United States vs. States United

Our country is centered around two documents. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Both documents are at the center of our freedom as Americans. Both documents have their influence rooted in Scripture. However it seems to me that these two documents have done in the natural realm what the Church can not do in the spiritual realm. What I mean is this:

If we are a new creature in Christ (I Corinthians 5:17) racism should be eliminated. Yet Sunday morning at 11am is STILL the most segregated hour of the week.

We still fight about water baptism – Whether being sprinkled or immersed (dunked completely in water)

We still fight about whether speaking in tongues or the gifts of the Spirit is viable or even needed in the 21st century.

I could on and on with all the differences that we have. What I’m saying is that we have been divided into a spiritual “Sybil”. Having multiple personalities inside the same body (of Christ). Not to say we cant have different gifts and talents. What I am saying is that if we believe that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God, why don’t we act like it? Why don’t just do what the Bible says. If the Bible calls us to tithe why don’t we just do that? If we would just obey that, churches would never have a financial issue. The most common question about tithing would be this: Do you tithe on the gross or the net part of your income? Here’s the answer: You don’t negotiate your net salary do you? Tithe on the figure you do negotiate with your employer. We have so many of “factions” within the Body (Assemblies of God, Baptists, Methodist, Lutheran, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, etc.) all trying to go in a different direction. This is precisely why we can’t go anywhere and the world is laughing at us while we “limp” across America trying to proclaim that “Jesus is Lord”.

We must put aside our petty differences and unite under these three basic tenets:

1) That the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached and not your denomination so that souls are saved.
2) That the Bible is the infallible, immutable Word of God and unless God tells us that we don’t have to follow it (i.e. dietary laws found in Leviticus) we continue practicing what is found in Scripture.
3) That we steward the rights and privileges that God has given us.

It is only when our states (churches) are united that we can present the world the United States.

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United States vs. States United

On Your Feet or On Your Knees

As I was looking around some of the Christian blogs, it seems to me that there is a lot of people who Scripture and more importantly Jesus Himself out of context. It seems to me that people perceive Jesus as nothing more than the Isaiah 53 Lamb. That is only a part of His personality.

When it became necessary, Jesus got involved with his government. (I can hear the heresy hunters now saying: “Show me in Scripture”). Okay I will. Before I do; a little history lesson. It is a known fact that the Sanhedrin were charged by Rome to keep the people in line (which by the way gave THEM a job with the government) Pilate and the Roman army were only there in case the Sanhedrin couldn’t control the people.

In Matthew 23 Jesus scolded the Scribes and Pharisees by keeping the people in perpetual state of bondage. In my opinion, the Sanhedrin of our day are doing nothing less than what the 1st century ones did in their day. They used false religion in their day just like false religion is being used in ours.

Ask yourself this question: If our rights come from God, why aren’t we encourage from the pulpit to use them? We are always told to pray for those in (governmental) authority – which is Biblical and needed. However, we are never told to hold the same authority to account? Under the First Amendment we have the right (and duty) to redress the government concerning issues that we may have? A right that God has given, but not exercised as it should.

Here’s another example:

You just found out your city is going to put a “Gentlemen’s Club” near an elementary school. Do you only pray, or do go to City Hall and take action?

You just found out that your city is going to put a pornographic bookstore and movie theater next to a girl scout meeting hall. Do you only pray, or do go to City Hall and take action?

You just found out the city wants to take away the property the church sits on through eminent domain and put a nightclub on the site. Do you only pray, or do go to City Hall and take action?

My point is this: I have heard from pastors and people alike that the most powerful position a Christian can be in is on our knees. That is only true when we can discern whose presence we’re in. In the presence of God, we are on our knees. When we face the world we need to be on our feet.

If we’re in the wrong posture facing the wrong presence, we as good as dead.

On Your Feet or On Your Knees

Pop Culture or Counter Culture

It seems to me that we more confused as a nation than ever. I have heard more coverage over Michael Jackson’s death than the war on terror, the economy and the political direction we are going as a nation COMBINED. At no other time in history has this been a call to action for the Church. Not only for prayer, but for action – political action. It is time for Church leaders to lead us or move out of the way. We in the pew are tired of sitting in a church looking like a zombie with one exception – zombies don’t pay tithe. We are looking real leadership that will use the Bible as a guide, and the Holy Spirit for strategy. We understand that it is God Himself who gave us our rights that we cherish. It is God Himself who moved through men to establish our country. It will be God Himself that will through men, restore this country to its former glory before the real dark times come.

We in the pew are who are true disciples are not looking for how to get our situations corrected so that our lives will be happy. We are looking for leadership who will hold up ALL of Scripture as a mirror – First to themselves, then to us, and then to the nation to show us all how far away we are from the standard. Then we need them to tell us how to get back to the standard we left. As a Disciple of Christ, outside of the Great Commission we are mandated to do two things:

1) To establish the standard that is depicted in the Word of God in these areas:

Domestically – In our homes.

Corporately – On our jobs.

Politically – In our government.

2) To raise up, teach, empower and mandate the next generation to do the same.

If this does not happen swiftly, we ALL will be guilty of prostituting the Gospel for our own personal gain. We will all stand before God and give an answer to the question, “What did you do with the freedom I gave you”? What will your answer be? Being a good person is not enough. Going to church on Sunday will not be enough. Giving of your time/tithe will not be enough. How you impacted your family, job and government will be the litmus test of answering this question properly.

We viewed the counter culture movement of the 1960’s as being bad. The passion was not bad. It was the direction that was misguided. We had teens and twenty year olds – not so much different than we have today; with energy, zeal, and bright ideas. Yet they were lacking wisdom and direction. They turned to the Church and were horribly disappointed when all the Church could offer was religion and tradition. It was at that time that generation turned to the world and ask them for wisdom. The world was more than happy to oblige. From humanism, to “free” love, to mind altering drugs the children of the 60’s (who are now the established authority of today) were more than willing to embark on this adventure. We stand again at a generational crossroads. The question I have for the Church leadership is this: Are you willing to make the same mistake again?

We have an opportunity to change the world back to the way it should be. To right wrongs that made a generation ago. This endeavor however, does not come without a price. My next question is: Have you counted the cost? We must be viewed as true “Freedom Fighters”. The world is always looking for a good cause to join. We just need to present the Gospel a good cause.

It is only when the world looks at you and sees no difference between you and themselves that you should be afraid. Be very afraid.

Pop Culture or Counter Culture

How Long Must We Endure This?

 

 

As we move along through time in this country, it seems to me that we in the American Church have become complacent and lethargic to ideas that have at the very least, traces of the anti-Christ spirit – if not having that very spirit within it. In opposition to that we are being scornful or openly hostile to those who expose those ideas for what they really are. We seem to forget that Jesus Himself lived under the tyranny of Rome. Are we to be so blind as to ignoring the political climate that Jesus, the Apostles and the Church fathers live under that we as the American Church are WILLING to subject ourselves to be under that type of oppression?

If the Founding Fathers recognize that our rights, liberties, and freedoms have been given to us by Divine Providence, then how can government be allowed to take them away? The answer is – IGNORANCE. God said through Hosea the prophet “My people are destroyed for LACK of knowledge”. (Hosea 4:6) The people forgot who their rights came from, and did not exercise vigilance to preserve them. This type of behavior can be seen time and again throughout the Bible culminating with the Church of Laodicea – The church period I believe we are in now.

How long will American Church leaders throw out a “canned” response of more prayer, using II Chronicles 7:14 as the foundation as to where the country has erred? To them I ask the question: How did you get the building your congregation sits in? Was it through prayer alone or did you have to do work and get a permit? How are your bills paid – through prayer alone or the finances you collected? How is your staff paid? How is the mortgage on your house paid? I could go on an on, but you get the idea. I said all that to say this: If to get the natural things accomplished took more than prayer to do, what makes you think that prayer alone will constitute a righteous government? It will take MORE than just prayer. It will take the hard work of a righteous choice. Not only to make the choice, but to ensure that our choices remain through prayer to and dependence on Jesus. Moreover, it will also require continual vigilance against those forces who seek to thwart our freedoms that we establish for ourselves and our posterity. Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in power the people rejoice. When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn”. Ask yourself this question: How much happiness do you see?

We as the American Church are at a moral and spiritual crossroads. Do we actually begin to recover our country not through prayer alone, but by the hard work of living and promoting the ideals set forth in the Gospel as well as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence that through the price paid on Calvary – should we choose to accept it, we are free from sin as human beings. Through that freedom we are to be self-governing – to understand, live by and promote the Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standard in our government is to be at the center of us being prosperous as a nation.

Or do we continue on our present course remaining complacent, apathetical, and lazy to allow the spiritual Sanhedrin of our day do our thinking for us and place this nation in political and spiritual bondage to the likes that only someone like Caiaphas would identify, embrace, regulate and enjoy?

The global government is not coming. It is already here. The question now remains: Will you reject the choice of freedom and opportunity that God has given you or will you embrace the illusion of ease of comfort and instant prosperity that satan promises?

How Long Must We Endure This?