Monday, January 25, 2010

Politics and God

I'm not going to get real heavy into this, and I'm not going to pick a particular political party to stand behind. I want to get some things straight, things that have been heavy on my mind.

Politics is a way of taking control away from the people, much the same way religion turns something Godly into something rather deadly. The Constitution of the United States begins with these 3 words, "We the People". That doesn't mean those people in Washington, it means you and me. It means WE, all of us. Now let us consider the following:

Our political system exists because God allows it to, not because He necessarily endorses it.

We should never replace God with government, because terrible things happen, as we can all attest to these days.

There is only one party that is right and that is the party that is doing what God's Will declares, and I haven't seen a campaign button for that party yet.

Stop putting down the president and start praying for him and for all government officials. Don't you realize that God has placed ALL authorities over you? If some authority is doing wrong and your life is not at peace that can only mean one thing, you haven't been praying for them. So when you point your finger at President Obama, just remember, you're singling yourself out as the one who is really to blame.

Government is supposed to be "of the people, by the people, and for the people" (Lincoln's Gettysburg Address). They are to represent us, the "we the people" and as such are OUR servants in governing. A cursory look at the Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments to our constitution) prove this to be true. Over time we have gone from a nation that reveres God and works to get the things we need to a nation that feels like the government owes us, and we have no more room for God. So God in His infinite wisdom has sent us into a kind of exile. He has given us leaders who will drive us back to Him or we will cease to be a nation.

Various political parties are needed. No single party has all the answers nor should be allowed to run the show. No single party has the right to attack another party. One of the biggest reasons we are going backwards faster than a squirrel that got knocked into the Niagara and gone over the falls is that our party system is so busy fighting itself it has no time to address the needs of this nation. There needs to be diversity, yes, but within that diversity there must be unity.

Lastly, our King is God, not the president or anyone else. If we deny Him His place in our social structure He will deny us the blessings He wishes to give us. More than that we can expect to come under His wrath.

So the question is, dear pilgrim, where are you going to go from here? Are you going to accept God as your King, move to unite this nation, pray for it's leaders, and for yourself, or are you going to follow the other critters as they run off the cliff into the abyss? The choice is yours.

"If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land." (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

Unity in the Vine

In John 15 Jesus tells us that He is the Vine and we are the branches. Most of us glance over this text as one of those nice little stories Jesus told when He was on earth. There is so much in this portion of Scripture it's incredible, but let's go back to how God got ahold of me and pointed me in this direction.

One night when I couldn't sleep God showed me a tree. All the branches had been cut off and lay at the base of the tree. Although the tree itself was strong, the branches were going to whither and die. Then I heard the Lord say, "This is My church. Unless they be grafted back into My Son they will be cast out." Not only was this a strong message to my spirit, but I noticed that there was not a single branch on the tree. This concerned me, because although I may not be properly grafted into Jesus I was sure that someone was. So I asked God why all the branches were cut off. God spoke clearly to me, "This is so that NO ONE can say this message is not for THEM."

Get the picture? No? Okay, now look at John 15:1-8. If we replace Vine for Tree in my vision we come up with THE SAME EXACT PICTURE. The same thing Jesus was telling His disciples He is telling us today. The really terrible thing is that we are so convinced that this has to do with someone else that we gloss over it and don't get the message at all. In Philippians 2:12 we read, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. " Don't be worrying about the other guy or gal. Start worrying about your own salvation. Get serious with God. Secure yourself in Jesus, or you WILL be cast out. I didn't say that, Jesus did. I'm not making things up here, but just repeating what our Lord has already taught us.

So what does all this have to do with Unity in Christ? In John 15:2,4,5 and 7 Jesus makes it clear that He is the one who gives life to the branch and fruit for the harvest. We are just branches. As branches I want you to think, have you ever seen 2 or more branches that were identical? Then why are we so bent on getting people to conform to our idea of what being a Christian means? Why are we telling people what they can and cannot wear, what the can and cannot do? Sure there are some things that are wrong, Biblically wrong, but do we have the right to enforce a certain set of rules or laws on others? Remember, we are just branches, Jesus is the Vine, and the Father is the Husbandman of the vineyard. When we go to church we say we are going to God's house. If it is HIS HOUSE, then how come we demand that people follow OUR RULES. I don't know what kind of home you had growing up, but in my home my parents made the house rules. If my dad said something it was law in the home. My brother could say anything he wanted and I could accept or reject it as I saw fit, but I could not do so with what my father laid out for us. I could not reject his rules. Neither can we reject our Father's "house rules", nor can we impose on one another our own rules.

I had a friend who had some grape vines. I can tell you this, every branch was different. Some bore fruit, and never the same amount, never all arranged the same, never even in the same way. Some branches seemed to have just leaves and tendrils that lashed the vine to the lattice. These also were different, not just from the fruit bearing branches, but from one another. And yet the whole vine worked together. Tendrils held the vine close to the lattice and helped the branches with leaves to be in a better position to receive light. The branches with leaves provided shade for the grapes on the fruit bearing branches and would follow the sun throughout the day. Above they soaked up the light of the sun, below they protected the grapes from the intense heat. What we are, in Christ, are branches in Him, the True Vine. Not one of us is exactly like any other, and yet we are all to function so that the Vine produces fruit. Reading beyond verse 8 we find Jesus talking about a law of love. If His love is not pouring through you then you better check your connection with Him. If you are finding fault with others then perhaps you better look into the Word of God and let Him show you what YOU look like, and how YOU should change.

If we want to be One in Christ, as Jesus prayed (John 17) then we must learn to love as He loves. He put you and me before Himself and went to the cross. You and I have the tendency to get upset when someone cuts us off in traffic. That is NOT Christ-like, is it? God has called you to be a branch in His Vine, but He never calls anyone to be like anyone else. So accept one another as God has made us as we are. Then let the love of God pour through His Vine and up into us. For only in doing so can we produce fruit. If we are not producing fruit for God then we are not letting His love flow through us. We are cut off from the Vine. If that is the case we have more to fear than the long-haired kid with tattoos that tried to get in the church door. (The nerve of him). Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost. So if you get to thinking that someone isn't quite up to par for your little group of Christians then chances are your little group of Christians don't even know who God is. "Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for GOD IS LOVE." (1st John 4:7,8)

Getting Things Straight

I get all kinds of emails from Christians around the world. Those I receive from those in the US are disturbing. They talk about how anti-Christian President Obama is and propose various ideas and legislations to bring us back to a Christian society. Hang in there and you'll understand why this is disturbing.

In God's Word King Solomon received this promise from the Lord, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

That sounds like a map to get us back to where we need to be, but it's only part of the map. We actually have to humble ourselves. We actually have to pray and see the face of God. We actually have to turn from our wicked ways if we want God to "forgive their sin and heal their land."

Now there are many out there that will say, "That's what I'm doing." This is where the other side of the coin is revealed. In the Chronicles and the Kings we have a list of kings from David up until they are led captive in Babylon. Some kings were good, and did what was right. Most did that which was evil. One good king, I believe it was Joash, King of Judah (you see already their evil had spit the nation) ordered the cleaning out of the Temple to make it worthy of the Lord. While they were cleaning out all the garbage, the idols, the things that belonged to other idols, men found the book of the Law. We would know this as the Torah or the books of Moses. They brought it back and read it before the king. Now pay attention. As they were reading this the king tore his clothes and fell (I believe) on his face. The very reading of the Law showed him how evil he was, even though he did that which was right. He ached for the people he ruled over and destroyed all the idols, grinding them into dust. Then he had the books of the Law read before all the people and the priests and Levites cleansed themselves and began to offer up sacrifices for the people.

You may be scratching your head, wondering why I'm bringing up this ancient history. The reason is simple. As long as we try to blame someone else for the troubles we are in we are part of the problem. Until we truly humble ourselves before God, how can we turn from our evil ways? If we do not turn from our evil ways, we, the CHURCH, then our nation will continue to come under the persecution of God. It's not that God likes persecution, but He wants us to come to Him.

Many in our churches are writing their own rules, their own laws. Our hearts have grown hard. While certain people may be doing harm to this nation, they can do no greater harm than we, who call ourselves Christian, and act in ways that do not seek God out or fail to humble ourselves before our Maker. You see, God sets all authorities over us. That means President Obama and all the rest. I'm not saying they are right. I'm saying that God has sent us into our own Babylon by appointing people who would increase the burdens on our back.

Do you see it? Jeremiah prophesied this, as did Isaiah, and a number or others. Are we greater than Israel that God would stand aside for our "democracy"? We are in contempt of His court, and unless we get things right with Him they will only get worse.

The way back is through a veil of tears. Each of us must listen to the law of love that Christ spoke of, and remember that God is Love. How far have we fallen from our first love? What is in store for us if we do not return? These are the things we should be directing our energies to.

Not Political

There are lot of angry people out there following the 2012 election results. While I can understand why they are angry I also realize that anger may be one of the things that is pinning us down in this society.

Fact 1: Just about every news outlet has shown us just how poorly Pres. Barrack Obama has led this nation. He has apologized to people who are our enemies, and have stated that after Israel we are next to be destroyed. This should be scary to say the least.
Fact 2: Obama has driven the country's debt higher than all previous presidents combined.
Fact 3: It is obvious that Obama does not want the people to have the right to make their own decisions. Perhaps the South was right to secede from the Union in 1860. Some people get the idea that the Civil War was about freeing the slaves. While that did become a factor, the real issue was State Sovereignty, and I think they were right in that.
Fact 4: While we have the privilege to vote for the candidate of our choice it is actually God who establishes authorities over us. How God does that is in direct proportion to the way we, as Christians, have, or have not obeyed Him. Currently God has handed us over to a cruel task-master.

So what does all this mean? Why am I bringing this up? I am bringing this up because there are worse things than a president bound to destroy our nation. Many of you may disagree with me on that. It seems to me that as long as you and I regard this nation as the top of our priorities then we will continue to be angry and bitter with our president. This is such a crazy thing to do.

One person shared with me that unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger directed towards anyone, is like wishing they would die and taking the poison ourselves. This is what America is currently doing. We are taking poison in hopes that some other person dies or is incapacitated in their duties, in this case, President Obama.

As Christians we are to forgive, even as Jesus forgave us. Do you think that you, by your own hand, find any goodness in the eyes of God? If you do then you better change your way of thinking. Scripture tells us that there is none righteous, no not one, and that Jesus offered Himself up to die for us that we might be seen righteous through Him. Dare we think any less for the one God has placed over us?

I do not agree with Obama. I believe nearly all his policies are corrupt and seems almost calculated to destroy the United States. And yet I forgive him, with the help of the Holy Spirit. For if I rebel against Obama I am rebelling against God.

The Bible says, "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then shall I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."

Time is working against us. It flies by like a barn swallow. If we do not repent now, we may never have the chance. The cup of God's wrath is already being filled. People have warped His words to support their own deviant behaviors; anger, drunkenness, sexual lust, and yes homosexuality. These also we must uphold in prayer and forgiveness. I have friends who are homosexuals, but they know my beliefs as well. I don't preach to them, nor do I put them down. People are people.

For instance, the shooting in Connecticut have nothing to do with guns or mental disabilities. It has to do with the presence of evil, and we must realize that this evil exist in all of us. The evil in one may provoke the evil in another. Jesus came into the world for this very purpose, to destroy that evil in us, but He can only do so to those who respond to Him.

While I would normally be writing about the birth of Christ and the miracles that surrounded that birth I believe it is more important to remind you, to remind me, that God is God. I'm not. Therefore I have an obligation to forgive anyone who has slighted me, and that includes the President. In fact, look at your life and pray for every person God has placed over you. Only as we seek His face and repent can we find the healing of God on this nation

Psalm 23