“Unsex Me Here”–Lady Macbeth

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This soliloquy of Lady Macbeth petitioning the demons to enter her breasts and take possession represents the unsexing of women as well as men, which I have seen in my lifetime.

It started with the unisex movement of the ’60s. Followed by the feminist movement of the ’70s which was a direct attack on the natural affections of a mother to care for the children of her womb. We watched “the fairer sex” degenerate into the blood-guiltiness of Lady Macbeth, who yearned for the spirits to strengthen her to spurn her husband to murder Macbeth’s kinsman, King Duncan

Alas, in fifty years we have debased ourselves from unisex to multiple genders, which is demonic beyond the imagination your normal person when I was coming of age in the ’50s.

This trend among women of the last half-century, if continued, will end in turning them into hags as represented by the trio of witches (weird sisters), who tempted Macbeth to murder in order to vainly satisfy his selfish ambition.

Shakespeare’s Macbeth the spiritual battle between good and evil and the natural against the unnatural. The battle has been raging since the fall of Lucifer; we Christians must arm ourselves for this spiritual warfare. Macduff, in the end, slays Macbeth with the sword and Lady Macbeth dies at her own hand.

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The Great Tradition

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As I have been meditating on Shakespeare’s Macbeth the last two days, I have been thinking of my father who was Chairman of the English Department at my Alma Mater. As chairman he annually chose to teach the Shakespeare course. I was too immature (rebellious) ito take the course from my father. I regret in my old age that I did not take advantage of so many opportunities my parents offered. How interesting would it be to sit down and discuss Macbeth with my father now! Alas, that will have to wait for Heaven.

My father spoke of Shakespeare and John Milton as being the greatest writers of English literature. I fear professors do not emphasize the classics as they once did. The English professor who gave my father’s eulogy said, “Doctor Smock represented the Great Tradition.”

Students do not have the Biblical background to understand or appreciate a Milton or Shakespeare. In high school I remember studying Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. However, if I remember correctly, we only read Mark Antony’s, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen,” speech. I remember as a boy that I enjoyed dramatically quoting these lines in front of a mirror over and over, which may have been a seed which later geminated into my life as a preacher.

Twenty or so years ago I revisited John Milton, especially Paradise Lost. I was able to discuss it with Dr. Eugene Etheridge, who was also an English professor and one of my early mentors. I have always been fascinated with the classical or ransom theory of the atonement, largely spurred by Milton. I am going to make it a goal to revisit Shakespeare, who possessed a genius understanding of human nature.

Reading Shakespearean English is like reading the KJV Bible for the first time. But it is well worth the effort.

My father, George Smock

 

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The Power To Create Wealth

How do we reconcile the warning and sometimes even the condemnation of the rich in the Bible with other passages that promise wealth to the obedient in the faith?

For instance, Deut. 8:18: “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”

God brought the Jews out of Egyptian bondage with the silver and gold of Egypt; he promised them a land that flowed with milk and honey. But what did they do with the gold? Aaron melted it down and instructed the people to bow down to a golden calf.
Make sure we do not make an idol of our doctrines of health and wealth.

“We must seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and the things which sustain life will be added unto us.”—Matthew 6:33.

If our heavenly father takes care of the fowl of the air, he can certainly provide for us. The lilies of the field are arrayed better than Solomon ever was. We can expect to be clothed better than the grass of the field.

Paul promised the Philippians, “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (4:19).”

The Philippians had been generous to support Paul in his mission. Therefore, God blessed them abundantly. The Philippians were determined to use their resources to help Paul established the New Covenant among the nations of the world. The more wealth that the church has the better it can fulfill the Great Commission.

Proverbs teaches us how we can leave an inheritance for our grandchildren. A nation is only as strong as it’s churches and its families. “21Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things. 22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. 23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away.”—Prov 13.

Present Trump was elected to make America great and wealthy again. To do this he must have the backing of the church, which needs not to be ashamed of wealth and success.

The riches that the Bible warns against are ill-gained riches or gained primarily to consume upon our own lusts. This unrighteous mammon is stored up for the righteous.

We should be content in what we have for the present. The covetous can’t enjoy what they have because they are craving for more, never satisfied. However, present contentment should not eliminate ambition to improve our estate.

Wealth is gained over the long-run through wise investments and hard work, not the lottery. Fields need to be plowed; we have too much unfallowed ground in America. Oftentimes the poor are poor because they will not till the soil (talents) they have. Christians need to put their hands to the plow. Be careful about get rich quick schemes, cheating and fraud or promoting socialists’ schemes for redistributing the wealth.

Beware of the unrighteous mammon!

 

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My Prayer for President Trump

The following is a prayer I have prepared for my weekly Bible Study group based upon Psalms 23-30. Can I get an AMEN from Face Book friends? Franklin Graham has called for National Day of Prayer for President Trump on June 2:

Father thou hast prepared a table for your obedient servant, President Trump, in the presence of his enemies. Anoint him with the oil of the Holy Ghost until his cup runs over. Let the two angels of goodness and mercy follow him wherever you lead and direct. Let him not be ashamed of his desire to MAGA. Help him return our beloved country to our foundations. Allow not his myriad of enemies, who hate him with a cruel hatred, triumph over him; make them ashamed who hate him without a cause.

Redeem President Trump, O God, out of all his troubles. Guide him in judgment and teach him your will. Deliver him from the bloody men of the swamp whose hands are mischief and their right hand is full of bribes. When the devourers come upon him and his family to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood, make the gluttons to stumble and fall. Keep his head lifted up above his enemies, who surround him and would drag him into the quagmire.

Help the President to maintain his consistent joyous spirit, which is his strength. Deliver him not over unto the will of his enemies: for false witnesses are risen against him, who breathe out cruelty. Strengthen his courageous heart. Draw him not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to the American people, but mischief is in their hearts. Let the President’s voice thunder majestically to empty the miry swamp as he shines the light on their sleaze.

Bestow unto President Trump thy favor so that everything he touches will prosper. May he never be moved.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Osteen Derangement Syndrome

f you see a picture similar to this one when you look into the smiling countenance of “America’s Pastor,” Joel Osteen, you could be afflicted with the Osteen Derangement Syndrome.

Have any FB friends noticed other characteristics of those stricken with ODS, so that we can further identify these people?

Perhaps you yourself are disordered; if so, keep up with my posts concerning Osteen. There is still hope that you can be delivered without resorting to medication or completely losing your mind.

Actually, several sufferers have informed me, usually secretly, that when they actually listen to Joel instead of his cynical critics, they return to their senses. Sometimes they even admit that I helped in their healing.

To make sure one doesn’t have a relapse, it would be helpful to confess publicly that you were wrong about Joel and made judgments based on ill-informed hearsay or maybe simply you received greater light.

If your opposition is rooted in slander, your soul could be in danger.

 

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Joel’s Spiritual Guard

Someone is unhinged if he opposes health and wealth. Who in his right mind would choose sickness and poverty, when Jesus came to deliver us from these scourges that the devil has afflicted on mankind? I have diagnosed the problem with the acronym ODS, Osteen Derangement Syndrome.

Whereas most people are cheered by seeing a smiling face, especially when things may not be going their way, people afflicted with ODA are soured by our smiley pastor, Joel Osteen. They even oppose his lovely wife.

I am going to reveal something to trusted FB friends. Please keep this information to yourself. We don’t want this widely known. I am Joel Osteen’s spiritual guard. Some preachers are in need of bodyguards but Joel needs a spiritual guard because he refuses to defend himself against his spiritual enemies. Someone has to do the dirty work. Joel has not asked me to do this, because he has a love for his enemies that goes beyond most of us.

Joel is too valuable in the Kingdom of God for his friends to allow his enemies to constantly malign his character and misrepresent his teaching and vainly attempt to destroy his ministry. Hard telling what misinformation (Joel would not want me using the L word) ODS people will perpetuate concerning this man and his angelic guards. After all, these people are not (hopefully) willing slanderers; they have a mental disorder, perhaps soured by personal rejection.

I ask those that I am confiding in to pray for me. For the zeal of God’s house (Lakewood Church) hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached Joel are fallen upon me (Psalm 69:9). Men have actually warned me that I am fallen and threatened me with for Hell for my role as Chief Guard of the house that Osteen built from what was originally a professional basketball arena of all things. Look what faith in God has wrought!

Joel is under attack from the wolves trying to tear down the sheepfold and scatter the sheep. Many of them do not even have a sheepfold of their own, which may be part of their problem.

One street witness minister insisted that I invite Joel out to minister with me in the marketplace. Lakewood Church is in the center of the business district of Houston. Joel doesn’t have to go outside like most of us evangelicals, he has up to 40 to 50 thousand eagerly entering into his gates weekly and usually a few hundred taking a stand for salvation at each service.

Who would not prefer the hardwood and cushioned seats of Compaq Center over the sawdust and benches of a tent? Perhaps someone afflicted with ODS?

Remember if you have any signs of this syndrome, Joel is ready and willing to help. I must warn you there is strong security at Lakewood. Who know what someone with ODS might actually do, although they are not known to be physically dangerous.

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Be the Head and Not the Tail

The greatest criticism of Joel Osteen is his wealth. There is no sin in gaining riches legitimately.

I suspect that a large portion of Osteen’s critics are in debt as a result of living beyond their means, which the Bible warns against. Others may be on the public dole, which means they are living on money forcibly taken from others. Both of these type criticizers tend to develop a victim mentality and are tail wagers. Osteen is a victor, who holds his head high. Selfish people resent his success. Right thinking people look upon him as a motivator.

Romans 13:8 exhorts, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Proverbs 22:7 teaches that “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the servant or slave of the lender.”

Some, like Osteen, are benevolently rich; others are selfishly rich and will attempt to keep the poor in a state of poverty and dependence upon the state. Osteen teaches men how to prosper and be independent from the government and the greedy (filthy) rich. Osteen removes the debtors’ excuse to be in debt and in a state of poverty.

Some of the rich and poor serve mammon; others from these classes have mammon serve them as they serve God. As men are diligent in service and stewardship to God and others in a relatively free economy, they should not be debtors or poor for long.

A free economy rewards those who are providing goods and services at a price people are willing to pay. As for Joel Osteen, he offers the inspiration for men to become achievers and live up to their full potential in service to God and their fellows. Not only that, his encouragement is freely offered! The thankful should reward him in return.

 

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Psalms and the Prosperity Gospel

I am beginning a study of Psalms in my home Bible Lessons. Psalm 1 sets the stage for all the psalms with the opening word “Blessed,” which is one of the most used words in this ancient hymn book.

God desires is to bless and prosper his people, which is “the prosperity gospel,” which I preach. I am not ashamed to use the term, even though it is has become a pejorative by those who would belittle those who teach that the righteous can expect to prosper (vs. 4) in the here and the hereafter.

The word “woe” is not found in Psalms, although it is implied that the ungodly are under a curse and they will not prosper over the long run but will perish.

In my Christian studies I have majored in the blessings of the gospel; however, I also have a minor in the afflictions of the gospel.

Joel Osteen teaches that God may even afflict us for a time in order to take us to higher ground. So, in the end even our afflictions are blessings, if we continue steadfast in the faith.

Obedient Christian, your season is at hand to bring forth abundant fruit as you hold unwavering unto the Lord. The winnowing is in process; the chaff is being separated from the wheat.

Join us Face Book live at 7 AM ET for the start of our study of Psalm. I promise that you will be blessed as you study and apply the principles of faith found in the treasures of Psalms.

HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE HILLARY?

That woman, Hillary, says, “I think it’s also critical to understand that, as I’ve been telling candidates who have come to see me, you can run the best campaign, you can even become the nominee, and you can have the election stolen from you.”

No wonder she lost the election. Talk about someone who can’t see the writing on the wall! Even Obama said she ran a “soulless” campaign.

The pundits and the pollsters were the other bad losers in the 2016 campaign. Did any of them have Trump actually winning? Yet already we are seeing polls as to whom the supposed front-runners are and these polls even have them defeating Trump. The pundits live and die by the polls. The “experts” are lacking in something of which Trump has in abundance, political instinct.

The commentators should have been fired for their lack of political insight. One of the very few who saw Hillary’s loss coming was the fat slob from Michigan who wears the baseball cap. My friends on Face Book are consistently more astute than the chatter boxes on the news channels.

You would think that Hillary and the analysts would at least take advantage of the benefit of hindsight. In retrospect the massive enthusiastic crowds which Trump drew wherever he rallied was the best indication that he was going to win handily. Yet, the prideful dolts on TV will not acknowledge the sustained popularity of Trump, who continues to draw fervent multitudes to his one-man rallies.

What was Hillary to do to improve her campaign? She could only draw hundreds in her public appearances, if that, and those came out of a sense of obligation. No wonder she did not campaign in places like Wisconsin and Michigan, traditionally blue states, where everyone was bored with the frumpy feminist in her pant suits. The truth is that she was a loser from the beginning.

Who can be a match against Trump? Certainly, not that woman! Nor can any of the cast of thousands, scrambling on stage for the spotlight against President Trump, touch the man. The touchy-feely guy, who is the disloyal oppositions supposed front runner, doesn’t have a prayer. All the prayers are on Trump’s behalf.

I don’t for a moment believe that Democrat candidates are actually coming to Hillary for advice. She is making that up. Democrats are asking the question, “How do you solve a problem like Hillary?” She will not “go gentle into that good night.”

 

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An Falsehood is Not Necessarily a Lie

We need to be gracious and respectful towards our theological opponents by tempering our language. It is not necessary to say that our opponents’ views are “lies” unless their position is to intentionally deceive. Willful deceit is what makes a lie, not a false belief among those diligently attempting to understand doctrinal issues argued by Christians throughout the church age.

The chief priests bribed the Roman soldiers guarding Jesus’ tomb to say that his disciples came at night and stole the body. This was a deliberate attempt of deception for the purpose of denying the key doctrine of Christianity. This was an out and out lie and a grievous sin on the part of the religious leaders.

The two main schools of theology among Protestants are Calvinism and Arminianism; there is a third position called Moral Government. Advocates of one school sometimes label those of the other school with pejorative terms like liars, heretics or false prophets. These derogatory labels tend to hinder or even halt thoughtful and respectful dialogue and debate and can hamper us in promoting understanding or arriving at the truth.

 

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