“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.”
― Marcus Aurelius,
The early civilizations were well aware of the danger of pride and power and knew that this could destroy kings and empires if not held in check. And thus a philosophy was developed by the very wise Greco-Roman philosophers (lovers of truth) in order to help their rulers and themselves to be vigilant about their behavior, lest they destroy themselves by pride. And thus when any great general (be it an emperor-to-be, a war general, or any victor of a great battle) was honored by a great manifestation such as a triumphal entry into his city-state, a slave (a lowly of lowlies) would ride in the chariot with him and whisper in his ear that he should remember that he is not a god, but a mortal human being.
I think a better source than wiki might be a scholarly treatise aboutRoman triumphal marches by the historian Robert Payne in the book “Rome Triumphant: How the Empire Celebrated its Victories” Robert Payne, 1962, Barnes & Noble Books 1993. In the closing remarks of the book (pg 251), Payne remarks “…it was the anonymous slave standing behind the triumphator, whispering in his ear about the vanity of honours, who represents the greater triumph. The voice of the slave was the voice of humanity,never so desperate as when it passed unheard.– We do not know when the slave first rode in the triumphal chariot and held the golden crown over the conqueror’s head, or when he stepped down for the last time. We do not know whether the triumphator ever spoke to him in reply,or even glanced at him. He appears only briefly in the history of the triumph, and only once do we see him plain –on the Boscoreale cup,where he is depicted as a youth who seems to be filled with a sense of compassionate duty.”
You should be aware that this type of reminder of vigilance is still very meaningful and applied in many ways in modern life as a philosophical heir to the ancient traditition. The warning against pride and care to remember that life is a fleeting gift and should not be squandered on empty vanities that are really meaningless when considering the totality of life’s journey (the human actions of craving for power, riches, adulation, popularity) is just as important today as it was 2500 years ago. Instead of wasting time thinking that you are “God’s gift to humanity”, the reminder states, “try to live life as a good and simple, honest, kind and noble person (like the beautiful shaker hymn: “Tis a gift to be simple…”)
You might be aware of the yearly Christian tradition of Ash Wednesday in the beginning of the Lenten journey when people receive blessed ashes on their foreheads with the words “Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shall return”. This is done not to depress people, but to remind them that true happiness of this life is totally dependant upon our own human goodness to be fantastically good people instead of selfish jerks.
Whenever a bishop (or cardinal) is elected to be a pope (a really tremendous honor in the Catholic Church), before the pope steps out into the balcony of St. Peter’s basilica to greet the City and the World and to be hailed as the new pontiff (Viva el Papa !) something really cool is done that is centuries old. A simple poor franciscan friar stands before the pope with a broom-like staff made with a pile of dry straw. The straw is lit and for a few seconds a huge flame bursts out, but is gone in a mere minute (a straw fire means an empty fleeting fanfare). (This is done three times) Each time the friar utters the words to the pope “sic transit gloria mundi) meaning “and thus passes the glory of this world”. This is of course a reminder that the great Roman pontiff (like the Roman generals and emperors) should remember that he is nothing more than a lowly servant and all the glory and power and wealth of this world is meaningless when compared to the true meaning of life : just be a very very good and kind and honest person – at the end of your life this will be the only measure of true meaning of the nobility and richness of one’s life.
Is it not cool how all of this applies to our lives today ?
Is good enough, good enough? Consider, if you will, that if 99.9 percent were good enough then
- 2 million documents would be lost by the IRS this year.
- 22,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong bank account in the next 60 minutes.
- 1,314 telephone calls will be misdirected by telecommunications companies every minute.
- 2,488 books will be shipped with the wrong covers on them each day.
- Over 5.5 million cases of soft drinks in the next year will be flat.
- 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written each year.
- 12 babies will be given to the wrong parents each day.
Obviously, being good enough is not good enough for life in modern society. So why do we think that being good enough is good enough to get us into heaven? You’ve heard people ask, “If I try my best won’t God let me into heaven?” or “Doesn’t God just require me to be better than the average human?” or “Don’t I have to just live a good life to be a Christian?” or “How could a loving God send good people to hell?”
Martin Luther, the reformer, wrote, “The most damnable and pernicious heresy that has every plagued the mind of man is the idea that somehow he could make himself good enough to deserve to live with an all-holy God.” A Bible teacher used to say, “Man is incurably addicted to doing something for his own salvation.”
Let’s examine what the Bible has to say about being good enough.
I. God’s standard is perfection
In one sense, one can be good enough to get to heaven, but they would have to be perfect. God’s standard for entrance into heaven is perfection. On one occasion Jesus identified the two most outwardly religious groups of people in his day the Pharisees and the scribes and told his listening audience, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). On another occasion Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
God’s standard never falls short of complete righteousness and holiness. Anything less than perfection is sin. Think about heaven for a moment. Heaven is a place of the “no more’s” – no more tears, no more sadness, no more pain, no more sickness, no more death. All of those things are caused by sin. The “no more’s” don’t exist in heaven because sin does not exist in heaven. Heaven will be wonderful, not only because of what is present – God, but also because of what is absent – sin.
God’s standard of perfection is not arbitrary. God does not grade on the curve. He does not say, “Oh, you are close enough” or “You have tried really hard to live a good life.” God does not compare. “Well, Bill you are better than John so you are in and John is out, Betty, you are better than Sue, so come right on in.” That would be like trying to jump the Grand Canyon. So what if your jump thirty feet and set an Olympic record, you still splatter.
Now don’t get me wrong, for the most part we are all pretty good. I don’t suppose there are any rapists or murderers among us. If we were grading ourselves on goodness we would rank right up there pretty high on the scale. Let’s call ourselves Danny or Debbie Decent. From our perspective, we do everything right. We pay our taxes, pay our bills, pay attention to our family, and pay respect to our superiors. We are good people.
But God sees us differently. God sees what Danny and Debbie Decent choose to overlook. For as decent as we are walking through life, we make mistakes. For example, we stretch the truth. We might fudge, ever so slightly, on our expense report. We gossip about the new employee. From our perspective, these aren’t big deals. But our perspective does not matter. God’s does. And what God sees is a person wrapped in mistakes.
So let me ask you, is there any sin in your life? If so you are not perfect. You have not met God’s standard of perfection.
II. God’s solution is a pardon
Fortunately, there is good news. There is a solution, a remedy to our imperfection. God’s solution is a pardon found in Jesus Christ. Here’s how is works: “Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! . . . It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some imperfect people. . . . Our sins are taken care of for good” (Heb. 10:12-18 MSG). The apostle Paul described it this way: “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). When Jesus Christ, God’s Son, went to the cross he took our sins, our mistakes, our evil, and our unrighteousness. He was the ultimate sacrifice.
R.G. Lee, former pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, was visiting Gordon’s Calvary at Jerusalem, possibly the site where Jesus was crucified. Lee told the Arab guide he wanted to walk to the top of the hill. At first the guide tried to discourage him, but when he saw that Lee was determined to go, he went along. Once on the crest, Lee removed his hat and stood with bowed head, greatly moved. “Sir,” asked the guide, “have you been here before?”
“Yes,” replied Lee, “2,000 years ago.”
And so have we. We were there because our sins nailed Jesus to the cross. Now we must go there to find redemption, to find our pardon for our sin.
So, when it comes to salvation, when it comes to going to heaven, whether we are more like Hitler with our evil or more like Mother Teresa with our purity, our sins are no longer the issue. The issue is what we do about Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God’s solution to our not measuring up to his standard. Jesus has already paid the price for our sin. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some imperfect people. Jesus now offers us a pardon, a release from our sin.
Think about it this way: if a criminal was handed a pardon that would release him from prison, the issue is no longer the crime but rather what he will do about the pardon. If he refuses he will remain in prison. The questions, why he is in prison?, and why is he not out of prison? have two different answers. He is in prison because he is convicted criminal. He is not out of prison because he refuse the pardon. Likewise, the answer to the question, why will a person be in hell? Is because he is a sinner, but the answer to the question, why will he not be in heaven? Is because he did not accept the pardon offered in Christ.
Let me see if a story will not help clarify this issue. Many years ago a young boy shot and killed a man while gambling. In those days, murderers were sentenced to hang. But the townspeople were so concerned for the young lad that they gathered a petition asking the judge to pardon the boy. Finally, the judge agreed but only on one condition. The judge would wear a clergyman’s robe and collar and carry the pardon between the pages of the Bible.
As the judge approached the boy’s cell, he could hear the young man cursing and swearing at him. “Get out of here, preacher, I don’t want what you have to offer.”
“But, son,” the judge replied, “You don’t understand.”
“I understand fine,” said the boy. “I don’t want what you have to offer.”
The dejected judge left the jail. Later the guard told the boy that it was the judge who was dressed like a minister. Between the pages of the Bible was an authorized, sealed pardon for his release.
When the day of execution arrived, just before they put a black sack over the boy’s head, they asked if he had anything to say.
He replied, “I am not dying because I killed a man. I am dying because I rejected the pardon.”
You see the issue is not your sin. The issue is what you will do with Jesus Christ. Our fault before God is not necessarily our sin – He made a remedy for that. Our fault before God is rejecting the pardon.
“Yea, but,” I can hear some people say. And then the question: How could a loving God send good people to hell? The question itself reveals a couple of misconceptions. First, God does not send people to hell. He simply honors their choice, as when the judge honored the choice of the condemned boy who rejected the pardon. Hell is the ultimate expression of God’s highest regard for the dignity of man. He has never forced us to choose him, even when that means we would choose hell. As C. S. Lewis stated: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in hell choose it.”
No, God does not “send” people to hell. Nor does he send “people” to hell any more than the judge sent the boy to be hung. That is the second misconception.
The word people is neutral, implying innocence. Nowhere does scripture teach that innocent people are condemned. People do not go to hell. Sinners do. The rebellious do. The self-centered do. The ones who reject God’s pardon do.
So how could a loving God send people to hell? He doesn’t. He simply honors the choice of sinners.
III. God’s salvation is through personal faith
So what must we do? We must, by faith, accept Jesus’ finished work on the cross as God’s only accepted way to enter heaven. God’s salvation is through personal faith in Jesus Christ. We must trust in what he has done for us.
Ten of the eleven world religions teach a salvation by good deeds. Christianity stands alone with its emphasis on faith rather than works for salvation. The Scriptures say, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift – not from works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is a gift – we don’t work for it, we don’t deserve it, we don’t earn it. We simply trust God for what he has done through his son, Jesus Christ.
It is like a medicine. You can believe a certain medicine will help you, but until you trust it enough to take it, it won’t do anything for you. Faith is more than believing in God. It is trusting in him to the point of receiving Christ into your life.
Was there a time when you honestly realized that you were a sinner and admitted that to God? Do you truly understand that Christ took your place on the cross? Do you understand that the real issue is not your sin, but what you will do with Jesus Christ? Have you received Christ alone for your salvation?
Luke vii.2-9. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself; for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
There is something puzzling in this speech of the centurion’s. One must think twice, and more than twice, to understand clearly what he had in his mind. I, indeed, am not quite sure that I altogether understand it. But I may, perhaps, help you to understand it, by telling you what this centurion was.
He was not a Jew. He was a Roman, and a heathen; a man of our race, very likely. And he was a centurion, a captain in the army; and one, mind, who had risen from the ranks, by good conduct, and good service. Before he got his vine-stock, which was the mark of his authority over a hundred men, he had, no doubt, marched many a weary mile under a heavy load, and fought, probably, many a bloody battle in foreign parts. That had been his education, his training, namely, discipline, and hard work. And because he had learned to obey, he was fit to rule. He was helping now to keep in order those treacherous, unruly Jews, and their worthless puppet-kings, like Herod; much as our soldiers in India are keeping in order the Hindoos, and their worthless puppet-kings.
Whether the Romans had any right to conquer and keep down the Jews as they did, is no concern of ours just now. But we have proof that what this centurion did, he did wisely and kindly. The elders of the Jews said of him, that he loved the Jews, and had built them a synagogue, a church. I suppose that what he had heard from them about a one living God, who had made all things in heaven and earth, and given them a law, which cannot be broken, so that all things obey him to this day — I suppose, I say, that this pleased him better than the Roman stories of many gods, who were capricious, and fretful, and quarrelled with each other in a fashion which ought to have been shocking to the conscience and reason of a disciplined soldier.
There was a great deal, besides, in the Old Testament, which would, surely, come home to a soldier’s heart, when it told him of a God of law, and order, and justice, and might, who defended the right in battle, and inspired the old Jews to conquer the heathen, and to fight for their own liberty. For what was it, which had enabled the Romans to conquer so many great nations? What was it which enabled them to keep them in order, and, on the whole, make them happier, more peaceable, more prosperous, than they had ever been? What was it which had made him, the poor common soldier, an officer, and a wealthy man, governing, by his little garrison of a hundred soldiers, this town of Capernaum, and the country round?
It was this. Discipline; drill; obedience to authority. That Roman army was the most admirably disciplined which the world till then had ever seen. So, indeed, was the whole Roman Government. Every man knew his place, and knew his work. Every man had been trained to obey orders; if he was told to go, to go; if he was told to do, to do, or to die in trying to do, what he was bidden.
This was the great and true thought which had filled this good man’s mind — duty, order, and obedience. And by thinking of order, and seeing how strength, and safety, and success lie in order, and by giving himself up to obey orders, body and soul, like a good soldier, had that plain man (who had certainly no scholarship, perhaps could barely read or write) caught sight of a higher, wider, deeper order than even that of a Roman army. He had caught sight of that divine and wonderful order, by which God has constituted the services of men, and angels, and all created things; that divine and wonderful order by which sun and stars, fire and hail, wind and vapour, cattle and creeping things fulfil his word.
Fulfil God’s word. That was the thought, surely, which was in the good soldier’s mind, and which he was trying to speak out; clumsily, perhaps, but truly enough. I suppose, then, that he thought in his own mind somewhat in this way. ‘There is a word of command among us soldiers. Has God, then, no word of command likewise? And that word of command is enough. Is not God’s word of command enough likewise? I merely speak, and I am obeyed. I am merely spoken to, and I obey. Shall not God merely speak, and be obeyed likewise? There is discipline and order among men, because it is necessary. An Army cannot be manoeuvred, a Government cannot be carried on, without it. Is there not a discipline and order in all heaven and earth? And that discipline is carried out by simple word of command. A word from me will make a man rush upon certain death. A word from certain other men will make me rush on certain death. For I am a man under authority. I have my tribune (colonel, as we should say) over me; and he, again, the perfect (general of brigade) over him. Their word is enough for me. If they want me to do a thing, they do not need to come under my roof, to argue with me, to persuade me, much less to thrust me about, and make me obey them by force. They say to me, ‘Go,’ and I go; and I say to those under me, ‘Go,’ and they go likewise.
And if I can work by a word, cannot this Jesus work by a word likewise? He is a messenger of God, with commission and authority from God, to work his will on his creatures. Are not God’s creatures as well ordered, disciplined, obedient, as we soldiers are? Are they not a hundred times better ordered? A messenger from God? Is he not a God himself; a God in goodness and mercy; a God in miraculous power? Cannot he do his work by a word, far more certainly than I can do mine? If my word can send a man to death, cannot his word bring a man back to life? Surely it can. ‘Lord, thou needest not to come under my roof; speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.’
By some such thoughts as these, I suppose, had this good soldier gained his great faith; his faith that all God’s creatures were in a divine, and wonderful order, obedient to the will of God who made them; and that Jesus Christ was God’s viceroy and lieutenant (I speak so, because I suppose that is what he, as a soldier, would have thought), to carry out God’s commands on earth.
Now remember that he was the first heathen man of whom we read, that he acknowledged Christ. Remember, too, that the next heathen of whom we read, that he acknowledged Christ, was also a Roman centurion, he whom the old legends call Longinus, who, when he saw our Lord upon the cross, said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God.’ Remember, again, that the next heathen of whom we read as having acknowledged Christ, he to whom St. Peter was sent, at Joppa, who is often called the first fruits of the heathen, was a Roman centurion likewise.
Surely, there must have been a reason for this. There must be a lesson in this; and this, I think, is the lesson. That the soldierlike habit of mind is one which makes a man ready to receive the truth of Christ. And why? Because the good soldier’s first and last thought is Duty. To do his duty by those who are set over him, and to learn to do his duty to those who are set under him. To turn his whole mind and soul to doing, not just what he fancies, but to what must be done, because it is his duty. This is the character which makes a good soldier, and a good Christian likewise. If we be undisciplined and undutiful, and unruly; if we be fanciful, self- willed, disobedient; then we shall not understand Christ, or Christ’s rule on earth and in heaven. If there be no order within us, we shall not see his divine and wonderful order all around us. If there be no discipline and obedience within us, we shall never believe really that Christ disciplines all things, and that all things obey him. If there be no sense of duty in us, governing our whole lives and actions, we shall never perceive the true beauty and glory of Christ’s character, who sacrificed himself for his duty, which was to do his Father’s will.
I tell you, my friends, that nothing prevents a man from gaining either right doctrines or right practice, so much as the undutiful, unruly, self-conceited heart. We may be full of religious knowledge, of devout sentiments, of heavenly aspirations: but in spite of them all, we shall never get beyond false doctrine, and loose practice, unless we have learned to obey; to rule our own minds, and hearts, and tempers, soberly and patiently; to conform to the laws, and to all reasonable rules of society, to believe that God has called us to our station in life, whatever it may be; and to do our duty therein, as faithful soldiers and servants of Christ. For, if you will receive it, the beginning and the middle, and the end of all true religion is simply this. To do the will of God on earth, as it is done in heaven.
“God of our fathers, who by land and sea have ever lead us to victory, please continue your inspiring guidance in this the greatest of all conflicts. Strengthen my soul so that the weakening instinct of self-preservation, which besets all of us in battle, shall not blind me to my duty to my own manhood, to the glory of my calling, and to my responsibility to my fellow soldiers. Grant to our armed forces that disciplined valor and mutual confidence which insures success in war. Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived. If it be my lot to die, let me do so with courage and honor in a manner which will bring the greatest harm to the enemy, and please, oh Lord, protect and guide those I shall leave behind. Give us the victory, Lord.”
General George S. Patton quotes
A timeline of the elite special forces’ crumbling code of secrecy
Who would have ever told me after coming home from an elite union as The Navy Seals I would be imprisoned and left for dead in my own country? Who would have ever been able to convince me that our nation would deny me treatment and aid after getting back alive? Who would you think could have told my story better than me? Now I find worse than ever the code I lived to honor is now being compromised by hollywood. A felon is forever dishonered, but when our high ranking official betray our trust and compromise they are rewarded and gifted with gainful increase.
My mom once told me son if you going to beleive anything let it be the “Truth”. Well my thruth is God’s promises, because they never change nor fail. The Marines give promise coins to their elite soildiers perform exemplerary service in combat, but they still leave their elite to perish on their own soil. I wonder when or if at all any of this foil play in our ranks of leaders will ever get rectified.
Founded in 1962, the Navy SEALs have long presented an irresistible conflict of interest for the military. For tactical purposes, the Navy attempts to maintain the unit’s secrecy – it rarely even acknowledges the existence of the covert SEAL Team Six – while simultaneously promoting the SEALs’ mystique to boost recruitment numbers. In 2005, the SEALs adopted a 440-word code of secrecy stating: “I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions,” a pledge that the Navy itself broke soon thereafter. Just over a year later, in an effort to meet an enlistment goal of increasing recruitment numbers by 15 percent, the Navy’s in-house media arm began courting Hollywood producers. The resulting film, 2012’s ‘Act of Valor’ – a work of fiction starring real SEALs who were tasked by the Navy to perform – made $80 million, was promoted in a Super Bowl ad, and its footage later used to train recruits. But just months later, ex-SEAL and Osama bin Laden–raid team member Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, published ‘No Easy Day,’ an unauthorized account of the famous mission that the Pentagon claims broke military nondisclosure agreements (Bissonnette disputes the charges). Although soldiers have long written accounts of unclassified battlefield experiences without reprisal, the Bissonnette book so embarrassed the Navy, it responded by tamping down its public-relations strategy. The Pentagon threatened legal action against Bissonnette but would soon realize the appetite for SEAL stories had gotten beyond its control. “Navy leadership created a situation for a perfect media storm, and the tipping point was the bin Laden raid,” says former SEAL and ‘The Red Circle’ author Brandon Webb of the growing exposure. “It’s like a pirate ship gone rogue.”
A Timeline of the SEALs’ Crumbling Code of Secrecy
Ex-SEAL Matt Bissonnette publishes ‘No Easy Day,’ an unauthorized account of the bin Laden raid. The Pentagon threatens legal action, claiming he was “in material breach of nondisclosure agreements he signed with the U.S. government,” and the author subsequently goes into hiding. “He’s pissed off and knows where a lot of bodies are buried,” Webb says of Bissonnette, noting the Navy hasn’t filed charges against him. “I’m sure he’s got some get-out-of-jail-free cards.”
The Navy reprimands and fines seven SEALs – often a career-ending punishment – who acted as paid consultants on the ‘Medal of Honor’ video game. The SEALs discussed tactics in a YouTube video series, showed game developers how to build a bomb, and gave notes on details such as how to reload assault rifles. Matt Bissonnette was a game adviser.
‘Zero Dark Thirty’ premieres. Controversy ensues over whether Navy leadership cooperated with director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal. Meanwhile, SEALs watch the film and laugh at its inaccuracies. “There was no ‘one’ CIA girl,” Webb says. “And the last 40 minutes? Those guys were whispering Osama’s name as they were creeping up the stairs with night-vision goggles. I was like, ‘Really?’ This is terrible. This is amateur hour.”
The supposed bin Laden shooter anonymously details the raid in Esquire, claiming to have shot the Al Qaeda leader three times in the head. This account differs from Bissonnette’s book. Subsequently, CNN publishes an article in which another SEAL states that the anonymous shooter is lying. “From what I can tell, he wasn’t the guy,” says Webb. “He put a couple rounds in a dead body. The point man, the one who put the initial two shots in bin Laden, isn’t talking. He and the other guys get pissed when they see someone like that guy embellishing the story. Now you’re seeing this high school drama unfold in the news.”
The seventh consecutive SEAL memoir since the bin Laden raid tops bestseller lists, stoking expectations for upcoming projects like Tom Hanks’ ‘Captain Phillips’ – due in October – an account of the container-ship Maersk Alabama rescue. “Now the SEAL leadership is trying to rein it back in,” says Webb of the media exposure, “but they’ve already been participating with Hollywood, without setting guidelines for what is acceptable or not. It’s gotten out of control, and it starts with the leadership.”
What are our duties, responsibilities and right In America? Why have so many Christians dropped out of sight and stepped back from speaking out on the major issues that America faces today?
4 Reasons Why Christians Have Dropped Out From The Social Issues Plaguing Our Nation:
a. They See Involvement As The “Social Gospel”.
They say, “We can’t substitute culture for Calvary!” But isn’t Calvary for the culture?
b. They Have Given Up Hope.
Isn’t that a hunker down mentality?
c. They See Politics As Dirty.
They say, “Our kingdom is not this world.”
Jehovah witnesses take this thinking! The great tennis player Serena Williams told reporters at Wimbledon last week that she was excited about Barrack Obama’s presidential candidacy. However, she won’t vote for anyone since she is a Jehovah’s Witness, and said “We don’t get involved in politics.”
So, why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses vote? It’s because of their misinterpretation of… John 17:14 “Jesus says of his followers, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
d. They Are Intimidated.
The ACLU has bluffed up and blown us out of sight. The ACLU has accomplished a major goal – making Christians think we have no rights! Social tyrants and religious terrorists wants us to sit down, shut down and force us back to our little stain glass prisons!
If anyone of these points describes your thinking today, I ask, “Where do we get the answers to our problems?” Politicians? Humanist Atheists? Demonic philosophers? Muslims and terrorist? God forbid!
Get this – Australia Prime Minister John Howard finally had enough of being told what Australia should do by Muslims who want to live under Sharia Law! He spoke out last week on television saying…
“Immigrants, not Australians must adapt. Take it or leave it. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.”
“This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.”
“We speak mainly English, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society learn the language!”
“Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented.”
“It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.”
“…We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.”
“This is our country, our land, and our lifestyle, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our Christian beliefs, or our way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom – the right to leave!”
1. Human Government Exists To Ordain Rulers. Vs. 1b
Daniel 2:21 “As He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings.”
Romans 9:17 “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” NIV
Pontius Pilate washes his hands of the issue regarding Jesus and his pending death as Jesus said John 19:11 “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given to you from above.”
Even under the wicked Roman government rule of the day of the Bible, Paul says “If you resist the authority you resist the ordinance of God!”
2. Human Government’s Responsibilities.
a. To Restrain Evil. Vs. 3, 4
How many of you have heard the statement, “You can’t legislate morality”? This is absolutely true! But there’s not a law on this earth that can make you moral! Listen we’ve got this mixed up – for too long we’ve been trying to make government make us good! Only God can do that!
Think of it this way – there’s not a law on this earth to make you love me, but there is a law to keep you from killing me!
KEY: We must get back to legislating against immorality!
May I go on the record as saying it is high time we begin saying something good about police officers across this country!
I ran across this editorial in the Sacramento Bee and I think it says it so good. “A police man is many things, a son, a brother, a father, an uncle. He is a protector in times of need and a comforter in times of sorrow. His job calls him to be a diplomat, psychologist, a lawyer and an inspiration…To often, acts of heroism go unnoticed and the truth is buried under all the criticism.”
“A police officer is an ordinary guy who is called upon to do
extra-ordinary bravery for us. He is a man who faces a half crazed gun man in the streets, schools or shops, rescues lost children, who challenges a mob and ricks his neck more than we realize.
He is the reason why your home has not been burned or burglarized. Thank God for all the little boys who said they would be a policeman and they kept their promise.”
Folks, from the President of the United States to the police officer on the street – all are to be ministers of God, men and women of righteousness and protectors of freedom!
I have to say in all honesty; sometimes government must take life in order to protect life!
Verse 4: “Bear the sword in vain”
Exodus 20:13 “Thou shall not kill.”
“Kill” = murder, personal vengeance, premeditated taking of life.
Exodus 21:12 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.”
Keep in mind that – the codling of a murderer is really cruelty to society! If someone was about to take your families life are you going to tell me that you’re going to say “Peace Brother!”
b. To Reward Good. Vs. 3b
1 Peter 2:13, 14 “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.” NASB
c. To Promote Religious Freedom.
1st Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
I will give anyone here an all expense vacation to Hawaii if they can find in the Constitution the phrase “Separation of Church and State”.
No national denomination to rule the religious thought in America! Listen I’m just as afraid of a Baptist Pope as I am a Catholic Pope!
Listen, the church is to preach the gospel and the government is to protect us from evil and tyranny – it’s that simple!
LifePoint: The state is not the master of the church and the church is not the master of the state. The church is the conscience of the state and salt and light in society!
5 Duties For Every Christian Citizen:
a. Pay For Our Government. Vs. 6,7
Customs and taxes are here to stay because they are the best way to pay the bills of government.
But a nation is in trouble, it’s truly on its last leg when half the nation thinks the other half should support them, or when we get the idea that the government is a cow to be milked instead of a watchdog to be fed!
b. Pray For Our Government.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone; for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” NIV
c. Praise Our Government.
1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
Some think it’s cool to destroy our flag – to that I say you’re wrong!
We should praise our government for keeping us free from another terrorist attack since 9/11. For keeping us a free nation for 232 years and for standing up to evil dictators around the world.
d. Preach To Our Government.
Listen we need to be civil but not silent! The Bible is filled with examples when leaders and governments need to be preached to.
• Elijah preached to king Ahab
• Eliazar preached to king Jehoshaphat
• Daniel preached to Nebuchadnezzar
• Moses preached to Pharaoh
• John the Baptist preached to Herod
• Jesus preached to Pontius Pilate
• Paul preached to King Agrippa
May I remind all of us, as long as our leaders are aborting the pre-born we should preach to them. As long as we have leaders trying to normalize sexual perversion we should preach to them. As long as we have Americans who cannot pray wherever they want – we need to keep preaching! We must continue to preach from the highest hill top – whatever is morally wrong is not politically right!
e. Participate In Our Government. Vs. 7
We have a government that our Founding Fathers envisioned all people involved – that’s why the Constitution says, “Of the people, by the people and for the people.”
If we don’t vote we are not participating – this also “Rending unto Caesar”!
It is inconceivable that God would have ordained government and then have His people stay out of it! And if we stay out of it, then I ask – who does that leave running this country? Use your head!
Matthias Burnett, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Norwalk, preached on May 12, 1803…“Consider well the important trust…which God…has put into your hands…To God you are accountable for your rights and your rulers…Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and institutions which your fathers delivered to you…”
Samuel Adams on April 16, 1781 declared, “Let each citizen remember….that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
John Jay, Founding Father and appointed to the very first Supreme Court by President Washington said, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Remember, as Christians, we participate not according to visionless policies, useless parties, godless people or purposeless politics, but we participate according to God’s principles!
If all 180 million Christians in America took voting seriously again, I believe we could turn this nation around in as little as 10 years!
God’s honor or man’s honor-click to view…
During my tour of service I could not imagine seeing something like this take place, let alone me taking part in it. My horror experienced while serving has given me issues of depression and coupled with my life horrific experiences while separated from service has made me passionate about others who endure these attacks from the enemy of our soul. My wife and I are preparing ourselves for this type of work. With her almost completion of her studies in psychology and us both getting certified for drug and alcohol counselors, we will have the anointing and life experience to get us through to be affective in shock absorbing our clients pain.
If you want enemies, excel others; if you want friends, let others excel you.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
At 21, Jacinda considered her male coworkers in the Navy to be her brothers. That was before she awoke in a drunken haze, bleeding from being anally raped after a party at the barracks.
She couldn’t find her shirt; so she wrapped a blanket around herself and walked directly across the street to the military police. They told Jacinda she shouldn’t have been drinking among so many men, and that she should chalk up the consequences to poor judgment and go home. The military police also intimidated her with threats of imprisonment if her report were judged to be false.
Frightened, Jacinda lied about her injuries when she went to the infirmary.
That was 15 years ago. Today, Jacinda says, “I’m unable to maintain relationships. I don’t trust men. I have no children. I also have OCD behaviors, such as checking and rechecking locked doors. I pull out my hair sometimes, one strand at a time. I chew my nails to the bone, and I suffer from panic attacks and generalized anxiety.”
It took many years and four denials before the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) finally granted Jacinda resources to help treat her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Jacinda says she doesn’t regret her military service, but she wouldn’t do it again.
Jacinda’s story is far from unique. In 2012, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that, while the number of military sexual assaults reported the previous year totaled around 3,000, the actual number of rapes was likelier to be 19,000. And as the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Invisible War demonstrated, military sexual assault (MST) is a veritable epidemic across the armed forces.
TakePart spoke to a handful of survivors about their personal experiences with MST. Their names have all been changed.
Jessica Hinves (her real name) came from a military family. Joining the Air Force at age 24 seemed a natural choice. She was in her room at an Air Force base when an airman she knew broke in through the bathroom and raped her. She went to the hospital, hoping desperately that no one at work would find out.
Hinves failed to receive the privacy she wanted. A girl in the next room found out that Hinves had requested a forensic kit (rape kit) and promptly told Hinves’s supervisor. Hinves was terrified.
She tells TakePart of the man who raped her: “I knew the type of guy he appeared to be. If it hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed it myself. He just didn’t seem capable of something like this. I feared I would be ostracized. I needed others to do some of my duties as a jet mechanic. I feared no one would work with me for fear that I would get them in trouble. Sexual harassment was a common thing and accepted throughout my squadron. I knew people would be leery of me and afraid that I might report them as well.”
Treatment proved to be difficult. She tells TakePart, “I thought I was going crazy after this happened. I wanted to be institutionalized to get a handle on my life again, but the only place available had all males on the floor and wouldn’t allow me to lock my door at night. I couldn’t bear it; so I was put in an outpatient facility with combat vets. I was relieved to know someone else was going through what I was, and I wasn’t going crazy. I was sleeping with knives and had weapons hid in my locker at work, in my house, and in my car. I couldn’t sleep because of the dreams. I couldn’t go out of my house for fear of what people were capable of.”
Now 31, Hinves says, “I regret I didn’t know rape was a hazard to military service.… I loved the military. I wish this never happened so I could still be doing what I loved.”
Sienna was 31 when she joined the Navy. She hoped to secure an education and to travel the world. She invited a coworker, who had recently returned from a yearlong deployment, out for beers with her friends. She drank a couple of beers, but he drank far more, and ended up vomiting in the parking lot. She offered to let him crash on her couch.
“He came into my room after I went to bed,” she tells TakePart. “I said no repeatedly and did fight him off. I thought it was over, but after I fell asleep he came back in my room. He pinned me while I was asleep.” She awoke to find the man on top of her, raping her.
Sienna didn’t report the rape: She would have been required to admit that she’d driven a vehicle after having a few beers. She feared being charged with an alcohol-related incident. She also felt that as a female mechanic, it would have ruined her career.
Her PTSD began with sleep problems and progressed to crippling panic attacks. She eventually left work for two months to seek psychiatric help. She also sought treatment in a military PTSD program.
Today, she’s a 40-year-old college student studying to be a trauma counselor. She tells TakePart, “Everything that happened to me has made me stronger. My experiences will help me help others.”