Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!

Recently, I read a fascinating article that reported the death of a Japanese soldier from World War II. This was no ordinary soldier. This soldier was noted for something that he did over the course of decades for a cause he truly believed in. His life of notoriety consisted in the fact that he continued to fight World War II even though it was over!  There had been reports a few years after the end of the war that there were still Japanese military men who had been hiding in the jungles, fighting a war that they never knew had ended. Most of these men however had been located and convinced that the war had ended a few years earlier with the surrender of Japan to Allied forces. Mr. Hiroo Onoda was a different story.

Hiroo was an army intelligence officer with the Imperial Japanese Army, who spent 3 decades hiding in the Philippines jungle, fighting a war he thought was still in progress. In his mind, surrendering was the ultimate act of cowardice and humiliation, and he had been taught that death was preferable to such sorry state. Relying on his skills in guerrilla combat and survival, Hiroo lived off the land with his cunning and his special skills, all the while believing the war was still in progress. It wasn't until 1974 that Hiroo had been contacted by his former commander and convinced that the war had ended that Hiroo was free to return back to his former way of life. Hiroo was given a hero's welcome back in Japan and honored as an example of faithfulness, perseverance and resourcefulness in the execution of one's national duties. Hiroo died on January 16, 2014 at the ripe old age of 91.

Hiroo Onoda, shown surrendering in 1974 after World War II ended 29 years previously, died Thursday at age 91 from heart failure.
(Hiroo Onoda)

Last Sunday, Downriver Christian Community Church was honored to recognize and promote a two men along with their wives who exhibit the same characteristics that brought fame and notoriety to Hiroo Onoda. Brian and Kristy Wilkerson and Dan and Marie Abraham were officially recognized for their public display of courage, faithfulness, diligence, and self-sacrifice for the cause of Christ and the advancement of His kingdom. Both these couples have served their King, not out of some selfish ambition to be recognized, praised, or promoted for their work. Instead, like Hiroo Onoda, they have served their King entirely from the pure motive of their love and dedication for Him.

Downriver Christian Community Church welcomes, recognizes, and honors Brian and Kristy Wilkerson and Dan and Marie Abraham to the office of the diaconate. Their specific giftings, fruits, and character have made them recognizable to all with eyes to see as strong men and women of God. Their leadership and example of a Christian life over the course of time have demonstrated their loyalty to their King and their selfless devotion to Him. In the ongoing war against the enemies of Christ, these men and their wives will rely on their special training, skills, and giftings to continue fighting the good fight of faith. May God bless all of you and strengthen you for the task ahead. It will be our pleasure to serve along side of you until the ultimate goal is accomplished. And just like Hiroo, may we consider surrender of our cause the ultimate act of cowardice and death preferable to any compromise! Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!  

Stay Holy, My friends!

Pastor Don

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Rose by Any Other Name!

(Sarcasm alert...) Anyone who knows me well knows that I am the old sentimental type. Old romantic movies, romance books, black and white photos from the 50's and 60's, and cuddling next to a warm fire with a cozy blanket wrapped gently around me while dressed in my flannel pajamas are just some of the little pleasures of life that I constantly look forward to as the new year begins. Also on my list of things I look forward to doing as a new begins is watching the Rose Bowl Day Parade. (Sarcasm alert again...) Forget the football game with all its violence and self-absorbed barbarian macho men trying to kill each other, the parade makes me smile with childhood excitement as the beautiful floats roll by for all the television cameras and world to see.

This past Rose Bowl parade may have been the best one I have ever seen. The weather was beautiful, the crowd excited, the floats incredibly decorated, and the television coverage sensational. Various bands played wonderful marching music and different marching groups marched in synchronized harmony.  But there was one thing that truly took my breath away and made me grab a couple of Kleenexes from my already depleted pile. It was the float of the two gay men reciting their wedding vows in front of millions of adoring onlookers and supporters. What a display of courage, love and commitment. How could one not well up with tears of emotion at the scene unfolding before one's very eyes.

I'll have to be honest with you. My eyes did swell up with tears with what I was seeing on the television screen, but it wasn't with tears of joy and pride. They were tears of sorrow and dread at the scene being championed before an adoring parade audience and television commentators. Two homosexual men along with a supposedly female "minister" of God's Word paraded down Colorado Boulevard high atop a float, waving and blowing kisses to all. Never mind that the people of California have twice voted overwhelmingly to affirm marriage to be defined as between one man and one woman. What does the common rabble of California know about constitutional law or universal human rights anyway? Clearly all these people need their worldview to be corrected by a politician or judge who can correctly interpret the law as "the founders really meant it to read." Popular social propositions that do not currently line up with a politically-correct mindset are rushed into local courts of "law" where like-minded judges, mixed with some legaleses jargon pronounce before all the world the constitutionality or non-constitutionality of a particular cause. With the wave of a judge's hand, law can be twisted and turned to mean anything the magistrate inclines it to be.

Maybe one of the funniest and most hypocritical facts about the event itself was the contrast between natural and unnatural. The Rose Bowl parade prides itself on the fact that "every inch of the float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds, or bark," according to Unfortunately this year, this particular float was "covered" with the most "unnatural" covering of all-two homosexual men getting married! Shakespeare wrote that a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. What he was trying to convey to his reader was that it did not matter what you called a rose - its beauty and aroma would not change. The same can not be said for the word "marriage." When society or some ruling elite(s) changes the definition of the meaning of marriage from one man and one woman, the definition now becomes unrecognizable and open to anyone's definition. Marriage by any other name is NOT marriage and becomes "unnatural."

The year 2014 promises to be a year in which many other "parades of  perversity" will be hailed and celebrated as natural and progressive in our evolving cultural and societal understanding. Those who refuse to go along with the "parade" will  be isolated and demonized even more for their beliefs. Psalm 12:8 says, "The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men." Isaiah 5:20-24 states, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter...for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." The task before us this year is a greater commitment to God's Word as the ultimate standard for right and wrong in all of life and adhering to it ourselves wholeheartedly as we continue to battle the ever rising tide of humanism.

May God grant us the strength and courage to boldly proclaim His uncompromising standard as we seek to reform the culture of our day with the good news of Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost!

Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don