The Art Of Being Out-Gunned Part #3

 

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“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.” ~Matthew 5:43-47 (The Message)

So, with all that debating nonsense finally done and over with let me ask you this question…You still gonna vote? At first I thought it would be funny and write in a President that already has been (like Theodore Roosevelt) just to show them but in reality, I am really vexed by the whole thing. I see the ads on the T.V. and wonder who they are trying to fool. I, for one, don’t think that the laws of this land are actually geared towards one special individual or another and yet because of the mindset and strayed moral compass of the masses these T.V. ads want you to think yourself more highly thought of than you actually are…now anybody can that without an impending election, so who are they fooling?

As I have been going through the Sermon on The Mount and trying to run it through this election season I am having a hard time seeing any shred of it and, to be honest, why should I? Kingdom principles and Democracy don’t mix very well. You can’t vote for a Messiah. There’s only one and His party affiliation doesn’t cater to the masses simply because it is about saving the masses for Kingdom purposes, it’s for peacemaking and not peacekeeping. So, the real question is where can we find peacemaking in this coming election? The answer is simple here too…it starts with you.

Let’s go back into the Babylonian Exile for a moment. It is popular to believe that The Exile was punishment for the nation of Israel’s disobedience to a lot of what YHVH told them they shouldn’t be doing and that is a truth here. However, if we were to take a peek into Jeremiah 29:7, “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” What I hope you see here is that the nation of Israel is given a purpose within its punishment. Now we all fall upon Jeremiah 29:11-13 for strength but we seem to leave out the condition that will bring that strength. So, what is that condition? Love your enemies…and pray for them. Easy to say, hard to do.

Here is a little something that brother Ray Pritchard noticed about Jeremiah 29:7. “Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, is used three times in this verse. Besides peace, it means blessing, wholeness, completeness, the absence of conflict, prosperity. Here is the shocking fact—at least it would have been shocking to the Jewish exiles. God ties their blessing to the blessing of the Babylonians. This seems counterintuitive since the exiles were God’s people and the Babylonians were pagans. He is really saying they were better off in Babylon, and Babylon is better off because they were there. Said another way, we can summarize this verse this way: You need Babylon! Babylon needs you!”

Today’s media would have us think that a wide road is necessary to peaceful “Co-existence” (like the bumper sticker displays), but what it leaves out can only be found in a peace that is surrender to a crucified life (easy to say, hard to do). What we do see today is a people spending too much thought on “what they’re doing” and not enough on “what I should be doing”. It brings to mind this dialog found at the end of John’s Gospel…” Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” (John 21:20-22)

There’s more to come, until then…pray for Babylon/Rome/America. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 144; Proverbs 25

Daily Quote: “Christian love draws no distinction between one enemy and another, except that the more bitter our enemy’s hatred, the greater his need of love. Be his enmity political or religious, he has nothing to expect from a follower of Jesus but unqualified love.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. ~Philippians 3:7

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The Art Of Being Out Gunned | Part Two

 Open book and american flag.
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matthew 5:19-20 (NKJV)
 
I kinda think the reason “The Evangelical Right” is up in arms this particular Election season is that it has watched the slow erosion of Christian values pick up speed. I remember hearing Latin in the Catholic church but that has changed. They say there was prayer in school but by the time I get there it was long gone. The rise of “THE MEGA-CHURCH” has people screaming that ears are only being tickled and a President-Elect used another President’s Bible to be sworn into office. Did he not have his own? Did he use it as a way to bring mockery upon a nation? One can only speculate…the truth really lies in the heart of him who took the oath. Right? And that is where we get ourselves crazy with thoughts of a government that has gone Anti-Christianity for the greater good of its people. We speculate…the end is near.
 
Well if you are resting your faith in that then you, Christian, are living as if you are out-gunned!! Now hear me out on this but if you have read your Bible, at least to Genesis 3, then you have read where Adam “SURRENDERED” his weapon to our adversary back in The Garden. What weapon you ask? The weapon of “OBEDIENCE” to the will of Him who created all things. Obedience as weapon? Yeah!! How many times I have seen the following verse posted on social media, “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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV) Sounds like something we should obey, doesn’t it? So what’s the problem?
 
Well I think the problem is found in the consistency of our obedience or at the very least the maintenance of it.  It’s very hard to mix rigidity with flexibility and get something that can stand but Jesus did it and wants us to do likewise but we have to do this within the context of being called sojourners and are in a place that we can’t call home. So you have to pray for Babylon/Rome/America while you live in it. As a fallen people go, living within the topsy-turvy law of the land, that most folks are doing right now, things will bubble up that aren’t of God and those people will fight among themselves to bring about their own sense of righteousness. But we, as a redeemed people go, are called to a standard that says all that matters is the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
 
That means we have to stay within the obedience of what was taught to us. If we outwardly live like this then those “Thou Shall Not’s” will come out when we do what “Thou Shalt Do”. When the Disciples heard this teaching of Jesus they musta thought all those “LAWS” can fall by the wayside…they were wrong. By being in communion with Jesus (who is in perfect communion with The Father) they were upholding the law. Because they were shown γάπη (agápē) they themselves were to show it or you weren’t in communion with anything but the world around you. So I ask this question…On Election Day are you in communion with YHVH or a political party?
 
I am hoping American Christianity can see its way through this malaise that we all are living in. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” and yet it has happening in America. So you can’t fault “The Evangelical Right” (the old guard) for trying their darnedest to correct a moral compass that has gonna awry. But it’s be done with the understanding that we need to love our enemies anyway. To not do this is to not be obedient to what you’ve been called to by Christ Himself. If you need to know what making a stand looks like, then ponder on these verses from Esther…

“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

 

“And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” (Esther 4:16b)
 
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 137; Proverbs 18

Daily Quote: You are but a poor soldier of Christ if you think you can overcome without fighting, and suppose you can have the crown without the conflict.” —John Chrysostom (Archbishop of Constantinople 397-403 A.D.)

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding andeternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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