Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Is the US the beast of Revelation?

An interesting article in “Gods Politics’ blog titled, “Numbers That Mark the Beast”
The writer says,

The Bible isn’t concerned with empire. The Bible takes empire for granted. Humans gather, accumulate, and seek security for themselves and their group. The Bible’s intro (Genesis 1-11) culminates with humans securing a name for themselves. This is the Bible’s way of saying that people will build empires.
The biblical question isn’t if empires should arise but how to manage them once they have. Do they uphold justice or do they preserve privilege at the expense of the weak? Are they built on the backs of the poor or do they distribute blessings abroad?
When enough power is secured that sovereignty can’t be challenged and justice for the weak is denied, the Bible doesn’t call that empire. In biblical language, such a distortion of human community is called a Beast.
And the Bible has special numbers for Beasts.

The writer ask if the U.S. could be considered a Beast. He uses the $700 billion dollar bail out v $600 billion, global giving to Africa since 1960.

You can find the article at

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Whatever happened to 'Merry Christmas'?

The last few years there has been a debate (in courts, the media etc) about wishing people a 'Merry Christmas", or so not to offend anyone, "Happy Holidays" when checking out at department stores etc....This year I have noticed that no one says anything. They dont tell you to have a 'merry Christmas' nor have a 'happy holiday'. It is just 'Thank You' or as the Salvation Army kettle man, in front of our neighborhood Wal-Mart, told me today, "Have a nice day".

What is wrong with us? Are we becoming a nation of lunatics or what?

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
God Bless

If God Disappears

In the book, “If God Disappears” David Sanford gives 9 things we can do when crisis, trials, troubles, doubts etc. try to shake our faith.

1. Telling my story to a friend who knows God- sharing my bad experience can help me work through it.
2. Cultivating relationships of humility, trust and submission- Be willing to submit to the advice and counsel of other people. Don’t be a know it all
3. Being courageous enough to make choices based on the truth- Do the right thing regardless of how we feel
4. Experiencing the power of love with grace- Don’t let your feelings of hurt or anger control your actions
5. Reclaiming Gods promises even if I have to wait- Be patient. God will come through.
6. Asking questions, wrestling with doubt and embracing hope. God encourages questions and doubts from a honest and seeking heart.

7. Seeing God as He is and believing that he is working behind the scenes. Romans 8:28
We know that all things work together for the good to those who love God and to those called according to His purpose.
A good verse to have memorized.

8. Rediscovering Gods ideal and allowing him to write a vibrant new script to your life. God is the God of second chances (also third, forth, fifth etc. chances)
9. Awakening to our calling as God’s new prophets to the church. Let God speak through you even if/when you are hurt by a church.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Justice, Human Rights and Kingdom Mission

I have just finished reading the book “On the Side of the Angels” by Dr. Joseph D’Souza and Benedict Rogers, a book that deals with Justice, Human Rights and Kingdom Mission.
They begin by emphasizing that the basic human right for everyone is the right to life. Without the right to life all others rights are non-existent.

There emphasis is a need not just for social action, giving money, but also standing against the evil in social structures. One of their emphases is that Jesus accepted everyone. That is he treated everyone the same: the sick, elderly, woman, and the disenfranchised.

They suggest that we join with other religions in trying to change evil social structures and even suggest that violence may be a last (though a very last) resort in some situations. They cite Dietrich Bonhoeffer as an example. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor during WW2, who was eventually killed for his plans to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

There are 2 forms of advocacy: private and public, which include prayer, protest (letter writing and demonstration) and provision.

They conclude with the words of a song that says:

I will speak out for those who have no voices.
I will stand up for the rights of all the oppressed.
I will speak truth and justice.
I’ll defend the poor and the needy
I will lift up the weak in Jesus name.

I will speak out for those who have no choices.
I will cry out for those who live without love.
I will show God’s compassion to the crushed and broken in spirit.
I will lift up the weak in Jesus name.

This book was a good and easy read with a lot of contemporary examples of what others are doing along the line of social advocacy.

2 things came to me as I was reading

1.) I feel social action is limited because of our failure to see it. The adage, ‘out of sight out of mind’ plays a part in this. With all of our technology this should not be a problem. I try to encourage the missionaries that come our way to get a video camera and video the work they are doing and send the video to the churches. That will help them to get a feel for what the missionary is doing and also help in raising the funds for the work that is needed. Real moving pictures of hurting people from people we actually know may have a great impact upon our social action.

2) The devil does not want us to love everyone, and I feel he will use anything to cause us not to accept or love other people. With the crime that is affiliated with our neighborhood, it is easy to become cynical and even fearful of those we meet. Personally I do not want to know and encourage others not to tell me who the drug dealers and users are, who the sexual predators are (or have been), who the ones are that are causing trouble. That knowledge does no good other than to tempt us not to love or accept certain people.

To be like Jesus we must love those who are dirty, sick, retired, those who have no jobs and aren’t interested in finding a job, the teens that walk our streets, the druggies, the drunks and any other than may seem to be obnoxious to us. Anything less is most unlike Christ.