Friday, June 5, 2009

How others are viewing us Conservatives?

Lately, I have been thinking of switching parties (from Republican to Libertarians.) The Republican party have too much damages in the last 15 years. We have our internal fights within our Conservative brethren. The conservatives I am talking about are those who have this "over-idealism" in a control issue and that it is at the root of our need to over-control situations, people, places, or things in order to ensure that they come into compliance with our ideal image of the way reality is supposed to be. Negative perceptions of Christians are on the rise that people continues its drift away from Christian values. We live in a very sinful world and there is NO WAY we will be able to legislate our way into becoming a holy and pure nation. That’s not going to happen. We will never have a theocracy government. The tougher issues require reaching people’s hearts and minds and doing the things Scripture actually tells Christians that they should do, which is not political related.

Lately, conservative's image have been on the negative side and we all know it should not be. Many are seeing us as "Those who follows their resolutions according to their understanding of the Scriptures that being radical and focusing on agendas to accomplish God’s will, they will impose on others even though they do not believe with their interpretations." Lately, many conservative Christian leaders are hypocrites and they are no help to the people of America.

If the conservatives want people to see them with approval when they are displaying that Jesus is infinitely valuable to them, but they dare not make the opinion of others the measure of their faithfulness. They may be blind and resistant to truth because I am seeing discrimination, wrong attitudes, ignorance, stereotyping, and alienation. We need to change idealism of the conservatives. They have adopted about how things "should be done" which often gets challenged by the way things are in reality. Conservatives will make rules that will make them feel very safe by imposing standards on others. If they are not following their formula of legalistic beliefs, then they are not true Americans. We should all take a long hard look at what things we consider to be important from God's perspective rather than man's perspective. Extremists will ignore God desires and break God's spiritual harmony. If you look back that Jesus rebuked religious leaders who had extreme doctrines that intimidated others who don't follow their rules.

I am having a major problem with people today using God for their own interests into man-made political issues. Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36). Christ have not given us a political agenda, but a spiritual mandate to proclaim the Gospel and disciple the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Politics and ideology have come in the form of the separation in our minds of "sacred vs. secular".

Let me say it this way. There is a huge difference in well-balanced doctrines and being off-balance zealousism. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede. Christian will pursue the will of God actively and be enthusiastic and the attitude toward Christ, a Christian will manifest love and burning devotion from the heart. A true Christian zeal is not based on works but proves only that the one who manifests it is healthy, balanced, energetic and actively interested in serving God's will.

I have learned that politics not give us any real power at all because in God's providence, He allowed every country basically swamps each of us Christians among non-believers together for a purpose. Christ have not given us a political agenda, but a spiritual mandate to proclaim the Gospel and disciple the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). The world who are without Christ also have their own views. More often than not, the secular world view is in conflict with the bible. To Christians, this should NOT be a surprise. To the world who are without Christ, this conflict is not a surprise either. I think both Republican and Democrat have Christian attributes if each removed non-Christian attributes. By removing the non-Christian attributes, you will see the actual listing of Christian attributes. As Christians, we can commit ourselves to work more actively for public policies that reduce militarism, war, and political and economic inequities. We must work persistently and faithfully for a more peaceful and equitable world community. That means we if we do not like what the Government is doing, GET INVOLVED and make it change (if God is willing).

Every Christians have their own definition of "morality" and this is where Grace comes in. Christian Grace is about loving other people who are very different and that we have the freedom to do so but at the same time, respect how they practice their beliefs. A Christian life in this world should be different from the world, being in the world but not of the world.

Moral reasoning is individual or collective practical reasoning about what, morally, one ought to do. How do we sort out which moral considerations are most relevant? Morality basically means a code of conduct held to be authoritative in matters of right and wrong. Morality is a very broad and complicated topic due to the fact that it is based primarily on individual opinions. We are morally obligated to treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are and what they have done. Hate what is wrong and stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

A Christian's life and standard of moral living are not private matters but rather they are critical issues of faith and discipleship for non-believers around us who are "watching" us because they believe we are hypocrites. Moral decline is a spiritual problem due to depravity of sin, not a political one, and its solution is the gospel, not partisan politics.

The bottom line, politically, there ARE NO easy answers EXCEPT CHRIST.

By the way, this is for the Americans: Historians have stressed Lincoln's use of and redefinition of republican values that he highlighted the moral basis of republicanism, rather than its legalisms.

Its just that we need to understand what are roles really are and how we behave. Faith and Grace are at the foundations of all Christian living, and because faith has to do with the character of God, not on Christian's faith. The paradoxical character of the Christian is revealed through life and seen by many. Every Christian is a citizen of heaven and to that sacred citizenship even though each Christian lives in a sinful world. Christians have a duel citizenship however earth is a sinful place while Heaven is beautiful and sinless that we are to remember that we are citizens of heaven even though we live in a foreign world. We CAN'T live here on earth as we will in Heaven. we are in Christ His position is our position, His privilege is our privilege, His possessions are our possessions, and His practice our practice. We are significant not because of who we are, but because of who we are in Christ.

We Christians see ourselves surrounded by a culture that embraces sin and rejects God that we KNOW that only God working through the Holy Spirit can change their hearts. Yet, the Lord can also use us Christians to fight abominations like legal abortion and homosexual marriage.

Conservative Christians are against immorality. It's about what do we view as the solution. That's the issue. I am not against anyone who hate evil and wickedness. I am among them. It's not about that. It's about the solution and how we approach this to others. Morality saves no one. We bring people to God through Christ. Christian Conservatives are not interested in making this country moral. We are to be interested in bringing people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, so that He can recreate them so they will become moral. Cultural morality is dangerous because it has no New Testament model to follow except the Pharisees. So if you're going to try to find a New Testament pattern for this effort, you're going to end up with the Pharisees. They were the moral ones. And you know what Jesus said about them? Matthew 23:15: He said when you are through making somebody a convert to your morality, you have made him "twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."

The sinful society is hostile to godliness because it is dominated by carnal ambition, pride, selfishness, greed, lust, and a desire for evil. Even though we live in a hostile world that hates Christ because they are very depraved by their sins. Lutherans and Calvinists agree that Man after the Fall has no ability to cooperate with God's grace in conversion. Many Christians do NOT see the total depravity of man due to sin because they treat the symptoms of sins instead of the heart (where sin is actually located); and they aim for change that is not true sanctification. Is behavior modification more helpful than sanctification? According to Romans 8:9, the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the mark of all who are truly born again: "You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

There are to be Christians like "a Joseph in Egypt", or "a Daniel in Babylon and Medo-Persia" that would represent God in a diplomatic way. The Scripture calls us ambassadors to the world (2 Cor. 5:20) and pilgrims in the world (1 Pet. 2:11). Paul told the Philippians that our citizenship is not here but in heaven (Phil. 3:20). And, we are sojourners in the world (1 Pet. 1:17). So, there is a purpose for our individual existence as believers in the society in which we live, to turn depraved sinners to God through Christ. We are a witnessing community a group of people placed in the world to draw the attention of the world to God.

United States government is a democracy which every citizen within the country gets to have a say in what decisions are made. The sovereignty which democracy grants to law (higher than custom or the whim of individuals or the rights of groups) creates a moral problem like must we logically accept a decision of the people to make a law which approves abortion? How to handle people with disabilities? Like for an example, recently, a federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. discriminates against blind people by printing paper money that makes it impossible for them to distinguish the "bills' value". How do we handle this?

The America people are seen as the ultimate source of legitimacy in democracy and while making laws, many cannot all agree to propose legislation. Democracy is very complexed and its not that simple. Democracy is popularly associated with the principle of majority rule and it is the expression of the sovereign will of the people, however there is no easy method by which that "will" is deemed to be defined must consist of majority rule.

We have to understand God's will and His Sovereign. The concept of Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." God governs (controls) the world (Isa. 40:22-24), the nations (Isa. 40:15-17), and us (Proverbs 16:9). I cannot and will NOT dispute God's word how He manages this world. God will take advantage of Satan's evil desires and motives to accomplish His will. The Bible clearly teaches that God knows beforehand what we will need and He will provide beforehand according to His will. God is absolutely powerful, that God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, that God is immutable, never changes, that God is all wise, perfectly just, holy, righteous. God is ruling all things to work together for our good and His purpose.

we are not to abstain from political system because if we did, we are not responsible citizens. We all have own political opinions and we ought to vote but that is not the mandate that God has given us. Instead of political agenda, Christ gave us a gospel agenda which is changing the lives of the people in it through the transformation to the gospel of Christ, not by electing different leaders. I am involved in politics but I am not loud in politics. We are to influence people with the help from God who is in us. We do not have to be loud but we have to be involved. Jesus taught that the government should work in harmony with the church and should recognize its sovereignty in spiritual matters (Matt. 22:21).

Its not always our fault that we allow liberals to get more powerful because we have to understand God controls everything. J.I. Packer said "Man is a responsible moral agent, though he is also divinely controlled; man is divinely controlled, though he is also a responsible moral agent."

Here's another good quote:"If God is not in some sense responsible for bad things, then he is not responsible for good things either. If we do not "blame" God for death, we should not praise God for life. We cannot have it both ways." Joseph Hill

Knowing God as Lord requires our sincerely committing ourselves to God as follows: “Not my will be done, but Your will be done,” “Not my kingdom come, but Your kingdom come.” We must careful not to identify Christianity with any political parties because Jesus Christ have HIS OWN Party which is HIS KINGDOM. Christ stands alone, above and outside of every ideology of any political parties. Jesus does not and will not join any of our parties. Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36).

When we line up Christianity with right-wing politics, we lose, because we are not a political organization.

We are now utterly identified with right-wing, hard-line, traditional politics of a Republican nature, very conservative. We may agree with that, but that is not a definition of the Christian faith. We are not a political, sub-group. This is like of Jesus' days with the Pharisees who were political traditionalists, purists regarding the law, and very nationalistic. We are not like the Pharisees.

We have diverted ourselves from our main message which is the good news of God's grace and Jesus Christ. Our morality is not determined by human means but rather determined by the Word of God through Jesus Christ. Our goal is not to make sure that our government adheres to a national policy that equates to biblical morality. That is not our goal. We are not involved in altering social morality. We are to be interested in people becoming saved. That is our only agenda. If we're going to change our culture we're going to change it from the inside out. Instead of political agenda, Christ gave us a gospel agenda which is changing the lives of the people in it through the transformation to the gospel of Christ, not by electing different leaders.

I hold conservative positions on most issues but have an underlying worldview of what is happening and make decisions based on them. I am against abortion but in relation to my fellow citizens, who am I telling them what to do? To me, idealism is freedom without people telling me what to do or how should I live my life.

I believed we are to obey God that we are to VOTE since all government are God's ordained. We have the privileges and blessings to be part of the government process. If we don't vote, we are telling the government, we want someone to take control of who get to become a leader. The world who are without Christ also have their own views. More often than not, the secular world view is in conflict with the bible. To Christians, this should NOT be a surprise. To the world who are without Christ, this conflict is not a surprise either.

Being a Christian is being a person whose primary form of witness is by their spiritual life, but they do not hide the fact that they are Christians and that they show their spiritual light through deeds first and then words. In our Christian fellowship (not individual), we must recognize that the Holy Spirit desires to take us and lead us, and use us as instruments through which He can express Himself in the community. I have learned that democracy does not give me any real power at all because in God’s providence, He allowed democracy to basically swamp each of us Christians among non-believers.

Sabbath and Grace

The Sabbaths were symbolic of the rest and holiness salvation brings through Christ. Just as the Old Testament sacrifices pointed to the Lamb of God, so also the whole sabbath system pointed to Christ, who gives ultimate rest and holiness. In reading Isaiah's prophecy Christ was saying, "I am the true Sabbath rest, the One who proclaims a spiritual Jubilee by freeing sinners from bondage to sin. " That's why Christ said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Through His atoning work on the cross, Christ inaugurated a new covenant, which did away with the sabbatical system (Col. 2:16-17). The righteous have entered Christ's salvation rest and look forward to ultimate rest in His presence (Heb. 4:9-11).