| 2015/1/24 14:58||Profile|
| Re: Nothing Left To Do But Refuse To Obey|
"Branches of government have usurped the power of God".
I couldn't disagree with that statement more than the entire debate of gay/marriage.
I recently heard a nice discussion on this topic via Shane Claiborne, Greg Boyd, and Chuck Colson on 'On Being'.
Where Shaine compared church and the state issues to mixing ice cream (the church) and poop (the state). Mixing the two together might not make the poop more unappealing but it really does mess up the ice cream.
I encourage you to stop looking at politics. Seriously. Look to Jesus and His teachings in the gospel.
Dominionism and this idea that 'we care what the government thinks about x, y, and z' is *not* gospel.
We as a church need to be undefiled and stop trying to marry the government. In persecution or in freedom, we are to focus ourselves on the lover of our souls, Jesus.
The moment that our government does something that we don't like or approve of, does that stop us from being a Christian? I sure hope not.
How are we cleaning the church? How are we following the gospel? We aren't called to clean the world and it's limited government/rules.
Please, I urge you, and all breathren avoid these issues. Focus on yourselves and being the hands and feet of Jesus. (You fed me when I was hungry, gave me something to drink, etc)
Finally, if you really can't avoid the "soon coming destruction of America [insert any country here]". Remember, God withheld His destruction to many places, for the sake of the elect (Abraham's request to God). Or He warned the righteous to leave (i.e. Lot, Noah, etc). And sometimes He even was turned to when warned (Nineveh).
| 2015/1/24 17:41|
| Re: Had there been 10 righteous in Sodom...|
Politics is the soup we live in, whether we like it or not. Western democracies elect their leaders, and live with the consequences of those corporate decisions. When unrighteous men compete with righteous men and convince enough people that their snake oil will be good for them, all live with the result.
But when righteous men and women raise a clear voice of reason and proclaim the virtues of a moral society, righteous men can win the mantle of governance. Politics is the game of getting a good message to a majority of voters, and a game worth playing. To me it is a dimension of the Christian gospel because the principalities and powers against whom we fight are driven by the dark forces of Hell to suppress and destroy both the gospel and those who proclaim it.
We are in a fight, the armor and the weapons of Ephesians six are for every believer- though way too few put them on and live them out.
To be blunt, those who think they can withdraw from the political battle and cuddle with Christ on the sidelines are deluded. They are not armor wearers, not obedient, and will be slaughtered in the fray- all the while weakening the power of those who do stand to fight in the evil day.
He does not call us to win, but He does call us to fight.
(The old soldier in me gets his hackles up over this very quickly. I have no interest in living under ungodly tyranny.)
| 2015/1/24 22:40||Profile|
| Re: |
With all respect you already live in ungodly tyranny and it will inly become more of both.
I am firmly convinced that Christians do not belong in politics. I do not even vote. The early church fathers were so minded, as it happens.
Politics is Mammon with guns. Serve it and we doom our own hope.
There is no battle to win, no ground to gain versus the world system. It is devoted to destruction, and as such a thing it corrupts absolutely the people of God.
| 2015/1/24 23:17||Profile|
| Re: |
Jesus does NOT call us to fight to write laws or enforce laws of the land.
He says 'don't be like the gentiles who LORD it over people'.
Writing a law on the books, that someone doesn't like...sounds a lot like lording (forcing) it over someone.
I'd propose to you that Jesus didn't come to enforce the law but instead to show us that God/rain showers on the righteous and the unrighteous.
I have no interest in living under ungodly tyranny.
Well sir, Jesus said, those who live by the sword, will die by it. If that's your choice, sad but that's not the model of Jesus nor the early church. Jesus came to show us the weapons we have 'are not of this word'. How did Jesus react when wicked Rome was crucifying Him? He let it happen. How about the early church? Again, non-violent unto martyrdom.
The Church, should never take up the sword, literally. Never. Nor should the Church force others to adhere to it's beliefs.
I propose to you. Revival wasn't started because we enforced moral laws on the land but instead, people chose to turn to God. They were persuaded by itinerant preachers, although I'd disagree with their methods (of old time revival preachers), but I can't disagree with their results. People CHOSE to turn to God.
Government, will not, cannot, bring God's kingdom down on earth. Individuals should be encouraged and reasoned with, and loved on to hopefully be persuaded to turn to the living God whom is quick to forgive.
We must guard against this desire to control other people's behaviors. God isn't mocked. We don't need laws on the books for God to punish someone. God doesn't need help enforcing His way.
If I could say it another way, we can't control our spouses. We can't force them to love us. We can't demand they do anything. We can try. We can abuse. But that will NEVER create what we really want in our hearts. Real, true mutual love. Our responsibility is to love, not control. When we love our spouses, they are more encouraged to respond in love, than they would by force. Let's do our part and ignore laws of the land because our salvation isn't in a law, it's in the person and work of Jesus Christ. :)
P.S. Thank you dolfan. I was going to make that point too but...got side tracked by sidewalk. :)
| 2015/1/24 23:22|
| Re: |
I say this speaks more eloquently than I could.
Our faith, our discipleship is political. But it’s very peculiar in how it’s political. It spins the whole power paradigm on it’s head. The language that’s riddles all throughout the gospels that Jesus uses is political language. ‘Kingdom’ is the same that’s used for Empire. ‘Lord’, ‘Savior’ all of those words were [n/a]. There was already a ‘lord’ and ‘savior’ in Rome. And it wasn’t Jesus. In a sense, to call Jesus Lord 2000 years ago is as radical as it would be to say Jesus is my commander in chief, today. And what does that mean and say to us?…So we need to renounce that theology, wherever it pops up. I often quote George Bush (Jr?) on Elis Island, “that the ideals of America are the light of the world and the darkness will not overcome it.” It’s bad theology. Barack Obama on the David Letterman show this past year (2007) said “America is the last best hope for the planet.” That would raise a big flag on our radar too. That we actually found the hope of the world, that we found the light of the world and it shines much brighter than a candidate or a party or even America. So, we should be very careful of that misplaced hope.
- Shane Claiborne at Vanderbilt University, Oct 2 2008
| 2015/1/24 23:32|
East TN (for now)
| Re: Nothing Left To Do But Refuse To Obey|
In the last 7 years, I'm sure you guys have noticed it to but instead of becoming a humbled nation crying out to God, the Christian's have chosen Republicanism as their hope. I do not think that we should believe that our hope is wrapped up in a "Republican" package. And I blame THAT on the leaders of the organized churches.
But I do believe it is our right to vote as citizens of the United States and I do vote. I do not think that we are to stay completely out of the political arena but that's just me.
But I digress! :) Changing the legal status of homosexuality isn't going to be done in the courts, it's seems that it is but we know this to be a 'spiritual battle' not a court battle! Setting them free is going to be done on our knees, praying for our homosexual friends, not writing them off as condemned and bound for hell.
Jesus had compassion on them and healed them ALL, I'm sure there were a few homosexuals in there that got set free. Praise the Lord!
| 2015/1/25 8:15||Profile|
| Re: |
Lysa, praying for them is our only option, and I agree with you on that. Our love will not free them. Our empty gospel will not. We must seek God urgently to intervene in their lives and bring them to repentance.
In Psalm 107, the Psalmist says "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so..." whom He has gathered from every direction. Over a few stanzas he writes of those "wheres" of sin and pride God calls them from. He writes in one that God calls them from the foolish afflictions brought about by their own iniquities. At the end of that stanza, they are "tell[ing] of His deeds in songs of joy."
That alone is the only hope of the homosexual, and ironically, the hope of the political.
| 2015/1/25 9:18||Profile|
| Re: Of course it's messy!|
We have danced around this fire before, and it is unlikely we will change each other's minds on this. Many Christians have chosen a pacifist world view to shape their thinking, just as it has been noted that some Christians have embraced the Republican party. Neither is a boat without holes.
I do not make excuses for the Vietnam war, and I could give a lengthy dialog on the errors of all that. But I did go, as a conscientious objector medic, and served for a year with an infantry unit killing and being killed. I go to the Wall in Washington DC and cannot keep from weeping at panel 27E when I look at the names there. This is a part of me that cannot go away.
But to say I live by the sword is ludicrous. Living by the sword means using deadly force to get the things a person craves in life. Spare me, this does not apply.
I maintain that political activism, even in a worldly system, is a form of self defense. You have probably seen the quote, "All that evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing."
The evidence is there. America is under the rule of a man whose major qualification for office is his skin color. With a murky past and a guiding philosophy of Marxist Islam, an overwhelming number of professing Christians don't care, didn't vote, and willingly comply. They rejected the likes of Mike Huckabee, Michelle Bachman, and Duncan Hunter- all qualified candidates with strong Christian foundation.
I must go back to Ephesians 6 and the call to recognize both the nature of the enemy and the command to take up the armor and the weapon. The story of Elisha in II Kings 6 is an excellent illustration of the whole point.
Elisha wore a girdle of truth and a breastplate of righteousness. His feet were shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, his head was protected by a helmet of salvation, his arm held a shield of faith- and his mouth wielded a mighty sword of the Spirit. Read it for yourself of course, but here is the story:
The king of Syria sent raiding parties regularly to plunder the children of Israel, to take what they wished and hurt who they would. (They lived by the sword...). But there was a problem, the Israelites were way more prepared for the incursions than they should have and the king feared there was a traitor in his camp. But no, it was told to him that the man of God was able to listen in to whatever the king might whisper.
OK, they needed to capture and destroy the man of God so learning that he was in Dothan, a large raiding party was sent there to get him. When by morning light Elisha's servant saw the hostile multitude, he was terrified while Elisha remained calm. By the word from his mouth, wielding the sword of the Spirit, the young man's eyes were opened to see the greater host of heavenly defenders that gave Elisha such confidence.
But it got even better. Wielding that same sword, he blinded the eyes of the Syrians, and told them they needed to go to another place to catch the "Man of God" they were seeking. Like dumb sheep they followed Elisha as he led them right to where the Israelite king and the army had them completely outnumbered. Another swish of Elisha's "sword" and the raider's eyes are opened to see that they are in deep excrement.
When the king of Israel asks Elisha if he should just kill them right here, Elisha swings that Spirit sword again.
"Had you captured these men with your normal weapons, you would not thus kill them. So here is what you are to do, feed them a great feast and send them back to their master!"
When the men returned from their adventure, the King of Syria was shaken. He no longer sent raiders against Israel.
Elisha was first of all a man of God, completely prepared to wade into the grit and grime of local politics, winning a great victory for God and the prospects for peace. He did not run off somewhere to pray, he put himself and his praying heart right out there on the front line.
I like this. I would rather live like Elisha than stand in the shadows believing that whatever happens must be the will of God.
| 2015/1/25 15:03||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Political soup|
I understand the idea of political passivity because it properly emphasizes two truths. First, the Gospel has supernatural power to change lives and therefore cultures. Second, no one can be pleasing to God through mere moral legislation. Because of these truths some Christians then think that political involvement is a waste of time. I would disagree that it is a waste.
I believe that it is our first responsibility to obey the Great Commission but it is not our only responsibility. To ignore our responsibility to morally instruct people based on the authority of the Bible simply because it is labeled "politics", is negligence. When a culture only does "what is right in his own eyes" then it will soon be in deep darkness and Christians will not be able to lead quiet and peaceful lives in godliness and the gospel will not go forth in peace.
| 2015/1/25 16:00||Profile|