Friday, February 29, 2008

A Reminder and Some Updates

I just wanted to remind everyone that all of my posting is still taking place on We Want a Christian President...

Also, I'm officially suspending The Kingdom Courier. I hadn't sent an issue out since late November, and it simply did not pan out the way I had hoped. However, I am happy with what I am accomplishing on WWCP.

I will be leaving The Christmas Watch up for now, but it looks very improbable that I'll ever re-start that effort. If someone--preferably whom I know--would like to take it out of my hands, I'd gladly hand it over.


Anonymous said...

Hello, I agree God's kingdom is most important, but do you really think a christian president will be of any help whatsoever? Jesus said his kingdom isn't part of the world at John 18 vs. 36. And at Daniel 2 vs 44 it says that God's kingdom will destroy ALL earth's kingdoms. Plus I don't think anyone who runs for the presidency can ever be called a real christian since they will support wars when Jesus said those who use the sword will die by the sword.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Hi, anonymous. You voice what I think are some pretty common sentiments among Christians, so let me try to address them.

First, I agree that it would be difficult for a presidential candidate to be a true Christian (or at least to act like one on a regular basis). But I believe that because of the generally required political behavior for one to reach the top, not because he would support a war.

I think you are taking Jesus' words out of context. He said that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. This is a general truism, though it's not a universal condemnation of physical force, but we must dig deeper.

Could Jesus really have meant that the sword should never be used by a Christian? If so, why would he have told his disciples to BUY swords a little while before (Luke 22:36)?

The Apostle Paul calls government a "minister of God to you for. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake." (Romans 13:4-5)

If the government is a minister of God, and it is supposed to bear the sword, how is it un-Christian? Are Christians supposed to not be a part of government at all? Then why does Jesus tell his followers that "you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the gentiles" (Matthew 10:18)? Were they not to try to convert them? If so, were the governors then expected to abdicate their positions of authority? I see no inclination in the Scriptures.

Paul told Timothy to make entreaties and prayers "on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

How are kings, through the power of our prayers and by the grace of God, going to do that if they refuse to protect us? How are we going to live in all tranquility and quietness and godliness and dignity if we simply allow those who hate us to overpower us and present us with the ultimatum of "profess Allah or die"? We would, in effect, be spitting on the sacrifices of our forefathers and the blessings of our God (from whom all good things come: James 1:17) by throwing it all away through our unwillingness to stand up for it.

Have you ever thought about the concept of accomplice by lack of action? Some Christians are so hesitant to fight against evil that they would rather watch evildoers slaughter the innocent. But if you have the power to stop such atrocities, and you refuse to, you have become a part of it. In fact, when you think about it, lack of military/violent action can cause even greater suffering and death. Is that the path we should take?

Speaking in a spiritual sense, Paul alludes to soldiers more than once. For one instance, consider the "full armor of God." Isn't that interesting? Doesn't it seem odd to you that Paul would use an analogy like that, if Jesus so frowned upon all physical force? Wouldn't it be strange for Paul to allude to a behavior unilaterally prohibited by Christ, and never even mention that while he's giving his analogy?

I have to think that soldiers became Christians, and Paul never demands a change of occupation (which, by the way, would've been very helpful through the ages as millions of professing Christians have been warriors).

But let's get back to Peter on the night of Jesus' arrest. Jesus was on earth for a specific
purpose. He was meant to be arrested (Matthew 26:54). Peter was trying to "play God," so to speak, in that he wanted to take Jesus down a path that was not God's will. Did Peter really have so little faith in God and in Jesus that he didn't think Christ could survive or escape on His own? Jesus had already done that several times. He reminded Peter of his power, saying, " you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53)

Secondly, when Jesus warned against "living by the sword," (Matthew 26:52) it doesn't necessarily mean that he was condemning all self-defense. Jesus was being arrested. Peter didn't know why, or what would happen, but there didn't appear to be any immediate lethal danger. Yet, in a moment of intense stress, Peter's knee-jerk reaction was to take the only decisive action he could think of--attack! He was usurping the civil government's power by trying to prevent Jesus' seizure forcefully. His actions are understandable, but, if he would have killed the high-priest's servant, his actions would have also been murderous.

Peter's example is the essence of "living" by the sword---not SURVIVING by the sword (with the help of God), but LIVING by it.

Kingdom Advancer said...

I'll try to respond to your other points soon. (Thanks for visiting by the way.)

Kingdom Advancer said...

Okay, anonymous, this answer won't be so long as the first, but I think it will address your concerns.

I cannot deny your Bible references about kingdoms. But I don't think they mean that we should simply throw away all earthly kingdoms.

1.) We are called to be "salt and light."
2.) We are called to "teach the nations" God's ways.
3.) We are called to "render under Caesar's that which is Caesar's."

We do not know when the Lord will return to establish His kingdom fully and "face-to-face," so we should not neglect government since its "going to be destroyed anyways." If Christians in the past had taken that approach, America would not exist.

I have to disagree with you that a Christian President (or, more generically, a Christian public servant) would be of no help in advancing God's kingdom. The affairs of the state have much to do with the advance of the Gospel. Religious liberty; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; financial liberty; physical security; etc., etc., are all effected by the actions of the government and indirectly contribute--negatively or positively--to the advance of the Kingdom of God.

We're told to give money to the poor. But should we be doing that as a church and as "little Christs" (Christians) or should the government be doing it forcefully? The more government does forcefully, the less we can do voluntarily.

Should we be able to worship in the manner dictated by our consciences (within reasonable perameters), or should the government tell us that we have to join a certain church or face repercussions?

A second thing we need to note about God's Kingdom and government is that Jesus is not only Savior, He is also Lord. Our laws should be based on godly, biblical principles, not the immoral or amoral principles of man in his secular, atheistic autonomy. We should craft a government that honors God and prospers a people through His blessings.

loveroftruth said...

I was looking around your blog a bit, and you can't imagine my surprise and delight when I saw your Christmas posts. Right about the same time you were starting that, I was becoming very disturbed by the attack on Christmas. I was motivated to do something about it, and had I known about your blog I surely would have been your most active commenter. I wish there were more people out there like you. It's all so sad to see.

Anonymous said...

Hey there KA!
Do you remember me? LeeAnna... or as you knew "Lanna." I just wanted to reconnect with you. Myself, Austin, Jonathan, and Keith have all come in contact and have become good friends. I just wanted to check up on ya!
God Bless,

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