Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Fear Hillary? Or Trump? Fear God!

Dusted off and revised.

I have received untold numbers of e-mails, as well as having had numerous conversations with people who have told me that they are voting for Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz because Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is so evil, socialistic, (insert your favorite epithet here). It has also been asserted by many that a vote for anyone other than their party lackey, or a non-vote, is a vote for the other party lackey. While there is certainly some very limited, VERY LIMITED merit in that line of thinking, let’s look at what kind of thinking is involved in that kind of thinking.
While I am aware that not all who will be reading this are Bible believers, I am planning to answer this from the lens of scripture as it seems that the vast majority of those with whom I am having this conversation claim to be Christian. While I believe there is a plethora of scripture refuting this line of thought, my first examination will be of a passage of scripture which many people, especially Christians, are familiar with.
2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.
Now I know that we all have heard this verse at least once, and we all love this verse. But have you ever really thought about this verse and what it really means? Well, I’m going to break it down piece by piece so that we can all see the fullness of this beautiful and blessed text.
“If…” An if, then statement always indicates a contractual agreement, a covenant. Pay close attention, because this is obviously a covenant between God, who is speaking, and someone else. You may be the someone, so you had better be paying close attention.
“…my people, who are called by my name…” This is the other party to the covenant. God’s people- who are called by His name. Could this possibly have current relevance to CHRISTians? Those who are the called and the chosen of God who are called by His name?
“…will humble themselves…” Does anyone today know what humility is? It is the opposite of pride. And what is pride? Pride is the original sin. The original sin of Lucifer, the original sin of Adam, the original sin of thinking that we are God, or at least as good as God. When we say that HIllary or Trump will win, are we not saying that we can see and know the future? Then, when we say that we must vote for Sanders, or Cruz, are we not saying that the future is in our control? So now, are we not attributing to ourselves the power to see and to control the future? And aren’t those attributes that God alone has? So, ask yourself, who is God? God, or you? If we are to humble ourselves, does this not mean that we should get rid of such flawed thinking, allow God to work, maybe to perform miracles, and repent of the sin of the pride of thinking that we know and control everything that is happening in the political realm?
“…and pray…” What does it mean to pray? Sure, we all have been taught that prayer is talking to God. But, really, do you think that this is all that is involved in prayer? Doesn’t relationship always involve both talking and listening? What does God’s Word have to say on the subject? What is His Spirit communicating with your spirit? I can assure you that choosing the lesser of two evils is not what He is communicating to you. Doesn’t scripture say, “Choose good, not evil that you may live!” (This may not be an exact quote, but is found in the book of Amos.) Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.
"...and seek my face..." If we are seeking God's face, will we be that focused on Trump's, Hillary's, Sander's or Cruz'? In fact, is there anything at all in any one of these people that would point one to Christ? Other than the fact that they are bipedal humanoids created by God, I have not been able to see even one thing in any one of them that would make me think of my Lord.
“…and turn from their wicked ways…” Is there anyone who believes that this does not and cannot be referring directly to the pride that we are being told in the beginning to humble ourselves of? To turn from our wicked ways would require repentance from our sin of thinking that we know all of the answers and that God is incapable of providing for our best interests. Doesn’t our Savior, in Matthew, tell us that God cares more for us than the flowers of the field and the birds of the air. And yet, does he allow them to be ruled by despots? Being ruled by tyrants has always been God’s way of judging His people for pride, disobedience, and unfaithfulness. If we repent now and turn from our wicked ways at this point in time, might God just remove from us this judgment? Well, let’s continue reading to see what the rest of the covenant contains.
“…then will I hear from heaven…” Does God suggest here that He will not hear our prayers as long as we are not humble, repentant, and prayerful? It sure sounds like it to me. But, in accordance with contractual law, He promises to begin listening to our prayers and to restore relationship with us as soon as we repent, humble ourselves, and pray. And unlike you or I, God never violates a covenant.
“…and will forgive their sins…” Forgiveness only comes after humility and repentance. This is a central theme of scripture. If we repent, then God will forgive. There are terms. Salvation is a free gift that cannot be achieved through works, but we still do have some minimal requirements. Be humble, pray, turn from your wicked ways. Failing these things, God will not listen to us, will not forgive our sins.
“…and will heal their land.” Besides the judgment of tyranny upon God’s people who are unrepentant and proud, other judgments which are common themes throughout scripture include: drought, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, plague, etc. Does anyone other than me notice that there is a high level of these scourges occurring across the nation today? Not only has there been a lot of drought and other ‘acts of God’ occurring, but we are, as are many other nations, facing famine because of over-exportation of food supplies, the government paying people not to farm, and the devaluation of our fiat money so that a loaf of bread that a few years ago cost one dollar now costs upwards of four dollars and climbing.
So, my Christian friend, I pray that you would study on this, dwell on this, and act on this before you go to the polls to vote. Remember that God performed miracles throughout the Old Testament, and continued this throughout the New Testament. God can do the same even today, but will not do so if we do not want or allow him to do so. Don’t get me wrong, God is not limited by us, but is willing to allow himself to be limited when giving us what we think we want as a way of getting our attention. Are you paying attention yet?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Why the Patriot Movement Will Never Succeed or How the Bundy Militia Standoff is Destroying the Cause of True American Patriots

By now, everyone has heard the story of the Bundy family in Nevada and how the federal government was going to confiscate their cattle for non-payment of federal grazing fees. The family wasn’t going to sit idly by and allow this to happen, and many people considered that there was a legitimate threat to, not just their livelihood, but their lives for resisting the government. Due to this, numerous patriots from all over the United States poured into Nevada to stand with and protect the Bundy family.
As a result of this sudden fame, the eldest son, Ammon Bundy decided to embrace the role of patriot leader and fighter against government overreach, and took up the plight, and the fight, of the Hammond family in Oregon, against their wishes. Now, Ammon and his rag-tag bunch of liars, poseurs, and agent provocateurs, are holed up in a federal building, on federal land with enough guns, ammo, and alcohol to ensure that they can remain drunk until someone from one of the sides fires a shot, or a truck backfires, whichever comes first. At this point in time, the militia group, sufficiently full of alcohol, but delirious from hunger since they didn’t plan enough food for more than 2 days of this “as long as necessary” siege, will likely go down in a blaze of glory.
While patriots all across this once great nation are praying for this very galvanizing event to happen to the group that they are using the federal government’s postal service to deliver groceries to this intrepid band of patriot warriors, solely for the hopes of a new “Shot Heard Round The World,” one must ask, besides a desire to see civil war, or revolution as they like to refer to it, what good is being effected by this siege?
If these patriots were truly concerned about federal overreach and their attack on farmers and ranchers, then why have none of them gone to stand with the farmer in Texas who has been fighting the BLM for 30 (yes, thirty) years as they try to steal fully 50% of his private property? His crime: the banks of the Red River have changed in the past 100 years. What about Mark Baker, of Baker’s Green Acres, who just announced that he is selling his private farm because he can no longer fight the government alone. His crime was simply raising heritage hogs for meat production. How about the Amish family that just recently got slapped with a punitive fine in Fort Worth because one of their customers distributed raw milk, purchased from their farm many miles away, within city limits? Or how about the Amish farmers throughout traditional Amish country who are facing 4am SWAT raids for daring to sell raw milk and eggs to their neighbors? Where were you when an organic, local market in California was raided and shut down for providing their customers high quality, fresh produce and raw milk?
My “patriot” friends, the movement is not failing because some of us are unrelenting in speaking truth, refuse to compromise on our principles, or choose to wait for facts, instead of inflammatory, emotion-driven rhetoric before taking action. No, the patriot movement will fail because you are not consistent in your principles. You are more eager to defend a family who is sucking at the government teat because the government dares to restrict their rights to use the public lands than to defend a farmer or rancher who is having his own personal property taken.
Let me ask you, how many of you will be on my doorstep when the government comes to shut me down because I dare to sell grass-fed beef, pastured pork and poultry, fresh unlicensed eggs, raw goat milk, lamb, goat, beef without unnecessary antibiotics, or fresh fruits and vegetables? And come they will, because none of the American patriots are willing to stand for the little guy defending private property. I ask you, once again, how many of you will come to my defense? I suspect that I would be optimistic to say one of you would be standing by me on that day.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Party Punishment or Poor Planning?

August 30, 2012
On the way to last night’s convention, I boarded a bus from our hotel with my Uncle Bill who is a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida. One of the first things Uncle Bill said once the bus left the hotel parking lot, headed for the Republican National Convention was, “Where is he going?” Followed up a few minutes later with, “He’s going the long way around. Why isn’t he taking the direct route?” and “This bus driver must not be from this area. He must just be following signs and will end up getting us there much later than we should.” Uncle Bill was correct, the bus ride that should have taken 25 minutes, took 40 minutes. We were the lucky ones. The other bus, which happened to be carrying most of our delegation and which left the hotel within a couple of minutes of the one I was on, took 3 hours to reach the Convention Center. One of our delegates who was on that bus and riding in the seat immediately behind the driver and immediately across the aisle from an armed security guard, overheard the guard speak into his walkie-talkie reporting that their bus was lost after they had already been on it for an hour and a half. The bus driver had two, yes two, GPS units guiding him.
All of this could certainly be purely accidental, a bus driver who was brought in at the last minute from some far away state to transport people to and from the Convention Center without knowing the roads. Except it was not just this bus. I was waiting outside the Convention Center to receive delegate credentials for one of our delegates who was staying off site and did not want to waste the fuel and the time to drive all the way to the hotel that morning to pick up his credentials. Since I was waiting outside, I was visiting with many of the volunteers who were stationed to check credentials as people were entering, and was standing where all who entered must pass right by me. Buses were coming in in waves, four or five at a time, and did not cease until after 8:00 p.m. The Convention convened for the day at 7 p.m.
Maybe it was purely coincidence and poor planning on the part of the RNC, but within the early line-up of last night’s business was a tribute video to Congressman Ron Paul and a speech by his son, Senator Rand Paul. Neither of these, nor any of the other early speakers of the night, were well attended due to the late arrival of so many delegations. Once again, I am not going to claim a vast conspiracy by the organizers of the RNC to ensure that these events were not well attended, but considering that the two fights from the previous day were led primarily by Ron Paul supporters, it does seem incredibly coincidental that this snafu happened on the night of these two events. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that they sorted Ron Paul supporters out and just held them up. It was all delegates, from all delegations who were held up. If this were intentional, it would have had the effect of ensuring that there was a small audience for the tribute video and for the speech of his son.
After the fact, I heard rumors of an accident on one of the bridges where a car caught on fire. I have not heard whether or not this is true, it was a rumor. I also heard that one entire road was shut down because of a couple hundred Occupy Wall Street protestors which caused several buses to be rerouted. Again, this is a rumor and I do not know the accuracy of same. There could be legitimate reasons for the snafu and, if so, I hope the RNC gets the problem fixed tonight.
Shortly after the majority of the delegations did finally arrive, many delegates, from many states, led by the Texas delegation, led a protest of the new rules that were forced upon us by walking around the Convention Center. This protest was designed to give an idea of just how many delegates were not pleased with the rule changes and the behavior of the leadership on the preceeding day. It remains to be seen if they take notice.
In spite of all the snafus, hold ups, and protests, the Convention was electrified. In deference to the 5th commandment, I secured a delegate badge from one who was leaving early and got Uncle Bill seated on the floor with the Colorado delegation. Although we are philosophically opposed in our political ideology, he is my uncle and my elder, so I did what I could do to give him the opportunity of his lifetime. If nothing else, I feel strongly that we need to treat each other with respect, even when we don’t agree with them. This is the only way that we can educate others to the message of liberty: be respectful, build relationship, educate. It is difficult to educate without relationship, and relationship only comes when there is mutual respect.