Category Archives: Bible

A Case for “God, the Father”

God the FatherFather’s Day is coming up and I am thinking about what to preach.  Father’s Day should be a slam dunk considering God is our Father and all.  But it is actually tougher than I thought.  Father’s are not very politically correct.

I remember when I first heard that calling God, “Father” was offensive.  I was in seminary.  No, not offensive, that’s not right.  Calling God, “Father” was insensitive.  Yep, it was insensitive.  You see, so the logic goes, too many people have lousy, deadbeat, abusive (throw in your favorite negative adjective) fathers and if we refer to God as Father, they will be turned off.  They cannot relate to God that way.  Call Him Creator or Parent, but don’t use Father.  Too much pain associated with that name.

Now I’m all for helping people relate to God, but what if God has chosen to reveal Himself as Father?  You can’t read into the Gospels too far without noticing that Jesus constantly refers to God as Father.  (And rightly so, since He is God’s Son.)    But do we have the right to call God “Father” and if we do, can we refer to Him as Father without being insensitive?

Jesus refers to God as Father in the Sermon on the Mount seventeen times by a quick count.  Of the 17 times He uses the term Father, 1 is “my Father”, 1 is “our Father”, and 15 are “your Father”.  Jesus has no problem including us in the family of God.  Romans 8 is clear that we are adopted into God’s family and, in Christ, become His children.  Jesus teaches us to address God in prayer as “Father” so, yes, we have the right to call God, “Father.”

But should we?  Considering all the baggage in the world caused by bad dads, does God want to be associated with such a negative brand like “Father”?  Does it turn people away who have had a terrible father?  Can they, should they look to God as their heavenly Father or does the term create barriers and we should avoid it?

Jesus meets a women who clearly has issues with men in John 4. womanatwell Abandonment, abuse, immorality, manipulation, divorce, she has it all.  Statistics tell us that women like this generally have poor fathers and spend their lives seeking out affection from men to fill that gap.  Yet as Jesus talks to her about her past and confronts her present (how insensitive!), she begins a conversation about worshipping God.  And then it happens.  Jesus refers to God not once, not twice, but three times as “Father” in this conversation.

Here is a women that would be the poster child for people we’re afraid we might offend by calling God “Father” and yet Jesus has no problem doing it.  Why not?

One – because that is who God is.  Regardless of our experiences, God is our Father.  He wants to be known as our Father.  He instructs us to address Him as such when we pray.  Our experiences do not dictate who God is.  For a relativistic culture this is difficult to grasp.

Two – because that is who this woman needs.  She needs a father to love her.  Perhaps she never had one or never had a good one.  That doesn’t change the fact that she needs a good father.   She needs someone to protect her, provide for her, love her, spoil her, bless her, give her an identity, and claim her. 

The same is true today.  There are plenty of men and women who have had no fathers or terrible fathers.  And the results are devasting for them.  Bad dads are the most common denominator when it comes to poverty, crime, low education, drugs, and sexual promiscuity.  We need fathers.  We need good fathers. 

We have great news for those with no father.  We have great news for those whose picture of a father is lacking at best.  Psalm 68:5 says God is “a father to the fatherless.”  Romans 8:15-16 says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption.  And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’.  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are the God’s children.”

What a great Father we have!  What a great Gospel we have to share with a world that desperately needs a great Father!  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

Far from offensive is it to proclaim God as He has revealed Himself.  Far from insensitive is it to hide this loving Father from hurting people.  Oh the healing, the joy, the life, the forgiveness that is forfeited by not calling God, Father! 

Who do you know that needs a good Father?  This Father’s Day, be insensitive.  Share your Heavenly Father with them.

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The Wrong Side of History

marriageWith the Supreme Court taking up the definition of marriage in the next week, I was reflecting on a conversation I had with a friend a few years ago about marriage.  He was trying to figure out where he stood on the issue of homosexual marriage.  I have written about this issue before on this blog so I won’t repeat myself, but he reasoned that it is a civil rights issue and ended the conversation by saying, “I just don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.”  That line of thinking seems to have taken root as evidenced in the article I am linking to.  As Christians, though, we must remember and proclaim to the rest of the world that history will not be the final judge.  Our real concern should be, “I just don’t want to be on the wrong side of the Word of God.”

Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals article from Seedbeed.com

Grace and Peace,

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The Favor of God?

At the risk of sounding like Joel O’Steen, how would you like to have the favor of God?  Would you welcome an angel to show up and tell you, “You are highly favored of God.”  That’s what happens to Mary.

mary and angelLuke records it this way, “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (1:26-28)

Many of us think that if we had the favor of God, our lives would be great.  That’s how we interpret our circumstances. When things are working out for us we feel like God’s favorite.  Good circumstances and we feel loved and favored by God.  Bad circumstances and we think, “why doesn’t God love me?”  Can you relate?  But if we actually examine that thinking in light of Scripture, we will find that our circumstances and the love and favor of God don’t usually go together the way we think they should.  Let’s take a closer look at Mary. 

“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:29-33)

That sounds pretty great.  But look at the circumstances she is put in because she has found favor with God.  Mary is maybe 15 yrs old and pregnant.  She is engaged to be married so this is going be very difficult to explain.  Can’t you hear her parents and friends, “Sure you’re still a virgin, right.”   But explaining it is the least of her worries because being unmarried and pregnant is a capital offense.  The law says to stone her to death. 

She has become the best bit of gossip in town.  Everyone will be yippin’ about her.  She will be an outcast and probably carry a stigma for the rest of her life.

Her fiance gets cold feet (for good reason) and wants to call the whole thing off and has to have an angel show up to convince him to still marry her.  Talk about a shotgun wedding.  And then no marital benefits until after the baby is born.  You don’t think that caused issues for these newly weds?

It’s no wonder Luke tells us that Mary “hurried” and got out of town.  She spent three months with her cousin Elizabeth. And here is some favored circumstances – 2 pregnant women under one roof.  (God may have done Zechariah a favor by shutting his mouth until John was born!)

christmas pictures 005Mary finally goes home but 6 months later, the govt orders a census.  She’s in no condition to travel, but can’t stay at home because of her stigma.  So she walks/rides a donkey to Bethlehem.  That trip is going to put you into labor.  The whole way she has got to be praying for a place to lie down, a place to have this baby.  (Have you ever prayed for a parking space?)  She has to be thinking “This is the Son of God, I don’t need the Ritz-Carlton, but come on Lord, I know You are going to provide.” They arrive in Bethlehem and there is no place for them except a cave that reeks with animals.

“Greetings, you who are highly favored.  The Lord is with you.”  Are you kidding?  After all of this you can understand v.29 “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.”  When we look at her circumstances we might question whether God really loves and favors her or not. 

 And it’s not just Mary.  The Bible is full of this kind of thing.  In the Old Testament,  Joseph dreams of ruling over his brothers, but his brothers sell him into slavery and later he is thrown in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.  Moses thinks God is going to use him to deliver his people from slavery, but ends up spending 40 years as a shepherd on the backside of the desert before God calls him.  David is anointed King at the age of 12 or 13 but spends the next several years living in caves, running for his life.  And then in the New Testament, you’re not really doing your job unless you are thrown in jail.  Paul could give a prison tour of the Mediterranean.  And of course there is Jesus.  He suffered and died for our sins, while He was innocent. 

How many of you still want the favor of God?

I will be the first to admit I don’t like this.  I think the love and favor of God should mean that all my circumstances work out the way I think they should.  Isn’t there a verse in Romans, “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him”?  Yes, yes there is 8:28.  But it seems my idea and God’s idea of “good” are two different things.

When my circumstances are not working for my good, I’m the first one to start praying, “I thought you loved me? I thought I was your favorite….ok, at least top ten.  Is this your favor? Lord, do me a favor.  Don’t do me anymore favors.”  We need to rethink what the love and favor of God look like in our lives, because it doesn’t seem that our circumstances give us an accurate view.

Maybe God has a bigger view of my life than I do.  Could it be that God sees a grander picture than I can imagine and is working for my good on that scale?  That He sees needs I am unaware of?  That He is working for my good because of circumstances I can’t or won’t acknowledge?  Isn’t that why Mary is pregnant to begin with?

Whenever we begin to doubt God’s love and favor for us because of our circumstances, whenever we don’t get the raise or promotion we deserve, or get into the college we dreamed about, or ride the bench for the season, we need to go to the Word of God.  I like Psalm 103 for such occasions.  JesusOnCross_011-219x300The Lord loves us and shows us His favor in ways we can’t possibly comprehend.  He sees our biggest need – to be freed from sin and all it’s consequences, especially death.  And so, in His love and favor for us, God gives us His only Son to die in our place and give us eternal life. 

But, this is where I have such a hard time because I feel and see my circumstances.  And it is so easy to let them determine my reality.  But the reality is my feelings and circumstances change like the weather.  They come and go.  They are a terrible guide for life.  In the midst of my feelings and circumstances, I have a choice:  Do I believe them or the Word of God?  Faith is choosing the Word of God over my feelings and circumstances.  In most cases, faith is choosing the Word of God in spite of my feelings and circumstances.

Gabriel declares the Word of God to Mary.  Jesus will be called “the Son of the Most High, He will reign forever, His kingdom will never end.”  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  (Luke 1:34) She is saying, “I’m a poor girl in a nowhere town.  I’m not even married yet.  My circumstances don’t line up with what you are telling me.”

 “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” (1:35-37).

“Nothing is impossible with God.”  Do you believe that Word of God in spite of your circumstances?  Will you believe that Jesus is the Lord reigning over the world right now in spite of the circumstances in the news?  Will you trust that God’s love and favor is upon you even when you don’t feel it? 

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” (1:38).  Mary chooses faith over feelings.  She chooses to believe the Word of God in spite of her circumstances.  That’s why she is highly favored.    And because she does, we receive God’s love and favor in the Son she bore on Christmas.  Merry Christmas!

Do you still want the favor of God?  Believe the Word of God over your feelings.  Let the Word of God define your reality, not your circumstances.  Allow God to show you the bigger, grander picture of your life and His love in Jesus Christ.  And when you do, like Mary, you’ll be bringing Jesus into a dark and dying world that desperately needs to hear and see the love and favor of God.

Psalm 103

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass,
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, O my soul.

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Inheriting the Land

I have found myself reading Psalm 37 this past week. It has been very encouraging in the last week of the election. It begins by saying, “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.” That in itself is worth a roll of Tums. But I have been drawn to the number of times this Psalm makes reference to inheriting the land. Five times in the NIV it uses this phrase. And I can’t help but think that is what is at stake in this election on November 6th. Someone is going to “inherit” the land and all that goes with it.

Listen to who will inherit the land: “Those who hope in the Lord” v.9. “The meek” v.11. “Those the Lord blesses” v.22. “The righteous” v.29. Those who “wait for the Lord and keep His way” v.34. It is clear that the wicked will be no more, their power will be broken, but the righteous will be delivered and saved.

We have a real hard time looking at the world in these terms. No one likes to refer to someone else as wicked. And honestly, apart from Jesus Christ, who can claim to be righteous? We just don’t talk like that and certainly don’t like to think we have to make choices between good and evil. We think that there is no black and white, just shades of grey. But the Bible doesn’t seem to have those hang ups. It has no problem calling things good or evil, black or white, righteous or wicked.

People on both sides of the issues agree that this election has starke contrasts. We are deciding between two completely different paths for the future of our land. Can I look at these paths and label one righteous and one wicked? Yes, I can. How can I? Is it based on my own preferences and opinions? Am I the final judge? No, not by a long shot. My opinions and preferences are simply mine and are not to be used to determine righteousness and wickedness. Then who gets to decide? What is the standard? Where is the scale to weigh these paths?

The Bible is the standard and the scale. And Jesus is the judge who gets to decide. So by looking into the Scriptures we should be able to determine which path is good and which path is wicked. But before we put these issues into the scale, we need to decide if we will abide by the outcome of God’s Word or rebel against it.

Facing us this election like never before are some clear cut issues. Your vote one way or the other will determine if people must violate their conscious and religious freedom and be forced to pay for abortions. Will marriage be redefined by the government? Will we continue to amass unstainable debt and pass it to our children and grandchildren? Will we continue to disregard the Lord in public life? To continue down this path is wicked. Not only is the future of our country at stake, this election will have eternal consequences.

There is a clear choice between good and evil this time around. I believe Mitt Romney is a choice for good. I’m not suggesting he is the “hope and change we need.” I don’t put my hope in a man and expect him to be my messiah. Jesus is all sufficient in that catagory. But what Romney stands for in this election is good in contrast to what our current president stands for. Never has the contrast been clearer. Which will you choose?

However the election turns out on November 6th, the truth remains: “The power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.” (v.17) I don’t know if November 6th will be a foretaste of the final victory this Psalm talks about or not. I pray that it will be. Regardless, how you vote on that day will be a good indicator what you might be inheriting on the Day that really matters.

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The Pulpit and Politics

Should pastors preach on political issues? I have heard both yes and no. From my congregation I have heard people tell me, “I’m a big believer in separation of church and state.” I’ve also heard, “Why don’t we hear about these thing from the pulpit?” I believe that pastors have a responsibility to preach on political issues…..sometimes. Not all the time, but definitely some of the time.

I believe that because there is nothing outside the realm of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As Christians we don’t get to compartmentalize our life and surrender only parts of it to Jesus. We do not have the option of saying, “Be Lord of my life here and here, but not here.” I also believe that the wisdom contained in the Scriptures can and should guide our lives, especially in how we live them out in society. The whole “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “You are the salt of the earth, light of the world” thing means we should be informed and active for His glory in the world around us.

Most pastors want to avoid controversy that preaching on a political issue is sure to bring. I certainly don’t want to cause rifts in the church. But if the Bible says something about a particular issue, don’t you want to know what it says? Don’t you want to know what God’s opinion is on the subject so that you can live in accordance with it? The Bible certainly doesn’t shy away from political issues. It is full of examples of preachers confronting, encouraging, and preaching to rulers, kings, judges, cities, and whole nations. And the topics range from adultery, extortion, private property, taxes, freedom, limits on power, role of governments, poverty, and the list goes on.

It has only been recently in American history that we expect preachers to remain silent on issues. During the Revolutionary War the British called the clergy, “The Black Robe Regiment” because of their preaching and influence in current affairs. Preachers did not shy away from preaching on God-given rights, limits of power, freedom, equality of all men and so on. And their legacy was passed on. What would have happened if preachers had remained silent on the issue of slavery? What would the civil-rights movement have been like if Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had decided not to preach on political issues?

As I stated earlier, I believe a preacher should preach on political issues. Not all of the time, but when it is needed. Take for instance the issue of marriage. Since when did marriage become a political issue? The church has been consistent about what marriage is and is not for two thousand years. Marriage is an institution established by God. The pastor who remains silent in the face of the government redefining it is not worthy of the calling and leads his or her people astray.

The Apostle Paul told the church at Ephesus, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:26-27. As a preacher, I know that I have a duty to proclaim, as best I can with love, the whole counsel of God. I am not looking to offend anyone by doing so. But I have found the truth contained in the Word of God is offensive all by itself. Perhaps the reason most people don’t want to hear about politics from the pulpit is because it would require some rethinking and possibly even – change.

Over the next month I am going to be addressing some political issues and exploring what the Bible says about them on my blog. On October 24th I am leading an Election Issues Forum at my church so this will be kind of a warm up. I have found Dr. Wayne Grudem’s book Politics According to the Bible very helpful. You can hear Dr. Grudem speak about pastors preaching on political issues here.

I hope we will have some good discussions and gain insight into the wisdom God offers to us in the political arena. DISCLAIMER: I do not pretend to think that my opinions on these issues are from the mouth of God. I have tried to form my opinions based on His Word, but I am still quite falliable – just ask the Mrs.

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“Daddy, Is Death a Cuss Word?”

My daughter asked me that question when she was five years old. My grandmother had just died and she could see the pain and grief in our family. “No, honey,” I replied, “but it should be.”

I was reminded of her question because this past weekend I buried a ten year old boy. He is the same age as my youngest son. In fact, they played on the same basketball team at the YMCA two years ago. His name was Ryan. He was a great kid from a great family. He was full of life and energy. He was killed in a tragic accident on a playground. One minute he was playing, the next minute he was gone.

His life was short, too short. The words tragic, senseless, unbelievable just don’t communicate the depth of loss that our entire community felt when we heard what happened. This isn’t the way a young, good life is supposed to end. And the void he leaves is too big to fill, even with all our tears.

We are left asking hard questions? How could God let something like this happen? Was this God’s will? Why didn’t God do something about it? In our gut we know this isn’t right. Something tells us in our hearts that this is not the way life is suppose to be. We want answers.

I don’t pretend to have answers to all of these questions. I don’t know why we suffer tragedies like this. I don’t know why some people get cancer or die in a car accident. The world is broken. We experience pain, sorrow, despair, and tragedy. And death is no respecter of persons – even little boys. I can’t answer why God allows a freak accident to take Ryan’s life.

But I do know this: Ryan’s life, not his death, was and remains God’s will. I can’t answer why God didn’t do something that day on the playground to save Ryan’s life. But I can tell you that God did do something to save Ryan’s life before Ryan was even born.

God sees the brokenness of this world. He understands the pain, hurt, and sorrow we experience in our lives. He knows what it is like to lose a son. God experienced how tragic, senseless, and unbelievable death is and He did something about it. He sent Jesus to pay the penalty of sin so that we might live forever. And when Jesus died, God raised Him back to life. Jesus has overcome death and because He lives, we will live to.

You see, God took the long view. Can you see it from His perspective? Do you hear His words to us, “I am the resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26. That is and remains God’s will for Ryan, for you, for me, for everyone! Death does not have the final word on life. Jesus secures for us eternal life. This is the hope we have in the midst of our pain and sorrow.

But our hope is bigger yet. Revelation 21:1-7, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

It has been said, Christianity is optimism with scars. We know that this world is broken and we are broken right along with it. We bear those scars. But the scripture we read speaks of the optimism, the hope we have. It tells us what God’s will is and what He is doing about it. He is going to take this broken world and start over. A day is coming when God, Himself, will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Death will be no more, mourning and crying and pain are gone. He is going to make all things new.

Ryan’s mom told me of a dream she had the night he died where she saw Ryan and he told her, “I’m ok. They fixed me.” She asked, “How?” He didn’t give any answers. He just grinned.

I’ve got good news. God’s not going to stop with just Ryan. He is going to fix it all. He’s going to make all things new. And so with scars on our hearts, we can say with confidence, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting? But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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The DNC, Adam and Eve, and You and Me

It is no coincidence that the Democratic Party has, in the same week, taken God out of their party platform and said, “The government is the only thing we all belong to.” It is not a coincidence because this path is described in Romans 1:18-32.  I am amazed at how vivid the parallels are between the DNC, Adam and Eve, and you and me.

The party platform for 2012 was approved on Sept 4th and in it they had removed all references to God.  After the press began to ask questions, the DNC realized this was not selling well to the American people.  They moved to amend the platform to put God back in.  Watch this video of the vote.  See if you think it was a 2/3 majority.  Listen to the boos that the results received.

“Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” – Romans 1:21-23.

When people refuse to worship God and remove Him from their lives, they live in a false reality.  God is the Creator of all things.  There is nothing in heaven above or on earth below that He does not claim for His glory.  Everything points to Him.  When we live as if that is not true, we live in a false reality.  That denial of truth (which is evident to everyone just from the marvels of creation so that no one is without excuse) causes bad thinking.  That thinking is futile because it goes against the way the universe is wired to run.  It just doesn’t work.  Persistence in this type of thinking leads to foolishness and dark hearts.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Humanity always needs something to worship.  We are worshippers by nature.  If we will not worship the immortal God, we will worship something else.  Throw out God and create your own. The ancients worshipped the sun, nature, and gods that looked like animals.  The Democrats have exchanged God for government.

We are to trust in government.  Almighty Government is the solution to every problem.  All Caring Government will provide people food, jobs, security, cell phones, education, child care, health care, retirement, mortgages  – everything.  And when we let it do all of that then the government does own us.  We will belong to it whether we want to or not.  It will tell us what to eat, where to live, what activities are appropriate, etc.

Listen to this video shown at the DNC on Sept 4th

“The Government is the only thing we all belong to.”  That is the thinking.  We are its dependents.  We owe our lives to it.  This explains the thinking of the president when he said to Americans, “That business of yours – you didn’t build that”.  The DNC has exchanged God for government.  Government is their god.  It is the creator, giver, and sustainer of life in their thinking.  Romans 1:25, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served created things, rather than the Creator – who is forever praised.  Amen.”

But the consequences of this thinking don’t stop there.  Romans 1:24-32 says God gives people over to this thinking.  In other words, He lets the consequences run their course.  Perhaps you can see how God has given them over to their sinful desires.  The DNC platform is for taxpayer funded abortion (murder), free birth control, and even gay marriage.  Do you see the parallels in the passage?  I can’t help but think of slogans like “Pay Their Fair Share” and “The 1%” when I read the warning signs of greed, envy, and malice.  Watch the video of the vote again.  Did you notice the open deceit and deception of the outcome?  They had no problem disenfranchising their own delegates of their votes! 

But I’m not accusing the DNC of anything that the rest of us are not guilty of.  What I see in this party is a clear demonstration of the fallen nature of humanity.  The story is as old as Adam and Eve.  Actually, it is their story.  Adam and Eve decided to do things their way and not God’s way.  They wanted to be like God instead of acknowledging Him and being obedient to Him.  So they replaced God with, well, themselves.  Their will was done, not God’s.

And it is our story.  We do the same thing.  Everyone one of us has a sinful, rebellious nature.  We are born with it.  Theologians call it original sin.  We choose to do things our own way and not God’s way.  Another word for it is pride. 

We think we could really be free and live life to the fullest if we didn’t have these moral restraints placed on us by God.  So we throw them off.  We work to remove any sign of God by compartmentalizing our private lives and claiming there should be separation of church and state in our public lives.  The less God there is the more freedom we have… so the theory goes.

But it doesn’t work.  It didn’t work for Adam and Eve. They were separated from God, banished from the garden, brought a curse on the land, and set us all on a course to meet death one day. 

It doesn’t work in our own lives.  Broken relationships, debt, addiction, and despair are some of the consequences of our “freedom”.  We can’t run from it.  It weighs on our souls in our quiet moments.  It steals our hope and joy.  It leaves us empty.

And it doesn’t work in politics either.  The world hasn’t gotten any better with government solutions.  We have $16 trillion in debt with massive welfare entitlements and more people on food stamps than ever before. 

When we do not acknowledge God in our own lives and live however we want, destruction is the outcome.  For a myriad of reasons we don’t want to admit it so we look for something else to blame.  For Adam, it was Eve.  For Eve, it was the snake.  For the Democrats, it is Republicans.  For you and me, well…..the lies and excuses have to end.  Can we acknowledge our pride and sin before it is too late? 

We can plainly see that life is broken and doesn’t work so we look for salvation.  We have reached the realization that salvation does not lie within so we look to something bigger than ourselves.  For many Americans salvation is sought in a government program.  Politicians become messiahs.  This religion has played itself out before and has never delivered on its promises.  Ask the Cubans, the Russians, the North Koreans, or any other people who have worshipped government as their god.  This false god of government doesn’t save.  It enslaves.  That’s what false gods do.

The solution is simple.  It is not forcing God into a party platform.  It is not paying lip service to the Creator.  The solution is repenting of our sin and allowing Jesus to be Lord of our lives as individuals.  We must begin to acknowledge how the universe it wired to work.  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10.   For life to work, we must turn to the Creator of life and acknowledge Him and His ways.

That’s true for the DNC, Adam and Eve, and you and me.

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Filed under Beliefs, Bible, Freedom, Government