Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sowing Discord and Tension By Political Parties and Others

I have long lamented the fact that no one heeded the calls, and warning, of our first President, George Washington, in his farewell speech at the end of his term.  During his Presidency, Washington and the other framers of the Constitution and of the Republic, itself, often warned of the dangers of political parties.  In the 1790's most Americans remained convinced that political parties were a detriment to good government.  The founding fathers had neither desired nor planned for the rise of political parties.  James Madison argued that one of the strongest points of our Constitution was that it would prevent the development of political parties.  Most Americans assumed that should political parties come into power they would act strictly on selfish goals at the expense of the American people.  Sound familiar?

George Washington pleaded for political neutrality.  In his address, he stated, "The alternative domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid anormities, is itself a frightful despotism. Sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purpose of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty."

I love the final paragraph, which turned out to be prophetic: "It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration.  It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindle the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection."  His warning and description in his words is a perfect description of our country today, because of political parties.  But, he was more direct in earlier comments.

"I have already intimated to you the dangers of parties in the State.  Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

"This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind.  It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy."

I find it disturbing that so many Christians are speaking such hatred and malice in their calls for the political arena.  The Bible says we fight our battles on our knees, and our fight is against principalities and powers of darkness, not against other human beings; even doing so in the name of concern for our country, when we speak hate and bitterness and animosity toward others because of their political beliefs, we are falling far short of the standard we are supposed to bear.

I love my country, and I want to see it prosper and to be a place where every person on the planet can point as an example; however, my heart is not in America, it's in God's Kingdom.  I long for the day when we shall be swept up into His heaven, but until then, I will work to see that America is the best she can be by loving and encouraging my brothers and sisters, as well as those whose political agenda may be different from my own.  After all, as my Mammaw used to say, "you draw more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Rapture and False Teachers

Once again the world was captivated by the supposed prophecy of a false teacher who claimed he knew the exact day and hour the rapture would happen.  The prediction was that the rapture would begin at 6 pm local time in New Zealand and "roll" across the planet so that each time zone would see the return of our Lord at 6 pm local times.  Despite his claims, this false teacher ignored several scriptures that warned us to not follow after those who try to make this claims and Jesus' clearly stated instruction that only God, the Father, knows the day and hour in which the trumpet will sound and the eastern sky ripped open so that Jesus can claim His Bride!

It greatly saddens me that in the last few months people sold everything they owned and gave this man more than $200 Million.  He has become mega-wealthy in earthly treasure by preying on the hopes and longings of Christians who are eager to take that trip to Paradise.  I'm sure if it grieved me so greatly, it had to have ripped the heart of Christ!  Especially considering He gave us such clear warning to beware of these false prophets.

And now all those who bought in have to completely start over because they literally sold or gave everything they had away.  And they face ridicule, or worse, they'll face condemnation, from friends and loved ones who may turn away from The Truth because of this latest fiasco brought on by this man.  We must unite in prayer for these people, and we must show compassion and love to them.  We must also be diligent to live our lives in such a way that non-believers will not be seduced by the enemy over this episode.

I did find it ironic that this prediction was dated for the very week that Israel celebrated it's 63rd Anniversary of being reborn as a nation.  An anniversary of great Biblical significance: in the prophecy of Daniel, Gabriel told Daniel there were 2 periods of time that would precede the 1,000 year reign; the first was for 63 "weeks" and the second for seven.  We know the seven refers to the seven years of tribulation and that is timed to begin after the 63 "weeks" following Israel's rebirth.

We must always be ready for Christ's return, just as He taught in the parable of the virgins: half kept their lamps filled with oil while the other half allowed the oil in their lamps to run dry.  Only those who had kept the oil filled in their lamps were taken by the bridegroom, leaving those without oil alone and lost.  We must keep our lamps shining, trimmed and filled.  Let the light of Christ shine through us, through our lives, so that those who are lost will find their way to the cross and Christ's love and redemption.

Over the next few weeks, you will likely meet someone who was deceived by this false prophecy, and I pray that you will deal with them compassionately and in love.  They are hurting, and many are disillusioned as a result of this.  They need to be grounded in the Word and have the truth revealed to them, not only by Holy Spirit but by us, as well.  Loving them, consoling them, teaching them, guiding them into the revelation of God's truth, love and salvation.

I pray each and every Christian on this planet will be blessed above and beyond all their imaginations can dream of.  I know I am!  Even if God never gave me another blessing, I've received so much from Him, through Him and by Him that my life is completely transformed and changed.  I long for the day when I will meet Him face to face, but until that day arrives, I will continue to walk in His truth, in His will and abide in His Spirit.

Peace and love to you all.