Trump, a mirrored reflection of Americans!

Over the past year, the world has witnessed a phenomenon unparalleled in the history of the United States in the way that many Americans have insulted and continues to insult President Trump and anyone associated with him. The venom vitriol that flow out of the left and liberal wings in this country is almost palpable. And as someone, who is very slow to criticize people regardless of their character flaws, knowing fully well how sinful I am, I have been disheartened by the constant attacks on this President and his family, including his ten year old son.

The part that really troubles me the most is when these attacks come from those who claim to profess Christianity. I have pondered a lot of likely possibilities that could lead to such disdain and vitriol toward the President but can only theorize that the reason why many Americans hate this President is that he reminds them of themselves. It’s like viewing oneself in a mirror. Many people can’t stand seeing themselves in a mirror without makeup because the makeup hides who they truly are.

Trump represents what many Americans truly are. America is an indispensable nation and will continue to be the best country on the planet, but not without flaws. The election of Trump has showcased how hypocritical many American Christians are. They preach acceptance, but it has to be on their own terms and not on God’s mandate. They preach and teach forgiveness but to them, some people are irredeemable. They talk about a loving God, who loves the sinner, but to these Christians, if the sinner has the last name Trump, this person is beyond God’s love.

Although, I am well convinced that a careful or impartial observer could not arrive at such conclusion, yet it is believed that a perverse ingenuity might abuse certain statements and tweets from the President for what in modern coinage are termed racism, bigotry, pedophile, homophobia, white supremacy, sexism, misogyny, anti- American, etc. That any such thoughts could possibly attach to Donald Trump, someone who is true American himself, adored by many in his other life; by some of those who now despise him, is beyond the pale.

Just look for a moment at what is happening in the country today with sexual harassments and assaults. Those in public offices are falling like flies because of revelations of their liaison with women, in most cases nonconsensual, yet they are quick to criticize the President for his own flaws. Americans are generally good people, but not without flaws.

The distinction between the wise and the foolish is that the wise see themselves in a mirror and self-corrects what flaws they find. In contrast, the foolish go through the same process, but instead of self-correcting, loathe the image they see in the mirror. The left and liberal wings of this country are not worried that the policies that Trump’s administration put in place will hurt the poor or the disenfranchised. They are afraid that his policies will succeed and help those, whom they claim to fight for; thereby revealing their hypocrisy and ineptitude.

This post is not an endorsement of every one of Trump’s actions or tweets. Some of his actions are far from congenial, but to highlight that we are all imperfect people with weaknesses. While individual weaknesses vary, (boy I have so many of them), we sure have them. Our response, then, should be that of forgiveness and acceptance. I am self-correcting my many flaws as I see myself in the mirror of imperfect people like myself, with God helping me each day.

Merry Christmas!


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The law makes no exception but grace found me!

Few months ago I was ordered to Farrell, PA, to provide staff assistance to one of my down trace battalions. Those of you who have knowledge of how Uncle Sam does business, know that you will be scheduled to fly on the cheapest and available flight, if the mission is not time sensitive. So my flight itinerary had me going from T.F. Green airport, Providence, Rhode Island to Philadelphia, PA; from there to LaGuardia airport, New York, and from LaGuardia to Farrell, PA. My LaGuardia to Farrell, PA flight was canceled and I had to wait at the airport for six hours. A direct flight from Providence to Farrell, PA would have been less than two hours. I left home at 0800 hrs, on the day in question but didn’t get to Farrell until about 0000 hrs, the following day.


So what’s the point? What does my crazy schedule have to do with law and grace or you? I remember talking to my friend then, now my wife about this, as I was driving to my hotel from the airport and her response was: that’s part of the training! A month or so after this experience, I listened to a sermon by The Rev. Dr. Gammon, about Fiorello LaGuardia, a former New York Mayor, whom the airport is named after, and decided to research the history behind this man. This is what I found: Somewhere in the middle of the Great Depression, LaGuardia was the mayor of New York City. This man strived to live with the people. Sometimes, he would ride with firefighters, patrol with the police or go on field trips with orphans.

History has it that on one freezing cold winter night in January 1935, LaGuardia the people’s Mayor showed up at a night court that served the poorest section of the city, dismissed the judge on duty for the evening and took over the bench himself. Within few minutes, an unkempt old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. The woman pleaded with the Mayor- turned judge, explaining that her daughter’s husband had left, her daughter was sick, and her two children were starving. However, the grocery storeowner from whom the loaf of bread was stolen, insisted on pressing charges. “It’s a real bad neighborhood, your Honor,” the fellow said to the Mayor. “She’s got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson.”

LaGuardia sighed. Turning to the woman, he said, “I’ve got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions. Ten dollars or ten days in jail.” But as he pronounced the sentence, the Mayor was reaching into his pocket. He took out a bill and tossed it into his famous hat, saying “here is the ten dollars fine which I now remit; and further more I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.” The following day, it was reported in the City’s newspaper that $47.50 was turned over to the woman who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her grandchildren from the contributions. The owner of the grocery store himself was among those that made the contribution (I bet you a loaf bread didn’t cost 50 cents in 1935).

This woman deserved to be punished by law for stealing, regardless of her explanations as to why the crime was committed but the Mayor met the demand of the law but also showed mercy. Note that he did not discard or neglect the law. The woman was undeserving but the Mayor was gracious. We live in a culture were words are utilized without much consideration for the meaning behind those words. One of the shocker’s for me when I came to this country almost two decades ago was the way my classmates used words like awesome, terrific and the likes to describe things aesthetic in nature.


Well, if something is awesome, and terrific my mind goes to awe inspiring, full of awe, and terrifying, which are all characteristics of Yahweh in the OT and also is the NT. The Hebrew uses the word “chanun” (gracious) as attribute of Yahweh as in hearing the cry of the vexed debtor, and in so many other ways. This word for the most part is paired with another Hebrew word “rachum” (compassionate), Exodus 33:19; 34:6; Psalm 86:15; 103:8; 116:5, and host of other passages. It describes how underserving humankind was- deserving to be destroyed, indebted to sin and evil but God showed us grace. We were lost, but grace found us! The law makes no exception.


Looking at what is going on in our country today, it’s hard to see this characteristic in action. The level of hate directed against those, who disagree with our views is out of control. It is so shameful to say that this is even worst among the faithful. They delude themselves by insinuating that they are protecting the disenfranchised but they  fail to reflect the God whom they claim to fight or speak for. What a travesty!

When you get up in the morning and love those whom you feel are not worth loving, you are showing grace. When you go above and beyond your duty requirements at work for the benefit of the people to whom you provide care without complaining or doing it to be noticed or rewarded by your boss, you are being gracious. When you pray for your enemies instead of wishing them death, you are reflecting God’s attribute.


Remember, we were all lost and death deserving but God’s grace found us!
Shalom!  Jacobs+



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In my blog:the masterful suborning of Christians by the Evil One, I talked about how the leftist media and some christians are consumed with hate and disdain for the President, while North Korea develops weapon that is aimed at destroying the United States. I am astonished that the leftist media and liberals are surprised that North Korea test fired a missile that could hit the mainland of continental US. The outrage over this recent missile launch is laughable. We have wasted more than one year and millions of dollars on the so called Russian investigation into our election, while our service members die in large numbers as a result cuts to our defense budgets, making it difficult for the military to service it’s equipments or purchase state of the art armaments to fight and win wars. Then you have those who want the President impeached because he is not presidential (what ever that means ). It’s time for these individuals to wake up! Maybe believe in God or something other. I can’t for the life of me understand how people will wake every morning chearing the failure of another person simply because he/she doesn’t fit their mold, instead of thanking God for being alive. Some of these individuals call themselves Christians and are ready to stand in the place of God, ready unleash their wrath on the infidels……..

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What OT Laws are required of Christians of all generations?

It’s been very challenging not to respond to some teachings of my fellow ministers, who advertently or inadvertently continue to proclaim teachings that not only contradict scriptures but also mislead and disenfranchise the flock they are called to nurture and lead from error into truth. In my next blog, I plan to  look at two laws: ceremonial and morals. Stay tuned.


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Whose Kingdom are you modelling?

I have not written a blog in months owing to other demands of life. When I was in college, I always thought to myself, when I graduate, I will have all the time in the world to study, and do ministry because I will not have to write research papers, do assignments, prepare for exams, learn more languages and the lists go on. It worked well for few months, then I began a graduate program. Again, I said as soon as I complete my graduate program life will be easier because I will not have to take four courses a semester, read five or more required text books for each course, read 15 or more recommended books for research, exegesis, and hermeneutics (and if you are a nerd like one of my classmates and friend by the name of Mike Mercier, you will read more than twenty books for a research paper and God forbid you scores 99.99% on a test, legs would be broken and heads roll lol..). Here I am, more than a decade later, I am still struggling to find time to write a blog. I have also discovered that this dilemma is not unique to this writer because this writer did extend guest blogger invitations to friends and only one person responded.  I have pondered on a lot of likely possibilities that could lead to this scarcity of time and high daily demands of life but could not come up with the right response. Could it be that we are modelling God’s kingdom, (which God’s people are called to copartner with Jesus to build) after the kingdom of the world? Then I looked at Jesus’s ministry. He had a very busy schedule. Anyone who knows a little about the culture in which Jesus did ministry can attest to this. He would hold all day teaching events, healing ministry galore, and as if these were not enough, instead of sending them back to their homes late at night, he will feed thousands of people who were fascinated by his uncommon wisdom and followed him all day. He will also make out time for self-care, which for him was solitude and a time with his father, whose kingdom he came to introduce. As I read about his ministry, I discovered that Jesus possessed what today is clinically known as self-awareness. He was not confused about his identity. He knew who he was. He knew his mission and knew how best to accomplish it. He chose his topics and teaching specifically for each audience. He was fun loving also. Who said you can’t have fun being a Christian? It seems to me that Jesus also liked to party, just like any Jew of his time. You may have a strong aversion to wine, but Jesus seemed to know a little bit about booze, after all he made everything. Was Jesus’ ministerial success as a result of his lack of concern with the solution of worldly problems? Dietrich Bonhoeffer says that Jesus’ word is not an answer to human questions and problem, rather the answer of God to the question of God to man. Jesus’ word is not a solution but a redemption. Jesus’ sole ministerial intent and mission was to introduce the kingdom of God to the world under the control of Satan. I know that this may sound strange to some because we live in a nation that proclaims freedom for all, and has a strong aversion to control, but the cosmos including the United States is under the kingdom of this world, which the evil one controls. In Luke 4: 5-7, Jesus was asked by Satan to worship him in return for the kingdom of the world. Jesus obviously was not enthused by Satan’s offer and would not worship a created being, but Jesus did not dispute Satan’s claim that all the kingdom of the world has been given to him. See 1 John 5:19; Rev 18:23; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11, if you would like to study more on Satan’s claim concerning the kingdom of the world. The good news is that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. When Jesus was asked by Pilate who seemingly had the power to free Jesus, when he was arraigned before him, made it clear that his kingdom is not of this world.  In my recent sermon, I preached about a counter Cultural God with a counter cultural kingdom. I believe that one of the reasons why our progress in establishing the kingdom of God is stunted is because we are modeling it after the kingdom of the world. Because Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world our approach to building it will differ from that of the worldly kingdom. I look at the daily demands of life, justifiable as they may be, and wonder if I am modelling my ministry after Jesus.’ I wonder if I am modelling building God’s kingdom after that of the world by having to please everyone at the expense of my solitude and personal time with God. I wonder if my ministry and my pursuits are reflective of the One whose kingdom building style we are called to imitate.  This just a food for thought. In my follow up post, I will discuss the contrast of the two kingdoms. I will also help anyone who reads this blog recognize that there is a strong demonic presence polluting all forms of the kingdom of this world and how it has affected how Christians view earthly governments.

Shalom from Oxford!


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You Have no Excuse the Word is near you!

One of the challenging tasks of being a healthcare and a US Army chaplain is being able to support people of all faith traditions. At my military unit of assignment, the Soldiers don’t see me as a priest, they see me as a fellow Soldier and their chaplain. They come to me with their emotional and spiritual concerns in hopes that they can find help. They come to me because as a Staff officer and personal adviser to the brigade Commander, I am what the Army calls the (SME) “subject matter expert” on Religion. And one of my job requirements is to enforce Title 10, of the US Code, free exercise of religion for all Soldiers within the brigade. But the challenge is that there are many Soldiers that have no religious preference, and some who claim they are not religious.


Part of my clinical pastoral education is learning how to support people in their religion, faith tradition or lack thereof. It used to be a struggle for me, because as a Christian, I know what the Bible teaches as the instrument of salvation. I know that if anyone confesses with the mouth that Jesus is Lord, that person shall be saved. I know that in God’s eyes there is no Jew nor Gentile, for the same God is the Lord of all. And so how can I minister to the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists and people from other religious group? Then I read Paul Tillich, an American theologian and philosopher, who describes religion as the essence of ultimate concern. That which concerns us the most. For me, it is faith in the risen Lord expressed through Christianity, seconded by my family. For other people, it could be something different, and it is incumbent on me to find out what ‘that ultimate concern’ is for the people to whom I minister, and support them in whatever that is, but at the same time not endorsing, and also not compromising my faith conviction.


In the 10th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, Paul goes into a very dense theological discourse, and concludes with this declaration: everyone that calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). In order words, anyone who does not call on the name of the Lord shall not be saved. But what are people saved from? Why do we have to be saved? I am not a slave. I am my own person? What do you mean saved?


Historical background: Paul is working with Deuteronomy 30. This passage is full of promises and life. It was well studied by the Jews of Paul’s era. They studied it carefully to find out what God is going to do for them after all the years they have suffered under the Gentile yoke or the pagan nations. Why would they study this passage to find out what God has for them?  Chapters 28-30 are the closing remarks of Moses’ charge to the Israelites before they enter into the Promised Land. These chapters highlight what will happen to Israel in the days to come. If they keep the covenants, God will bless them. If they don’t, the curses will come upon them. Moses had premonition that Israel will disobey God’s word and then be taken into exile. That is what chapters 28 and 29 of Deuteronomy are all about.  But chapter 30 has a fresh word. A word of hope. God promises that even when Israel has gone into Exile and suffer affliction in the hands of their oppressor, if they turn from their wicked ways and turn to Him, He will rescue them.


God promises not only to rescue them, but also to transform them, change their hearts so that they can keep His laws. The exile will be over, the curse will be broken; and Israel will be saved. But there are conditions to be met before God rescues them. They have to return to Him. They have to embrace his laws and do them. God had made it easier for them to return to Him by giving them the gift of grace, which will be like the original law.  This gift of grace is found in the person of Christ! And anyone who believes in Him, calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. This is exactly what Paul is saying in this passage. The Messiah has already come down to you. You don’t have to go down into the depths to find Him. He is God’s gift of grace to you like the original law but in a new way.

When the word grace is referenced, a common understanding is that grace is ‘unmerited favor.’ It seems to me from my shallow understanding of biblical languages, in this case the Hebrew language that there is another meaning to grace. Will you be interested in learning about this other meaning?  Stay tuned!

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This is a reblog with additional information.

Is it acceptable for a Christian to divorce? If so, when? What about remarriage after divorce? If remarriage is permissible, are there any stipulations that must be satisfied?

One of the things we learn in the Pauline corpus is that several issues he addressed in them were things that arose in the church at that time.  He did not set out to write a handbook of systematic theology, or manuals instructing his audience on how to deal with issues arising within the church.  For example, in 1 Corinthians 11, Paul deals with divisions in the church concerning the administration of the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper.

The Lord’s Supper that was meant to be received in an orderly manner was being abused by the wealthy in the Corinthian Church.  Paul deals with this situation and then gives a formula that is being used in many churches today.  We also see a similar case later in chapter 15, where Paul deals with the issue of resurrection.  Some brethren were dubious of the possibility of resurrection, considering that the physical body was considered to be inferior to the spiritual body and a thing to be discarded.  Paul tried to address this concern in chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians.  And I could go on.  In the same manner, Paul addresses the problem of divorce and remarriage, which arguably was a problem in the Corinthian church at the time of his writing.  This is also the case in Matthew 19, where Jesus was responding to a question from Deuteronomy 24:1 that deals with remarriage, and then goes on to provide guidance on divorce.

Before we begin, I must emphasize that the Bible prohibits divorce.  The Lord, speaking through His mouth piece in Malachi 2:16, declares that He hates divorce.  But, even before then, He also declares in Genesis 2:26-28, how marriage is a one flesh bond that cannot be broken.  Both the Hebrew and Greek words used for the bonding of the man with his wife suggest inseparability.  The Hebrew word “dabaq” (to weld, to cleave) utilized in Genesis 2, tends to have more force to it than the Greek “kollao” (to glue, to unite).  Jesus in Matthew 19 is reiterating what He had said in Genesis (if we agree that He was the one doing the creative activity in Genesis as is evidenced by Colossians 2:14-16), that divorce can be allowed only on account of fornication (“porneia”) (Matthew 19:9).

So what we have on the subject of divorce are the words of Jesus, Yahweh, and Paul.  To guide us in understanding how this delicate issue can be handled, we must refer to what we have learned in biblical hermeneutics (arts and science of biblical interpretation):  looking at the historical background, culture, context, how the literature was understood by the initial audience, and then applying the principles to the present.  One thing that stands out is that there are some modifications going on here.  Yahweh says He hates divorce.  Jesus allows it only on account of fornication.  Paul says it is okay if the unbelieving spouse seeks to divorce his believing spouse.

Is any of them undermining each other?  By no means!  When Paul was dealing with divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:18-16, he was quite clear that this was a direct command from the Lord (Mark 10:9; Matthew 19), unlike his suggestion and guidance respecting marriage and remarriage of widows earlier (1 Corinthians 7:1-9).  Divorce was never intended by God for his people, and is not intended for His people today.  From the time that man was created in God’s image there is something about this one flesh bond that reflects God’s image into the cosmos and back in reverence to God.  A breaking of this one flesh bond is dishonoring God, as well as the individual involved.  I have witnessed divorce first hand, and I have spoken to numerous people who have.  It is a heart wrenching experience.

However, Paul said that if a non-Christian partner wanted to separate, the Christian partner should not resist.  Paul modifies Jesus’ teachings (Mark 10:9) not to divorce; but is not, by any means, undermining Jesus’ teachings, as Jesus in no way undermines Malachi 2:16.  Paul has applied them in detail to a new situation that Jesus never faced.  It is left for us today to decipher what constitutes fornication.  Looking at the usage of adultery (“moichao”) and “porneia” (fornication) in the gospel by Jesus, it does seem that these words are used interchangeably for unchastity or immorality.  The traditional interpretation that adultery is sexual sin outside of marriage, or a married person with an unmarried person, and that fornication is sexual sin before marriage, could be misleading because the Greek usage of “porneia” includes, but is not limited to, sexual sin.  Porneia includes bestiality, homosexuality, or other activities that repudiate the one flesh bond of marriage, and willful desertion.  This is why Jesus singles out “fornication,” which is a sexual sin against one flesh bond, as the only grounds allowable for divorce (Matthew 19:9).

It will interest you to know that an act does not only have to be sexual to constitute fornication.  I am arguing that fornication includes willful desertion, as well as adultery.  This also includes any act that repudiates the marriage vows.  For example, if a married person intentionally commits murder and becomes incarcerated for years in prison, he or she is committing fornication against the other spouse even if the incarcerated spouse is living a chaste life in prison.  This is because the incarcerated spouse has willfully deserted the other spouse and constitutes allowable grounds for divorce.

In the same manner, if one of a married couple leaves his or her spouse to reside in another country for many years without physical contact with each other for whatever reason, the spouse who left the other spouse to reside overseas is committing fornication against the spouse left behind, even if this spouse is living a life of chastity in that foreign country of residence.  I know that this will not sit well with many people, but we are called to do due diligence to the Word of God.  On this same issue, the Apostle Paul prohibits separation from one’s spouse except for a short period of time for prayer (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Obviously, divorce is odious to God.  Jesus told the Pharisees (Matthew 19:3-12) that God’s original plan was for a man and woman to be joined in marriage and made one flesh, which is accomplished through the act of sex.  No man is to be able to separate that bond.  Even if the man and woman do divorce, they are still joined together because their flesh is joined.  In the Old Testament, divorce is defined in two ways:  1.) to send away and 2.) a cutting, as in severing a tie.  When Jesus refers to divorce it is defined as “to send away,” as in being fired or let go.  When reading about divorce in the Old Testament, it’s almost as if the man can leave if he’s unhappy with his wife and her performance (Deuteronomy 24:1).  Jesus gives no such stipulations, only to say that to remarry the same person after a divorce is to commit adultery.

What will surprise you to know is that divorce in itself is not inherently sinful, if it is based on fornication.  Yahweh uses it metaphorically to describe his relationship with unfaithful Israel, who “played the harlot” another Hebrew expression for unfaithfulness specifically for idolatry.  Yahweh divorces Israel in (Jeremiah 31:31).  In Jeremiah 3:8, Yahweh gives Israel a certificate of divorce, which Moses had allowed Israel because of the hardness of their hearts in following the one flesh bond marriage instituted by Yahweh from the beginning:

Therefore the showers have been withheld, And there has been no spring rain.  Yet you had a harlot’s forehead; You refused to be ashamed.  Have you not just now called to Me, ‘My Father, You are the friend of my youth?  Will He be angry forever?  Will He be indignant to the end?’  Behold, you have spoken And have done evil things, And you have had your way.  Then the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, ‘Have you seen what faithless Israel did?  She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there,  I thought, “After she has done all these things she will return to Me”; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also.  Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.  Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception, declares the LORD.’  And the LORD said to me, ‘Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.’” (Jeremiah 3:3-11)

We also read in the account of the Virgin Mary’s pregnancy that Joseph sought to divorce his wife secretly because of what he thought was marital unfaithfulness on Mary’s part until he was told by the angel not carry on with his plan, because Mary’s pregnancy was a Holy Ghost phenomenon.  The present day church who lives in many different situations that were never contemplated by either Jesus, Malachi, or Paul needs wisdom, humility and the Holy Spirit’s guidance to apply their teaching afresh in their own time.  My answer is, yes.  It is acceptable for a Christian to divorce, but it wasn’t God’s plan from the beginning.  The divorced spouse does not have to remain single as some denominations insinuate.  He or she is allowed to remarry but only on account of fornication.  Be encouraged.

Your brother in the Lord,

Blessing Udoamaka Jacobs.


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