I got this in my e-mail from Andrew Strom today and while I don’t agree with every word, I do believe he is making some good points, some I have considered lately myself. While our fight is not political as Christians I believe it is good and right for us to fight for our freedom and to demand the truth from our officials. However, there is a line to draw when it comes to gossip and lies and it is our responsibility to seek the truth in these issues. A constant stream of bad news and scary topics will send us out of balance. God promised He would never leave us or forsake us! Not so long ago I was very angry at the things I was reading and hearing on the news. And some days I still get that way. So, this message is for me too!
Let us be careful that our emotions, namely FEAR does not rise up to become our driving force and defile our true purpose. We need to keep in mind that the things happening in America could be God’s plan AND just because we see things coming apart does not necessarily mean we are staring at the tribulation period! The truth is we do not know the timing of these things. We have the clues, but no one knows the date!
At the very least, many of our freedoms as Americans and as Christians are being swept away because we did not do the work necessary to keep them intact! Should we continue this fight, let’s do so with sober minds, taking our steps in order from the Lord and not return evil for evil, remembering to pray for those in office. They need Jesus too!
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Re ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, will all longsuffering and teaching.
IS OBAMA REALLY the PROBLEM??
ARE WE BEING DISTRACTED From THE REAL FIGHT?
-by Andrew Strom.
Years ago a friend of mine, Robert Holmes, saw a vision of Christians leaving the Harvest field to go and join in with a “Civil War”. They were leaving their primary mission (the gospel) to go and make war against their own countrymen. What does it mean and why would they do such a thing? -This was unclear.
Like a lot of you, every day I get bombarded with the latest emails against Obama – and what he is up to. I can truly understand this. Unlike a lot of overseas Christians who can’t comprehend this kind of American political partisanship, I truly get it. I lived in America for four years, and one of the things I saw clearly while living there is that America is at WAR with itself. And it is getting worse. Right against left, liberal against conservative. And there is no doubt that as an evangelical Christian, I am truly a “conservative” myself. But there is a lot that troubles me about what is going on.
When the US conservatives elected Bush, a lot of the world could not understand it. I understood it completely. America is at war with itself and Bush seemed like the most robust campaigner against the liberal agenda. It did not matter that he was not the “smartest” guy. He was strongly on “our side” in the culture war – and that is what mattered: Homosexuality, abortion, taxes, health care, and so-on. To a lot of US Christians, politics has become THE main arena where they fight and take a stand. So if I am a conservative myself, why am I so troubled by a lot of this?
Well, let me ask you some questions and hopefully you will see why:
-Is “Politics” the arena that Christians are supposed to be putting so much time and energy into fighting? Is that what the early church did?
-Aren’t we supposed to be more passionate about prayer and the gospel than we are about pulling the “liberals” down?
-Couldn’t this be a total distraction from our real mission?
-Doesn’t a lot of it amount to a giant “smear” campaign of rumor- mongering that should be beneath Christians to participate in? -In other words, isn’t the way we are speaking often gossipy, slanderous, mocking and ungodly?
-Why are prayer and the gospel taking a backseat to Obama-baiting?
-Is the Christian community in any country supposed to become a “voting bloc” for one particular party?
I think those are pretty important questions. And I think a lot of Christians may have trouble answering them.
The fact is, I get more “political” anti-Obama emails from US Christians every day than ‘spiritual’ emails. What does this say about conservative Christians? It says they care more about politics than the gospel. That is the conclusion I have to come to. And I believe this is Idolatry – pure and simple. Politics has replaced the pure milk of the word for a lot of Christians. They are on a “campaign” alright, but it is not a campaign for Jesus. And they devote hours and hours to it. They are feverishly checking out the “latest dirt” on Obama every night and hungrily devouring Fox News (which makes more and more ratings dollars as it drives every fresh controversy).
They love it! There is only one problem: It is not Jesus, it is not the gospel, and a lot of it is simply not godly at all. In fact, it is replacing Jesus and replacing the gospel.
If I was the Republican Party or Fox News or Talk Radio (each hungry for more ratings and dollars – these are not Christian organizations at all) then I would absolutely LOVE the fact that the Christians are so easy to whip up into a frenzy of Obama-rumors and Obama-trash-talk. But none of this is godly, is it? It is not remotely Christian. The early church would have renounced it utterly. They took no interest in politics. They only cared about Jesus and His simple gospel. And that is still the only thing that can save America today. We are being sidetracked.
But the frenzy continues. “Did you hear the one about Obama being likened to Hitler?” ‘Did you hear the one about Obama’s birth certificate?’ ‘Did you hear the one about Obama’s “death panels”? ‘Did you hear that there are really demons in the Swine Flu vaccine?’ (canned laughter please).
A lot of this amounts to a kind-of Christian “smear” campaign. In politics much of it would be considered in the ‘dirty tricks’ category – the kind of thing you do when trying to ruin someone’s reputation with sick rumors and innuendo. No matter if it’s true or not. As long as it does the job of “smearing” the person. Is that the kind of thing Jesus would want us involved in?
Here is the truly major thing that I believe the devil is trying to do in America today:
-He is trying to create division so bitter and so extreme that both sides literally start to fight one another with guns drawn. He is trying to tear America apart.
-He is trying to sidetrack the one group that truly has the answer.
He is trying to wrap them up in fighting politics, so they will forget that the pure GOSPEL is the only real hope for America today.
I believe the devil is truly succeeding in both of the above aims.
To conclude this article, I would like to ask some questions of the Christians who spend so much time on this “Obama War”:
-Do you spend as much time spreading the pure gospel as you spend spreading stuff about Obama? Why not?
-Is your mind and your energy and your passion more focused on getting the true gospel out – or defeating Obama and the liberals in politics?
-If you were asked to turn off Fox News and delete the “Obama”
emails and turn off Talk Radio, etc, could you bear it? Or are you more-or-less an “addict”?
-Do you really think it is right for this to be the big focus of your life?
I truly believe these are huge issues and huge problems in the American church today. But I guess I can expect a wave of angry disagreement in response!
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I believe that Christians should be well informed and up to date with what is happening and discerning the times, understanding the signs of the times. There’s a balance, eh.
If i lived in America i would want to understand what is happening there.
I don’t agree that end time Christians can be politically neutral when politics affects Christians and their freedoms.
When a politician like Obama professes to be a Christian, then his actions are issues for the church to address.
We certainly ARE having a hard time getting the truth. And most honest attempts to do so are met with accusations and name calling to the point the we are made to be fools. (Curious, this is the same method used by those caught in the deception of false teaching when someone tries to show them the truth!) However, holding the leaders responsible is the responsibility of the American people and they are bound to provide us with truthful answers. Those in office are hoping we will forget this or be shamed out of pursing it. I don’t excuse their lack of response cloaked in bad behavior! With all that is going on, I no longer trust much of anything that is said by them. I am glad to see so many people voicing their concerns. However, we are not getting the response that we should, and no one in office is being held accountable. This is where I wonder if it has all gone to far to turn back. The American government was never intended to control it’s people or to tell them how they can and can’t live or how to raise their children. But, little by little they have been allowed to do those things, so here we are with a government out of control.
Taking everything into account, as a Christian, my words and actions should reflect what I profess to believe. It isn’t to stop fighting, but to do it in a Godly way. So I will continue to hold them accountable. I do know many are getting so caught up in the negativity and what may come of this, that they are bogged down, hopeless. This should not be as our hope is in Christ. That is the dangerous side to being out of balance in this pursuit of the truth.
I do believe we should pray for all of them. Some would argue this is not true, given the evil agenda, but my bible says to pray for our leaders. Not a prayer that their evil ways would prevail, but that God would guide them to know the truth and that they would come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. I say this knowing only God can change a heart and in doing so, I put my trust in Him, come what may.
Thanks for your concern and your support! 🙂
For me, i’m only wanting to keep informed,
Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can change people, fighting the evil doesn’t change human hearts.
Some would presume that if we warn and inform about what’s happening then that means we are trying to fight the evil by carnal/fleshly means, and are trying to solve the ‘problem’ that way, and that we are not preaching the gospel.
I think the article presumes too much. If i had sent Andrew an email about Obama he would presume that i’m obsessed with Obama, or with politics.
If Andrew has any followers, they will probably not keep themselves informed or tell others what is happening, after reading that article.
It sounds like you may know more about Andrew than I do. I just thought he made some good points and I thought they may be helpful to some. I certainly won’t be in the ranks of those who give up on keeping informed. It’s too important to me.
I believe Obama is a big problem because he is a socialist and has communist advisors. But he has a nice smile
hehe. I can’t argue with that. 🙂
Well, isn’t it quite plain that Jesus was a socialist? He said that the rich should give all they have to the poor, and that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:21-24. Not to mention all that healing of the sick he did, which obviously means he is in favour of universal health cover. So if the American right turned to actually following Jesus, plainly the country would turn socialist. But I don’t think they actually do. They are far more interested in trumpeting their hate, which means your sensible words will fall on deaf ears, I’m afraid.
Nick, Jesus’ teachings to give to the poor was out of compassion. He healed people out of compassion. This is not the same as socialism, not at all. The rich are concerned with their own riches and schemes to keep them with little to no regard to how their actions and decisions will affect others. This is why the camel/needle comment. The rich cannot see the kingdom of God because they are overly consumed with their own. But, riches can apply to much more than just money, being whatever consumes us and takes us away from a pure relationship with God.
The health care being proposed is not about compassion. It is about money and control with the government deciding who gets which type of treatment with the focus on cash flow. In like manner our government is not at all concerned for the poor or giving to the poor, but giving more and more of our time and money to them so that they can continue in their lavish lifestyles. If America repented and turned to the Lord, every thing would change, but still, we would not be socialists. The kingdom of God is not about politics or the environment or the way of man. God’s ways are higher than our own and we, being sinners are not able to replicate the teachings here on earth because we remain given to our own wants and desires. There will never be a perfect harmony the way God designed us, until the Lord Jesus Christ returns for his followers and all things are made new again.
In the meantime, it is up to us to warn others of the coming of the Lord and to repent before it is too late. We should be more concerned of our eternal life than our temporary one here. The coming judgment of God is much more to be feared than any thing a man might to do us – republic, socialist, communist or otherwise.
Thanks for your considered reply, mkayla. I think a little compassion for the 50 million or so Americans with no health cover would be a start. I live in a country that has a good public health care system – Australia. What that means is, when my daughter has an attack of pneumonia, as sometimes happens, we take her straight to the children’s hospital and she receives free care. The government doesn’t decide what care she gets, the doctors in consultation with the parents decide what care she gets. And that free care is available to every Australian. Every Australian. We don’t leave 50 million people out. We are happy to pay for it out of our taxes, which those of us who have jobs think is a compassionate thing to do. In America, on the other hand, health insurance companies decide what care people get. Why do you trust health care companies more than governmnents, mkayla? I really don’t get it. Those companies are run by people who are concerned with profit above all else. I’m putting this view to you because I have the impression that some Americans don’t really understand what public health care means.
Hi again. Our government is not the same as yours. It was never set up to do the things it has become involved in. We are supposed to provide for ourselves in this country. Those who can’t or won’t depend on the government to do it for them. I am not against helping those who truly need it, but the system has allowed help for those who freeload as a way of life. I have known people whose welfare continues from parent to child to grandchild simply because thy are too lazy to work.
While I know many are without healthcare (many are without food and shelter) I don’t think the government has the right answer. We pay enough taxes here and nothing changes. Our government misuses the money and has for decades. There is no end to their demands for more and more taxes.
I don’t actually trust insurance companies, however, I pay for the insurance which makes it a product and when I do not get what I pay for I complain and in doing so it is resolved. This will not be the case with government run insurance. Maybe it is good where you are, but it will not be here.
Have you heard of the “cash for clunkers” program? It is a perfect example of how impossible our government makes working with them. Dealers are out thousands and thousands of dollars because the government has not reimbursed them the incentive money for the cars that were sold under the program. In addition the paperwork for one car was 20 pages long. The dealerships had to hire additional staff to handle the paperwork. If the government found an error, the paperwork was returned. Is this the same method we want for government run insurance? NOOOOOO. Can you imagine the paperwork jam for all the healthcare claims???
But there are many concerns with the proposed healthcare and that is why the American people are fighting back and we should be. We are tired of the government misusing our tax dollars and telling us how to run our lives, how to worship and how to raise or kids. They are out of control. If you are happy with your healthcare, that is wonderful. But when we talk of yours and ours, we are probably not comparing apples to apples.
God bless you.
nickgadd, for you to even put Jesus in ANY political party is laughable and an abomination. His kingdom is not otf this world. He never once stole from others to give to the poor. Only wicked men do that. He never once made anybody do a thing. The pople did what they did becasue of the Holy Spirit in them.. not because governement demanded to steal their money and spend it on all kind of vile things.
Funny how you socialists just love to try and use Him for your gain in one way but despise Him in every other area. Like abortion. Like gay marriage. Like vile works of “art” all in the name of right of expression. Like teaching little children about sex. Like taking away the rights of the parents because well, it takes a “village.” Yeah, real funny. Who do you think you are trying to kid on this site? We are way ahead of you.
I get the feeling OUR words turn on your deaf ears because you have made such an image of Jesus which is so far from the truth.
Ian, I agree with you, brother. What if ALL the christians stood up in Germany and said, “NO!” I suppose a lot of them would have gotten killed. But what if? To think that christians especially now are just supposed to lay down under the pretense of “preacing the gospel” over here when they havent even been doing it for decades is cowardly. YES! By all means preach the gospel. But never use it to hide behind in order not to speak against wickedness which is what so many “preachers” and “TV christian stars” do. It truly makes me wonder what side they are on when it is all about STILL building their ministry. Their kingdoms. When they can not and will not come out and warn the sheep becasue they re afraid of losing their yax exemption or whatever, i find that soooo compromising. i have absolutely no respect for most “pastors” over here right now. Sorry for my rant, but i believe most of the “esteemed” preachers over here ae nothing but either wolves or perhaps part of the enemies little list of people. Either way, we know what happens to them. Lord come quickly!
And then again, maybe had enough protested Hitler would have been stopped. Maybe had America done something about the Jews, the Holocaust would have been avoided altogether. The people who supported Hitler are much the same as those who support false teachers in Christianity. They listen to the great sound of the words and the great swelling claims without actually hearing the specific words and in doing so, miss the message. When we miss the specific wording or don’t give enough importance to them, we get caught in them because they sound right, but they are not. It is so easy to spot a liar when we listen more closely or read more closely. And this is what is so maddening to me when the mislead refuse to do the little work it takes to find the truth themselves. I wonder why most of them even bother with bibles anymore.
This past election was all about getting in an attractive, well spoken, well meaning young leader, who in his own pride considered himself like Abraham Lincoln. His great buzzword was “change” and all who were fed up with Bush and the war, all those who believed him a Christian, and all those who want the government to take care of them, and all those who took him at his word fell for it, hook line and sinker. Now here we are facing the change and not many are liking it. Too bad for us.
I can sympathiize with Nick’s POV re: health care, yet, as a spiritual person, who sees thru the thin veneer of civility of this world, it only goes to show that this world system is condemned, and irrepairable, whether capitalist or socialist.
Back to the article: it bugs me, Something about it didn’t sit right with me, and i didnt give it much thought anyway, but re-reading it i noticed that it’s premise is a strawman. If it were simply an exhortation not to get tangled up in politics i would be fine with that, but it’s not really saying that alone.
Obama not the problem? Which problem would that be?
Christians engaged in civil war? Does he mean calling abortion, murder, is to wage war with other Christians who support abortion?
If anything about Obama is questioned, does that mean we are “at war” with those Christians who support Obama? It would mean that in a controlled sterile religious club.
Such concerns was the reason that I prefaced the article the way that I did and that I agreed with SOME of the things he said. Obama not the problem for me means that our battle is not with a man, but with satan. However, I do agree that there are some very bad things Obama is standing for and I am against his success in those areas, of course.
The vision referred to in the article bugged me. I have heard this guys vision before and then, like now it reminded me of Rick Joyner’s vision of America’s coming Civil War. I would have preferred Andrew left the vision off his article especially since he stated he did not understand the meaning behind it. My take on a civil war and this is something spoken of in our home, would be a battle between those who would stand for everything America was built on and those who want to see it “change” into something else. However, the concept of “civil war” could mean something entirely different to someone else. I am sorry for any Christian who supports Obama given the obviousness that he does not support our Christian beliefs.
And, the issues that a society are facing and dealing with ARE relevant to the preaching of the gospel, that is if we are understanding the people we are preaching to,
True disciples should be ‘on top of it’ and they speak the gospel into the society, addressing the sin. Like, if you got the chance to speak personally to Obama, wouldnt you call him to repent of his sins? Wouldnt you call him out on the ungodly things he is doing, while professing to be a Christian?
See, I didn’t take the article to mean that we shouldn’t speak out, but to watch our motivation, the time spent, our emotions behind it and the way we spoke of and to him and our leaders, keeping in mind we represent the Lord.
Yes, he should be warned that he is in error and needs repentance.
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Hi Mkayla, just to clarify, the questions i asked are rhetorical, i wasn’t questioning you or your views, i should have clarified that.
No, that’s fine. It made me think about it a little more. 🙂
In the harlot system the main objective is to try and keep as many people happy as possible in order to extract money from them, So the decision to avoid discussing issues deemed political is in fact a pragmatic ‘political’ decision to help ensure good offerings, cos we all know that if you want to get along with people never discuss religion or politics, or so the wisdom of this world goes.
We can discuss and preach the morality of issues without supporting a political party.
For people to think we can live in this world and be neutral to the great moral dilemmas of our time is Pollyanna Christianity. eh. It makes for a nice sermon and collect your pastors pay packet at the end of the week,
At which point the pastors are no longer doing what they were put in place to do – hirelings, not shepherds.
I was very sorry to hear the news the Greg Laurie, Chuck Smith (Calvary Chapel) have teamed with Rick Warren. It IS getting worse.
There’s plenty of righteous and justified men functioning as ‘the pastor’ over a group, yet there was no such office in the NT church, there was always a group of elders who pastored/shepherded, as one. Decisions were arrived at thru agreement, and not from a CEO.
So, the Godly man is who trying to perform a function and role which God never ordained, within a church setting and functioning which God never ordained, is going to find himself acting like a hireling. For a start, he may actually be hired to work as a pastor, on a salary contract, which is by definition, a hired hand, a hireling. He’s hired to be your friend. In the first century that would have been a joke, but now it is the acceptable way to be a ‘minister’ in the ‘ministry’.
So people have accepted that which is unBiblical for so long that it has become ‘law’.
God bless ya sister.
Another way the traditional system gives rise to sin is the tradition of the sermon slot and the programmed preacher. The person chosen to preach has to fill a 1 hr or 45 min time slot whether they are speaking by the Holy Spirit or not, so, in the multitude of words sin is not lacking.
Compare that tradition with 1 Cor. 14, where it was expected people would only preach when they had unction to so, and for only as long as they have unction.
Ian Vincent… my husband and I have been discussing this very scenario of how the pastor has become a paid position and almost no one can be in that position and not be pulled (at least to some degree) into doing things because he is expected to do them, versus truly instructed by the Lord.
As my husband so succinctly put it, “paying a guy to be up on the stage is the ruination of any man.”
I wouldn’t want to have to come up with an hour’s sermon week after week, because I’d probably start making things up…. just talking out of my own head. Not that the Word of God couldn’t easily provide food for us for many hours every day, but to consistently put all that on one man….
I am not slamming pastors. They are caught in the same system. It’s the only version of ‘church” most of us have ever seen.
So…. have you seen a workable alternative to this tradition? Have you seen a plurality of elders truly serve in an equal fashion?
Hi there, Was blessed to read that. We’ve been functioning that way for nearly 20 years, in a small way.
HI Ian. Can you tell us some more about that?
Yes, tell us more about how it works, how you function together.
We just meet together as 1 Cor. 14 describes Christians should meet together.
Soooooo simple. Anyone can do it.
The basis is our shared fellowship in the Father and the Son.
When we are set free from our baggage we have, every time we meet another believer we are having church, in essence. If i visited your house i would be the same as i am during a sunday meeting, no different. If i have something in my heart from the LORD i will talk about it. That’s how Jesus lived and the example the apostles learned from Him.
The same with internet, if we are not functioning NOW as the church then what are we doing? Entertaining ourselves?
Some people see the contradictions in their life and get free.
Specifically we meet regularly here with only a few families, as well as a few more families further afield whom we meet a few times a year, and i have a number of families and believers around the world im in fellowship with and have stayed with.
I’ve learned that God forms “functioning fellowship units”. That’s what He has done with us, after many years of going forth weeping bearing precious seed.
Not to think up a new term, but it encapsulates what the Spirit of God is doing, He gathers a few saints together who are relationally pure : they meet together ONLY bcos of Jesus and His love, and for no other reason, and on the understanding that when two or more gather in Jesus’ name, that He is there in the midst. He in the midst is His approval, and it’s a wonderful thing to live in His approval, in His presence.
People sometimes meet for reasons other than Jesus. Selfish reasons.
Yes, unselfish reasons. I think that would be the key. How else could you have multiple leaders submitting one to another?
I think there are many wrong motivations for church, other than going to be with the one’s you love, as a spiritual family, like: a sense that it’s your Christian duty to go, that you would be being unfaithful to God, or disobeying Him, if you didn’t. Some may even fear missing God’s blessings if they stop attending an “official” church and simply meet at home with a few who love Jesus. When others don’t consider their home meeting “real church” then may get discouraged, etc.
But in the home meetings ‘selfishness’ is really tested, like some who come with their baggage dominate the meeting and can’t stop talking about their experiences or their pet doctrines …. they haven’t lived out 1 Cor 14 yet, and its only by living it out together that we learn it. We don’t learn to live like that in a traditional church.