SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : General Topics : Love thy Enemies, unless...

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )
PosterThread
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

I'm growing increasingly concerned for the church in our nation. It would appear we believe the Sermon on the Mount applies to our lives, except in the case of perceived threat against our nation or our allies. Paying attention to the presidential debates, it seems to be a forgone conclusion by our political leaders and amongst Christians that we should be ready to lead a preemptive war against Iran, and that we should be prepared to do so in the name of defending God's people.

Something is very, very wrong.


_________________
Jimmy H

 2012/1/17 22:20Profile
EverestoSama
Member



Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175


 Re:

Quote:
I'm growing increasingly concerned for the church in our nation. It would appear we believe the Sermon on the Mount applies to our lives, except in the case of perceived threat against our nation or our allies. Paying attention to the presidential debates, it seems to be a forgone conclusion by our political leaders and amongst Christians that we should be ready to lead a preemptive war against Iran, and that we should be prepared to do so in the name of defending God's people.



Agree.

 2012/1/18 0:24Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Personally, I wonder if part of the problem arises when we tie the United States politically into rebukes against the wayward Christian, as if this nation politically is a central concern of the Church. The logic goes like this...

1) America rises and falls on God's approval of our spiritual condition.

2) Therefore we should repent for America's sake. If we retain God's blessing, we would preserve America. If we don't repent, America will fall.

3) And if the Church repents and is revived, America will rise up militarily and economically to be secure again, as a sign of God's blessing.

This logic also applies to Israel.

I wonder about another model...that during the past 2000 years. nations have risen and fallen like ocean swells, and the Church has been floating in an Ark on all of them. In this model, God's preservation is directed more towards the passengers on the Ark, rather then the tossing waves that carry them.

Just some thoughts,

Mike


_________________
Mike Compton

 2012/1/18 0:45Profile
pilgrim777
Member



Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


 Re:

Good thoughts, Mike.

God has relationships with individuals today through Jesus Christ. All the kingdoms of the world lie in the power of the evil one. Why do we defend the kingdoms of this world?

Pilgrim

 2012/1/18 0:55Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Very interesting words, Mike.

A couple of years ago, there was yet another discussion about the fate of America in one of the many debates over proper eschatology.

I noticed that many people are constantly willing to point the "Babylon the Great" finger at America. Countless preachers and "prophecy experts" have said as much. And, of course, America currently sits perched atop the world as one of the most economically and militarily powerful nations in history.

However, I have often wondered about the thoughts of any preachers and teachers who lived prior to the "American Century." After all, America has only been a world power for about a century...and a superpower since the end of World War II. Who did people consider the epitome of "Babylon the Great" prior to that time?

So, I set myself on a journey to look up some old sermons in order to determine if anyone had any similar pronouncements. It was difficult to find much written on the subject (there was no SermonIndex during the 19th Century), but I did find some ministers who proclaimed the British Empire as the "Babylon" between the 16th and 19th centuries.

I guess that it was a matter of perception. The most powerful nation on Earth at any given time can be easily interpreted as the target of the prophetic revelation about "Babylon." Right now, America is that top economic and military power. Prior to that, the most obvious world power was England. The British prided themselves that "the sun never sets on the British Empire." In fact, the English were the center of trade and military might for a period of time that is longer than the current duration of the "American century."

Now, I am certainly NOT going to say that America is -- or is not -- the Babylon mentioned in the Revelation. However, there are many unknown intangibles in regard to eschatology. For instance, it seems that the anti-Christ will rule over a confederation of ten nations (as stated in Revelation 13...rather than the oft-stated "one world government"). We see a tie to Rome (the city of seven hills) and we see the European Union as a growing economic and military power.

In terms of this discussion, I appreciate the anecdotal notion of the church as an "ark" that rises above the waters of this world. At the same time, I personally believe that America was very different than any other "empire" or "kingdom" that came before it. It was birthed in opposition to the idea of a "kingdom" or "empire," preferring to be ruled under the novel idea of a "government of the people, for the people and by the people" as opposed to a "divine right of kings" (or "kingdoms"). I look at America as having fulfilled a role in world history by the direction of God...as He has raised and sunk every king and kingdom.

In addition, I do view Israel as the physical fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. In my opinion, Ezekiel 37-38 is undoubtedly referring to a physical nation that would be gathered to the place it once stood as a nation. As such, America -- a mere secular nation -- has been used as a tool by God that has stood by as a friend to that physical nation of Israel since 1948. For this, I am glad as I still pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Now, I agree that we are passengers on the Ark -- living and moving in Him -- as we journey to our Eternal dwelling. However, we are still confined to live in this nation of our temporary citizenship. We live, work, marry, pay taxes, drive in tax-funded streets, and receive our electricity and water from government-regulated utilities. This doesn't make us "unspiritual" or "conformed to the patterns of this world" -- but as pilgrims passing through earth as we long for Eternity.

Last week, I read an article about some members of an Amish community being fined for refusing to carry vehicle safety signs and reflectors on their buggies. While I understand their desire to "be ye separate," I thought about the irony of claiming to "be separate" by refusing those safety signs while driving their buggies on roads built and maintained by the government using the tax dollars of citizens. Try as they might, they cannot completely "separate" themselves physically from the nation in whose borders they dwell within.

But, like you pointed out, we don't need to worry as we are protected by Christ. However, the anecdote is slightly skewed in the sense that destruction IS coming -- but during a time where it will again come upon the entire world. We will be protected FROM that hour of trial (Revelation 3:10). Until then, we are still in this world.

When it comes to governments and governing, I do pray for the nation of my temporary dwelling. No, I don't do so under some misguided notion that America is a "Christian nation" (as if it ever was a glorious "saved" kingdom). However, I do believe that it was a nation that was founded by many devout men who embraced Christian views and prayed for guidance during its design. Even Jefferson -- who is often cited as a non-Christian -- once wrote about how America must refrain from being a dedicated theocracy because the Spirit of the Lord is "gentle" and does not impose himself upon someone "against the will" of that person.

So, I do believe that EVERY nation rises and falls under God's watch. After all, God notices every sparrow that falls too. And, of course, I pray for this nation where I live. I pray for the elected representatives that we have in place instead of kings. I pray that righteousness might abound. I also pray for a true "revival" in the land that will prompt hard hearts to turn toward God.

I have often wondered just why Paul the Apostle wanted to travel to Rome. This was a divine call, because Jesus appeared to Paul and told him that he must do this. It led to Paul's use of the Roman political-legal system to "appeal unto Caesar." Even during a fierce storm, Paul was instructed again that he must stand trial before Caesar.

Why did the Lord want Paul to stand before Caesar? Perhaps the Lord knew that this would be a way for the Gospel to advance in the Empire that controlled most of the known world at the time. Perhaps Paul was the means to bring salvation to Claudius or to Caesar's house. Later, we learn that some members of Caesar's house had sent greetings to the saints (Philippians 4:22).

So, I do pray that the Gospel might advance even through the tools of government. In a more physical sense, I also pray that righteousness might abound as well. I have a wife and, hopefully one day, a child. I both pray AND work for their safety and provisions. I don't have a problem "petitioning" a "judge" ("ruler" or "magistrate") if the situation merits. After all, we still live in this temporary nation, and I do not plan on hiding my light under a bushel of religiosity either. We are a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.

At the same time, I appreciate your reminding us of the eternal concept that we are kept secure in Christ even as we remain concentrated on the true King rather than being tossed by the affairs of this world.

The Lord bless you!


_________________
Christopher

 2012/1/18 2:23Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

I wonder about another model...that during the past 2000 years. nations have risen and fallen like ocean swells, and the Church has been floating in an Ark on all of them. In this model, God's preservation is directed more towards the passengers on the Ark, rather then the tossing waves that carry them.



I think you hit the nail on the head. I think our prophetic narrative definitely needs to change. The 3 pronged model you proposed is a very "Puritian" understanding of things. That is, it is an understanding of America as a theocratic experiment and break away from an England whom they believed needed to reform as an eccelsiastical nation state. This is a very "Old Testament" sort of idea.

Not to say that the idea in itself is bad. It is Biblically rooted afterall. However, it is an idea whose time has come and gone, and has failed to recognize that since the advent of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the kingdom of God, the history of the world has changed, a new age has dawned, and things are no longer as they once were. Instead of understanding things in a way that makes sense under the previous dispensation, we neeed to understand that under the present dispensation, in which all of the nations of the world are on fire, and all of them are destined for utter ruin. For Daniel 2 makes clear, the establishment of the kingdom of God would bring with it the ultimate destruction of all the nations and all the super powers of this world. That includes not only our foes, but it also includes America and our allies.

While the impact of the church on society may "buy us time" as a nation, as it did during the reins of Josiah and Hezekiah did for Judah, we must ultimatley come to realize that the writing is on the wall for us, and we have been weighed and found wanting. The American experiment will ultimately fail, and is destined for ruin, not simply because that is the way all nations eventually go, but because God has an eschatological plan that He is ultimately executing. It is a plan under which all nations must be destroyed, and give way for the full coming of the kingdom He wishes to establish. It is our job as the church then, to be as you so wonderfully put Mike, to be an eschatological ark of refuge for all peoples in all lands, so that they might survive the flood that is eventually coming.

Our fate as a nation is ultimately the fate of even the nation of Israel. Though I believe God has established the nation as He did in 1948, and He has in His providence used us as a nation to accomplish His plan, this has been merely for the purpose of setting the final stage of human history, so all those things written by the prophets might come to pass and be fulfilled. And as is clear to any serious student of the Scriptures, the nation of Israel isn't excluded from the final flood that is coming upon the world in the last days. Indeed, the land, the nation, and the Jewish people will become central characters in God's plot for the end of the grand ol' redemption story. And they too will be subject to eschatological burnings, though different in scope and purpose.

Indeed, it is my growing conviction that we as a nation will eventually turn from a friend to foe of Israel, even as we are doing now. Should our nation survive into the time of the tribulation period, we will find ourselves as one of the nations from all the nations of mankind who set about to make war against Israel, as she becomes a cup of reeling in the last days, as outlined by the prophet Zechariah.

Which is especially why, we as a church, instead of being swept away in the sea of war that the nations so love to regularly fight engage in, need to become messengers of peace who can announce to our nation and the rest of the world, including Israel, that God has established a king so that the nations never again have to learn war. For unless we take this stand, we as a church who have baptized most of the wars that America has ever fought it, will soon be sucked into the violence of the last days. Moved out of a spirit of fear, nationalism, and self-preservation, instead of embracing the mindset of a martyr, we will embrace the mindset of a butcher. And instead of being a witness to the nations, and to Israel, and being an ark of refuge, we will be salt that has lost its savour.

We as Christians in America, though we love our country, must distinguish ourselves in our ethic. For we are not Americans, rather, we are Christians, and have a different identity and loyalty. We march to the beat of a different drummer. We must not get caught up in the propaganda our political leaders attempt to overtake us with. We must tell them that while we as a people love freedom, and that we as Christians love the people of Israel, we cannot encourage them to preemptively attack Iran out of our own "national interests." For if we encourage and baptize such an attack, we will have only fostered and baptized a spirit of fear. And if we baptize fear, we will soon know nothing but terror on every side, and will soon reap what we have sown. If we baptize fear, we will soon be overtaken by the same, and will only hasten our own destruction as a nation.

Instead of this, we as Christians need to be a people who love our enemies, even if they are Muslims who hate Israel and wish to destroy America. Jesus did not teach in the Sermon on the Mount: "Love thy enemies, unless they hateth Israel, and wish to do thee harm." Instead, he encouraged us to love our enemies, even to the point of death. And instead of being so quick to die in the name of war, we need as Christians, to be a people who are willing to die in the name of peace.

*edited*


_________________
Jimmy H

 2012/1/18 7:49Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

I guess that it was a matter of perception. The most powerful nation on Earth at any given time can be easily interpreted as the target of the prophetic revelation about "Babylon."



I forget who it was, but somebody once pointed out to me that the Devil is always laying the ground work for a potential anti-Christ in every generation, for he, being limited in his knowledge, never knows when his opportunity will come. Thus, "many anti-Christs" have gone out from us, and I would say, each age has its super powers who have the potential to "fit the bill" should the opportunity arise. Thus, America, Great Britian, etc., have all been possible candidates to serve, or at least help usher in, the final great empire along with the Beast.

Quote:

No, I don't do so under some misguided notion that America is a "Christian nation" (as if it ever was a glorious "saved" kingdom).



Indeed, America has not nor ever will be a "Christian nation." Even with many of the godly men who helped found this country, and the values that helped shape it, it can never be considered such. The only Christian nation in this world that has ever been or will be is the church of Jesus Christ.


_________________
Jimmy H

 2012/1/18 9:32Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

All the kingdoms of the world lie in the power of the evil one



This is an important concept to understand. All of the nations of the world are ultimately built on sand. All are destined to perish.


_________________
Jimmy H

 2012/1/19 7:08Profile
ziolence
Member



Joined: 2012/1/24
Posts: 3


 great thoughts ... and a qualifier

"We as Christians in America, though we love our country, must distinguish ourselves in our ethic. For we are not Americans, rather, we are Christians, and have a different identity and loyalty. We march to the beat of a different drummer. We must not get caught up in the propaganda our political leaders attempt to overtake us with. We must tell them that while we as a people love freedom"

I love your frame of reference in this thread, jimmy .... though i have a qualm with this paragraph above ...

Isn't it contradictory to say we are not americans ( which i fully agree with ) ... and then to say " we love our country" ( america ) ?

america isn't "our country" ... our country is the 'country above" ... of Hebrews 11.14-16

Also, we need ( as christians who think like this ) to forsake "love of freedom", which is the biggest idol in the church of america, actually ( along with america itself ... the two are inter-twined ). Many pagans in history going back to the ancient greeks, romans, gauls, etc ... "loved freedom" ( from oppressors, like old king george III).

Loving american political freedoms ( to worship in the laodecian manner of snoozy sunday attendance ) is an anesthesia preventing most of us from loving holiness, and being a bond SLAVE of Christ.

I love just about all your other statements in this thread ... impressive, really.

amen

 2012/1/24 13:36Profile
ziolence
Member



Joined: 2012/1/24
Posts: 3


 katz's wife

she's ministered in the west bank, actually ... same principle .. but a bit less of a hot-bed of hate, than Gaza, i think

 2012/1/24 13:39Profile





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy