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Posts Tagged ‘Politics and Religion’

church-and-state1

 

I really didn’t want to post anything about politics again. The election is over and we have what we have. But this election has been one of the most divisive elections I have seen in my lifetime, this is a rather short lifetime given the fact I am but 30 but this has been very tense from what I have read, listened to and now have experienced on this blog.

There is something that really, really confuses me as it relates to Evangelical Christians who side more with the Republican party (though they will say it isn’t about Rep vs Dem) and defnitely with McCain over Obama. What confuses me follows.

1. Many Christians say they wanted to vote for a man who more reflected their values. Those values happen to be abortion and gay marriage. I agree that both are in error to the Christian way. Abortion is wrong and Gay Marriage is wrong. Abortion to me seems to be a universal law, I could be wrong but I do believe that. Gay Marriage not so much. I believe that to be a Christian/Religious (Mormons) value, not a universal value. Many cultures define marriage many ways, everything from polygamy to the trading of property is how marriage is defined. Not to mention in some places the woman is the property of the husband because of the sinful devaluing of Women across the globe (I never understand how that is universal problem, I guess it is Eve’s fault). So I am with those who oppose abortion maybe not so much gay marriage, but I am more indifferent on the latter.

2. But there seems to be a problem. Many were against Obama for his more socialistic/Marxist views. I don’t believe he is either but that has been explained in other posts. But what really gets me is when the same Christians uphold the moral value system of gay marriage and abortion but then say in the same breath “it is not the responsibility of the government to provide healthcare, education, or to take the money of the well off in the name of taxes and give it to the poor”. Now, is abortion and gay marriage any more immoral than ignoring the widow, orphan and poor? When I read my bible I see a the Apostles very concerned for the real physical needs and in 1 John, James, 1 Timothy, Matthew 25 and a slew of God’s accusations in the minor and major prophets there is a huge relation between a love for God and a real, need meeting love for the poor!

So what I am asking is why do we want the government to only uphold half of our moral values? Why is it perfectly fine for the government to control how people live morally but not how they live economically? What I hear all the time is “it is the job of the church to provide for the poor and marginalized” while in the same breath they say “it is the job of the Church and the State to uphold Christian moral values”. Am I missing something here? Am I the only one struggling with the disconnect? If you will fight for the values of abortion and gay marriage politically, shouldn’t we also use the same amount of energy and tenacity to fight for education, healthcare, programs to help single mothers, childcare for those who must have two working parents because of their education and income levels, shouldn’t we fight to get decent living quarters and to help those with AIDS? How can we say one is the job of the government because of our historic Christian values but the other isn’t.

Sorry for the rambling but I don’t get it. Either we want the government invovled with every aspect that the Church should be doing or none of it. If not we are being very selective about what Jesus values.

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obama

“Blacks only voted for Obama because he was a black man”! Or better yet “Black Christians voted against their values and voted for Obama just because he was black”!

If I hear that again I am going to scream, or throw my radio out of the car, or do something against my common sense! Listen to me very carefully. Especially if you are a Christian and your skin color is white. Look at the picture below.

sambo1

1. I would hope that after years of being played as the buffoon, or caricaturized as humans with great athletic ability and no brains (remember science said that blacks have the smallest brains amongst all ethnicities) that humans with dark skin could get more respect than that.

2. As many blacks voted for Obama because he was black as whites voted for Bush and McCain because they are white.

3. Regardless of what you think of us dumb blacks we really do know the issues that were facing our nation just as much as whites know the issues facing this nation.

4. We are no less voting against convictions if we think the poor should be fed, properly educated (since you are taxing me for it), have health care and this War is evil and dumb. Some believe that this is equal to Abortion and Gay marriage. Not to mention we aren’t too fond of government backed torture of humans beings who are “innocent until proven guilty” and even if they are guilty that seems to be “cruel and unusual punishment” (that is still U.S law right?).

5. Finally please respect our opinions as we respect yours. White American thought is not the standard of truth. Others have opinions that differ. Just because blacks voted for a president you don’t like doesn’t make us dumb and just voting for a race. Blacks have vote Democratic historically over the past 28 years that I have been alive and I believe sine FDR really. 90% plus voted for Clinton in both elections. 90% of black voters voted for both Gore and Kerry. The problem is most blacks didn’t register because they believe that either candidate cared about their issues that they were just a minority to be courted but people didn’t care. Obama seemed to be a person who cared while Bush has ignored the black voters not even entertaining any invitations to come speak of his policies. At least McCain made an attempt but the problem is he was casted in the same light don’t forget this quote “I voted with Bush 90% of the time”. Wrong answer for black folks.

Before you open your mouth about why blacks voted. Ask them! Don’t stereotype and don’t contribute to say gross misrepresentation that has circled Conservative Evangelical Programs. This is disheartening and when I hear it I have no desire to hold in further conversations with you. A bridge that is fragile is already torn down. We love America too and we want to see her prosper and our kids flourish and become productive citizens. I promise we love Jesus just as much as you do. Don’t do us blacks folks like that, we have climbed enough hurdles and have sought your equality for too long for you to push us back down and compartmentalize us as just a bunch of dummies who don’t know any better!

I promise this is the last post on politics!

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1 Timothy 2:1-4

2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Romans 13:1-7

13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

1 Peter 2:13-17

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

For those who can’t obey these refuse to submit to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ

Welcome to our next Commander and Chief and lets pray for the last few months of our current one.

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good-sa

The next few hours will be some of the most monumental hours our nation has faced. Just 44 years ago blacks couldn’t vote. Images of Water-hoses, dogs attacking, people spitting on my aunts and uncles, the yelling of some of the most hate-filled words and a lack of Christian love (many were professing Christians) was directed a group of individuals due to the color of their skin not the content of their Character. But today not only can blacks vote their is a candidate that has to be half black that may win the presidency. I was talking to my grandmother and I asked her what she thought about all of this (she is now 83) and she said she couldn’t believe it. She remembers being Forty and unable to eat a certain restaurant or drink from certain water fountains. Amazing what a generation can accomplish.

With that said, there are others who aren’t impressed with the skin color of this candidate they are threatened by his policies and personal convictions. For that I applaud them for standing firm on their convictions and not being moved. Many tell me “Lionel if he were Rice, Powell or Keyes I would be excited to see the first black president, but he is a very liberal man and for that I can’t vote for him”. Again I give you a standing ovation for not being persuaded by the color of his skin as many have. I am also saying that many have dived into the issues of Mr. Obama and have found him the candidate they have been looking for, the type of leader the U.S needs and for that I give them a standing ovation for voting their convictions.

But I want to talk to those who visit this blog and are Christians. I want to say this very clearly and as someone once told me “presumptuously”! If you want to do good to your neighbor then go directly to him and do good! Voting for “conservative” politicians while simultaneously shaking your head as your neighbor is foreclosed on because it lowers your property value is shameful. To not know your neighbor and have no direct concern for his welfare and allowing a vote to ease your conscience is hypocritical. You know how Jesus loved people? He touched them. He touched the leper, He talked to the woman at the well, he ate with sinners and tax collectors, he touched blind eyes, opened deaf ears, casted out demons, healed people on the sabbath (we rather sit fat in church buildings), he cared about the marginalized. Won over the wealthy (Joseph and Nicodemus), He forgave the adulterous woman, prostitutes washed His feet with Her tears, women loved Him, the religious elite hated Him, 12 man risked their lives to preach Him, after His resurrection they didn’t want to see Him leave, one of the disciples (yes she was a disciple) clung to Him, His brothers who first mocked Him (John 6) later believed on Him and this is all because He was relational and “did good to His neighbor”. Just as the Samaritan did above.

Next time someone quotes “do go to your neighbor” I am going to ask “do you know yours”. If you don’t care for the neighbor you do see, don’t tell me you love the one you don’t. Let’s be about the Gospel Church, whoever wins tonight, lets pray for his success and our peace. If you think you have done good to your neighbor by voting, while tomorrow you plan on ignoring him when he pulls into the garage. I will say your “doing good” ain’t Jesus’!

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I was going to name this post “The Post That Never Was”. But I didn’t. This is actually an interruption to the normal program. The reason being, I post very little about voting. Why, maybe I am bit too Kingdom Minded I guess. Maybe my heart and mind lands elsewhere when it comes to the idea that America is a Christian nation, or maybe I just think that regardless of who gets elected, the church’s mission will not be hampered by anything this world can throw at us. I think Jesus says “I will build”. What God wants, God gets, remember Genesis 1 and 6? Not to mention the resurrection?

So let me tell you why I am writing this. This is a letter of extreme disappointment. Disappointment that men I used to respect as of very recently, I currently can not respect as Shepherds anymore. I love them as brothers, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone join their church. Why? Simply put, their over-alignment on political issues. If this shoe fits but it still hurts, I serve no apologies. If you read this and you think of me differently that is fine also. I believe it is perfectly fine for a shepherd to endorse a candidate, even from the pulpit. I think there is freedom there. As long as he stresses it as a matter of his personal conviction, not Jesus’. Let me repeat that. Endorse any candidate you want, but don’t put Jesus’ stamp of approval on them, which in turns leads to you pushing your PERSONAL conviction on others as Gospel Law thus using your position of leadership to coerce others.

What I have seen in this political race is disgusting to me. Men who questions other believers heart for Jesus if they vote in a way that they disagree with. Shame on you, and you don’t have the mind of Christ when you do such a henious thing. Once again voice your opinion, but when you call another Christian’s love for Jesus questionable because of their vote, you my friend have lost the right to Shepherd God’s people! Plain and simple. I have no fear of saying such a thing. Blog or face to face. My phone number and email is also available if you like to discuss this on a one on one basis.

My heart is heavy. Both those who shepherd and are democrats and those who shepherd and are Republicans have lost their kingdom focus and have endorsed the ways of the world. I have heard radio programs full of sensationalism. Men who teach at seminaries and pastor large denominational churches have called Obama “Marxist” and a “Socialist”. Maybe he has an over zealous on government involvement on social issues, but “Socialist” or “Marxist” is slander, it is defamation and a gross misrepresentation of this man’s policies. I agree that the governments role in many areas should be very limited; however, I see the same men calling Obama a “socialist” have no problem with the government having a say in who should marry and what should be taught in schools! Shame on you.

The Churches role is to be salt and light, and focus on the kingdom of God by doing what  we are called to do both individually and corporately. I believe most of government should rest within the state. So if gays like to get married, allow them to go to which ever state they like and fight the political system. Are we to retreat from that state if so, heck no, what a great mission field. I remember reading through Acts and Paul comes to this place that is full of witchcraft, temple prostitution, false gods, wickedness on every corner, as he spends time there, people come and bring their books and burn them to show their allegiance to Christ.

Why don’t we have that type of zeal anymore? We now need a specific party to assist us in bringing the kingdom to this world? HOGWASH, HOGWASH, HOGWASH! We have exchanged the Spirit of Christ for politics. I heard a specific leader in some popular churches out West (they are a national family of churches) say “I don’t know how anybody can vote for Obama, if they do so, don’t they know they will be ushering in the Anti-christ”. HOGWASH. This is manipulation and sensationalism at its best, there is no hermeneutic that one can employ to come to such a conclusion, other than the hermeneutic of sensationalism. That is garbage! And my heart is heavy for anyone in those churches because they are sitting under leadership who should be much wiser than that!

I have heard syndicated radio shows flip flop on voting, and even invite the potential VP on to speak. One who seems to be very weak in the scriptures but is speaking on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ? Hogwash! I have heard others post, blog after blog on abortion, the same abortion that a majority Republican Supreme Court allowed to become Law! I have seen people ignore that for 20 of the past 28 years Republican controlled the presidency. Not to mention had control of the House and Senate for a great deal of that time. Roe vs Wade wasn’t touched. I have seen a man like McCain who when first was running for Republican ticket called a RINO but now he is going to “bring this great nation back to its Christian roots”. The roots that haven’t been found yet. I have seen Mr. Bush endorse Muslims as compatible with Christianity but considered to be a “strong evangelical” actually that might be true but evangelical doesn’t necessarily mean regenerate anymore.  I have seen the same president not only do nothing to Roe vs Wade but allow the Morning After Pill.

I say all of that to say this. Shame on all of you who have aligned yourself politically for the hope of this nation. Our citizenship is a heavenly one. We are aliens in a land, awaiting the return of our Master. He has set the agenda for us clearly in scripture but we have traded that agenda for a plan b, one never endorsed by our Master or His Apostles! We ignore what we are commanded to do. I remember the Jews rejected their Messiah because they wanted a political leader, one who would crush the “evil” Roman empire. But Jesus came meek and humble and only concerned about the eternal Kingdom and all those who will be there through grace.

I promise I wrote this before I read the first link below.  However, below are some links that I believe will help us tremendously during this election.

1. Who will you vote for

2.  Will I Vote for McCain

3.  Christian Archy (3 parts)

4. Jesus or Julius

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Yesterday at fellowship(Lord’s Supper) with the brethren we engaged in a interesting conversation in regards to politics. This is something  I brought up simply because my view is somewhat changing about this issue largely due to a book I am reading about this-church and state etc…. We are really close at our fellowship and we all are pretty open(never really understood why this is such a discreet issue amongst people?) about our stances on politics and who we or who we are not voting for. This is one issue amongst us in our fellowship that we really really differ on. Most things we pretty much have the same mind but this is another story as I discovered yesterday.

I, on the one hand am NOT voting this election and laugh at the thought of it for various reasons. I along with the Elder at our congregation have the same view on this issue. I guess I jump on the Hyper-Calvinist camp on this issue.  Others as we discovered are voting they say because they must “choose between the lesser of the evils.” Ummmm I think I will choose Abortion for $100 Alex”-“Nope not me, I will choose Gay Marriage for $200 Alex.” Being Sarcastic here, but I never have been able to grasp that logic but some seem to understand and make it walk on all fours. Logically it does not make sense to me. Furthermore some will say if you don’t vote for the lesser  of the evils you are by your absence-voting anyway.

Linked here are the candidates Obama and McCain’s stances on the crucials-HERE.

This year the whole political game has agitated me more than ever. WHY?

  1. These candidates all talk the same game and fluff until they get elected and then what? Then the people who want to crucify you for not voting on what they consider the larger issues, they themselves aren’t involved in their neighborhoods voting for mayors or governor’s-somewhat hypocritical to me.
  2. I work nights and listen to Bott Radio Network(a somewhat Biblical radio station) and they constantly say ridiculous things like-“Obama is the anti-Christ” and they choose to vote for McCain because they say he is more conservative and has Christian Morals. Or to be just “real” about it-because he is Republican.
  3. On the secular stations like “Tom Joyner” they are a little less discreet and come out and basically say, “we voting for him because he is Black” or “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and its about time I got my 40 Acres and Mule-Great Grand dad would be proud.” This is even said amongst some of the Black and Reformed  Christian folk.

These are some of the questions I have and maybe we can discuss.

  • Is the next President going to change this land for the better?
  • What does it really mean to “vote for the lesser evil?”
  • Is there a Biblical mandate for believer’s to vote?
  • And please don’t say anything silly like, “your ancestors died-you better vote” or “Obama is your brother-brother” (Mark 3:32-35)

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Church and Politics

 

I am currently reading “The Reformers and Their Stepchildren” (you can get it cheaper on Amazon) It is an interesting read indeed, not to mention challenging given the URL of this blog. Here is an interesting quote given our current religious-political upheaval which is wrecking the Church of Jesus Christ across the board this Country.

He quotes Tertullian ” Quid est imperatori cum eccleisia” or “What does the emperor have to do with the Church” on page 30.

I wonder if the Church of Christ is in the bed too frequently with the state today? Given the current religious blog and radio programming I have read and listened to, I don’t think I am being over zealous by asking such a question.

What do you think?

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