Photo by Chad Runge / Creation Swap

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Respect for Authority

I've been feeling convicted lately. Not only am I concerned about what is being said in the media lately, but I'm also concerned about my attitude. How do I reconcile my obvious differences in opinion to the current Obama administration to God's Biblical mandate to submit to authorities instituted among men (1 Peter 2:13-14). I have to...somehow.

On one hand, President Obama deserves my respect not because of who he is or anything he has done, but rather because God sets up kings and authorities in our world (Romans 13:2). Unless President Obama says or does something contrary to God's will (His Word), then I'm supposed to submit.

But I admit, I'm human. I find most of what President Obama doing appalling. He says one thing and does another. There is evidence, most of which people who like the President choose to ignore, that suggests he frequently lies to get his way. One such example is found at Other good ones are found at,, and Actually this latter one shows more about his character. But because at different times he has denied that he's done some of these things it shows that he can't be trusted.

So how am I supposed to respond? I send emails, I write, and tell others about what I read and hear that should send up red flags everywhere about President Obama. But is that the right thing to do considering he's the authority that God has set over me (and our country of course)? I don't know for sure. Is respect necessary to submit to authority? I think my responsibility is to respect him and submit to him unless it (the subject matter concerning President Obama, Congress, etc.) contradicts God. Hopefully, prayerfully, that will be correct response.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Universal government

I'm feeling very frustrated with our country today. Frustrated, nervous, and even a little scared. You get the sense that things are changing fast. And not for the better. There are people, a lot of them in the main stream media, who seem to think that more government is better. I'm not sure where they get all this faith in government but they believe if we just let President Obama do what he wants, everything will be better. Wow.

What happened to personal responsibility and the American work ethic? Is it lost? And do we really want the government to be in control of everything? Don't we lose our freedoms when government takes control?

I hear more and more people say that we need universal health care. Somehow health care is a right. Really? Since when? That's a concept I can't get my head around. It's the same comparison that says I have a right to a home, a car, a 2.3 kid family with a white picket fence. I think we get confused to what is a right and what is a privilege. There's no doubt that people need help with health care insurance premiums. But again, does that make it their right?

My opinion is that those who are able to work and can afford insurance have the responsibility to do so for themselves. That shouldn't be the burden for others to bear. Why should my tax dollars go to a system to support a family that makes more than me so they can keep their truck, SUV, two car garage, home with cable, internet, cell phone service and the works? It makes no sense. And if you think that the poor people in America can't afford insurance, walk through their homes sometimes. I volunteered for a couple years with a street feed ministry bringing hot meals to those less fortunate. Many have cable tv and cell phones. Why should we pay for their insurance when they're more than capable themselves? All that results in is a distribution of wealth and laziness. That, in a nutshell, is the argument that most who oppose health care are making.

I'm not ignorant to say that there are not people who need help with health care insurance. But universal health care where there's a distribution of responsibility and wealth can not and should not be the answer. All that does is create more bureaucracy. There is no utopia in regards to health care. There's no perfect system. Even if government health care happens, not everyone will be covered. Initially maybe. But that kind of system is not...well, sustainable. But to those who love the idea get angry at those of us who oppose. (Yes, I know there's anger on both sides.) They say that all we do is complain and disagree but don't have any solutions or answers ourselves. But I disagree.

There are several solutions out there that don't involve a government health plan option. For instance, how about make a pool (through a free market solution) that allows those who have little to moderate income, but cannot get insurance through an employer, that helps them get insurance. One should provide a tax return statement showing their need or even a current paystub. But show that they need help. With that, let them enter into a pool of insurance options that allows them to get insurance at a modest cost. And for those who can't afford insurance at all (and that should be proven beforehand through the government and private industry to ensure fairness and accuracy), let them apply for assistance. At the very least, everyone should have catastrophic insurance so they're not burdened with debt they can't pay back. Again, this is based on "need," not a right.

This is a simple but overlooked answer to insurance. Sure there are special considerations and issues to iron out with this plan, but it can and should work. Listen, we don't need the government to take care of us. We are the richest nation in the world. Even the "poor" in this country are not as bad off as the middle class in third world countries.

Let's bring some common sense back to this debate. If that's what this is. It seems more like the government and main stream media is trying to jam this down our throats. To what end? What is their agenda? To help people? Oh, come on. Are we that naive? I don't trust politicians in either party. Granted, there are a few decent ones out there, but they are few and far between. They're all following some agenda and/or listening to some lobbyist that have only their own specific interest in mind. We need to get back to the idea that this is a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. Not the government and a select few. And if you believe that's what Barack Obama and his fellow democrats are all about, then you my friend have been deceived. Open your eyes. Think for yourself.

We should really remember that our founding fathers said we are individuals with rights endowed by God. But part of that included the right to pursue happiness. Not to have it "given" to us. Here's what they said:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Get that? The right to pursue our own course in life. But nowhere do they say that the government should do it for us. Even Thomas Jefferson, the man that a lot of liberals like to quote, said that the federal government is something to fear. Look it up yourself. This is what I found. Jefferson said:

Jefferson once wrote, “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.”

And that is exactly where I see us headed. This one government that is as venal and oppressive as the one our forefathers left when they came to seek out a New World. If we have any sense, we will fight against this tooth and nail. Please, people, use your common sense and God-given abilities. Universal health care is one more nail in the coffin. It must not happen.

Monday, August 3, 2009


When I think about healthcare, I'll admit that I don't know everything about what Jesus would say if He were here in the flesh. But I have been doing a lot of thinking about this, and even praying about this. Would Jesus (and consequently, the Bible which is His Word) tell us that we should use the government to provide for our healthcare and society pay for this via our tax dollars?

First, we must assume that people in general care about what Jesus says in this matter? Is the United States a Christian nation or, at the very least, a nation that would base its principles upon the Judeo-Christian principles of the Bible. According the Jeremiah Project website, this is what it says:

The facts nonetheless reveal the true convictions of our founders. Without question, they believed that although no one Christian denomination should dominate the nation, the principles of the Bible and Christianity should underlie our government and American education as well.

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ." - Patrick Henry

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." - U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Jay

These definitely are facts that are not brought up in our society today. But what about today? Would we think or believe the same as our founders? Zogby polls show this about what Americans think of our values, albeit this is about television viewing:

The Bible Society and Zogby conducted a poll testing the hypotheses of the demand for decency in America. The results indicate that more religious values, references to the Bible, and less sex and violence shown on television is desired by 85% of American viewers, contrary to what most television networks and ad executives relay.

Despite this statistic, there are various websites that tend to report surveys that are difficult to understand where people's values lie. The Center for American Values proves this point by showing the contrast of American religious values depending on traditionalist, centrist, modernist, or secular positions( Even with a brief overlook of this survey, there's a common thread that seems to appear. People hold on to the values that they tend to believe. Take or leave my what I think about this, but what people believe as far as their understanding of God, right or wrong, they want to do the right thing. So there is this sense that we do care about what Jesus says regarding our values. What differs is our understanding of what Jesus would have us to do.

Next, the question has to be "What would Jesus say?" At first thought, it would be tempting to say that we all should chip in. Doesn't the Bible say that we should care for the poor, the widow and the orphan? Well, yes, but I believe that command has more to do with the church than it does our government. The church has the responsibility to look out for these people and we shouldn't deligate it to the government. This, to some extent, would put this responsibility then on the shoulders of non-believers. James 1:27 says this:

27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Aside from this, what would Christ think about the healthcare bill that Barack Obama and the Democratic controlled congress and house are proposing? The way that this bill opposes many Biblical principles (i.e. policies that would promote euthanasia and abortion), I would find it impossible to believe that Jesus would think more about people receiving healthcare than going against His principles. It goes against His nature. Granted, some may read the proposed bill differently. Here are those that I tend to trust and examples from what they provided and what is in it:

• Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
• Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
• Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 3-5 - Nurse Home Visit Services – Service #1: “Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.” Compulsory ABORTIONS?

It really is up to each person to evaluate what they believe. I would find it unconscionable
personally to go against what Jesus taught though. Obviously, many of these issues need to be addressed and the healthcare system isn't perfect. But as I look at what is proposed as it is now, it is a very bad idea. There are many other alternatives to healthcare reform, and we must look at them without letting the government get in control. Don't you want to be in control of your own healthcare? I do.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Why is it that some people think that because you're a christian (the idea of religion to most people) means that you can't be involved in politics? Where does it say in the U.S. Constitution that you cannot use christian ideas and/or principles to govern a nation? I'm very disturbed that today's government has used Thomas Jefferson's "letter" as a means to drive religion out of government, or government supported activities. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that religion cannot be a part of politics. What the Constitution does say is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." To me, this means that Congress (or government) needs to keep out of the business of religion. And when Jefferson said to the Danbury Baptist Association that there needed to be a "wall of separation between church and state," he very well believed that government should have no involvement in how religion was to be practiced.

The problem, though, is that Thomas Jefferson's letter did not explicitly prohibit religion (the church) in being involved in political affairs. Even if he did, is Jefferson's letter law? When did that happen? When was it a bill passed and amended into the Constitution? I think we have a bunch of people who refuse to admit that Judeo-Christian principles are the nuts and bolts to our constitution.

People of all faiths (or no faith) are to participate in government. But here's the bottom line. It is the people of the christian faith that made this country great. So what if it was Jefferson's personal belief that government shouldn't show any regard toward religion? All the Constitution says is that it should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Catch that? No LAW. It doesn't mean we can't teach our children the Bible in schools or have the 10 Commandments posted in the halls of some court or governor's office or even pray before each legislative session (as they once did). We just don't make a law mandating it.

But now we're seeing the direct results of taking God (religion, church, whatever) out of government. Things are a huge mess and it's only getting worse. We're a nation that's void of understanding "right and wrong." Where else do we get our morals? From God, from the Bible! And until we understand that and repent and turn back to Him, things are only going to get worse. But understand what God says..."if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Problem is is that we need our leaders to initiate this. Will Obama? Pelosi or Reed?

Monday, June 1, 2009


I find myself being drawn into this sucking hole.  I seem to find it a lot.  I get so exasperated with people.  Even last night as I was reading the Sunday paper I was getting very upset with the world and its ways of thinking.  Why do I do this to myself?  Why do I read stuff from sources I know will obviously make me upset?  I do not agree with the way the rest of the world thinks.  In fact, I get so emotionally upset I want to move to some island and get away from all people because if this is the way people are, then I don't want anything to do with them.

But dang, this thinking flies in the face of what God, Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth tells His disciples to do.  Jesus said in Matthew that, 13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

This is only a part of what Jesus says of course, but the implication is clear.  We cannot isolate ourselves from the world.  We have to be involved.  I tried finding the Scripture that says that we are to be in the world but not a part of it, but instead found 2 Corinthians 5 about our heavenly dwelling.  Paul says it well that he prefers to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  But God, in His infinite wisdom has chosen to keep us here for a reason.  And I think being salt and light fits into that perfectly.

Back to this sucking hole.  Knowing what I know, I shouldn't feel this way.  I find myself judging people and thinking that somehow I know better than they do.  Maybe, in some small way, God has opened my eyes and has given me some insight that not everybody has.  However, there is a BIG danger to thinking this way.  And the first thing to come to mind are those Pharisees, self-righteous and all, that Jesus had to deal with.  When I judge liberals (as in politics) or those who are pro-abortion, am I doing what I'm supposed to do?  On one hand, Paul says that christians will judge the world (and even angels) in 1 Corinthians 6:2.  And on the other, Paul says in Romans 2:1 "at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things."  That's enough to give a man pause to think about judging others.  This is where it gets tricky.  Obviously, in some cases God is saying it's appropriate to judge, and in others, it's not.  Personally, I believe that for a believer to confront a non-believer (on an individual basis), God wants us to not judge, but warn them of the impending judgment from the ultimate Judge.  But I also think that God would has us be involved in our culture and when confronting issues that are contrary to God's Word to speak out against them.

I really find myself struggling with this because I'm not a big confrontation kind of person.  I don't see anywhere in the Bible where if believers are confronted with the issues of the day that we are to remain silent.  Jesus didn't.  Jesus more or less confronted the self-righteous and pious of His day.  Jesus confronted spiritual matters.  If we don't believe many of the issues being discussed in government today are spiritual, we are blind.  And why is it that many people are confused as to why the church seems to be so involved in politics.  This is why.  People of faith need to be involved.  Otherwise, as in the Old Testament where God warned Ezekiel that if he didn't warn his countrymen, he would be accountable for his blood (or in our case perhaps, sin.)

Even knowing all this, I still find it hard.  Our pastor said something in church yesterday that wasn't directly talking about this, but it does have some relevance.  It's not that we don't know what to do.  Most christians do know what to do, or if they don't, can find it rather quickly through the Bible or by asking.  What christians struggle with, is doing what we know we're supposed to do.  And then we don't.  Isn't that sin as well?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Being On Guard

The point to this blog is not to be theological since I don't know all those big words. But I do hope to be Biblically accurate, and if I'm not I hope that a fellow brother or sister would point me to God's Word and show me where I'm off. I'm not a recent convert, but I don't really consider myself a seasoned christian either. There are many christians that I know that I truly admire that I consider seasoned because they demonstrate God's character and have humble hearts. That is where my goal is, is to be humble (can't really brag about being humble, can you?) and to have Christ reflected in me.

I've been a christian for 8 1/2 years now and am relearning what 1 Corinthians 16:13 says. A pastor from another church came and spoke at our men's group a couple Saturdays ago and, though I knew this deep down, I learned about being on guard. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." Sometimes I don't think I do enough to "be on guard." If someone was out to hurt me physically and beat me to a pulp, I'd be on guard, looking over my shoulder, peeking around every corner. But for some reason, I don't do enough to be on guard spiritually knowing that Satan (and his cohorts) are out to kill, steal, and destroy.

Sexual lust is an addiction. It's a problem in relationships and particulary in marriages. As a christian, I understand its damaging effects. But as a man, I have to be extremely careful and on guard when temptation comes. Other steps have to be taken, but the bottom line is that men need to be aware. We need God's help. We need to pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to change us.

My understanding with this particular sin is that it is an addiction much like cocaine. It starts small and with the stimulus of chemicals in the brain you want more and more. And like cocaine and other drugs, it requires a long road to recovery. Don't ever think you're safe. Our culture will lie to you and deceive you. That is what makes all of this so hard. My pastor has even talked about how teenage girls have dropped their pants over their butts while he was out on a morning run. Temptation find itself on the cover of magazines at convenience stores, grocery stores, or wherever. It's even in commercials on channels like TV Land where you wouldn't think you would find them. They're all around us.

If christian men in our culture are going to make a difference, we need to model the correct behavior and teach younger men and boys what the Bible says in regards to holiness, integrity, and righteousness. I'm still learning, but I hope that with everything that I've been through that I can be used by God in some way to help someone else. In fact, I believe it's imperative that men join together in this because on our own, we are very vulnerable. And once a man goes down that road with all the self-gratification that comes with sexual lust, impurity, and ungodliness it is a very difficult road back.