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!
Monday, March 19, 2007
Is up really up? Or is there more to Up than we first thought? Maybe up is really made simple by understanding that up is simply not down. Or, it could be not as down as directly down. It is less down. It could be sideways or sorta sideways. Or it could be East, presuming East is not as down as any other direction. But we are not to exclude any other direction. Let's not let our lack of exactness lead us toward inexactness, regardless of our direction. We must be sure, even in our doubt. As long as we doubt not our doubt and are sure of our lack of direction. If there's anyone I hate, it's the person who is sure he's lost.
Maybe up is best defined by the person is is consistently living life on an arc. So, while he's currently in a state of down, he's headed toward up, which means he's headed toward down. Of course, our new definition, I mean modification, of up must be taken into consideration when dealing with such pinpoint accuracy, seeing that such pinpoint accuracy is constantly in a state of flux, which means that the arc possesses flexibility not unknown to the life of meandering reality.
Welcone to Emerging, where everthing is open to question and conversation, but bound to get lost in the pursuit, seeing that the pursuit of Truth is the reason for conversation and dialogue. For if we actually arrive at and grasp Truth in any shape, manner or form, the conversation and dialogue are, then, ended. So................we keep talking........and pursuing the multitudinous facets of non graspable Truth..........or, at least someone's perception of it.
Do I detect the odor of Brimstone? Let's converse!
Earley uses the pronoun "our" to refer to lawmakers in different states, in this case, Virginia and Texas. The remainder of the commentary allows us to see that this pronoun is also applied to the various political activities associated and governed by these same lawmakers. Earley also laments one of the results of this type of legislation, regardless of the process used to implement these directives. He says it usurps parental authority.
I don't want to be misunderstood when I say this, so read carefully. Since when are lawmakers "our" lawmakers as Christians? Since when do we identify anyone other than YHWH as our Lawmaker? The historic position of God's People in relation to Secular authority has always been one of Separation in the midst of honor and submission. The Old Testament plainly tells us that " YHWH is our judge, YHWH is our lawgiver, YHWH is our King; he will save us." In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul tells us that, "our politics is in Heaven, from whence we look for the Lord." This is after Peter speaks for himself and the apostles who had been beaten for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ when he says, "we ought to obey God rather than men."
Are we to presume that the past servants of the Most High God have been mistaken in the proper placements of their allegiance? Were they ignorant of the current state of affairs when it came to Whom they were to render service to? Did they, to any degree, identify with Caesar and the Roman Empire? Did they give the least hint that they were serving the interests of the Roman Empire? Did they refer to the Roman lawmakers as "our lawmakers?" Obviously, they didn't.There has always been a distinct dichotomy between the people of God and Secular rulers of every stripe.
In no way does this negate the fact of earthly citizenship. We are all men and must, by our birth, be citizens of some earthly Nation or State. However, this earthly citizenship and its political obligations and responsibilities are always viewed through our primary spiritual allegiance. This primacy dictates our relationship to the Secular. In other words, we are primarily a Secular, or unholy citizen, or we are primarily a Heavenly, or holy citizen.
If you are a Secular citizen, then you primarily identify with Secular officials with such descriptive terms as "our and mine." If you are a Heavenly citizen, then you primarily refer to Secular officials with terms such as "their and your."
Which brings us back to the charge, by Earley, of usurping parental authority by making this vaccine mandatory. Case law is very consistent within the body of American Jurisprudence showing that, Government activities are strictly controlled by Governemnt law and policy. This is a Constitutional and legally consistent practice from the beginning of the United States. Coupled with the Founding idea espoused by Benjamin Rush that the student is public property, it should not be an extremely difficult propsition to understand that the children in public schools do not belong to the parents. In fact the "parents" are not the primary parent of the children in their care. The "parents" are simply the guardians, exercising delegated authority from the State.
This little known Legal Doctrine is Parens Patraei. It means that the State is the Parent of the Nation and, therefore becomes the primary parent of all who have been entrusted to their care. The State, then becomes responsible to provide the needed care and provision neccessary for their children. This is where most parents find themselves today, taking care of the State's children while thinking of those same children as belonging to them, not the State.
Sound preposterous? Tell that to the many parents who are experiencing this legal reality around the country and possess not a clue to what is taking place. They are fighting, but they are legally destined to lose because they are proceeding in ignorance. Presumed by the Courts to know the Law, they lack sufficient knowledge and understanding to protect their interests, in this case, what they presumed to be their children.
So, how do parents entrust their children to the care of the State? That's an easy one. By sending them to a State institution, an institution where the State's interests are primary. This is after all, the State's institution. Shouldn't the State have the primary right to conduct the affairs of their own creation? In spite of what anyone outside the Schools think, the Courts have consisitently agreed with that proposition.
If you don't personally agree with that proposition, the remedy is simple. Don't send your child to an Institution governed by State Law, "your law."
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Of course, there justs happens to be a plethora of Christian public service Law firms from which they can choose. These law firms were few and far between 30 years ago, but now are big business.
So the cry is that the rights of these citizens are being denied, abridged or curtailed. Underlying their cases is the argument that the growth of radical agendas foisted upon the American populace without choice is causing deep faultlines of cultural division. The American people are being divided because of issues which cause many to choose sides. The number of these issues has grown over the last 30 years. Whether it be termed Pro Family, Family Values, Traditonal Marriage, Homosexual Marriage, Civil Unions, Abortion, ProLife, Anti-Abortion, Divorce, Christian values, Freedom of Religion, Free Speech, First Amendment Rights, Fundamental Rights, Inalienable Rights, Christian Heritage, Separation of Church and State, etc., the sides are many and the fight is fierce. In every case, Christians are bewailing the assault on their lifestyle and the divisions these fights cause.
There's only one problem with their cry. It is completely off base. These issues are not the cause of any division. You can lay 100 percent of the blame at the feet of one person. That one person is God incarnate, Jesus The Christ. It was He, after all, that pronounced, "I didn't come to earth to send peace, but rather a sword." In other words, He came to divide. And no one in history has been able to divide so completely as He has. Division is a task He accomplishes with ease.
So, the next time you hear any type of cry from a Christian about his or her rights being violated, remember that the real culprit is Jesus. And He's simply doing what He said He would do, separating His people from those who do not belong to Him. Why do Christians keep fighting their Savior?
Christians across the land and beyond hold this view. The thought is, that because of the religious heritage of America and her distinct Christian moorings, this foundation should remain as it has for over 200 years, in spite of the Official Presidential policy put forth by President George W. Bush prior to the elections of 2004 to "help cultures change." In response to this ruling on the Pledge he also stated, ""America is a nation that values our relationship with an Almighty.""
Maybe such statements, which seem to conflict with one another, are really telling us what is actually taking place. Are we taking the time to analyze such statements beyond their appearance and the heated rhetoric which usually surrounds them? If we are not, is it possible that we are missing the truth about the nature of the relationship between God and Government?
For example, Republican President Bush, a conservative, says that America's relationship with God is valuable. This statement is completely consistent with historic conservatism. You would be hard pressed to find a conservative to disagree with this tenet. Yet, as a conservative President, Mr Bush is officially helping cultures to change around the world through American policy. This includes American culture. This idea definitely clashes with conservativism because it tends to do away with the past. That would include the official recognition of God. But President Bush is on record as opposing this policy. Does this make sense? Yes it does, but only under one scenario.
What if America is trusting God to implement her official duty of helping cultures change? If you think that this would require a completely new and different idea of the relationship between God and American Government, you are partially correct. Is this idea different within the context of modern political circles, religious and otherwise? Yes, definitely! Is this idea new within American history? Absolutely not!
Certain Founding Fathers understood the place of America within the tapestry of Biblical Prophecy, even though many others touted the founding of America as fulfilling Manifest Destiny, the New Israel of the World with America being the Promised Land. Noah Webster understood the Bible to say that America was the final national empire in the culmination of history before the return of Christ to this earth. As such, God's People were to have no part in the machinations of such a diabolical political system because they were separate, called out of the World to shine forth as lights to the World. This biblical idea was lost, no, buried, amidst the official America policy that Christians were the only people truly qualified for the offices governing a republican democracy, a democracy heralding the beginning of the New World; officially, the New Order of the Ages. This has been the official American position through the incremental disintegration of American culture to its current decadent state. God's people have , as a whole bought into this idea, as evidenced by their hearty participation in and identification with all things political. Meanwhile, the Ekklesia, the separate political institution founded by Christ, has been slowly coopted into this amalgamation with the political enemy of Christ, the World. Which brings us to our current dilemna.
If the World system is the political enemy of Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures reveal that it is, what is the message of the President and American Government? How can this be that "trust in God" is official American Policy?
Could it be that World Government or the governments of the World, through the leadership of America, has a purpose little understood by modern Christians? Could it be that God has ordained His enemies to exercise His authority in a limited way and for a limited purpose? Could it be that, at the same time, God has excluded His People from exercising that same authority? Could it be that, God has ordained His People to exercise authority of a different nature and for a different purpose? Could it be that each sphere of authority, as well as those administering that authority, have their own distinct binding agreement with God? Could it be that both groups "trust in God" to back them up in their exercise of that authority, even when members of the other group try to cross boundaries and exercise authority not belonging to them?
If the above is true, how does this change your view of the official American Motto of "In God we trust"? How does this change your view of American Christians getting so upset over the ruling of various judges? How might this change the way in which you conduct the affairs of your life on a daily basis?
Interesting questions, indeed!
Are we afraid to ask them?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Who do the conservatives look to now? Who will be the next conservative Savior for Evangelical Christians?
Well, if your Jay Sekulow, Founder of American Center for Law and Justice, the next man to rally behind is Mitt Romney. A Christian and a Mormon. Will someone please explain this?
And James Dobson is actually considering supporting Romney also? And this is good for families and Americans in general????
And what's mnore diabolical is the fact that this persecution is taking place against Christians. That's right, Christian America is officially against her own righteous people.
Here are the details: Christians send their children to government schools and the following happens:
- The children are exposed to explicit sexual content as a part of the curriculum without the parents being previously notified.
- The children aren't allowed to pray on their own.
- The children aren't allowed to form their own Christian clubs.
- The children's Christian club isn't allowed to use school property the same as all other clubs .
This is just the beginning of a list that could go on and on for awhile. But the obvious does not need to be stated. Christians are in trouble and suffering needlessly. What are we to do about it!!??????
Well let's see. How can this be alleviated?
It might start with helping parents to understand that, pursuant to American tradition and law, their children really don't belong to them. Their children are the property of the State.
If that sounds rather bizarre, settle down. It's simply a matter of law.
Every Parent has the fundamental right to raise their children as they see fit. That fact is not in dispute by anyone. However, once a parent send their child to a government school, the parent abandon's their right to ultimately direct the upbringing of their children. The government is then in the position formerly held by the parent. The government has become the parent. The parent has become only the guardian, following the dictates of the government. This legal doctrine is known as Parens Patraei and it's found mostly in State Court decisions.
The fact is that there is absolutely no persecution of children or parents in this nation. It is simply a matter of parents and others being ignorant of the law and their freedoms in this country under that same law.
Our problem as humans is that we tend to complicate matters. So much so that we confuse ourselves. And in our confusion we make decisions that are not in our best interest. As a result, we spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with the consequences of these decisions, which sometimes limits our ability to live in a manner which would tend to bring good consequences, the type you aren't required to dig out from under.
In other words, you're torn between two extremes.
I sense that many Christians find themselves in a very similar position when it comes to politics. It's easy to profess a saving faith in Jesus Christ and want the blessings from living His Way, but difficult when the demands of government cause time and energy to be limited. Both Jesus and Government are calling. One is simple and desirable. The other? Well, let's just say that bureaucracy is very demanding and government makes no apology for submission to its demands.
On the other hand, the two have similarities. They both demand all we have. Regardless which one you choose to serve, holding back is not looked upon with favor.
So, it becomes a little more obvious the position Christians find themselves in when they profess to serve the risen Christ, yet desire to meet the ever expanding demands of present American Government. The simplicity of Christ is where they desire to abide, but dealing with American details requires more than a minimal amount of time and energy. Or does it?
Didn't Jesus say something about no man being able to serve two masters? If so, how do we begin to resolve such a problem? Do we ignore American demands? I think not! Just try that and see how far you get. You could very easily end up behind bars, depending on what is ignored.
But what if American law contains provisions allowing the Children of God to live the type of life they feel called to live for their Savior? Would that make a difference?
Yes, that would fly in the face of all the rhetoric by Christian Organizations which tell us that the laws are against us and we need new ones passed. But what if the laws they are referring to are passed for those who serve the American system of secular Government? And what if all others are excluded from these demands? Does that sound desirable? How can it not?
The problem is this. Most professing Christians haven't really determined who they serve. And because they haven't deternmined that they really serve Christ, they can never understand the demands that Christ has placed upon them in living their lives for His glory. They don't really know his Word, therefore they live their lives in ignorance and confusion, proving who they really serve. Just look at the time and energy expelled and for whom it is spent. All becomes clear. The demands of the American God makes it difficult to dive into the reservior of God's Holy Word and find the graceful instruction to help in the time of need.
We are intent on doing the impossible, attempting to serve two masters!!!
Not surprisingly, most think the media is a leading cause in this moral decline and fails to represent the values of the mainstream of American culture. Surpisingly, though, most Americans think tha the media should fairly and accurately portray the various aspects of American Culture.
It is also acknowledged by many that the Culture War is very real. And included in this war are Muslims, whose faith is constantly attacked by the various portayals of decadence and depravity in the media. Almost shockingly, a certain portion of those surveyed think that Conservative Americans and Muslims should join forces to battle the moral decline of American Culture.
What about the genuine Believer in Jesus Christ? What should be the thoughts of a Child of God on such issues? Since we must live in the World, what is our relationship to this World system and what it produces?
More importantly, what is the standard for answering such questions and addressing such issues?
Is the election of President and other National, State and local political offices the answer? Do we engage in trying to get the right group of people elected in order to change the laws, thereby changing the culture? Do we support organizations engaged in the battle to promote values we agree with, such as Pro Family values, Traditional Marriage, Free Market Capitalism, Pro Life, Anti Abortion, Anti Gay Rights & Civil Unions, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Homeschooling, etc?
What about the Laws of God as revealed in the Bible? And what about our ability in this country to live according to those laws? Are the laws that have been passed or are about to be passed somehow preventing us from living according to the laws of God?
Is it possible that the laws currently on the books completely enable the consecrated Child of God to live according to the dictates of his conscience and the Word of God?
If that is possible, what difference does it make to us?
Do we really care?
Would it really matter that all the activity currently engaged in by many in order to change the culture is absolutely unnecessary?
Or is that too much to contemplate? If so, why?
Monday, March 12, 2007
If every law on the books in the United States were officially abolished today, by what standard would you live your life? How would you conduct your life? How would you treat others? How would you conduct business?
How would this affect your current obligations and responsibilities? Would you abandon them or continue to fulfill them? Why?
Do you live your life by a standard that goes beyond the mere civil laws passed by men? If so, what is it? And why does it matter? What makes this standard better than another standard outside the laws of men?
As this article from WordNetDaily reveals, the former Senator from Tennessee and star of the television series, Law & Order, doesn't think it is too late to enter the race.
If he does enter, how does this change the field? From whom would Thompson take support? Or would he simply receive the vast majority of the undecideds at this early point in the campaign? How does the strategy of the other candidates change?
Does Thompson have a presidential image? Is he conservative enough on the issues that count, such as Prolife, gun control, illegal immigration, Marriage, Homosexuality, Civil Unions, the war on terror, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, etc?
Is he, as one person has stated, another Ronald Reagan? You be the judge. Either way, the race may become alot more interesting before too long!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Emerging is publicly against much of, what they consider to be, the negative aspects of Traditional Christianity. If you listen for awhile, you begin to realize that what they are really upset about is not being allowed to participate in Traditional Christianity. They have been marginalized. Why? Because they are new, innovative, hip, tolerant and outside the Evangelical Box. In other words, they are modern hippies (not always in looks) who don't fit in and don't really want to fit in. They don't want to conform to the standards of worship and ministry tradition handed down within their respective faith families because, many times, those standards require one to look, be and act different from the world.
So, in the spirit of the age, they have rebelled and launched out into the deep on their own in order to create their own autonomous bodies, usually in the most unexpected places. That way they can be close to the ones they are attempting to minister to, which means that they get to create an atmosphere which makes them feel comfortable as well as those they are attempting to reach with the good news of Jesus. And did I mention they get to have fun at the same time? That may not be the most important aspect, but is surely mentioned alot.
As stated before, one of the hallmarks of Emerging is Conversation. By encouraging participation in conversation by as many as possible, all are included to the best extent possible. Inclusiveness within Community is also another major hallmark of Emerging.
One problem with this conversation emerges, though. Addressing particulars within a conversation tends to exclude a certain number of participants because of the various levels of expertise and experience within the body of available conversants. Another problem emerges when there are so many opinions and thoughts about a given particular that the only conclusion among the conversants is that there are many opinions among the various conversants. That's because arriving at objective truth is not the aim of conversation, conversation is the aim of conversation.
So when somone attempts to focus on a particular and refuses to let it go, this is not considered a positive within the immediate conversant community. After all, a person who refuses to let go of a particular point is considered to view himself as right about that point. That is not a positive either, especially if it conflicts with the consensus of the conversant community.
It's rather amusing to watch members of Emerging react to people in the same manner with which they have been treated in the past. You would think that they would be a little more sensitive to someone in a similar plight as their own, that of not being accepted by the group.
But when you bring a rifle to an outing when everyone else has brought shotguns, the disparity is obvious. And so is the discomfort.
OK! Let me get this straight (no pun intended)! James Dobson has established a career promoting Pro Family values such as Traditional Marriage and Anti Gay & Lesbian Rights. In the past he has publicly refused to endorse candidates not possessing the same Pro family stance as well as the historical voting record.
All of a sudden, the general public is supposed to believe that the Pro Family Advocate is throwing all political caution to the wind and will endorse Romney, who has an established record supporting such anti family activities????? And this is supposed to be good for American families???????
Do I smell something?? Is that a hint of brimstone politics. Does this mean that Dobson is coming out of the political closet? Are his true colors about to be revealed????? Has this been the real Dobson all along??????
Actually, I have reason to realistically believe such a proposition. For it was the week prior to the last Presidential election that Dobson, along with every other Pro Family Advocate in this nation, to my knowledge, failed to inform their supporters, Republican and Democrat, of the statements of President Bush in a public interview. President Bush informed everyone that, regardless of the initiatives of anyone, the final result of the entire Gay rights fight would be a Federal Marriage Amendment or Federal Marriage Statute as well as civil unions. To my knowledge, that conspicuous silence has continued to this day.
And now this!?
When you consider that Pro Family, Pro Constitutional Advocate and Civil & Religious Rights Attorney Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice has also agreed to support Mitt Romney for President, nothing is surprising any more.
In light of that special place, many consider it a secondary blessing to the enemies of liberty that they also get to enjoy the benefits of freedom under God. So, if you hate certain things about this country, your freedom under God allows you to voice your concerns publicly, if need be. Many other freedoms similar to this are also enjoyed by those not agreeing with official U.S. Policy.
But have you ever considered the other side of that "Trust in God" coin? The other side? "What other side," you may be asking.
Have you ever considered the possibility that the motto "Trust in God" is primarily for the benefit of those who have specifically chosen to remain outside the eternal blessing of God in a redemptive relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, they have chosen to officially reject God while acknowledging Him, His attributes and creative works. And at the same time, they exercise delegated authority from that same God they eternally reject. And if, during the exercise of that authority, they are molested, they have God's permission to act in retribution seven fold.
If that's the deal with God, would you not "Trust in God," also?
Here's an example from the Bible. God, because of the wickedness of the His People, Israel, was going to bring judgment on them using a powerful pagan nation. Through His Prophet, God says, "have I not ordained them [heathen nation] to execute judgment?" It is significant that God Himself says that He "ordained" this pagan nation to carry out God's orders, to execute God's judgment. He says exactly the same thing in Romans chapter 13.
So, if you knew that God had ordained you to execute certain authority on His behalf, wouldn't you also "trust God" to back you up when exercising such authority, even if you hated that same God? Would this not add a completely new dimension to the notion of Trusting God?
So, what does one have to do to be odained by God into this elite group? Ahh, that's another topic for another post!!!!!
With the conviction of former Bush aide Scooter Libby, the timing of this trip is convenient. I know, I know!!! It probably has been planned for weeks or months, buuuuuuut................it makes for good conspiratorial conversation, which makes for interesting conversation! You must admit, though, that the thought does come to the forefront of your thinking, since Libby's conviction is not a positive for the Bush Administration.
So, instead of dealing with the devilish details of the Libby the Convicted Criminal, we head off to the warm and charming atmosphere of Hugo Chavez and the myriad of protests planned for Bush while in Latin America. At least there, all they only refer to Bush as an "assasin," which is akin to being Chavez's "devil." But at least Bush knows that he'll not face this type of protest every day at home, so a temporary change of scenery must be welcome.
You never know, though! Maybe he'll meet His Vatican counterpart, the Pope! After all, Latin America is ancient stomping grounds for all things Pontiff!
Will this warning go unheeded? I can't really answer that. But I can say that while America fights with herself about the merits and legal reality of Separation of Church and State within the United States, the World merrily continues in its move to more prominently integrate the religious into the political. Or maybe it's the political into the religious? Is there really a difference? If so, does it matter? Isn't the result the same?
The fact is that, regardless of what American politicans do, the merging of the political and religious coincides with the worldwide consolidation of Christianity into one religious community. The proposed return of the Anglican Church into the fold and under the authority of the Roman Pontiff is simply the first step toward a unified Christianity and expanded global power.
Is this the Christianity envisioned by Christ while on this earth? Is this the result of the work initiated by Him and His Apostles?
Or is this somehow nothing more than a well developed counterfeit? Is it possible that people don't realize what is happening? Is there more planned in this unification than most people are aware of?
How many know that the Catholic Church is officially recognized around the world as a "State"? That's right, as in "Nation" and "Country." Just like the United States or Canada or Mexico. And just like other nations, they have Embassies, called Nunciatures, in many nations, with Church officials exercising official Church government authority.
Is this the future?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
This describes many people in the world today. Looking, searching, groping, hoping, longing for that which provides what they so desparately need, unaware that they really are in need. But the need is palpable and ever present even if undefinable and seemingly elusive.
It is no wonder that men always find something or someone to commit themselves to, a devotion which provides a reason to build something beyond themselves, a lasting legacy.
In the United States, this devotion has increasingly been manifested within the realm of Secular politics. It takes its form in the agenda of making the world a better place, leaving a legacy for our children and ultimately, taking America back. Interestingly enough, this devotion even crosses party lines and causes Republicans and Democrats to put aside partisan differences in a show of devoted unity. The object of their devotion? Old Glory, the American Flag. The Red White & Blue can emote the deepest feelings of patriotism seen only in the most religious.
How significant is it when we learn that Jesus our Messiah has revealed Himself to us as..........................our Flag!.........our Banner! That's right! He's our Flag, the visible emblem of identity for His own Kingdom. In Him we have our cause, our devotion, our legacy, our unity, our patriotism, our allegiance, our worship, yes, our very political life.
Didn't Jesus also say something about the impossibility of serving two masters?
"Politicians, policymakers and other elites sometimes see religion as a hobby for believers. For the devout, though, it's not a garnish to life; it is life. If the candidates prepping for the White House miss how the new Christianity is fundamentally changing the Third World, they could get blindsided on the global stage. So could we all."
Interesting indeed, is the specific mention of the Anglican Church and its current upheaval over the issue of the ordination of Women and Homosexual Priests in light of the recent proposed return of the Anglican Church to the Roman Catholic Church under the authority of the Roman Pontiff, Pope Leo XVI. This is indeed "new Christianity."
Didn't Solomon say that there's nothing new under the sun?
Monday, March 05, 2007
I am not going to pick on John Edwards for his statements and forced religious jargon. Many Democrats have taken up the religious mantle in their political quests of late and the Republicans have consistently done so for decades. So this is nothing new.
What hasn't changed in all the talk about education, political and otherwise, is the stark reality of the law in the United States. Oh sure, we have all kinds of rhetoric being thrown around the many legal battles over the rights of parents in the raising of their children, but the fundamental truth is glossed over with heated words dealing with other, more trite legal subjects.
Ever so often, the truth trickles out of a court case and its written opinion which sheds a ray of light on the darkness of the legal landscape. Such is the case in Massachusetts, as reported by WorldNetDaily, initiated by the parents of two families after their children were exposed to graphic presentations without prior notice according to law. U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed all Federal aspects of this case while also dismissing all state aspects but leaving the option to have the facts ruled upon at the state level. The opinion, though, tells all who will listen, what their present freedoms are regarding education as well as their options should they choose to forego exercising that fundamental freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment to the united States Constitution.
First, the fundamental freedom.
Judge Wolf states that "Parents do have a fundamental right to raise their children." This statement is significant in light of this decision being decried as " every parent's nightmare," by Mass Resistance, a parents rights advocacy group. Here we have a case brought by parents being dismissed, yet the parents are informed what their rights are! Wow!!!! Is anyone listening or reading? Anyone with the slightest legal knowledge knows that a fundamental right is the highest form of right. Pursuant to the Constitution, it cannot be taken away, but will be protected by government officials and, yes, even Judges. Could it be that the parents in this case don't really know the type of right they are attempting to exercise?
Second, the next aspect of this fundamental freedom.
Immediately following the above statement, Judge Wolf says, "They are not required to abandon that responsibility to the state." This statement is doubly significant in that it gets to the heart of the reason that this decision is "every parent's nightmare." When it comes to parents raising their children, parents are not required to send their child to a state regulated institution, nor are they or their children required to participate in activity regulated by the State! If and when a parent does, they must submit to the rules and laws of the state governing their own institutions. It's that simple!
If a parent chooses to raise their children themselves, the State cannot interfere, outside of criminal activity, because the State has no jurisdiction over such private exercises of a fundamental right. Neither can a judge officially recommend a possible course of action for the parents to take in exercising such right.
In light of this last fact, Judge Wolf continues his opinion by telling all what the options are for the two families, as well as all other families, who have abandoned their children to the State by placing them in Public Schools. They can choose to send them to Private Schools or Homeschool them, both of which are regulated by the State.
For most, this fundamental issue will be lost amidst the uproar over the Radical Gay Rights agenda being forced upon students and parents. Sadly , so will a generation of children, simply because their parents didn't know any better. So much for Christian Attoneys!
Such is the case with David Beck and his site Catholicist Nation. I've immensely enjoyed his articles since I first was directed to him by Tupper Saussy. His commentary continues to uplift and magnify the only viable option for anyone seeking the Way, substantial Truth or meaningful Life.
If you come to know this Way, Truth & Life, existence is given its true significance. Life on this earth is then lived under the guidance of the only One Who knows the end from the beginning. Every area of life is seen from His Perspective and nothing is the same again.
Davis Beck writes from this perspective and I hope you find it as exhilarating as I do. Visit his site and let him know!
"His motivation is more than pedagogical. In a world where nearly every political conflict has a religious underpinning, Prothero writes that Americans are selling themselves short by remaining ignorant about basic religious history and texts, by not knowing the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite or the name of Mormonism's holy book. "Given a political environment where religion is increasingly important, it's increasingly important to know something about religion," he says. "The payoff is a more involved [political] conversation.""
A novel idea, indeed! Most people would not connect a proper understanding of and involvement in Secular politics with Religion.
Does this mean that the religion referred to is, by nature, Secular?
If so, is this Secular Religion the same as Civil Religion?
If so, how might this Secular, Civil Religion differ with a redemptive relationship of faith in Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Bible?
Are we talking about the Jesus of the Bible? Or is this Jesus a construct of the genuis of man? Or does the image and idea of this Jesus have more sinister origins? Or is this Jesus simply left up to the mind of the individual to construct according to personal whim?
If it seems easy to become confused in such an atmosphere, consider your assessment as accurate. The forward march of Emerging is based on the broadly consistent and shadowy search for absolute Truth, a search never quite consumated with anything definitive except the search itself. Therein lies the sacredness of Emerging, the absolute, ever learning journey.
Meanwhile the Absolute Jesus of Holy Writ remains accessible on His narrow path.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Actually, I've been participating in the conversation for awhile. I've found it interesting, thought provoking, frustrating, enlightening and most of all, revealing. Emerging or The Emerging Church Movement is a major religious movement which has made a major impact in many parts of the world, not the least of which is the United States. The American Evangelical Church, otherwise know as Protestants and other non Roman Catholic churches have been impacted greatly by this movement over the last 10-15 years. In fact the impact has been so great that most have not known exactly how to respond to the Emerging refusal to go along with the traditional religious life of Evangelicals. They have increasingly put pressure on leadership to, not only listen to their complaints and suggestions, but to agree with their complaints and implement their suggestions. Otherwise, they will leave to start their own ministries. And they have. And Evangelicals are suffering because of it. As I said, Evangelicals don't know how to respond to prevent or counteract their influence.
One of the hallmarks of Emerging is Conversation. They will talk about anything, anywhere at anytime. Open and honest dialogue is encouraged among all. No question is considered taboo. Answers are provided in high quantity. If you disagree, that's OK! Simply verbalize your disagreement. You are accepted in spite of any disagreement you or anyone else may have. But conversing about that disagreement is guaranteed which means your participation in the conversation is also guaranteed. This is one area where Emerging frustrates Evangelicals. Emerging provides a forum as well as acceptance for the religiously downtrodden, marginalized and rejected. In other words, those not traditionally accepted by Evangelicals for various reasons, legitimate and not so legitimate.
But I found out today that their friendly dialogue has its limits. Yes, their are certain things they will not talk about.
I wonder if others have encountered this outer limit of Emerging Dialogue. If you have, tell me about it.
Would you care to hazard a guess as to what the subject matter could possibly be to so suddenly send Emerging types into a blatantly silent refusal to acknowledge reality?
Friday, March 02, 2007
The words of Jesus about counting the cost are very real because many have actually counted the cost of saying and doing certain things. They know that those particular things carry with them a steep price, too steep.
For this reason, many will approach the Word and its Truths with their position in society, family, carreer, church in the back of their mind. Sadly, they turn their backs on such scenarios and attempt to make the best of their current situation. Meanwhile, the Word of God is rationalized and morphed in order to conform to their situation, thereby rendering them obedient. Of course, disobedience, by any other name, is still disobedience. And the cost remains unpaid.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Do we really believe this? Do we really live our lives on a daily basis not believing in right and wrong?
Think about it. Think about your life. Do you live your life any way you choose to? Do you actually do what you want on a daily basis?
Is the notion of an absence of absolutes a reality in the daily conduct of our lives? Or is it a charade we like to parade before our patterned life?