Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Monday, October 19, 2015

Guest Blog: The Old Rugged Cross

A few days ago, I saw a story about the Bishop of Stockholm from The Church of Sweden wanting to ban all crosses from churches there because it may offend Muslims in Sweden. Not only did the Bishop want the crosses removed, but the Bishop also wanted to install Muslim prayer space in each church. Upon further review, I found out that this Bishop is none other than Eve Brunne, the world’s first lesbian Bishop. She was appointed in 2009 and is married to Gunilla Linden, who is a fellow lesbian priest. I wonder what Muslims around the world think of this gesture by Bishop Brunne? I wonder if they look at Christianity as a whole and say, “Why does their religion promote open homosexuality and put someone like Brunne in such an important office as Bishop of Stockholm?”

Does Brunne think she would be allowed to even step foot into a Mosque in the Middle East, let alone call the shots? I think she already knows that answer.

Although I have plenty of thoughts on the State of the Church in Sweden and its appointment of Eve Brunne to Bishop I will stick with what originally drew me to the story
Like “Bishop” Brunne, many people around the world including some self- proclaiming Christians are trying to eliminate the cross or  cheapen the message of the cross and what it really represents

It troubles me that many of the modern mega churches won’t even have a cross on display
I wonder why atheists protest when the cross at the World Trade Center is displayed at the memorial site. If there is no God, as they say, then this symbol should not offend them, I reason.

Just a couple days later, I saw an amazing video of an elderly woman from South Carolina named Clara Gantt and what the cross meant to her both spiritually and physically. Clara was making her weekly Sunday morning drive to church from her Blythewood home when she found herself in the midst of a flood. Her car was swept from the road into a ditch in front of a small local church. Her grandson, Travis Catchings, arrived with some rope and was able to force the car door open before the raging flood waters filled the entire car, but they became stranded as the flooding intensified. A cross in front of the church had become uprooted and lodged against the car, and the two held onto it in hopes that someone would find them.

“I was literally, after I got out of the car, holding onto the cross. I was clinging to the cross," Gantt said.

They remained that way for five hours until help arrived. During that time, Catchings called his wife thinking it might be the last time he'd ever speak to her.
Gantt suffered a broken ankle and hypothermia but is recovering. Her grandson was unharmed.

"Jesus is my Savior," Gantt told WIS-TV. "This story is not about me, this is about what He did to save me."

After watching this story broadcasted by the national news, I was reminded how important the cross and its message are to us who call ourselves Christians
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Without the cross and the obedience of Jesus allowing himself to be crucified upon it, we would be lost for all eternity and without hope.

In Jesus’ day, the cross represented the most brutal form of death. Today, the cross should be a continual reminder for all humanity of the love and compassion God had on us the day He allowed His one and only Son to be crucified on that cross as a ransom for our sins. See John 3:16.

As Christians, let us never forget the Cross and its message. And, like Clara Gantt, let us cling to it daily as a reminder of what God has done for us. May the Cross be a constant reminder with us to share God’s love for others who have yet come to know Him.
Lord, we thank you for the cross and what you did for us on that cross. The world may try to ban crosses, but we have your cross and its meaning written on our hearts.

May God Bless You,

Friday, August 28, 2015

2 Boyz to Men!

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Recently a professional football player by the name of James Harrison, who currently plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers, made national news by tweeting that he was sending back a "participation" trophy to an organization for which his sons played. Mr. Harrison tweeted that he did not want his sons being rewarded for something they did not earn. His rational was based on the fact that his sons did not win a championship and that mere participation in something did not somehow make them worthy of recognition and some type of reward. In our modern culture of "always praising any accomplishment or attempt at something," Mr. Harrison's comments were the target of many modern psychobabble counselors and politically-correct pundits appalled by his so-called insensitivity toward his sons' emotional, psychological, and sociological development!

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“I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing - participation trophies!” Harrison wrote. “While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.”

Ashley Merryman, co-author of "Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing," says there are many reasons to be concerned about the "everyone gets a trophy no matter what" culture.Brutally Honest: Is it OK to let your child fail? "The idea was if we give kids trophies, if we tell them they're wonderful, if we tell them they're special, they'll sort of develop a sense of fearlessness and then they'll actually be more willing to do difficult things, and actually we now have about 20 years of research that shows that's not true," said Merryman. "That if you tell a kid they're wonderful and they believe you, then it just confirms their belief and that's not about healthy self-esteem, that's about narcissism."

I could not help but think about how this story relates to some Christians who think they deserve some type of recognition or reward just because they "serve" in the church in some capacity. These people are looking for constant acknowledgments or serve under some type of selfish ambition and look at "participation" in the church as some type of rung to ascend on where they can be recognized for their "duty," "faithfulness," or "devotion" without really putting in the time, effort, or finances to make things better. "Just participating" in the mind of these people qualifies as "wholehearted ministry" unto the Lord.

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According to Wikipedia, Sloth - referring to laziness - is one of the seven deadly sins in Christian moral tradition, particularly within Catholicism. Sloth is defined as spiritual or emotional apathy, neglecting what God has spoken, and being physically and emotionally inactive. It can also be either an outright refusal or merely a carelessness in the performance of one's obligations, especially spiritual, moral or legal obligations. Sloth can also indicate a wasting due to lack of use, concerning a person, place, thing, skill, or intangible ideal that would require maintenance, refinement, or support to continue to exist.

James Harrison recognizes the value of working to really earn something. Mere activity in something does not necessarily mean someone is doing something good, correct, or wholeheartedly. The Apostle Paul tells us to run the race in such a way as to win (1st Corinthians 9:24). In order to do that, we must train hard with a clear goal in mind, observe the rules we need to operate under, and truly value the prize we seek. To violate any of these rules would be ultimately to seek only a "participation" trophy and not the top prize for being a champion. James Harrison is on to something-if it isn't a recognition for being the best one can be, being recognized for just showing up is a shallow reward and fools nobody. Obviously James does not want his "boyz" to just participate in something, he wants them to become men, knowing failure and success. He wants them to train and participate to win something of real value and not be satisfied with a cheapened recognition.

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Theodore Roosevelt once wrote:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Stay Holy My Friends!

Pastor Don

Saturday, August 1, 2015

All Things Are Possible!

With the release of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors, employees, and administrators at their compassionate finest, speaking about butchering unborn babies, harvesting organs and body parts, and selling the baby's parts for a profit, one would think that the national consciousness would be shocked at the atrocities being committed by this tax-payer funded organization. One might think that - but not me! With the "success" of the current public education establishment along with the influence of the multifaceted entertainment industry and "progressive" political pressure, our nation's soul is rotting and in critical condition. When a majority of the "news" providers refuse to cover or criticize this outrageous behavior, we have passed a low water mark in this country when anything is possible!  

The Bible says that, with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) and the abundance of scriptural stories bear out this incredible fact. On the other hand, I've also heard it said somewhere that without God all things are possible. I think this quote meant that when God is taken out of a person's life or as a society's reference point, man then will commit the most heinous crimes against his fellow man and justify his actions by citing his "law." We have seen this truth played out over the past century in movements devoid of God or his law and replaced with man as the ultimate reference point. In other words, man becomes God deciding right from wrong and administering his blessings or judgment when in compliance or opposition to it.

But what happens when men and women who profess to represent God and call themselves Christians boast about serving in roles as "Ministers" or "Pastors," but dismiss the savagery of the Planned Parenthood videos as inconsequential as well as the lives taken and rant over children in the 1st grade not knowing their ABCs as if there is some type of moral equivalency between the two? Watch the following video of an "enlightened Pastor" who gives us the "truth" as to what should really be important in our lives and as a nation.

To be honest with you, I don't know which video made me want to regurgitate my chorizo and tortillas hot sauce covered breakfast quicker - the Planned Parenthood video or the "Compassionateless Pastor" video! When a "minister's" sense of priorities is so misconstrued and topsy turvy is it any wonder that most people's or a nation's priorities follow suit? Can we really make a difference in the world when the odds seem so stacked against us?

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As more and more incriminating Planned Parenthood videos are released in the coming weeks, watch how the defenders of Planned Parenthood go on the offensive and attack the producers of the undercover videos as "extremist," "terrorist," "right-wing jihadist," or "criminals" and praise Planned Parenthood as "concerned," "non-judgmental," "compassionate," and "champions for woman's health care and rights"! The enemy is on the run, brothers and sisters! When we see them going into attack mode, we know the pressure and public opinion is turning against them.


As Christians who can discern between evil and good behavior, may we continue the pursuit of righteousness in our land. May we continue to voice our opinion in the public square through whatever means possible as we fight on in our ongoing struggle with evil and not retreat in the face of the enemy!

The battle we face is for the souls of men and women, and the direction of our nation and is not made easier when false brothers and sisters continually undermine our efforts. May God shut the mouths of the lions and grant us victory in the lion den. May he severely judge so-called ministers of the Gospel who are nothing more than wolves in sheep's clothing undermining the mission of the church. And finally, may God be exalted in our lives and land once again because all things are possible with God and to them who believe!

Stay Holy My Friends!

Pastor Don Wolan

Friday, July 3, 2015

Humpty Dumpty!

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
                                                                                                    Humpty Dumpty

Almost everyone has heard the children's nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Although this is a simple children's rhyme, there is a great deal of truth we as Christians can glean from this small lesson. I was thinking about the current debate over homosexual marriage and a host of other current social, political, and moral issues when I thought of this particular rhyme. It occurred to me that many of the current "hot button" topics are like the 10 Humpty Dumpties sitting on the wall in the video. Each Humpty Dumpty represents an issue that was firmly seated on a secure foundation (wall) in our culture, but somehow "fell off" the wall and could not be put back together again!

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Hot button topics like-Traditional marriage - BAM! Traditional sexual roles - BAM! Respect for authority - BAM! Individual rights - BAM! Traditional families - BAM!  Personal responsibility - BAM! Bible based education - BAM! ...Broken eggs all over the place.

The list could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. How did we ever get to the place where each Humpty "fell" and was unrepairable? Was it a sudden push, a shift, and acceleration in the wind, a faulty foundation, an earthquake, an unlevel wall or a process of gravity working over a long time period moving Humpty ever so slowly towards his demise? Maybe it was a combination of all the listed possibilities. Whatever caused the "fall," destroyed old Humpty and made a mess all over the place.

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Recently, we've been inundated with news stories where long-held definitions and beliefs have been cast down and smashed. Like Humpty, these ideas, we thought, were secure and stable, but something tilted them toward destruction. Once Humpty began to fall, destruction was inevitable. Once smashed beyond repair, something had to take Humpty's place on the wall. The question is what would it be and would it look anything like the traditional Humpty?

Psalm 11:3 says:
When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”

Let me give you a few examples of new "Humpties" replacing the old "Humpties. Take for example the recent discussion of Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner and his transformation from male to female. His revelation to us was applauded and acknowledged as "courageous, progressive, liberating and inspiring." Anyone who criticized his actions was attacked as bigoted, intolerant, insensitive, old-fashioned or a host of other abusive and derisive terms.

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Then there is the definition of marriage that is about to be cracked beyond repair. Marriage used to be between one man and one woman (in Christian society, anyway), but now is being redefined for whatever is the popular flavor of the week. Once again, anyone who disagrees with the current relabeled package will face swift criticism.

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How about Rachel Dolezal - the Caucasian woman who pretended to be black and worked as a head for NAACP in the state of Washington? When it was discovered that Rachel was really white, it set off a national firestorm and debate over "race identity." Former standards of reality were set aside and replaced with subjective standards and "self identification" replaced objective standards of male/female, white/black, crazy/sane, and right/wrong!

Last, but certainly not least, was the transformation of Daniel Avner into a female cat. Daniel spent approximately 14 years and a ton of money to "morph himself into a feline, complete with whiskers, ears and a mechanical tail"! "Shannon Larratt wrote in a blog post that Avner had tried to adopt the spiritual essence of the animal world. He said tried to transform “himself not just into a tiger, but a female tiger at that, blurring and exploring the gender line as much as the species line."

Image result for US Navy veteran Dennis Avner,

From male to female, white to black, man to woman, human to animal, or whatever, the boundaries of sanity and reality have been erased and everything is now open to redefinition and acceptance!  The old order of things has passed away and all is becoming new.

Cornelius Van Till once wrote, "Christian theism is the presupposition of all meaning, all rational significance, all intelligible discourse. Even when someone argues against Christian theism, Van Til said, "he presupposes it, for he presupposes that rational argument is possible and that truth can be conveyed through language". In other words, when people reject the God of the Bible as a reference point, they also reject His imputed meaning towards everything and what can be truly known about reality!  

As Christians, we live in a culture growing more and more schizophrenic. It is imperative that we continue to obey and stand on God's Holy word as our standard for right and wrong. A house built upon the sand - hearing God's word but not obeying it -will lead to catastrophic consequences in our land and to our loved ones. Instead of cowering in fear and anxiety from the modern day Babylonians, may we accept the challenge and speak to a culture devoid of direction and understanding.

We have been called to preach the gospel to all people, including Androgynous, Asexual, Bigender, Binary Gender, Binary Sex, Bisexual, Cis-Gender, Cis-Man, Cis-Woman, Closeted, Cross Dressing, Drag Queen, Drag King, Dyke, Exhibitist, Female, Fetist, Fluidity, FTM/MTF, Frotterist, Gay, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Genderless, Gender Nonconforming, Gender Queer, Gender Variant, Gynephilic, Hermaphrodite, Heterosexual, Homesexual, Hypersexual, Intersex, Male, Masochist, Neither, Neutrois, Other, Pansexual, Pedophile, Queer, Questioning, Same Gender Love, Sadist, Skoliosexual, Straight, Third Gender, Transgender, Transitioning, Transsexual, Transsexual Fetistist, Transvestite, Trans-man, Trans-species, Trans-Woman, Two Spirited and Voyeurist or whatever new sexual/gender/racial identity label the world will throw, invent or try to impose on us.

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Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don