Friday, July 12, 2013

Patriot or Priest- Our government and God

Most of my friends on Facebook are far too aware of the fact that I read the news and keep myself comprised of what is going on in our country. I make very little effort to hide that when I post 3 or four articles with captions like "WHY IS AMERICA FUNDING TERRORISM AGAINST AMERICA" and "STOP GIVING EGYPT FIGHTER JETS"

I spend 5 to 10 minutes here and there through out the day reading headlines, and I'm sure that in my news feed, it probably looks like I'm scouring the internet pasting together articles in some dimly lit room mumbling about drones or whatever. I'm sure that it looks worse on Facebook than it actually is.

This isn't my life...
However, there are things that I read and I see going on in this country that do effect my life.

The right to bear arms is kinda a big deal to me. I was mugged once when I was 14 and living on the racial divide back in Michigan. Ever since that moment, I never wanted to feel like a victim to an unjust oppressive force. It doesn't matter if that force is 16 people of a specific ethnic persuasion or specific branches of a government entity.

I was talking to a very nice gentleman about something that I struggle with as a believer. The balance between being a patriot, and being a priest. Our government was established with certain ideas in mind...

the ability to pursue happiness....

Are these God given rights?
I assured him that for the first two I could make a solid case.

Life and liberty.

Can these two things be supported from a biblical text ?

Deut. 30: 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

Proverbs 14:27
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

A case can be made that we are each given the right to choose, Life or death.
We are given an inalienable right to Life, by God.
God doesn't force Life upon us... but HE allows us to chose it.
HE allows us to choose Him.
 Or, we can choose our way, the ways that defy him, and death.


I honestly think that many of us believers want heaven.  We want heaven, and we want Jesus to come back, but if he's coming back, we want it to be a suitable place for him... and it isn't a suitable place right now because look at all these terrible sinners... 
I think we have this idea, that if we start legislating Biblical ideals then more people in this godless nation will have to follow the law, and therefore sin- less. We picture this in out minds and we want something like that to play out. Sometimes we get so desperate for heaven that we try to create it in our own image. 

Recently, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme court. They stated that it was unconstitutional. I thought long and hard about that, and I had some conversations with some godly people regarding the separation of Church and State.  My brother pointed out the position of the Anabaptists who initially called for the separation. Christians. Christians stated that our government, and religion should have no partnership. 
He poised a question so deeply profound that here, weeks later, I still am wading in the depths of.

"IF God Himself, gives man the option to either follow His ways or to not.... .... ... Then who are we impose a demand on others to submit to His standard of rule" 

I believe that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible states that it is a sin. Do I have the right to force people who engage in homosexuality to submit to God's standard? 

I don't believe I do. 
In fact,
1 cor 5
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

What have I to do with judging those who are outside ? 
It isn't my place to judge those who choose the things not of God. 
I can't find a place were Jesus says "go forth and picket a funeral, be a complete tool to anyone who is not a believer in me, and hate... hate a bunch of folks because then that will really show them my love"
I don't know what version of the Bible that everyone else reads, but that isn't in mine.

The Bible states that Jesus was tempted in every way... That includes sexual immorality.

Our Government isn't Biblically focused. Our leaders are men of power and flaw. 
We won't know the fullness of Life and Liberty until our Messiah establishes His everlasting government. 
Our government isn't going to solve all our problems. 
Until the Messiah gathers all whom are His from the corners of the earth... 
We submit.. 
We pray for our leaders instead of mocking them in really hilarious facebook posts.... 
We pray for them instead of photoshopping them with underwear on their face. 
We pray that God be stronger in all of us as a nation, and His Spirit would stir our convictions to repentance. 

Matthew 7 13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

I see much of being a patriot as political dissent and rebellion... which is really cool, but the opposite of the Biblical prescription
I see being a priest as being submitted to God so much that we can serve even the most sinful of hearts with an attitude of the one who has saved us.

I'm working on that.

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