This has been the hottest driest summer around here in modern history. In the Missouri Ozarks where I live, it has been in the 90′s or 100′s most days since early June. We have had a grand total of 5 inches of rain since April 1st. In a normal year we would get about four times that amount. We have not had enough rain at one time at my place for the rain to even get down to the roots of trees. Many trees are already losing their leaves and going dormant. Water tables are dropping drastically, wells and ponds are drying up and there is no pasture. My grass has not been cut since spring because there is no grass to cut. The five acre yard around the house looks like desert. My puppies asked me, what part of Hell were they born into? Panda howls every time an airplane flies over. I think he wants them to drop him a lifeline. He is hoping for his own version of the Rapture.
This drought is occurring over at least half of the country. It is going to have a major impact on food prices. My pastor said from what he has seen around this area that we are living in a depression. He is correct. In spite of how the government spins the data, most of this country is in the midst of a depression and things are likely to get worse. If adjusted for even the artificially low government inflation figures, wages and living standards have been going down for almost a decade. The recovery is phony; the unemployment numbers are phony; The inflation numbers are phony; Obama is a phony, and the optimistic outlook that his administration projects is phony. Wages will continue to fall, cities will continue to go bankrupt and pension systems will increasingly fail. The economic future of Europe is just plain Frankensteinian. That reality will hit them before the end of the year and what happens in Europe will also impact our economy negatively.
The last time we were in this situation was in the 1930′s. That era also had a massive drought and world economic collapse followed by a world war. I think the parallels to today are obvious. Just replace the fascists with the Islamic fascists and the Japanese emperor worship with the worshiped leader of North Korea and you have different actors but the same motion picture.
I noticed that the church where I attend has not been meeting budget for 6 months. The depression probably has something to do with it but the pastor thinks he just needs to preach on tithing and things will change. I have news, the only response that beating up on the congregation about their giving will produce in the long-term, is an exodus to the church down the road. It might help their budget but preaching on tithing is not going to fix yours. God is not behind that message.
Pastors need to understand that all churches in America for at least the last hundred years have averaged only about 2 to 4 percent of the income of the church members unless it was a cult that put people under bondage. That is a documented fact and American Christians are the biggest givers in the world. The ten percent that pastors continually harp on generally never actually occurred in local churches anytime in Christian history. Even in the time of Paul there was no tithe requirement, there was only free will giving. I wrote an article that explains all this, if anyone cares to know that the tithing requirement was never given to the Church. According to scripture each Christian needs to determine how much they will freely give and not the leader or the local church.
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Some people might give more if they are made aware that there is a need, but most that do not tithe to the local church are not going to start tithing, at least they will not tithe for very long. Harping on tithing to the local church or writing it into the church constitution is not going to make it happen. Those that give a tenth to their local church are a small minority in almost all churches, and those that do not give a tenth to their local church do not necessarily give less to the Lord than those that do give a tenth to their local church.
Some Christians provide direct support to other things like missions and Christian charities, because they know if these Christian charities had to depend on getting support from local churches they would have to close up shop. The facts are that local churches almost always spend at least ninety percent of what they receive on their own staff and internal programs no matter how much money they receive. Maybe 10 percent will go elsewhere, but even that usually just supports the denominational programs and its staff.
Local churches like everyone else need to be thankful for what they receive and learn to live within their income. The idea of some, that if the people gave more to their local church that they would fund the other charities, just does not play out in reality. The wealthiest churches in America spend almost all their money on themselves. Small churches in depressed areas most often give a higher percentage of their budget to support missions and charity than do the large churches located in affluent areas.
Why are many churches in America now going under? Because they put themselves in debt and they will not live within their income, even when they see declining membership and declining income among their members. Some have this idea that they do not have to make cuts because God will always provide, because they feel their own local agenda is doing God’s work. God is not bound to provide for agendas of local churches any more than He is bound to provide for all our wants. I have seen more than one church where I was a member get in financial trouble under the presumption that God will provide for our building program.
Usually the debt load is caused by a financed building project that some pastor tells the congregation is God’s will. The membership does not question the pastor because they often put their pastor on a spiritual pedestal. Members in most churches still have this idea that their pastor has some intercom to God. Pastors are in the same spiritual body as the rest of the Church. They do not know it all. There would be less church bankruptcies if the church leadership listened to the wisdom of someone in the congregation that warned about the dangers of taking on debt when you are hardly meeting your budget and an economic downturn is looming or underway.
For example, the congregation is told by the pastor that God wants a preschool ministry. Then a multi use building has to be built for the preschool that the members will have to finance. The preschool might even break even in monthly operating expenses but nobody accounts for the cost of the building to be in compliance with state law, the cost of the utilities, the cost of maintenance, the cost of the insurance etc. So the preschool budget inflates the whole budget of the church. Well if it was really of God it might be worth it, but studies say that children that attend preschool do not do any better academically than those that do not.
My own personal opinion is that we will soon learn that preschools actually harm kids because they are separated from their mother too soon. Bonding with their mother does not take place as it should, kids feel abandoned and become insecure. They also are brought up to conform to group think. I remember Catholic kindergartens would not even take kids that had not reached a certain level of maturity because they thought it would be harmful for the child. Now we put toddlers in pre-kindergartens?
It seems the main benefit of a preschool is so that mothers can drop off their kids and work. Instead of working to raise the child they often work to raise money so the family can have all the toys they really don’t need. Then all too often the job these woman get are near minimum wage jobs. After figuring all the expenses it takes for them to work they might as well have stayed home.
The membership wants a preschool run by the church because it alleviates the guilt that dropping off their toddlers to a secular preschool brings. After all…their children are being brought up in a church owned building so it must be good. Others in the church are told that this is a godly community service so they need to get behind the church preschool program, but is it really of God? Does God really want church run preschools when common sense and the Bible suggests that toddlers should be raised by their own mothers?
Christian parents will say they cannot stay home because they need the money. That might even be the case, but we elected the politicians that created this society where two parents work and still provide less actual needed things for their family than one worker did back in the 50′s and 60′s. In those days, the mother took care of home affairs and usually had a larger family, and they were still better off then many that have two workers in the families are today. In those days there was not food stamps, free lunches or free food stores. Yet one parent somehow provided. For example, my father was a laborer in a bread factory and he brought up five children. We did not have all our wants but we never went hungry either.
What many people do not realize is that many modern social programs are not free. There is no free lunch. Even your church preschool is being subsidized by the state. All these social programs and the debt they brought are why taxes are so high. You have to work to make ends meet so that you can pay taxes to pay for social programs that parents used to take care of themselves?
Then, if the preschool baby sitter does not think that you are bringing up your kid right, or if a kid says something about a parent that does not seem kosher, or politically correct, or your kids are a bit thin, or too fat, or whatever, you just might be reported to the state child protective services. By the way, you working mothers helped pay for those services through your hard earned taxes . And the beat goes on …..La de da de de, la de da de da
I know all this is a way over simplification and from tithing I went down a preschool rabbit trail but these trails actually do connect. What I am saying is that many church leaders are buying into politically correct world socialism and not hearing from God. The local churches are doing many things like this, and they would do many more things like this if they could just bully the congregation into giving them more money.
Many pastors will continue to try to get people to tithe to their local church but they might as well spit into the wind. Most people on average will still give 2 to 4 percent of their income to the local church as they have for hundreds of years. All the preaching on tithing in the world since the reformation has not changed that fact, and it is a documented fact. At some point beating up on the congregation about money just results in fewer members or a new pastor.
If churches have a need, they ought to present that need to the congregation. If the congregation agrees to fund it, I hope it is because they believe it will benefit the Kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of their local church or the kingdom of the state.
Many people in the know, are now convinced that an attack on Iran is likely in September or October. Even our own defense secretary said he expects Israel to bomb Iran within those months. There are many good reasons to think that this could turn out to be the case, but then again, there are a few other reasons to think it may not happen until spring.
The reasons the strike on Iran could happen in September or October:
Iran is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. The cloudy winter season will obscure Iran’s nuclear weapons program and Iran could become nuclear before Spring.
Iran’s nuclear program is rapidly being moved far underground and soon Israel will not be able to do much to hinder their program with conventional weapons.
Iran already has enough nuclear material to make at least 6 nuclear bombs. This cannot be allowed to continue from a nation that vows to wipe Israel off the map.
If it looks like Obama is going to win, it will be to Israel’s advantage to hit Iran before the election, because if Obama did not support Israel after an attack and before the election, he would lose.
There also is the likelihood that if Obama is falling in the polls that he will order a strike on Iran himself to get a bump in the polls. He might even want to delay the election if the worst case terrorist scenario turns out to be a reality. I do not put anything past Obama. The tragic thing about such an American strike under Obama is that it needs to be done, but if it is done, it will very likely get Obama reelected. If that happened, he would continue his Marxist program of deconstructing America.
The supreme leader of Iran instructed all high level people in Iran to get ready for war, because he believes war will come within weeks.
I believe there will be a short period in the next couple of months where there will be four American Aircraft carrier groups in the area before two of them are scheduled to return to port. It is not likely that we would have that kind of firepower in the area again for many months. It also is not likely that having this much firepower in the gulf just before the election, at a time when Iran’s weapons program has reached a red line, is just some routine scheduling coincidence.
The already occurring economic downturn will take some of the pressure off extremely high oil prices occurring during an Iranian strike.
The reasons the strike may not happen this year:
Someone could convince Israel that America will do the bombing next spring if sanctions do not work.
If it looks like Romney will win the presidential election, Israel probably would wait until He takes office and try to coordinate a joint strike with him.
Israel probably would like to have the issue with Assad and his weapons of mass destruction resolved before they take on Iran.
I have not made any final decision yet, but I am thinking of reopening comments again sometime in September. We are living in exciting times and hearing other views besides my own during these times seems appropriate. If I do not open comments I will only get redundant questions by email anyway.
Also, the construction project that has taken a lot of my time should be winding down in a month or so, and my wife will be very busy in her own job for the next year. That frees me up to do more on the Blog.
If I do this, I am going to have to set different commenting rules. The rules will be much more restrictive, and I will make far less comments myself. I have not worked out the details in my mind yet, about the best way to go about this.
By the way, closing the comments for six months did not really hurt the amount of new views to my articles, so the comments are not going to increase new views much either, but I can also see the purpose of having “some comments” if they actually add to the topic.
I got the below email from ~David. This issue has been in the news daily so I think it is appropriate for all of my readers.
Ya’ know Don,It’s getting to the point that I’ll be disappointed if God does not judge our nation soon.“Free Speech”, of course, is only allowed if it pertains to deviant sinful behavior.Any righteous Biblical based comments, like Dan Cathy’s, are simply looked at as hate speech.I’m sure if a corporation said we support, abortion, homosexuality, pedophilia, and sex with animals…then it would be just free speech and anyone who opposed it would be mocked…we are truly a sick nation !
I also refuse to go along with the world and call these demonic sodomites “gays”. That twisting of the meanings of words is part of the brainwashing of America. These people are rebellious reprobates and those that support them show that they agree with their rebellion.
Sure, persecution of Christian that take a stand will come, but that would not be the case if the Christian leaders and churches in America actually took a biblical stand on this issue.
I hope you have all seen the latest article by Joel Richardson posted on WND. It mentions Dr. Reagan and Nathan Jones by name, among others. Joel makes an argument that not believing in his Islamic Antichrist theory is hindering the great commission. He has the gall to say that Bible prophecy teachers are hindering the missionary movement and planting of churches in Muslim countries with their believe that Islam will be defeated. Then Joel does not even attempt to explain how the belief that Islam will fall, hinders evangelism in Muslim countries. It really is an absurd straw man argument.I have news for Joel, if Islam is not defeated, then all these people that he says that he is so worried about evangelizing are doomed because Islam will not allow Christian teaching. On the other hand, if Islam falls, the gospel will be opened to these people for a season before the Antichrist arrives on the scene. I for one, fully expect that to happen.Here is a link to Joel’s loony argument.
Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.