by J. Christian Andrews
December 12, 2014
But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. - Jude 17-21 NASB
It is so easy to become discouraged. I understand that a good number of US citizens will disagree with me on my moral and political views, and I suppose that is from whence the discouragement comes. I think that my world view, both ethical and political, is shaped by Scripture. Not so that of the world around me.
As I look out at what is happening in this country, I see a whole-scale breakdown of things both moral and politic.
On the moral front there is a breakdown of the family structure. Great numbers of children are being raised in fatherless homes. The result is a generation of people who do not know the values of personal responsibility or a strong work ethic, values generally passed on from fathers to sons, from fathers to daughters. The situation is complicated by the fact that so many unwed mothers have children by a number of fathers, and few if any of the fathers take any responsibility for their families. The culture is also embracing a non-Biblical sensuality. Fornication and homosexuality are not only acceptable but celebrated. We are being forced to accept transgenderism without being given voice in the concerns raised against such practices. Incest will soon be acceptable as will polygamy. There are even those in psychiatric circles suggesting that paedophilia should be decriminalized since it may be, they argue, a natural trait.
The world of politics also raises great concerns. On no matter which side of the isle one is found, in what world is a 17 trillion dollar national debt a good idea? The appearance is that neither party has the will to remedy a situation in which the US government spends exponentially more than it generates through taxes. If we are not there yet, we will soon be at the level of debt where we cannot even pay the interest on that debt. Debt at these levels can only result in higher taxes, a tax burden that will be borne by our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Higher taxes mean that each American family will have fewer and fewer economic resources to meet their family needs. While many think taxation is a good solution, since when has government control of anything proven to be effective? Just as examples look at Amtrak and the US Postal Service. Even in the most successful military in the world there is found a great deal of waste. One might be able to make an argument for more taxes if there was some assurance the taxes were actually going to be used for their stated purposes and not just to feed an ever growing bureaucracy. A cynical voice would suggest forces in government are at work to deliberately bring about the fall of the USA with the goal of exercising greater and greater control.
In a cross over between government and family, the policies of the growing welfare state have also aided in the breakdown of the family structure. The number of families dependent on the government to meet everyday needs keeps growing. Promiscuity and out of wedlock child bearing is financially rewarded. A great amount of the American tax burden has gone to create a culture of dependency. Instead of valuing personal responsibility an ever growing segment of the population demands entitlement. (NOTE: I am not suggesting those in need should not be cared for. I am suggesting that when government does it, both a huge bureacracy and a great dependency are created, neither of which is healthy for our nation.)
Recent elections would seem to indicate that the majority of American voters are fed up with the system and want a change. We placed a great deal of trust in a system that seems to have failed us once again. The 2014 elections would seem to signal great disfavor for the policies of this current administration, policies that hamper economic growth, policies that cost the American tax payer dearly, policies that foster large government and a culture dependent on entitlements. Given a monumental opportunity to address the issue and make a major policy statement, the remnant of the party just placed into power have acted in ways that look like betrayal of the trust we placed in them. Instead of finding solutions to reverse the damages of the current administration, instead of waiting for the new majority to take office, back room deals were struck and agreements were made with which even members of the opposing party disagree. Promises of an open and transparent process and time to read bills were summarily broken certainly leaving a majority of American voters wondering if there is any purpose in the vote. Some have suggested politicians will court our vote and then drop us once they are elected, and that seems to be the case.
Though a look at the world around us can be disappointing, it should not be surprising. Jude, thought to be a son of Mary and Joseph and brother to Jesus, reminded his readers, and the Holy Spirit reminds us now through Jude's words, that these things have been predicted. We are remind that the apostles declared, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." Whether it be in the flesh or in politics, the decisions made in the world certainly are only to serve the self. Whether it be the voices of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) agenda or the powers that be in Congress, what is being served is selfish ungodliness. As in the days of Jude, so now, however, the call to the believer is not one of despair. Instead, the believer is called to a higher calling. In contrast to the ungodly lusts that govern the world, the word to us is "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."
In the face of a world crumbling around me, I remember that this world is not my home. Though I am a citizen of the United States of America, and I want her to be great, I am first and foremost a citizen of another kingdom. My hope cannot be in the systems of this world, even in the desires of the founding fathers and their Declaration of Independence and the grand Constitution they penned. I am an alien and sojourner and as such I am called to stay strong in the faith, to pray in the Holy Spirit, to find my stay in the love of God, and to look forward with great anticipation for “the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”
November 25, 2014
Is the US the divided kingdom in Nebuchadnezzar's dream?
It occurs to me that this is a possible interpretation of Daniel 2:
BABYLON Verse 36: "This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37 "You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold."
GREECE Verse 39: "After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you,..."
ROME "...then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth."
GREAT BRITAIN Verse 40: "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces."
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Verse 41: "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42 "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery."
THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF GOD Verse 44: "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy."