HINDSIGHT ISN’T 20/20 — PART 3

 

This is the third part of my take on the results of the Virginia’s General Election (November 7, 2017). Here are the two previous posts.

What is important to Christians? We want to help each other go to Heaven, to be with Jesus. The election? Doesn’t much matter, but we are suppose vote to protect our neighbors rights. Unfortunately, whatever they thought they were doing, instead of voting to protect their neighbor’s rights, too many voted to make their they neighbors do something.

Consider what other Christian blogs have to say about the state of the world.

NOTE: When I link to these blogs, that does not mean they either agree or disagree with my posts. I am recommending their post(s).

  • Defy Gravity (familyfoundation.org) looks squarely at the results. What was the real change?

    You see, Virginians didn’t just send a bunch of new Democrats to the General Assembly. They sent some of the most aggressive, extreme leftist politicians Virginia has ever seen. From staunch, self-proclaimed socialists to pro-abortion zealots, we can expect them to introduce some of the most dangerous anti-life, anti-faith, anti-freedom legislation in Virginia history beginning in January. And with both chambers controlled by Republicans only by the narrowest of margins, the fight to stop those proposals will be extraordinarily difficult. But that is what we must do all the same.

  • Why is this sort of thing happening? Why is there so much turmoil and chaos in America? (altruistico.wordpress.com) pinpoints the problem.

    America is in chaos because the people have moved away from the Christianity, which God used to create the United States of America. The people moved away, in part, because the ruling elite erased the history of America (1492 – 1789). and mostly because, as in the Old Testament of the Bible, we are no better than the people of Israel in our constant desire to do as we please, rather than please God. The spirit of the Constitution, spoken of above, should be the spirit of God, through the American people and applied to life. That is precisely what the Founders intended. (This point will be fought tooth and nail by the intellectuals, and most may believe them because most are completely unaware of the history of this nation, combined with a desire to live and let live.)

  • Yet are the results of the last election the end of the world? No. THE BEGINNING OF BIRTH PAINS (atimetoshare.me) reminds us that we have no idea when the end will occur. Our job is to trust in God. I totally repent…. (insanitybytes2.wordpress.com) reminds us to be content in the strength and power of our Savior.

    Philippians 4:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

    12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

  • Still, we have a problem. As bits and pieces (cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com), A New Definition Of Hate (kingdompastor.wordpress.com), More poisonous rage in Texas (thenakedtruth2.wordpress.com), and Does religion actually poison everything? (melwild.wordpress.com), the world can be exceedingly hostile.
  • As Turning point (cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com) and WHEN HARVARD REJECTED THE MESSENGER (citizentom.com) point out, even the best of our modern  Christian counselors must struggle against the hostility of the world to be heard and given a thoughtful hearing.
  • As The Interruption (lifereference.wordpress.com) points out, we have a difficult time accepting the teachings of Christ. Yet we must Remember God Resists The Proud (thewayonline.wordpress.com). As two men did when Jesus was Travelling on the Roman Road (lifereference.wordpress.com), we must beg God to give us eyes to see and and follow Him when He does.
  • As John 11:28-34 (truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com) explains, we must trust our Lord.
  • As The First Letter of John (jessicahof.wordpress.com) explains, we must love God and each other.

Consider a couple of questions. What is Heaven? What is Hell? None of us actually know. None of us has visited either place and returned to tell of what we learned. So based upon what we know of the teachings of the Bible, we speculate. Here is a good example.

The allegory of the long spoons is a parable that shows the difference between heaven and hell by means of people forced to eat with long spoons. It is attributed to Rabbi Haim of Romshishok, as well as other sources.

In hell the people are unable to lift food to their mouths using such unwieldy cutlery, and are starving. In heaven, the diners feed one another across the table and are sated. The story can encourage people to be kind to each other. (continued here)

I don’t know anything about about the author of the blog, but The Parable of the Long Spoons at Triumph of the Spirit captures the allegory of the long spoons without extraneous details.

So what does the story teach us? Heaven is a place where people love each other and God gratefully, and Hell is a place where people want and never have their wants satisfied.

If our vote is our “long spoon”, then we are not making very good use of it. Instead of loving our neighbors with our vote, too many of us try to use our vote satisfy our wants. Wisdom teaches that is an exercise in futility.

What will part 4 be about? Most Christians think we need a revival to save our nation? What would that involve?

 

 

 

41 thoughts on “HINDSIGHT ISN’T 20/20 — PART 3

  1. Happy Sunday brother!

    You have given me a good deal to contemplate with your reply above (much of which seems to have little do with the subject of your post or my proposed explanation).

    Perhaps a necessary feature of Sunday Mass for me is always an acute awareness of my life of sinfulness and ignorance and my need for mercy, enlightenment and redemption. I rationalize this sinfulness away most of the time with the thought that my intentions are good, my motives are sound. The reality, however, is that none of us are as good or as evil as we may perceive ourselves or others. Most of us are the victims of selfish intentions that we often don’t recognize. As the heroes in our own stories we elaborately glorify our own actions and demonize those who disagree with us. When done on a group scale this leads to tribalism.

    I caution you therefore not to get too caught up in your own propaganda. Recognize that the good people of Virginia who voted against Trumpism, literally your neighbors, do not see themselves as voting for selfishness and division. In voting against “me first’ Republican Tumpism, they believe just the opposite. You may believe that they are misinformed , but before you condemn their motivations as unchristian, perhaps you might want to understand them a little better and more closely examine the pride of your own prejudices.

    People are more complex than the simple labels you and I might want to give them. We are all sinners and potential saints. We are all subject to the pride of glorifying our own sinfulness and demonizing our neighbors’ intentions if we disagree with them.

    So no, as a great sinner myself, and an unworthy Christian, I don’t have the right to hate Donald Trump, or to even question his Christianity. I do question, however, that yours and Trump’s brand of tribalism and ethnocentric exclusion represents the welcoming inclusion and love that I believei is at the heart of Christianity. I don’t question your intentions as evil, They just don’t align with my Christian theology. And only God knows who is right. Probably neither of us.

    1. @tsalmon

      Hope you are doing well too!

      I caution you therefore not to get too caught up in your own propaganda. Recognize that the good people of Virginia who voted against Trumpism, literally your neighbors, do not see themselves as voting for selfishness and division. In voting against “me first’ Republican Tumpism, they believe just the opposite. You may believe that they are misinformed , but before you condemn their motivations as unchristian, perhaps you might want to understand them a little better and more closely examine the pride of your own prejudices.

      This is not coming from someone in a party that is completely caught up in its own propaganda and name calling?
      🙄

      “Me first’ Republican Tumpism”? Have you and John been coordinating your message?

      Would you like me dig up some the crap the Democrats threw at Bush? How about Goldwater? According to Democrats, Goldwater was only going to start a nuclear war. Was it a Democrat or a Republican who started calling their opponents “nigger lovers”?

      What is the distinction here? A distinction relevant to today? Is the Democratic Party the pagan party? Yes. We can go through the Democratic Party’s platform and establish that. You really ought to compare the religion of the Canaanites with some of the vile things Democrats now stand for.

      Has the Democratic Party promoted an unconstitutional agenda? You know it has. You just won’t admit it. Does Hillary Clinton belong in jail? When I bring up the reasons she and her husband ought to be investigated, you just start calling Trump names. Proving what?

      Have I ever done anything wrong? Yes. Do I still sin? Yes. Does my sinfulness mean I am suppose stand by idly while others sinfully destroy our country? Of course not. Where does the Bible suggest anything of that sort?

      We judge each other according to the way we want others to judge us. We cannot evaluate the state of another man’s heart, but we can judge what we know of another man’s conduct. That is why we throw bank robbers in jail instead of Hell. That is also why there is nothing wrong with pointing out that some of our fellow citizens are selling their votes to crooked politicians.

      You don’t like my Christian theology? Well, that is your right. However, if we take freedom of religion of seriously, then we are supposed to let others live in accordance with the dictates of their own consciences. You can have your theology, I can have mine, and all our neighbors can have theirs. Unfortunately, what the Democratic Party now stands for is freedom of worship, not the free exercise of religion. When people stand for a “living Constitution”, they sure don’t stand for much of anything.

  2. Altruistco and Citizen Tom

    Altruistco statement , “America is in chaos because the people have moved away from the Christianity, which God used to create the United States of America,” includes Christians.

    Reading more on the Va. election result, in my opinion, not only did the non Christians move away, the loss includes Christians in name only, along with foolish incentives enacted by a non perfect Democratic government that allowed a breakdown of justice and equity in taxation and wages.

    The result is what we are witnessing now is breakdown and separation of governing parties.
    One part believing they are working hard while others scam the government. ‘

    The other side angry they work and never get ahead because the Government rewards the rich over the poor.

    Same problem occurred in Israel 3000 years ago and contributed to the breakup of Israel.
    Will it happen again in the USA? In my opinion, probably, in time unless both political parties wise up. Otherwise, history will just repeat folly again of us not perfect humans.

    If interested,

    https://rudymartinka.com/2017/11/12/king-solomon-henry-ford-tax-and-wage-justice-in-the-usa/

    Also Mathew 19:21
    Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    He left without doing what Jesus requested, same as most USA Christians will do in our modern times.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    1. I agree with the spirit of your post and comment. I think it is important to remember, however, that ancient Israel did not practice capitalism, and we don’t either.

      Generally, what is required for someone to get rich is that they have special, valuable skills and the opportunity to sell them in an open market. Those skills have to include the capacity to manage money well, or the would-be rich quickly dissipate their earnings.

      What should keep people and corporations from acquiring 100’s of billions and even trillions of dollars is the difficulty of managing large scale operations. Sometimes, however, certain industries have such efficient economies of scale that they can earn fabulous fortunes. The sale of software is one such example. Once the program is written, it is fairly easy to copy disks and run multiple customer service centers.

      Nevertheless, any profitable business so acquires competitors, and that competition forces even the largest businesses to respond appropriately to their employees and customers.

      I believe the real problem we have to deal with is governmental favoritism. Everyone has the right to donate money to their favorite politicians, but voters should do their best to limit unnecessary taxes and regulations. Such generally favor large businesses over small.

      Since the Bible does not discourage us from becoming rich, most of the commentaries I have heard and read on that passage in Matthew 19 propose that Jesus told that man to sell his possession because he was putting his wealth before God. Nowhere else in the Bible is anyone except perhaps a prophet or apostle told to do such a thing. As Peter observed, the apostles gave up everything to follow Jesus, but that was their calling. Nevertheless, they often depended upon those in other occupations to feed, cloth, and shelter them.

      1. Think justice and equity for everyone in governing,, and a lot of moaning and groaning will cease for the most part , in my opinion. `

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        1. @scatterwisdom

          One would think so, but we don’t all define justice and equity the same way. Traditionally, American considered justice and equity as being a matter of impartially. Government, especially the court system was supposed to accord the rights of every individual the same respect. Now we have social justice and social equity. Here what is desired are equal outcomes. When the Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal, that is not what it is talking about.

          1. I agree that the word social was not included in his proverb or any Christian advice related to justice and equity.

            It is a secular word with millions of interpretations related often to pride, greed and envy.

            Regards andwill blogging.

  3. I’m glad there are people like you CT who are able so adroitly to sift through the machinery of politics and make such fine distinctions between the good the bad and the ugly.

    Then you top it off with the balance of the good, the great and the Chief Shepherd. Well done as usual.

  4. I think that you are misreading the backlash against Trump (and Virginian Republicans by proxy) as some sort of rebellion against Christianity, as the triumph of their pagan hatreds over the Christian love in their hearts, when those voting against Trump’s flagrant “me first” hedonism and unabashed glorification of selfish vice, actually feel that they are the one’s returning to the truest American ideals of pluralistic democracy, inclusion, community spirit, tolerance and yes, love.

    Christianity is not a zero sum game brother. We don’t become “more Christian “ by excluding others from the flock and mislabeling them as “pagans”.

    Other than that, I enjoyed your post.

    1. @tsalmon

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Some have an obsession with identity groups. Don’t know who that might be, do you? 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump, and I suppose some happily put me into that group. I have had people call me a hypocrite because I voted for Trump, and I call myself a Christian. However, I am not naive enough to think stereotypes work too well (https://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/myths-debunked-why-did-white-evangelical-christians-vote-trump)

      But what is the maniac hatred of Trump all about? Do Christians look upon Trump as a Christian? Well, I hope the man finds his way to Jesus, but that is between him and God. I just have my doubts Trump is very much familiar with the Bible. I expect he knows much more about tax code and the design of big buildings.

      Liberal Democrats hate Trump (and don’t bother to deny you don’t) because he stands between the self-righteous and their Utopian sugar plums visions. H. Clinton was suppose to win and dole out endless prizes. Now that won’t happen until Trump is destroyed.

      Have I excluded anyone from the Christian flock? Not my job. God doesn’t even do it. We do it to ourselves.

      Do I bother trying to examine other Christians and determine the state of their souls? No. Pointless. I don’t even have the capacity. I just uphold certain beliefs. There are certain things the Bible says we have to believe. Don’t believe them? Not a follower of Jesus.

      What has that to do with politics? Politics is one of the ways we relate to each other. Consider.

      Matthew 5:1-12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes

      5 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

      3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

      5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

      6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

      7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

      8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

      9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

      10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

      Most would not cite The Beatitudes and point to politics. That is not presently fashionable. For some reason we ignore that most of the major figures mentioned were political leaders. We forget that the Bible often used such people to illustrate for us how The Beatitudes are either lived out or not lived out.

      Verse 3: humility
      Verse 4: repentance
      Verse 5: self control
      Verse 6: justice
      Verse 7: mercy
      Verse 8: purity
      Verse 9: self-restraint
      Verse 10: perseverance
      Verse 11: faith in God (or at least in doing what is virtuous)

      Here is an explanation. http://virtueconnection.com/what-is-virtue/beatitudes-2/

      Voting for what Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party stands for clearly violated the teachings in The Beatitudes more than voting for Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Considering that the Donald is not exactly saintly….. Well, Clinton obviously belongs in jail, and Trump doesn’t.

  5. Thanks for acknowledging my site. I’m honored. I enjoy your insightful blog. It always stirs thought and searching for answers. You’re a very smart guy!

  6. Interesting,Tom! I love the parable of the long spoons. It’s a good analogy. I’ve never heard that before. As you know,I live in a dark blue dot of extreme liberalism, the far left, but some things are starting to shift, just a tiny bit.

    Something I’ve observed, I can work with liberals, conservatives, even extremists, if they have a genuine Christian bent. At that point all we are arguing over is the background noise around how best to love our neighbor. LOL,some people are still terribly wrong, but their heart is right and that makes all the difference.

    The problem is those who hate the Christian faith, who want to smash the institutions, who believe America is a shameful country that needs to be dismantled. I can’t work with that. They’re wildly destructive and terribly authoritarian and our goals are different. Forget love your neighbor, it’s actually all about sticking it to people they don’t like, tax the rich, smash the corporations, all stuff that is very punitive and revenge based. They perceive themselves as victims getting back at a great oppressor.

    1. @insanitybytes22

      Vengeance. Punishment. The pretense at righteous justice. But really just stinking hate.

      Such hatred stems from arrogant pride. How dare you hurt me! That is the feeling in our heart when we behave that way. And how do we define the hurt? That hurt is simply an offense to our pride.

      Look at the maniac rage against Donald Trump. Admittedly, the man has a big mouth, but what has he actually done to justify all the anger? He associates with Christians. The haters never actually explain it. They know it is, and they have no trouble sharing their hatred, but they also know it is not truly justifiable. So they just attack anyone who supports Trump for supporting a womanizer, Russians stealing election, a man who tweets incessantly, or some such silly thing.

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