THE JOY OF BEING TORMENTED?

cross.pngWhen Jesus spoke, He must have caused lots of confusion. Can you imagine trying to decipher The Beatitudes, this one, for example

Matthew 5:11-12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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.

Jesus had yet to die on the cross. He only just begun to teach. He had performed miracles, but just who was He? Nevertheless, His followers soon saw the truth in His words. Christians did suffer for their faith in Jesus and still suffer from insults, persecution, and false accusations.

Here in the United States we are supposed to consider the persecution of Christianity a minor thing. Yet it is not. It is just more subtle.  So we get articles like this:

All this sort of talk is silly.  What is at issue is whether our we can fulfill our Christian obligations, whether the society we live in tries interfere with our duty to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.

Consider two examples.

  • Do we want to educate our children in the Christian faith? Is it not obvious our government now hinders us in that effort. Over the decades, government has secularized our schools. They have practically banished the Bible, and they teach religion causes wars, including the Christian religion. Why would the leaders of our government do that? Christianity, which promotes individual rights, is an obstacle to the growth of government power, and some of our leaders crave more power.
  • Do we want the right to speak freely about our faith in public? Once that was commonplace in America, but over the years the mass media, desirous of selling sex and violence, has constantly pushed the envelope of decency. So it is that many corporate executives in the mass media, now dominated by sales people who want to use indecent behavior to mass market goods and services, feel obliged to repress Christians, who teach modesty, abhor gratuitous violence, and promote frugality.

Because sin is popular in all societies, even the United States, anyone who strives to follow the example of Jesus Christ will experience some degree of persecution. There is no point in pretending otherwise. The only issue is whether what we choose to do about it honors Jesus Christ.

2016 POST ELECTION STRATEGY AND TACTICS – PART 1

ChristianknightAfter President Barrack Hussein Obama’s second election as our president, I wrote a series that starts here: FINDING PEACE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2012 ELECTION — PART 1. That was a frankly Christian and Conservative perspective on what I considered a devastating defeat, that is, devastating from a human perspective. I was not alone. With others I went through the stages of grief. Then we started planning for the future.

Victory, such as it is, presents similar issues. It seems our Lord has a sense of humor. Four years ago nobody anticipated the election of President Donald J. Trump. We would have found the idea laughable, and most people still don’t know what to make of it.

Just as we are not altogether in our defeats, we are not unified in victory. We are always too busy scratching our heads, wondering. How did the *&%$#@! did that happen? Whether we have victory or defeat, it seems events drive us accept the fact that God is in charge.

So can we do? We can serve as our Lord’s hands and feet. In His Name, we can each can make a personal commitment to change the world for the better. Make of it what you will, but here is mine.

What Is A Commitment?

When we make a commitment, we need to define three things.

  • A Goal. To make a meaningful commitment, we have to commit ourselves to a defined purpose, an achievable goal.
  • A Strategy. To pursue a goal effectively, we must have a strategy. To achieve a goal, we have to enumerate the factors that must come together that make goal fulfillment a possibility.
  • Tactics. Every great undertaking is accomplished through the dedicated efforts of so-called little people. In a war, we call the little people soldiers. In war groups of soldiers work in unison by implementing squad, battalion, divisional,… tactics. In politics, we call the little people citizens. What citizens do to implement the overall strategy and achieve the goal we call political activism.

The Goal

Defining my goal begins with how I identify myself.

  • Why am I a Christian? I believe Jesus is who He said He is. I believe He died for our sins and that He rose from the dead.  I believe Jesus is God. I believe God is three in One: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that through Jesus God gave us an example. Therefore, I strive to be a worthy disciple of Christ.
  • Why am I a Conservative? I believe God is God. I don’t believe any of us is God. I don’t believe any of us are wise enough or good enough to rule the rest of humanity as an all-powerful monarch.  Jesus will do so, but not one of us. Therefore, instead of trying to run other people’s lives, I work to protect the God-given rights of my family, friends, neighbors, and countrymen.

To spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to fulfill The Great Commission Jesus gave us, we need a stable and efficient government.  To protect our God-given rights, including our right to hear and live by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we need a government designed to protect those rights. Therefore, as my goal I seek to protect the constitutional republic given to us by the founders of this nation.

To Be Continued

In Part 2 we will enumerate the factors that must come together that make goal fulfillment a possibility, and we will examine why each of those factors is necessary for the fulfillment of the goal.

SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER, REVISITED

communicateWHAT IS SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER? is one of my more popular posts. I believe the dialogue I had in the comments section with Keith DeHavelle largely explains that. Whenever  commented, my readership always increased.

Due to health issues, is now a “retired” blogger — and missed. Fortunately, his wit and wisdom still survives on the Internet and with his family and friends.

Because of the popularity of the expression “speaking truth to power” and its widespread abuse, I hope WHAT IS SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER? also has merit because it explains the origin and meaning of the expression. Therefore, when a commenter suggested that I reblog that old post, I could not resist the flattery.

Debbie L

I had an email about you liking a comment and it had your “Truth to Power” post tagged in it, from 2013. I first heard that term when I was working on a government project. I didn’t understand what she meant, so I am glad now I know! And how funny, I just heard that term again when we accidentally had on the news….we are trying to not listen to it! The comments were closed on it, but it’s good and you may want to reblog is since the left are using that tern of late regarding the election…. (from here)

We both communicate and think in words. Each word represents a set of concepts and beliefs. We use words to bring order to our concepts and beliefs. We use phrases, sentences, and paragraphs so we can be more specific and exact about our concepts and beliefs. Then we communicate our concepts and beliefs with those words. Therefore, to communicate properly, we must understand the meaning of words. Otherwise, we will confuse other people about our beliefs. Otherwise, more devious people will use our confusion over words to manipulate and twist our thoughts and beliefs.

From This Last Week

SO DONALD TRUMP WON. NOW WHAT?

These paintings by Gerard David (c. 1460 – 13 August 1523) depict the arrest and flaying by a corrupt judge. Cambyses, a Persian King sentence this judge, Sisamnes, for accepting a bribe.  Then he used the skin to cover the seat Sisamnes' son used when he sat as a judge. (from here)
These paintings by Gerard David (c. 1460 – 13 August 1523) depict the arrest and flaying by a corrupt judge. Cambyses, a Persian King sentenced this judge, Sisamnes, for accepting a bribe. Then he used the skin to cover the seat Sisamnes’ son used when he sat as a judge. (from here)

Donald Trump’s election victory has almost everyone amazed.  When I look over the situation, however, I am relieved, but not sanguine.  Republicans don’t do either victory or defeat well, but that’s why WE THE PEOPLE chose Trump. We want a leader with some fight in him, someone on our side.

So what’s the problem? As WE THE PEOPLE, we must remember the objective, a government that protects everyone’s God-given rights. Revenge of the Deplorables, for example, is all true except for one thing. Vengeance belongs to God. Therefore, writing this paragraph was a bad idea.

What comes around, goes around; the revenge of the pissed off deplorable has come to fruition. Life as a liberal in the USA is about to get very unpleasant, and I’m gleefully looking forward to being one of the reasons why. Last Tuesday’s election was only the beginning; we are going to screw them over every chance we get. Can you hear me now? (from here)

Believe me. I think the author of Revenge of the Deplorables writes thoughtful posts. Believe me. I too have an itch to screw the Democrats over. Using “good intentions” as their excuse, Democrats have dreadfully abused the power of government, and their leaders have deliberately sown dissension and division. Nevertheless, I have plenty of brothers and sisters who voted for H. Clinton. So I know from personal experience that Democrat voters are not devils. So I don’t want revenge. I just want them figure out big government creates many more problems than it ever fixes.

When we use government to make our neighbors do things our way or to just make them miserable, we have just created a monster that makes everyone endlessly angry. Civil war is the worst kind of war. Hence, we must look for Biblical guidance. Consider this timely verse posted at Settled In Heaven on the day after the election.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (from here)

As Christians, we are not supposed to let the world trouble us or make us afraid. We must strive for peace by following Jesus Christ.

Jesus told us and demonstrated for us just how dishonest and conniving the world can be. The Bible shows us just how dishonest and conniving we can be. Nonetheless, the Bible predates American politics. So something more specific to our situation might be helpful. Here in Common Sense Rules for Following Elections the author provides a more rational perspective than what most in the news media want us to have.

I know that’s hard to believe sometimes, but the other candidate and the other party aren’t evil because they see things differently than you do. It sounds silly to even say that, doesn’t it? Yet in the heat of a tough campaign, all of us need to remind ourselves of this obvious fact. When the other side wins, it seems like life is about to end, but it isn’t. Those checks and balances that you might like to do away with at the moment, will keep any president from going too far; even Mr. Obama found that out. Remember four years ago when he went around the country telling us he wouldn’t wait for Congress to legislate and promised a slew of Executive Orders instead… until Courts started throwing them out? Well, maybe you’ve forgotten that, but I haven’t; those checks and balances are pretty awesome. (continued here)

Whether we voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, we did not vote for a saint or against the devil. We just voted for another human being like ourselves, someone who needs the saving grace of Jesus Christ, particularly if that candidate won.

So what should we hope for? America Trumped–what comes next? reviews the limited powers of our president. Since the national news media and most of the members of Congress — including Republicans — regard Trump as an outsider, they will be looking for opportunities to take him down. Hence, we must not forget we too have a role.

Donald Trump has a mandate from the voters to try to fix what is wrong with the American government, but not many solutions can come out of the White House. The obligation returns to the voters to send honorable men and women into the government, to advise those elected or appointed to government positions, and to honor and respect the government we have created for ourselves. When we are better citizens, then we can produce a better government. Until then, we can only pray for the government that we have made. (from here)

Never stop praying, not even when you “think” we have the government “we” should want.