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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : "REPENT of POLITICAL IDOLATRY!" - by Andrew Strom

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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
But could there not be a bizarre "IDOLATRY" in all this? Is it not excessive - our EMPHASIS on it?



I think sometimes it can be a distraction. I have 6 kids also (5 teens) and need the Lord daily to help me. But, I think it has to begin with living upright before the Lord and walking in the Spirit. We get the emphasis off on men's ministries and women's ministries and family and everything else except God. Just my observation. I'm persuaded to believe if we get our spiritual act together the family may well follow.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/11/8 14:38Profile
Christisking
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Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 671
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 Re:

Quote:
I even wonder sometimes if we have gone overboard
in the worship of "family values" - as though this is a replacement for Christianity.

I mean, our biggest program is "Focus on the FAMILY".

I personally LOVE my family and have 6 children!!
But could there not be a bizarre "IDOLATRY" in all this? Is it not excessive - our EMPHASIS on it?

-Andrew.



Yes, I see "family idolatry" as a huge problem among believers today. I see it all the time. Family first and Jesus second is the norm for christians in America. Very few people are will to forsake family for Jesus and service for His Kingdom.

[i]Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.[/i]


[b]Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. That is why He is not satisfied when we simply set ourselves under His dominion and give Him slavish obedience. He wants more - He wants our heart, our very hearts blood. As the Bridegroom, He asks: "How much am I worth to you? How much can you sacrifice for Me? Can you give Me your beloved children? Can you give Me father and mother and friends? Can you give Me your home and your native land out of love if I ask for these? Will you go anywhere I call you to serve, and lead to Me the souls for which I hunger? Can you sacrifice your honor, your strength, your longing to be loved, your deepest secret wishes for Me?"

He who has loved us so much wants to possess us completely, with everything we are and have. Jesus gave Himself wholly and completely for us. Now His love is yearning for us to surrender ourselves and everything that we are to Him, so that He can really be our "first love". So long as our love for Him is a divided love, so long as our heart is bound to family, possessions, or the like, He will not count our love to be genuine. Divided love is of so little value to Him that He will not enter into a bond of love with such a soul, for this bond presupposes a full mutual love. Because our love is so precious to Jesus, because He yearns for our love, He waits for our uncompromising commitment.

Whenever there are two alternatives, true love always chooses Jesus. If, for example, Jesus calls someone into the mission-field, then for Jesus' sake he has to depart from his native land, often leaving his family behind or being separated from his wife for a while. The love for these things has to take second place. Jesus can be our true love, our first love, only if this love takes priority over all others only if, whenever we are faced with the choice between Jesus or people and things, we choose Him. Jesus has the right to make such a claim upon our love, because there is no one like Him. No one is so full of glory, so full of royal beauty and powerful love as Jesus. His love is so overwhelming, so tender so intimate, so fiery and so strong. No human love could ever be compared with it. No one loves so exclusively, so faithfully and with such loving care. No one exists so exclusively for us as Jesus. Jesus knows what He can bestow with His love. He knows how happy He can make a human soul. That is why He has a thousand times more right than an earthly bridegroom to say, "Give Me everything-your whole love-your first love, for which you would leave earthly things behind, just as a bride would put aside all her other desires and would give up home and fatherland."....Jesus is waiting for our love. As important as our sacrifices and our obedience to the commandments are for God (the rich young ruler sacrificed, and kept the commandments), they are not enough. Sacrifices and obedience alone do not yield the "eternal, divine life". True love for Jesus is what will bring you "eternal, divine life" of which you seek. This love of Jesus leads us to keep His commandments joyfully, which are His wishes for us. It will lead us to bring Him many gifts, and to offer Him sacrifices-but in a different spirit. In the spirit of true love for Christ Jesus the Lamb of God.
"My All For Him" by Basilea Schlink
[/b]


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Patrick Ersig

 2006/11/8 15:28Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
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Philadelphia PA

 Re: "REPENT of POLITICAL IDOLATRY!" - by Andrew Strom

Greetings all.

Brother Andrew, in reading your article the thought occurs to me that we may be creating a false dichotomy here. I'd like to explain why if I may.

To start, in saying that we are...

Quote:
...relying on POLITICS to accomplish SPIRITUAL results.



...I wonder if this is not the same as saying: [i]politics is not spiritual[/i]?

If so, then I disagree and here's why:

I believe that [b]all of life[/b] is meant to be [i]spiritual[/i], from walking the dog, to our vocations, to worship. If this were not so, then how could He that is Spirit have entered into life with us and walked among us? And in so doing, did He not hallow the experience and nature of it?

I believe that when God re-creates our spirits with new Life, He intends for us to take that new Life into the dead places of this world and make them spiritually alive - even the dead place of politics.


For instance, as you mentioned here

Quote:
How bizarre that we strive and strive to get the "right (worldy) guy" elected.



I agree! Yet, I think [b]instead[/b] we should strive to get the [b]righteous[/b] and [b]godly[/b] man elected! I think that, instead of only trying to influnce the dead places of our culture with the spiritually dead, [b]we[/b] who are alive unto God should go and take our godly Life to them! Instead of only relying on a certain political party to bring righteousness to our land [b]we[/b] ought to bring righteousness to them.

What, has God called us to be [b]overcomers[/b] of this world - except in politics?

What, is it possible to have victory over sin, [b]only if that victorious life is never tested in the crucible of the lies and treachery of the world of politics[/b]? If so, how do we know it was victory indeed?

No brothers and sisters, the same Life that enables the overcomers of the undeground Church to live in Life and victory in the places of death and cruel hate surely must be available to us to live in the same places in the free west, even if they be in politics.

Ahh but, the Gospel advances elsewhere through the blood of the Martyrs.

Who knows, maybe some would be willing to lay down their political life for the sake of the Gospel also.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/11/8 16:07Profile
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Joined: 2006/8/24
Posts: 98


 Re:


Yes - but why then do so many Christians spend so much time and effort on Political striving? Why do all their efforts and hope for the country start to revolve around this? Why do they act like Politics is going to somehow "save" the nation? -Isn't that supposed to be what GOD ALONE can do??

-I actually believe that Politics is becoming like a "substitute" (ie. "false") gospel and a false hope that consumes massive amounts of effort and dollars. Many "trust" it to deliver us. It is sick and we need to REPENT of this IDOLATRY.

-Andrew.

 2006/11/8 17:46Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

ChrisJD,

Perhaps there needs to be clarification in the order or sequence of events. I do not believe that politics are void of a spiritual dimension. Afterall, God influences kings througout the bible. The problem is that politics are a fruit, and not the root of the spiritual issue.

A mad dog looks into a pond and upon seeing it's own reflection, begins to bark and growl. Then it boldly charges into the water to challenge it's enemy and is quickly victorious in dissapating the image. Yet as soon as the dog stops thrashing and splashing, that persistent reflection always reappears. The excited beast does not realize the danger it sees is it's own face...and that the reflection that frightens it will not change untill the reality within changes.

Quote:
I think instead we should strive to get the righteous and godly man elected!



How can we do that when we ourselves are not righteous? Aren't the leaders a mirror of the land? Who Was Ted Haggard but a Godly leader for the church! And yet we expect a secular process to go better! Obviously we aren't very good at picking Godly men...although we do seem capable of gravitating to mirrors of our own spiritual conditions.

Quote:
Instead of only relying on a certain political party to bring righteousness to our land we ought to bring righteousness to them



Indeed, and I think this is akin to what people here are saying.

I think it's highly significant that the only Christian segment in America that had true Christlike impact on the nation this year doesn't even vote...the Amish. They were a light in the darkness...light does not need politics to shine.

The church is so weak with spiritual decay that the people will only elect decadent men and women on both sides of the spectrum. In a democracy the leaders can't be too much greater then the voters...we can't produce a leader with self-discipline when we ourselves want more of the public treasury. We can't elect a leader of moral direction when we ourselves are a people of moral confusion and laziness.

This is why I believe our churches need to turn from their democratic and republican political headquarters and back to their own houses...their own rampant extra-marrital affairs, their own profiteering abuse of tax exemption, their own unchrist-like materialism, their own special interest, their own rebellion.

Christians in this country are losing their connection to the head..their hypocrasy is bringing reproach upon all they vote for. Even in my own small sphere of Christian friends, here is increasing divorce, affairs, godless ambitions. And then there's me....whitewashed enough to get along in church.

At the risk of sounding dramatic I believe it may truly be that we are on the verge of losing our nation...the chains of bondage are ready for lady liberty. Certainly her vulnerability within and without is of great concern...she staggers like a drunk ready to topple, drunk on her own self-excesses.

In a world of relevancies she indugles in irrelevance... pleasures and vainglory.

The political process is as void of power to fix this situation as our own defiled walks with God are. It is this dire context that leads me to say...unless the church repents of her drunken adulterous love affair with this world and sets God's glory above her own...what does it matter that we try to elect a godly symbolic man into the government. Who would vote for such a man? Who would follow him after he is elected? Certainly not the present church.

Jesus Christ is such a man, and the church pays only lip service to hm...he is Lord and yet no one follows him. What more loyalty could a mere elected official expect?

It is not our leaders that have failed us...we have failed God. We have voted in the spiritual realm with our lives and hearts...we have told God who we really want to run our lives. Let's instead vote for Jesus again...he never break his promises, but is the amen to all of God's propositions.

Blessings from the mad dog of Ohio,

MC


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Mike Compton

 2006/11/8 18:11Profile
ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Hi brother Mike.

Some great points you brought up here. The [i]Mad Dog[/i] was a powerfull illustration. Point taken about our need for personal revival also.

But you mentioned

Quote:
I do not believe that politics are void of a spiritual dimension.



I think this is part of the issue here: the fact that we do not see non-ecclesiastical areas of life as being [b]wholly spiritual[/b] to the degree that we live by the Spirit in them. This seems wrong.

If we live by the Spirit, then [b] all of life [/b] is spiritual, isn't it? Well, if politics are powerless to change our current ills and has become corrupt, is it because [b]we[/b] who are the channels of God's power in the earth have removed ourselves from it? I'm not sure that it is only becuase we have become so weak ourselves. Perhaps it has been both together.

I think of the scripture that says

[b][color=000000]When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.[/color][/b]

I think also of the Apostle's question:

Quote:
Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?



Also, you mentioned

Quote:
Jesus Christ is such a man, and the church pays only lip service to hm...he is Lord and yet no one follows him. What more loyalty could a mere elected official expect?



But brother, are there [b]none[/b] godly among us? Are there [b]none[/b] among us that could step forward to lead us?


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/11/8 19:22Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

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



Amen Chris. I think this is the verse we are both looking at when discussing this whole issue of politics. Why must we mourn constantly? Are there none righteous?

Quote:
But brother, are there none godly among us? Are there none among us that could step forward to lead us?



I could not say with certainty...I know there are plenty more closer then I. But are there any equal to the task? President Bush is as unwavering a man as I've seen but when a thousand cameras are turned on him he falls short of every one's measurement. Even now that I've mentioned his name there are some readers who are ripping their garments in protest...

Maybe that's the rub brother. Our ultimate hypocrasy is that we who are mere sinful men, full of skeletons in our closets, demand that a pure champion emerge from our ranks. We who lust are shocked at the affairs of others..we who covet vainglory are appalled at selfish ambition in the public arena. We want our pastors and our presidents to be all that we will not be.

In the end..and this is a personal note...I must confess political dissilusionment here. Not that having your illusions stripped is such a bad thing, but I need to admit it has shaped my beliefs lately. I suppose that Jeremiah and Lamentations were spiritual books also expressing political dissilusionment. I imagine that the writer who described David's scheme to have Bathsheba's husband killed, was conveying some cynicism towards government...even though the subject matter was the beloved king David himself.

I am tired of waiting for the godly man. I have lived through countless churches destroyed because of affairs at the top...not to mention a few businesses. I have seen how money universally inflates even the most spiritually rooted leader like vinegar touching baking powder. Men are mere clay.

And even if we find this godly titan, this statistical abnormality from among our fallen ranks, and vote him into office, it may be that he is still overwhelmed by the psunami. We are witnessing the emergence of circumstances with strategic complications that no mere man can figue out anyways. Around the world and domestically there are hateful clouds swirling together to form a global 'perfect storm'...what mere man can stop it?

My own heart tells me to hunker down together for this storm. There is no avoiding it, but there is the love of God shared in our hearts to encourage us during it's course. Instead of looking for great men to lead us, we need sorrowful men to halt us in the greatest outcry of repentence this century has ever seen. We can not triumph through our virtue in this late hour...I believe we have forfieted that avenue before a scandalized world. Yet God still offers us mercy...mercy triumps over judgement for the humble man. Surrender and we will live.

Laying all my cards out on the table, I hold no hope for a champion to light the way...but if we could find a humble man, a sorrowful and broken man...and follow his example...we would still have a lampstand in the church afterall, even if all is dark around us.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

Blessings brother,

MC


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Mike Compton

 2006/11/8 20:41Profile
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Questions

Ambassador (websters) --A representative of a sovereign or state at a Foreign court.

Aren't we called to be ambassadors of God?
Isn't heaven our home?
Don't we look forward to a new heavens and a new earth?
Do we look for a heavenly city who builder and maker is God?
Do we confess that we are pilgrams and strangers here?

I'm for american leaders who are Ambassadors for God, but all I see in american politics is self serving individuals with no real adgenda to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Compromise is thier highway, while christians have been called to a highway called holiness. Brother Andrew is right. If we all would put as much time and moneys into the work of the Lord through prayer and support in time, helps, and acts of mercy we probably would be experiencing a national revival. I personally don't believe we will experience a "National" revival, I some who disagree. I do however believe that america will experience localized pockets of revival, but it may happen at one city and yet the city 50 miles to the north may not have anything (just an example). That's what I mean by localized. The judgement of God has already been put into place.


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D.Miller

 2006/11/8 21:02Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4803


 Re: Questions

Brother Mike wrote in another thread about the relationship we have here at SI. This particular thread seems to point to the fact that we are growing and seeing a little more clearly.

Without this growth the unity of Christ cannot be realized amongst the believers. Politics is one means by which Satan foments divisiveness amongst the brethren...

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2006/11/8 23:31Profile
Revolution
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Joined: 2006/1/8
Posts: 50
Edge of Sodom

 Repent of Political Idolarty

Yes Brother Andrew has stated the truth that is going on in this Nation. The people are wanting a change an they are getting one. People are seeking happiness in politics not seeking it in GOD where we as a church as gotten way off. We need to be seeking God that will bring happiness having a realionship in PRAYER. :-?


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Mike

 2006/11/10 18:07Profile





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