and variations of these brews has fascinated our country. No longer is beer something strictly associated with rednecks and college frat binges, but is somehow more respectable now.

But not only has it arisen in status but in spirituality. Just look at the names, Big Bad Baptist, and Naked Nun just to name a couple. I recently read a post that invoked the name of craft beer and ended his prayer to his trinity, hops, yeast and malt. And the anger that comes from having their god called sin is an emotion that comes of having your religion slurred.

But who is the real god behind the bottle? The ancient Romans worshipped Bacchus, the god of intoxicating beverages. Many so-called Christians that say Jesus made fermented wine at the wedding of Cana confuse Christ with Bacchus. Please see my blog on Jesus never drank booze. The Sumerians had a female god who showed them how to brew. But these are just faces to the real power behind the throne. Look back at the text verse.  They sacrificed to devils not God. The Japanese have a pizza pub that makes Devil’s Craft beer and offered to send it here except that Texas law makes it too complicated. There is a craft whiskey that is called Devil’s River, and a whiskey called Devil’s Cut. There is a regular beer called Occultos (the occult) and other names invoking Satan, sin, witchcraft, and blasphemy.

But thanks be to God that even though booze enslaves Jesus saves! You can be freed from the sin through the power of Jesus to save you from hell and Jesus’ power to break the bonds of this and every other sin. Won’t you repent? Won’t you turn from sin to Christ. It is your choice, Heaven or Hell, Christ or Satan. And Christ awaits with his arms wide open to receive the sinner who repents.

DO YOU KNOW GOD?

Philippians 3:8 and 10: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Verse 10: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death.  Jeremiah 9:23-24: Thus saith the LORD. Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth for in these things I delight saith the LORD.  

The question I would like to pose to you is this: How well do you really know God? Do you just know about Him or do you know Him? Do you know the things that please Him and the things that displease Him? Do you know what makes Him happy and what makes Him mad? What He tolerates but would rather you didn’t  do? What it takes to get answers to prayer? What you should and should not pray for? How he would like you to treat the brethren, especially your family and especially your spouse?  

I have just finished a series on Knowing God. These messages can be found on archives.org under Anchor of Hope Baptist Church (AOHBC).  These messages are an extensive scriptural study of the Bible on this most valuable subject. These are not my opinions or a lot of personal stories but what God says about Himself in the Book, the only Book, He has written about Himself. Please, please, remember that the most important thing in the world is your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I do believe that these messages can be a help and blessing to you, they certainly were a blessing to me and my congregation and some friends who have heard some of them.   

THE CROWN OF THORNS

They crowned Him with glory in heaven on high

His brightness exceeding the sun in the sky

But when it came time for our sins to be borne

Mankind crowned His head with sharp thorns.

They gave Him a crown of silver and gold

Encrusted with jewels, their number untold

But after his back with a whip had been torn

Man chose to crown him with thorns.

Crowned with majesty, encircled with praise

Hailed as Almighty, the Ancient of Days!

He came to earth and to sinners forlorn

They crowned Him with spit and with thorns.

He died on that cross, thus His blood was shed,

But He rose a victor, He arose from the dead!

Forevermore at God’s right hand sat down

No longer with thorns for a crown.

Soon Christ will come back the last battle to fight

To destroy the wicked to establish the right

A sword, a white horse, and a vesture of red,

An crown upon crown on His head!

Todd Barker