Saturday, September 24, 2011

Political Correctness – Why is it such a devastating sin?

Sometime ago I read two (somewhat opposing) news articles, which exemplified “Political Correctness:”

Report: Michigan Coach Loses Job for Allegedly Allowing Assistant to Try to Convert Muslim Students -- ….Hancock admitted to discussing Christianity with Muslim youths, telling the paper, “I consider it my work to pastor to anyone who is within my reach.” But Hancock also insisted that he never spoke about religion on school grounds or as part of his work with the wrestling team…. -- http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,360001,00.html

Texas children roped into Islamic training -- …. "The kids did not even know they were having an assembly or what topic it pertained to until they entered the gym," the parent wrote. "I send my kids to school for academics. … I teach them religion at home."..... -
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=65659


There are numerous other examples available if one would but comb the daily news. Here, (aforementioned) we have an example of a Christian pastor being fired from his assistant position because he spoke with some youth off campus about religious matters. The other news piece illustrates (on the other hand) one particular religion being highlighted at a school assembly in which parents weren’t notified – and, in which certain tenet teachings (beliefs) were presented to the captive student population.

On the one hand, special disciplinary (firing) action was taken against a Christian person (pastor) of faith, for what he was accused of saying and doing, off the public school campus. And, on the other hand, special preference was given to the Islamic religion at a public school (on campus) student gathering, (which, would not likely, allow such a Christian presentation of its religion).


“Political Correctness” in our culture allows for the direct discrimination (and singling out) of a legitimate traditional entity, preventing that entity (or person), from common sense expression of United States of America, First Amendment Rights. [The right to “free” speech]

The persecution (or prevention) of First Amendment expressions of entities or persons by the prevailing “powers that be,” often (on the other hand), allow for “multi-cultural” (minority), or, (otherwise) “free speech” expressions. And, it doesn’t matter if the minority voice be deviant or harmful to society in its expression of “free speech” or various actions. Nor does it matter to “the powers that be” that there be caused great harm to our American culture and way of life.


All that seems to matter, in the minds of political correctness advocates and evangelists, is that nobody should be “offended” or, “discriminated against.” And, it oftentimes follows that if there is a charge or accusation against someone for having offended, that the charge [accusation] of “felt” offense is given by the “political correctness police,” a greater attention than any amount of contrary proof or evidence, substantiating no (genuine, intended hateful) offense. [And then those of us who have ears to hear and eyes to see, know what happens to some, who are accused. These people become the truly offended ones and discriminated against, because someone dared to become (illegitimately) offended and took upon themselves to “feel” discriminated against]

A cultural mindset which has cast off Christ’s Golden Rule [Matthew 7:12] will even give deference and license to a person who chooses to abuse another person’s freedom, natural and lawful rights. Failure to recognize Christ’s Golden Rule standard and the Ten Commandments, end up in granting the [truly] intolerant and troublemakers, and evil people, the right to act in aberrant, abnormal and harmful fashions. Once government accepts the false premise that everyone has a right to express themselves and that there is no objective right and wrong standards, -- innocent, law-abiding and peaceful citizens pay a heavy abusive price, because, in the end result, minority and singular expressions of deviant behavior are given a green light by local, state and federal governments. In short, "political correctness" and "multiculturalism" go hand in hand creating for themselves the aberrant norm which regards every value system as equal. As a Christian (emeritus) pastor and taxpaying citizen resident I can see unfold before my very eyes, the present day stark reality of yet another Scripture:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! ……who justify the wicked for a bribe and take away justice from the righteous man! Isaiah 5:20 and Isaiah 5:23


What is a common cultural definition of “Political Correctness?”

According to the online web resource, Wikipedia, “Political Correctness” is:

"……is a term used to describe language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to racial, cultural, or other identity groups…." - wikipedia.org/

Obviously, attempting to enforce political correctness, would require the omnicience of God Almighty. In objective reality, who is to judge whether someone has a legitamate offense directed against him or her? What is the measurement to access whether a person has truly been discriminated against, or, been the unfair focus of such (hateful) “offense?” And, once “it” has been determined whether an “offense to racial, cultural, or other identity groups,” [Wikipedia’s definition] , has been committed – what is the appropriate and just action and / or judgment against the perpetrator (s)?

Ultimately, political correctness adherents and political correctness policing, requires the abolution of First Amendment (“free”) speech rights for their Utopian world to be fully realized. These crusader types have already (in part) been partially successful in altering the traditional definition of “tolerance,” and now interpret and apply that (alterred) principal as giving them equal status and rights, no matter how untraditional or aberrant their lifestyles may be:

Coming to grips with the politically utilized (willy nilly) doctrine of “Political Correctness”

The cultural definition, understanding and application of political correctness has been, for the most part, malevalently misused by the liberal media and liberal politicians who have no place in their practice of politics (or life, for that matter) for the Triune God and His Ten Commandments.

Anyone wishing to come out of his or her personalized self identification “closet,” according to the political correctness police, deserves a fair and equal hearing and thus becomes exempt from private or public criticism. Do you see why it is so necessary for politically correct liberal politicians and their liberal media politically correct police force, to be godless? If there are no “outside” or objective standards [absolutes] of thinking and behavior, there will be only those standards (in place) which are manufactured by the prevailing political juntas.

Political Correctness is a devious tool to favor abberant behavior and discriminate against common sense, sound tradition and even good law


On a local online forum I presented my thoughts in response to a forum participant who stated that Christian pastors should stay out of politics:

……Taking your line of reasoning about pastors -- that they should not be involved in politics -- then, accordingly, politicians should not involve themselves in any matters of ethics, morality or law. [And, we know that, that, is not possible, since making law has much to do with ethics and morality] This type of thinking that you mentioned is from the old liberal political play book that would marginalize people of faith (conservatives, etc.) from becoming involved with politics and being a part of our represented democracy…..


The Issue of Political Correctness boils down to the issue of “taking offense”

The sin involved with Political Correctness is oftentimes the inability of the person or persons involved, to correctly distinguish whether an “offense” has truly been directed their way. So often when people think about “offenses,” they only think in terms of an offense that is directed ("given") – an offense that is purposely perpetrated and directly aimed at them and / or their particular group or crusader cause.

Dr. Martin Luther defined the concept of “offense” as:

"An offense is something that is said or done whereby our opinion of God and men is distorted; and an offense is active when I give it, passive when I take (patior) it."

[C. Cordatus, January 26-29, 1533 – taken from “What Luther Says – A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian:” C. 1959; CPH]


Much confusion and harm can be eliminated if people and government would understand the issue of “giving and taking,” offense

When people and government structures don’t correctly understand the issue of “giving and taking offense,” the present application of our culture’s (unholy) crusade of political correctness becomes a sin of great magnitude.

As was previously stated, politically correct police end up rewarding aberrant and abnormal behaviors at the expense of common sense traditional life practice. Society and culture become a virtual [Salem type] “witch hunt” by those people who take offense at whomever or whatever they disagree – whatever, runs cross grain with their hobby horse political objectives. Culture breaks down with people and groups taking offense and which, in defense of their particular mindset beliefs and lifestyles, go on the attack with endless character assassinations and expensive and wasteful lawsuits (litigation). Failure on the part of government to recognize the Triune Creator God’s hand in human affairs and to give Him His proper due, only results in cultural confusion and societal breakdown. Those of us who have eyes to see and ears to hear, continually and increasingly experience this sad state of affairs on local, state and federal levels of US government.

“The New Tolerance: How a cultural movement threatens to destroy you:” -- http://www.amazon.com/


Creator Christ – the Person most offended – the person most sinned against by the evils of political correctness


The Hebrew Old Testament prophet (under Divine direction and “inspiration”) recorded it best: [Isaiah 53:1-12] . The Messiah Christ, was the most offended and sinned [against] person by the evils of political correctness. The Hebrew and Christian revelation Scriptures – God’s perfect gift to humanity, makes it clear that human offenses (sins) damn the human soul. God’s standard always was, is, and always will be, perfection (divine holiness). [Exodus 15:11] It is human sin which separates the human soul from the eternal Creator God. God cannot and will not allow imperfection to invade the heaven’s hallowed halls of holiness.

In order to breach the “sin gap” which exists, Creator God in His infinite wisdom prepared a body – that being the Lord Jesus Christ. [Hebrews 10:6-23 and the “counterpart” prophecy, Psalm 40:6-8] Christ was prophesied hundreds of years before his holy birth, life, suffering, burial, death and resurrection. [Isaiah 53:1-12] His presence upon the human scene of human sin and suffering is Almighty God’s perfect (satisfaction) payment (sacrifice) for human sin. Christ’s birth, life, suffering, death, burial and resurrection make it possible for you and me to achieve God’s perfect standard – by faith in the substitute (sacrifice) gift for our human sins against God’s holy commandments and perfect order. Acts 2:38 ; Acts 3:19 ; Acts 17:30 ; Matthew 7:13-29 ; John 3:14-21 ; John 1:1-14

The evils of political correctness, some day will be no more

Friend –
if you do not know Christ as your Savior from [your] sin, your life someday will slip into an eternity of God’s (perfect) judgment for your natural and willful sin against His holy standards. God Almighty will have no choice but to send you to hell. [2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 ; Matthew 25:31-46] because, His very holy nature will not allow imperfection into his perfect heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:24-27 ; 1 Corinthians 15:50

Political correctness will pass away. [2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 ; 2 Peter 2:9] Those who live contrary to Creator God and His revelation gift, the Scriptures, will not be able to play their political games to justify their lifestyle sins and thereby wreak havoc upon those who only desire to live their lives peaceably and with moral principle. Only what will count, will be priceless souls before a final judgment. 2 Corinthians 5:10 ; Matthew 25:31-46

Amen.

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:

The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins


Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures: Isaiah 5:20 ; Isaiah 5:23 – God’s condemnation of those who turn right into wrong and wrong into right.

Isaiah 53:1f – Political Correctness had no use for Christ .

New Testament Christian Scriptures:


Romans 1:18-32 – God Almighty has no use for Political Correctness – only the appropriate worship of His divinity and personhood

_________________________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
______________________________________

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The “Elder Brother Syndrome” [Sin] - One major reason why many Christian churches are sociable, but not genuinely friendly, personable and accepting

In Christ’s parable of the “Lost Sheep” we are told that there is “joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.” [Luke 15:7] Yet, this heavenly reality is oftentimes not the same reality in Christian churches. New members to Christian churches are often only perceived as statistics. New members translate into more church contributions to offset the dwindling overall membership roll that is “counted” on to meet the [all, so important, and, almighty] annual budget. There is oftentime little joy over repentant sinners, transformed lives and different faces and personalities.

Much of the time, new church members are not welcomed with heaven’s (spiritual) joy, but rather, with the eagerness for those new church members to eventually fill certain churchy roles, such as, ushering, choir, Sunday School teacher assistant, etc. And, of course, churches are famous for supplying their new church members (even before they are given the "right hand of fellowship") with a whole year’s (box) supply of Sunday service weekly contribution envelopes, along with all those special “opportunities” [envelopes] designed to remind new church members that their principle role, is to financially contribute to the church’s upkeep and payroll.

One of Christ’s most notable and well remembered parables, is that of the “Prodigal [Lost] Son.”


The Lost Son is the major focus – along with the loving father who received him back into a restored family relationship. But the parable is about another (the elder) son, who, when the younger son returned after having spent his inheritance in riotous and lecherous living, begrudged his brother the hefty loving treatment of his father. It is this emeritus pastor (former parish pastor’s perspective), that many Christian churches, mirror that attitude of the older brother, told in the parable.

The Parable of the Lost Son – Luke 15:11-32:


Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’


“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’


“But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:11-32

Often in Christian churches, long established church members, principally do not perceive new church members coming into their midst, with [heaven’s type of spiritual] joy. Although church members who have been members for as long as 50 years, display and present a type of “sociable” behavior to new church members, – by and large, there are certain established church members who, by their (own) actions of omission, begrudge new church members as authentic brothers and sisters in the established fellowship gathering.

Look at Christ’s parable, closely, and zero in on the elder brother’s attitude as distinguished by his communication response to his father, about the celebration of his younger brother’s return:


“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:25-32


As an emeritus Christian pastor [former parish pastor] I well remember a certain visit with one of the oldest members of the congregation. In the course of conversation, I mentioned to him that I had visited the oldest church member. At this point of the conversation, he stopped and corrected me – “Pastor Bickel, he is not the oldest church member. I am. I was baptized many years ago as an infant in this church, but he came later on, as an adult.” It was obvious that this old church member was “counting” on his long standing church membership. To him, that reigned supreme and foremost.

As with the older brother in the parable, church members pride themselves in having been with a particular church, longer than others. It is, apparently, a sign of genuine Christian character for them. But, from the parable of the Lost Son, this long standing presence means little to nothing to our loving and forgiving heavenly Father.


Pride and holier-than-thou attitudes destroy Christian churches

Christian pastors know what motivates their church members. They are no dummies to human nature. They know that their parishioners are motivated by pride and sense of accomplishment. Lavishing praise upon the church member for “church work” well done, is a common practice of “successful” Christian pastors.

But isn’t much of this self serving? Isn’t having been faithful to church membership and its many faceted roles and jobs, missing the mark? What is the emphasis of Christ’s Parable? It is, simply that the younger son who was once spiritually lost – was now wondrously found and restored.

I dare say that Christian churches are rife with the “Elder Son Syndrome” – those, long established Christians who have been in the church a lifetime and who have lost their joy over what should be a major primary focus of their Christian church experience.

Several weeks ago I posted the topical sermon [linked below]:


Failure to understand and implement Scripture’s teaching of the “’priesthood’ of all believers” thwarts the carrying out of Christ’s Great Commission Command – Why Christian churches end up, stooping to gimmickry

When Christian pastors – and, especially their church membership, either ignore and / or neglect the primary reasons for their existence – all types of ugly problems evolve within the local church. Churches then, become no more than glorified organizations and clubs.

What can you do, who find yourself in the midst of a “Elder Brother Syndrome” Christian church?

Pray for the Lord’s guidance – and, that he gift you with a patient and humble attitude. Otherwise, a spirit of superiority can rile your very soul.

Go about your personal business, exercising your royal priesthood responsibilities within your own family, employment and / or [otherwise] sphere of public and cultural influence.

Don’t expect to change your local Christian church from its mere “sociable” status into an environment of genuine love and acceptance. Don’t raise your expectations, only to have them disappointed, time and time, again.

Begin to appreciate your membership into the “holy Christian church, the communion of saints” as expressed in the timeless words of the Apostle’s Creed.


You sinner – who may be hearing or reading this message – don’t laugh that Christians and their churches have problems and challenges. You have a problem much more serious. Your problem is that you are a damnable sinner, headed for hell.

When you as a sinner, laugh and amuse yourself at Christians and their often sorry antics and failures – you lose your personal focus. You are then elevating yourself in a superior roll. You are being, “holier-than-thou.” You become a blind fool to focus on others while your soul is rotting in this life, only to be consumed by your reserved punishment and justice [served] in a future
endless perdition.

You may think yourself better than others and that because of all your good intentions and public (kindly) endeavors, that you can avoid future hereafter punishment of your sins against God and his holy commandments. Don’t deceive yourself. You [also] need
the forgiveness of Christ’s sacrifice for you. Would that God’s Holy Spirit gift you with a spirit of understanding and belief so that you can confess membership into His Church – the “holy Christian church, the communion of saints.” Then, and only then, will you be able to clearly understand that Christians, although, forgiven and cleansed by Christ’s perfect blood, often act according to their human sinful natures. Hopefully, by the grace of God, having once come into God’s Kingdom – you too, will join that dual nature crowd of Christians. Romans 7:1-25

May the good and gracious Lord, have mercy on your soul. May you seek him – and keep your “holier-than-thou” eyes off your oftentimes, bumbling Christian neighbor.

Amen.


Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:


The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins



Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures:

Proverbs 30:12 -- Self respectability, a no-count before the Lord

New Testament Christian Scriptures:


Luke 5:27-32 – God’s interest is, sinners – not churches full of people

Philippians 3:1f – What really, counts


______________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
______________________________________

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Religious Confusion -- Why do some people become so mixed up?

When people accept the cultural beliefs of political
correctness and multiculturalism, they become very mixed
up. The "secular" mind-set cunningly (and erroneously)
says that "What is (morally) right for you may not be right
for me. Such a devilish mindset rejects objective truth found
in Jesus Christ and rejects the historical documents of The
Holy Scriptures.
It is amazing how some people can stumble over their own academic and intellectual understanding and become so confused over matters of religion. I realize that we live in the United States and that our country’s tradition and Constitution allows for “freedom of religion.” And, perhaps, because we have freedoms that no other people in all of history have experienced – that is one of the major causes for some people to gorge themselves with all types of belief systems.

I sometimes think since the culture is so inundated with political correctness, mixed with multiculturalism, that individuals commit “spiritual gluttony” with various religious thought systems as they do with food buffets. Once having indulged themselves, these people can no longer feel good about themselves or simply exist in a normal state of being.

Some time ago, I was particularly impressed with the news about a Hollywood entertainment icon – Oprah Winfrey. I read with saddened interest, the following news article about Oprah:

…….New York University professor Paul Vitz once observed, "Contemporary psychology is a form of secular humanism based on the rejection of God and the worship of the self." In her substitution of psychology for theology, Oprah has become a high priestess and icon of the psychologization of American society. When she features prominent New Age figures on her television show, she helps to mainstream New Age influences and philosophies among millions of Americans. Her substitution of spirituality for biblical Christianity, her promotion of forgiveness without atonement, and her references to a god "without labels" puts her at the epicenter of a seismic cultural earthquake……


……Oprah's newly-packaged positive-thinking spirituality is tailor-made for the empty souls of our postmodern age. She promises meaning without truth, acceptance without judgment, and fulfillment without self-denial….. --


”The Church of Oprah Winfrey – A New American Religion?” http://www.christianpost.com/article/20051129/6526.htm


What contributes to the damning path of some peoples' souls?

It is impossible to know the emotional and intellectual turmoil in a person’s life that leads and influences a soul down the damning path to make personal “assessments.” But it isn’t our decision, as sinful human beings, to determine our soul’s destiny, as the Scripture says, that “…..salvation belongs to the Lord…..” [Psalm 3:8] I still clearly remember the comment of a former faithful church member:

“A person is given the opportunity to repent and be granted eternal life up until his final breathe.” [Paraphrase]


When a person's beliefs run contrary to the
divine revelation, that person is bound to make
wrong lifestyle decisions. Oprah's decision to
endorse and support the ID fraud and scandal-
ridden aka, Obama certainly was [and is] a
clear indication of how mixed up she is. 
However, we are given particular perspectives from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures – especially the clear knowledge of what (and who) saves a soul and what (and who) is able to damn that particular soul. We also are given clear indications from the Scriptures what leads people astray. Money, worldly possessions and creature comforts often heavily contribute to the shipwreck of men and women’s’ eternal souls. [Luke 6:24-25 ; Luke 12:13-21 ; and 1Timothy 6:3-10] Scripture also relates that the “love of money is the root of all evil.” [1 Timothy 6:10] This is not to say, however, that a poor person cannot be guilty of this sin. A person can be penniless and still be guilty of financial covetousness.

Other causes that heavily contribute to leading a soul down the damning path, are sins of the flesh. [John 2:15-17] And, the list of lifestyle sins that lead to damnation are many and varied. Galatians 5:19-21

Back to Oprah – we know that she doesn’t lack for material and monetary wealth. We also know that she, as with all of us, are subject to the sins of the flesh – which, can certainly lead a soul away from the true and living Christ and off into a tormenting eternity. Of course, there are other sins, that if unrepented of, heavily contribute to a person’s unbelief, delusionment and eternal demise. One thing sure, if a person does not repent of his or her sins and rejects the only God that can offer atonement and forgiveness of those sins – that person, according to divine revelation will receive the just and due reward of his or her choosing. The Triune God will not allow human sin to corrupt His holy heaven.

Where did Oprah make the wrong turn?


I have to disagree with the quoted author in the aforementioned news piece about Oprah - http://www.christianpost.com/article/20051129/6526.htm

Oprah’s religion is nothing new. [Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 and Genesis 3:1] – All false religions and human efforts, without (depending upon) the Triune God, fall short because they and their followers think they know better than God. Genesis 3:1 -- “…’Yea hath God said’…” and, Job 40:1-42:6 -- specifically, Job 40:1-2

Oprah clearly believes in a hodgepodge of secularist ideas and politically correct ideologies:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW4LLwkgmqA --

“Oprah Denies Christ”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwGLNbiw1gk&feature=related]

It is sad (according to the Scriptures), that when Christ speaks His Words on that Last Day that Oprah [baring genuine belief in Christ and repentance on her part] will not be included in the following group: "Come you blessed of My father -- inherit the kingdom prepared for you..." Matthew 25:34

Oprah, by her own words and free will, chooses to distinguish herself and her ideas apart from a loving Redeemer God. She will, be granted and given her place on the "left" and be counted as one of the "goats." [Matthew 25:33 and Matthew 25:41] All her worldly wealth and fame and work righteousness will not stand one iota of good or perfection in the presence of a holy and just God. Oprah must come, with her sinful self, by way of Christ's Cross. So much for those who would like to "wing it" through this life and the next, by rejecting the Christ of history -- the ONLY good (true) Shepherd and Savior of their sinful souls. John 10:1f

Are you like Oprah – Do you buy into the culture’s cosmopolitan deceptions and your own (sinful) inclinations?


Too many people in today’s culture buy into Hollywood’s warped and godless values. Perhaps, fixated upon Oprah, some people can fantasize their personal world free of financial problems and free from material worries. Watching Oprah and being mesmerized by her (unreal) world can be truly and eternally devastating. The Christian Scriptures command the scrupulous soul not to be careless or na├»ve, but to “test the spirits.” [1 John 4:1-15] See also Christ’s own recorded words – Matthew 7:13-29

See: "You Shall Not Surely Die" - freedomtorch.com/videos/


Friend, my desire and prayer for those of you who hear and read this message, is, that you would cast off yourselves, any and every politically correct and multicultural gullibilities, (which state that all value systems, are equal), and attend yourselves toward the Hebrew and Christian Scripture revelation, with which, the Triune God has left us. Allow yourselves to hear and read those Scriptures so that God’s Holy Spirit would be able to permeate your heart and conscience. [Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; 1 Peter 1:23] Don’t be like so many, who look to their own inner (sinful) human existence to find life’s intended meaning and future reality. May the Good and gracious Lord humble you, and work in youthe above task, and lead you to faith through His Scriptural Word. Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; 1 Peter 1:23


Amen.

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:


Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins

Old Testament

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 and Genesis 3:1 – Temptation to sin and sins of the present are the same type of temptations & sins of history's past

Job 40:1-42:6 – Sinful humans cannot gainsay the Almighty

New Testament


Matthew 7:13-29 – Christ’s own words about false prophets, good deeds and the utmost necessity to follow Him

1 John 4:1-15 – The eternal importance of knowing and confessing the Christ of history


______________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
______________________________________

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3





Sunday, September 4, 2011

Political Extortion

I could not help but take note when I read the following news pieces. They are, (sadly and pathetically), just a couple of the many examples of what takes place, far too often:

"Government Golf Gobbles up Lansing City Budget" - michigancapitolconfidential.com/

"HIV/AIDS group charged with diverting tax dollars to strip club" -- washingtonexaminer.com/

A thief may outright, break into someone’s home and steal. A burglar is a sophisticated type of thief. He oftentimes accomplishes (or attempts to accomplish) his thievery by stealth, under the cover of darkness.

An extortioner
is much like an accomplished burglar. He or she often is a “white collar” thief, utilizing fanciful means and methods to lift other people’s monies and wealth. Sometimes this is accomplished through disreputable (cloaked) accounting, and other financial methods.

Political extortion is by far the most subtle and sophisticated form of thievery. It is also the slimiest. And, its widespread political practice, (at least in this life) enjoys a type of "legalized" status. Politicians (unless appointed by their peers), are elected by the general public to serve the peoples' bests interests. They, (the politicians) are generally (though less frequently) referred to, as “public ‘servants.’” As public servants, part of their elected office requires them to make monetary decisions. Decisions that are made, by these representative elected officials, require the dispensing of public (tax) monies to accomplish the various tasks (decisions) that have been made.

Having thus stated, -- “political extortion” is the nefarious practice of handling hard earned taxpayer monies and utilizing them in such a manner, as to insult the givers of those monies who had entrusted those monies to those public servants, for their, (the publics') best interests. Political extortion is to grab these public monies and run with them. “Run” with that money to feed the insatiable and greedy desires of various pet projects and special interest groups, (at the expense and need of the general taxpaying public). This type of (thuggish) thievery snatches tax monies from the supplying source and supplants it elsewhere, to the demise and detriment of those from whom it was lifted.

As I previously stated, this last example of political extortion is the subtlest and most sophisticated form of thievery. According to the original definition of this American English word, found in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “extort” means:

EXTORT', v.t. [L. extortus, from extorqueo, to wrest from; ex and torqueo, to twist.]

1. To draw from by force or compulsion; to wrest or wring from by physical force, by menace, duress, violence, authority, or by an illegal means. Conquerors extort contributions from the vanquished; tyrannical princes extort money from their subjects; officers often extort illegal fees; confessions of guilt are extorted by the rack. A promise extorted by duress is not binding.

2. To gain by violence or oppression.

EXTOR'TIONER, n. One who practices extortion. Extortioners shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. 6.9-11


The sad fact is, that some politicians often use their elected authority to (consciously or unconsciously) extort (steal) from the very people who put (or appointed) them into office! Could this then be considered, the “unkindest cut?” Surely from God’s point of view!

Why did the Good Lord include the sanction against thievery -- “You shall not steal” [Exodus 20:15] in one of the Ten Commandments? It is for a very good purpose. The Scripture’s statement in Proverbs 14:31, - "He who oppresses the poor, reproaches his Maker...." - is to be taken very seriously. Extorting (also) from the less than well to do, the needy and the poor, is a grave sin before the Almighty! It is a grievous action that insults God Himself – so much so, that He excludes from His holy heaven those who live a life [lifestyle] of extortion!

"....Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.... 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

The above message (with minor editing) was previously posted online by Nathan Bickel

Amen.

Note - Updated example of extortion on the federal government level:


Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:

Old Testament:

Exodus 20:15 - The Commandment, not to steal

Leviticus 19:11 - God's command against theft

It is the sin of thievery [stealing] for business people to cheat their customer (clientele):

"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight." [KJV] - Proverbs 11:1

"A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness." [KJV] - Proverbs 15:11-12

New Testament:

Luke 19:1-10 - The Christian conversion of a thief, by Christ. Note how
Zacchaeus was intent to make restoration to those he cheated, as evidence of genuine repentance and conversion.

1 Cor. 6.9-11 - Those who live a lifestyle of theivery [extortion] will not inherit heaven

Ephesians 4:28
______________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
______________________________________

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3