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Monday, November 17, 2008

XVIII. God is in Control

Now that Barack Obama is the president-elect what do we do? Do we panic as Christians? Do we take action? Or do we simply let things be? Why did Barack Obama get elected and what do we do about it since, he is a man who is part of a political movement that allows abortions to go unchecked and opening the door for homosexual marriages and we should not endorse such an action? The first thing we need to remember is God is in control. God puts authority into government positions. The following are some points about the election, response to the election and what the Bible says about such things.
  1. Throughout the Bible God has allowed certain leaders to rise up and lead. If they were lousy or unGodly leaders then the Bible is pretty clear on why it happens. One reason is that God allowed it to happen because we deserve it. We have become apathetic in our faith and actions. Or two God did it to make His people become aware of the problems and make us more active. We see this time and time again. The Israelites went into captivity in Egypt. God heard their plea and they were delivered. Did they stay faithful? No. So God allowed the Philistines to enslave them time and time again. Each time a Godly leader would rise up and bring them back out of captivity. Were they satisfied with Godly ways? No. So God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to enslave the Israelites for 70 years. But due to the faithfulness of Daniel, Zerubbabel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the like He heard their cries and rescued them again.
  2. We need to listen to man's laws. But some laws are not based on commission (action) but omission (inaction). When our government allows things to happen, it doesn't mean we have to practice the same detestable things. But when the government stops us from being Godly then we have the right and obligation to correct them and not listen to their laws. Either way we need to pray for our government to make wise decisions so the wrath of God does not effect us.
  3. Barack Obama was elected because Christians became apathetic! We have let the laws walk all over us without doing anything about it. This however was not omission but commission. When they take Christmas away that is an action. When they allow homosexual marriages to be part of our culture that is omission. But when they say we are not allowed to say anything about it then it is commission and we have to make a stand. Allowing abortion to go on is omission. But when they say we have to pay taxes for it then it is commission and we have to take a stand against it. But 30% of Christians voted for a man who allows the commission to go on. Go back to point #1- we deserve what we get.
  4. Do not put your faith in any president. The Bible warns us not to put faith in any man. No matter what the promises are. Promises are words. Principles are action and that is what we should vote on.
  5. The Church allowed the man to be elected because we have become part of the culture. You can't tell the difference between the Church and the Culture anymore. 2 Timothy chapter 3 says that in the end times people will be lovers of their own selves, boasters, unGodly, disobedient, lovers of money, to say the least. Most would think Paul was talking about the world. But this is the Church as well. Shame on us! We have let the culture drive us when we should be the drivers of the culture. We let it into the pews and there are no more barriers. It is like when the Israelites put up the Asherah Poles. We say we are Godly but then walk around the poles as well. Uhhh, the poles are destestable!
  6. Each church should take one person either in government or an influential person to pray for.
  7. God is not GOP or DEM. But He still has principles for us to abide by. Supporting a side that says these are not problems is a PROBLEM!

Pray for the country. Pray for our leaders. Pray for those who will fall by the way side listening to lies. Pray for the morality of this country to return.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

XVII. Problems of the Church

Here are the results from last months poll: How do you view the Church today?
  • It is more about show and entertainment (58%)
  • The programs are shallow and have no real substance (58%)
  • The leadership is not concerned with the right issues (41%)
  • No one knows what the Church is supposed to be like (25%)
  • It seems like it has no compassion (16%)
  • It has lost all tradition and meaning (8%)
  • It is too much involved with the culture (8%)
  • There aren't enough mature Christians in the WORD (8%)
  • The Church is fine and better than ever (0%)
Let's take the top two. Fifty eight percent said both were problems of the Church. It seems like people who are in the Church are tired of programs that seem to be just for show. Maybe too many times the Church is focusing on its reputation than its character. The difference between these two things is reputation is what people think of you on the surface. You react to the way you are perceived. Character is about what you do even though no one else is around. If your character is good then who cares about your reputation. Many churches get stuck on what society thinks of them. Many churches are afraid of offending people. They tend to bend when it comes to standing up to the culture. What they fail to see is that they break when the culture actually takes over.

The next two may go hand in hand as well. Maybe no one knows what the Church is supposed to be anymore because the leadership doesn't even know. The leadership isn't concerned with the right issues. Some focus on money. Some focus on numbers. Some focus on reputation. Real leadership knows what they are doing. Real leadership makes it known to the people what they are doing. Real leadership follows through with the right ideas. Real leadership foresees possibilities of problems and deals with them before it happens. It has been said that an organization is only as strong as its leadership. First of all, the Church is not an organization. It is an organism. A live, breathing, heart-beating organism. It is not a place full of paperwork created by Robert's rules of order.

It was nice to hear that many people don't think the Church has lost its compassion. However, maybe this is an area though we need to stress more. Maybe the Church is compassionate. But are they truly showing it? This might be one of the biggest failures of the Church today; following through on its compassion. Get out of the pew. Go into the world (even those "dark city" places...sarcasm...) and work with them. The Church isn't just for the suburbs.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

XVI. Final Election Thoughts

From a distant friend:

Hello Tim. This 'Obama' thing has me confused. Unless the polls are being manipulated, nothing that matters, MATTERS. I keep scratching my head, thinking that God is surely going to place the right people before us.

...I find it incredible, but I fear MONEY has become the 'moral code of ethics' for a large number of Americans. Whether or not Obama can 'deliver the bucks' he has made the promise to 'fill your pockets' for the lazy and sleazy of our nation.

...I'm gritting my teeth. I'm going to the 'private' booth to vote my conscience. I'm praying for some of my own church members to 'get a conscience' in their voting practices.And I'm asking God to help me 'cope' with an America I never imagined.

It is confusing, my friend. Many who claim to be Christian will vote for a man who does not stand up for Christians values like he should. And they will claim that God is neither DEM or GOP so they can vote with a clear conscience. This is a horrible rationalization. They say since it is not them who are doing the abortions or marrying of homosexual couples then it's not their fault it happens. Well, Jesus said if you are not for me then you are against me. If you support someone who supports these actions then you are guilty by association.

I don't care about politicians being black, white, purple. I don't care if they are male or female. I don't care if they are 35 or 75. Short or tall. Urban or rural. What I care about is their stance on how to solve the morality and the sliding of American values.

We are in a war. Yes, it was a Republican president who "finalized" the deal. But, we are in it now. We have to succeed. If we acted on the first couple of terrorists attacks back in the 90's we wouldn't be in this mess.

We never found WMD's. But we removed a dictator forever. They say we were lied to so we would go to war, but that means we were lied to by our whole government! Not just one man.

We have an economic crisis. Yes, a Republican president is in the White House during this time but it didn't start in October, or 2008, or the 21st Century even. No one seems to understand that. No one knows their history. We have had thousands of jobs lost since 2001. But many were lost forever due to 9-11. Many were only short termed jobs created in the 1990's that were expiring due to policies of a former president.

Gas prices were high. But we got through it. And now they are on the low side.

The only thing that bothers me about the last eight years is that we have gotten worse in our morality. And that is our own fault. We let it all happen. And now we want to blame the Republicans for all the mess that has happened. We fell asleep. And come Wednesday morning our lives will change. We will have elected the most liberal person of all time as a leader into the most important position in the world.

Confusing? No, Condemning! We have condemned ourselves. America as a nation might be lost. Search your history. When change occurs to this multitude, countries fall. Democrats promise change and never have fulfilled that promise. This man might. Maybe the Reverend Wright was right. Maybe God is damning us. Maybe He is allowing this man to become our leader due to our apathy.

Good luck my friends. Hope we make it.
BTW, this will be the only time I personalize my message as a post.
Tim

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