Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

More about the US Election--and what unrighteousness does to a nation.

First, an apology. I've had the flu. That's why things have been slow for a bit. Apparently it came from a flu shot. Go figure. The docs say "it can't happen," but it was timed to about the length of time needed for incubation, so...

I'm still reading through the Prophets. The 12 "minor" prophets are an amazing resource when you want to understand what happens in a corrupt society.

Turns out that corrupt societies start from the top. When corrupt people are in power, the society gets destroyed from above, then from within, then evil and cruelty and lack of care for anyone who's not in your immediate "circle" flourishes. Ultimately, the society itself disregards the weak and helpless, and focuses on the rich, so that the classes above the poor eventually suffer just like they do.

Here are a few passages to think about:

Amos 6:4 Thus says the LORD, "For three transgressions of Judah and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they rejected the law of the LORD And have not kept His statutes; Their lies also have led them astray, Those after which their fathers walked. 5 "So I will send fire upon Judah And it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem." 6 Thus says the LORD, "For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for money And the needy for a pair of sandals. 7 "These who pant after the very dust of the earth on the head of the helpless Also turn aside the way of the humble; And a man and his father resort to the same girl In order to profane My holy name. 8 "On garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar, And in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.

Notice WHY the judgment of God comes: Rejecting God. Trafficking in human life. Oppression in business. Sexual evils. Injustice in the courts. Collusion of the courts with the wealthy.
Sound familiar?

Here's some more:
Amos 8:4 Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land, 5 saying, "When will the new moon be over, So that we may sell grain, And the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales,
6 So as to buy the helpless for money And the needy for a pair of sandals, And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?" 7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob, "Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds.

The clear point in the above passage is that people who engage in corrupt business practices that ruin the "humble" (i.e., the small independent person who has to work for his livelihood), will be judged. All who assist or cause these things are participants. They will be judged. And so on. So how does this affect you?

Unlike the nation of Israel and Judah, we don't have a King. We have an elected President, with elected Congressional officials, elected Senators on the national level, and the state and local levels mirror the national. 

In other words, we can change this. It's done several ways. VOTING, honest Christian commentary wherever you happen to discuss these things, opinion pieces in your local paper if you can write, activism in your local circles, and lots of other ways.
A couple more long ranging ways are: 
1. Run for office. Be honest.
2. Work from within, in the government (including police, fire, any govt office.
3. Stay IN the political conversation. Be informed.
4. Most important of all. Become a teacher of righteousness, anywhere you can. If you can teach in a college, do it. A secular college is best, but remember that for the most part they are run by people who hate your Christian faith. This is why we have such a problem in our institutions and in society. These men and women who run the colleges and teach in them have taught for generations that wrong is OK and there is no such thing as right. They are what might be called "relativists," meaning that there is no such thing as an "absolute truth." Pilate personified them, when he said, "What is truth?" By contrast, Jesus said, "Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."

Too many Christians run from politics, thinking they are divisive. Don't. the way the country goes affects everyone.

Some advice:
1. If you're going to do this, watch yourself. Ecclesiastes says, (Eccl. 10:1):
Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
If you are going to represent the Lord, you'll have to be circumspect in your own life, but not "holier than thou."
2. If you're going to do this, be reasonable. More harm is done by unreasonable Christians than anyone knows. A "nut" is never respected. Of course, you may be disrespected if you're perfectly honest and perfectly reasonable, but so? You will know that you've done the right thing. 
3. Always approach these issues by expecting honesty from all participants, and be fearless in calling out oppression, dishonesty and corruption. If it's in your job, you may have to do that just before you get fired, but...
4. Always be honest. Don't lie. Don't EVER accept a bribe. Don't talk about yourself. Talk about what's right in a reasonable way.
5. If you go into a job knowing you'll have to lie to keep the job, don't take the job. 

VOTE. Vote the way God would want you to, in light of the political corruption and evil that we see around us. ALWAYS vote against corruption. Pay attention to the issues, but the person is extremely important. 

VOTE. Vote for someone you can respect in office, and vote in such a way that your vote will count for righteousness.  I am of the personal opinion that voters will be called to account for their voting decisions on Judgment Day, and that any vote that damages the cause of Christ will have repercussions, both now and in eternity.

VOTE.

Vote.