Category Archives: Justice

Thanksgiving

“…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:21

We are a week away from Thanksgiving. For some time now Thanksgiving has been perhaps my favorite Holiday. The reason for this is because of its purpose. We set aside an entire day for the purpose of being thankful. I saw a sign on a church marquee this last week that I thought was truly great. “Thanksgiving is not just a day, it is a lifestyle.” If there is one thing that should exemplify the life of a Christian it is an attitude of thankfulness.

How important is thankfulness? Well in Romans 1 the Apostle Paul gives one of his more well known discourses on the problem that man faces. In Romans 1 we see this large list of sins that are evidence of man’s hostility toward God. The entire last section of the Chapter is a listing of the many evils and wicked acts that men do which further drive them away from the glory of God. The amazing thing about this though is what the cause of this alienation is.
Romans 1 tells us plainly that all men everywhere know who God is and what His invisible attributes are, and yet man in his pride refuses to honor and glorify God and almost in passing Paul tells us that they refuse to give him thanks. The great cause of sin and wickedness in the world is a lack of thankfulness. Everything we are and everything we have is a direct result of the benevolence and kindness of God, and yet the natural tendency of man is to want to glory in ourselves, and in doing this we alienate ourselves from God.

Paul tells us that this lack of acknowledgement of God and this refusal to give thanks causes man to grow futile in all his thoughts. A life that does not revolve around thankfulness to God is a life of futility. Today there are so many ideas that are considered wise in the eyes of the world that the Scripture clearly calls futility. The primary reason for this is that man is in general a most un-thankful creature.

The result of this un-thankfulness is a mind that continues in hostility with God. The way Paul discusses it in this passage is by telling us that their foolish hearts are darkened. Futility of thought is sadly far to prevalent. Men profess themselves wise, and all the while they are fools. Ultimately this delusion comes back to man’s lack of thankfulness.

So this coming Thursday when the Turkey is being carved and the family is gathered around the table make sure that your thankfulness is not merely an event for that day alone. Resolve to have a heart of thankfulness in everything you do. A thankful heart is a heart that acknowledges God and all that God has done, and it is also the heart that recognizes that God is in control and He will lead us exactly where we need to be.

Post Election Thoughts

November 8th seems like yesterday. It was a truly glorious day. The election results poured in throughout the day and as the night went on it became more and more obvious that a huge change was sweeping over the nation. The Clinton agenda suddenly had a huge wrench thrown into it. Republicans were celebrating, and Democrats were weeping and I was ecstatic, because finally things were going to change.

Well, November 8th was not yesterday, I am speaking about November 8th, 1994. For the first time in 40 years the Republicans had taken control of the House of Representatives, and pushed back against the heavy handedness of Bill Clinton’s first couple of years in office. Newt Gingrich came up with an idea and a plan, or as we know it the Contract for America and a sense of disgust with the status quo dominated the election cycle and the Republicans picked up 54 House Seats and 9 Senate Seats, and created a change in tone for then President Bill Clinton.

Sadly, Bill Clinton learned a lesson from that early setback, and the GOP did not. The GOP found themselves in a position of authority over the Congress, and rather than put a halt to the corruption and scandal that resides where power sits they adopted it and made it their own. Very quickly they betrayed the people who had put them in these positions of authority and there was no way to tell the difference between them and the people they replaced.

What I remember most about this 1994 election was how excited I was at the prospects of things improving, but like many others I found myself distraught and disgusted with business as usual politics. This repeated itself in the 2000 Presidential Election when the whole nation was brought to its knees in the long Bush v. Gore ordeal. And I will admit, I slept less during those nights than normal, because I was deeply concerned with the outcome. But then it ended, and my man was at the helm, and of course things were going to change…but once again nothing changed.

Psalms 146 gives us a much more Biblical outlook on how we should view these elections:

1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2 While I live I will praise the LORD;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.
5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.
8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
The LORD raises those who are bowed down;
The LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
10 The LORD shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!

Trump, Clinton, The GOP, the Democratic Party are all temporal institutions, and while we should remember our duty to pray for these individuals and leaders that they would rule wisely and rule well in the fear of the Lord, we must never place our trust in these men, or these institutions. It is the Lord who rules and reigns, and His Kingdom is a Kingdom whose increase will know no end.

So yes, rejoice if your candidate was victorious bask in the glory of the victory, but remember their plans perish with them. Go ahead and mourn and lose a little sleep when your guy or your gal loses, but remember this, if your trust is in the plans, policies or person at the head of the ticket rather than in the Lord God who made heaven and earth, you are just going to repeat this cycle again and again. Learn to put your trust in the Lord who reigns forever and ever.

Praise the Lord.

Christian Interventionism

Doctrine of the Lesser MagistratesThere is an interesting story in the news right now out of the State of Kentucky.  The Rowan County Clerk, Kim Davis, who objects to gay marriage for religious reasons, asked the U.S.  Supreme Court on Friday to grant her “asylum for her conscience.”  Since the Supreme Court ruling in the Obergefell case Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses.  Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her, arguing that she must fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her personal Christian conviction. A federal judge ordered Davis to issue the licenses and an appeals court upheld that decision.

County Clerk Davis, however,   has continued to hold firm and will not issue the marriage licenses.  Her attorney, Jonathan D. Christman, with the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel, wrote the court. He compared it to forcing a person who objects to war into the battlefield, or forcing a person who opposes capital punishment to carry out an execution.

“That searing act of personal validation would forever, and irreversibly, echo in her conscience — and, if it happened, there is no absolution or correction that any earthly court can provide to rectify it.”

Now I do not know how this case will turn out.  I have my suspicions and I am not optimistic, but there are a few things I find interesting.

First, there are some who think Clerk Davis should just resign, well, she is not going to do that.  Davis has said she will not resign from her $80,000-a-year job, and vowed that she will never license a same-sex marriage. She has turned couples away for two months, in defiance of a series of court orders.  She can’t be fired because she is an elected official.  The only thing that can be done to remove her is to impeach her.  Well, that is probably not going to happen, because the majority of the legislature in her state agree with her.  Last week the Republican Head of the Senate spoke at a rally in her defense.

Pastor Toby Sumpter prayed that God would give us thousands more men and women with courage and conviction like this.  I have to echo this prayer.  Davis is doing nothing more than putting into practice the Christian Doctrine  of the Lesser Magistrate.  One of the issues that confronts us as we enter into an America of ever increasing tyranny is what can we do? Are unjust or immoral actions by the government simply to be accepted and their lawless commands obeyed?

I know this kind of action troubles some of you, but I would like to recommend a great little book on the subject.  Matthew Trewhella’s “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates.”

https://lessermagistrate.com/lesser-magistrates-book/

Pastor Trewhella shows how Americans can successfully resist the Federal government’s attempts to trample our Constitution, assault our liberty, and impugn the law of God. The doctrine of the lesser magistrates declares that when the superior or higher civil authority makes an unjust/immoral law or decree, the lesser or lower ranking civil authority has both the right and duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority. If necessary, the lower authority may even actively resist the superior authority. Historically, this doctrine was practiced before the time of Christ and Christianity. It was Christian men, however, who formalized and embedded it into their political institutions throughout Western Civilization.

Sadly most Christians know nothing about proper Christian resistance.  We need to keep County Clerk Davis in our prayers and pray that God would show us mercy by raising up many more like her!  May God have mercy on our nation.

 

… and Justice For All

As mentioned in the previous post, our Pledge of Allegiance ends with the line, “and liberty and justice for all.”   One of the particularly disturbing aspects of our pledge is that though we learned it in grade school,  most Americans have a warped understanding of liberty and  as we will see today, perhaps even a more warped view of justice.

 

A basic definition of justice is “the act of being just or fair.”   This definition is lacking in that it does not deal with the question of what is just nor of what is fair.     Justice, you see, must be defined in terms of a system of ethics.

 

It should be obvious, but the ethics taught by Jesus and the Bible are very different from the ethics espoused by most moderns.   Since that is true, the justice that the Bible demands must be very different from modern conceptions of justice.   A prime example of this can be seen in the recent debates and discussion over same sex marriage.  It has been claimed over and over by certain individuals that this issue of same sex marriage is an issue of equal justice for all.

Marriage is perhaps the oldest institution known to mankind.   Marriage was established in the 2nd Chapter of Genesis:

22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

God established marriage, and in doing that He also defined marriage.   Marriage is the joining of a man and a woman and the two becoming one flesh.   The idea that two men can marry one another, or two women can marry one another is not an expansion of marriage, but a perversion.    Any society that perverts God’s law must also of necessity pervert God’s justice.

Now I can see and understand how unbelieving pagans would try and make this issue about justice, but what really is disturbing is when professed believers make the same claim.   It becomes apparent that their view of justice has been shaped more by the world than by the Word of God!

True justice, at least according to the Bible, is not possible when God’s law is rejected as the standard for a people.   We live in a society that see’s injustice everywhere.   This is not by accident.   Two thousand years ago an angry mob in Jerusalem had justice standing in their very midst and cried out, “We will not have this man to rule over us.”  We may look aghast at them, but in a very real sense we have done the same thing in our churches and in our nation when we disregard the law of God in exchange it for natural law or so called common sense.   Every law system has a different view of justice.

The justice that is brought about by a society that embraces same sex marriage and the justice that brings about reconciliation with Christ the King are two different justices.   When we say and justice for all we must make sure we identify whose justice we are seeking.