Resisting the temptation of political passions

 

The Controverse 37 remix: The Taxman Cometh
My friend, if Liberal Media Bias were all that truly corrupted our country, we'd be in much better shape. (Image by oxmour via Flickr)

 

As elections draw nearer and nearer, campaign ads seem to become nauseatingly ubiquitous.  And it is a good time to remind all of us (me, too) that we do not get involved with politics.

It isn’t that we don’t care about the issues.  It isn’t that we don’t love our country.  It’s just that we do not participate in politics.  More than that, we believe that God does not want us to participate in politics–voting, campaigning, etc.  The “whys” of that are best discussed in other places and at other times (such as a time when I’m not trying to accomplish so many things before sundown 🙂 ).  But lest anyone think of us as a monolithic culture of political leanings in our ranks, let me make a few comments.

There are some among us who, I am sure, sympathize with many of the sentiments connected with the Tea Party movement.  I am just as sure that there are some among us who sympathize with those who wish to see universal healthcare become a reality and who want more government intervention.  I have met individuals in the Church of God of both stripes.  There are those who believe that the government is a horrible provider of “nanny state” services, and there are those who believe that the government should be taking a larger role in the care of citizens in hard times.  Some “old timers” among us will point to the importance of letting people fail and to pull themselves up by their “bootstraps” and there are some who will passionately defend FDR’s decisions during the depression.  We have a variety of opinions amongst ourselves, to be sure, and many of those opinions are passionately held.

But let’s not get caught up in ignoring the truth, our calling, and our command to “come out and be separate” as our passions carry us away and risk turning us into “just another political partisan.”  For example, do some think of the idea of “President Hillary Clinton” and think, “Well, Isaiah 3:12 prophesied this would happen–it’s a curse!” while at the same time, when confronted with the idea of “President Sarah Palin,” think, “You know, she might be the only person for the job. It would be great if she were in office–we need a Deborah!”  Does Isaiah 3:12 only apply to one political party, or is the truth the truth?  Would it be less of a condemnation of America if there were no conservative male candidate who could plausibly be elected than it is if there is no liberal male candidate?

I’m not saying that we don’t have our preferences or that it is irrational to see one person as better qualified as another, or closer to godly values than another.  But I am saying that we can’t let carnal, political thinking interfere with our God-commanded obligation to judge things by His Word instead of the political passions of the day.

However I may sympathize, for instance, with many of the Tea Partiers’ values, the fact is that the Tea Parties do not represent the real solution to America’s real ills to any significant degree, any more than do those who would take America down a more Statist or Socialist path.

No, the solution is not more raw Capitalism.  No, the solution is not more compromises with Socialism.  The coming Kingdom of God will be defined by neither of those “-isms.”

For instance, people are depicted as having ownership of private property in the Millennium (e.g., Zech. 3:10, Micah 4:4).  God clearly believes in working and earning your food (e.g., 2 Thess. 3:10-12).  Jesus discussed bankers giving interest on investments in His parables (e.g., Matt. 25:27) and did not do so in a negative light or with a negative connotation.  Yet, God also demands elements of social support for the poor.  He requires a special tithe of everyone’s increase during the third year as support for those in need (Deut. 26:12-13).  He required Israelite farmers to leave the corners of their field and some of the grapes in their vineyard to be harvested by the “poor and the stranger” (Lev. 19:9-10).  Note that they had to work to benefit from these things, yet note, as well, that this was a commanded requirement, not simply left to the sense of generosity felt or not felt by the landowner.

Not exactly a pure “free market” but not exactly socialism, either.  God’s way simply doesn’t fit into any of these “-isms.”

I’ve discussed all of this before in a comment on my post “Rare Kudos to the AP” so I will direct the interested reader to head out there.

Rather, let me stop here and say that we can watch or listen to Glenn Beck, or Keith Olbermann, or Sean Hannity, or Rachel Maddow, or Rush Limbaugh, or Bill O’Reilly, and we can watch (or click on) FOX News, or MSNBC, or CNN, and we can read the Wall Street Journal, or the New York Times, or the Washington Post…  But the moment we realize we sense that we are losing a biblical point of view and that it is being smothered by a Beckian, Olbermannian, Limbaughian, etc. point of view, we need to back off and get our bearings.  I had to do this myself several years ago as I found myself depending more and more on the opinion makers for my opinions, and I’m determined not to get lost in the political wilderness ever again.  God called me out of that and showed me (as He did most of you) the real problems as well as the real solutions.  I don’t want to risk forgetting them.

“Throw the bums out and put our bums in,” is not a solution to America’s ills.  Repentance is.  And it’s the only one.

“[If] My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

25 thoughts on “Resisting the temptation of political passions

  1. When our local deacon (as Topicsmaster) asked in Spokesman Club for us to give what we thought America’s greatest problem was, I answered more or less in this way: “Our biggest problem goes right back to the Founding Fathers, who tried to found a nation based on Christian ethics apart from Christian government.” And as I made clear in context, that means real theocracy, the one thing the Founding Fathers (or as the US Government site puts it now, the Founding Generation) didn’t want. We will literally have to repent of our “Americanism”, not just of our party spirit within it.

    In case you haven’t guessed, I’ve long since lost faith in the American Republic itself, systemically – not just in the people running it. And as I’d like to explain to a friend of mine, we do have a political position in effect: “They’re. All. Wrong.” 😀

  2. Laurel Meyer

    I agree!! Although the opinion makers do make astute observations, their commentaries generate a spirit that is angry, combative, argumentative and negative; a spirit that is not Godly.

    One of my favorite verses – indicative of a very emotional Being.

    “[If] My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  3. Tim

    13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,[c] embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

    Thank you, Mr.Smith

  4. texasborn

    Re: rakkav’s comment, someone once said, “You’re wrong! But that’s OK, because you are ignorant.”

  5. Norbert

    I believe people participate in voting because they feel that by doing so, things can change for the better. Looking at the stats for the 2008 presidential election, 37% didn’t see it that way (according to wiki).

    I have grown up in that 37% albeit in Canada where the voting turnout is probably even less. Politics have mostly been percieved by me much like some concepts expressed within the Pink Flyod song, “Welcome to the Machine” (the title alone should say it all).

    I’m not against being involved with politics and voting at all were it to actually change a person’s life and begin them on the road to their fullest potential. I believe it could be said to hear the Good News is actually asking a person for their vote.

  6. Thanks for the comment, Norbert. Some might feel that they are changing things for the better, to be sure. Some, for the better of everyone, some for the better of themselves (while most may believe that both of those “betters” are always the same). But the wisdom of crowds isn’t all it is cracked up to be (yes, I am aware of the studies 🙂 ). As Daniel Henniger wrote in a parenthetical aside back in the WSJ on July 22 when the “Greek dilemma” was on everyone’s mind: “That Athens became the symbol of the democracies’ compulsion to spend themselves into oblivious is an eeriness we’d rather not ponder.”

    As for hearing the Good News being akin to asking a person for their vote, I have to say I don’t see it the same way, unless we would consider all of human choice a “vote.” God asks no one for their vote (though I don’t mean to take your analogy further than you intend, as I doubt you see it that way either). Verses like John 6:44, John 15:16, and Matt. 22:14 call to my mind more of the concept of a draft. There is always a choice, to be sure, but any “vote” not for God isn’t really a vote; it’s an act of rebellion.

  7. Indeed, Mr. Smith. We need to remember that voting (in a republic, confederacy or pure democracy) is intended to put authority in the hands of the people, or of a majority of them when there are differences of opinion. God’s government puts no such authority in the hands of the people. This defies the Latin proverb vox populi vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God). Vox Dei vox Dei, rather: nice tautology. 🙂

    What God’s government does is invoke a little-appreciated principle (I would argue that it’s one out of seven very simple principles, all demonstrable from Scripture): that of support from below. We give God our input in prayer, we give the ministry our support and feedback (even, as I’m wont to do, some information which may help them rethink their positions!), and if you compare Exodus 19 and Deuteronomy 1, we may even have a consensus as to who qualifies for certain positions to which our heads may appoint them. (After all, Moses had no way of knowing who was qualified to be all those heads of thousands, hundreds, and so on – but their peers did.)

    You see, this is how a genuine theocracy can do everything a republic can do and do it better, more efficiently and faster. Long live the King and His Princes (Isaiah 32:1-8)!

  8. I stopped listening to practically all radio talk shows several years ago when Rush Limbaugh declared on the air part of his job was “telling you how to think.”

    Whoa — hang on a minute. I’m going to let GOD tell me how to think, thank you. A much better source!

    P.S. I don’t recall hearing any nay-sayers about female national leaders in the church when Margaret Thatcher was British Prime Minister.

  9. Hey, Richard, that’s a great point. You know, I’m quite a fan of Thatcher’s, yet the fact that Deborah was needed in Israel was a real condemnation of the men in Israel, and it is no different, today.

    Have a great Sabbath!

  10. Norbert

    I do believe voting is making a person’s own choices known. But when it is about hearing a choice placed in front of a person not of his own doing where it involves who to place all confidence and trust in to solve the important issues in one’s own life as well as others. And understanding in doing so also involves having responsiblities placed on the person’s own shoulders (Mt 11:28-30). Then such a thing provokes a person to make their choice known too.

  11. Hello Mr. Smith,

    Great blog! Definitely! It is easy to get caught up in the left-wing right-wing dichotomy of our nation’s present, divided state, brought about by the self-dividing concept of democracy. For me it seems easier to go to the right than the left, simply because the left is much further away from God’s ideal, and Way; but the right also leads to a ditch, even if it isn’t as deep as the one on the left.

    Brings to mind something I heard Mr. Ogwyn ask concerning our place, and the political and social arena of this world: Which part of Babylon are YOU proud to be from?

    As Wade said: Thanks for putting all of this subject into its right, Biblical, perspective!

    Cheers!
    Deano

  12. Brian Maxwell

    Mr.Smith:

    I am incredibly happy to read your comments. Mr. Greer was the first LCG minister to address the right wing-thinking political problem that has grown in LCG, much to my dismay. You have taken it further it total clarity to denounce all worldy politics and political commentators, right or left wing. Bravo to you for your boldness and may your influence grow with other ministers and members. We need much more of this message from the pulpit.

  13. Howdy, Mr. Maxwell, and it has been a while since I’ve heard from you, though I am not surprised that this subject has brought you back. Actually, the comment on an old post to which I referred was a comment in response to one of your questions, to which you never responded at the time.

    While I appreciate your praise (and thank you for it), I must also say that I still disagree with you in many ways. Although you will not likely believe this, I have heard political talk agreeing with both sides in the church, that is, both with Republicans and Democrats.

    Is there more sympathy with Republican talking points? Probably. That is likely due to the vomitous position of many Democrats on such abominations as abortion and homosexuality. Also, while I believe that turning to God is the only choice that will truly save America from its enemies and from terrorism — and it is the only path God allows me to endorse — I would rather see America take up arms than roll over and apologize to its enemies as the current administration does, thinking the force of its apologies will magically cause them to begin loving us.

    And then there is my personal preference. The left’s attitude towards constitutionally limited government is as ridiculously uneducated as their empty commitment to their vows to uphold such a government. (The right at least pays lip service, though their track record is quite bad, as well.) The ideas behind the current approach to health care may actually ruin the country, though it is really a symptom rather than the source of the problem. In many ways, yes, I am more sympathetic to what is said by the right than the left, though I am also sympathetic to some of what is said by the left.

    What I have tried to stress — and I hope you did not miss my point — is that as much as we might love the Constitution, and as much as we might hate seeing it trampled by big-government Statists, and (on the other side) as much as we might believe that government should intervene more powerfully and directly support the poor and unemployed with the public’s money, or as much as we think that those with Ivy League educations are the best choices to run our lives: the solution is not being offered by either political party, nor is it being offered by any commentator on any news network that I have ever seen. The solution is to repent of sin. Period.

    This has been the consistent position of the LCG and its leadership, Brian, and though I know you may disagree, you are simply wrong on this point if you do.

    Two more clarifications: One, just because I personally sympathize more with the right-wing’s statements than I do with the left-wing’s statements (and, again, I do sympathize with some of the left-wing’s statements) doesn’t mean that I support right-wing politicians. Regrettably, they are just as capable of incredible hypocrisy as the left-wing politicians that currently run things. Too often their ideals are wonderful in their eyes only for as long as they are useful to them.

    And two, just because neither the Republicans nor the Democrats offer the real solutions to our country real needs, that doesn’t mean that the current ideas offered by the current administration and the current Congress aren’t still magnificently stupid. Jesus speaks of the “wisdom of the carnal” in Luke 16:8, and while it hurts most realizing that none of our leaders–Republican or Democrat–see the true need of the nation to seek God and their need to lead the nation to repentance, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also hurt to see the President, the Senate, and the House do such phenomenally stupid things.

    If your leaders won’t be godly, you at least want them to be competent. And I am not criticising anyone for noting that our currently batch of leaders aren’t even that. (And I respectfully submit that their actions demonstrate that they do, indeed, lack a great deal of competence.) And I am not criticising anyone for noting that they are horrible leaders. I am criticising the idea that there is any real, permanent solution to our ills other than real national repentance.

    And as for Mr. Greer being the “first minister” to address “the right wing-thinking political problem” you say you have perceived from some time, I would take an issue with your characterization on several points. One, I have heard a number of ministers discuss the matter, and Mr. Greer and I are not the only ones. Just because you haven’t heard them, don’t think it isn’t being discussed. Mr. Greer and I mentioned it together during the Feast in 2009, which is why he referred to me in the sermon that I am assuming you heard. But it is not the first time I have heard it mentioned.

    Secondly, I think that your perception is a bit off. Yes, political thinking can be a problem, but do not see it as a large one in the LCG. And if it is a reflection of the recognition that our leaders are not being real leaders, it isn’t an entirely bad thing as long as the sentiment matures and is accompanied by the understanding that only God can provide the real solutions we need.

    And then I would have to ask something of you, Mr. Maxwell. Again, I appreciate your praise, but I have also been the subject of your criticism — when, all the while, my message has been completely consistent. If my message has any credibility, I hope that my consistency is a part of that.

    However, on your part, I have only heard criticism of the political right and of those who criticize the left. I have never, never heard you criticize the political left. Don’t you agree that the political left’s approach to governing currently does horrible violence to the financial advice that the Bible has to offer? Don’t you agree that the political left often focuses on “helping” the needy without looking at whether or not they deserve it, based on biblical standards (e.g., 2 Thess 3:10), and whether or not they are actually helping? Honestly, your complaints about how politically biased you perceive some in the LCG to be would be taken more seriously if you actually demonstrated that you vehemently disagreed with some aspects of the political left — a position that you have never taken publically in all you have written here. Otherwise, you come across as biased, yourself, and your criticism becomes too easy to dismiss.

    Mr. Maxwell, I have criticized both sides, and I’m on record for that. For your part, you come across as only being offended by attacks of the left. You would have much more credibility if you would also be offended by misperceptions of the right and by some of the unrighteous and unbiblical positions of the left.

    I say this assuming that you are unbiased and that you are just as disgusted as I am by some of the immoral and ungodly positions of President Obama and the current leaders on the left of the Congress. Again, not disgusted with them in the way that many radical leftists are currently disgusted with them (complaining that they have not been as radical as they promised they would be) — I mean disgusted by what poor leaders they are being by biblical standards and by what vomitous, ungodly policies they endorse.

    Assuming you truly do feel this way, you would add to your credibiility a great deal if you were to demonstrate such biblical sentiment. And I say this as advice, since you clearly care about this subject and want your comments taken seriously, and because I know you want to be a part of the solution to the problem you say you perceive as opposed to part of the problem. Because if all you do is complain about “right wing-thinking” that you see, all you do is come across as yet another partisan, simply one of a different flavor.

    Just trying to help! 🙂

    Again, even if I disagree with you on some points and don’t see the “problem” in the same way that you do, I am glad that you agree that the solutions our country needs are not political, and that regardless of our opinions we need to make sure that we don’t get pulled away from the truth that only the return of Jesus Christ will solve this nation’s ills.

  14. Dennis Chornomaz

    hooray Mr Smith.You are right on-excuce the pun-by looking at political issues and mans systems with a biblical perspective-not an American or partisan one.I come across mostly right wing views from church members which are one-sided and ignore biblical principles.Above all we need to see that we are citizens of the KOG.A new way is coming.Let us focus on the KOG and leave worldliness behind.

  15. Hi Mr. Smith,

    I believe everyone who is interested in the “interface” between politics and religion would profit from a look at the Political Compass and the theory behind it. This Web site is based in the UK. Instead of the usual (and limited) left-right continuum, a social axis and an economic axis are put on a graph. This layout is said to be a good predictor of where one stands on moral issues as well.

    On that note I believe the model would be even more effective if it were triaxial and used the measures of justice, mercy and faith. Be that as it may, the model allows me to address both Mr. Maxwell’s concerns and your own, hopefully in an understandable way.

    I confess that I don’t understand why the featured page below puts Pres. Obama in the authoritarian-right quadrant; most both of his more honest friends and his enemies would surely put him in the authoritarian-left. But it may be that measured either against the average of the voting American public (the actual aim of the model) or against what is typical in Europe, the president really is authoritarian-right.

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008

    But my own observations agree with Mr. Maxwell’s to a point, with regard to the LCG; in fact I’d extend the critique back to the WCG days. There is such a thing as overemphasizing authority and law at the expense of other things that a Christian should do and be, we have done this in the Work of Philadelphia, Messrs. Herbert Armstrong and Meredith (just for starters) have said as much in somewhat different ways from mine, and from what I’ve observed some people in some congregations still tend to do so. And in so doing, we ourselves have been largely authoritarian-right – accounting for our common preference for the moral stances such people tend to take.

    Please note, there is a difference between what we aim for (dead-center balance, something all real Christians in all eras aim for) and what we naturally like (this differs among personalities, congregations and eras). There seems to be a correlation between Jungian or Myers-Briggs personality types and political preferences, not for parties but for positions on the Compass. The correlation is fuzzy because we all develop beyond our “core types” and so ENFP Pres. Obama (for example) may act in one way and really believe in another way, making him seem more rightist economically to some than he really is. But it’s worth thinking about.

    On the other hand, no one should be surprised at your own observations. We come out of a pluralistic society, even if it’s one that’s still well over 60% ESTJ in measured Myers-Briggs personality type and therefore prone to be mildly authoritarian-right in politics and morals. In any case, Church members reflect their own individual and corporate backgrounds and until they outgrow the temptation to “party spirit” (Galatians 5:20, RSV), they will have their loyalties and leanings. Even if we say (I hope correctly) that we’ve been corporately authoritarian-right in general, that still paints with a very broad stroke and no minister can afford to deal with his flock in that way for long.

    And last, your analysis and Mr. Greer’s are far from the first I’ve heard and read along these lines. One of the things I admire most about Messrs. Meredith and Ames (and indeed yourself) is the ability to distinguish between personal and universal values and to guide themselves and others toward the universal. And Mr. Meredith has been pointing out the need for balance for as long as I’ve known him in Global and Living (since ca. 1996 if memory serves).

    From a certain point of view (in closing) our problems are indeed political – not merely thanks to the predominance of one or another human “-ism” (even though that too is a problem) but due to a defiance of what I like to put (as a model) as “the seven principles of God’s government”. For if politics is the art of governance (and it is), then justice (God’s law), mercy and faith are the three foundations principles of right governance and therefore of politics; and then there are the relational principles and the motive of love which our American Republic simply doesn’t exercise. I hope that doesn’t cause unintended equivocation as to what “political problems” are.

  16. Thank you for mentioning unintended equivocation, Mr. Wheeler, because I think the definition you have provided for “politics,” while one of many valid definitions, does not agree with the one we are using. 🙂

    And thanks, too, for your comment about how consistently “right on” Mr. Meredith and Mr. Ames have been. One of Mr. Maxwell’s frequent complaints (which form part of the unmentioned background elements to his comment) is that this has not been the case. In this I have disagreed with him, and your witness in this regard is appreciated.

  17. Thanks, Mr. Chornomaz. And, for the record, I know of my share of members who express leftist thoughts, though they are certainly fewer. I love America, and I would rather live here than anywhere else. And I love my Constitution — of all the man-made governing documents in the world, I prefer it. But America is not the Kingdom of God, and being ruled by the Constitution is no substitute for being ruled by God’s Word. 🙂

  18. Brian Maxwell

    I have to strongly disagree with saying the characterization that the sermons from Dr. Meredith have NOT been politically biased. Witness the disrepectful “Hillary”! comments (I dont’ hear the “Sarah” comments), the love of the Wall Street Journal (right wing, big business bias), the constant attacks against homosexuality, abortion and “liberal” judges- all right wing evangelical mantras (yes, he is correct in attacking these, but come on, are there any other sins in America like national pride, hyprocrisy of the religious right, the waging of war [tell me when Iraq/Afghanistan have been denounced…I have yet to year it!), financial inequity, etc. No, I am not a lover of Democrats or progressive thinking. As Mr Smith said, ALL of it is wrong in sum. But there is no doubt there is a right wing political bias, way much more than any left wing bias.

  19. Brian Maxwell

    Mr Smith:

    I truly thank you for your comments. You are indeed correct that in the past I have focused on the growing right wing political bias I see in the church. This is because the great majority of worldly-political-influenced messages/articles have been right wing in nature and I have tried to expose this wrong thinking. For the record, I hate all politics, right wing, left wing. They all fall into the pot of this Satan-inspired carnal world. Do both sides have elements of good? Indeed- right wing has the platform of promoting family, hard work, anti-homosexuality, etc. Left wing has good elements: protecting God’s creation/environment, striving for more financial equity and helping the poor to name a few. But both parties have the terrible elements of hyprocrisy, carnality, lying, etc. That is why we agree 100% that we should stay away from it; let the bible influence our thinking. We need to look at issues NOT from any political leaning, but simply from bible statutes/principles. Make no mistake: we are 100% in agreement and for that I am very glad. I am happy to hear others beside you/Mr Greer have tackled this issue. What I am waiting for is the the top leadership to CLEARLY address this issue in a Must Play sermons/articles in as plain words as you have done. Believe me, many will not be happy to hear this preached, but indeed it must be.

  20. Thanks for explaining your position, Mr. Maxwell, but I will have to strongly disagree with you, in turn.

    Part of the problem here is the public statements made by each part of the political divide. When a politician openly supports the promotion of homosexuality and abortion, denouncing that is not being political. When an American President publicly announces a “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month,” we’re going to say something. And the public statements of the right simply do not land on that side of such topics nearly as frequently.

    Also, when a liberal, activist judge issues a “decree” that helps the nation slip even further from righteous government and a godly way of life, should we hold our tongues because it sounds political? Of course not. Why would we?

    Don’t confuse statements that seem to stick more frequently to one side of a political divide than the other as evidence of “politically biased preaching.” It isn’t.

    But these things aside, Mr. Maxwell, please reconsider what you’ve said, because part of it is simply nonsensical: If you don’t think that Mr. Meredith (and the publications he is in charge of) has attacked the sin of national pride and the hypocrisy of politicians of all stripes, then you really aren’t paying attention. Such statements hurt your credibility. In fact, Mr. Meredith has even discussed “financial inequality” during the Bush years and the “greed” of big business. Were you paying attention?

    (As a side note: Why should Iraq and Afghanistan be especially “denounced”? Other than pointing out that the nation should turn to God and that war will not solve her problems and that paying for these wars on our “credit card” is worsening our debt and international standing — things we have said repeatedly — why should these specific wars be denounced? I know that our position on warfare is clear, because I have read the angry letters from veterans and such who, while misunderstanding us to some degree, do get the fundamental aspect of our statement. Beyond that, the additional “denouncement” you seem to be looking for is political in nature, and thus represents all that you say we should not do. For that, you will need to keep waiting, or else head on over to watch MSNBC or Keith Olbermann. 🙂 )

    I’m delighted that we’re on the same team, Mr. Maxwell! But I do think that you do Mr. Meredith (and others) a disservice.

  21. Thanks, Mr. Maxwell! I don’t think that any issues have risen to an “address it with a Must Play” level, yet, but as events wear on and as politicians continue to make unwise and unbiblical decisions, we’ll see how things develop.

    So, thanks, again. It’s nice to agree! 🙂

  22. Steve

    Wow! this was quite a post, Mr. Smith. You hit on something when you get that many comments.

    I’ve been accused of being a right wing Bible thumper at times. I don’t get it. Why do people always interpret things in terms of Republican or Democrat? From what I’ve seen, the Bible exists on a whole different level.

    I would like to throw something at you, however. You can consider it my own opinion, and you can blast me, if you like. Hey, I don’t mind learning!

    First, I always wondered how God could punish modern Israel when they don’t know whom they are, or what they’re doing. Then I had an eye opener at a college law class. The professor said that much of the legal tradition for Britain and America goes back to the Bible.

    It began with Alfred the Great, way back when. Trying to restore order to a shattered society, Alfred appointed judges who made decisions based on the Bible. “Stare Decisis” – “let the judgement stand” – became a big principle. Although not perfect, it effectively put a lot of biblical principles into the bedrock of British and American jurisprudence.

    That set Anglo-Saxon culture down a different path than continental Europe, which based much of their jurisprudence on ancient Roman law, which includes the Napoleonic code.

    Well, that made a light bulb go off in my head. Why would God punish modern Israel for national sins? Because modern Israel has a lot of biblical principles embedded in their legal and cultural tradition. Something which we’ve been violating with legislative action over turning those laws, because the demise of cultural standards demands it.

    Secondly, the issue of democracy. And I’ll make this quick. From the very beginning, God has been working a step by step plan. For example, why did God create angels as spirit beings, then turn around and create human beings as flesh and blood? Or why did God raise up ancient Israel, and then divorce them?

    You get my drift.

    I just think that modern Israel having democracy is part of God’s plan. It puts the responsibility on the shoulders of the nation as a whole, not just the few. Ultimately, it will demonstrate that democracy will not work. If the nation slides into decay or punishment, then there’s no excuse.

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