Archive for the ‘ Governement ’ Category

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 3: Republic Standings

I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class (the foundation of why we learn from history) before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second and third lessons were combined in the post two weeks ago, with a look at when the Church was founded and the various forms of leadership Jesus dealt with. Last week was a look at how he rebuked those in leadership.

Again, here are my notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 4: Christ and the Church’s Foundation – Modern Comparisons

The leadership in the time of Jesus included the entirely secular yet pagan Roman Empire, the hyper-religious Pharisees, the super-compromised Sadducees, the fastidious Essenes, and the rebellious Zealots.

Briefly, how do we see nothing new in our leadership?

Modern comparisons:

  • Government:
    • Rome allowed for religious plurality, but you were still required to acknowledge state-sanctioned beliefs.
      • Law-based:
        • Caesar was deified.
        • Marriage was between men and women, but prostitutes and slaves were still free rein (mostly for men; women had few rights.) And only men who “received” were less masculine.
      • Entertainment (to distract):
        • Plays (actors were known as “hypocrites” – Two-faced
        • Colliseum – violence was a favorite
      • Education:
        • Usually only the elite/rich could receive an education
    • Today: Every government is different, but there are many similarities:
      • Either a god or leader (i.e. Islam) or the State are practically (or literally) worshiped.
        • We attempt to legislate morality (liberal/leftist – conservative, alike)
        • Our political heroes are practically deified.
        • Often the sciences or pet policies (see Climate Change, Gun rights, sexual ethics, patriotism) are practically (or even literally) worshiped.
      • Sexual ethics: The Jews were looked down on for looking down on Roman practices, and today we have LGBTQ+ issues causing the same with governments and churches
      • Education:
        • We are not allowed to teach religious beliefs in schools, yet atheistic beliefs are expected to be adhered to: i.e. Naturalistic evolution, sexual ethics, behavioral ethics, etc.
        • We deviate from the essential (Mathematics, Grammar, Reasoning, etc.) to emotionalism and preference.
      • Entertainment:
        • Sports: Athletes are practically deified, and teams are given more attention than religious obligations.
        • Movies/TV Shows: Gradually getting more graphic – sex, violence, language – and generally more agenda driven than with good writing.
        • All basically distract – escapism/mob-mentality/propoganda

Applicable Scripture:

  • Titus 2
  • 1 Timothy 1
  • Romans 1

Next time: Modern comparisons to some of the religious leadership!

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 2


I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class (the foundation of why we learn from history) before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second and third lessons were combined in the post last week, with a look at when the Church was founded and the various forms of leadership Jesus dealt with.

Again, here are my notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 3: Christ and the Church’s Foundation – His Rebukes

The leadership in the time of Jesus included the entirely secular yet pagan Roman Empire, the hyper-religious Pharisees, the super-compromised Sadducees, the fastidious Essenes, and the rebellious Zealots.

Briefly, how did Jesus confront each of them?

Jesus clearly took issue with everyone:

  • Pagan Romans did not know what they worshiped, but they believed this life was worth leaving behind.
    • He called out their sinfulness and incorrect worship.
    • Matthew 16:18 may have taken place at one of the “Gates of Hell” popular with pagans and Jews alike
      • Jesus’ Church would prevail over death and pagan beliefs, meaning the Roman idea that death was preferable to life is directly refuted.
    • Likewise, when the Canaanite woman pleads with Jesus in Matthew 15 to heal her daughter, Jesus rebukes her that He came for the faithful.
      • Her humility in accepting that she is outside of the nation of Israel is a rebuke to Roman ideas that you can believe whatever you want. It is those who believe in Christ alone that find peace and eternal life.
  • The Divided leadership:
    • Pharisees – Were simultaneously too strict and not strict enough in their interpretations.
      • See Matthew 23.
      • See Matthew 5-7
    • Sadducees – Denied everything Christ was about while using His Scriptures.
      • Just about anything Jesus ever said to the Sadducees was a rebuke.
      • They can be included in Matthew 5-7 and 23.
    • Essenes – Largely cut themselves off from society instead of interacting with it to change it.
      • See Matthew 28:18-20
    • Zealots – Took devotion to the wrong extremes.
      • See John 18:36
    • Look at Matthew 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-22 – Jesus clears the Temple Courts
      • This was a handy rebuke of all of them:
        • The Sadducees most obviously allowed selling to happen in the courts
        • The Pharisees either allowed it and/or promoted it
        • The Essenes essentially ignored it
        • The Zealots liked Jesus’ actions, of course, but they were so focused on fighting off the pagans while neglecting the House of God
  • Read the Seven Letters from Revelation 2-3:
    • Notice the similarities of the churches with the leadership in Jesus’ time
    • Notice similarities to today’s churches

Reblog: Christian, Is Your HOPE in Political CHANGE?

I think Jason hit the nail on the head with this one. I know I for one have been frustrated with many brothers and sisters in Christ, so it helps knowing I am not alone!

Perhaps you feel the same. Perhaps you will feel convicted by this. In any event, this is a word of wisdom through Jason.

Christian, Is Your HOPE In Political CHANGE?

Last night I thought Twitter and Facebook were going to literally explode. I watched the election results like many Americans.  Personally, I voted differently than the results played out last night.  I was disappointed.

I was also disheartened.  I wasn’t disheartened by Barack Obama winning (I voted for Romney).  I wasn’t disheartened by the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado (I think this is a big mistake for those states).  I wasn’t disheartened that Maine and Maryland voted to approve gay marriage (Although, I was deeply grieved that traditional marriage was dealt such a big blow).

Can I tell you why I was disheartened?  Believers in Jesus were despairing.

Continue reading here.

Voting, Elections and God

Here is another guest blog by Jesse Walker. I am enjoying my time away from the blog, watching some movies and playing some video games with my wife, actually relaxing a little, getting several weeks worth of homework done in an afternoon (because it is so much easier than what I have done … ever in college!), and working on other theological and ministerial things.

I do not usually get too into politics on this blog, but that does not mean my guests have to shy away from it! For this election season, here is an early post (instead of my usual Tuesday schedule). May it help you in making a decision on how to vote (and, please, vote!). Pray, pray, pray! Listen to all advice and weigh it by the your convictions, what the Bible says, and how you feel the Lord leads.

Many blessings until later! Your brother in Christ, Daniel

If you’re like me, you probably have had questions about the candidates, the party’s and which candidate might possibly have God’s endorsement (since, of course, His is the only one that matters).

While there are many issues that are important to each of us, be it the economy, immigration, the second amendment, or a plethora of others, I believe that there is one that will not only last for eternity, but is near and dear to God’s heart. It’s not that the other issues aren’t important, but that only one involves eternal souls. You see, God is a protector of the innocent and a defender of the weak, and the issue that is on His heart, the only one that will last for eternity, is preserving the life of the innocent un-born. As Christians it is vitally important that we vote for the pro-life candidate who can win. I say, “who can win” because many of us would like to vote for a third-party candidate. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that our system of government, a democratic republic (NOT a democracy), is a two-party system, which makes it very hard for a third-party candidate to win. I almost registered as an Independent, because I felt that elected officials from both sides of the aisle had let us down, but as I researched the party lines, I began to see that all of my principles and convictions were already laid out in one of the two main parties.

But no matter you’re political persuasion, as a Christian it is your responsibility to vote pro-life. Please take a moment to listen to a radio program I did here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tP22TwZbvk

Based on this information, I had a lot of peace about who to vote for, and then God gave me confirmation through a great man of God, Lou Engle. Here is an email I received from Lou this past week:

Can I vote for Romney?

Over the last year I have wrestled greatly with this question. I have been mostly silent, waiting on the Lord for understanding. Prior to TheCall Detroit I’ve felt a strong calling to pray for President Obama, that he would be a Lincoln-type President who (through the dealings of God) would be changed into another man on the issue of life. Should he win the election, I will still hope and pray for this outcome. However, many people have misconstrued my statements and even twitter’d that I intend to vote for President Obama. Quite the contrary! My clear and pointed statement has been that I cannot vote for anyone who by legal decree supports the shedding of innocent blood, believing such a vote would make me an accomplice to the act.

In recent years I have further refined my position to include no exceptions for rape and incest, understanding that life begins at conception, therefore all life is sacred. My position has been to reject the compromise of simply voting for the  lesser of two evils, believing that my allegiance is given to a higher King and a higher kingdom, therefore my  No  vote actually becomes a prophetic act” a vote of conscience, not abdication. I have believed that if the church would stand on principle, and also require the same of our candidates, that we could actually shift our political climate from confidence in man to confidence in God for the healing of our nation, and that God, in response, would answer with the fire of revival on a people who refused to bow (via a compromised vote) to the image of Caesar. Jesus said,  Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.  How can I stoop to surrender the image of God in marriage to Caesar (Gen. 1:26″ 28)? How can I forfeit God’s image in the unborn through abortion to Caesar, when Scripture clearly warns against the shedding of innocent blood? (Gen. 4:10, 9:6; Deut. 19:13; Psa. 72:12-14; Ezek. 35:6)

These are not small questions, driving me in great consternation to much dialogue with my Christian brothers and sisters across the nation. I found myself challenged by a simple question: Can you be sure that if you don’t vote for Romney you aren’t still accountable for the shedding of innocent blood, similar to a sin of omission? After all, abortion could greatly proliferate under Obamacare. Furthermore, though Romney allows for the exceptions clause, with which I disagree, he remains opposed to all other cases, and this statistically represents 98.5% of current abortion procedures. Successfully overturning 98.5% of abortions would represent a massive shift in our national blood guilt. In this view, voter accountability becomes more complex, and the answers not so clear.

Bringing further challenge, I was given a scenario, a true moral conundrum. If I had been a Christian conservative in pre-Nazi Germany, as the nation floundered in moral and economic woes, and there I heard the rousing moral clarity of a leader promising a strong economy, who was also pro-family, pro-marriage, anti-debauchery and drunkenness, etc., could I have actually made the mistake of voting as a matter of conviction for Hitler (who in fact adopted those many  good  positions). Could principles in fact blind me to the moment, such that I would support the raising of a king whom Christ Himself would want torn down? Whoa! This is a deeply troubling thought. To me it seems clear that if I had made my stand on principle alone I would have missed God and joined in the destruction of 6 million Jews. This is why we must submit ourselves to the governance of the Holy Spirit, for the wrong application of right principles can cloud even the discernment of the righteous.

At about this time of crisis in my own thought processes, my closest friend (and a true prophet in my life) had a compelling dream concerning Romney s viability as a candidate. In the dream, Romney was clearly favorable from a divine perspective. After this, the substance of my friend s dream was immediately confirmed by another prophetic encounter from another well known prophetic voice. Now hear me, this election is not about Romney being the great answer to America s problems. Rather, these prophetic experiences seemed to indicate that Romney was a sort of window of mercy to America on several fronts, but chiefly the dividing of Jerusalem. The thought of protecting that ancient covenantal bond of God shifted my paradigm dramatically. I found myself having to peer into another biblical principle that I heretofore had not pondered with the same intensity as I had the life issue.

As I sought the Lord concerning these various biblical truths and prophetic words, it was as if a light began to shine into my heart. I sensed the Lord saying,  Will you stand with Me in my covenantal faithfulness? Will you stand for my ancient covenant with My people? A deep abiding ‘Yes’ began to conquer my arguments.

Therefore I now make this statement for the sake of both my own conscience and for the clearing of any misconceptions or questions currently circulating in the body. I remain to this day a no exceptions voter, though very challenged by lingering questions regarding the practical application of a principled vote. I am committed to the highest, best moral and faith response to the political issue of abortion. I seek its ultimate end, and its progressive end. But I refuse to castigate any well-meaning believers who come to a different conclusion than mine. It seems to me there is room for great Christian understanding and patience with one another in the journey.

With that said, I am declaring my best, personal understanding of the Lord’s heart in this hour: that in this election, America’s future is on dangerous ground, facing judgment not only over abortion and other key issues, but most definitely over the high possibility of breaking faith with God’s covenant with Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and His covenant people. President Obama has publicly called for the return of the land of Jerusalem and Israel to the pre-1967 boundaries. I can’t go there. I won’t. My heart had been opened to another great theme:  The Life of the unborn has called me and God’s covenant to the Jewish people restrains me .

I am voting for Romney.

In clean conscience,

Lou Engle”

I challenge and encourage you to vote for the pro-life candidate, Governor Romney.

With all Sincerity and Love in Christ,

Jesse Walker

Reblog: Give Us A King … er, President – Church of No People

I read this from Matt Appling’s blog, The Church of No People.

It was so good I had to send it along. Head on over to read the rest!

 

Give Us a King…er, President

November 2, 2012

 

Just one more weekend to go…white-house-south-2007-dj

…Many of us have rested many hopes on the shoulders of one man or the other.

We assure ourselves that if only the right man is elected, then our troubles will be erased:

We will have more money.

We will enjoy more opportunities.

We will be safer and more secure.

We will be happier.

Catch the rest at The Church of No People …

America, Taxes, and Choices

Tomorrow is July 4. In honor of the day, HAPPY 236TH BIRTHDAY, USA!

It also seems appropriate to gear my post toward current events in this nation. Let first warn that this is merely a very short summary, not a specific and detailed explanation. This is also not an attack on one political party or support for another (but it sure will seem like it). I merely am using an example. (Though it is no secret I do not care for Obama as POTUS)

This past Thursday, June 28, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) voted 5-4 in favor of upholding the Affordable Care Act (affectionately named Obamacare), with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority summary.

To sum up the basics:

  • everyone is guaranteed health coverage;
  • all people must have health insurance;
  • if you do not have health insurance, you are fined every year.

The Obama Administration, including Obama himself, said this Act was not a new tax.

This claim caused conservatives to decry the Obamacare as a violation of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, which allows the Federal government to regulate commerce but not to force citizens to use one specific good or service.

Most people (including the Obama Administration) thought the conservative leaning SCOTUS would strike down Obamacare based on this Act. Instead, they upheld the law as a tax.

The Administration praised the decision.

Conservatives and many Americans were very upset and felt betrayed.

At least one conservative praised the decision.

Erick Erickson wrote an article titled I’m Not Down on John Roberts. He argues why Roberts did the right thing:

  1. He kept the court above partisan politics;
  2. He kept the Law political instead of legal (stemming from reason 1);
  3. He “expanded” taxation powers, but he limited the Commerce Clause powers of Congress;
  4. The Democrats (and anyone else who supported Obamacare) are now fighting an uphill battle in an election year, especially seeing as a new giant tax was levied against everyone;
  5. He took away the Democratic Party’s recent argument that Obama needs to be re-elected to remove conservative activist judges;
  6. He galvanized Conservatives.

As Erickson put it here, “I am disappointed, but not distraught. In reading his opinion, I conclude Roberts is playing at a different game than the rest of us. We’re on poker. He’s on chess.”

Why do I share this on a blog about theology and Christian living?

First is this: “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.” (Proverbs 8:5, NIV)

Clearly, both Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals, the Left and Right do not understand justice. Both cry for it, but neither understands it. Both have hoped for courts to save their laws or deny the laws of their opponents (Remember SB1070 of Arizona or Prop 8 of California).

Both sides have resorted to sneak attacks and scape goats, letting others take the fall for their underhanded practices, while barely actually representing those who have elected them.

Secondly: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16, NIV)

I do not completely agree with Chief Justice Roberts, but he did make a very wise play from a conservative standpoint. When he made his decision to uphold Obamacare as a tax, he refused to play by the rules set up for him in the recent political climate. He still played by the rules of politics, but he put the responsibility for change back into the hands of the people. In his words:

Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect people from the consequences of their political choices. (Emphasis added)

Which leads to the final point: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7, NIV)

Our nation is in the position it is in not just because of our elected leaders. For far too long the citizens of the United States of America have by and large voted in reaction to policies and people. Most people do not look into politicians histories or voting records. Most people do not look into facts as presented.

Most voters vote on how they feel or how a politician makes them feel.

No wonder our nation (and many nations globally) are so torn and divisive.

I am not telling you for whom you should vote. Instead, you should not play the fool but know what politicians are saying, how they stand, and how they have acted.

Pay attention to the details. Do not just react to what you think you know or what makes you angry, upset, or happy. To do so can lead to consequences you may not like.

Seek God. Make wise decisions.