Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Putting Everything in Perspective!

Recently, President Obama hosted an Easter prayer breakfast at the White House to celebrate the approach of the Easter season. While I personally have no problem with an event like this being held, I was mildly amused that groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, People for the Separation of Church and State, People for the American Way, and other like-minded "civil rights organizations" were not out in force protesting a "religious event" being "celebrated" and "promoted" in a public building by the President of the United States! Where were all these organizations with their threats of civil lawsuits, denouncements, and references to the "separation of church and state" and political and economic boycotts when this particular event was taking place? It should not surprise us that the supposed "governmental" operating rules can and will be broken when a political point or two needs to be made and those affiliated with that group can and will cast a blind eye toward what is happening! Since our current President is finding his poll numbers dropping weekly, there is nothing like some "old fashion religion" to touch the hearts of ignorant "religious" voters during this holiday season!

While reading about this event, I was thunderstruck by something the President said during the breakfast. He said, "...we are reminded that there’s something about the Resurrection - something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective.” Wow! The President was speaking about his Lord and Savior to an influential and national audience! The President mentioning "Jesus" with the nation's press corps in attendance! Didn't he realize the political fallout from his base support as well as the violation of Supreme Court law for remarks like that? We were soon inundated with "press releases" about "the President's personal Christian faith" as well as condescending comments and editorials about those who questioned the President being a Christian.

The Bible warns us in I John 4:1, "Dear friends, do no believe every spirit, but TEST the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world"! Jesus also warned us that there would be wolves in sheep clothing trying to lead the sheep to a place of destruction. It has always amazed me how quickly most Christians accept anyone who claims to be a Christian without "testing the spirit"! We should NOT be quick to accept anyone as authentic just because they mention the name of Jesus or give a speech loaded with religious terminology! With that in mind, let's test the spirit to investigate if our President was being sincere with his comments and put those comments and "everything in perspective"!

  • Did the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave change the "perspective" of our President on his stance on abortion or the funding of this hideous practice?
  • Did the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave change the "perspective" of our President on his stance on embryonic stem cell research?
  • Did the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave change the "perspective" of our President on his stance on support for gays in the military?
  • Did the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave change the "perspective" of our President on his stance on homosexual marriage?
  • Did the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave change the "perspective" of our President on his stance on the confiscation and redistributing of personal wealth from productive members of society to unproductive members of society?
  • Did the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave change the "perspective" of our President on his stance towards Islam being a religion of peace and on common ground with Christianity?
  • Did the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave change the "perspective" of our President on his stance on  kowtowing and giving tax payer financial support to radical terrorist groups that are killing and persecuting Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, the Ivory Coast, and numerous other Muslim-controlled countries?
  • Did the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave change the "perspective" of our President on his stance on his non-church attendance or affiliation with radical "pastors" and anti-American politicians?

The answer to all those questions is an emphatic NO! The list could go on and on with other Biblically-based questions and observations, but as long as our President mentions his "Lord and Savior" at prayer breakfasts and in personal interviews, who are we to judge him and his faith commitment? How dare we do such a thing! The truth of the matter is, we are ALL called to judge rightly (John 7:24), not only the words of those who call themselves Christians, but also the actions of those who call themselves Christians! I could also provide a list of the many "famous Christian leaders" who were in attendance at the breakfast and who were recognized at or participated in the program, but I am sure this list would prove pointless unless we "tested the spirits" of these "Christian" leaders and listed their "accomplishments"!

If you would like to know who these "religious leaders" were who were on the President's Easter Prayer Breakfast Program and what these people represent or believe, check out, Obama Easter Breakfast Has Religious Leaders Who Enable Abortion. And remember, I am just trying to put everything into perspective!

Pastor Don

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Holy Week

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” and “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
- Luke 19:28-38

This Holy Week, may we acknowledge, reverence, and receive Jesus as our King. May we rejoice for everything we have seen and have been blessed with in our lives. Like the donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem, may we, too, carry Jesus with us with humility, obedience, and great joy wherever we go .

Pastor Don

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Inconvenient Truth!

Recently, I was walking across the courtyard at the Detroit Medical Center when I noticed a statue of a man in a toga. Being curious, I went over to the statue to see who it was. The statue was the Greek Philosopher Hippocrates. He lived in ancient Greece approximately 500 years before the birth of Christ and is widely known as the father of western medicine. Inscribed on the plaque that adorned the front of the statue was the Hippocratic Oath. The oath reads as follows:

Original, translated into English:
I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement: To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

While reading this oath, I was struck by the fact that "ancient man" had a better medical ethical understanding and commitment than many modern physicians and medical personal as well as pharmaceutical companies do. I have been familiar with this oath since my time in college and have followed the "evolution" of the oath that has occurred at many medical colleges.

The original oath cites a reference to "always prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone" and "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion." I immediately thought of the modern abortionist doctors and others such as Jack Kevorkian and the reversal or complete violation of this particular clause. The oath to "never do harm to anyone" and the oath "to not give a a woman a pessary to cause an abortion" are such outmoded, redefined, or ignored ethics in our secular society that the I was amazed that the statue I was reading had not been vandalized or removed! But there it stood, right in the middle of the courtyard, as a testimony to all who saw and read it - a "testimony" of the amazing "advancement" modern man has made. It occurred to me that these ancient Greek doctors and their belief in "false gods" viewed life with greater respect than many now practicing the ancient art do.

When man becomes the final arbiter and reference point, all of life becomes cheapened and expendable. Man can and will redefine what is "good," "right," and "just" to fit society's latest experimental and ethical whims. The statue of Hippocrates stands as an indictment against modern man and his attempt to play God, deciding good and evil for himself without any reference to any God or gods. The inconvenient truth is that modern man, or the current modern god, has now replaced any permanent oath or code inscribed in stone or lead with a dry erase marker board that can be erased and reworked as man deems suitable.

Pastor Don

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Farmville Addicts!

Recently, I began to explore the fascination people have with the virtual game Farmville and to see what all the commotion is about! I was intrigued by the game as well as the hoopla surrounding the building and managing of a "farm" from the ground up! Many people I know are playing this game and had become addicted to the acquisition of land, animals, crops, and money. This game drastically rearranged people's lives in order for them to be able to water, plant, or harvest their crops at the required time! Watching and listening to these people play or discuss the game both fascinated and bothered me to no end with how real and important the game became to them!

It dawned on me while considering the game that we all have an inner desire to see something grow from basically nothing into something very productive. This is a desire I believe God has given to all men throughout all generations. From families to homes to communities to buildings to empires, man has always wanted to build things and see them increase or prosper. God at one time planted a "seed" in the world, someone else came along and "watered" it, and God gave it "growth." This seed grew and grew and turned into something completely different from the seed that was sown. Ultimately, the plant and fruit produced by that seed reproduced itself so that another generation of seeds and plants could be formed and planted. The cycle continued until an area was completely covered with seed that continued to produce plants and crops. Everything else in these fields succumbed to the growth and spread of the first reproducing seed.

Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It begins as a very small seed, but as it grows it covers a very large area and displaces every other plant if given the opportunity! Church history has illustrated the fact of this seed analogy from the early church until today, and we are now the end product of God's "Farmville"! The "farm" has grown, prospered, and continually reproduced itself wherever it has been "planted." Bad weather, rotten planting conditions, farmer neglect, and many other unfavorable factors have not stopped the growth on this "farm"! With even greater care and concern than the participants playing "Farmville," God has watched over His "farm" and guaranteed its success by His infallible word! NOTHING will stop the seed from spreading, reproducing, and dominating the area that it is planted in.

May we devote as much of our energy, time, and resources as we can to make sure God's "Farmville" fills the entire earth and dominates all other forms of "farm," "seed," and "crop" out there! Working in God's field will not be easy, but it will be beneficial, prosperous, and exciting! And you just never know - it may even become addicting!

Happy Farming,
Pastor Don