I just read through a discussion forum where the question was asked about whether a Christian should talk openly about his faith when discussing politics with an unbeliever. Amazingly, only one of the Christians in this group quoted the Bible on the subject. He was very mildly criticized for the context of them because of the presence of one non-believer who was sharp in his reprimands, but shared the same self-righteous attitude about it all, the “politically fashionable” one. (I don’t call fashion “correct” as the term is an oxymoron as used today).
I pulled a few choice snippets with my reactions. My reactions are indented.
“As is tragically known today, the war gave Hitler undreamed of possibilities to “purify” Europe. Though the scale of Christian persecution cannot be compared to the Jewish Holocaust of 1941-1945, except perhaps in Poland, the ultimate destruction of Christianity was one of the Nazis long-term aims.”
A==> That hate and persecution of the Nazi regime against Christianity was something that was not taught to us when I went to school in the government indoctrination centers. It is knowledge “in the wild” now and in the street because of the Internet. We must pray that the Internet will remain as free as it is today. If they start imposing taxes or start any regulation on it, they will try to come in through some lying trickery, like one bill that claims to protect “journalists” from divulging sources but hides a new regime to require licensing for reporters. A license to report.
Imagine laws requiring licenses like the ones they use to regulate the right of the citizen to have the means to defend himself and his family against the tyranny of the worst danger they have, the one the Bill of Rights had in mind for the Second Amendment, that being their own government.
“Any Christians you know that may be interested in reversing this muzzle decree on us here in the USA?”
The “Muzzle decree” probably refers to the long-standing rules for 501(c)3 status tax-deductible religious organizations.
Check out this book by Peter Kershaw in pdf form, I have read it and it will blow away the ignorance we have about churches having any legal obligation to bow down to Caesar’s taxation. This is the book that opened my eyes on this subject:
There are churches popping up all over it seems like that have not applied to anybody for anything, and know that the USG code explicitly says that churches are “automatically exempt” but that they “may find it convenient to apply” for exemption. Hey, you get a free muzzle with it, whether you like it or not!
If our rulers and their Propaganda Machine cared as much about separation of church and state, instead of wanting so bad to subjugate the church under the thumb of the state, they would proclaim them free, like Thomas Jefferson did. Jefferson put language into the Virginia State Constitution that forbad the state from issuing any charter or licensure or registration for any religious organization. That’s why Jerry Fallwell had to file suit against the state of Virginia in federal court for the “right” to be able to incorporate his church in the state of Virginia, whereupon no doubt his accountants and lawyers immediately asked the IRS for recognition, with that free muzzle they offered.
See also “Free Church Ministry”: http://freechurchministry.com
In one company where I worked, they had three tax categories in the software: (1) taxable (bring your state document), (2) exempt and (3) non-taxable.
“LBJ and the Power Hour”: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news2/lbj_churches.htm
(Looks like this Power Hour has nothing to do with Crystal Cathedrals)
“The Truth About Church Incorporation”:
“We Are a Free Church”:
1st Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America (The Bill of Rights)
“Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”
Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the atrocities in Europe (and other places) where the Christian Church was regulated or controlled by the State. They determined not to have that in America.
BUT if you do this, go into it with your eyes open. It’s not as easy to open bank accounts, for example, without some state-recognized identity (in the States I’m talking about here, elsewhere it’s criminal to avoid the state but Christians avoid bondage anyway). And most bank officers probably wouldn’t know what you’re talking about if you were to ask them anything about this.
“I believe when we ‘walk the talk’ and it is done in the correct way, we don’t have to tell anyone we are Christians. Others will know it.”
Well, they are not going to be saved if they do not call on the name of the Lord. Right after Romans 10:9-10, where Paul said it is precisely believing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ that justifies one but “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”, we are REQUIRED as believers to bring them to a decision.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Matthew 24 was not talking about Christians censoring the name of Christ out of their conversation: Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Anyway, if you love Jesus you will ‘love to tell the story”, as it goes, and you’ll testify like Peter and John:
“They ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ”.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Are you going to be ashamed or will you have stars in your crown?
“In politics, when you are speaking with a non-believer about politics, they will RUN when you start trying to convert them.
My opinion is, we ‘walk the walk’ until they want to ‘talk the talk’.
If they see you exhibiting your faith through your actions, they will start asking questions other than political questions,”
Well, you don’t come up to them and conk them on the head with the “four steps to salvation”, first you talk to them, find out where you can introduce the gospel to them explicitly. Jesus simply asked for the Samaritan woman for some water. (First witness). Then he showed prophetic insight to specifics about here life (second witness). She immediately recognized this Jew was different (they could talk without contempt, they could share water, he saw she opened up about her life).
Two witnesses once came up to a long-haired student radical (me) on the Berkeley campus and showed me that story, but after leading up to it in conversation. A couple of months later I joined that “Jesus People movement” to become a missionary.
But in politics, it can be a missionary field like with WiIliam Wilberforce. To this day, he is a witness for his fight to abolish slavery in the explicitly in the name of Jesus Christ always hovering. John Newton “anointed” him for this, in a sense.
But politics, more so today than then, is a horrendous beast to battle, and very rare is there a character like Ron Paul that can withstand the temptations.
Ron Paul did not hide the fact of his commitment to Christ, and he explicitly said that “everything” –that’s right, everything, he did was in fulfillment of service to Christ.
Freedom from forced extortion (taxes), stealth robbery (inflation), freedom from forced iniquity or even forced righteousness (regulations, drug wars, sin taxes, and all that).
Jesus Christ unleashed physical fury on the money changers in the temple. The Federal Reserve operatives no doubt had to spend extra time in the gym venting their frustration when he exposed their robbery and their plotting against our economy.
(Then there was the one Christian who quoted verses, but he used four the corrupted modern versions, so I shared this:)
==> J, you would do good to use the one standard against which all others should be held to measure, the one that *still* stands the test of time, the King James Bible. The translators of today are the products of places like Harvard Divinity School, nest of atheists, witches, lesbians, homosexuals, and everything else but Bible-believing Christians (as John Hinton described).
K: “Let faith reside alongside reason, but don’t let faith overtake reason (or vice versa).”
Well, wait a minute there. In my case, I came to faith based precisely on reason. Faith rests on fact. When Peter’s faith faltered when he was walking on the water, he reached out to the fact of Jesus Christ to stop falling and come back up to stand on the surface again.
When Thomas doubted, he saw the fact of the wounds on Jesus’ resurrected body and from then on his faith was based on fact.
Kerem: “From another perspective, Joseph, do you think that other religions have no redeeming qualities?”
You probably mean “good qualities”. It’s rather obvious that almost all “other religions’ have some “good qualities”, or at least some good doctrine or another, or some good practices. But they miss out on the one most vital and basic “redeeming quality”.
If all you have to show for your goodness are good works, and still reject the only one who is perfect, or who ever was, your sin is like the GOOD man Job, who had nothing BUT “redeeming qualities” in the sense of his works, but he finally repented and saw his evil sin of self-righteousness. Just the mere thought that God would have to accept you based on all those good works, thinking you don’t have enough bad ones to mess it up, you’re like the Rich Young Ruler that went away sorrowful, because although he kept all the four commandments Jesus listed, he did not want to obey the two greatest commandments. Loving God above all, and loving his neighbor as himself, no, he preferred his temporal riches.
There were other rich and even powerful men who did have their hearts right, and in faith they were able to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness: Nicodemus, Levi (Matthew) the tax collector, Joseph of Arithmea, a centurion or two, even the “women who ministered to him of their substance”.
K: I am asking this in the spirit of an intellectual discourse, so please refrain from quoting the Bible as an answer or accusing me of being a humanist, which is a term you can drive an 18-wheel truck through (like labelling something right or left idea).
How can one show you that the answers to all these questions are in the Bible if you tell them not to quote it? As to you being a humanist, maybe somebody did accuse you based on previous commentary or not, no matter to me, but you’ll see that I like to answer straight. If I’m talking to a Samaritan I don’t call her “goy” (a vulgar insult used by Jews among themselves sometimes for Gentiles), if I’m talking to a homosexual I might even call him “gay” and never sodomite, and so on. Jew to the Jew, Greek to the Greek.
Bev: The meaning for mutual respect for me is when each person treats the other with the utmost kindness. Treat the other as you want to be treated.
The Golden Rule, nothing better for a Christian in personal interaction with the people he comes across in life.
For everyone else, we can expect, and work toward, teaching them that the only way we can all interact politically and economically in peace, is by application of the “non-aggression principle”.
See it explained here:
J: I have witnessed firsthand ruin, devastation, and, including death, for some caught up in cults.
That word “cult” is a very much abused word, used by some of the most malicious abusers in recent American history, against New Religious Movements, as they are more rightly called.
There have been a great many crimes in the 20th century and even the 19th against people that were accused of being in a “cult”, while the worst of closeted witches and Satanists were cackling like mad chickens, like one said who escaped to Christ.
Like the most famous “deprogrammer”, who sought out rich parents for pay to “rescue” their adult children who had joined “cults”. He would kidnap them, take them to secluded rooms where he shined lights in their eyes, deprived them of sleep, sometimes even drug them to try to get them to recant. He told his adepts that the first thing to do was to take away their “specially marked Bibles”. Just like an Inquisition or a movie torture scene. I have known victims of this abuse myself.
Of course you’ll get some successfully modified victims who suffer that malady when the kidnap victim starts to identify with the abuser. And so you get them claiming abuse where there was none.
Some of the complainants about “cults” are ex-members who’ve been successfully “re-programmed” to conform and obey “the Man” again. Others were merely offended at requirements to obey the rules they agreed to on joining. Others were caught in offenses, like two guys in one Jesus People community that were caught in the middle of a homosexual act, and excommunicated for the act, and they ran straight to the Christian press (Christianity Today I think) and accused that group of their own sin.
Anita: As American is a beacon of light to the world, so is Christianity.
America was once a reflector of light to the world, because there was such a strong Christian tradition and culture of Christianity in the world.
The Revolution, with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, happened in the aftermath of what’s called the “Great Awakening” of the 18th century, a strong movement in which great numbers came to Christ.
Note that it was Christians like Patrick Henry and Gouverneur Morris, and their allies, that forced the “Founding Fathers” to include the Bill of Rights as a condition for ratifying the Constitution. But the Founders were not such a uniform bunch of saints like Don Barton likes to make them out to be. Alexander Hamilton was some of kind devil, in fact, because he was obsessed with his creation of a Central Bank, something Thomas Jefferson wisely opposed, and thank God, Andrew Jackson threw straight to the sewer where it belonged when he got the chance.
So there you go. One more thing before I go.
john 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Isaiah 1: 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.