Taking the King’s Schilling

Leave a comment

When the United States was still thirteen colonies and part of Britain there was a popular saying related to joining the British Army.

The saying goes something like this: If you take the king’s dollar (schilling in those days) you become the king’s man. The meaning is obvious. If you get paid by the King then you do his bidding.

The saying has multiple applications today and I believe it applies especially to the federal and state governments and their relationship to faith based organizations.

To give a relevant example consider the concerns from Don Wilkerson from Adult and Teen Challenge (ATC) as recorded in the in the October 12, 2019 issue of World Magazine: “What concerns Don Wilkerson and others about these programs is that by accepting state licensing and funding , ATC centers won’t be free to present the gospel to all addicts.”

For those of my readers unfamiliar with Don Wilkerson and ATC understand that Don and his brother David started ATC way back in the 1960’s.

The ministry was for drug and alcohol addicts and the basic premise was faith in Christ could free an addict from bondage. To make this happen they developed Teen Challenge (later ATC). The strategy was a total spiritual immersion in a long-term residential program that featured evangelism, mentorship and Bible study. The program relied on donations.

The process was in stark contrast to the prevailing notion (that still prevails) that an addict will always be an addict. This meant that many secular clinicians believed in the rehab approach that often included medications and secular type therapies that had nothing to do with the gospel.

ATC exploded with about 200 centers situated in cities in the US and even abroad. With any faith based initiative funding can be a problem. Faith based ministries rely on churches and individuals to float the ministry boat and at times there isn’t enough funding.

Therefore, some ATC centers started to take the king’s schilling and with it came state licensing and with that came detox programs and short term programs that competed with ATC’s long term, gospel alone stance.

What ATC has now is a mess. It’s a mess to the point where individual ATC centers have to affirm the traditional stance or separate themselves as separate non-profits. World’s article in its entirely can be found here.

As a certified biblical counselor in a local church I immediately understood the tension. My church takes care of my ministry needs and we do not charge for counseling-counseling that is based on the sufficiency of Scripture to change a person from the inside out.

If I was in a parachurch ministry that was a separate non-profit it would be debatable as to the funding of the ministry. The temptation to take the king’s schilling can be huge and even thought to be a good thing “as long as it does not interfere with the gospel.” The problem is of course if you take the king’s schilling you eventually do his bidding and these days it often means “no gospel.”

Although the progressives have the whole separation of church and state thing wrong from a big picture point of view they do make a point with the little picture.

If you accept the king’s schilling and become state licensed you belong to the state and you must do the state’s bidding. In the anti-church climate of today this means the gospel is more offensive than it’s ever been in our nation’s history. All you have to do to realize that is be aware of the news on a daily basis. Conservative Christians are under fire and government is being weaponized in an effort to remove conservative Christianity from the public square. If you complain about that you are labeled a bigot. Well, Jesus said it would never be easy.

Separation of church and state did not mean the church could not have a public presence. It meant that the state could not control the church nor interfere with it. It had everything to do with imposing a particular state religion on a state and nothing to do with removing the church’s influence on society and culture.

Nevertheless, non-profits that are faith-based risk their ability to turn to Scripture and the gospel alone to help people when they accept a state license and the king’s schilling.

There is another old saying that comes from the Middle-East. It goes like this:

National Blame Shifting

Leave a comment

In biblical discipleship counseling a blame shift is exactly what the terms imply, a shifting of blame from oneself and on to a person or circumstance. It allows the blame shifter to avoid taking responsibility for his or her actions or words that contributed to or were responsible for the situation.

For example, a husband with an anger problem will blame his wife for his angry outbursts. A wife will blame the husband for the silent treatment (grudge bearing) she gives him because she disagrees with a decision that was made.

We are good at blame shifts because we are prideful people whose first line of defense for the wrong we do is to blame others or circumstances to justify our bad behavior.

As a biblical counselor I see blame shifts frequently and am perfectly capable of launching one myself even though I’ve learned it’s a bad plan. It’s also sin and nothing good comes from it.

When Jesus said get the log out of your own eye before you get the twig out of someone else’s eye what he meant was “get responsible” for your own sin and faults; then you just might be able to help someone else see their own.

Sadly, blame shifting is so common and so seemingly normal we rarely recognize how detrimental it is in solving problems, both personal and national.

On a national scale we see blame blameshifting on a massive scale. Examples are not hard to find especially in politics. Perhaps the best example is what happens every time there is a mass shooting.

The blame culprit always seems to be the gun. The victim’s families barely have to time to grieve or think before the parade of politicians emerge to blame the gun and the NRA for the problem. Their solution is what they call “common sense” gun control as if some new law would somehow reduce mass shootings or eliminate them all together. The call to “do something” presumably anything, resonates with people because every decent person recognizes that a mass shooting is a horrific event and who would not want to prevent them if we somehow could..

Sadly, even when it is suggested that the shooter himself is at least partially responsible it’s assumed he is deranged or somehow mentally ill thus putting the blame more on what’s assumed to be a type of illness rather than the real culprit-human nature and an act of pure evil.

This is why more astute observers of mass shootings correctly identify the problem as a moral\spiritual issue. Whether a person shoots one person or one hundred persons it’s still murder. The desire to murder someone comes from the inside out; not the outside in. This has been true from Cain and Able to the last mass shooting.

Here are the words of Jesus:

43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Lk 6:43–45). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

The treasure in the heart is the key phrase. The word “heart” in our culture is often misused as some kind of emotional response such as “my heart told me” this or that. The biblical meaning of the term is much deeper. It refers to the inner person or soul. It includes the mind, the will, the emotions and what biblical counselors call the desires\passions of the heart.

Jesus clearly says what’s on the inside is what a person truly treasures and if evil is treasured it will squirt out often in horrific ways. This means that mass shootings are a moral\spiritual\societal problem that is not going to be solved by doing something, anything that does not deal with the depravity of man and what evil some are willing to perpetrate on others.

We live in a culture adrift from most moral moorings. What was once assumed to be wrong is now considered right. In fact if you hold to the old moral moorings you are accused of being a bigot. The venom is more often than not directed against bible believing Christians who understand Jesus’ words.

The cultural rot is plain to see for anyone with eyes to see and obviously most do not have the eyes to see or we would not have as much blame shifting as we do.

A portent is a sign or warning that something, especially something momentous or calamitous, is likely to happen. Mass shootings are portents in my opinion. They point to the depravity of man and what evil man is capable of. The evil is on the inside and a gun is the tool, a tool that can be used for good or bad but when wielded by a person bent on evil it has horrific consequences.

The murderer of all types; whether they kill one person, four persons or twenty five take the lives of image bearers-people created in the image of God (although we are flawed image bearers). Mass murder is the warning that tells us just how far down the moral\spiritual slippery slip we’ve traveled.

The solution to mass shootings is not “do something, anything” that means more laws. The solution is we stop blame shifting and that starts with ourselves. When we apply that at a national level it means looking at root problems and recognizing that we are in a spiritual crisis rather than a gun crisis.

Drawing a Line in the Sand

Leave a comment

During the Siege of the Alamo in 1836 when the battle seemed hopeless, William Travis the garrison commander called the Texans together. He told them it didn’t look good and if anyone wanted to leave it would be no disgrace. He then drew a line in the sand and asked that those who wished to stay step over that line. Everyman did and everyman died.

In the minds of the Texas patriots it was better to die than bend a knee to Santa Anna, or desert Travis. The author of this article ( How LGBT Pride Month Became a Religious Holiday) challenges Bible believing Christians who are bending a knee to LGBQ political correctness.

We have to understand that there is a big difference between tolerating a lifestyle in a pluralistic society and submitting to the idolatry that propels and sanctions it-that which calls and demands that evil be said to be good.

Many of the so-called mainline Christians have already caved and so have many evangelicals who should know better. The Bible often requires a line in the sand. The only question is will Christians stand with the Bible.

Their god is Molech

2 Comments

In August, 2008 Barack Obama was running for President against John McCain. Obama was asked a pointed question by Pastor Rick Warren. This is how it went down.

Asked at what point a baby gets “human rights,” Obama, who strongly supports abortion rights, said: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question  with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

http://blogs.reuters.com/talesfromthetrail/2008/08/16/obama-says-pointed-abortion-query-above-his-pay-grade/

John McCain was asked the same question. His response:

He said a baby’s human rights began “at the moment of conception … I have a 25-year pro-life record.”

http://blogs.reuters.com/talesfromthetrail/2008/08/16/obama-says-pointed-abortion-query-above-his-pay-grade/

Obama, ever the clever pragmatic politician clearly evaded the question. From the article cited Warren did not challenge him and instead let Obama obliquely agree with R v Wade and the 1973 SCOTUS.

McCain, on the other hand stuck to principle and did not equivocate.

The exchange boiled down for all time how the Democrats and their media allies evade the central issue of life and instead talk about ” rights.” Today, some 11 years after the exchange the Democrats and their media allies (but I repeat myself) have moved well beyond Obama’s pragmatism. If they were to be asked the question Warren asked today the answer would have to be “when the mother and her doctor say the baby has human rights.”

The answer would reflect the reality of where certain states and Democrat governors are on the issue. The answer to the question is never about life; but always about perceived rights, granted by the Constitution or found in the Constitution by a liberal SCOTUS (R v Wade, 1973).

Whether they care to admit it or not by not dealing with the life question the left moves ever closer to outright infanticide (and I would argue they are there already.)

A person does not have “human rights” until a government agency or a mother and a doctor say they do. That’s their higher standard and their “moral high ground.” Their god is Molech and he must be pleased.

A Silly Putty Bible

Leave a comment

Silly Putty was (and probably still is) a fun toy. You could take Silly Putty and transform it into any kind of shape you wished. You were a sculptor who was only limited by your imagination and your own interpretation of what you just created.

This is how liberal\progressive\social justice Christians view the Scriptures. It follows that liberal progressives in general view the US Constitution in the same way. Both Scripture and the Constitution are fluid in their minds and like Silly Putty can be twisted to say whatever one wishes or what the prevailing culture demands.

In the crowded field of Democratic hopefuls Pete Buttigieg is unusual. He fits into the category of a self-identified Gay Christian who recently criticized the conservative Christian VP Mike Pence on his views regarding homosexuality. Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana and the two know each other.

A lot could be said about this but at the end of the day the manufactured dust up is not about a Scripture debate and what Scripture actually teaches. We are long past that. Instead, what we have is a hatred for the conservative interpretation of some clear and unambigious Scripture.

The hatred stems from the fact that the Bible labels homosexuality sinful. Pence agrees as do millions of Christians who do not treat the Word of God as Silly Putty.

The hatred is directed at the conservative who affirms there is such a thing as sin. A person who affirms that homosexuality is sin as a Scripture realty is therefore a bigot. That’s the end game of the political left and obviously why Buttigieg targeted Pence someone whom he got along with rather pleasantly until he decided to run for office.

The link provided above will take you to the New York Times article about the issue with VP Pence. The reporters mobbed Mr. Pence asking him if homosexuality was a choice. In an obvious set-up Pence refused to answer.

If he said no, then what’s the problem? If he said yes then he’s a bigot. I rather admire Pence for not falling for the obvious “gotcha.” As VP he needs to avoid the leftist traps set for conservative Christians.

The only way Pete Buttigieg gets to claim it’s ok to be a Gay Christian (and married to another guy) is by treating Scripture like Silly Putty and twisting it beyond all recognition. In this, he has been assisted by his very liberal Episcopal Church-a church, that as a whole abandoned the clear teachings of Scripture long ago. It must give Buttigieg and others like him a wonderful sense of security as a church remakes what God has clearly said into something else.

The article states that Buttigieg likes to quote Scripture but doesn’t give any examples, nor did I wish to take the time to find out how and where he has done so.

My immediate reaction to reading that Buttigieg likes to quote Scripture was to go to Matthew 4.

Matthew Chapter 4 begins with the temptation by Satan of Jesus in the wilderness. Satan quotes Scripture twice (Deut. 8:3; Psa. 91:11, 12). He then offers Jesus the world if only Jesus will fall down and worship Satan.

Jesus will have none of it of course and he rebukes Satan twice and then the third time tells him to basically get lost.

There is much to unpack in the passage but at the very least it illustrates that anyone, including the king of liars can quote Scripture for his own purposes.

This is the kind of world we’ve lived in ever since. Anyone at anytime can, if they choose to do so rip Scripture from it’s context and twist it like Silly Putty to mean whatever their heart desires.

The left is relentless. They do not have a live and let live point of view any longer. Anything less than a full fledged affirmation of the whole LGBTXYZ nonsense won’t do.

I would not underestimate Buttigieg’s influence on young evangelicals whose Bible knowledge is poor or non-existent and come from churches who are afraid of hot potato issues in the first place.

Jesus told Satan he needed to worship him rather than the other way around. He did so by quoting Deuteronomy 6:13. Apparently, Jesus thought Scripture was very clear and would not allow Satan to twist it like Silly Putty for his own purposes. Nor should we when Buttigieg and others like him seek office and our votes.

Trump: Cyrus or Nebuchadnezzar?

Leave a comment

At my last pastor’s fellowship meeting we got into a discussion regarding President Trump. I think it’s fair to say that the group as a whole are not among the evangelicals who seem to think the President can do no wrong On the other hand no one believes he is a Russian spy or the anti-Christ either.

I made the comment that at best I saw Trump as a type of Cyrus the Great of ancient Persia. The passage below explains my reasoning:


2Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah—the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!’ ”

2 Chronicles 36:22-23,

Cyrus was the king that made the empire of the Persians and Medes what it was. The empire itself was a polyglot empire that consisted of many languages and people groups. Among them were Hebrew captives that had been removed from their homeland by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar a number of years before.

According to the passage the Lord moved Cyrus to allow the Hebrews to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple. This temple is known as the Second Temple because the Babylonians had destroyed the first one known as Solomon’s Temple. The Second Temple was a modest structure that factors into the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible. Herod the Great elaborated on what was built and that Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. All that remains today is known as the wailing wall.

The point I was trying to make with my friends is that 1) God guides earthly rulers for better or worse and uses them ultimately for his glory and 2) in the case of Cyrus the Lord clearly moved Cyrus to look favorably on his chosen people. That just seems obvious.

I tend to look at our governing authorities in the same way by asking the questions, does the President or State Governor (or other governmental entity) look favorably on Christians (or at least treat all faiths fairly according to the U.S. Constitution). For whatever Trump’s faults he does seem inclined to treat conservative Christians fairly-something the mainstream media and political left does not do.

One of the pastor’s at the meeting agreed with my comments but added that he thought of Trump as a type of Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar is one of the real bad boys in the Bible. He was the king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire and one of the primary actors that brought down the Assyrians, the other bad boys who had conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel and dispersed the people. When Nebuchadnezzar brought down the Southern Kingdom of Judah as an instrument of God’s judgment he destroyed Solomon’s Temple and virtually erased the kingdom transporting many captives back to Babylon. One of the captives was Daniel the prophet.

The story of the Hebrew captives in Babylon revolve around Daniel. Through Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar looks upon the Hebrew captives with a degree of favor. This is what Nebuchadnezzar had to say after the fiery furnace episode with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego:

Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. “Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.”Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of everylanguage that live in all the earth: “May your peace abound! “It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. “How great are His signs And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom And His dominion is from generation to generation.

Daniel 3:28–4:3(NASB95)

Later in the Book of Daniel we see Nebuchadnezzar brought low by the Lord as he goes temporally insane eating grass like a cow and so forth. After he recovers he says this:


34“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ “At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me.“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

Daniel 4:34–37 (NASB95)

That is one extraordinary theological statement!


Proverbs 29:23(NASB95)
A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

My friend would agree with my analysis of Cyrus but would substitute Nebuchadnezzar because, 1) God guides earthly rulers for better or worse and uses them ultimately for his glory and 2) in the case of Nebuchadnezzar the Lord clearly moved Nebuchadnezzar to look favorably on his chosen people.

There was not a discussion as whether or not Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus suddenly trusted in Yahweh although Nebuchadnezzar’s speech above does give some evidence as to the possibility.

I had a different discussion sometime ago with a different friend who is a strong supporter of President Trump. He believes that Trump is a believer while I am skeptical although I acknowledge the President says theologically correct things at times. His comment in the State of the Union Address regarding abortion and people (babies) being created in the image of God (the personhood issue) is a theologically correct statement and a recognition of our Creator and the intrinsic personhood of humans.

My counter-point to my friend would be, it’s good to see the President make some theologically correct statements but I’d rather see the kind of humility exhibited by Nebuchadnezzar exhibited by the President before he makes theologically correct statements. I recall the President saying around the time of his election that he has never asked God for forgiveness because he never has seen the need. I do pray he does see the need.

So, who is Trump more like, Cyrus or Nebuchadnezzar? Both of those ancient kings were used by God to demonstrate God’s sovereignty and to turn king’s hearts toward a more favorable appraisal of His chosen people.

I think I’ll concede to my pastor friend and grant Nebuchadnezzar, given the information we have is more like Trump than Cyrus. What seems abundantly clear is that God puts on thrones those he desires and that he can use them in any way he choses. Sometimes it works out for believers and at other times it does not. Either way, it’s for God’s glory and his plans will not be thwarted.


1The king’s heart is likechannels of water in the hand of the Lord;He turns it wherever He wishes.


Proverbs 21:1(NASB95)

Demand and Supply

Leave a comment

The title is not a mistake. Let me explain.

The news reported that President Trump wanted to use the money seized from El Chapo’s drug empire to fund the wall.

Various news organizations reported that El Chapo’s cartel was responsible for 100,000 deaths (murders) over the last decade and that El Chapo’s personal worth was around 17 billion in US dollars. If true, that would go a long way in funding a wall.

I wish to say at this point that I’m not against the wall. I am all for safe and legal immigration but what we have now is certainly not legal nor safe for US citizens or the masses trying to get in. If a wall helps, so be it. Ultimately a wall will not help all that much with the drugs for one simple reason.

The reason is Demand and Supply. If there is a demand someone will supply it if there is money to be made.

El Chapo was a business man-an evil one, but a business man none-the-less. Think a Mexican god-father here. What does a business do? It sells what people want. A business or a godfather makes money by supplying a particular demand.

Consider our own laws regarding prohibition. Alcohol was banned but it did nothing to curb demand. The laws may have made alcohol harder to get but bootleggers (like the Capone mob in Chicago) managed to supply the demand.

As long as Americans demand drugs there will be an El Chapo seeking to supply them. This does not exonerate an evil criminal; but it does say something about those choosing drug addiction.

Yes, I said choosing drug addiction. I would grant that addictions feel like a disease but on the other hand it’s a disease a person chooses to get (or risk getting).

The human heart is the problem. Scripture is quite clear about our propensity to sin and worship gods other than the God of the Bible (Rom. 1:18-32). Walls, fences, barriers can assist in controlling a problem or a life-dominating sin but unless the heart changes the best you can hope for is some behavioral change that may or may not stick.

This does not mean drug addicts will not need rehab; in many cases they do.

I say use El Chapo’s 14 billion to help drug addicts get off the drugs and to educate others as to what drug addiction actually looks like and how it destroys lives. My prayer is that Christians would be involved so they can point to Christ as the person’s ultimate solution to our biggest problem. That would be change that sticks.

Breaking free from that which enslaves.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: