Posted in kings, Obama, oppress, power

Stuck with Ahab, we long for Solomon, but in the end we get Jesus!

By Elizabeth Prata

The Bible has much to say about leaders who fail to honor God and help the people. The Bible is replete with events, warnings, and punishments of kings and rulers who abuse the people they are supposed to govern wisely.

Verses like this one in Leviticus 19:13 are echoed throughout the pages of the Scriptures: “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.”

Continue reading “Stuck with Ahab, we long for Solomon, but in the end we get Jesus!”
Posted in anointing, discernment, holy spirit, joseph prince, Joyce Meyer, power

We’ve gone from ministering and serving to releasing. Yes, words matter

Release the hounds!

The phrase ‘release the hounds’ comes from fox hunting. Photo source

Release the Kraken!

Release the Kraken! is a catchphrase and image macro series based on a memorable quote uttered by Zeus in the 1981 fantasy adventure film The Clash of the Titans as well as the 2010 3D remake. Despite the dramatic delivery of the line in the reboot, the quote was perceived as unintentionally funny and quickly became a target of image macro jokes on the web.

You’ve heard the word “release” applied to many different cultural contexts, above are two examples. The word ‘release’ has also been used more frequently these days in Christian situations. “Release” is a frequently used word. It is a very bad word in Christianity. I don’t like it.

Why? It isn’t used to say that prisoner Barabbas was released. It isn’t used to say that Paul was released from jail. It isn’t used in the Old Testament way to indicate a release from debt in the Sabbatical Year (Deut 15:1).

The word ‘release’ is used as a substitute for ministering or serving. When we minister or serve, we are under someone or under an authority. When we release, it means we have the power over something or someone. Here are some examples.

Compassion International has edited their mission statement to say, “our mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.”

What they are saying is that they have the power over poverty and the authority to release from it the people whom they choose, in this case, ‘children’. They are not saying they are serving or ministering to children in poverty. They are saying they have the power over poverty.

False teacher Joseph Prince preaches how to “release the anointing into your situation.”

Prince is slyly saying that we have an anointing but there is a trick to releasing it. Most false teachers strive to tell you some kind of secret or action or trick to releasing it. However, this mysterious anointing isn’t mysterious and it isn’t laying dormant until you learn the secret password to having power over it. The anointing is the Holy Spirit in us, and all Christians have the Spirit. (1 John 2:27, more here).

What Prince is saying is not that we submit to the Spirit, or minister in the Spirit, but that we can obtain a certain kind of power that we wield as we wish, for ourselves, into ourselves.

Word faith false prophetess Joyce Meyer tells us “What words you choose will reveal what you believe and release the power of that belief.”

She is not saying submit to Jesus in faith and belief, she is saying we have the power to choose certain words that have power in and of themselves, and moreover, these words can release certain powers over myself at my behest, timing, and choosing.

And so on. There is a big difference between ministering and releasing.

Do we have power to release anointings, blessings, beliefs, finances, health, cures, or anything else? No.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)

Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” (John 19:10b-11)

To suppose that we have any power on our own is unbiblical.

Now, some might argue that these teachers are not false, that they are saying we are releasing power that God grants us. Not so again. We are His servants … His slaves. Any power in us is from the Holy Spirit. We submit to that power. We serve that power. We minister in that power. God decides when and where His power in us is released, and to what degree. We do not decide when or how to use His power and certainly NOT for our own ends, like to get a bigger house, or a better parking space.

While the false teachers tell you that you have power over things, power enough to release “into your situations”, the truth is actually the opposite. The weaker we are, the stronger we are. God shows His power through weakness. Paul wrote,

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Be aware of the word ‘release’ and how it is used. It isn’t always used in unbiblical contexts. But more and more often, it is.

Posted in encouragement, power

Compare and Contrast: lightning bug vs. lightning

A false gospel is a lightning bug

The true Gospel is lightning

The false gospel only brings insect-sized light. Fleeting, not enough to empower, and limited scope.

The true Gospel is the Light, blazing and powerful, able to pierce the darkness even behind closed eyes that do not see. It is from heaven and able to light whole cities…or destroy them.

And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ (Acts 22:16)

Posted in discernment, doctrines, Jesus follower, power, words

Do you "follow Jesus"? Or are you "saved by Jesus?"

People today are starting to say “I follow Jesus.” Or, “I’m a Jesus follower.”  I’m sure you’ve seen this.

People used to say “I’m saved by Jesus.” Or, “Jesus saved me.”

I don’t like saying ‘I follow Jesus’. I’ll tell you why.

Saying “I follow Jesus” puts me as the subject. ‘Look at meeee, I follow.” The verb is about me too. The verb alerts the hearer to something I am doing, following. It puts a picture in the mind of the hearer on two people walking, the second one being the follower, and that is where you’re mind’s eye rests in forming the picture of the words spoken to you. On the one doing the following and not on the One doing the leading.

EPrata photo

It is also kind of boasting. If one is saved by the atoning work of Jesus Christ, it stands to reason that a person would then follow His commands and abide by His statutes. No one says, “I’m saved by Jesus but I don’t follow Him.” The following is tacitly understood by one and all.

But one can say “I follow Jesus” and not be saved. Mormons follow Jesus and are not saved. Catholics follow Jesus and are not saved. Judas followed Jesus for three years and he was not saved. I understand that saying “I’m saved by Jesus” doesn’t guarantee a person is saved, but at least it includes the acknowledgement of sin and the need for a savior. Following Jesus is something a lot of people do, and saying so only increases the likelihood that what they are doing is simply an activity. When you decide to call yourself a Jesus follower, in my opinion it increases the likelihood that are one of the people DOING things for Christ and not actually saved by Christ.

All these people followed Christ, too:

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:22-23)

Saying that “Jesus saved me” puts the emphasis on Him. Referencing my salvation by constantly saying “I follow Jesus” puts a boasting aspect to the phrase the speaker may not have intended, but is there nonetheless.

Now, someone could reply that the comment is not about salvation, but is about sanctification. Sanctification is the growth we experience in Christ after we are saved (justified). They could argue that they were saved by Jesus and now they follow Him in His statutes, ever growing in sanctification. After all, Jesus said, “Follow me”.

Yes, Jesus said “Follow me” many times. He said it in Matthew 4:19, Matthew 16:24, John 8:12, Luke 5:11, 1 Peter 2:21, John 10:27, etc. It is biblical to say that one is a follower of Jesus. I cannot categorically condemn the phrase.

I can make a statement that it is unwise to speak solely of one’s salvation OR sanctification in terms of the self. The growth we experience when we follow Jesus is partly done under our own steam but not fully. The Holy Spirit grows us. Our part is aggressive obedience, fervent pursuit, and a total submission. Therefore saying “I follow” seems just so…anemic.

‘Following’ as opposed to submitting, pursuing, or obeying is one step away from Jesus. Who are we following? Why? That small shift in emphasis is incremental but dangerous nonetheless. Once the shift is made away from the object of our pursuit, then the following becomes the main theme. And one can easily go astray. One can follow your bliss.

Creative Commons, source

One can follow a leader. Paul addressed this in 1 Corinthians 1:12-13, because errant ‘following’ was causing divisions.

What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

The members at Corinth were split along doctrinal lines and had shifted their eyes from Jesus and their unity in Him to personal preferences among different teachers and the doctrines these teachers were teaching.

Erin McCrum wrote about the “why” this trend eschews the name ‘Christian’ in favor of  ‘Follower of Jesus:

…proponents of the “follower” lingo claim two advantages over the label “Christian” or “evangelical.”  “First, it doesn’t carry baggage.  You can wear it abroad, in Islamic countries, or at home with your Jewish or Buddhist friends, without causing offense.  Second, it distances the bearer from the culture wars that have made American politics so divisive.”

In this scenario, one can envision saying to a Muslim, “I’m a follower of Jesus!” and they reply “I’m a follower of Isa!” Hugs all around. It is precisely the offense which makes a Christian a Christian. Paul said if there is no offense then the cross has been taken away (Galatians 5:11). If claiming Jesus as our Christ doesn’t offend, there is something wrong. There should be love in witnessing, but there should be no attempt to cloak, diminish or otherwise distort who we are and who Christ is. Of course the term “Christian” carries baggage. That is the point. The ‘baggage’ is the cross which offends everyone.

Satan is so subtle and so skillful. Satan managed to convince a third of the holy angels who saw the face of God every day, to follow him instead. He convinced Eve to bite the forbidden fruit just by asking a question. It is unwise to allow incremental creep into our language regarding who we are or what we do. Satan will quickly take advantage of it. Instead, we must be mindful, biblical, and vigilant in our language about Jesus and in our active holy walk. See the difference:

The Jesus Follower: I am a pretty good person who just made some mistakes and so I decided to follow Jesus and I want to live out His plan for me because after all, He loves me.

The Christian Saved by Grace: I am a totally depraved sinner saved by unmerited grace of the Son of Man who came to live a sinless life, die as the atoning sacrifice for my sin, and endure all God’s wrath for it. I pursue the resurrected Jesus who has holy standards for the ones He has saved, and am living by those standards to the best of my craven ability, by submission to and obedience in the Holy Spirit. I rest on the promises Jesus the Christ has made to His chosen ones to both activate the faith He has given me, and to empower me to live in ever-growing sanctification. I’m looking forward to obeying him all the days of my life until He deems it the time to bring me home.

I have a very small leak in the tub faucet. A tiny drop comes out every few seconds. One day, the cat had tripped the drain shut. I went into the bathroom a few hours later and there was an inch of water on the bottom of the tub. The litter box was floating. Small doctrinal leaks add up. Explosively wrong doctrine can pop a balloon or a tiny leak of slowly shifting language can drain it. The result is the same.

I’m not a Christian. I’m a Jesus follower.

The terms Christian, sinner, salvation, justification, sanctification etc have lasted so long and been so understandable to everyone for centuries is because they are biblical. These terms transcend time. Be mindful of falling into a trap of exchanging words attached to known and commonly understood concepts with new terms that are nebulous, temporary, cultural and lack Spirit power. Sometimes synonyms aren’t synonyms, but a subtle trick of satan to drain power from our witness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading:

Liberals change word meanings with intent to deceive

The cults are infamous for perverting historically accepted biblical terms. “Is it any wonder then,” said the late Christian apologist/polemicist Dr. Walter Martin in The Riddle of Semantics, “that orthodox Christians feel called upon to openly denounce such perversions of clearly defined and historically accepted biblical terminology, and claim that the cults have no rights — scholastically, biblically, or linguistically — to redefine biblical terms as they do?” (Source)

Posted in God, hail, power, tribulation

Tremendous storm in Denton TX

A major hail & rain storm occurred in Denton TX this evening, and a tornado also. Here are some photos of the softball sized hail. Some of these photos are just unreal.

Texas Storm Chasers ‏@TxStormChasers

TWC Breaking ‏@TWCBreaking 3h. #Hail up to 3.5 inches in diameter fell in Denton TX around 3:45p

It is always amazing to think of the power of God. Seeing photos like this reminds me. And they also remind me that this is but a minute portion of His power. He has been patiently holding it back. But the full cup of His unleashed power in wrath will be fully unleashed during the tribulation, when 100 pound hailstones fall from the sky to crush men.

And great hailstones, about one hundred poundsd each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe. (Rev 16:21)

He is surely a long-suffering God!

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)

Posted in God, miracle, power

Feeding the 5000 is an incredible miracle

John 6:1-14,

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

Annie Vallotton drawings _Good news bible

I listened to John MacArthur’s latest sermon, True and False Disciples, which is an expounding on part of the above verses (and also part this sermon, from Nov 24th).

He said that the feeding the multitudes is an incredible, incredible miracle. 5,000 men were there which means women were there and children, heightening the tally to about 20,000 to 2,000 people on the hillside. Jesus brought food out of thin air, created it on the spot. It was not cursed b the ground nor by man. It was heavenly food, literally, which is probably the reason for the little detail they got as much food as they anted. It was probably so good they ate and ate until they were filled to busting.

It was incredible for another reason- every person participated in it. They didn’t just see it, or hear about it but took part in the miracle by eating of the food.

Here is a little scientific fact. In the sermon, Dr MacArthur quoted a scientist (sorry, I didn’t catch the name even though I listened several times, transcript will be up soon.) The science question is, if 20,000-25,000 people each ate half a pound of food, how much energy would it take to convert that into mass?

It’s Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc2.

Answer: It’d take all the electrical power on earth working at 100% output, 100% of the time, for 4 years, to create the energy to create that meal.

Jesus did it without breaking a sweat. Do you see why it’s such an incredible miracle? Now, get this:

He created the sun by His voice (John 1:3, Genesis 1:14). The sun consumes 600 millions of matter per second, generating enough energy in 1 sec to supply all US energy needs for 13 BILLION years. And God simply said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night.” And there was.

Posted in kings, Obama, oppress, power

Stuck with Pharaoh, we long for Solomon

I notice a pattern in the news stories about American politics. At the risk of being too America-centric with respect to applying prophetic indicators, let me say for the record that though the news excerpts below are about the American President, this by no stretch means that these indicators are absent from other global rulers.

Indeed, we have seen what fury the people participating in the Arab Spring/Days Of Rage wrought on Libya’s Qaddafi, Egypt’s Mubarak, and other rulers in Africa and the Middle East. We saw how nervous the kings of Bahrain and Jordan became during that revolutionary time. The Bahraini king even gave a large sum of money to each family in his kingdom to calm them down and to buy time. We see the population’s discontent with the (sexual) excesses of Italy’s Berlusconi, and that France’s Sarkozy, while apparently not as excessive or oppressive, will possibly lose his runoff election this weekend due to the faltering economy.

That said, I have noticed, as you no doubt have noticed, the US leadership veering drunkenly toward excess of spending, of regulation, and of uncaring attitude toward the people. You have heard, no doubt, of the unfortunate plethora of stories where bureaucrats close down lemonade stands, rip up front yard gardens, stop garage sales. Yet those in power like Michele Obama take 17 vacations in three years and seems to have forgotten the concept of public service. But they sure do remember how to have date night. Rep. Pelosi co-opts military airplanes for trips back home. Obama parties like it’s no tomorrow.

The bible has much to say about leaders who fail to honor God and help the people. The bible is replete with events, warnings, and punishments of kings and rulers who oppress the people they are supposed to govern wisely.

Verses like this one in Leviticus 19:13 are echoed throughout the pages of the Scriptures: “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.”

But the leaders, kings, and rulers of today continue to seemingly prosper, while pressing their thumb of power ever deeper into our lives and ripping out what valuables they can to continue to support their lavish and wanton spending. Though it is bad now, this kind of power abuse will be rampant in the Tribulation because the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit will cease His restraint of sin, and it will blossom like mold on a gushy banana. (Revelation 18:3- “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”)

James 5:4 says “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” Revelation 6 shows the poor working all day for a loaf of bread but in Revelation 18 the ultra rich continued their trade in ivory, spices, furniture, even the souls of men throughout the Tribulation.

The gap between the rich and poor continues to grow even now, the rulers increasingly deaf to the cries to stop spending, and the love of many even in the faith waxes cold for the brother. (Matthew 24:12). Our governments are increasingly interested in the peons like us rather than solving the problems we elected them to solve. They regulate us to death and scurry off to enjoy a sexcapade or a luxurious vacation and have forgotten how to govern righteously. We are plagued with Pharaohs and enduring a famine of Solomons.

“A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.” (Proverbs 28:16).

Take this example of unhealthy governmental interest in a person’s private life:

Blogger faces jail time over nutrition blog
“It’s the sort of story you expect to come from a third world superstitious kleptopcracy – yet it happened here on American soil, in North Carolina, thanks to good old fashioned state-level bureaucracy. Reason Magazine brings us the bizarre and senseless story of a Steve Cooksey, a former diabetic who put himself on the popular “Paleo” diet and decided to tell the world about his experiences, only to have the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition (yes, that exists) come down on him: This past January the state diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog — Diabetes-Warrior.net — violated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to “practicing nutrition,” the board’s director says, and in North Carolina that’s something you need a license to do. Unless Cooksey completely rewrites his 3-year-old blog, he could be sued by the licensing board. If he loses the lawsuit and refuses to take down the blog, he could face up to 120 days in jail. The board’s director says Cooksey has a First Amendment right to blog about his diet, but he can’t encourage others to adopt it unless the state has certified him as a dietitian or nutritionist.”

Government is protecting us from our opinions. How thoughtful. Or this terrible example:

Barack Obama attempts to intimidate contributors to Mitt Romney’s campaign
“Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check. Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. His campaign brands you a Romney donor, shames you for “betting against America,” and accuses you of having a “less-than-reputable” record. The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money. Are you worried?”

“Richard Nixon’s “enemies list” appalled the country for the simple reason that presidents hold a unique trust. Unlike senators or congressmen, presidents alone represent all Americans. Their powers—to jail, to fine, to bankrupt—are also so vast as to require restraint. Any president who targets a private citizen for his politics is de facto engaged in government intimidation and threats. This is why presidents since Nixon have carefully avoided the practice. Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules. This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled “Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors.” In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having “less-than-reputable records,” the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that “quite a few” have also been “on the wrong side of the law” and profiting at “the expense of so many Americans.”

Rather than knowing that they exist to lead, to govern, to inspire, to serve, the President and other rulers today oppress, indict, and steal. Nice, Obama. Nice. Yet is his own house in order? No.

Secret Service scandal: ‘Party’s over, boys'”
The Secret Service scandal involving prostitutes in Colombia has brought new orders about personal behavior – no more carousing. On some trips, agents will even have chaperones.”

Now think about this for a second. The Secret Service men who are trained to devote their life to the highest official in the land, who define self-sacrifice by committing to hurl themselves in front of a bullet, have to be chaperoned like two year olds in a candy store so they won’t hurl themselves in front of a prostitute? Whatever happened to self-possession?

“For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress is a narrow well.” Proverbs 23:27
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.” Proverbs 11:14
“Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.” Proverbs 26:23

Blue-collar voter resentment building over Obama vacations?
“Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing “staycations” because they can’t afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family’s 17 lavish vacations around the world and don’t want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas’ holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters. …McLaughlin handled blue collar and Catholic voters in Pittsburgh on April 3 and Cleveland on March 20. He found that they are very depressed about the economy and feel that their tax dollars are being sucked up by both the rich and those living on government assistance.”

The bible says of kings, “But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.” (Deut 17:16-17).

The Deuteronomy verse expressly forbids kings to excess. Barnes Notes says “Excess is forbidden. Vast accumulation of treasure could hardly be effected without oppression; nor when effected fail to produce pride and a “trust in uncertain riches” 1 Timothy 6:17.” Kings were forbidden to use their office to heap up riches for themselves.

In the bible, there are hapless kings, apathetic kings, and kings who not only do not believe and who are sinful through and through, but who actively campaign against God. Pharaoh was such a one. Jezebel was such a one. Ahab was one too. The progression of evil kings always got worse. The next generation was worse than the one before, and so it is today. We started with Washington, Jefferson, Adams. We end up with Nixon, Clinton, Obama…

“Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed–and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors–and they have no comforter.” Ecclesiastes 4:1

So what shall become of them? Amos 5 & 6 speaks to the Day of the Lord when He deals with the unrighteous rulers who oppressed the people. They “… trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine.” (Amos 5:11).

“You put off the evil day and bring near a reign of terror. You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambsand fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end.” (Amos 6:3-7)

Of these Amos versesJohn MacArthur teaches, “God really indicts the rich, not because just they’re rich, but because they have become rich at the expense of the poor.”

As for us brethren, especially those in either civic or ecclesiastical positions of leadership, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). The word sober there in Greek is nepho, “to be sober, unintoxicated” refers to having presence of mind & clear judgment, enabling someone to be self-controlled.

Apparently at the highest levels of power self-control is a thing of the past. That is what makes the Christian stand out as light and salt. (Mt 5:13-16)