Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When Swine Attack: A Primer on Media Swine-bite

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn and attack you.”  Matthew 7:6

There are more than a few differing worldviews in the United States, and they may be categorized in many ways. One broad and accurate way to view them is that they are either godly or godless. These two simple categories have been relevant to faithful people for a very long time.

“It was about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him’.”  Jude :14, 15

It is unlikely that sincere protests of “But I wanted to be godly,” or “But I am confident that I am godly,” will carry much weight with our Creator on the Day of Judgment. Human sincerity and confidence do not trump God’s own opinion. God is judge, and the judge decides what qualifies as ‘godly’ and ‘ungodly’.

Therefore, religious people who fall short of holy worship of the Lord Jesus Christ are justly in the category of ‘ungodly’. This includes not only those who are atheist, but those of many groups who will consider themselves ‘godly’. God makes those distinctions, not us. My intent in drawing this distinction is not to justify myself or to cast aspersions on others. My intent is to take any beam or speck out of my own eye and to encourage those who see and hear spiritually to take a moment to do the same.

To get to the point, how do godly people interact with ungodly media? Reporters and social media pundits (great and small), gather information (sometimes by interview and sometimes by ambush), report only what they want to report, the way they want to spin it, and publish their opinion as if they are the judge of reality. Often times they do so for money or personal publicity. There is no way to stop ungodly attacks in a sinful world. Swine will attack, and we have been warned.

What annoys me to the point of blogging about it; is that a lot of people demand that Christians in prominent leadership roles take every possible opportunity to condemn sinful behavior publicly, in bold terms, through interactions with godless media people that cannot possibly fail to attack the Christian. When ‘Christian’ critics join the swine in the attack on other Christians, as if it is their business, then I think we should be appalled.

Spiritual wounds are real, and swine-bite causes the same damage whether it comes from the ungodly or the godly who are sinning. To join in the swine feeding frenzy in the name of Christ is appalling.

Perhaps some reminders could be useful. Unless people are born of the Spirit (John 3:3, 5) they cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God. They don’t see it and they don’t care. It is the most disastrous of all possible expressions of ignorance and apathy. It is also incredibly shallow for Christians to disregard this reality. Why should the ungodly care about what God has said?

“The natural person (ungodly) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” Romans 8:7

How then, can a Christian believe what God has said, and then give objective credence to the ungodly media when they write about Christian things? Do we want to be dominated by the world, or be free of it? Do we want to think for ourselves or have a mob mentality sweep us up on the path of grumbling and complaining (Jude :16, Philippians 2:14, 15)?

But some may conclude that they are God’s own bold warriors, needing to take a loud moral stand where the influential Christian leaders and influential Christian organizations have, in the warrior's own sincere opinion, failed to be faithful. The result can be public condemnation of Christian people, misrepresented by godless media (or sinning fellow Christians), and all in the name of Christ?!! Condemning Westboro-esque tactics, it is still possible to be at a lesser degree on the same sliding scale.

Does this passage matter? “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’.” Matthew 25:40

Did our Lord take every opportunity to condemn cultural sin in bold confrontation?

“But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2:24, 25

“This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:13

Perhaps the Christian cultural warrior should speak their own words boldly to the ungodly world that cannot understand; that will (!) conclude that they are fools, and then the warrior can bear their own consequences. Perhaps the Christian cultural warrior should live their own idealistic theories about improving a godless culture through a condemnation that their godless culture cannot accept, and will not accept. Perhaps the Christian cultural warrior should keep their fangs and tusks off of the lives of fellow Christians.

Perhaps Christians ought to face their own appointments with opposition or persecution and not help the godless to throw the godly under the lions.

Lead people to Christ individually, for each is born again, one at a time. Our Lord wants our participation in reconciliation. Recognize the spiritual kingdom that is (John 18:36, 37), and stop thinking we can dominate an evil culture. Jesus, Himself, will dominate the world in His own time. And He doesn’t need our help for that.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The President, Angry Mobs and We

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment…Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience… Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:1, 2, 5, 7

President Obama is my President, and I owe him respect and honor. I am an Independent voter and did not vote for him. I disagree with many of his decisions. I know for certain that I am not capable of knowing all the complications of the issues that he must weigh; he is the President and I am not. I know for certain that I am not capable of knowing how to judge his motives and character, and that God reserves that kind of judgment for Himself. If I decide that I will judge President Obama anyway, then God says I am resisting what He has appointed and will incur judgment, in the context of God’s wrath.

There is no possible way that I, or any Christian, can condemn our President by name and not quench the influence of the Holy Spirit while doing so. Showing dishonor and disrespect for any President is ungodly, it is sin.  It dishonors the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Showing dishonor and disrespect to our President by name is not ungodly because he is our President; it is ungodly because Christians are not to show dishonor and disrespect to anyone! Christians can, and should, turn their backs upon personal attacks against anyone. Stop the slander! Stop the gossip! And also seek to stop other ungodly things.

What hypocrisy if I, or any other Christian, engage in ungodly words to condemn others when God makes it plain that the others are not my business, but His? Shall I, or any other Christian, engage in ungodly condemnation in the name of God; as if He is leading me to do so? Is that not dishonoring our Lord Jesus Christ? Will He ignore it? Will there be no consequences?

Obviously, I am raising an alarm about godless and slanderous words. This is a poor time to let the godless American legal system define what God means when He calls something “slander” (“railing”, “reviling”). Are we seeking to be godly through Jesus Christ? Are we seeking to see reality through His point of view? Aren’t we cautious about accepting a godless worldview?

The Constitution gives you both freedom of speech and the right to privacy. As far as rights from a godless government, they are pretty good things. But godlessness allows us to be free in our slander and grants us the right to sneak. I think the Constitution of the United States is a remarkable document, but it is not equal or superior to the Words of God.

When we feel the need to share our opinions we can do so without attacking individuals. If we do not know how to do so, then we can keep our opinions to ourselves until we can learn to express ourselves in a Christian way. Christians care about how they express themselves.

For example: I think human life begins at conception. I think killing almost 60 million children through abortion is ten times as bad as the holocaust. I think there will be Divine consequences to that upon my nation and that there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. And I live in this country. I think the same godless worldview has killed hundreds of millions of people created in God’s image all around the world. There are now unavoidable consequences to that, and I live on this world. I do not think either American political party has addressed this issue of murder in a godly way. And I doubt that any Christian I know would attempt to defend the godliness of their preferred political party.  I can express my outrage without returning evil for evil by disrespecting, dishonoring and condemning a person by name.

I will not, and we should not, express moral outrage the way the godless news media express their disrespectful and dishonoring opinions against individuals, personally, by name. It is godless. I understand they do not have the eyes and ears to see and hear God’s point of view. As a result, the only option the godless have is godlessness.

Please think it through. Please pray it through. Please recognize the Mob Mentality of angry people and don’t add fuel to the fire. And consider praying for your President who is supposed to lead the angry mobs to prosperity.

An individual’s ONLY solution to the problems of evil comes through an INDIVIDUAL and SPIRITUAL conversion to righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ.

The ONLY solution to the problems of evil in the PHYSICAL world is the personal return of Jesus Christ.

It is my hope that I have not offended you with my words. To the best of my ability I have tried to be gentle and accurate. Please read my words that way. I am not your judge, I know that. May God bless you as you seek Him.