Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bittersweet Refinements: XXXII-XXXIII

Bittersweet Refinements is another book that I have been given to publish. If it gets to sounding an awfully lot like a broken player stuck on repeating the same old wrong song over and over again that is because it is to a fairly great extent. For most of it contains rewritten parts of the Bitter/Sweets that were published here before. Hopefully, it will get to sounding a lot better to you very soon, and for the benefit of those who do not have access to multiple versions of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible, numbered Scripture references in the text (for example, [1]) provide links to such through Bible Gateway this time around. The same also applies to verses included in the text.

Political Correctness

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. [Romans 13:1-7 NIV]

Needless to say, many have employed that passage to justify their desire to rule and to reign as they wanted to in the past, and it is no different today—be assured. For even in the case of those who do not openly profess such, the thought of their authority being ordained by the Lord God Almighty is most pleasing.

No, I am not here to dispute that it is indeed true. In fact, I am here to take it step or two farther. For it is written: The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. [Proverbs 21:1 NIV]

Nonetheless, there is another thing to consider. For our Heavenly Father will sometimes give us what we want, and that is not always a good thing in regards to what is generally considered as being good in the eyes of this world[1].

Take King Saul of ancient Israel for example. For he was chosen to rule over the land in answer to the prayers of the people[2], and his wickedness before our Heavenly Father is well documented[3].

Yes, the choice appears to be clear to many. For they want to support those who openly profess to serve the One who truly does rule and reign over our nation—even in this day and age of post-modern sophistication[4], but do they truly want to bear His fruit[5]?

Therefore, let us be mindful of this in the election of our governmental leaders. For it is not just over the realm of religion that false prophets seek to reign[6].

{1}Proverbs 14:12; {2}1 Samuel 8:1-22; {3}1 Samuel 9:1-15:35; {4}Job 12:13-25; {5}Galatians 5:22; {6}Matthew 7:15-27.

Chapter XXXIII
Heal The Land

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. [2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV]

No, none of this is meant to discourage participation in the political process. For that is all part of what it means to be a good citizen in a country with a government that is meant to be of the people, by the people, and for the people—a country that was indeed established by our Heavenly Father[1].

There is, however, a proper way of doing things that goes far beyond the apparent political process. For it is written: “Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” [Isaiah 46:8-10 NIV]

Hence, the significance of 2 Chronicles 7:14. For in spite of what has been so widely taught, this world still belongs to our Heavenly Father[2], and only He can fix what has He has allowed to be broken[3].

Therefore, let us want to truly humble ourselves before Him[4]. For it is also written: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” [Jeremiah 29:11 NIV]

No, it cannot be denied that there is much about this country that is broken, but let us keep in mind that there is more at stake than just the here and now. For a law cannot change what is in a person’s heart—not even His Law[5], and it is the condition of a person’s heart that is what our Heavenly Father is concerned with[6].

Yes, it is true that laws are meant to define what is harmful[7], and it is in that regard that laws are most certainly good[8]. For how can someone with very poor judgment know that they are driving way too fast in a particular area unless there is a speed limit clearly posted (naturally-speaking, of course)?

The question is, however, is it the safely of all concerned that is what we are truly concerned with[9]? For in far too many cases, the laws that we want enacted and enforced are more about power and control over this one and that one for this reason or that reason than anything else[10].

{1}Romans 13:1; {2}Job 41:11; {3}Job 12:14; {4}Isaiah 45:5-12; {5}Romans 8:3; {6}Ezekiel 18:31-32; {7}Romans 5:13; {8}1 Timothy 1:8-10; {9}James 2:12-13; {10}Matthew 23:23-28.

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