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?