This Great Land

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We hear a lot these days about how our country is a secular nation and that our forefathers never intended that religion, especially Christianity should have any part in the forming of our government.  Yet these statements just don’t add up to history or to the documentations of our founding fathers.  Documents and monuments scattered across Washington D.C. and this great nation give credence to a great Divine power. Even in the Declaration of Independence we read these words: “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions”.  So it is quite clear that America was not founded under atheistic intentions, but quite the contrary.  While we are indeed not specifically a Christian nation, we were indeed founded upon Christian principles.  Freedom is one of the greatest of Christian virtues and one we still cling to as a nation today.  Therefore, I encourage you this July 4th to take time to give thanks for this great land that we live in.  It may be ever changing and even in many cases for the worse, yet it is truly a wonderful gift to live in America.  May we never take for granted the freedoms afforded to us by God through our founding fathers.

Tolerance?

ring-of-people-1103018-mI read a definition on “tolerance” that I thank is the best one I’ve read yet: “Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another’s beliefs, practices and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them.” We live in a society that preaches all sorts of agendas under the banner of “tolerance”, but what they are really wanting is acceptance. Many of these issues such as the homosexual and abortion agendas have very passionate supporters. They have political and celebrity backing and influence as well. And under the banner of tolerance they are preaching from one generation to the next that to not accept their practices and beliefs is evil and unloving. However, to use their own logic, one must see how intolerant they are being to those who oppose them. For the Christian it boils down to the simple choice of how one views the Bible. Either the Bible is the complete, inerrant word of God or it is not. If it is God’s word, then we must believe it and follow it to the letter. You can’t take a middle road went it comes to the Bible, either it is right or it is wrong. Trying to pick and choose the scriptures, makes the rest of scripture void. If God is perfect, then what He says is perfect. Therefore, followers of Christ we can be lovingly “tolerant” to those of the world, but we don’t have to compromise what God has revealed is right and what is wrong. Stand on the truth brothers and sisters as we face the dark days ahead.

Only God Knows

It’s been humorously noted, “Always be tolerant with a person who disagrees with you.  After all, he has a right to his ridiculous opinion.” Isn’t easy to get defensive when people counter what we think?  There are many times that people’s opinions are given out to us even though we may not particularly agree with that opinion. From our limited viewpoint we may be quick to judge a person’s beliefs, political standings, or parenting styles just by what they talk about.  It is tempting to cast judgment on folks with differing opinions than us, but we must remember our limitations. The Bible says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.” – Proverbs 21:2 NJKV.  So remember while we may be tempted to make judgment calls on a person’s spiritual condition because of certain opinions they have, we must realize that only God knows the true condition of the heart.

Cheap Politics

do-not-enter-946429-mWhen I read the phrase, “The cheaper the politician, the more he costs his country,” I couldn’t help but think about our current government situation.  Whether you call it a shutdown, a slimdown, or a meltdown, it can all be linked back to incompetent choices. In all honest what we are lacking in Washington are true men and women of integrity.  Not “cheap” politicians that will do anything to buy a vote, but people who will have values and stand on them. But the sad reality is that this is a daunting reality all throughout our nation.  To many folks, Christians included, cannot be trusted by what they say, what the promise, or even by what they do.  In our self absorbed and self gratifying society we are very quick to compromise our integrity and go against our principles to gain an advantage.  However, this shouldn’t be the case for those who follow Jesus.  We should be people of the Word and thus we should keep our word and hold our integrity in check.  We should all take Proverbs 19:1 to heart: “Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.”

Be Careful With Liberty

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   There is an inscription in the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. that is very important and prophetic of our nation:

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever…”

As we have been celebrating the birth of our nations independence we all focus on the word “liberty”.  It is a word that embraces the idea of freedom. As Americans we love the fact that we are free, but we must let the words of Thomas Jefferson remind us of the source of our freedom.  In a very real way Jefferson was warning us that if our nations begins loving and glorifying our “liberty”, while at the same time losing our “conviction that these liberties are the gift of God”, then we will be ripe for the justice of God on our land.  Sadly, I truly think this is the direction of our nation and I too tremble for my country when I reflect on this hard truth. 

 

Where I Stand

As a pastor, I usually keep my opinions about politics pretty quite.  I do believe however, that there are times when “politics” run contrary to Scripture and at such times I have no choice, but speak the Truth of God.  A few moments ago Rick Warren twitted this video and after watching it, I believe it truly communicates where I personally stand on the “hot” political issues.  But after watching it, please understand that I agree on these positions, not because I’m a beget or because I have some self-righteous view point.  No, I believe these things because they are the Bible’s view of these things.  I believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word and therefore I chose to stand with God over the opinions of man.  Thanks for understanding…

The Need Of God In America

Our nation’s sixteenth President was Abraham Lincoln.  While we know that he was an inspirational leader for our country through the Civil War and the end of slavery, he was also a man of God.  Lincoln once wrote, “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”  Oh, how we need spiritual leadership in our land again.  It is my prayer and I hope yours as well that this 4th of July will cause us to hunger for God again as a nation.  I long for a day that the name of Jesus would not be a byword or a cuss word, but would be lifted up in reverence.  However, we must recognize the fact that this sense of respect for God won’t come in this year’s election or in any election.  This is not something we can just fix.  What we need in our land is a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit through revival.  If and when that day comes, God will bless America.