Wednesday, July 18, 2007
If you're expecting to read about American Idol, the television show, you may be severely disappointed in this article. If, perhaps, you are always open to new information, you may find a small amount of satisfaction in what is about to be presented to you. If you have an aversion for truth, you may become angry at pondering the following facts.
It has been proposed by many in American culture that idolatry is rampant, idolatry being the insatiable pursuit and accumulation of material wealth. Admittedly, becoming rich seems to be in the forefront of many lives today. Much of the activity we see on a daily basis is nothing more than the active plans to keep up with others or surpass them in the accumulation of things.
This proposal, true though it may be, is easily hidden among the normal activities of everyday life. It's hard to convince someone that they are involved in inordinate idolatry when they tell you that they are simply trying to provide for the fundamental needs of their family as well as planning for the future. When what to the rest of the world is considered a luxury is viewed by Americans as a necessity, it is difficult to make a case for idolatry. The activity usually proceeds without modification, a mixture of prudence and greed.
I am willing to propose, however, that there is a single idolatrous action which is more pervasive among Americans and, at the same time, is the most public of acts. In fact most have been taught to engage in this one activity since they were children in school, never giving a second thought to the nature of this action. But before I identify this specific act, I'll refer to a source which will provide a clear line of demarcation for our understanding the significance of this act.
The ancient nation of Israel had a Prophet who foretold of the Messiah to come. Among other details, this Prophet Isaiah told of Jesus who "shall stand for an ensign of the people." (Isaiah 11:10) This Messiah would be set up as "an ensign for the nations." (Isaiah 11:12)
This word translated "ensign" in the King James Version of the Bible can also be translated as banner or flag. The Prophet is telling us that one day this Messiah, who we know to be Jesus, will be set up as a flag over the nations of the earth. He will be the one person who will unite the earth in peace and rule as the visible focus of all earthly allegiance.
This declaration by the Prophet carries a level of significance which fails, for the most part, to enter our understanding. Most Americans would read this and shrug. Sadly, most American Christians would do the same thing. Yet, ask them about the impact of 911 on this country and you may find it difficult to shut them up. American interests around the world, especially in fighting terror will be lifted up in word for all hearers to consider. All things American have taken on a significance not seen since WWII. A patriotic fervor unseen in this generation has taken hold and it was especially evident in the months following 911 through the initial phases of the War in Iraq.
Interestingly, this patriotism which traversed all potential boundaries was evidenced in one item, the American flag. And Old Glory garnered one thing from a multitude of Americans which many never gave a second thought about. Old Glory received their allegiance. It mattered not the location, whether on the steps of the national Capitol in Washington D.C., the neighborhoods of the nation or the far flung reaches of the globe. The American Flag was given due allegiance.
There might be some who would immediately offer an appeal to common sense and say that everyone knows that we don't really give our allegiance to the flag itself. Everyone knows that allegiance can only be given to a person, specifically, a living person. This point would seem to be the common sense view to hold, wouldn't it? Yet, the words of The Pledge of Allegiance, which are recited on a regular basis by many, say specifically, "I pledge allegiance to the flag.." Do we so glibly utter words of such magnitude? Is it so easy to make such an excuse? Or are the words completely meaningless?
Another point which some might make is the fact that everyone knows that the flag is not alive. It is simply a piece of cloth with colors arranged in such a manner as to provide an identify to a country and its citizens. It is an inanimate object. To attempt to ascribe life to an inanimate object is to revert to less enlightened times. Modern civilization doesn't engage in such dark practices as giving allegiance to living objects. Such historical idolatry isn't becoming of the educated citizens of a modern democracy.
At this point, the argument runs head on into the specific thoughts of an august and elite group of Americans. They are specifically known as Senators and Congressmen of the United States of America. They are the representatives of the citizens of the United States. And what they do is considered the work, will and voice of the people. In fact, their work on behalf of the people is written down for all to peruse. It is completely public. And believe me when I say that they have spoken very accurately the thoughts of the people. And what is their verdict on behalf of the people? .............The flag is alive!
Fortunately, this fact can be easily verified by anyone since it is contained within the pages of law known as The United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8, Paragraph(J) states the following: "The flag represents a living country and is itself considered to be a living thing."
If you need a few moments to contemplate such a pronouncement, please do so. Such a bold statement should reach to the depths of our being and inform us as to the true nature of certain activities long considered truly American and God honoring. No one said full disclosure was free of shock or discomfort.
WOW! The real American Idol!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
- "In the United States, Christians have all too often vacillated between two extremes—the God-and-country, wrap-the-flag-around-the-cross mentality or on the other hand, the simply passing-through mindset.
- The former was illustrated a century ago by the president of Amherst College. He said that the nation had achieved the "true American union, that sort of union which makes every patriot a Christian and every Christian a patriot." This form of civil religion is supported by politicians who welcome it as a prop for the state, and by Christians who see it as enshrining the fulfillment of the vision of the early pilgrims.
- The passing-through mindset is represented by those who believe they are simply sojourners with loyalties only in the Kingdom beyond. They believe that faith is an entirely private matter, and that they are under no obligation to the community or country in which God has placed them."
Colson then proceeds to present what is considered to be a modified, though biblical, balance of the two extremes as summarized in this statment.
- "The Christian position is beautifully balanced. On one hand, we don't deify our country. Our ultimate citizenship is in heaven, and that's where our ultimate allegiance is.
But the only place for expressing that allegiance is in the concrete loyalties God calls us to here on earth—including loyalty to country. We can't love mankind in the abstract; we can only really love people in the particular, concrete relationships God has placed us in—our family, our church, our community, our nation."
I'm afraid I must radically part ways with the words and ideas of Mr Colson on this subject. Is it because I have a particular political agenda that I'm pursuing? A resounding Yes! I do have a distinct political agenda, one reflected from the pages of Scripture. And it starts with one of the political extremes Mr Colson refers to, that of only passing through. While it is true that we are only passing through, Holy Writ reveals an ample amount of detail as to how that 'passing through' is to be conducted. Surprisingly, it is not as an isolated exile, but something interestingly more.
The Scripture references which detail this conduct include Hebrews 11:13, where the Old Testament saints "confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on this earth." The word translated strangers literally means "alien" and the word translated pilgrim means "resident alien." In other words, we are foreigners on this earth. The next Scripture reference comes from the Apostle Peter when he tells the "strangers" (resident aliens - I Peter 1:1) to submit themselves to the King and all governing authorities as well as the laws they pass. Furthermore, Peter tells us to do this in the capacity of "stangers and pilgrims" (I Peter 2:11), not as birthright citizens.
The significance of the People of God living our lives as foreigners is seen in the fact that a foreigner has no original stake within his land of foreign sojourn. His rights are limited by law, because his land of birth is elsewhere. All rights while in a foreign land are prescribed by law and generally do not rise to the level of a natural born citizen. This creates a distinct difference between the foreigner or resident alien and the natural born citizen.
Another significance of the People of God living our lives as foreigners is seen when the Apostle Paul says that we are Ambassadors for Christ. An Ambassador is one who is sent by one country to represent the interests of their home country to a foreign country. An Ambassador is always a foreigner in relation to the country he or she is sent to. It is impossible for the citizen of one country to be an Ambassador to his or her own country.
As a foreign Ambassador of Christ, it is our foremost duty to present His official word of reconcilation to the lost citizens of this world system. Herein lies the basis for "concrete relationships" around us. The citizens of this world, whether they be family, community or nation, need to hear how Christ has made provision for them to transfer their political citizenship and allegiance from their present country to an entirely new one, what Peter refers to as "an holy nation" (I Peter 2:9). Nowhere are we commanded or even encouraged to enter the political arena of this world in order to promote the claims of Christ. In fact, you find none of the Apostles of Christ advocating such activity for others because Jesus had already told them that the World hated Him and the World would hate them also. Neither do you find them engaging in such a pursuit. Even Paul, who by birth possessed the highest form of Roman citizenship (by birth), failed to apply the benefits of that citizenship except to save his life or to preach the gospel. In fact, on at least two occasions, they were one and the same. He always conducted himself as a foreigner on this earth, just as the saints of old did.
In no way does this leave us with a vacuum of political activity. God's People have a variety of needs and concerns which Christ has delegated specific authority to address. This authority descends directly from the Throne of Heaven itself, from which also derives our citizenship, and carries with it political duties for the foreign Ambassadors living on this earth as heavenly citizens. Not known widely to many, this arrangement is specifically reflected in American Law. God has graciously seen to it that in this country at least, He has provided His People the legal means to carry out His political concerns among His Kingdom citizens. All others are considered foreigners! That is an eternally concrete reality!
So, on this Holy Day of the United States of America, wherein is remembered the actions of a select group of men when they chose rebellious independence from British authority, remember that the Children of God possess a political inheritance of much greater value, Dependence upon the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For it is this Declaration of Dependence alone which provides us the rich blessings of Eternal Liberty!
The World has never seen such Politics!
Yet, the very reason is given by Paul in both instances. We pray for public officials holding authority over us so that they will be saved. That's right! Paul tells us to pray for the salvation of those in Public office. Why?
The reason is very simple. Because biblically, the realm of Secular government is presumed to be inherently separated from a Holy and righteous God. The Leaders of this world system we live under are deemed to be in need of a renewed heart through faith in Jesus Christ. They need to be saved!
Are we surprised to hear this? Why? It's simply the Word of God. And after all, aren't we talking about "Secular" governemnt? Secular means "not sacred or holy." Christians and non christians alike refer to government being secular. So why do we in America tend to view "unholy" government as "Christian?" Was Paul wrong? Or was he emotionally reacting to the pagan Roman Empire? Did the Founding Fathers have knowledge they failed to share with us which would have corrected this false notion of the Apostle Paul, seeing they formed a "Christian" republic? Why, if we live in a Christian republic, is the government still referred to as secular?
Maybe the Bible is out of date?
Maybe Paul knew what he was talking about. Pray for the salvation of all public officials!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
So, based on all they know about the Bible and Public Law, most people don't think twice about the presence of Flags within their particular House of Worship. Their attitude would more or less be, "If that's the law, that's the law. Who are we to tell the government how to arrrange the flags in buildings? We are peaceful people and it would be petty, indeed, to fail to obey the law over such an insignificant issue. It would essentially be unchristian."
Please note that I spoke of this attitude as being based upon the knowledge of people, what they actually know about the issue. This is a rather normal state of affairs with most of us. Many decisions we make and positions we hold on issues are based on our personal knowledge. And most of us have found ourselves having to amend our decision or position after coming across knowledge which put a decision or issue in a vastly different light. And most of us have not apologized for these changes, though some may have been difficult to arrive at and implement. But the point is that these changes were implemented based on strict knowledge.
So, with all that I have said so far in these two posts coupled with your personal knowledge of flags, whether from the Bible or Federal Law, what is your position? Do you consider the issue important enough to take the time and effort necessary to really form a position? If not, why?
Let's also address your personal knowledge. Where does it come from? From where does it originate? Has your knowledge been gained through personal effort whereby you have personally searched for and gained this particular knowledge, whether it be from the Bible or from United States Federal Law or some other source? Or has this knowledge come from a third party? Is this third party someone whom you are personally aquainted with? Or are they a public figure, possibly disseminating information based upon their profession? Or does their position automatically command a certain amount of respect so that when they speak, they are presumed to be speaking that which is correct and applicable to those hearing their message? Or has this third party received their knowledge from yet another party?
So, if you take your religion seriously, where does this issue rank in importance? Have you ever thought about the possibility of flying an American flag or any other flag in the presence of worshippers in a religious service being considered idolatry? Is that preposterous to you? Or do you at least take the time to contemplate the possibility? If so, what exactly is there to contemplate? Does the Bible speak clearly on the subject? If so, what does it say? What about Federal Law? Could it possibly contribute to this subject and and assist in bringing clarity?
Do we really desire clarity? Does our walk with God prevent us from searching for and finding Truth to live by? Are we content to maintain the status quo? Are we afraid of what we may discover if we were to begin to search for the Truth of this matter? Are we afraid that we may be required to make changes in our lives, even our religious lives? Are we afraid of the possibility that we might not be very willing to make such changes? Are we afraid of the potential cost of such changes?
If we are really afraid of this endeavor, maybe we should ask ourselves another question. Whom do we really serve? Whom do we really live for? For whom do we plan our lives? Do we make certain changes in our lives strictly for ourselves? Or does God enter the picture in any manner. How much do we include Him in the conduct of our lives? Is our inclusion of God nothing more than lip service? Do the true intentions of our heart lie elsewhere? Or is God considered, not just a part of our life, but "Life" itself? Is the way God would have us live the way we really want to live? Do we desire the same thing as God? Do we think like God? Do we adopt His thoughts for our own? As I stated, whom do we really serve?
You might be wondering what this has to do with idolatry and Old Glory. Well, most people respond to issues such as this from an emotional point of view. Serious thought is many times given minority status in comparison to emotional rhetoric. It's far easier to react emotionally than to maintain an equilibrium of truthful consideration. And it's far easier to join others who react emotionally than to stand alone in Temperance. Regardless of what your ultimate conclusion is on this particular issue, a proper response should entail a careful mission of fact finding which will give you the best chance of arriving at the proper conclusion. And that conclusion, with supporting facts, should be able to stand on its own. That means that it does not require the assistance of anyone, not even yours. So any amount of emotional rhetoric will not bolster the foundational conclusion one iota. That's because Truth is self sustaining.
So, please consider what I have written. Your answers, which only you and God will know, will determine your response as we continue to seriously grapple with this issue.
To be continued..................
Sunday, July 01, 2007
The sad fact is that Christians today are fighting a Holy war of their own trying to prove these words of Jesus wrong. It seems that people claiming the name of Christ are constantly trying to fit in. We seem to be enamored with the approval of those who blatantly rejected Christ in the pursuit of other things. And yet, we want to be like them. We want to experience the success they have obtained. We want to exercise the power they have accumulated.
And the whole time we seem to be pursuing this approval, they are sending us a message that we seem to be unaware of. Or at least, we ignore it. They are telling us what Jesus said. They are telling us that they hate us and the God we supposedly stand for. Oh, there's another message they send us, also. They will be happy to offer their approval of our pursuits if we will but follow the same path they have, a path which includes nothing of God. This is a path where the only thing that matters is what pleases our self. Instead of denying yourself many things in life in order to please God and live according to his ways, we are told that we must indulge our appetites and continually whet that natural desire for all things selfish.
Loving your neighbor? Not if it gets in the way of my success! Giving to others? Only if it gets me further along on my career path! And so we begin down the slippery slope of service to others for the sake of myself. We gladly join others in their self righteous groups dedicated to the public service of congratulating themselves for their selfless dedication to others. Of course, if all this recognition is a bit too much for your conscience, you can always quit! But then again, you would forfeit all the goodwill from others so carefully constructed according to your plans for success. I believe it was Solomon who said something about all being vanity and vexation of spirit.
The fact is that being a Non-Conformist is not exactly the most comfortable position to be in. As a Child of God, I am constantly being presented with requests, and sometimes demands, to change this or that. The message is being constantly broadcast to me that I need to change because I am wrong to live the way I do. My beliefs are wrong because they aren't the same as others who name the name of Christ.
Some who believe that I am not about to change attempt to reach others in my family, namely my wife and children, in order to save them from my non conformity. After all, why should they bear the shame and reproach simply because their husband and father says this is the way God requires us to conduct our lives?
Fortunately, I am not going to give account for my life on this Earth to any other mortal human. But I will stand before a holy and Eternal God who loved me and died for my sins. Non-Conformist that He is, He allowed His creatures to hang Him on a tree because that was the plan. And He didn't allow anyone to deter Him from fulfilling every aspect of that Plan, even death. Of couse, part of that plan was also rising bodily from the dead, a future hope for all who believe in this same death, burial and resurrection.
So, all Non-Conformists who are Children of the Most High God need to keep one fact before them as they face opposition and pressure to change. We serve the ultimate Non-Conformist who allowed nothing to keep Him from the instructions of His Father for His life on this earth. With such an example before us, let us proceed, trusting Him to provide all the Non-Conforming Grace necessary for our every situation.
And those who oppose us? Unless they ultimately bow their knee and heart to Christ in faith, their non-conformity will have eternally dire consequences.
With as much public sentiment that has been stirred up ove this issue, you would think that the electorate would pay close attention. Instead, it seems that they are simply reacting to the various political strings attached to their mouths and other body parts. Of course, such instantaneous and autonomous action on the part of the body politic is a revered tradition dating back to the American Revolution. The only thing missing to date is a few misplaced mob actions whereby rallies are constructed on the spur of the moment and an angry electorate opens the recesses of their hearts to let the Powers that Be know their true feelings as well as their potential violence. As I said, this type of resistance and opposition is an American tradition, a birthright. For those of you unfamiliar with such patriotism, please refer back to your American History.
Regardless of where you find yourself in the midst of this debate, it is always good to give ear to those residing in the past who have come through tumultuous events, for their perspective can give a sense of peace to those who may find themselves on, what they consider to be, the losing side of a political struggle; in this case, immigration. FDR, considered to be by many as the one stabilizing personality bridging the Great Depression and WWII, is quoted as saying, "If it happens in politics, it was planned that way."
Such conspiritorial comments will not be given credence by many, but the comment by one involved in such numerous intricacies of American upheaval cannot be ignored. So I choose not to. And I hope you don't either, especially when it comes to the future upheaval surrounding the American immigration issue. And upheaval is coming. When? I don't know, but it can't be very far off into the future. To what extent will this upheaval be? That depends of the reactions of the people of the United States. But here are a few notes to keep in mind as you view this dramatic change unfold on the North American Continent.
First, the American Government is at its core, a globalist government. Though founded as an independent Nation, its ultimate aim has always been the same; a One World Government. E Pluribus Unum, "out of many one", is the epitome of this goal. In fact, there was a certain segment of American Founding Fathers who believed that America was a prophetic fulfillment of the last great Empire, the Revived Roman Empire, prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this Earth. The history of America since her Founding has been one of ever increasing involvement in World Affairs to the point where America is now viewed as the World's Policeman.
As a result of America being a globalist government, America, as a nation, cannot be immune from the plan of globalisation. Eventually, the consolidation slowly taking place around the World will eventually affect the United States. In fact, it's part of the plan. The last, but maybe not the least, of these effects will be the merging of America with other nations into a single regional entity. In fact, this very public plan is already being implemented within the Bush Administration with Canada and Mexico. It doesn't make your local headlines, but the actions are definitely public.
It seems that, as a result of the implementation of this plan, the immigration issue seems to have been caught in a political bog. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. It simply is a political reality that what the conservativeRepublican portion of America wants will not come to pass because it is in diametric opposition to the plan of globalization for the Western Hemisphere. While National borders may retain their present positions, the sovereignty of individual nations will be effectively sacrificed on the altar of Globalization. In effect, almost everthing President Bush has mentioned in his official plan, will be implemented. The political fight is nothing more than windowdressing to give the ultimate outcome some semblence of legality, a reality which has been planned for a long time.
The preamble of the United States Constitution refers to this as forming "a more perfect Union."
And all this time you thought it was "We the People," in charge!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Time Magazine contains an article by Nancy Gibbs entitled "The Catholic Conundrum: The Lessons of JFK." Here is the opening paragraph.
- John F. Kennedy's victory over Richard Nixon in 1960 came soaked in symbols and lessons. It was the triumph of vision over experience, rich over poor, East over West, the playboy over the prig. And because a Catholic, for the first time ever, defeated a Protestant, the outcome was said to mark the burial of religious bigotry. Kennedy provided the case study for candidates ever since who have faced some version of the Religion Test. But his was an advanced course in strategy, judgment and rhetoric, and it may be harder for future candidates to pass than they realize.
Though not a lengthy read, this article is, nevertheless, interesting. It provides a glimpse into the modern political realities of Religion in America, especially the overt emergence of Roman Catholics, the latest prototype of which was JFK. His use of modern communications and the Press provided him the platform to present Himself and his views to the Nation in a way which allowed him to overcome his huge Catholic handicap. This "way" of presenting Himself provides us the "interesting" aspect.
I'll state it simply. JFK accomplished the Presidency of the United States by exploiting the ignorance of the American People. The above article partially bears this out by providing some details of his struggle to overcome deep seated Anti-Catholic bias within the religious circles of certain segments of the American populace. And how did he overcome such insurmountable religious bigotry? He used the same tactic any good policitican uses. He spoke in terms that his audience understood without meaning what his audience thought he meant. He used religious terms that His Protestant audience could identify with. This same audience didn't understand that the Catholic meanings of these terms was inherently different. Nor did they understand the Catholic system which governed actions surrounding these different terms.
Nancy Gibbs details a few of the particulars of this message and strategy to woo these Protestant bigots. Surprisingly, it was the same type of message and strategy which had been employed by him since his first run for Congress in 1946. The only difference was in the immensity of the bias to be overcome on a national scale, whereas his Congressional task was to attract fellow Catholics, which he easily did. But both entailed wooing the Religious minded voter. Here's how he did it.
Instead of avoiding the issue in silence, he met it head on and personally determied the issue and language of the dialogue. Instead of the issue being Catholic vs. Protestant, he framed the dilaogue using "tolerance" as the operative word, thereby easing the inherent enmity of the two groups. He took the high middle ground. This strategy came about slowly but two occasions served to provide the impetus, opportunity and necessity to continue.
The first was just prior to the West Virginia primary. "On the Sunday night just before the vote, he paid for a half-hour TV special. The candidate reminded viewers of what a bold break with history it had been when the founders knit religious pluralism into the fabric of the state. And then he looked straight at the camera and observed that when Presidents place their hand on the Bible to swear their oath of office, they are swearing to support the constitutional separation of church and state. Kennedy raised his hand as if from an imaginary Bible. If a President breaks his oath, Kennedy declared, "he is not only committing a crime against the Constitution, for which the Congress can impeach him—and should impeach him—but he is committing a sin against God."
The second occasion was in response to a conservative Protestant Leadership conference held in Washington DC which was basically an anti Kennedy rally. He chose to address the Houston Ministerial Alliance.
- "Kennedy told them he had come to talk about "not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me, but what kind of America I believe in... I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President—should he be Catholic—how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote." And then he made the prescient point, relevant to any member of a religious minority then or in years to come: "While this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed," he warned, "in other years it has been—and may someday be again—a Jew or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist... Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you—until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart."
- The speech was clean and raw and rational: he made the dispassionate arguments, but he also noted that his vision of a fair-minded America was the one he had fought for in the South Pacific and for which his brother had died in the war in Europe. He reaffirmed his complete independence from any Vatican agenda. But in the most dramatic flourish, he went further, in an extraordinary testimony to just how important that private faith was to him: "If the time should ever come—and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible—when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office." "
The average Protestant hearing these words couldn't help but hold JFK in high regard because they were the words of a man fulfilling his oath, which was sacred. According to Protestant tradition and Scripture interpretation, a person swearing an oath, even if that oath was in violation of a direct command of God, was still held accountable by God to fulfill the terms of the oath. JKF was telling them that he was just such a man of his word.
Not many Protestants, though, are aware of the various ways the Roman Catholic Church allows sin to be committed without being imputed to the account of a person before God. Under these various rules, the end justifies the means. This allows a person to pursue a course which, ultimately, is double minded and ambiguous. Any conclusions drawn by others is subject to which side of the ambiguity they happen to be on. Regardless of the thoughts of others, actions of this type can and are officially absolved by Leaders, with the approval of God. Those who may view these actions as sinful or dishonorable are deemed to be intolerant.
If you don't agree with this view of JFK, especially his supposedly serious attitude regarding his personal oath, I ask you to simply consider the state of his oath of Marriage towards the First Lady while he was in office. Enough said.
Unfortunately, nothing has changed in the last four decades. Leaders continue to exploit the ignorance of the populace, especially among the religious ranks. And its not a Democrat - Republican issue. It's across the political spectrum. A wink, a nod, a smile..........and a smooth lie.......all in the name of keeping an oath. All of this from the honorable world of Politics!
This entire scenario is interesting, interesting because of the manner in which the true components of this issue are glossed over and never really addressed. It is also interesting because this manner is standard modus operandi when major points are addressed by those in leadership in this country. It matters not whether the leaders are Secular or Religious.
The first accusation made, implicit or otherwise, is that the American Flag is an idol. Standing alone, this statement is, indeed, bold! It puts the Flag in a position of something or someone to be worshipped. To the Modern American mind, especially the Modern Christian American mind, this is completely unthinkable. After all, we know that God forbids such activity. Worship is to be limited exclusively to Him. And isn't that exactly what happens in houses of worship across America, the exclusive worship of God Almighty? To worship the Flag would be UnGodly!
One of the reasons given that this implication is ludicrous is that Flags in Houses of Worship are unobtrusive and not considered to be a central focus of the decor or activities in a House of Worship. Therefore, to refer to a flag as an idol, because they occupy what many consider to be a particularly unimportant position, is considered to be without merit.
So I ask you. Have you ever taken time to ponder the position of the Flags in houses of Worship? I say "flags" because usually there are two flags flown in most houses of Worship in the United States; the American Flag and the Christian Flag. In light of the Methodist controversy, maybe you should locate them the next time you visit a public House of Worship, regardless of the denomination.
I assure you, though, that they are not placed haphazardly. Unless there was a temporary reason for the Flags being out of place in a public building, Houses of Worship included, I have always seen the American Flag and the Christian Flag consistently in the same position. Why? There's one reason and one reason only. IT"S THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's true. Federal Law prescribes a whole set of actions concerning every aspect of the Flag, its maintenance and care, handling, disposal and, yes, its position within public buildings. This includes its position within the building and also its position in relation to any other flags which may be displayed in proximity to it. And there's only one position allowed by law; complete and total preeminence. That's right, the American Flag is on all occasions to be above all other flags. And it is to always have the horizontal position of power and prominence, to the right. Legally, there are no exceptions! I find it interesting that Houses of Worship consistently and properly place their flags according to existing Law. To do otherwise would make all participants law breakers as well as UnAmerican!
So, where does this place the Christian Flag, the banner supposedly representing the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ? Are we to believe that the Creator of the World is relegated to an inferior status in relation to the American Flag? Are we to believe that the American Flag is deserving of Higher honor than the One Who ordained American Governmental Institiutions?
It seems as if we have a Conundrum.
More to come on this issue. Lots More!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
So, I was able to enjoy him and appreciate the impact he had on me as well as others. God brought him into my life for a reason. Who was I to change that? I'm glad that I didn't because I believe Tupper was used in my life in exactly the manner God intended. And because that influence was highly spiritual, that spiritual legacy will continue for years to come.
The influence began with my initial visit to his website, tuppersaussy.com. This was soon followed up by reading his well crafted work Rulers of Evil, a portion of which can be accessed at rulersofevil.com. It continued for years in our correspondence about the nuances and details of God's political constucts in the World, most of which he came to intimately know in a manner not many of us would have chosen. But, that's Tupper. And his legacy continues.
To begin to know Tupper, read these delightful words from his son Haun Saussy. Very appropriate, indeed.
For those desiring to take part in that continuing legacy, please visit All Things Tupper. Share what you desire for others to know about yourself, Tupper and the Christ we serve.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I have found a very interesting phenomenon while participating in the conversation at Jesus Creed. Yes, it is true that eveyone is encouraged to particpate in the online dialogue. But there are limits to this open conversation. It has nothing to do with crossing the boundaries of decorum as in vulgar speech or personal attack. It has to to with the tenor and breadth of conversation actively encouraged and advertised.
No topic is considered taboo and questions are almost considered mandatory. This is because of the supposed openness of questioning anything and everything historically traditional within the realm of Christendom. Biblical texts and all related issues as well as historical settings, subsequent epochs and all recorded actions of personalities of note are fair game.
But their appears to be a few unspoken caveats. Certain conclusions deemed unsuitable to the Emerging modus operandi are not acceptable. However, the only way of ascertaining these boundaries is through the experience of asking questions, participating in the dialogue and, then, drawing conclusions. And certain conclusions are not agreeable to Emerging conclusions. This is true in spite of any claims to the contrary.
One caveat can be found when scrutinizing certain Emerging conclusions. Questions and dialogue are OK as long as absolutes are not taken only from Scripture or from an historically traditional view of Scripture. In some areas, it seems that absolutes are not welcome at all. The area in question remains open to individual thoughts and conclusions.
Another unspoken caveat is ascertained by taking a consistent stand regarding a particular issue and not backing down. This is not respected. To think you are right about that particular issue is unacceptable. You may have others challenge you on various points about that issue, yet, if you remain steadfast, you are considered to be arrogant. This is viewed as an attempt to impose your will on the others in the conversation.
Another Emerging caveat is unveiled more quickly by any thought deemed to put The Emerging Movement in a negative light or to identify Emerging with certain movements outside of Traditional Christianity. For example, if Emerging practices or teachings are said to be the same as those in Eastern Religious practices such as Mysticism, Transcendental Meditation, Spiritism, Spiritualism, etc., the one intimating such thoughts is instantly challenged, if not outright called out on the blog. Receiving rebukes and reprovals by certain ones in the conversation can accumulate quickly.
Of course, the particulars of the dialogue are not put to the strict scrutiny of Scripture. There may be lame attempts of using Scripture outside of context or literal meaning, but strict scrutiny consistently using Scripture is not allowed.
Eventually, the caveats become unashamedly overt. You will be warned and if you do not abide by their strict standards of conduct on the blog, your posts will be removed and your IRL temporarily blocked from further participation in the conversation. Failure to heed the Emerging caveats results in a permanent block. I
have nothing of a personal nature to say against Scot McKnight except to say that there are certain topics he will not allow to be discussed on his blog. This is perfectly fine because, after all, it is his blog. And he is allowed to determine the parameters of conversation; but not when the idea promoted is that the conversation is open.
So, it seems that Emerging is really all about Submerging, submerging Truth, submerging certain Truth. Believe it or not, Emerging types are being led down a path containing the aromatic tinge from below.
Well, silly you,..............when its Emerging! Anybody should know that!
Please, doubting me about this will do you no amount of good............not that good is really good..........and who are you to determine such things? If I say good is bad, then that's good!
Of course, the most important part of good not being good is the fact that the truth of good being good was questioned. Truth not questioned cannot be truth can it? So we question. And truth begins to take on the bright luster of darkness. Isn't it amazing?
Imagine the new twists and turns available to the one who questions. What you thought to be true is pregnant with the possiblity of falsity. And what you thought to be false blossoms into absolute truth. Reality takes on any number of different dimensions only limited by the amount of questions posed.
Just think. All that past asurance and confidence carries a high probability of being chaos and confusion. How could you have missed the obvious, chaos and confusion being the place of security and vitality?
All I can say is that I am so happy for you and your newfound understanding of Life. Emerging fits you very nicely. You look good! You look confident! You look as if you have everything figured out..........finally! The real you has finally Emerged!
Welcome to a new existence, where everything is exactly as it appears not to be. Otherwise, there's no confidence in your knowledge of nothing. No problem as long as you know the difference betwen nothing in its appearance and nothing in its reality, the essence of Emerging.
Friday, April 06, 2007
These lastest revelations have temporarily diverted our atttention away from the most serious theory to explain the warming of the earth's atmosphere. The sheer amount of raw hard data forming the foundation of this purely scientific theory is hard to ignore for any lover of true knowledge. It seems that man-made Carbon Dioxide emissions can be traced to a major non- stationary source upon the earth, a source large enough to effect the entire globe even though largely limited to the Western Hemishere. It also seems that data mined from the travel records of major airlines, university speaking itineraries as well as satellite infrared imagery have left scientists of the highest regard with no choice but to disclose the intial findings of the latest climate change study.
The warm issuance of such man made emissions has been closely linked to the geographic travel patterns of one Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States. Interestingly, the data heavily suggests the correlation between the political trajectory of the carreer of Mr Gore and the warming of the earth's atmosphere over the last 25 years, with alarming increases in recent warming activity also coinciding with the increase of Mr Gore's activity outside of the political realm. Needless to say, more study is needed, but the seriousness with which this theory has gained acceptance cannot be ignored by the general populace of any nation.
Which leads me back to the latest scientific crossing of swords regarding this hot issue. While the theory of Mr. Abdussamatov is hotly contested by many scientists, the data mentioned above is being ignored. I propose the following conspiracy theory:
- Since Mr. Abdussamatov is from Russia, he can't be trusted. He's obviously a part of a Communist plot by ex-KGB agent and present President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Which means that;
- Al Gore and Putin (and others) are in league together. They are executing a well orchestrated plan to keep the world's population from knowing the real cause of global warming, not just here on Earth, but also on Mars. And this is where the real conspiracy comes in. The link between Earth and Mars is that;
- Mankind is already on the planet Mars. That's right! There are extensive colonies of Earth's citizens already planted on the Red planet as I write this blog entry. Lest you think I am attempting to connect the warming of Mars to the invasion of Earthlings, please settle down. This is where the data mentioned above comes into serious play. This data shows that;
- Al Gore has been Mars' most prestigious as well as most frequent visitor, making many secret trips known only to a select few. Which means that;
- All the current hoopla surrounding global warming, with its conflicting thoeries, is really a coverup of the fact that Al Gore is currently acting as an interplanetary Ambassador on behalf of the United Nations and Earth Goddess Gaia to Mars.
If you don't believe in conspiracies, don't worry. Not many do, including Rush Limbaugh. He says that anyone gullible enough to believe a political conspiracy is nothing more than a "KOOK." So you are in great company.
Just be glad I didn't reveal the part President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the War in Iraq plays in this grand scheme!
Sunday, April 01, 2007
The Moral Majority, The Chrisitian Coalition, The Christian Right, etc must be supremely disappointed in their failure to implement the political promises made more than a quarter of a century ago. Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and D. James Kennedy have to shake their collective heads when viewing the debris of the current administration. What happened to the promising hope which fueled the rapid rise of the so called conservative Christian base which wielded so much power and influence in the legislative halls of the United States of America? Where are the Biblical laws which have been touted as the answer to the moral decay of American culture? Where is the impact of the Faith Based Initiatives exalted and signed into law by President Bush? Where is the evidence that the family, considered the fundamental unit of any society, has been promoted and edified by American public policy? All signs point to the continued downward spiral of all things familial.
The Conservative Collapse is official. Oh, there may be a few gasps left in the diminshing corpse, but the end is in sight. Which may be a good thing. Maybe now, those touting the viability of Christian politicans in the Secular realm will begin to rethink their position. Maybe the possibility of previously viewing the Scriptural statements about politics in a perveted manner will be consiodered. Maybe the possiblity of admission of wrong thinking will not be silently shoved into the nearest dark corner. Maybe a return to Holy Writ and its clear political statements is possible.
Hopefully, the Body of Christ will let this collapse cause them to consider the Word of God when it comes to poltiics. Maybe then, the political maneuverings that have continuously exasperated them over the last few decades will be put into their proper context. Maybe the frustration will begin to make sense. Maybe they will begin to understand the true political aspirations God has for His People. Maybe the true intent of God for His People in this world will begin to come into focus to the point that many will realize their past political mistakes and how to begin the repentant process of substantive change as the World observes.
Yes, God expects His People to be politically active, but in the proper context and for His purposes, not the purposes of the World; for God has not made His People to be the political capital of this World.
So, as Attoney General Gonzales teeters, as the Iraq war staggers, as the War on Terror polarizes, as the New World Order takes shape, let our gaze be on the Only One who truly understands what is takng place before us. And let us seek His understanding while abandoning our own. He has promised to direct our path if we do.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Would that we as Children of the most High God keep in the forefront of our thinking the wonderful grace of God in our lives. In Him, we fail to experience the pain of failure or disappointment. Men come and accompanying them is the stain of sin. Apart from grace imparted, these figures lack. They lack that which is required of all. Perfection tends to escape those made in the image of God, yet inheriting Adam's fall.
For that is what we are viewing in the politics of America: men walking apart from God's grace. And men attempting to manufacture there own version of God's touch fall into the mire of such vanity. As noble as it may sound, as virtuous as the work appears, the only accomplishment by such attempts is the accumulation of frustration. This state of ever falling short describes the faith of politics in this world.
Let us remember that which was secured for us by Calvary's resurrection. Our Messiah accomplished what only He could and offers it freely to all who will humbly accepts its provisions and limitations. The repentant heart cannot win the freedom already gained. The new Lord cannot offer anew that which He has already granted. His politics cannot be applied to anyone outside His Grace. Only a Holy God possesses that which world politics aspires to; Autonomous Divinity. Reconciliation to this same Holy God is the only fulfillment of the deepest need of every political citizen of this world.
Some that view this struggle have faith in the true Jesus. For those of you who possess this treasure, the struggle has everything to do with Faith, a faith you are curently exercising, a faith they are struggling to find. May they meet the only Person they need.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I believe you will begin to see a few dividing points between modern politics as practiced by many American Christians and that politics espoused by Christ and His Word.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I don’t take that as a command to set passively by, hoping it will come. I take it as a call to engage the world, always recognizing that the Kingdom will not fully come until Christ returns. We are to be an image of the future New Creation living in the present, giving witness of what is to come.
I wrote a post sometime back called Paul’s Subversion of the Empire. There were no police forces in Greco-Roman. Government entities and voluntary organizations for addressing the needs of the common people did not exist. The fundamental institution for keeping the social order was the household. The paterfamilias (male householder) was to rule over his household and compel order. He theoretically had the power of life and death over the members of the household (though this was changing by NT times.)
Paul introduces a new ethic. There is no longer the slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile, or male and female. We are made one body in Christ. He subverts the Greco-Roman model of order by domination with an ethic other-centered love and mutual submission (see my analysis of Ephesians 5 and 6 in the linked post.) Were this ethic to spread from household to household, the entire political and social power structure of the Empire would have been transformed. Regrettably, initial gains were reversed as the Church allowed itself to become re-infused with the power hierarchies of the age. But the initial implication of Paul’s teaching was deeply subversive and deeply political.
In our present context, we have the opportunity to have direct input into governance that Paul would not have dreamed of. Generally speaking, I think the role of the Church, with regard to the state, is not to compel Christian behavior (regardless of whether that compulsion is from the right or the left.) There is a legitimate role for state use of power. I think it is to restrain evil enough that it “creates room for good things to run wild.” (A little Chesterton there.) The changing of people’s hearts and minds needs to come from the other-centered love of Christians giving birth to more other-centered believers. Eventually society is transformed but never to the utopia that the world will be upon Christ’s return. That is how I see it.
First of all, Jesus said to pray "Thy Kingdom come." It is a prayer for God to do something, not a command from God to go and bring the kingdom to fruition.
When Jesus said, "The kingdom is among/within you," He's telling us the kingdom was already present. He also dealt with the present reality of the Kingdom when He spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 21:24 saying, "....The Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."
This new nation is nothing more than the distinct dichotmy established with the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. Those who have chosen to obey God in faith have been at odds with those who have chosen to live outside the Presence of YHWH. The standards of both groups have been different and remain so today.
I believe it is a mistake to give the impression that what Paul was saying was completely new and, because of its newness, it was subversive. It wasn't. It was a continuation of the way of God for His People, a way which sinful rebellious man has always found to be contrary to what man wants to do. What is revealed in the NT is no different than what is revealed in the OT. Paul makes that clear with his numerous references to OT Scripture.
It is true that Paul dealt with scenarios in the Greco-Roman world of his day, which we essentially have today, scenarios which needed clarifying in the way they should be dealt with and lived out. But, for the most part, what Paul said was basic OT.
This is true also when Paul deals with the household structure. Your article deals only with one aspect of household relationships in isolation of the remainder of NT passages dealing with the same issues. (I simply point this out, not as a negative. You may deal with it elsewhere.)
You point out that Roman society had worship and voluntary organizations. Though you mentioned none specifically (maybe the synagogue), one was the Ekklesia. Interestingly enough, this was an assembly which called out the men to conduct the official business of the assembly. Though the household relationships of Romans were different (as you mentioned), this particuar Greco-Roman political entity fit perfectly God's structure of the household as well as government on a large scale for His Body. Once again see, see OT.
You also mentioned the exemptions the Jews had under Roman rule from the requirements of these organizations. That's true, but more interestingly, when they reorganized under the captivity from Babylon, they possess the ability to rule themselves, including the execution of sentances against criminal conduct, something they didn't possess under Roman rule. They could try a person, one of their own, then they must deliver that person up to Roman authorities for either the execution of the sentence or the determination & execution of the sentence. This is what happens to Jesus and Paul alludes to this process in 1 Cor. 5, dealing with the man committing fornication.
Most people don't realize that this has not changed in modern times. American Law gives these exact same exemptions to the true Ekklesia as well as the ability to govern themselves according to God's law, even in matters of criminal behavior among their own. Most of God's people are ignorant of this reality. I wonder why Christian Attorneys don't mention this?
The availability of God's people to live with their distinctives intact is there for us. As Christ said, the World and its citizens will always hate us because they hated Christ first. We are not called to change their society. We are called to live and preach to world citizens the message of reconciliation to a God whose political society is completely different. The most their society will have is reformation, the temporary reformation of sinners. Our political society is one of complete newness in The Eternal Lord of Lords. This is the narrow way of Christ.
Do we choose that narrow way....or......do we choose the broad way of the World?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The problem with modern Christians is that we can’t even hold our own people to a higher standard. We’re just like the world we look down our long pious noses at. While looking to the world and their infrastructure to accomplish what they have been designed by God to do, we waste the holy gifts and abilities the Holy Spirit has endowed us with. Instead, we want what the world has. And we’re not content until we get it. The only problem is that once we get it, We don’t handle it any better than the world. We suffer the same fate as the world.
We are the most powerful people on earth. Yet we think we need the political structures of the world in order for the world to understand our power. We don’t like to be laughed at, so we want to be like the world and be accepted by them, when in fact they hate us and will never give up their power. That’s the reason so many are confused and frustrated and warped.
We don’t realize that we’ve traded our birthright for a mess of political pottage. And we are impotent because of it. And we will remain so until we get back to operating the way God designed us to.
Until we do, we are open to the lure and deception of power not intended for us, at least not yet
When I got in my van to leave the house, there was a sports talk show on and the host was interviewing the mother of former football player Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman. For those of you are unfamiliar with his story, he received quite a bit of publicity over his patriotic decision to turn down a lucrative contract with the Cardinals and, instead, join the military to fight in Afghanistan. He was subsequently killed in action, which was where the controversy lay. Many, including Pat's mother, think that he was killed by friendly fire. Furthermore, there is speculation which cannot be discounted that heavily suggests that his death was, in fact, homocide, probably linked to his personal beliefs about the war on terror.
With all details about this scenario aside, I was a bit baffled at the fact that here was a conspiracy being embraced by the mainstream media, even if it was sports media. But all disclaimers of political partisanship by the host aside, it is known that the sports media is part of the mainstream media. Yes, that includes Fox and Fox Sports. But this was on ESPN Radio. They are included, also.
But back to the issue of conspiracy.
Why is it that, in the vast realm of the media, the idea of conspiracy is considered ludicrous. Even Rush Limbaugh, the Doctor of Democracy, denies conspiracies to the point of calling anyone who buys into the idea of political conspiracies, a "kook."
How many have forgotten the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who is revered by Democrates and Republicans alike? He forthrightly stated that,"If it happens in politics, it was planned that way." Are we to take the words of one of the most revered Presidents in American History, the only three term President, and gloss over them as the words of a political novice?
How is it, that we can acknowledge the shortcomings of men in poltical office, yet never consider the possibility that a group of these men, small or large, could ever come to a consensus on some diabolical scheme? How is it that they can agree when it comes to public Law and policy, good things, yet they can never agree to do anything evil? Where is the logic in that?
Even now, it appears there is a coverup of lewd actions surrounding Attorney General Gonzales. Dare we call this a conspiracy? Isn't that what a coverup is? Remember Richard Nixon? And we surely don't forget the Clinton Administration. And that administration has the chance of holding power again? It seems that the American people are most comfortable when having a conspiracy laden administration in power. Yet, none dare call it conspiracy!
If you've never seen one, you should try taking in an evening at the local rodeo arena, since that's where they usually occur. It really is entertaining, watching all manner of desperate maneuvers to capture one rebellious creature. A dive here, a jump there, pushing other competitors out of the way, a headlock here (on the calf), a yank of the leg (on the calf), and finally, the lucky calf is mercilessy drug to the appointed spot. Sometimes the calf does a bit of dragging himself. And out of the entire group, there's usually only one person left with a broad smile, the winner. All others are left with nothing to show for the effort except dirty, maybe torn, clothing, and frustration. Oh and don't forget! There's also the distinct possibility that you walk away with an enemy or two, depending on your method of pursuing the calf.
Is this beginning to sound familiar. Have you seen this scenario before, maybe, many times before?
That's right!!! It's a presidential election! And you, the electorate, are nothing more than calves in this mad scramble for voters. All manner of methods are employed to capture your political heart. Some of these methods can be rather humorous knowing the history of the particular candidate. Some are downright embarrasing. Some are simply shameful, even for politicians. But that's what we have before us for the next 18 months, a long, confusing and tiring battle for the attention of someone who really isn't sure that they want to give this attention. And they really don't like someone who seems to be forcing them to provide that attention.
I must confess, though, I have an idea which might appeal to some. I think that the candidates should become the calves and allow the voters to go after the calves. And the first one to get their candidate to the designated spot gets a lifetime income tax exemption! Wow!
Wait a minute! Let's not let just one person have the joy of earning an exemption. Let's give one for every candidate taken to the designated spot. Talk about motivation!
Politics is a wonderful endeavor. You just have to have the proper mindset to enjoy it!
Both sides of the Political Aisle have the same problem. It is a deeply moral one.
The last two administrations have experienced the same thing; moral free fall. And there's a reason. As much as it is hidden and glossed over, the politicans that matter, the real movers and shakers, do not represent their more moral constituents. The fact that must be frankly admitted by all honest onlookers is that these officeholders, as a whole, do possess the approximate level of moral dignity as the majority of their constituents. The American people just have a difficult time accepting this. Why? Because it's a reflection they are viewing and they don't know how to change that reflection of themselves. But they keep trying to convince themselves that this reform can be accomplished and, thus, they keep struggling to fumigate the political atmosphere with the possible clouds of future political uptopia.
As we see, the current morass many are wallowing in doesn't lend much credence to the notion floated that all things are not as bad as they seem. And it seems that the more we try to convince ourselves of this, the more moral degeneracy seems to surface in our political priests of choice.
And that's the sad part. We are only viewing the surface. What lies below is anything but attractive. The sexual sins seen on the surface only mask the true depravity further down. What lies below is the depth of depravity, a moral lifestyle so repugnant that most Christians shrink in horror at the thought. I believe that what most shrink at is the real possibility that this degeneracy is present among their own ranks, that it is not only present, but pervasive; a perversion so repugnant that a peripheral glance is all that can be withstood.
Meanwhile, the turmoil seen by all allow us to focus on something other than Truth.
And repentance is kept at bay.
So, presuming such a plan has been implemented, how is such a large campaign carried out to successful fruition? With hundreds of millions of Christians in the world and tens of millions in the United States and with an Evangelical Christian as President in George W. Bush, how does one eliminate such a large population group? Is it possible that a worldwide holocaust is about to begin? I admit that such a thought seems out of the realm of possibility in such a civilized era such as ours, but do we dare eliminate this possibility, seeing that we are only 60 years removed from the human blight of Adolf Hitler?
Even now, the world is being warned of the potential repercussions of Europe's rejection of Christianity by Pope Leo XVI. And America is faced with the same consolidation of Europe into one bloc of nations, The North American Union. Are we to face the same anihilation through amalgamation of law and culture Europe has experienced? Are we about to see the distinctives of America become merged with those of Canada and Mexico? If so, what are the implications for the Christian?
Do the policies of Hitler return under the same type of human rights concerns? Are Christians going to be eliminated because of their negative impact on the world around them? Does the morally high ground of Christians and their God become the sacrifical altar upon which their literal blood is sacrificed. Do we see the policies of Cain make a widespread return? Is this to be the reaction of Cain to the righteousness preached by the Prophet Abel? Or do we turn a deaf ear to such ridiculous notions?
Or maybe the concerted efort to eliminate Christian ideas is to subvert their Christian distinctives. Is it possible that the best way to eliminate your enemy is to convince them to join you? Are Christians even aware of such modus operandi? Is it even a consideration that Christian enemies are subtly luring Christians into beliefs and practices that Jesus Christ never condones. Are we being sold a bill of spiritual goods which the Word of God specifically condemns?
If so, what are the results of such a diabilocal subversion? Could it be that the plan is to turn Christians into the same as everyone else around them. They look the same. They believe the same. They act the same. They unknowingly serve the same agendas. Their values are slowly morphed into the will of others they know not. Their ignorance is used against them. And in the name of serving God, abominations against their God are engaged in.
Does this sound rather far fetched? I can understand why if that is the case. But the realities of Jewish elimination under the righteousness of the Third Reich in the not so distant past should serve to tell us that human depravity ever lurks beneath the thin veneer of civilized man. In fact, it could be said at this time that civilization has developed cracks and gaping holes which are in danger of becoming the norm, something the Jews know about intimately.
He that has ears to hear...........
Monday, March 26, 2007
So, what are these Conspiracy nuts happy about. The New World Order! What else! It is about to officially arive in North America.
That's right! State Department officials in The United States, Mexico and Canada are discussing the details of creating what would be called The North American Union. Unifying the three countries in every aspect is not just being considered, but planned.
Don't believe me? Take a look at this article and others on World Net Daily. What certain groups have been harping about for decades, maybe centuries, is about to come to pass.
In such a scenario, what are the real changes that take place? What happens to the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Motto of In God We Trust, Old Glory, Patriotism, Military service, Political Offices, The Constitution, Border travel, Immigration between the three countries, Commerce and ..................the most volatile of all..................Religion?
Are all religions merged into one? What happens to the Baptists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Assemblies of God, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Emerging, Anglicans, Greek Orthodox, Churches of Christ and Seventh Day Adventists? Does this North American Union become "One Continent Under God?"
Gives you something to think about, doesn't it?
Most people will grow philosophical and muse about the need to reform politics. All this amounts to is reshuffling the existing deck and dealing the cards anew. Does this solve the problem or simply reorganize the problem? And isn't this the problem? Is there such a thing as a new government? Really? Or is such a thought nothing more than a delusion?
Or is it simply time for the other side of the Political aisle to have their turn to govern? Isn't that the same as admitting that it is the Democrats turn to create their version of a mess? After all, the Republicans have done a swell job of their own. We don't want to be selfish about this government thing, right?
The fact is, that most don't know what to do about situations such as the last two administrations. The Republican fiasco is so bad that The Religious Right isn't sure whom to turn to. And they have God on their side! Such is the magnitude of the dilemna.
So, while God's People halt between various political opinions, they continue to slowly sink into an abyss never created for them. God awaits with extended hand on solid ground. Most are looking elsewhere.
That may serve its own set of problems, though. For it was just six years ago that the most scandalous Administration in American History ended in jubilation for the GOP. Now, the same Democratic Presidential family is desiring to usurp the other Presidential family. Hillary Clinton has her own set of problems since there are potential hidden liabilities, aka scandals, latently lurking from her time as First Lady with Bill Clinton.
So, what is it with modern Politics? It's not as if there have never been scandalous administrations before, but "scandal" is starting to seem rather impotent when used to describe the actions of the last two administrations and their supporters. It seems as if the vulgarity and lewdness is almost considered necessary in order to be involved in modern politics. Even the Christian Right has gotten in on the action with Ted Haggard. Who knows what has been swept under the political rug in the mean time? Are we to the point of just waiting for the next political career to bottom out after adversely discovering a hidden reef just below the surface?
And what about American reputation abroad? That seems to be an extremely sharp double-edged sword. While many countries desire to have the political help of America, the immoral baggage accompanying this assistance hardly seems worth it. It seems that when America shows up, it's only a matter of time before crime of every sort begins its upward spiral.
Why does this seem to be the case? Why does America seem more adept at exporting its worst products than its best? Is there an acceptable answer? Is there a modern answer?
Well, I could give an answer from the Bible. And the answer from the Bible would be absolutely true. But many don't want to hear such an answer. So, I've decided to provide a quote from a modern personality which may surprise many, in that it is related to the reason for the Founding of the United States. It comes from Michael Novak. It comes from the January 28, 1989 issue of America, the weekly magazine of American Jesuits, and Novak eloquently sums up the reason:
- The framers wanted to build a "novus ordo" that would secure "liberty and justice for all".......The underlying principle of this new order is the fact of human sin. To build a republic designed for sinners, then, is the indispensable task.........There is no use building a social system for saints. There are too few of them. And those there are are impossible to live with!......Any effective social system must therefore be designed for the only moral majority there is: sinners"
This quote was taken from the preeminent work of Tupper Saussy, Rulers of Evil. And it is the only modern work, apart from Holy Writ, which adequately explains the World system we live under today, especially in America. And it explains why America is in such the pitiful shape she finds herself in today. Would that modern Children of God read and understand. Mercy patiently waits to be extended.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
It will also probable surprise many that, according to "Lord Bew, the professor of Irish politics at Queen's University Belfast who has good connections at the highest levels of government, believes the Blair/Paisley dialogue on religion has transformed their relations - even though they come from significantly different religious traditions."
Bew also states that, ""Blair is brilliant at seducing Paisley," Lord Bew said. "This is the most amazing love affair, the last great Blairite romance. They are even exchanging books on religion. It is fantastic stuff. It is religious; it is romantic. It is brilliant. You have to hand it to him. Once again, when we thought the old maestro was fading, his capacity to seduce, politically speaking, is phenomenal.""
Meanwhile, the other side of this political courtship reveals the ever present influence of the Papacy. Catholic World News reports that Irish President Mary McAleese is meeting with Pope Leo XVI "for a conversation that centered on the “structured dialogue” between religious and government leaders in Ireland." McAleese also met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
This amounts to a religious political double team, an overwhelming doubleteam. Maybe Paisley should give up now while He still has his reputation intact. Otherwise, he's playing with fire, fire not meant for him to play with.
But maybe the common roots of Protestant Presbyterianism and Roman Catholicism are coming to light, in spite of the immovable stand against all things Papal Paisely is known for.
After all, John Calvin was originally a Roman Catholic.
While many have thought for centuries that the two Churches have distinct theological differences, this quote by the Archbishop is quite revealing. It lets us know that Protestants, as a whole, have the same underlying beliefs as The Roman Catholic Church. After all, Protestants were originally Roman Catholics. They are simply coming back home to Mama, the Mother Church.
By the way, this process is not limited to Orthodox Churches. In fact, according to official Roman Catholic Policy, all Protestants will one day soon be covered by the power of the Pope. It's only a matter of time.
And for those who are not considered Protestants, the same is planned for you and your groups also. The plan is already coming to fruition as we speak. Doctrinal diminuation has occured to the extent that many are truly illiterate when it comes to core Bible Doctrines concerning Jesus Christ and His salvation. Teachings of Mysticism and Spiritualism have pervasively intruded standard teachings of most churches to the extent that these ungodly doctrines and practices are thought to be espoused by Jesus and His Apostles in Scripture.
Apostacy is rampant and many are completely unaware. They are under the delusion that good is evil, right is wrong, black is white, up is down, etc. Power foreign to the Holy Spirit are accepted without so much as a thought that this power could possibly be from anyone other that God. Testing the Spirits according to Scripture is not considered as viable. That would offend certain individuals. Meanwhile shipwrecked lives continue to accumulate on the reef of shallow spirituality.
And the Papacy grows.
What are they all about?
Well, if truth be known, they are all about the same thing, though both sides would be loath to admit such a fallacious thought. Instead, they would be intent on informing everyone that would lend an ear that, in spite of what their enemies say, they are advocates for what is right for the American people. And, in order to ensure that all Americans receive what they need, these advocates need political office or the commensurate power thereof.
Campaigns of fear. It's as simple as that. Not so much as creating fear in the hearts of the American populace, but fear that the political power to perpetuate that fear according to their particular party blueprint will not be obtained. In other worlds, they will not be elected.
Sadly, Christians participate in this exercise of vanity. And Christians experience more futility than their secular counterparts. Why?
Because their expectations are misplaced. And being completely unaware of this, they continue to engage in the constant struggle to gain and maintain unnecessary political power. And they continue to acutely feel the hollowness of such struggle. But, for the glory of God, they energetically press on. And as the debris of a disintegrating culture accumulates, fear remains a reality.
Within this hollowness, there reverberates an echo of Truth which faintly whispers the accurate direction for all soldiers possessing trancsendent power for the proper tasks. These whispers cause searching glances for such latent Truth in the midst of their temporal fight. Quiet considerations lurk in the shadows of vanity, patiently waiting for the exposure and clarity of a pure search for Truth. Only by turning from the path and demanding tasks of world vanity does the construction of God's political realm emerge to guide us into the straight and narrow path of power reserved for those choosing to follow Jesus the Messiah. His political entity awaits our knowledgeable cooperation. Until then, power reserved for those rejecting The Messiah lures the most powerful group residing on planet Earth, a political strip tease so powerful that the only cure for this political fornication is flight. To desparately flee into the extended arms of the politics of reconciliation is the only cure for what ails Christians involved in modern Politics. Only then can the child of God truly know what the World needs and is, at the same time, seeking.
They need and are seeking what they have officially rejected, Jesus their Messiah. We were once as they are, in need of politics, the Politics of Reconcilation.
It's the only cure for the the Politics of Fear.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Christians, on the other hand, have been introduced to a God who seems to have taken His sweet time in clothing Himself in flesh and initiating His work among men. He even waited thirty years to begin His public ministry. He even walked with his disciples for more than three years. There is nothing instantaneous about His actions toward man.
You would think that we in America would allow some of these facts to seep into our conscious thought. Having been introduced to the living embodiment of Truth, you would think that we would exhibit a little more patience when attempting to allow Christ to give us the wisdom He has promised to those who ask Him. Never mind that the Wisdom were are requesting is not ours to begin with. Never mind that He is completely responsible for the timing of that gift to us. Never mind that He desires our best in the whole scenario. We simple think that we, for whatever reason, have a right to receive that Wisdom immediately. We seem to act as if God may be completely unaware of our situation. .............MMMph! Of all the nerve!
Are we willing to wait? Are we willing to ask? Are we willing to seek? To study? To meditate on His Word? To compare this spiritual Word with other portions of the spiritual Word?
For something so precious, why can't we wait?
If it's as valuable and needed as we say it is, why can't we trust god to provide our need in His perfect time?
Who can ascend to a realm of such rarified air as those espousing, much less possessing, political understanding?
Well, among those professing to intimately know Jesus Christ, most would profess such abilities. Even more, they are presumed to be the only ones truly qualified to hold political office in the United States. If you listen closely, this idea isn't just evident, it has become overtly prominent.
Yet, I wonder how many know what the Bible has to say about the political realm of the World system?
I wonder how many know that the Bible presumes that political offices are authoritative positions reserved for people outside the saving Grace of God? How many understand that God considers all officeholders in need of His salvation? How many know that these politicos are considered unbelievers?
Don't believe me? Well, your disagreement should be taken up with Jesus. When offered political power over all the earth, Jesus refused it.
Imagine that! What Jesus flat-out rejected, His people, at least those calling themselves His people, are continually trying to aquire.
Now, tell me who doesn't understand Politics!
For many, to consider this question is deemed ridiculous. To some, it approaches blasphemy. Yet, are we not responsible for the substance of our belief? Is it not our duty to make sure that our beliefs are accurate and not mistaken and misdirected?
Paul tells us to make sure that the Jesus we preach is not "another Jesus", thus "another gospel."
So, regardless of the tenets of any religion or Denomination, we are to study the bible to make sure that our words about the Son of God don't paint a picture of Jesus foreign to what the Bible actually says. The only way to do that is to get into the Word of God. Reading books about the subject may sound like a good idea, but how else are you to know whether the books you read are truthful or not except by comparing it to the Word of God?
It's simple for anyone desiring to know the Truth about the historical Jesus. The only accurate portrayal of God in the flesh is the Bible. We need to make sure we are following the genuine Messiah, not a wolf in sheep's clothing!
While they are attempting to be recognized for this treaty which began the consolidation of Europe into the present European Union, all because of the chaos created by Adolf Hitler, maybe the World should also be reminded of the humble Christian beginnings of the beloved Fuher. After all, a righteous cause does need proper funding.
These details, provided by Tupper Saussy, gives appropriate historical credit and context to all deserving parties, not the least of which is Christianity.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
- Where in the Bible are Christians ever commanded or encouraged to conquer any culture of this World on behalf of Christ?
- Where in the Bible are Christians ever commanded or encouraged to enter the Politics of any culture of this World on behalf of Christ?
- Where in the Bible are Christians ever commanded or encouraged to pass laws or change policies of any culture of this World on behalf of Christ?
- Where in the Bible does Jesus ever identify Himself with any culture of this World?
- Where in the Bible does Jesus ever command or encourage His Disciples or Followers to identify with any culture of this World?
- Where in the Bible does any true Disciple or Follower identify with any culture of this World?
If Janet is right about "The Lord performing His word," and I believe she is, wouldn't it be a safe thing to make sure that we actually have marching orders from our Commander in Chief (not President Bush) before engaging the enemy, especially on enemy turf? And if there aren't any marching orders, what then? Do we just proceed anyway, trusting in our motivation to serve the Lord to make up for the lack of orders? Are we trusting in our motives to overcome, what could be considered, disobedience? Is this where we are in our service to our King? Do your own thing, as long as it is accomplished on behalf of the King?
I think King Saul might offer us a word of wisdom about this very issue. Are we listening?
What a waste! Just think of all the things in His life that could have been different..........from the very beginning. Why, even as a baby, this law of attraction could have been implemented to, not only secure the positive political affirmation of Herod, but prevent the useless slaughter of innocent babies in Bethlehem. The eternal destiny of Judas could have been altered had He approached the traitor, Judas, differently with the sop. The remainder of His Apostles could have escaped martyrdom, yes, ruled Israel as Jesus had promised. Had this law been aimed toward the religious leaders of His day, they would have realized the attractive nature of His persona and presented Him to the people as the Messiah, instead of trying Him as a criminal. Furthermore, the Roman power despised by many could have been used for the glory of God if He had only woven His tapestral attraction within the mind and heart of Pilate. The guards would have refused to mutilate and mock him. Why, Satan Himself could have been converted back to the eternal fold, forever abandoing personal delusions of deity.
More desperate people could have been fed, healed, clothed, set free, mended, unified...............if only............if only.............Jesus could have been more attractive.
But, alas, we are left with a Savior who was defeated on the cross in death. Yes, There is the issue of raising from the dead. It does have a certain quality about it that speaks of a certain amount of uniqueness, but attractive? No, at least, not to enough people of the World. For those to whom it is attractive, like President Bush, the attraction lies in the fact that Jesus makes one feel loved, not guilty. Factor in the fact that the guilt of mankind's sin was the reason for His death and one might understand how this feature of the Gospel of Repentance and Faith, is not viewed as attractive enough as "The Secret."
No, in hindsight it must be admitted. Christ had no idea of what He was doing. As God in human flesh, He had the right motives in trying to elevate the status of man, but His omniscient methodology, while crude and accomplishing far more than most would have thought possible, was lacking in its political adaptability to the current demands of the World.
No, it's time to admit that, had Jesus known this secret, life as we know it would be completely different. It's time that Jesus found out what He's been missing all this time. If you see Him, please bring Him up to date.
God will be so glad you did!