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chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 IS OBAMA REALLY the PROBLEM??

IS OBAMA REALLY the PROBLEM??

ARE WE BEING DISTRACTED From THE REAL FIGHT?
-by Andrew Strom.

Years ago a friend of mine, Robert Holmes, saw a vision of
Christians leaving the Harvest field to go and join in with a "Civil
War". They were leaving their primary mission (the gospel) to go
and make war against their own countrymen. What does it mean
and why would they do such a thing? -This was unclear.

Like a lot of you, every day I get bombarded with the latest emails
against Obama - and what he is up to. I can truly understand this.
Unlike a lot of overseas Christians who can't comprehend this kind
of American political partisanship, I truly get it. I lived in America
for four years, and one of the things I saw clearly while living there
is that America is at WAR with itself. And it is getting worse. Right
against left, liberal against conservative. And there is no doubt that
as an evangelical Christian, I am truly a "conservative" myself. But
there is a lot that troubles me about what is going on.

When the US conservatives elected Bush, a lot of the world could
not understand it. I understood it completely. America is at war
with itself and Bush seemed like the most robust campaigner
against the liberal agenda. It did not matter that he was not the
"smartest" guy. He was strongly on "our side" in the culture
war - and that is what mattered: Homosexuality, abortion, taxes,
health care, and so-on. To a lot of US Christians, politics has
become THE main arena where they fight and take a stand. So if
I am a conservative myself, why am I so troubled by a lot of this?

Well, let me ask you some questions and hopefully you will see why:

-Is "Politics" the arena that Christians are supposed to be putting
so much time and energy into fighting? Is that what the early
church did?
-Aren't we supposed to be more passionate about prayer and the
gospel than we are about pulling the "liberals" down?
-Couldn't this be a total distraction from our real mission?
-Doesn't a lot of it amount to a giant "smear" campaign of rumor-
mongering that should be beneath Christians to participate in? -In
other words, isn't the way we are speaking often gossipy, slanderous,
mocking and ungodly?
-Why are prayer and the gospel taking a backseat to Obama-baiting?
-Is the Christian community in any country supposed to become
a "voting bloc" for one particular party?

I think those are pretty important questions. And I think a lot of
Christians may have trouble answering them.

The fact is, I get more "political" anti-Obama emails from US
Christians every day than 'spiritual' emails. What does this say
about conservative Christians? It says they care more about politics
than the gospel. That is the conclusion I have to come to. And I
believe this is Idolatry - pure and simple. Politics has replaced the
pure milk of the word for a lot of Christians. They are on a "campaign"
alright, but it is not a campaign for Jesus. And they devote hours
and hours to it. They are feverishly checking out the "latest dirt" on
Obama every night and hungrily devouring Fox News (which makes
more and more ratings dollars as it drives every fresh controversy).
They love it! There is only one problem: It is not Jesus, it is not the
gospel, and a lot of it is simply not godly at all. In fact, it is
replacing Jesus and replacing the gospel.

If I was the Republican Party or Fox News or Talk Radio (each
hungry for more ratings and dollars - these are not Christian
organizations at all) then I would absolutely LOVE the fact that the
Christians are so easy to whip up into a frenzy of Obama-rumors
and Obama-trash-talk. But none of this is godly, is it? It is not
remotely Christian. The early church would have renounced it
utterly. They took no interest in politics. They only cared about
Jesus and His simple gospel. And that is still the only thing that
can save America today. We are being sidetracked.

But the frenzy continues. "Did you hear the one about Obama
being likened to Hitler?" 'Did you hear the one about Obama's
birth certificate?' 'Did you hear the one about Obama's "death
panels"? 'Did you hear that there are really demons in the Swine
Flu vaccine?' (canned laughter please).

A lot of this amounts to a kind-of Christian "smear" campaign. In
politics much of it would be considered in the 'dirty tricks' category -
the kind of thing you do when trying to ruin someone's reputation
with sick rumors and innuendo. No matter if it's true or not. As long
as it does the job of "smearing" the person. Is that the kind of thing
Jesus would want us involved in?

Here is the truly major thing that I believe the devil is trying to do
in America today:
-He is trying to create division so bitter and so extreme that both
sides literally start to fight one another with guns drawn. He is
trying to tear America apart.
-He is trying to sidetrack the one group that truly has the answer.
He is trying to wrap them up in fighting politics, so they will forget
that the pure GOSPEL is the only real hope for America today.

I believe the devil is truly succeeding in both of the above aims.

To conclude this article, I would like to ask some questions of
the Christians who spend so much time on this "Obama War":

-Do you spend as much time spreading the pure gospel as you
spend spreading stuff about Obama? Why not?
-Is your mind and your energy and your passion more focused on
getting the true gospel out - or defeating Obama and the liberals
in politics?
-If you were asked to turn off Fox News and delete the "Obama"
emails and turn off Talk Radio, etc, could you bear it? Or are
you more-or-less an "addict"?
-Do you really think it is right for this to be the big focus of your life?

I truly believe these are huge issues and huge problems in the
American church today. But I guess I can expect a wave of angry
disagreement in response!

Please send feedback to- [email protected]

God bless you all.

Andrew Strom.


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/9/3 17:46Profile









 Re: IS OBAMA REALLY the PROBLEM??

Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.


In our American governmental system we have many representatives that "rule" for us. When those representatives rule unrightously we have a problem as indicated from Gods holy word.


(The original post has a few good points to sonsider.)

 2009/9/3 18:10
Laviver
Member



Joined: 2009/1/11
Posts: 98


 Re:

What's intersting to consider in matters as these is Richard Nieburh's 5 relationships between Christ and culture:

1. Christ AGAINST culture (rejection)
Christ and culture are in direct opposition to each other (= enemies). Therefore, Christians need to fight against/escape from the evils of non-Christian culture, in order to reject ‘worldliness’ altogether. Engagement with non-Christian culture should be minimised, and where possible completely avoided. Eg. Tertullian, Tolstoy, most separatist movements (eg. monastic orders), sects (eg. closed brethren, the Amish and Mennonite communities) and cults (eg. JWs).

2. Christ OF culture (assimilation)
Christ and the best of culture are in agreement with each other (= friends). Christians should embrace the good of non-Christian culture, blending in (= incarnating the gospel) as much as possible with the non-Christian world in order to love others. Eg. most Liberal churches and some parts of the Emerging Church movement.

3. Christ ABOVE culture (synthesis)
Christ is spiritually above and over culture. Therefore Christians should neither reject nor accept non-Christian culture completely. Rather Christians should seek in this life to synthesise their heavenly, Christian lives with their earthly, cultural lives. Eg. Aquinas, most conservative Catholic and Protestant churches (esp. seeing evangelism as the only real connection between Christ and culture).

4. Christ and culture in PARADOX (dualism)
Christ and culture are spiritually divided and cannot be synthesised in this life. Therefore Christians face a tension (only to be resolved with Jesus return) in belonging to this world, and yet belonging at the same time to the world to come. Eg. Luther (and his doctrine of two kingdoms), Lutheranism.

5. Christ TRANSFORMING culture (conversion)
Culture is sinful, but can be transformed by Christ. Therefore, culture is something that needs Christians and the transforming power of the gospel to redeem. Christian are to engage culture in order to bring about its transformation. Eg. Calvin (and his optimism towards social reform), most social action and liberation theology movements.

(These loose treatments taken from http://whatsthedealwithstuff.blogspot.com/2008/12/christ-culture-niebuhr.html )

Men like Strom would fit into "Christ against culture" I believe. Whereas proponents of Christians participating in polotics fall into "Christ transforming culture." The former are strong proponents of Great Commission, pursuit of holines, and practice/demonstration of Christian virtues. The latter, while not excluding the traits of the former, also include what has been deemed the cultural mandate. This madate, proponents say, finds biblical authority in Gen. 1:27-28 (take dominion and subdue), Matt. 28:19 [make disciples of all nations, teaching them (the nation)], and in the doctrine of the Lordship of Christ (nothing is out of Christ's jurisdiction, therfore all things should be redeemed for His glory).

I find strengths and weaknesses in all 5 views and have not thoroughly landed on one in particular.

 2009/9/3 20:39Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2779
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: IS OBAMA REALLY the PROBLEM??

This is a very good article, Andrew hits the proverbial nail on the head.

This nation is now becoming so polarized, so divided, and the church is being swept up into it. We need to tune out the media circus and get on our knees before God and cry out for compassion, holiness, and spiritual authority to speak life into the death around us.

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2009/9/3 21:17Profile









 Re:

This article fits in with the piece the Lord gave me last weekend and I posted it here. If God still has plans for the church in America, and I believe that He does, then He must judge and remove the barriers and distractions and idols that the church rely on. The judging has already begun,Jehovah rides upon a swift cloud and has come into America. http://scottishwarriors.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/jehovah-rides-on-a-swift-cloud/

Frank

 2009/9/3 21:42
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4584


 Re:

Greetings!

I think that now is the time to pray as much as ever before! I've heard so many people sharing the "doom and gloom" message over the past four or five years. And, yes, we need to hear it if such words and attitudes are REALLY from God. Yet it is important to remember that it does not bring God any joy to bring down judgment upon the world. He would much rather have them repent.

That is the "good news!"

People don't have to fear...to be tossed to and fro by the cares of this world. People can still have the hope that is only found in Christ Jesus! What this world needs more than ever...is to know Jesus.

During these uncertain times, we still have a certainty that defies all questions! We can know the God who created all things! Our faith is on the One who is from everlasting to everlasting!

While others are publicly pronouncing judgment (or, at least, to other believers), I am still praying for the country of my temporary citizenship. I pray that God withholds his judgment. Why? Well, I live here. This is the place that God put me. My wife and family also lives here with me. My neighbors live here. But far more importantly, there is still so much work to do!

I don't want to sit perched on a hill waiting for the destruction of this nation (like Jonah sitting above Nineveh). I am praying that God can spare this nation in the hope that more people can find Christ before the end comes. After all, it is the very nature of God to save! I've often wondered what would happen if all of the people who proclaimed disasters like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, bank closures, etc... as the "judgment of God" would actually go to places like New York and New Orleans...and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ? They might still share their supposed "word" about the judgement of God...but they can cap it off with the good news about the eternal escape provided to those who believe in Christ! I wonder what kind of difference it would make?

Yes, I do believe that judgment will ultimately come. However, I am praying that God delays it for the sake of those who can still come to know Him while it is yet day.

Like Brother Andrew says, the problem is not with a man like Obama or Bush. The problem is with our lack of resistance to the the god of this world. Are we willing to come to Christ for all that He is...or trade Him for the pleasures of sin during this short life? The good news is that Christ offers us Himself in exchange for our own troubled, wretched souls! What a bargain! We can KNOW Him! Just that thought alone makes the darkest night seem, well, not so dark.

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2009/9/4 2:36Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re: IS OBAMA REALLY the PROBLEM??

Thank you for your article, Andrew. Lots of good observations there.

Quote:
Here is the truly major thing that I believe the devil is trying to do in America today:

-He is trying to create division so bitter and so extreme that both sides literally start to fight one another with guns drawn. He is trying to tear America apart.

-He is trying to sidetrack the one group that truly has the answer. He is trying to wrap them up in fighting politics, so they will forget that the pure GOSPEL is the only real hope for America today.


The question that comes to mind is: [b]Why is the devil succeeding? Isn't our God greater than the devil and more than able to protect us from him?[/b]

The real problem, I believe, is this:

Isa 29:13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, [b]but their hearts are far from me[/b]."

[b]The problem is not the devil, and neither is it Obama --- the problem is us[/b].

 2009/9/4 11:32Profile









 Re:

HI Chris, you write ...

" I've often wondered what would happen if all of the people who proclaimed disasters like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, bank closures, etc... as the "judgment of God" would actually go to places like New York and New Orleans...and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ? They might still share their supposed "word" about the judgement of God...but they can cap it off with the good news about the eternal escape provided to those who believe in Christ! I wonder what kind of difference it would make?"

I am pretty sure that the Prophet Joel heard that logic when he spoke of the locusts :)

Some men are called to be watchmen, and some are not. The point of Andrews piece, and the vision that he spoke of, was that really men are fiddeling while Rome burns. They are running around in the Political realm and have left the harvest fields. Just that simple, I believe him.

Most of the men with that kind of message are all over the world, like David Wilkerson or Carter Conlon or even sermonindex and some of us that participate in sermonindex ministry. Going out to the highways and byways sharing the good news of the Gospel. I have found that sometimes the people who shout the loudest about taking the gospel message around the world, do not do that themselves. An interesting statistic to go along with that is that 92% of American Christians have never saw anyone come to a saving knowledge of Christ by their own personal sharing? Now, I wonder how this could be? Perhaps they have laid down their harvest tools, got on the train and went of to fight against flesh and blood?...........Frank

 2009/9/4 14:07
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4584


 Re:

Hi Frank...

I think that you misunderstood what I am saying. I [u]certainly[/u] believe that there are prophetic words today. However, I am saying that God doesn't delight in pouring out judgment. He doesn't take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Too often, I have seen "prophets" (or those who would like others to be recognize them as "prophets" and "watchmen") who share the judgment part -- but neglect to present the accompanying "good news." The New Covenant brings us hope...because Jesus' death was a ransom for many. We can stand boldly in the face of death, destruction, famine or torture and know that our salvation lay just on the other side of our last breath.

A few years ago, people stood up and loudly proclaimed that Hurricane Katrina was the judgment of God poured out against a town as sinful as New Orleans. Of course, we know that judgment is coming. Yet, like you said, what do we do about it? Are we out leading people to the Lord? I have known "preachers" who have admitted that they hadn't led someone to the Lord in years! Instead, they sit content on proclaiming all of their "words" to people INSIDE of the Body of Christ. Preaching to the choir? It is easy preaching "judgment" to people in the Body of Christ who are more apt to hear and believe it. It is another thing entirely to share these "words" and "prophecies" about judgment to the secular world.

We know that Joel and others prophesied. Yet I think that the book of Jonah shows God's reaction to a prophet who almost seems to delight in such a thing (or, at least, who wants the judgment to come). When it comes to "words" of judgment about America, I choose to remain in prayer. It isn't because I love the politics, government, or lifestyle afforded by citizenship here. Rather, I care for my family, my neighbors, the Church and even the sinners in the country of my temporary citizenship. I pray that God spares this nation a little while longer...so that others may come to Him. This is not prayed in selfish vanity or a love for the things OF this world; but rather, it is prayed out of love for those people IN this world -- who are like sheep having no shepherd.

America is so young! Brother Ravenhill wrote a book entitled AMERICA IS TOO YOUNG TO DIE. Yet regardless of just how soon judgment may or may not come to this nation, I am struck by the realization that America has only been around for 223 years. It has only been a major world power for less than a century. Many other "kingdoms" and "empires" lasted for much longer periods of time. Yes, I suppose that God could be far less patient with this nation than those godless empires that lasted for a hundreds of years. Yet I still choose to pray for this nation...that God's judgment would not be hastened.

This has nothing to do with politics...and little to do with President Bush or President Obama. Yes, we live in a nation where people are willing to murder the unborn for the sake of convenience. Yes, we live in a nation where homosexuals are applauded for parading their sin through the streets. Yes, we have a party in power who applauds such things as fundamental rights. Yet a light appears brighter when the night is darkest. Now is not the time to hide the light of the Lord under a bushel. Yet, far too often, would-be prophets often bring their "words" only to people under the bushel of the Church.

We truly need a revival more than judgment.

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2009/9/4 15:52Profile









 Re:

HI Chris,

No, I understand you brother. Every time any kind of prophecy is mentioned we tend to get that message would you not agree? Or, any time the supernatural element is mentioned, we tend to hear Todd Bentley's name or Benny Hinn. Most of the people I know on this site, who would like Ravenhill or Wilkerson or Tozer ar any other men of God who knew the Gospel and knew the Word of God, would never promote anyone who was a hater and who only wanted to see men killed and judged, its just a little bizarre to make that argument in the context of what we typically share on this site, and to do it year over year would you not say? How many regulars on this site or the aforementioned names would fall into this category... "However, I am saying that God doesn't delight in pouring out judgment. He doesn't take pleasure in the death of the wicked."

The piece that started this thread is certainly not saying that, all he is saying is that he had a vision that men were AWOL, off fighting flesh and blood while the harvest goes unattended. I would argue that if you wanted to best serve your fellow earthly citizen, or children or wife, then share the Gospel. If every proffessing born again Christian saw one person come to Christ this year brother, there would be 100 million new believers, the biggest harvest in history that would turn this country upside down and be a radical light in the family of nations.

One last point I would ask you too consider Chris. Every day the secular prophets of doom prohesy for profit. And they would like to see their "enemies," destroyed. Guys like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter make their predictions every day, and its all grim. Maybe some in the conservtive Christian movement should have the courage to stand up to them rather than spending endless hours sitting at their feet while the harvest goes unnattended...........Frank

 2009/9/4 17:02





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