Wars, Rumors of War and the ChristianBy Michael ClarkRecently a sister in the Lord asked me what my take was on this coming war with Iraq. Some of the rest of you might have been wondering the same thing. Here is what I wrote in reply. Stefanie, You asked me the other day what my take on this coming war with Iraq is. Well, I have one question back. Was Jesus a patriotic flag waving Jew? I think the answer is all too obvious to anyone who has ever read the gospels with an open heart. The Jews hated the Roman occupation of their country and expected the "true" Messiah to come and lead a revolt and cast off the yoke of the Roman Empire and eventually make Jerusalem the capital of the world, restoring the glory of the earthly kingdom of David. This thinking was behind all the hullabaloo on what we call "Palm Sunday," His "triumphant entry" into Jerusalem the week before this same mob was calling out for his death. Why did they change their minds about Him? He rained on His own parade and told them that He came there to die, not establish the present Jewish leaders as the heads of a new world order. Because Jesus didn't come as a military leader and would not even speak out against Rome, the Jewish leaders rejected Him as their Messiah. In fact, to make matters worse, He constantly criticized the Jewish hierarchy and cast doubt on their legitimacy as those who sat in Moses' seat and even on whether they were of the seed of Abraham! You see, He knew where His kingdom was and it was not of this world. He was other worldly and He expected His disciples to be the same. For years I was a dyed-in-the-wool AMERICAN. I put God and country on the same plane. To be an American was to be a Christian and to be a Christian was to be a good flag waving American. I served this country in Vietnam and came home to "the real world," only to find the anti-war protesters calling us names as we left our ship in Alameda, California. The problem was that it soon became obvious that THIS was not the real world at all. The America I left three years earlier was not the one I came back to in 1967. This started me thinking. I hated the left and the anti-war crowd for the way they aided and supported our Vietnamese enemies, the Cong and the NVA. Does anyone remember Hanoi Jane and Joan Baez and their trips to North Vietnam to entertain and support their troops? I do. I also hated President Lyndon Johnson for the way he tied the hands of the US military from really fighting that war over there. We were put in harm's way without permission to really fight. It was all too obvious that the real goal was to prolong that war as long as possible to buoy-up the economy back home. Well, that hate in me grew and grew until one day my wife came to me and told me that my hate was killing her love for me and it was hurting the children. I stewed on those words for three more months until one day I came out of my little straight-laced, flag waving Free Methodist church on a Sunday morning and found a handbill on the windshield of my car. It read, "Jesus People Army - Revolutionary Youth Movement..." Well, this I had to see! I thought, "Jesus, a revolutionary? NOT!" You know the church Jesus... gentle Jesus, meek and mild, right? That was how I saw Him. The American compliant Jesus who went along with everything a "good patriotic American" could want, "a chicken in every pot, and an new car in every garage," right? Well, I went to the meetings that this handbill was announcing and I saw something other worldly. For the first time I saw some Spirit filled Christians who were ALIVE! They looked like the very hippies that I had grown to hate, but shone all over with the love of God (Funny how God loves to use the foolish and weak things of this world to confound the wise and the mighty). They were speaking of a revolution in terms of the REAL Revolutionary, the REAL Jesus Christ. The same Jesus Christ that did not come to pat the world establishments on the back, but rather to bring the people His Father created back to Him and HIS kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven. That very same Jesus who told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world, the one that turned over the thieving money-changers tables in the temple and told the temple hierarchy that they had turned His Father's house into a house of thieves. Now THIS Jesus, I could get excited about! He was other worldly and THAT made sense! I surrendered to Jesus with all my heart and cast off all my hopes for a man- made heaven on this earth that week at one of those meetings in June of 1970. I, too, became "other worldly" and swore to pick up my cross and follow Him. Needless to say, all my hate for those whom He created in His image, whether they be right wing, or left, communist or Republican, black or white, etc., was all gone. For the first time in my life I had been set free and Jesus the revolutionary had done it. Yes, Jesus the REVOLUTIONARY-- the very One who said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to `set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." (Matthew 10:34-40, NKJV). Yes, He also said, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:26-27, NKJV). So you ask, "Isn't this a contradiction?" No. What is contradictory is a Christendom that says it follows Jesus but is more concerned about being a "good American citizen" and has given its heart over to enjoying all the perks that go with that citizenship, instead of denying its flesh and giving its whole heart to Jesus and the kingdom of His Father. Jesus DID bring a sword on this earth. THAT sword is the one that divides soul from spirit, bone from marrow that discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). It also divides our loyalty from the things of this world and sets our hearts on a heavenly kingdom. This heart change, I was soon to discover, set me at variance with my relatives and friends. As He had told His disciples, "Who are my mother, my brother and my sister? Those who do the will of My Father are my mother, my brother and my sister." All the while He left his mother, brothers and sisters standing outside and kept on teaching those who were followed Him. It was to THESE that He came to bring peace, not the world systems of men. Only as we leave our worldly kingdoms behind and follow the Son can we all know the peace of His Father's kingdom where there is no longer "Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female" but ONE new man in Christ Jesus. We who are His are to know no man after the flesh or even after his nationality (2 Corinthians 5:16)! We are to look upon all as God does, upon their hearts. To dwell on politics or nationalities or even be prejudiced against a certain extremist religious sect is to miss an opportunity to reach out in the love of Christ that calls all to His Father's kingdom. It is the lack of this other-worldly heart that has made the missionary efforts of American churches such a dismal failure. We have been going forth with another gospel, the gospel of American Christianity instead of the gospel of the kingdom of God that bids all to leave all ties with this world, its families, denominations, organizations and governments behind--for the gospel that Jesus preached. Let us all who name His name go forth and do likewise. Remember, this world is not our home. We are just passing through. So Stefanie, what is my take on this war with Iraq? I feel about this one the way I feel about all the wars that are started by the worldly kingdoms of men. Our warfare is not of this world any more than our kingdoms as followers of Christ is not of this world. As Paul told the church in Corinth, "For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ's, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he [is] Christ's, even so we [are] Christ's." Michael 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers (aliens) and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16, NKJV).
You see, He knew where His kingdom was and it was not of this world. He was other worldly and He expected His disciples to be the same. For years I was a dyed-in-the-wool AMERICAN. I put God and country on the same plane. To be an American was to be a Christian and to be a Christian was to be a good flag waving American.
Well, that hate in me grew and grew until one day my wife came to me and told me that my hate was killing her love for me and it was hurting the children. I
I surrendered to Jesus with all my heart and cast off all my hopes for a man- made heaven on this earth that week at one of those meetings in June of 1970.
Greetings to allFirst off, the most sincerer Christians I personally have know are in the churches. I do not attend church any longer but I still respect and love church going Christians. I hear live preaching on a regular bases from different denominations and am blessed to be in the presents of other disciples of Christ.What I reject is the caricature of Christianity I see in churches and spread across the world that has been rejected by the majority of the people in ever country in the world. I reject the greedy money grubbing evangelists I see on tv in the same as I condemn the greedy consumers and corporations that enslave the underclass peoples of the world to demonic factory owners around the world in the name of American capitalism.
I will do what the laws require and be a good citizen to the extent of my beliefs in this country; but I would do that anywhere I would live. I love the people of America, but I also love those of every other country. My patriotism does not override my love or faith. Thanks for the sermon; I haven't thought about the war in that light.
Pastor you wrote:"For years I was a dyed-in-the-wool AMERICAN. I put God and country on the same plane. To be an American was to be a Christian and to be a Christian was to be a good flag waving American."--- Pre-salvation, raised JW, and being Af/Am, i had a dual disdain going for America ... On the JW side God was always above everything and everybody (which i still hold to but in salvation light) and America was but yet another satanic entity wheeled before Jesus in satan's temptation of Him in the wilderness ... i was taught it to be certainly no better than any other nation, but my Dad's experiences of growing up Negro in the south certaily tainted it as perhaps worse in that it concidered itself a Christian nation ... Man did he use to sometimes go off about the "slavery" and "discrimination" practiced by what he called "Christendom" and "so-called Christians" in the U.S. ... Then as i got older, growing up thru the 50's, the Civil Rights Movement, and intering the workplace in 1967, i got to experience "discrimination" first hand, so needless to say America wasn't tops on my list and i certainly never felt "American" ... i too had a hate Pastor, a hate for everything you once stood for, for by the time i began to pull away from the JW's, i became more intrigued and entrenched in Black Studies, read W.E.B. DuBoise "Before The Mayflower", and became an overnight quasi militant (as all during that time i never refered to policemen as "pigs" or treated Nam Vets with any contempt as we are the same generation and would have joined the AF if not for my Dad making me a JW CO) ... All my contempt was saved up for all the white so called Christians, who oft made my life so unnecessarily painful ... i got saved in 1979, and Holy Spirit began a softening program on me that it'd take years for me to finally wake up to ... It wasn't until i went to France in 1980 that i even ever concidered myself an American, but as soon as i opened my mouth they identified me as such, and by the time i came back i did too, in ways i recall that really disturbed all, black, white, old young, saved, and unsaved ...What started my love for America was the realization that America wasn't a Christian nation per-se, but a nation full of fellow Christians, a majority mis-guided Christians at that! ... i believe it was Holy Spirit who pulled that wool off my eyes, and i began to see so many things wrong in our treatment one to the other for whatever reason, crossing all lines and barriers that satan has set up to delineate mankind, but that are supposed to be eradicated once we come to Christ ... Suddenly all the history that once fueled my hate, began fueling a compassion, and deep sorrow for ALL my past, and still blinded present, brothers and sisters practicing things that the Bible so pointedly speaks against ... Next thing i knew i was a card carrying member of The Moral Majority, praying to God about who i should vote for in the "81" election, believing that He was saying to me Reagan, and then speaking to fellow Af/Am saints as to why they should be doing the same (same with GWB) ... It was right after the Carter fiasco in Iran, and one of my points to Af/Am saints was, "i can understand you're interest in obtaining your agendas, but we first need a stable country in which to fight for them" ... The Moral Majority woke me up to the point that America was in serious decline then, and my extensive knowledge of our past history was telling to me of how we'd gotten that way, and if we didn't do something drastically proactive we we're only gonna get worse ... The Moral Majority opened me up to the Christian's political possibility thru the vote, but next came Ravenhill's "The Refiner's Fire" into my life, and thru that i believe Holy Spirit shot me off in the ensuing 80's into the proclamation of what we ALL needed spiritually, that being serious REVIVAL, for without a miraculous fresh fall of Holy Spirit there's no way the Body of Christ will right itself in pro-active repentance ... Things have only gotten worse over the last 25 years ... Anyhow after that i became a real pain to saints of all spectrums, especially to two area preacher/pastors in particular, and specifically to one with a series of "thus saith the Lord" for over the past 20 years, this year (2007) begining with my hearing in my spirit "You've done all that I require of you in this season" on that endeavor ---Pastor you wrote;"You see, He knew where His kingdom was and it was not of this world. He was other worldly and He expected His disciples to be the same."---Amen this is true, but then He turns right around and uses earthly nations ... Some may say this reasoning is OT, so in more NT vernacular maybe i should say He turns right around and uses Christians who not only make up a "nation", but for the most part see themselves as a Christian nation" ... Again this is why my love of America ... i watched Ken Burn's documentary on "The Civil War" and just sat in amazement at the thought that it was primarily Christian northerners fighting Christian southeners ... i often ask questions in regard America's history in particular, as to how men professing Christ could have perpetrated some of the horrors they did then, and still do now, and both reasonably and logically in my own mind (as i'm sure others may think) conclude that they possibly couldn't have been saved, but really i can't be sure about that, and while it may be appealing to some part of my selfish flesh to want them to burn in hell, that's not what i hear Christ whispering in my spirit to both feel and pray ... i hear his prayer, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do", and His promise to this nation because we're comprised of so many of His sheepfold (even tho we don't act like it), "As many as I love I rebuke and chasten" ...i am a Christian first and foremost, but for me to give up on America because of my stated reasons is out of the question ... i believe America (and the world) is exactly where it's supposed to be, and to put it more precisely at the probability of drawing some ire, exactly where God wants us to be, for if it wasn't we wouldn't be there ... i believe that GWB is saved, and i also believe as he that God called him to the office to do exactly what is done ... i believe many a thing like this war, percieved as a blunder in the natural realm, is strategic in the spiritual realm ... Bible prophecies are not just some make believe stories written in an ancient book of fiction called The Bible, and they've been creeping up on folks unawares ever since God started spouting them forth ... If in fact one believes that nothing happens on this planet outside of His will, then i think it safe to say that GWB's administration, and U.S. presence in Iraq, is part of His plan to the winding down toward the end time, and a quicker bankrupting of the U.S. (and global) economy as opposed to say a more prolonged dragging out of the process by His allowing a more liberal and diplomatic Democratic tutelage with further enactments of laws pro to issues we know really aggravate Him ... Seems to me if wars, and the slaughtering of untold millions by them, was the thing that really irks God to interfering in the action of mankind the most, with our history shouldn't He would have burst the sky in second coming a long time ago ... In fact scripture show us that God Himself wars nations against nations --- i believe He put me here, and in retrospect i'm glad He did, and in His doing so i'm gonna continue to wage "spiritual warfare" by telling as many saints as i can that He's not pleased with our spiritual stupor and idolotry, and continued sending up of much timber for this mis-guided nation of we wayward Christians whom He loves, and because of Him i now do too ---
First, thank you for all your comments on this article, second to all who have the idea that pastorfrin wrote this, I did not, I am not Michael Clark and I gave credit at the top of this article to Him. I posted this for all to ponder, think on and search our own hearts. Brother Rahman, you are entitled to your opinion and Michael Clark is entitled to His, I am sure His Nam experience was different than mine and definitely different then those who conveniently found their way out of it but are able to freely send others to do their bidding.Those who are so in love with war should go and experience it, watch their brothers die and then send their children to do the same, then tell me how just your war is. Your political views I could care less about, as it will make no difference to me or my loved ones, we will trust the Lord and not the politics of this or any other country.When you can show me where Jesus led by example to go to war to kill our brothers for the things of this world, then I will gladly lead the charge.Instead, I see a multitude of so called Christians who's hearts are stuck in and on the things of this world and the Truth is far from them. Matthew 6:19-24 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Yes this is exactly what Jesus said:John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. He not only said this, He led by example, as did the disciples and the early Christians, all following His example, that we as well have been called to follow.Jesus also said:Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Rev. 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. The sword we are to live by:Ephes. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: It all comes down to this:"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."In His Lovepastorfrin
I hated president Bush for a time after I got out of the USMC in 2004, I was blaming him for all the wrong I percieved happened. God set me free from that hate and PTSD (50% disabled) and is in the process of giving me a heart understanding. The lines are blurred for me in this subject, having been there (IRaq '03) and now having a regenerated heart. I think it is case dependant...
I have read an article by Zac Poonen, Holiness With Love ...At one point there is a note. I'm not sure if he wrote it, but I suppose he did. What do you think about it?[Note: We are not talking here about how a nation must respond to war or terrorist attacks against it, but only to how an INDIVIDUAL Christian must respond to attacks against him. The nations of the world are NOT under grace, but under Law and so must follow the Old Testament law of retaliation and punishment - an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (as it says in Lev.24:17-22 and Deut.19:15-21). Otherwise there will be no law and order in this world.]
Pastor Frin you wrote;"second to all who have the idea that pastorfrin wrote this, I did not, I am not Michael Clark and I gave credit at the top of this article to Him. --- Sorry Pastor, i should have read more carefully ... i certainly did post back in reply testimony to Michael Clark's testimony, and not to you, because now that i've gone back and carefully read you really didn't say anything initially ... Actually now i wish it was Michael Clark who did post it because i think it could've been an interesting discussion ... Also if you'd have posted initially that you presented "this for all to ponder, think on and search our own hearts" perhaps i wouldn't have posted at all ---Pastor Frin you wrote;"Your political views I could care less about, as it will make no difference to me or my loved ones, we will trust the Lord and not the politics of this or any other country. "--- Amen - to use your phrase "you're entitled to your opinion" too, tho if all you could draw from my post that it was about my political views i either didn't make myself clear or you're shut down to seeing anything else but that in my post ... No matter tho because some saints, even tho we may have neck high fences seperating us we still like to come up to them and dialogue (it's what i love about SI Forum), while others choose to call themselves "the remnant" and build their fences 12 feet tall so as not to be bothered with the infidel on the other side at all ... The difference between you and me is, as my brother in Christ, i care about your "views" whatever they are, whether we agree or not, because you may know something i don't, and vice-versa, and i know from (1Cor.12) we ALL need each other ... i may be lacking much in our Lord, but one thing i think He's gifted me with is an intense desire to see ALL our fences between one another torn down ...Eph.4 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;You are a "pastor" i take it from your post name ... You wrote the following ..."When you can show me where Jesus led by example to go to war to kill our brothers for the things of this world, then I will gladly lead the charge. Instead, I see a multitude of so called Christians who's hearts are stuck in and on the things of this world and the Truth is far from them."Of course i can't show you such a scripture about Christ, but the latter part of you statement struck me as i've also wondered similar of others ... But as a pastor how do you see these "so called Christians"? ... Have you judged them as non-saved, and therefore not worthy of God's use of you in attempts of perfecting them? ... If so, don't you think that a dangerous thing for a pastor to do? ... The latter part of Ephesians 4 tells me when it comes to God's ministers He has in mind something way above our own judgements of others "having the Truth far removed from them", in that He knows we're all prone to be "children" in some way or another, whether we're "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive", or whether we become self righteous and indignant judge, jury and executioners of all we deem "so called Christians" ... The latter is what i pray my most earnest not to become, and therefore leave myself open to His use of me to either "edify" another saint, or His use of another saint to "edify" me, Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: ... i've read the scriptures you've posted, and as a preacher in our Lord, i pray that you'll preach your faith and not be shut down by the hurt i know judging others wrong can bring ... i've been there, but our Lord has opened me up to dialogue, and i freely share (as in my post) my testimony and faith, and let the seeds fall where they may ...In closing, about war ... That rates right up there in my not understanding with why God came to a point He wanted to be worshipped in the first place, created angels and mankind free moral agents because He wanted that worship to be of choice and not robotical, knew aforetime that it would develope into the mess of heavenly (satan and his crew) and human history with all it's killing and bloodshed then got angry about it, but it was so important to Him that He slew His only begotten Son from before the setting of the foundation of the world, the choosing of OT Israel and that seemingly way round the mulberry bush to NT salvation, Romans chapters 9 & 11 with it's pre-destination of saints and the setting aside of Israel so we could be grafted in, martrdom, etc ... i think sometimes that perhaps one of the reasons God is so long suffering, and forgiving, is because he feels ultimate responsibility for what it's taking in human history to get where, and what, He wants ...i don't know WHY God has done and allows war or any of the other atrocities of humankind, if my faith, love and salvation in Him depended on my understanding Him i would'nt be a Christian, but i have a very hard time thinking that in wars allowance, and apparent participation in of saved men, that that somehow makes them un-saved ... Our history is full of crappy things men professing Christ have done, and the status of their salvation i leave up to God, the best i can do as someone who believes himself called to the five-fold ministry is to first check myself, and then to spout out what i believe i'm hearing our Lord to spout out, not to shut down because others don't fit my understanding ... In His Love :-D ...Bro R
Hi jlosinski ....Some may wanna tar & feather me for my thinking, but i lay everything at God's feet ... All the evil that's happened, and will happen, God already knew, and yet he put us here anyway ...Folk blame evil on the devil, to me yep he may be the perp, but it's God who's allowed him and it ...It's God who's allowed every hurtfull thing that befalls us all, in quest of His obtaining what it is He wants ... "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whomsoever shall believe in Him might not perish but gain everlasting life" is not so much for us (my belief) as much as it is in continuation of His quest, what He wants and desires of us ... Everything is about "HIM", not us, and i think that's the main point modern Christianity has forgotten ... We've come to think of God as our almighty Genie who's bent on making our slightest wish His command (where we're all supposed to prosper in wealth & health and nothing bad is ever supposed to happen to us) when it's the other way around, especially when one fits into the Rom. 9's category of being "pre-destined and called" ... We're ALL God's creation, some of us His elect, and it's my estimation in His eyesight that we're ALL expendable and/or expandable in His plan of getting what He wants ... Scripture and history is full of such occurences ... If it takes millenia of manking killing one another in masse, His end justifies the means ... If it takes the deaths and sufferings of His own people, OT, NT, present day, and future, in martyrdoms, etc., - so be it - His end justifies whatever means neccessary ... So if any hate goes out from any of us about our plight, as Christians we learn to direct it not at orher men but at the devil (our is not a battle between fleash and blood), but realistically (at least to me) as the atheists argue it should be directed to God Himself ... i know when my 63 year old God fearing dad died way before my 93 year old heathen grand-dad (his dad), it wasn't satan i blamed or was mad at, and i secretly held in my heart that i was about thru with God ... But i found out something, and it is this ... Even tho i don't understand Him and His ways, He is my Rock, my foundation, my salvation, my all in all, and i NEED Him far more than He needs me ... i cannot stay angry at Him because He's God ... i cannot really blame Him in the most selfish since of the word because He's God ... i tell folk all the time that i've seen the Hubble images, and they've certainly put me in the very center of the questions He asked Job when Job was full of "why Lord"? ... i cannot "not" pray to Him, my ackno;edgements of Him are automatic ... i cannot not praise Him ... i cannot not love Him, for i know He's chosen me to salvation and tho i might not understand all that's transpiring down here i know i'm not destined for hell (Thank You Jesus!) ... i cannot not fear Him ... i cannot not talk about Him ... i cannot not attempt to be a blessing to my fellow "called" ones ... and i cannot not tell others their need to be saved ...Since the fall of man bad things have always happened to people, even God's people (Rom. 5:12), and even more mind blowing in direct command from He Himself ... i used to wonder as a kid what kind of God would take His people into Egypt to become slaves ... Or what kind of God would tell His people to slaughter to every man, woman and child another people? ... Or what kind of God would tell His people that He'd give them the battle, but some men had to die in the process? ... My thinking was if i got the battle, then everyone should be safe ... Or even more recently what kind of God would allow some of His own people to have to jump from the World Trade Centers? - to which i heard someone say regarding a memorial for the Trade center victims, when the preacher went into, "The Lord is my Shepherd", someone in the crowd loudly muttered, Some Shepherd" ... i don't know if this incident happened, but the gist of the thought is more widely prevalent amongst people of God than we'd openly admit ... One thing i've learned about being in Christ is that it doesn't neccessarily stop anything bad from happening to me in my present mortality, it stops everything bad from happening to me in my future eternity ... i think that's what is meant by His grace being sufficient ...Blessing bro in the continued regeneration of our hearts and minds, till we get to the point past any finger pointing at all like Paul, where nothing matters of what happens to us in this life except Christ Himself manifesting in us ... :-D