God is a Capitalist

This is the video of a message I presented on 4/11/09 at New Life Church. It is an examination of the capitalist system, tracing it’s roots through history and scripture.

I believe this is a very strategic message for today, and contains information that every Christian should understand.  Enjoy!

As always, your comments are welcome.

God is a Capitalist Video

For His glory,
R<><

Published in: on April 12, 2009 at 3:53 am  Comments (2)  

Iconoclasm

I’m pretty sure that I drive my friends crazy sometimes. Maybe often.  I’m not sure, because they don’t tell me, but in my minds eye, I imagine them shaking their heads after reading my ramblings and wondering why I write what I write, or say what I say when I could spend my time being positive and spreading sunshine and roses and puppy dog tales.  Perhaps I’m wrong about that.  Maybe some will tell me one way or the other.

I figured it might be helpful to lift the hood and give you a bit of insight into the inner workings of Rich Carey’s mind, and since this blog is essentially my personal platform of pontification, seems like the best place to do it.  So here goes.

Even as a small child I was overly inquisitive about how things work. My mother loves to tell people how I used to disassemble perfectly good toys to discover what was inside.  Indeed, many of my early childhood memories include performing exploratory surgery on many of my Christmas presents – for example, talking stuffed toys.  Before the days of tiny computer chips, we used to pull a ring attached to a string that hung from the side of, say, a small Herman Munster action figure (I’d say doll, but real boys don’t play with dolls) whereupon one would hear Herman Munster’s voice mysteriously emanating from his chest, uttering the phrases he was most famous for on his weekly TV show.

There was of necessity only a small handful of phrases and sounds he could utter, so the novelty wore off rather quickly, probably before New Years Day rolled around.  Curiosity as to the exact nature of this voice technology began to build within me exponentially as the days wore on.  One could feel a hard, square box on the working end of the string buried within his otherwise pillow-soft chest.  As curiosity increased, my fondness for Herman’s voice was overcome by the irresistible urge to perform exploratory surgery.  Of course, in doing so, there was a strong likelihood that the patient would not survive the surgery.  On top of that, there would surely be repercussions from my parents, who (to this day) could not understand why I would subject my new toys to a premature death.

As you probably have guessed by now, my youthful wisdom prevailed and a voiceboxectomy was performed.  Upon removing the mysterious box, I remember being initially disappointed, since the voicebox itself was (unlike today’s toys), quite sturdy; seemingly built to survive a nuclear attack by the Russians.  (We need not even question the value of a Herman Munster doll on the Day After).  It would not yield it’s secrets easily, and it was not like I could just put it back in as though nothing had happened.  Yet, I was not going to be easily deterred by their meager attempts to conceal their mysterious technology from me (any Idaho boy who knows the value of a good hammer), so further disassembly was deemed necessary and thus performed.

For the sake of time, I’m tempted to refrain from telling you the secret of the voicebox, since it has absolutely no bearing on the issue at hand, yet to avoid being deluged by angry emails from frustrated readers, full disclosure is prudent.  The secret of the voicebox was a small, windup record player.  Quite ingenious for it’s day, really.  I found other uses for it over time, transplanting Herman’s voice into various other inappropriate but humorous locations.

As I grew older, my desire to discover how things work never waned, but rather intensified.  I moved on to electric motors, switches, radios, televisions (though sparks flew and electrical shocks were not uncommon, by the grace of God I survived), and eventually, my favorite toys of all – personal computers.

I’ve had the good fortune to transform this talent for understanding how things work into a career of sorts.  I was a journeyman machinist prior to starting my own computer company.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I like to fix broken things if they can be fixed and are of sufficient complexity to challenge me (cars and plumbing are most definitely NOT challenging, so don’t call). My wife even calls me “Macguyver” whenever I fix something around the house (such a term of endearment).

Many years ago, I became aware of and accepted the high calling upon my life as an apostle and ambassador of the King.  Since then, I’ve naturally been drawn to dissect what we call Church, seeking to discover what works and what doesn’t and try to find ways to fix what is broken.  Where other leaders appear to me to be content to leave well enough alone and just “trust God”, I cannot.  My worldview includes a prevailing understanding of man’s call to walk in dominion, responsibility and stewardship.  Where others see problems only God can solve, I see problems that God has called us to solve – not without Him, but in partnership with Him.

You see, I take this idea of “seeking first the Kingdom” very seriously. Faith is not “belief“, which is generally defined by western culture as “intellectual assent“.  Atheists argue that they don’t “believe” in the existence of God.  They mistakenly think (as many Christians do) that believing in the existence of God makes one a believer.  But this is not biblically accurate.  True belief involves faith, and faith involves action.  James said, “Even the devil believes, and trembles” and “faith without works is dead“.  Jesus said he who believes does the work.  Some of that work surely involves tearing things down, taking things apart, and stepping into confrontation with the powers of darkness as they manifest in the lives of people, systems, and the institutions of society.

Understanding the true nature of faith as an action is a key principle of the Kingdom. Mere intellectual assent is a pathetic substitute, and this false “faith” has incapacitated the Church.  When the Church rises up and starts walking in true faith, translating knowledge into actions that move beyond the realm of “I believe”, the Kingdom grows.  Apart from action, our believing is not faith, it is merely knowledge at best.

What does all this have to do with iconoclasm? Since many people do not know what iconoclasm means, here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

Iconoclasm, Greek for “image-breaking”, is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture’s own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major domestic political or religious changes.

…People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any person who breaks or disdains established dogmata or conventions.

Thus, at the very core of my being, I’m iconoclastic. I’m fully aware that this is not the best way to make friends, and I’m going to be misunderstood, falsely accused, maligned, persecuted, and possibly even martyred someday.  This is somewhat problematic for me, because I truly have a tender heart and want people to love me and appreciate what I’m doing.  But deep within me is a knowing that I was born to pluck up, to tear down, and to clear the way for the coming of the King.  More than one prophet has used the term “bulldozer” when giving me a personal prophetic word.

So, regardless of how it may seem to others, I’m not tearing things down (i.e. shooting holy cows) indiscriminately, or to hurt people’s feelings, or just to cause trouble (although I must admit, I do enjoy it too much sometimes).  I’m trying, in my own often frustrating ways to point out what is broken, and hopefully to provide possible answers for our problems.  I refuse to sit silently by and not let my faith translate into action.

Mind you, I want to be teachable, and correctable by those who love me.  But if you think I’m wrong, you better come to me with something more than someone’s hurt feelings.  If you want to change my mind, you’d be advised to bring good arguments that can be substantiated by hard evidence because chances are, I’ve done my homework.

I’m looking for my tribe – a group of people who are unafraid to ask hard questions and to find out why things are the way they are.  I want to walk with people that are willing to risk breaking some things for the promise of a better world.  I want to feel the thrill of standing upon the rubble of the devil’s kingdom with a tribe of iconoclasts who were willing to put it all on the line for the adventure of a lifetime and the reward of setting a generation free to become all that they were created to be.

So again I ask – is anybody with me?

Silence isn’t always golden; sometimes it’s just yellow. (Selah)

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 9:52 pm  Comments (8)  

Now Is Your Time

You’re afraid, and for good reason. As you look around, fear is rising in the hearts of thinking people everywhere.  You or someone you know is in danger of losing their job.  Your retirement account has been decimated as the stock market plummets to new lows.  You no longer have a safety net, and you are afraid.

Violence is on the increase, and the value of life is decreasing.  There are people in your city who would kill you for the money in your wallet, or maybe just for the sheer pleasure of it.  Gone are the days when you could leave your doors unlocked or your valuables laying around and trust that they would still be there when you returned.

You know you shouldn’t be afraid, but you are.  Go ahead and admit it. Acknowledge your fear and stop beating yourself up about it.  Ignoring it won’t make it go away.  Ignorant bliss is definitely not the answer.  We’re in a crisis, and you have every reason to be afraid.

But don’t embrace your fear, because fear can cause us to make very bad decisions.

In the face of the economic crisis, our governmental representatives wring their hands and wonder what to do.  They too, are afraid, and that only adds to our own fears.  In desperation, they draft bailout bills to save financial interests who’ve raped and pillaged the economy.  Now the automotive industry is lining up to get their share of the rescue package.  These bailout plans serve only to delay the inevitable crash while mortgaging our future and miring our children with massive amounts of debt.  Fear is the driving force today on Wall Street, Main Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue.

The promises of change permeated the presidential election, and the candidate who made change his one word campaign slogan won.  The people put their hope in the one who they believe will offer solutions to our problems and make us all safe again.

But it’s time to face the cold, stark realities of where we are. As much as we all want to believe that the government can fix our economy, our health care system, etc., etc,. the truth is, they cannot.  The numbers don’t lie.  We’re in the biggest mess we’ve ever been in, and things are going to get worse before they get better.  How much worse, we do not know, but we’re sailing into some very troubled waters.

In the Church, the prophets are divided. Some are declaring divine judgment, others are declaring blessing and supernatural intervention.  I think both are correct, and yet both are giving incomplete, and therefore erroneous information because neither position identifies the real solution.  Allow me to explain.

God’s judgment is upon this nation. He made if very clear in His Word.  As a nation, we are free to choose blessings or curses.  Ignoring God’s ways can only result in judgment.  Not because He is angry with us; indeed He is hurting right along with us because He loves us.  The natural result of leaping from a cliff is a fall to the ground.  Likewise, the natural result of unrepentant selfishness in a culture is broken families, scarred children, abortion, substance abuse and systemic poverty.  God’s ways work, man’s ways don’t.  Humanists will try to tell you otherwise, but history testifies against them.  Saying something is or isn’t true doesn’t make it so.  Truth is not relative to what we believe.  The whole of creation operates under physical and spiritual laws and we are subject to them, regardless of whether we accept them as truth or not.  We ignore them to our own peril.

We keep looking outside for help to come, but no help is coming. The sooner we accept this reality, the sooner we can get on with the program.  The answers we desperately need are already present within the hearts and minds of the sons and daughters of the King.

God wants to intervene in our world, but we need to understand that divine intervention has already happened.  The Kingdom has come.  The power of God has been released and the plan of God has been set into motion, entrusted to those who have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart willing to obey.

Somewhere along the way in development of Christian culture, we accepted the notion that God is separate and distinct from the Church.  We pay lip service to “Christ in you, the hope of glory”, but we do not live our lives as though it were really true TODAY.  We wear the label of the “Body of Christ” but our actions betray us.  We do not really believe these things, for true belief results in action, and meaningful action by Christians is in short supply these days, because we have been brainwashed by well-meaning pulpiteers and religious hacks.

Thus our fears are based in our lack of faith – true faith that is fixed not upon our government, nor upon a far-away God who is seated upon His Throne, but upon the Anointed One who lives within the heart of every true believer and is anxiously waiting for the opportunity to display His power and creativity through any yielded vessel who will truly put the Kingdom of God FIRST in their over-crowded, ever-busier life.

Here’s the truth.  Our fears need to turn to anger. Not an unrighteous, carnal anger that hurts people, but a righteous, turn-over-the-money-changer’s-tables kind of anger that refuses to sit back and accept the crap of our broken culture as “normal” any longer.

I am not afraid.  I am angry, and I’m not going to take it lying down any longer.

I’m angry at politicians who take an oath to serve the public and then go on to make a lucrative career out of serving special interests and protecting their positions of power.

I’m angry at preachers who offer up only pat answers for complex problems and lull the people of God to sleep with cheery platitudes and feel-good messages that just get us through another week.

I’m angry at self-centered, self-worshipping, soulless celebrities who think their fame and fortune somehow qualifies them to lead, represent, or speak out on behalf of the people of this nation.

But mostly, I’m angry at the devil who is behind all the destruction and death that is so prevalent in our world today.  He has successfully gained a significant foothold in our national culture over the past few decades, and we are being destroyed from within.  I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.

I was born to be free, and I want my children and my grandchildren to be free – free to pursue life, liberty and happiness.  Free to love and to live in peace and harmony.  Free to see the fulfillment of their wildest dreams.  That is the will of God for every inhabitant of this earth, and I refuse the let the devil rob us of these things any longer.  I am pledging my very life to this cause.

No more will I remain silent or tone down my message in the name of political correctness, false religious humility,  or fear of  reputation.  My language will become intently more colorful, for I have a message that must rise above the din of meaningless prattle that fills the airwaves of popular Christian culture.  I believe it is truth, and thus will strike a chord in the hearts of many, and my full intent is to raise up an army of modern barbarians who are no longer afraid and who will pledge their lives to the cause of the Kingdom.

So, dear readers, this is a call to arms. A call to lay down your fears and pick up the sword of the Spirit.  It is time to become a warrior tribe, to take our message of true change to the streets, to stop being intimidated by the moronic voices of pop culture, political correctness and powerless religion.

It is time to boldly speak the truth in love, everywhere, every time, to everyone, whether they will agree with us, love us, hate us, or stone us.

Let’s stop the foolishness, stop waiting for a rescue from the outside.  This is our planet, our country, our city.  The King of Glory lives in our hearts, and He desperately wants out.  This is YOUR time.  Together, we can change our world.

Is anybody listening?  Is anybody with me? If you are, take a stand and post a comment on this blog.  Join my new Facebook group “Tribe of Kingdom Barbarians”.  Become part of the new Kingdom Barbarian Tribe!

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” – Rom. 8:18-21 NASB

Addendum: 14 Dec 08

Last night Apostle (Papa) Wayne C. Anderson preached a great message on the rescue of God.  It is a very timely word – that we must not lose hope in the midst of the battles ahead and we need to be looking for His rescue.  This is the balancing message to my rantings above, and it got me thinking that I should clarify my position on this critical issue of God’s rescue.

Lest anyone think that in my “no help is coming” premise, I’m somehow limiting God’s power or desire to intervene in our lives supernaturally,  I’m not.  Scripture is filled with instances where God intervenes in human history on behalf of His people when they are in trouble.  How could a loving God do anything less?  And we certainly require His intervention to fix the mess that we’re currently in.

Yet, we must also remember that most, if not every time God intervened in human history, He required some kind of faith-based action on the part of His people.  We must also realize that since the arrival of the Kingdom on earth, the government of God has shifted to His ecclesia (Church).  Prior to that, the people had no options but to cry out to God for rescue.  Today, God is incarnate and actively working through those who engage the Kingdom and make it a priority in their everyday lives.

Sadly, we’ve not done well at this as His governing Body on earth, and I believe this is the season for that to change.  God WILL intervene on our behalf, but he will not reward the irresponsibility and poor stewardship that got us into the mess we’re in.  I think we’ve spent all together too much time waiting for God to do something for us, while He is waiting for us to do what He commanded us to do the last time He was here.

Our only hope lies in the Kingdom of God coming to this earth in it’s fullness.  We can’t do it without God, and He won’t do it without us.  At least that is my understanding of the nature of the Kingdom.

Published in: on November 22, 2008 at 10:52 pm  Comments (5)  

Bobblehead Christians

Recently I’ve developed an online relationship with a self-avowed atheist. We found some common ground in the issues of politics at the time, and I was intrigued by his public claims that there is no God, so I pressed into him for more specifics about his belief system.  At first he was a bit evasive, no doubt due to many previous arguments he’d had with knucklehead Christians.  But I was persistent, kind, talked a bit of smack and tried to bait him out to share with me more about what he believes. I’m happy to say that he is opening up and starting to share his heart with me.  We’re moving beyond pat answers and into worldview, which is where I want to go with him.

I have no agenda at this time beyond seeing what kind of evidence he has used to arrive at his conclusions.  Of course, I do care about the eternal destination of his soul as well, but contrary to popular Christian evangelistic tactics, that is my endgame, not my first play.  I’ve taken a genuine interest in my new friend.  He gave me the privilege of looking into his heart, and I have reciprocated.  I’m meeting him where he is at – on the field of logic and reason.  We’ve both agreed that we like one another (we’ve not yet met in person) and we’d like to keep the discussion going.  I’ve given him honor, and he has done the same.  I’ve sought to earn the right to hear his heart, honestly, genuinely and without judgment.  I’m hoping he’ll join me in a public discussion here on my blog.  He’s thinking about it.

Contrast this with the approach of most Christians who, rather than being “fishers of men” are out with their 44 magnum study bibles hunting for souls to bag.  The typical evangelical mindset is focused on one goal – to “win someone to Christ” by getting them to pray the “sinners prayer”.  The victim person, that stands before them is a wretched miserable sinner who needs to repent for their wicked ways and get right with God (like me!), rather than an individual with deeply held convictions based upon life experience, teaching, etc. who may have little interest in hearing what we have to say, especially when they believe us to be fools.

It’s both comical and sad to see how most Christians approach evangelism. Either we remain silent in complete violation of the Lord’s command to go and make disciples, or we temporarily turn into some crazy aberrant religious psycho that doesn’t seem to be capable or rational thought.  Just look at the discussions that occur between atheists and Christians and you’ll find it littered with scripture quotations.  What kind of logic uses scripture to make a case with someone who has already determined that it’s not true?  How dumb is that?

I’ve found a lot of common ground with my new friend. He has examined Christianity through the lives of Christians and found it to be a very unattractive and unbelievable, thus he rejects God.  His logic is flawed, no doubt about it, and in time, I hope to change his conclusions by challenging his logic.  But I’ve looked through his eyes, and based on what he knows now, I find I agree with him more than not because of the hypocrisy, animosity and downright meanness that is found in many Christians – especially those who are “evangelistic” by nature, because they are often driven by religious spirits rather than being led by the Holy Spirit.

We used to have a guy in town that I called “Bumper Sticker Guy”.  This brother was so “radical for Jesus” that he literally covered his car with Christian bumper stickers, emblems, and anything else he could get to adhere to his car that proclaimed his message.  This guy would go out on the main drag and simply cruise in circles, driving up and down the block “witnessing” for Jesus.  While I do not doubt his sincerity, I’m amazed that he actually believes that anyone is going to embrace his message.  As a believer, I was more than offended by his approach, and desperately wanted to run him off the road lovingly confront him every time I saw him doing his thing.  This, my friends is what causes the world to think that Christians are idiots.  Would you vote for someone that shared the beliefs of Bumper Sticker Guy?  I wouldn’t, that’s for SURE!

Private note to Bumper Sticker Guy if you happen to read this.  I love you in Jesus, and I admire your boldness to be a witness for Jesus, but for God’s sake, please peel all that crap off your car and just start loving people.  You’ll be a whole lot more successful and you may live longer.

My friend Peter Lord says we need to “keep the Main Thing the Main Thing”. What is the Main Thing?  It’s not soul-winning, or praying, or quoting scripture or worship or another religious activity you can name.  It’s love.  God is love, and love is the evidence that we belong to Him.  Love is an irresistible force.  If love is not present in our conversations with those who do not yet know Him, not only are our chances of success extremely low, our entire motivation is wrong.

We also need to quit checking our brains at the door. We need to know why we believe what we believe, other that “’cause the Bible tells me so“.  Take away a Christian’s bible, and many become powerless to have an intelligent conversation with an unbeliever about why they believe what they believe about God.  We need to examine our worldview and identify the evidence that serves as a foundation for why we believe as we do.  Some of us might be shocked at how thin that foundation really is.  If we’re going to go up against the strongholds of unbelief in the lives of others, we’d best have something more substantial than what the preacher told us last week.

The early Church didn’t have Bibles. They didn’t walk around quoting the Old Testament to the Gentiles.  They had a personal revelation of Christ and they had His love flowing out of their hearts.  Their lives were filled with the fruit of having a close relationship with Jesus.  This was the greatest evidence they could present about the risen Christ.  Yet, I believe they also possessed a divine wisdom and the ability clearly articulate the reason for their faith.  But what really made their case bulletproof was when their faith was tested by the fire.  When the rocks started flying and the whips and chains came out, their faith endured because it was real and the were willing to lay it all on the line for what they believed in.  Suddenly all the words they had spoken carried a lot of authority because they were signed in blood.

Is your faith that real, that solid, so alive that you’re willing to die for what you believe in? If not, stop trying to convince others and work on those foundations.  The world doesn’t need any more bobblehead Christians or Bumper Sticker Guys.  They need to see real faith, in real people, who really know God.

Until next time,
R<><

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 2:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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