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Whatever Happened to Conscientious Objection? 2

Posted on February 15, 2015 by Alexander
Resisting the draft

Where is the moral conscience of the Church today?

When I was a youth the Vietnam War was winding down. When I was of draft age, Nixon had begun the lottery and my number was too high, so I never went. But I remember that many had either fled to Canada or had filed CO, Conscientious Objector. That was a strange concept to me since I did not come to Christ until I was an adult of 32.  The C.O. is a basic right of American freedom that had been used by men of faith who refused to violate the teachings of Jesus Christ in harming others.

Since the Vietnam war we have had a  multitude of military police actions and wars around the world:  Grenada and Panama in 1989;   Desert Shield in 1990 then Desert Storm in 1991;  Somalia in 1993; Bosnia mid 1990’s; Afghanistan 2001 and on; and Iraq 2003 and on – all called police actions, not wars; World War II being the last war declared by congress.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and observed the Vietnam War protests and the emergence of alternative lifestyles of Berkeley, California. The influence of that era had a stronghold on me that I was unaware.  As a new believer in 1985  a friend made it her mission to get me to vote and be patriotic.  Her mission was supported by worship music and preaching in the pulpit, so as a new ignorant believer I assumed that  she was acting on behalf of the Lord.

During that time I joined the ranks of Christians who believed that supporting the government  was patriotic and what “good” Christians do. I discovered that many Christians were police officers who attended my various congregations, many were combat veterans, many were government officials.  In short people of the church populate every aspect of the government and the military and are the biggest supporters of the military. Yet, it has not always been so.  Many American Christians at one time refused military service. Read the rest of this entry →

Twice the Child of Hell 10

Posted on September 05, 2014 by Alexander
you-are-a-phairsee.jpg

The danger of self righteousness.

(Mat 23:15)  A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you go about land and sea to get one disciple and, having him, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

A reader of an old article written by another author that I posted had been trying to get me to remove the article.  He has a website of his own dedicated to discrediting the author of the article.  My initial response pointed out that even if the messenger had faults, the message was still valid.  You can read the comments posted back and forth there so I will not repeat them here.  In my final comment to  him I shared the verse where God hates those who sow discord amongst the brethren (Prov. 6:16) and as an American I found his attempt to censor free speech to be repugnant.  His last comment which I did not post stated that the author had admitted to fraudulent credentials and that he found my refusal to remove the article to be repugnant.

This post is not intended as an attack on the reader.  He has the right to his views, and I allowed him to share his views on my forum.  I say my forum because I pay for this website and do not solicit any money from anyone.   That gives me the right to choose who I allow to post comments.  He has his own website on which he voices his opinions, so the free market of ideas flourishes.  Instead I am using this as a launchpad to discuss how self righteousness is encouraged by organized religion.  In reviewing past posts, I am see that this is an issue I have not addressed. Read the rest of this entry →

Christian Patriotism is Misplaced 0

Posted on July 04, 2014 by Alexander
Bible-flag.jpg

Being a patriot is not equal to being a Christian.

On this 4th of July we are all called to rally around the flag. I love the flag in that I believe that it is a beautiful banner, and I hang mine up outside my home. I also love the virtues of American past and present that is found in many of its people.

Before I experienced the new birth I had an upbringing disdaining authorities rooted in the 1960’s hippie movement.  At the age of 32 Christ revealed Himself to me and began a process of reversing my thinking.  I became a Republican and sought to influence the political process through my votes and activism.  But after closely following the Clinton and Bush administrations I saw that there was no difference between the parties, and that voting was a sham.  I questioned the church being such a big sponsor of the Republican party, and after 20 years of following the church party line, I realized  that it is still the same  world system.  American Christians have lost sight of the gospel because of  conservative talk radio. Read the rest of this entry →

The Kingdom Means Personal Responsibility 0

Posted on May 24, 2014 by Alexander
Responsibilty.jpg

We are all called to personal responsibility to God and life.

Living according to the will of God in His Kingdom has never changed. It began with Adam and Eve, was lived by the patriarchs, exemplified in the book of Judges, was codified in the Mosaic Covenant, and revealed in the heart of God through the cross of Calvary.  In short it is taking personal responsibility for our lives and others.

In the garden of Eden, instead of taking personal responsibility for their actions, our parents, Adam and Eve tried to pass the buck. I wonder what would have happened if they both admitted their error and accepted responsibility for their unbelief and disobedience?  Knowing Jesus Christ I believe He would have forgiven them, even though they would still suffer the consequence of their actions.  Is it possible that consequence would have stopped with them and the rest of the world been spared?  Only God knows.  Ezekiel declared that the sins of the fathers would not be passed onto the sons.

(Eze 18:20)  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

I knew a messianic Jew who once speculated that if Adam had not participated in eating the forbidden fruit, he would have remained sinless and could have laid his life down for Eve as Christ has done for the Church. Of course, if he had the sense not to eat the fruit, you would think he would have stopped Eve from eating the fruit in the first place. Regardless of the speculation, we know that they avoided their personal responsibility and played the blame game, passing the buck ultimately to God Himself since it was He who gave Adam the woman (Gen. 3:13). Read the rest of this entry →

Why American Christians are Angry 0

Posted on December 09, 2012 by Alexander

Why are so many Christians angry?

The Foundation

I can not speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself.  I have been an angry Christian, and I have also walked in genuine peace and humility.   The first thing that needs to be understood is the emotion of anger, which I believe is misunderstood by many people.   Emotions are treated as some kind of independent part of our human nature as illustrated by the common definition of the soul – our mind, will and emotions.  This definition does a disservice to understanding our human nature, and I think (but do not know) that secular psychology is the cause of this misunderstanding.

The Mind

Emotions are the expressions of our thoughts, both in our mind and heart, or our conscience thoughts (mind) and sub-conscience thoughts (heart). In other words, our emotions are the result of what we think upon.  Film-makers and advertisers understand this and know how to create emotional roller coaster rides through their stories.  Emotions, therefore can be controlled by controlling our thoughts, which is the heart of true Christian discipleship. Consider these imperatives from Paul in 2 Corinthians.

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;   And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.  (2 Cor. 10:4-6 KJV)

In other words we are to watch our thought life and think on those thoughts that agree with God and to stop thinking those thoughts that oppose the way of Christ.  Paul gives us more specific instruction in Philippians.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Php 4:8 KJV)

If we keep our thoughts on positive things, our emotions will express this.  Anger is not an expression of positive thoughts.  This control of our thought life is the meaning of Romans 12:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:2 KJV) Read the rest of this entry →

Biblical Anarchy 0

Posted on November 11, 2012 by Alexander

And everyone did that which was right in their own eyes.

We have been taught to believe that the word “anarchy” means “chaos and pandemonium. ” And as it is used today that is what is meant by the speaker. But the meaning of words are not understood solely by current usage.  Dictionaries provide current usage and past usage through their etymological definitions so we may see how words have changed through the generations.  The word breaks up into two words  “an” meaning “without”  and “arch” meaning “leader”.  More broadly it means without government or hierarchy.  Not having a human leader does not automatically mean chaos and pandemonium.  That connotation is encouraged by leaders who want to retain their leadership. Read the rest of this entry →

Sovereign Maturity 2

Posted on May 17, 2012 by Alexander

The sovereignty of the people

If you read or listen to any of the many  websites, podcasts and radio broadcasts from the patriot community, you will hear the expression, “sovereigns” used frequently.  The expression tends to be confusing both because governments and kings claim the term in reference to their authority over their subjects and because organized religion uses the expression as meaning the total control of God over His creation as the Sovereign Lord.   The term needs clarification for the Church (i.e., the people that are born again) and the people towards their governments.

First, the patriot community rightly understands that governments are not sovereign but the people who create their governments.  The American government was created “by the people,  for the people” (from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address).  It is a logical conclusion that the creator is greater than the created.  Thus the people who create the government are greater than the government that was created, and the people have the sovereign rights while the government has privileges granted by the people.

The Creator, Yahweh who became Y’shua, is also the Sovereign Lord who grants us our rights.  Unlike humans, God can not take back that which He gives because all that He says and does is eternal.  Eternal means from his unchanging nature which has no beginning nor end. Therefore His Word is immutable.  So our human rights are not privileges given us from God because what He gives He can not take back (Romans 11:29). Read the rest of this entry →

Putting Away Childish Things 0

Posted on February 27, 2011 by Alexander

Living foolishly

This morning I heard a news report on Phoenix Jones in Seattle. Phoenix is a young black adult who is married with kids that has taken on the self styled role of “superhero” vigilante. He and others of the same desire dress up in costumes and walk around Seattle with no super powers looking for trouble. According to him there are many others throughout the nation doing the same thing. My immediate reaction to the news report was, “What an idiot.” I later did some more internet searching for further information on him. The last report I found was that he suffered a broken nose trying to stop an armed man.

When I came home, Charles Stanley was going through the Armor of God speech that I had heard from so many other preachers. He spoke as if we are to imagine putting on a real armor suit one piece at a time. As a young Christian I took this advise seriously and did the same thing in my prayer life. Such an approach to understanding this metaphor is superstitious fantasy. There is no protection in imagining that you are dressing up in an armor. Paul’s metaphor in Ephesian 6 is an illustration of a lifestyle trust in God, and nothing more. Nor is our trust in God some kind of invincibility that prevents all harm. We get harmed as Christians just as anyone else can. Read the rest of this entry →

Sales of Indulgences 0

Posted on October 26, 2010 by Alexander

If you wish to hear the article instead of read it, click the link above.

The 500th Anniversary of the nailing of the 95 Thesis upon the Wittenberg Chapel door by Martin Luther protesting the sales of indulgences is only 7 years away.  For many years now I have been encouraging Christians to abandon the Fall Festival as the substitute for Halloween in favor of Reformation Day which is a legitimate Christian holiday still celebrated by the Lutherans. For those readers who may be unfamiliar with Church history,  on October 31st, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis protesting the sales of indulgences by the Catholic Church on the Wittenberg Chapel door, thus igniting the Protestant Reformation.   That single act by Luther opened the door for the Bible to be published in the native tongues of  the people instead of the dead Latin tongue used by the Catholic liturgy.  Consequently, millions upon millions of people have since discovered that the “just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17), not by works “lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:9). Read the rest of this entry →

Authority of the People 0

Posted on October 23, 2010 by Alexander

People are in God's stead

To listen to a reading of the article, click the podcast link.

My gym has no air conditioning, so the garage door is frequently left open for the classes. An open door provides entry to a variety of creeping and flying insects, bees are one example. When a bee flies in the children naturally panic. I tell them that fear only causes the bees to become afraid as well and are more likely to sting them. Instead I gently shoo the bee out the door with my hands. That bee has no interest in us. He is only looking for plants. Gentle shooing lets him know that I am not trying to kill it, but only direct it outside again.

I told the kids that they need to understand their authority over creation. Genesis 9:2 tells us that the “fear and dread” of men would be upon all animals. They are terrified of us, and we should not be afraid of them.

One of the families in my gym is going through a lawsuit. When I talked to the mother about it, she was clearly confused regarding lawful laws. So we talked about  why laws exist in the first place. This is  apart from the typical  answers given by organized religion which are theoretical and never connect with practical reality. Read the rest of this entry →

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