Saturday, March 29, 2008

Was Jesus political?

I received the following comment on a previous post:

"I once heard the then Archbishop of Cape Town, the Very Reverent Desmond Tutu say 'I am puzzled which Bible people are reading when people say politics and religion do not mix'. Of course Jesus was political. He fought for the rights of the poor, the meek, the downtrodden, the women, the Samaritans, the ill, the despised etc. etc. It was that that really upset the Romans."

I don’t know if this is an accurate quote or not. However, let us see what Scripture says about whether, Jesus Christ, the son of God was political. The prophet Isaiah foretold about 700 years before Jesus was born the following about Him in Chapter 53:

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faceshe was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on himthe iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

There is no mention of Him being political, but rather coming to planet earth to be the lamb of God and to make atonement for the sins of His people.

Matthew says:
Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Again, there is no mention of political objectives. His objective was to make atonement for sins.

When Jesus began his ministry He began to preach the following message:
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Here Jesus mentions the kingdom of heaven.

Is this an earthly political kingdom? Jesus answers the question directly:
John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Therefore, the Kingdom of God is not a political Kingdom.

What about Jesus’ teaching about helping the poor, the meek, the downtrodden, women, etc? The Sermon on the Mount is considered the greatest sermon ever given and Jesus goes into detail about Christian ethics and how Christians should treat their fellow man. However, it is not political, but is a teaching about personal behavior and ethics. In this sermon and in many other places Jesus exhorts his disciples to show mercy, kindness, and compassion not through political objectives, but through personal action. Therefore, the message of Jesus was for his disciples to show mercy, kindness, etc. to the helpless and poor with their own resources. I know my church and many churches have mercy ministries to do this very thing. Christian disciples as individuals should also be very much in the business of showing mercy and compassion to the poor.

The last instructions that Jesus gave his disciples is recorded in Matthew 28:19-20.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

This would have been a perfect time for Jesus to give political instructions, but once again he was silent on making any political statement. Again, I don’t know how accurate the Bishop Tutu quote above is, but Jesus did not engage in a political fight with the Romans over the rights of the poor. Jesus was crucified because of the Jewish leaders (Matthew 26:57-68) and not because he upset the Romans. His mission on earth was first and foremost to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 53 by being the lamb of God and making atonement for sin. He also taught ethical standards of the new covenant, preformed miracles, and fulfilled all righteousness by his perfect obedience to the law of Moses. He was 100% successful in all that he intended to do. To assert that he fought a political fight for the poor, etc. is to assert that he failed in an objective while he was on planet earth. This is nonsense and heresy. He succeeded in everything he did and took great pains to not be political.

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Does God ordain bad rulers?

I received the following interesting questions on my previous post and decided to do another post rather than answer in the comment thread………

Question #1: If Obama does become president, how does that fare with your opinion that rulers of a country are God ordained. Will your conscience allow you to follow, respect him and agree that he is the right man?

Although God ordains all that comes to pass, He often times gives people over to their sin and desires (Romans 1). Since many in this country are increasingly buying into the lie that government has the ability to provide prosperity for all, it is possible that Obama may be elected. This in no way means that he or his policies are best for America and that everyone should roll over and support everything he proposes. The Bible in no way teaches such folly. For example: God also ordained that Hitler would come to power in Germany for His (God’s) own purposes. This does not mean he caused Hitler to come to power, but that he allowed it to happen. We know the rest of the story. One day God will restore planet earth with his redeemed people in the eternal state (Romans 8 & Revelation). Until that happens the earth will never be without troubles, strife, and political upheaval. The following Scripture passages give an indication of this truth:

The length of our days is seventy years or eighty, if we have the strength; yet
their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away
(Psalm 90:10).

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what
is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please
(Isaiah 46:10).

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of
the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not
willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the
creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the
freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole
creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
(Romans 8:19-22)

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33).

Question #2: Will your conscience allow you to follow, respect him and agree that he is the right man?

Unless Obama changes his political philosophy by about 180 degrees, I will not follow, respect or agree that he is the right man. I will continue to proclaim and promote capitalism and conservatism as the best system for America. This will probably put me in opposition to Obama on nearly everything. We are called to pray for our leaders and if he is elected, I will pray that God will change his views on many things such as his support for the murder of innocents through abortion in general and partial birth abortion in particular.

While no system is perfect, I am convinced that the free enterprise system provides the most freedom, opportunity, and prosperity than any kind of socialistic government system. All government systems have a tendency to become corrupt and that is why the Christians that founded the United States implemented a constitution that has three equal branches of government to provide checks and balances against corruption. Unfortunately, we have seen the judicial branch overstep it's role and much unauthorized (by the constitution) policy is being implemented against the will of the people as a result.

It is a perversion of the teachings of Jesus to assert that he taught left wing socialist political principles. For a government to confiscate wealth from achievers to redistribute it to non-achievers is not a teaching of Jesus or the Bible. As a matter of fact it violates the commandment that says “thou shalt not steal.” Jesus taught that Christian disciples have a personal responsibility to help the poor, downtrodden, etc. through voluntary giving and action, not by a coercive government. This does not mean government should not provide a safety net, but as Ronald Regan said, “government should not provide a hammock.”

I am working on and will do a post on that subject very soon.

Sweet Jazzy Cat

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Obama and his pastor: connecting the dots

dis·cern·ment: the faculty of discerning; discrimination; acuteness of judgment and understanding.

judg·ment: the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, esp. in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.

For Obama to remain in a church for approximately 20 years where the pastor habitually spewed anti-American hate to a cheering congregation points to an amazing lack of discernment or judgment on his part. To claim he was unaware points to an unbelievable lack of discernment. If he were aware, then it points to an unbelievable lack of judgment to not remove himself from such a church. Which is it?

Now that he is aware, he states that he is remaining in his church because Wright is retiring and he has such strong ties to his church family. This church family is the same congregation that is seen enthusiastically cheering Wright’s hateful racist and anti-American rhetoric in the recently released videos. Can you imagine a Republican staying in a church family made up of a KKK type mindset? About a year ago (April 2007) the following quote by Wright appeared in the NY Times:
“If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”

The dots are connected. There is nothing wrong with Obama's discernment. Obama's problem is with judgment, truthfulness, and his world-view. America's problem is to avoid being duped!

NY Times article

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Southern Baptist Convention caves to global warming alarmists

The Southern Baptist Convention has caved to global warming alarmists with A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change declaration that can be found HERE

We at Jazzycat beg to differ and offer the following:

The following is a direct quote from the Coral Ridge link given below:

Should you be worried about global warming? The answer is "No," for two reasons: first, we cannot stop it, and second, it is not likely to do us significant harm. In fact, Dr. E. Calvin Beisner says that global warming "is more likely to do us some significant benefit." What else don't you know about global warming? Dr. D. James Kennedy and Dr. E. Calvin Beisner tell you, on Truths That Transform.

This is an interesting interview that can be found HERE
I choose to believe Dr. Kennedy, Coral Ridge Ministries, and many scientists over Al Gore, media propaganda and many intimidated scientists.

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Sweet Jazzy Cat