Thursday, April 07, 2016

Church and State? Church and Nation? God and Country?

Church and State? Church and Nation? God and Country?

Capitalism is a diverse economic system. It is competitive with many "teams" (entrepreneurs) and therefore diverse results ranging from tremendous success to tremendous losses. Capitalists are generally driven by their basic needs for food and shelter and for the needs of their families for the same. All have sinned, and the motives of capitalists may be no more honorable than some socialists. Christian freedom is the only liberty by which the natural bent of mankind can curb the abuses of Capitalism or socialism/communism. 

Man’s great need for the Messiah to govern his desire for material possessions and “savings”
is ignored by many capitalists. The desire of capitalists to retain riches and to stingily keep all their wealth for themselves can inhibit the flow of godly generosity toward the poor and their neighbors. Wealth and generosity are ingredients recipes for making friends, but stinginess can be a recipe for brewing jealousy and envy in the poor and neighbors. 

Socialists and communists, themselves usually without the Messiah and morally impoverished, acquire other people’s wealth saying they will bring equity to the world and eradicate poverty. But the result has most often been the impoverishing of the successful whose wealth they take away without lawful claim to it.

Could it be that those who are risk adverse and or lazy and yet still lust for the fruits of success are moved to gather together and literally steal, rob and defraud the successful. Political parties and political systems are often motivated by envy and greed. There may be no more vicious motive than envy. There may be no more deceptive motive than greed. We all would like others to applaud us for something, but we ought not be deceived to seek the praise of sinners.

Come out from among them to the Messiah, be rehabilitated into citizenship in His Kingdom and be governed by His righteousness. This will make you an alien in the world, but a friend of God!

The Messiah’s people (called the church) are perhaps the only people who (ought to always) seeks and “rehabilitate” their criminal element without sending them to jail. Those who criticize the church for being home to hypocrites and sinners ought to consider that truly loving church people actually save them tax money by keeping people out of jail. Jails are very expensive. Should churches give asylum to criminals? Only if they will challenge the criminal to stop committing crimes against other men and women. At the point a criminal refuses to stop evil doing which harm others, that one must be turned over to civil authority for their judgment. That is the purpose of God for civil authority. Today many who call themselves by the Name Christian extend a “mercy” to criminal rebels which only encourages continuance in crime. That is not mercy at all, it is a curse.

Almost 200 years ago Alexis DeToqueville found America to be a unique place, and he called America good. We ought to find out why he thought that it was good.

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”  ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life…”
We ought to find out why He said that.

Solomon wrote:
  Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
    and forsake not your mother's teaching,
 for they are a graceful garland for your head
    and pendants for your neck.
 My son, if sinners entice you,
    do not consent.
 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
    let us ambush the innocent without reason;
 like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
 we shall find all precious goods,
    we shall fill our houses with plunder;
 throw in your lot among us;
    we will all have one purse”—
 my son, do not walk in the way with them;
    hold back your foot from their paths,
 for their feet run to evil,
    and they make haste to shed blood.
 For in vain is a net spread
    in the sight of any bird,
 but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
    they set an ambush for their own lives.
 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
    it takes away the life of its possessors. Proverbs 1:8-19

We ought to find out why he wrote that. And to help, we ought to find out what “ought” means.

noun \ˈȯt\
Definition of ought
:  moral obligation :  duty

helping verb \ˈȯt\
Definition of ought
1 —used to show duty
2 —used to show what it would be wise to do
3 —used to show what is naturally expected
4 —used to show what is correct

Start Stop

Start Stop

Luke 7:35  But wisdom is justified of all her children. KJV

A definition of freedom is being able to stop and being able to start (Thanks to Bob Mumford for it). That is the freedom a young man or woman of God has, yes? As children we may yet need some tutoring and mentoring. We need to know that some behavior is never acceptable to God and we either must never start it or now stop it and start it no more.

We need wisdom to know when to start and when to stop in everyday life. The one you speak to may close their ears to your voice after the 6th iteration or the 6th minute of oration. Learn to stop. On the other hand, you may fail to do the thing God wants if you are too timid, rebellious or stingy and never start speaking, serving or giving. Freely you have received, freely give, give your time, ability, wealth to those whom God sends you to or sends to you. Learn to start.

Truly it is God we must learn to trust that we may start and stop at His word. In that trust great and mighty things happen. God, deliver and heal us. Help us to ask, seek and knock for freedom to hear You, to stop and start at Your word. If our mentors are believers, that might, that ought to be better than if they were not.  But if we depend always them, or on mother, dad, teacher, auntie, pastor or spouse for direction, everything becomes second hand, hearsay. Certainly God the Holy Spirit is perfect and able always more than any, and trustworthy more than any or even all men. (Psalm 118:8&9) As we live as persons in jars of clay and are one body, one Bride, (one person?) espoused to Yeshua our Bridegroom. In Him being able to start and stop as He wills is a “recipe” for becoming spotless and wrinkle free.

The Bridegroom grooms the Bride, bringing her “out from among them” and discipling her, to bring her into His liberty: to start and stop at His will! To the carnal person this may cause Jesus to be seen as a control freak. But God is cleansing us and grooming us. Ever see an ungroomed dog at a dog show? The blessing of God’s Spirit training us to start and to stop in obedience to Him becomes much more attractive and enjoyable as over time the results (diseases, wounds) of  carnal choices (out of our ungoverned desires) are removed and His Health and Holiness are worked into our Bridal being. Doing what is “right” in my carnal eyes did wear me out! Perhaps it is not wrong to say: “Your sin will find you WORN OUT!” When we can say and act in the freedom of “Not my will but Thine be done,” we will discover God’s freedom to perfect us, to complete us.  We become mature. He HAS given all things necessary for life and godliness. We CAN, we ought, we must trust and obey Him. Then no evil and harmful word or action will proceed from us, and no evil or harmful consequence can be blamed on us. We will in faith which is energized by God who IS love (Gal. 5:6; 1John 4:8b) become blameless in THIS life. Will that be ruling and reigning in life? I ask that as I’m not completely clear how to answer the question.

To rule and reign in carnality would be to get what we want, when we want it every time we want it. Self worship, self service and the character of satan will then be ruling and reigning in us and through us to influence anyone who might be influenced by us. THAT is frightening! And the result will be that we will be worn out! And OTHERS may be worn out by us! THAT IS REALLY FRIGHTENING! I don’t believe those whose consciences have been born again can live in the flesh like THAT without great inner turmoil of the heart and mind.

Was Jesus ruling and reigning when He was Emmanuel, God with us? He obeyed Father every time, 100%, going when He was commanded to go and saying what He was commanded to say! The result? He finished the work Abba sent Him to do. Ah, but He was crucified, our carnality says… Ah, but He rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit declares! He secured the inheritance of those of the lost sheep of the house of Israel who receive Him and all those of the nations who receive Him. We all together can now trust Him in all he said and did, and all the Spirit of Holiness today says and does. Because of Jesus’ eternal security in the Triune Godhead, (Philippiand 2: 6  …though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped)   we being saved in Him are eternally secure! Woo Hoo !!! Hallelu Yah !!!

My conclusion is that by obedience we do rule and reign. The prayer I hear some now praying is that the Lord cause our obedience to appeal to those whom God says should be saved. Paul prayed that and The Message rendering of the prayer should melt our hearts:

Philippians 1:9-11 The Message (MSG)
9-11 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

It is a 9-11 prayer in urgent need of praying and answering today in each of us and all the church. Or are the days not evil and the times PERILOUS?

The five senses and the intellect of the lost and the backsliders ought not to be easily put off by what they see and hear from us. They ought to know we are Jesus students by our love , and that ought to look good to them. Our obedience should look somewhat strange to the world around us, but with God’s divine influence it need not be off-putting. It may even look strange to the congregation we attend. I have a friend John W. who taught me something about obedience. He was in a meeting and the Lord said to him, “Shout aloud: Macaroni.” He really was surprised, and after some hesitation shouted aloud: “MACARONI.” After the meeting a man came to him and thanked him for shouting it as he was praying about two business opportunities, one being pasta making. Obedience to what you or I are called by God to do may not appear as comfortable or FUN. But I can imagine John W.’s momentary discomfort may have really blessed a pasta maker to be! I expect to hear the rest of the story someday.

Sometimes obedience will look strange to us, or at least it did to me as I read Isaiah 20 for the first time.

The truth invariably perceived by us as a negative when it first appears. Obedience is the right response to the truth. Jesus IS Truth. Does obedience also appear as a negative, as unpleasant when it first is commanded? I’m inclined to say it does. A real hope and blessing for us as Jesus own lamb’s is this, that as we are discipled, taught, trained, corrected, reproved and rebuked, as we are chastened, obedience become the activity by which we are secured to Him and become fruit bearing, bearing joy and love and all the fruits of the Spirit of Wisdom.

Galatians 5:6 teaches us that faith works (is energized) by love. John’s first letter teaches us that love is proved by obedience. Jesus taught us that by love for one another ALL men will KNOW that we are His students. God IS Love. We need to hear Love AND OBEY Love. Am I of little faith? Do I not trust God so much? It will be seen in that I love little and obey little. That is something I want God to correct in me, as I do see it in me.

We must learn to start: loving God and neighbor, trusting God, obeying God’s Voice. We must learn and take time to listen to His Voice. That in itself is obedience and leads to greater OPPORTUNITIES to obey God. God our Father is PLEASED when we obey Him. He wants to take the fear and mistrust we almost always have in the flesh away from us and install in us Himself, His Spirit, His love and His trust! If we will LOVE, TRUST and OBEY Him, His Kingdom will open to us (even to me!) in an increasing measure of fullness and opportunity. I believe I have God’s Spirit in writing this, somewhat a reiteration of the Promises of the New Covenant.

Luke 7:35  Wisdom is vindicated by all her children." ISV
Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us, fixing our attention on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of the faith, who, in view of the joy set before him, endured the cross, disregarding (despising ~ ASV) its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Think about the one who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you may not become tired and give up. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. You have forgotten the encouragement that is addressed to you as sons: "My son, do not think lightly of the Lord's discipline or give up when you are corrected by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he punishes every son he accepts." What you endure disciplines you: God is treating you as sons. Is there a son whom his father does not discipline? Now if you are without any discipline, in which all sons share, then you are illegitimate and not God's sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them for it. We should submit even more to the Father of our spirits and live, shouldn't we? For a short time they disciplined us as they thought best, but God does it for our good, so that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, for those who have been trained by it, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Hebrews 12:1-11

[~ TY Jesus for everything, and TY Bob Mumford for your part in bringing this short writing into being.]