Category Archives: Freedom

Taxes: A Spiritual Issue

We are to pay taxes.  God has ordained government for certain functions.  What happens when government steps outside those functions for which it is ordained and established?  Are our tax dollars paying to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty? 

According to the Office of Management and Budget at the Heritage Foundation about 30cents of every tax dollar pays for those things. 70% of the federal budget goes to pay for welfare and dependency programs.  This is not as much a political issue as it is a spiritual issue.  Here is why:

lbj war on povertyA fundamental spiritual shift took place in our culture during the great depression. Our country began to look to government to provide and solve our problems instead of God. This spiritual problem accelerated with the Great Society plan in the 1960’s. All of these compassionate programs to help the needy, the underprivileged, those who are down and out began to be funded by the government. The war on poverty is now 50 years old and are there less poor people? Actually there are more people on food stamps now than ever before. In 2010 we spent almost $900 billion on welfare programs, more than we spent on the war in Iraq during all of G.W. Bush’s presidency.

Since the beginning of the war on poverty in 1964, the US has spent 15.9 Trillion dollars on welfare. The price tag for all the wars the US has fought is only 6.4 trillion. (Please don’t get me wrong. I am not in favor of war nor do I think, as some might accuse, that it is cheaper to kill people than help them. I am simply comparing numbers. Both Republicans and Democrats have suggested that fighting wars is the cause of such large spending and deficits. I am simply pointing out that this is not the case. These numbers come from the Heritage Foundation’s The Economy Hits Home: Poverty, pg.4.)

Having said all that let me emphasize that this is not a political problem. Both Republicans and Democrats have controlled the government and contributed to this. This is a spiritual problem. Why?

We have made an idol of the government and we worship it instead of God. I know our national motto is “In God We Trust.” But our actions are “In Govt we trust.”

uncle samWho do we look to for food, housing, jobs, education, child care, health care, and retirement? Whenever there is a problem or crisis the first thing out of people’s mouth is, “The govt should….   The govt needs to…” And politicians are quick to say, “We need a program that provides…..for all Americans.” Whenever a person looks to anything other than God to provide, that other becomes an idol. America is guilty of idolatry. We worship at the altar of big government. The only thing lacking is little wooden statues of Uncle Sam that we can bow before and pray.

Now I’ve heard many Christians, even Bishops say things like God judges nations on how they treat the poor and marginalized, the widows and orphans, the aliens and the unwanted. It is true. God will judge us on that scale. But God also sends nations into exile and slavery for idolatry. (See ancient history of Israel.)

We are to love our neighbor as our self, so how are we to care for the least of these if the government doesn’t do it?  What are your thoughts?  I’ll share a few of mine in the next post.

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Taxes

Taxes have always been a controversy for preachers. Some people get upset when you talk about money from the pulpit, how much more so if you talk about taxes? Which is exactly why the Pharisees ask Jesus this question. They want to get Him in trouble. It is a trap.

Julius-Caesar-coinMark 12:13-17, “Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial taxto Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.”

 Jesus doesn’t do what most of us do (that’s avoid the issue), He answers the question. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Well, the Lord’s answer leaves us to ask a few follow up questions. “What is Caesar’s? And what is God’s?”

Let’s start with easiest question, “What is God’s?” The answer is obviously, “everything.” Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” It is all God’s. We are just stewards of His creation. All the things we possess – from materials, talents, to the breath in our lungs and the beat in our hearts –  are really His and we will give an account of how we used them on judgment day. Did we use all of our resources to glorify Him and expand His kingdom or not? (For further reading see Matthew 25:14-30, Parable of the Talents.)

So what does God require of us with these resources? Jesus summed it up nicely, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31.)  In the Old Testament, the prophet Micah put it this way, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)  Easy to answer, difficult to do.

Now, what is Caesar’s? What is owed to the government? I’m sure you’ve seen the bumper sticker, “If 10% good enough for God, good enough for the IRS.” This question is a bit trickier to answer.  In order to do so, we need to know what God has established government to do.

Romans 13:1-7. 1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.  6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

God establishes government for maintaining justice in society. Commend those who do what is right and punish those who do wrong. You see the Bible says that all of us are sinners. Left to ourselves we have a natural inclination to sin and do evil. We are not basically good. The Bible calls this condition of humanity original sin. (See Romans 7:14-25).

God gives us government for the benefit of society to bring order from chaos, provide the rule of law, and ensure justice is done among the people. We pay taxes to pay for the courts, police, prisons, salaries, maintain defense, roads, etc.   We must have structure to live together in peace and prosperity.  The preamble to the preamble constitutionUnited States Constitution gives us the reasons our founders established our government.  We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

God institutes government for these reasons and we owe Caesar for these services.  But that leaves me with this follow up question: Is that where our taxes are going?  In the next few posts I’m going to delve into the spiritual issue of taxes.  Jesus says to pay taxes, but what if our tax money is going for purposes that oppose God and limit liberty?  What if our tax money is going to things that are good, but God did not ordain government to do?  And more practically, what if some of those things just don’t work and bring harm rather than good?  Then what?

I’d love to hear your thoughts….

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Longing For a Better Country

People are fed up with the way the country is being run and they want out.  It is fascinating to watch as hundreds of thousands petition for their states to secede.  I doubt it will happen, (except maybe Texas – Don’t Mess With Texas!) but it does give us a chance to talk about following Jesus. 

What I see on the faces of so many people after this election is not hope, but despair.  They long for a better country.  They look to leaders and listen to their promises.  They see through the lies and know that if things remain on this course there won’t be a country left.  And they are trying to find the exits.  They long for a new country where justice, peace, truth, and righteousness are the rule.  Is there a place like that?  That is what our founding fathers envisioned for this country, but that vision no longer guides us.

If you have felt this despair and realize you want a better place to live, you are not alone.  In fact, this is a good and necessary step in order to follow Jesus.  Eugene Peterson writes about this in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.  He says, “People submerged in a culture swarming with lies and malice feel as if they are drowning in it: they can trust nothing they hear, depend on no one they meet.  Such dissatisfaction with the world as it is is preparation for traveling in the way of Christian discipleship.  The dissatisfaction, coupled with a longing for peace and truth, can set us on a pilgrim path of wholeness in God.”

He goes on, “A person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find the motivation to set out on the Christian way.  As long as we think the next election might eliminate crime and establish justice or another scientific breakthrough might save the environment or another pay raise might push us over the edge of anxiety into a life of tranquillity, we are not likely to risk the arduous uncertainties of the life of faith.  A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace.” (pg.25).

By the look of the desire for secession, people have an appetite for the world of grace.  I think of God calling Abraham out of Ur to a new land.  I remember Moses leading people out of slavery in Egypt towards the promised land.  David was on the run for many years waiting for his kingdom.  And for hundreds of years the Israelities were looking for God’s Messiah to deliver them from bondage and establish them in the land of their forefathers as free men and women.  It seems God’s people have always been looking for a new country.

“All of these people were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.  And they admitted they were aliens and strangers on earth.  People who say such things show they are looking for a country of their own.  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return.  Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”  – Hebrews 11:13-16.

Are you done thinking we can make heaven on earth?  Are you ready to secede from the world’s ways and begin the pilgrim path of following Jesus?  He calls us to a life of faith.  When we follow Him, He tells us plainly, “My Kingdom is not of this world”  (John 18:36).  Our goal is a better country – a heavenly one.  Being a pilgrim is not easy.  Jesus is very clear, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33), and he couldn’t be more right about that.  “But take heart, I have overcome the world.”

When we follow Jesus we are in the world, but not of it.  “Our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ “ (Phil  3:20).  If you are longing for a better country, you won’t find it in secession.  I encourage you to get your hiking boots on and follow Jesus more closely.  Repentence is the first step.

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Broken Compass

My friend asked upon reading my Facebook intro (Something to do the day after)to my last blog, “What do Christians do now that the president is still the president?!”  I assume she was asking, “What has changed that has so many people bummed out.”  On the surface, nothing.  But the election revealed, in black and white clarity, America’s moral compass is broken.  

Proverbs 13:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”  What would our founding fathers say about legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and same-sex marriage in some states?  What would they say about mandating people pay for abortions?  What would they say about religion, holiness, and morality as it effects the nation?

Let me introduce you to John Witherspoon.  Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister, President of Princeton College, a New Jersey delegate to the Continential Congress, and signer of the Declaration of Independence.  The following is an excerpt from a sermon called The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men.  Preached in Princeton in 1776, Witherspoon offers some great wisdom for us in connceting our faith and our national character.  There is some real practical advice and truth offered here to anyone who would “turn from our wicked ways and seek God’s face.”  Here’s John…

“Suffer me to recommend to you an attention to the public interest of religion, or in other words, zeal for the glory of God and the good of others. I have already endeavored to exhort sinners to repentance; what I have here in view is to point out to you the concern which every good man ought to take in the national character and manners, and the means which he ought to use for promoting public virtue, and bearing down impiety and vice. This is a matter of the utmost moment, and which ought to be well understood, both in its nature and principles. Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue. On the other hand, when the manners of a nation are pure, when true religion and internal principles maintain their vigour, the attempts of the most powerful enemies to oppress them are commonly baffled and disappointed. This will be found equally certain, whether we consider the great principles of God’s moral government, or the operation and influence of natural causes.

What follows from this? That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy to God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country. Do not suppose, my brethren, that I mean to recommend a furious and angry zeal for the circumstantials of religion, or the contentions of one sect with another about their peculiar distinctions. I do not wish you to oppose any body’s religion, but every body’s wickedness. Perhaps there are few surer marks of the reality of religion, than when a man feels himself more joined in spirit to a true holy person of a different denomination, than to an irregular liver of his own. It is therefore your duty in this important and critical season to exert yourselves, every one in his proper sphere, to stem the tide of prevailing vice, to promote the knowledge of God, the reverence of his name and worship, and obedience to his laws.

Perhaps you will ask, what it is that you are called to do for this purpose farther than your own personal duty? I answer this itself when taken in its proper extent is not a little. The nature and obligation of visible religion is, I am afraid, little understood and less attended to.

Many from a real or pretended fear of the imputation of hypocrisy, banish from their conversation and carriage every appearance of respect and submission to the living God. What a weakness and meanness of spirit does it discover, for a man to be ashamed in the presence of his fellow sinners, to profess that reverence to almighty God which he inwardly feels: The truth is, he makes himself truly liable to the accusation which he means to avoid. It is as genuine and perhaps a more culpable hypocrisy to appear to have less religion than you really have, than to appear to have more. This false shame is a more extensive evil than is commonly apprehended. We contribute constantly, though insensibly, to form each others character and manners; and therefore, the usefulness of a strictly holy and conscientious deportment is not confined to the possessor, but spreads its happy influence to all that are within its reach. I need scarcely add, that in proportion as men are distinguished by understanding, literature, age, rank, office, wealth, or any other circumstance, their example will be useful on the one hand, or pernicious on the other.

But I cannot content myself with barely recommending a silent example. There is a dignity in virtue which is entitled to authority, and ought to claim it. In many cases it is the duty of a good man, by open reproof and opposition, to wage war with profaneness. There is a scripture precept delivered in very singular terms, to which I beg your attention; “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but shalt in any wise rebuke him, and not suffer sin upon him.” How prone are many to represent reproof as flowing from ill nature and surliness of temper? The spirit of God, on the contrary, considers it as the effect of inward hatred, or want of genuine love, to forbear reproof, when it is necessary or may be useful. I am sensible there may in some cases be a restraint from prudence, agreeably to that caution of our Saviour, “Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rent you.” Of this every man must judge as well as he can for himself; but certainly, either by open reproof, or expressive silence, or speedy departure from such society, we ought to guard against being partakers of other men’s sins.”

You can find the whole sermon here.  I’d love to hear your reaction to Witherspoon, so please share your thoughts.  I’ll share some of mine in my next post.

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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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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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