- Religion and Philosophy
Realization ~ Resignation ~ Revelation ~ Legislation ~ Indignation ~ Condemnation !
* To open, I must say that this writing was thoughtfully & prayerfully completed after 2 hours of some serious writing. It wasn't overly lengthy, just well thought out and articulated, and then, the computer dumped it. Frustration-yes! However, someone encouraged me that perhaps there was a reason, and maybe it'll be better the second try - we shall see. The things (thoughts, feelings & realizations) that have come to me on my journey of seeking Gods true Word and Will have been hard in many ways, as I look inside myself and find some things that I just do not like.
*If you find yourself getting uncomfortable as you read this, if you find yourself saying, "hey, thats me he's talking about", please don't shoot the messenger. I hope that at the very least you find it interesting and thought provoking. It covers aspects of the history of the Church, it reflects some insight from the book of Jeremiah which I was reading & studying at the time I wrote this. I'd never encourage "changing" the verbage of the Bible, however if you'd like an interesting insight, read the book of Jeremiah substituting the word Israel with the word America. It might scare you, a book written close to 3000 years ago still being SO relevant today.
*I do not believe in chance nor coincidence, if you are reading this, I don't believe that it's "random", events and twists in my own life brought me to a point of writing this, it wasn't "chance" by any means. Politics are not my typical topic, although, at one time they dominated my writings. Then God laid it on my heart to get out of the political forum and stay away from it. So much devisive dialect and for me as a Christian, who is called to the Great Commision, things that "divide" or fail to bring glory & honor to God in Christ, have no place in my discourse.
*This writing could easily be considered from the left or the right side of politics, or Christianity. The Bible tells us that many who think they'll be recieved into Heaven will hear "I do not know you", yet all of us seem so sure that "were in", I'm not sure where the confusion comes in, and it's certainly not my place to judge. It serves more as a basis for me to delve deeper personally and seek the true heart and nature of God in Christ. I've truly believe that if Christ were here today, I strongly doubt, that He would be in politics, in any manner, shape or way. Our involvement in politics is at an all time high, I'm feeling ever more strongly that this is an error, please remember that satan was the "angel of the airwaves". I believe that we really need to search our heart, mind, and spirit for OUR "true" motive in more of our actions, then, compare those thoughts to Gods Word for validation. The "agendas" that we fight for politically are really a waste, nothing will be genuinely accomplished by them as, there are some things you just can't legislate, some may apply to Conservatives, some to Liberals and some to both, but the reality is you can not Legislate...
~Morality, Virtue, Acceptance, Faith, Tolerance, Conviction, Confidence, Compassion, Forgiveness, Sympathy, Common Sense, Personal Value, Self Esteem, Love, Sincerity or Serenity.
*In theory, some of these may seem possible, but it'd never be "real, true, or genuine". When did Religion go so off track with this and why, I don't know the answers for sure, but I know the country as a whole did it too. When did we put so much stock in Politics and Government, for Christians our very Faith is opposed to this. I can't even fathom the dollar amount spent by Politicians in 2008 for "campaigning", every level, from City to Federal including the Primaries. I know the rough figures just for a couple of the big ones, and my guess is that if we totaled all of them up, it would be enough money to feed and house every single, genuinely poverty stricken family in America for one year. My point? The politicians, seeking to get in office, to better serve us, the citizens, actually spend so much money getting there, or NOT getting there, (remember for every "winner" theres at least one loser). In addition to the dollars, are all of the hours that all the volunteers spend working on campaigns for these people to try to get them elected. Could you imagine if all those hours were put into helping the community? We as Christians get as wrapped up in all of this as much as anyone,( if not more). God calls us to be good stewards of our resources (time and money) in things like helping orphans and widows, something that much of Christian Community has fallen way back on over the years.
*The Bible warns us of false idols, we may look for golden calfs and be wary, but "idols" may be more obvious than we realize - American Idol anyone? How about our fasination with sports teams, race cars and drivers? (I'm in Daytona) The television set itself has become a center piece in many homes, not to mention our obsession with those that are seen on it and in movies. How about the automobile, or maybe even perhaps the political forum and those people within it, the politicians and pundits. It seems to us in our hearts and minds that we are doing "good" by leveraging our "pull" in those arenas to achieve what we see as "what God would want".
*What does God want? The best way to find out what God wants from you, is to ask Him, in Prayer and in studying His Word then seeing what He lays upon your heart. Sadly, many people I talk to these days don't have time for that, their to "busy" with "things", I'm guessing those things are mentioned above. However time for God shouldn't be a problem, not in this age anyway. Heck, we've got fast food, high speed internet and speed dating, so why is it we don't have free time? I know many people do get time in the Word at Church or study group, thats fine, we should have that fellowship. However then your relying on someone else to guide you through it. Man(kind) is "fallen" and prone to self serving interests, this can happen to a Pastor or Bible study leader just as much as anyone. "Mans hand" in Gods plan has been an obstruction and control issue for centuries, as I said, all of that is good, but ones own personal relationship with God is essential as well.
*One of the greatest challenges that I face in my walk with God, is finding the balance between Faith, and being proactive. I know we shouldn't sit back and wait for God to "serve" us, but at the same time I feel that we can go to far in trying to "help" Him, help us. this is kind of the view I'm begining to take with politics, we know what God desires the world to be like, but, at the same time He also gives everyone a freewill, and has said that near the end things would get bad. So, with our political involvement are we trying to "help" God "save the world" by putting our trust and Faith in politicians? Are we trying to legislate the things listed above by putting our time and money into the political arena, when we should be putting it into Gods treasury?
*One other place I think we may have begun to fail is seeking success and status, even within the Church body. We look around and see how some others live, perhaps thinking that if were in line with God we'll be blessed with "stuff". I'm not judging anyone, hey you may have a million dollar home and nice cars and you may just be so blessed that you acquired it all with only 20% of your income, you could give 80% to Gods work. It is said that "you can't outgive God". But do we allow ourselves to get distracted with success and labels or name brands? If so, would those qualify as "idols", we may not "worship" them in the sense of bowing to them, but where is our heart in our desire, search, pursuit and possession of said items? Would we be OK if they were gone tomorrow? A confession here from me, I've been a stickler about some of the things that God has blessed me with. I always put it under the guise of "taking care of what the Lord blessed me with", but the truth is I valued some things far to highly. The excitement I recall experiencing with the acquisition of some things, ugh! I detest and loathe that something so material and irrelevant brought me so much joy.
*In closing (yes finally) many things listed here may seem like it shouldn't be "such a big deal" and by todays standards I understand that thought. However, God didn't change the rules or the commands along the way. With many things we "wear down" with time, look how far we've come with violence, language and nudity in tv & movies. Stuff once thought of as unacceptable now common place. Theres the story about the Pastor that took over a Church and tried to make changes, got resistance and left (he moved the piano 12 feet), years later he came back to an all new image at that Church, he noticed many changes, the biggest being the piano in the spot he'd desired. He asked the Pastor that replaced him how much flack he caught by moving it. None was the reply, for it was moved 12 inches at a time. The point, as you see, if we give a "little" at a time, we don't see how far were going.
*Hopefully in my life, what God wants and not what I want.~ Less of me, more of Thee (He) or more personally put... Less of Jimm & More of Him!