“What does the Bible think about social issues? Is it inclusive and welcoming? Is it concerned with limiting its ability to attract young people and others, including many women, who agree with the Bible on some but not all issues?”
Archive for the 'Liberty' Category
Moral courage seems to be in short supply these days, particularly in Washington, D.C. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is set to vote on increasing the debt limit as early as today. I’ve read any number of pragmatic opinion pieces on why the Republicans have no choice but to raise the limit.
Of course they have a choice. It isn’t a matter of choice, it’s a matter of courage.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?’” (Luke 4:16-22)
So once again we are watching the circus live and in color on our television sets. The stage? Congress and the White House and the looming fiscal cliff. It is amazing to see after what was called the most important election of our lifetime that nothing has changed in Washington D.C. All the old leaders are the new leaders and you could not fill a bus up with those serving who are righteous in the sight of God. It reminds me of the old Rolling Stones song “We Won’t Get Fooled Again” where it ends with “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
I was asked by some, and accused by others, if I was looking for perfection in a candidate. My answer to both is I am looking for righteousness in our public servants. Those, whether or not they are Christians, who have a sense of responsibility to their electorate and more important to “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” As my buddy Steve Deace always says, “We want people of convictions, not positions.”
The future and the unknown can be daunting. For that matter, this present day and its uncertainty can overwhelm us. If we look around we do not see much in which to hope. Looking with temporal eyes will cause fear almost every time. Fear comes in all sizes and shapes and can be triggered by almost anything.
Some fear is good; fear can keep us safe from physical harm. Parental fear can keep us on the right path, providing we have parents worthy of fearing. Fear can keep us from doing foolish things.
Happy Thanksgiving! I am so glad I decided to write this devotional because I’ve been down a couple of days with vertigo and was kind of feeling sorry for myself. Karen and I will be going over to friends later today to celebrate Thanksgiving with them, but I woke up not preparing a turkey as is our tradition in the past. At first it really didn’t feel like Thanksgiving morning. But alas, it is!
Thanksgiving is not a day as much as it is a state of mind. While the fourth Thursday of November is a declared American holiday, thanksgiving should be a part of my Christian character. (more…)
So many Christian patriots are very discouraged by the election outcome. Many are ready to quit; many are ready to start a third party; many are just ready “to go home” (I can sympathize with the latter sentiment). Discouragement is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against God’s people. It can be lethal. He may use persecution, predicaments, or privation to bring us to our knees and shout, “I give up!” Satan loves defeated Christians because misery loves company.
Beloved, we are not defeated! Our foe has been vanquished and we already have the victory.
Glory to God, for He is on His throne! Jesus is King, Lord, and Savior to all who call to Him for salvation. America is today still the greatest nation in history and I praise God for being born an American. No matter the outcome of our elections throughout history, the peaceful transition of power is a God-breathed miracle captured by godly men who founded our nation. They were God-fearing men who recognized and relied upon the Providence of God.
Our nation is truly at a crossroads. The political outcome of yesterday’s election is a reflection…a symptom…of what ails our great country. Over half of our country clearly has an entitlement mentality where they believe by merely being Americans who may or may not have been dealt a bad hand that they are entitled to other people’s money. Beloved, that is a clear indication of a deeper issue that must be addressed.
I received a response from a dear sister-in-Christ to the comments the past two emails I sent out on whether or not we can vote for the lesser of two evils. Understand that this is no simple matter, voting that is. I am glad to see so many Christians thinking through all of this by questioning and searching the scriptures for answers. That is what we are called to do. In fact, I presented some questions to my pastor and interviewed him Monday night to get his perspective. Bro Dennis is the one man I trust most in this world and while I may not always agree with him, I know I will get a straight answer from him. So is the case with so many other men who bless my life. There are a few women who fit that category also. You can hear Part 1 of Bro Dennis interview at my other blog: http://www.aletheiagroup.org/?p=1088
Here are the words of one sister-in-Christ and her thought process in this election season, admittedly by her incomplete words but I believe they warrant sharing:
I struggled with writing yesterday’s devotional because I knew I was missing the mark on what I was trying to explain. Alan responded to my devotional and has wonderfully written of what I was only beginning to figure out. Without understanding it, it was the imperfection of which Alan writes that I was trying to allude. Alan has given me permission to publish his response.
Or must truth be measure and mixed with something more for it to be effective?
I’m looking at my brother-in-Christ Brian Ward’s new and improved website Boogai.net and reading the headlines there is not a means of starting your week off on a positive note (at least not all of the headlines). The Obama Administration has once again misused the executive orders powers to bring more tyranny to government. The State of California has laid off 32,000 teachers but can somehow afford to spend 3.2 billion (as in “B”) dollars on a new high-speed rail line. And the government has put more employees out of work through new regulatory burdens. Blue, blue Monday.
But Brian would tell you that we need not despair. You see Brian is not only the owner and proprietor of this excellent website, but more importantly he is a pastor who knows of and preaches about the sovereignty of Almighty God. And at our church we are doing a study on Nehemiah and Nehemiah understood who God was, even amongst the most trying times:
I do not think it a stretch to say our nation has become overall weaker than it once was. Whether it be economically, militarily, morally, or socially, the United States of America is not as strong as it used to be. How has this happen? Without a doubt the last three or so years under the Obama Administration has done much to weaken our nation. But that is the symptom, not the sickness. Electing and appointing unrighteous men and women to serve in the halls of government will always end up with a most destructive and despotic leader/ruler. But the issue is even deeper than that.
Our pulpits have been too silent for too long. Pulpits long ago stopped preaching against sin and a reliance of King Jesus and have preached a prosperity gospel that displays the Savior as some motivational coach to live your best life now. WE the People long ago, as a society, left the path of righteousness for a way of individualism, paved with self-esteem and lined with the poison of political correctness. King Solomon reminds us:
Two hundred thirty-six years ago today our nation declared its independence from the tyranny that had become the British Crown and Parliament. No longer would the colonists subject themselves to the enslavement of a despotic government unrighteous in all its governance. For too long the American colonists’ future was shrouded in darkness and yet the flame of liberty burned within their souls. This fire was stoked by a desire for economic independence and a religion that taught liberty as a central theme.
And not only was liberty a religious theme, it was a civic right bought for us by the price of Jesus’ blood. The Prophet Isaiah proclaimed:
A nation without a moral compass is one devoid of liberty. Any country that allows the wanton enslavement, murder, and taxation of its citizens is one in violation of the laws of Nature and Nature’s God. The purpose of government is to protect the unalienable rights of the people. What does that word, unalienable mean (now known as in modern English as inalienable)?
Random House Dictionary defines it as “not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated.” Rights cannot be given nor denied by the government. Any law that violates the unalienable rights of the people is an immoral law; it is an un-law. John Locke was a 17th Century philosopher who greatly influenced our Founding Fathers. He wrote this about natural law and natural rights:
Since Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare, I have seen all manner of exposition and explanation for why Chief Justice John Roberts’ ruling was brilliant. I have been asked if I want conservative judges, oppose liberal judges, want those that are Republican, and oppose those that are Democrats. Do I want originalists and oppose activists.
I take none of the above.
Faith is a tough thing. We’re going to look at faith more closely on Friday. The object of our faith at times is a moving target. As Christians we always proclaim faith in Christ, but when it comes to trusting the affairs of this world, are we willing to trust them to the sovereignty of God?
For God to be truly sovereign in our lives, He must be sovereign over all aspects of our lives. The Random House Dictionary defines as “a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler; a person who has sovereign power or authority.”
The Protestant Reformation was a movement that changed the face of Christianity. Why, who, and how of this period is much too in depth to be covered by this devotional. If you are interested in reading more about it I can recommend a couple of books, but I want to concentrate on the outcome. I want to specifically look at the five solas of the Reformation; the five “onlys”. The first is sola scriptura, only Scripture is the standard. If we cannot get past this only, then the other four do not matter.
The ultimate authority in Christianity, and therefore the only true religion, is the Bible as set by the early church. When Martin Luther was questioned by the Diet of Worms, he declared that his conscience was driven by the Word of God. This is what began the Protestant Reformation.
If you must take a stand for God, you must expect persecution to come. You cannot stand on the truth of God’s Word and all around you accept it peacefully, unless you are doing so in a “Christian ghetto” and even there pure aletheia truth is not always welcomed. And yet we do not have a choice of where we will stand for God; we can only choose to obey or disobey. David understood this calling very clearly.
“I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.” (Psalm 40:9-10)