Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Role Of Government

Romans 13:3-4 provides a concise summary of the role of government:

"For rulers are not a cause for fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. 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."

Note that government workers are called "ministers of God" not once, but twice. This term also means "servants" of God. All governments are put in place by God and all government workers are ministers of God, putting them in a very special place and giving them serious responsibilities both to God and the people they serve. But this also makes sense, since all goverments are from God, then those representing the government are, in a way, representing God's will.

I find it interesting that some of the requirements for government service, in the early years of America's history, where that those in government positions be Christians. Our founding fathers understood what the Bible says about government workers being "ministers of God" and they wanted to help ensure wise choices where made for government service.

Let's look at the list of the three roles of government from yesterday, but I'll say them in a different way.

1. Punish wrongdoers - it is very clear from Romans 13:4 that government is to punish those who do wrong

2. Restrain evil - Romans 13:4 tells those who do evil that they should be afraid and notes that the government wields the sword (weapons) to be used against those who do evil. The way government restrains evil is by putting fear in the hearts of wrongdoers. This, of course, means that if they are not restraine by fear (the best option) then #1 above applies and it is the government's responsibility to punish those who do wrong.

3. Promote good - this means to treat citizens, who are doing good, in a just and fair manner. For example, government should be protecting the legitimate rights people have.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

What's Happening In America?

If they know of him at all, many folks think Ben Stein is just a quirky actor/comedian who talks in a monotone. He's also a very intelligent attorney who knows how to put ideas and words together in such a way as to sway juries and make people think clearly.

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too.

But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show. Regarding Katrina Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this Happen?"

Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.

She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?" (She said the same thing when interviewed after 9-11)

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send "jokes" through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it.. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards. Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

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Friday, September 26, 2008

War On God In America

Here is an important video to watch. It will get you up to date on what's happening in Washington D.C. in the American government's war on God. I was surprised!

Use this link to find the name of your Congressman. There is also an online form to write to them:

You can find your Senator's address using the following link:

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Do Christians Sin?

Do Christians sin? Yes. Christians are like everyone else. Christians disobey God. Christians do things that are wrong. The difference is in the response to sin. The story in the Bible about Simon the Samaritan shows this. Simon was a Samaritan sorcerer who was very influential because of the magic he performed. Then he heard Philip preach and he became a Christian. But as happens with many Christians his old desires stayed with him. Here is his story from Acts 8:13-24 (NLT)

"Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the great miracles and signs Philip performed."

"When the apostles back in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God's message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new Christians to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers and they received the Holy Spirit."

"When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given when the apostles placed their hands upon people's heads, he offered money to buy this power. 'Let me have this power, too,' he exclaimed, 'so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!'"

"But Peter replied, 'May your money perish with you for thinking God's gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right before God. Turn from your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitterness and held captive by sin.'"

"'Pray to the Lord for me,' Simon exclaimed, 'that these terrible things won't happen to me!'"

What was Simon's response to learning he was sinning? He recognized his sin, turned away from his sin, and sought God's forgiveness. He was so overwhelmed by recognizing he was sinning that he felt the great separation from God that sin brings, and did not feel worthy to pray himself.

This is the difference between a Christian and non-Christian. The Christian recognizes their sin, recognizes their responsibility for their sin, and recognizes the evil of their sin. They desire to stop sinning. They seek forgiveness from God for the sin.

The non-Christian embraces their sin. The non-Christian finds excuses for their sin.

Both Christians and non-Christians sin (disobey God). The difference is that Christians fall into sin and non-Christians dive into sin.

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