Careful Outraged Christians; Your Lack of Faith is Showing

Some of the most freeing verses in the Bible speak of living for a better country, having our conversation/citizenship in heaven, setting affections on things above, and putting our treasure in heavenly places.

These ideas are all over the Bible. The Book of Ecclesiastes has no other theme.

These verses speak of true freedom and liberation from all that entangles people. You cannot break away from sin unless you reject conformity to the world. You cannot overcome by faith if you are walking by sight.

Although this concept is stated in so many ways on so many pages of Holy Writ, and even though so much freedom and peace is promised for those who obey, we sure seem to hate it.

At every opportunity we chuck this concept and go back to minding things of this earth and living for this country.

I’m amazed at how many Christians are upset over NFL anthem protests. Except I’m not, because this is what we always do.

We pay lip-service to Biblical Truth, but when the next earthly distraction comes along (elections, boycotts, protests, presidential tweets, etc.), we’re fighting for our things in this world.

The only way protests would upset you is if your treasure was on earth.

The only way elections would rile you up is if you were minding earthly things.

Boycotts are not only having a problem with an earthly institution, but also using an earthly means to make the point!

I would not kneel during the anthem, but I also wouldn’t get upset if someone did. The anthem is a song (and not a very good one either). It’s about a hunk of land organized by some people.

None of this is eternal.

Yet Christians are taking a stand (no pun intended) on one side or the other about an anthem in a football game.

We’re letting our particular point of contention (politics in football, trampling the flag, disrespecting veterans, etc) trump our concern for individual souls.

Why do we take stands on general issues that will put up hurdles to the Gospel? The Gospel is hard enough for people to like, why do we insist upon making it harder?

If you have to be upset, be upset in the quiet of your own home. Don’t go public with your tirades. It’s not coming across well.

If you’re concerned about the treatment of veterans, then go help them. If you’re concerned about the treatment of blacks, then go help them. Outrage is the lazy person’s uniform.

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
–James 1:20

If seeing someone kneel during a song gets you upset, you may want to get some of that peace that passes understanding.

It’s peace because it guards your heart. It keeps you thinking on what is good and right and eternal. The more you think on what is good and right and eternal, the more your heart is guarded, and the more peace you have.

(A possible side bonus is that you will actually start caring about things that actually matter, like the spiritual condition of your own family and church.)

Want peace? Want release from the bondage to anger and worry?

Then let go of this world and lay hold on eternal life.

Advertisements

Identity Politics and Unity in Christ

Our divided and angry populace is obsessed with identifying with a group based on an external criterion.

People identify by race, political party, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, income level, and who knows what else.

The more we eliminate higher things, spiritual things that call us to live for something better, we are left to identify with ourselves. No God? Fine, I’ll make it all about me. No focus on God leaves to focus on self.

We focus on our unique identifying trait and gang up with those like us, resulting in an Us vs. Them mentality. Eventually your group wants money and power, which must be taken from another group.

Being a legally blind person, I know blind people that want handouts from the government, so they petition for funding and recognition. Who cares what your needs are, we’re blind, we need stuff cuz we’re blind.

Every group lobbies for their rights. Thus we fight, cuz when others get their rights, they take money we otherwise could have had!

So blacks hate whites. Straights hate gays. Women hate men. And vice versa. They threaten our group identification and are seen as the enemy because they aren’t US.

Christianity, which speaks of unity all the time, is the only alternative. It’s vital for us to know the meaning of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:16:

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, because He’s not just a flesh guy we’re identifying with but a possessor of a resurrected, spiritual body, He gives us a new identity. We’re born again. We’re born of the Spirit.

Since we’re new spiritual creations, as Christ is, fleshly identifications are done away with. There is neither male nor female, bond nor free, Jew nor Gentile.

Our main identity is with Christ. That’s it! And Christ is now risen and has an incorruptible, spiritual body. We’re viewing ourselves in Him as spiritual creations.

Therefore, no Christian should fight over identity politics. We shouldn’t belong to groups that divide over externals.

This would be easier if everyone else weren’t so stuck on their identities! Identities are constantly being shoved down our throats, people don’t drop them easily.

But Paul doesn’t tell us to make other people stop doing that. Paul says to see people in Christ. Whether you are black or white, Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, gay or straight, I primarily see you in, or potentially in, Christ, and will refuse to fight you.

My primary concern for you is not for you to leave your group, or to defeat your group, or defund you; my primary goal is to see you come to Christ. To get you to a place, by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, where you no longer identify yourself with some external criterion, but instead see yourself and all others in the Spirit.

If you’re in Christ, you won’t fight over externals because there are no externals worth fighting for. We wrestle not against flesh and blood.

This is the only hope for human unity. As long as we view ourselves after the flesh we will be fighting. So, stop it! See yourself in Christ, as alive from the dead, and as new spiritual creations in Christ.

How to Get Politicians to End Legal Abortion

Politicians are primarily motivated by getting votes. When they keep their jobs with your votes, they make money. To get your vote, they give you other people’s money.

A politician will magically appear to grant any wish, as long as you rub their bottle with a vote.

Abortion has been legally killing American humans for over 40 years.

Many efforts have been made to stop abortion, yet it continues. Voting has us in a stalemate. Vying living people can’t settle the matter, and politicians/Americans are not motivated by morality (if they were, abortion never would have become a political issue).

Democrats and Republicans both seem inept at ending this mass slaughter.

Here’s why: fetuses don’t vote.

Politicians don’t care about the unborn because they can’t use the unborn for anything. I think this is the main reason euthanasia is not an American thing: don’t kill old people; they actually vote!

Here are two possible ways to get politicians to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  1. Give fetuses the right to vote.
    This obviously presents a challenge: how do you discern how a fetus is voting? I don’t know, but certainly a way can be devised. Quite frankly, it doesn’t even matter, they just need to have the semblance of voting. If nothing else, you could give pregnant mom’s two votes. Say they have more voting power to make up for obvious male oppression, and everyone will be happy.
  2. Tax birth.
    I am fundamentally against more taxes, but this seems like a good one. If each of us owed a $10,000 Birth Tax to be paid gradually over our working life, politicians would end abortion immediately.

Either of these options has a good chance of working. The system is corrupted. We need to use the materialistic bent running our nation. Nothing we’re doing now is working, might as well try something new.

Some Short Observations on Modern “Culture”

–We now live in a time when parents are shooting their kids full of hormones so they can “change genders,” while simultaneously protesting the injection of hormones into cows and chickens served for dinner.

–If it is true that anti-abortion Conservatives “care about babies before they’re born and not after,” then isn’t it also true, by that same logic, that abortion-supporting Liberals kill babies before so they don’t have to care after?

–Parents have taken it upon themselves to be their kids’ friends, not authority figures, not people who make rules and enforce them. It’s all but impossible for a kid to rebel today since society so readily approves of all their trying-to-be-rebellious sin. Since there are no longer any human standards to rebel against, kids are now rebelling against biology.

–The two main arguments atheists use against God are:
1) How can a good God allow so much evil? Why doesn’t God do anything to restrain evil?
2) How come the God of the Old Testament is so angry about evil and judging evil people all the time?
They see no contradiction in these criticisms of God. I do and I’m pretty sure God does too. The point of these arguments is: no matter what God does; people don’t like it.

–Everyone keeps saying they want the truth, no more fake news. What Liberals mean by this is “shut up the Conservatives!” What Conservatives mean by this is “shut up the Liberals.” In the end, neither side wants the truth. Both sides want the other side to shut up so they can control power.

–More and more sins are being chalked up as diseases. C. S. Lewis once pointed out that the more people view sins as diseases; the more our diseases will become sin. We are already suggesting people with handicapped “fetuses” should abort. At what point in our healthcare crisis will we get tired of paying for other people being sick? Sick people are good for nothing, just draining the system. If Lewis is right, it won’t be long before being diseased is viewed as sin.

–How many times have you watched a news report about a tragedy, only to find out later, all that they said was wrong? You should not watch or pay attention to the news. The immediate reporting of news begs for misinformation. History gives context. Even waiting a week will benefit you greatly. Everything needs context to make sense. Wait for context before freaking out.

Trying to Humbly Be Right

Yesterday I talked about being humble in our opinions whether we are scientific, religious, or both, or neither. Not everyone knows everything.

At the same time, some people do know some things! We’re not floating around in an incomprehensible void of mush. Some things can be known.

Science can help us know many things, but not all things. The Bible can help us know many things, but not all things. I think both have their place and the person who embraces both will know more than the one who embraces only one or neither.

But humility is key. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Being humble is how learning starts.

Some people are right and some are wrong. There are times when the person who is right needs to correct the person who is wrong, but that correction must be humble too.

Here is a recent conversation I had on the internet, which did not involve me desiring to be in any argument. The question I responded to was asked by a non-Calvinist on his non-Calvinist web site. Here is his question:

What are the potential effects of teaching the Calvinistic claim that if God wants you then He will make you want Him?

Here is my answer:

Then God doesn’t want everyone, eliminates God being good & not a respecter of persons, Christ not a propitiation for sins of the world etc

Not bad for 140 characters! Of course, being the internet, it devolved into an argument. Here is the flow of what ensued.

ANONYMOUS INTERNET ARGUER: Eliminates God being good????? Even if He chose to not save anyone at all He would still be good! He owes us no mercy!!

ME: You are defending the point that being unmerciful would be consistent with being good?

AIA: Yes because He is God and doesn’t HAVE to be merciful. He is good to give justice. Is He not good to give justice to unbelievers? That’s what mercy is!! Exodus 33:19 Titus 3:5
He doesn’t owe anyone mercy. He could damn us all to hell like we deserve. He would still be good. Sorry you have a poor view of Him.

ME: I’m aware of what mercy is. Your point is that God can still be good if He were unmerciful and I disagree.

AIA: God is not unmerciful……He does however withhold His mercy from some….He is still good though.

ME: thank you for making my point. Been a pleasure.

The conversation was dropped here, much to my surprise. I can only assume it’s because the Calvinist at hand was not male.

Now, I have a certain amount of pride in posting this. I think I have a very legitimate point and I think I made it well without going into personal attacks and diversions. I stuck to the original point and I think I made it.

That’s right, so you might want to back off.

AIA’s point is that God is good, therefore, everything He does is inherently good. So, even if God did something that wasn’t good–if He were always unmerciful–He would still be good. Therefore, His hypothetical mercilessness would be good.

This is very bad logic. This rips the word “good” right out of any common-sensical meaning. In order for someone to be good, someone else must be able to recognize the goodness.

God is good, which is why He’s merciful; and God is merciful, which is why God is good. It’s not like one came before the other.

To claim you are good means you do things that are good in and of themselves. Saying you are good, and then doing all manner of bad things, and yet claiming your bad things still define good, is arbitrary and not very orderly. Language falls apart at that point. Words don’t mean anything, so we might as well figglemunch dasser wooblesnouse.

I believe I am right. I believe I am right based on scripture, logic, and word etymology.

I believe I am right based on the arguments against me. The main issue is not addressed, but verse references are given about mercy that don’t touch on the pivotal point at hand, points that are not essential to the debate are brought up, and then there’s this nugget, “Sorry you have a poor view of Him.”

Anytime such responses are used, you know you’re on to something. I ignored it and went back to the original point.

Again, I’m showing this to you so you can see what flawless arguing looks like. I nailed it! Notice my “Been a pleasure!” At the end? That is one sarcastic “!”! I am now an arrogant jerk bragging about my awesomeness to others, thus showing I did not argue out of love, but rather to show intellectual superiority and frustration with non-sensical Calvinist reasoning.

Knowledge puffs up. That’s what it does. I don’t know how to beat it. I just know it when I sees it. I seens it big time. Good luck out there. Stay humble, my friends.

Americans, Christians, and Refugees: A Response to All the Responses

America is allegedly being overrun by refugees of all stripes. Well, based on most rhetoric, they’re not of “all stripes,” they are of one stripe: evil people who want to kill you, take your job, and rape your daughters.

Candidates from both parties continue to back themselves further into their parties’ corners, doing all they can to inflame their people to get votes.

This will not result in wise decision making.

During this “refugee crisis,” many Bible verses have been employed bolstering either side. Some say Jesus welcomes all-comers, so America should to. Others say we need to defend the faith and keep certain evil influences out, lest they leaven our American lump.

I have listened to arguments on both sides. I have heard the politicians’ sound bites. I have observed the various Christian voices pontificating.

I must say, it all leaves me rather depressed.

The Bible is not going to solve this national issue. I know this sounds like heresy to most. “The Bible is our final authority for faith and practice! Are you suggesting it isn’t?”

I do believe the Bible is my final authority. Thus, if a refugee from the evilest of all refugean countries refugeed into a house next door, my job is to love them. In fact, the more they hate me, the more they despitefully use me, the more I am to love them. Jesus Himself said there is no thanks for loving people who love you.

That’s what the Bible tells me to do. Therefore, I know what I would do if a refugee came to my door. “Come on in. Let me get you some food and a glass of water.”

However, the Bible was not written as a manual on governing a nation. I do not think the President, or any other national leader, is mandated to make a nation do what the Bible says to individuals. The Bible was not written for nations; it was written for people.

The Bible tells me, an individual believer, to honor the king, to pray for my leaders, to submit to all government authority, and do this with thanks, honor, and respect. Therefore, the leaders of our nation will make the call on what to do with refugees, and I will honor their decision.

I do not know what to do with refugees. I don’t know what to do with many issues that confront our nation’s leaders. I have no idea. The Bible tells me not to entangle myself with the affairs of this life. Preach the Gospel and love people.

What does the Bible tell America to do with the nation’s refugee crisis? Nothing. Be very wary of applying the Bible’s commands intended for individual believers to a secular nation. It wasn’t written for that.

What does the Bible tell me to do with the nation’s refugee crisis? It tells me to pray for my leaders, submit to their decision, and love my neighbor.

If the nation refuses to let them in: so be it. I continue to pray for and honor my leaders and love my neighbor. If the nation lets them all in and ISIS moves in next door. I continue to pray for and honor my leaders, and love my neighbor.

It’s quite simple really.

Why You Should Not Express an Opinion About Kim Davis’ Choices in Life

There have been many stories written about Kentucky’s Kim Davis who refused to give a marriage license to a gay couple.

Christians and non-Christians pontificate as experts, bashing her character one way or another, even though 99.9% of all people pontificating do not even know this woman, nor the authors of these articles they pontificate on.

Non-Christians bash Christians as homophobic, and mock her looks and her beliefs. Christians support her as George Washington Part II, or find her to be embarrassing.

I will dismiss the non-Christians’ opinions on the subject simply because it’s irrelevant. My point is about Christians’ opinions of this woman.

Based on passages like Romans 14, the Bible says that there is a certain amount of freedom in how we apply our doctrine. The Bible does not give instructions on 100% of life decisions.

Romans 14 uses the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols. There are two camps 1) eat and 2) don’t eat. Each side has verses. Each side has conscience. Each side has thought out reasons. Each side, more than likely, has emotions tied up in their side.

Whether a court employee should give out a marriage license to a gay couple is probably one of these issues. It seems, from the vast split in Christians, that you can support each side.

–Christians are to submit to the government; yet there are exceptions throughout the Bible where they do not.
–Christians are to submit to their boss/master; yet the Lord is our ultimate master and His Word is firmly against homosexuality.
–Christians are to love; yet there are times Christians are to pass judgment.

I’ve seen Christians defend either side. Paul’s advice in Romans 14 is: don’t worry about it. Let each person make up their mind and do their thing.

Kim Davis made up her mind. That’s what her conscience told her to do. Based on Romans 14, that’s what she’s supposed to do. If I talk her into violating her conscience, I now become the person in the wrong.

Kim Davis will stand before God and give an account for her stance. I have no idea what God’s judgment will be on the subject. I do not know all that He knows. Nor do you.

Which is why Paul tells us to chill and let people do their thing. “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

What would I do in the situation? I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. What I do know is that I will do what I think I’m supposed to do, and I would hope for support from fellow Christians in doing so, whether they agreed with my decision or not (although I would be completely shocked if I got it).

You don’t have to have an opinion about everything other people are doing. In the end, your opinion doesn’t matter in relation to God’s Judgment. Your opinion only matters to you; you need to keep your conscience clear.

When the Bible speaks out against being a busybody (which it does about as much as it speaks against homosexuality incidentally), it’s referring to stuff like this. A busybody is a person who is “especially busy about other folks’ affairs,” according to Thayer’s Definitions. It’s being an authority in other people’s matters, most of which you know very little about.

We should not make Kim Davis a hero or a villain. She is neither. As far as we know, by giving her the benefit of the doubt (which is what we’d like to have from others), she is doing what her conscience told her to do. She is a human being making decisions before God. We don’t have to despise her, nor judge her for choosing to act differently than we would

I trust that God will work in her life whether I pontificate about her life or not. We have decisions to make in life. Stop worrying about everyone else’s and take care of your own. When you make those decisions, make them quietly, stand by them, and deal with the consequences.

At the same time, there is irony all throughout this post! If your conscience tells you to pontificate about Kim’s choices in life, I guess you need to pontificate!

Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.