Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Something about living in the U.S.A.
” . . . Thus, while it is clear that democracy must guarantee the expression of the popular will through majority rule, it is equally clear that it must guarantee that the majority will not abuse use its power to violate the basic and inalienable rights of the minority. . . . ”
Referenced: Alexis de Tocqueville, “Tyranny of the Majority,” Chapter XV, Book 1, Democracy in America
Are we Bible Believing Christians now a minority in a Nation founded if entirely by Christians, overwhelmingly influenced by people who had excepted GOD’s Holy Bible as the preeminent authority; the guide to all matters people encounter and experience on Earth?
Is secular humanism deliberately diminishing our influence upon our Government and our people which has served to preserve “The Greater Good” despite the flawed and imperfect aspects of the human race?
Maybe it is time for the creation of a new Political Party that will represent our interests and preserve the Greater Good that only adherence to the word of god can maintain.
A party that has “an independent state organization… in a majority of the states” is listed as a major party. An “independent state organization” is not to be confused with the organization of an Independent Democrat or Independent Republican.
There is a webpage* that indicates “Christian Democrats of America”
My fellow Christians look into this group, similar groups or start one yourself in order to promote the influence of GOD’s Word upon our Country (and The World). It is my hope that we can lesson the influence and effects of evil on the people of our planet. Thank You
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Subterfuge, hidden agendas, self . . . just a hint at what confounds simple concepts when humans begin to express them from a biased position. People may or may not be aware of their biases; these are inherent within our very nature. Education can help but the greatest help comes from the wisdom GOD gives us within The Holy Bible.
Real Human Nature
As a Christian I accept what The Bible defines our nature to be:
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Even the best of us (those who can manage our negatives well for The Greater Good) know we fall short of perfection and must rely on a Higher Authority from whom we get a better standard than what we ourselves can establish.
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
Yes, being forewarned can and does equip us to incorporate safe guards in our organizations: Clubs, tribes, governments . . . etc.
The First Amendment To The Constitution of the USA
. . . insures our people can enjoy religious freedom and that our law makers cannot establish a (an official State) religion. Yet did that mean our government was not to be influenced by GOD’s precepts and standards? I emphatically say NO. History may well indicate that there have been Theocracies (and still some exist) but the moral standards, “The Golden Rule” and other precepts revealed in The Holy Scriptures have a positive impact on all good people everywhere even within secular societies. Religion is man-made but the relationship between humans and GOD exists and is important. Religion though imperfect, usually offers a way in which people can safely live with each other; because it is the human institution that when it relies on GOD’s Word reveals everything GOD wants for us – now and for eternity.
Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptist association in Connecticut*
In his letter Thomas Jefferson reinforces the safe guards guaranteed by The Constitution of The United States of America by using the metaphor “wall of separation”. Still the standards by which we judge political candidates and their conduct in political office is the same standards we find revealed within GOD’s Word (The Holy Bible) for all of us especially our leaders. Even Jesus illustrated the relationship between humans, Governments and God when he offered this illustration when The Pharisees tried to trick him:
(in response to Jesus’s question about whose image was on the Roman coin) They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The Church is not a building, meeting hall or home it is The Body of Christ present on Earth; this body is composed of all Christians that are true believers in what Jesus instructed, taught and ordained when he was here on Earth. He fulfilled “The Law” as revealed in the Hebrew Bible and amplified, clarified and augmented The Word of GOD Himself and through His disciples (Apostles) to whom He sent the Holy Spirit to assist in this mission.
Matthew 28:16-20 ESV*
The Great Commission
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This is the primary function of the church
There are other important functions of course: Teaching, edifying, supporting missionaries and each other in Christian Fellowship. Since this world we live in is currently flawed and subject to the effects of sinful imperfect people, including we Christians, we have more to do than what is delineated above.
In gratitude to GOD Christians strive to obey God representing HIS Good on Earth by ministering to needy people: needy non-Christians and, needy Christians alike.
Helping fellow humans in as an unconditional manner as possible demonstrates GOD’s Love to all. God wants all people to gain eternal life and access to heaven and Christians are HIS voice to the unknowing people. The unbelievers the unsaved the lost the troubled wherever they are.
Fellow christians use your gifts to serve
2 Peter 3:9 ESV*
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
True love goes way beyond lust or pleasant feelings
Pleasant feelings and physical attraction may initiate a relationship between a man and a woman but true love is much more than this. Selfless caring for one another, spiritual growth as a couple and a commitment to limit sexual activity exclusively to each other. From initial infatuation to a deep understanding of one another is accomplished through keeping the stated promise to be true and loyal to one another.
You ask , “The Bible teaches that no one is without sin; what happens when one or both fall short?”
To me . . . “love covers a multitude of sins.” means love overrides our own personal (often selfish) preferences and agendas. Imperfections exist in every one; I have not seen proof of any kind that there exists (or has exited) a perfect human being. No me, not you not your spouse . . . or even your parents or children. Love gives us the ability to accept imperfection for what it is. Of course manifestations of evil or behaviors intended to do harm must be considered more than imperfection if it becomes a threat to life and limb. This includes deliberate metal cruelty beyond an occasional loss of temper or action done in ignorance. Love therefore can be a life changing influence also. The family unit is the building block of nations and love insures a positive outcome.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
GOD taught us how to love and when we build family units with this spirit of love we build strong nations and demonstrate the good GOD wants for all people.
Love between husbands and wives is the glue that holds the family unit together and helps chart a course through life.
Marriage described in the Bible is an ancient covenant between a Man and a Woman for the purpose of having and raising children thus sustaining human life. The quality of life and the result of people procreated and nurtured in this way promotes health mentally well-balanced contributing citizens of Earth. The “good” we see in the world is sustained in this way when humans are diligent to follow the instruction revealed by GOD within The Holy Bible. The formula is easy to understand and the goals are not difficult to achieve. However, since the introduction of sin into the World we must work hard not to fall into temptation and yield to evil of any sort subverting the benefits of marriage . Christians can rely on GOD helping to deliver the positive result from Christian marriage and procreation by, studying GOD’s Word and applying it to their life and the fabric of the family.
No, not prophets like Elijah or Jeremiah but prophets of GOD nevertheless. Since Christians can read and study GOD’s Word in great detail every Christian has the potential to speak for GOD. The better they know GOD’s Word the more able they are to express GOD’s messages for all people.
Some Christians have the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
Not to judge but to encourage one another to do what is right.
Since we all fall short the modern Christian Prophet reminds fellow Christians to do what is right, what is good and what is edifying. There is a need in some cases to explain a Biblical principle in modern terms. For example:
“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.
The Modern Prophet may say, “You should help anyone in need not just those you know and like.
There is no shortage of opportunity
Not just repeating a truth from GOD’s Word but expressing His love in many ways: demonstrating forgiveness, promoting justice, being fair and demonstrating that you care for GOD’s creation and fellow humans. Help those harmed by floods, wars, tornadoes and ever small scale calamity affords an opportunity for you help people in GOD’s name. You as a Believer in Our Lord Jesus Christ can express GOD’s love in this way. In the process you contribute to making living on Earth better. It will be made better though the perfection will not be extant until Jesus returns when we as believers will enjoy a perfect body and live upon a New Earth.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
What does this mean? Does it mean we shed our skin and look different?
It means GOD no longer sees us as sinners – past, present or future – because Jesus has paid the price for sinning: death, ultimately spiritual death. GOD has amnesia with respect to our sinful nature and we are assured of an eternal life.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
We have a new spiritual nature and depending on our progress as new creatures becoming more Christ-like we will display this change more as we grow in our Christian walk.
Some sins are easy to defeat but, some sins are PERSISTENT and take a RELENTLESS desire to purge from our being.
Hebrews 2:18 ESV
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
And so my fellow Christian, if you keep up the “Good Fight” against even the sinful tenancies within your self Our Lord can help you succeed. Remain committed, recall the victories, if you stumble repent and continue to walk in the faith. Study God’s Word each day, feed your mind what is good, and fellowship with like minded believers helping each other to be that “New Creature” even in this old world.
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President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s Dream in 1964–65 * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Society
During the 1960’s the social upheaval, the negatives and the violence was only part of the story. In those years President LBJ was part of an effort to make life more equitable for Americans. He revealed his dream for a better America with ￼his desired improvements in education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, and transportation.
Just getting a chance to create Federal programs that would facilitate these positive efforts took a great deal of political skill (LBJ was a master politician). What was successful and what was not I will leave that up to you if you care to research the subject thoroughly. I am not going to evaluate his effort, nor examine the historical record now. My focus is on why I believe Christians can influence our society in many positive ways because of Biblical principles and can move humanity toward a Great Society nevertheless.
The Bible does not indicate that humans can establish perfection on Earth; it does instruct us how to live better.
The Holy Scriptures point us to a future when GOD will establish a New Kingdom upon a New Earth. Jesus Christ will rule.
Revelation 21:1 ESV
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
In the meantime Christians can do a great deal (and some have) to make living on this Old Earth better. Christians know from the Bible that humans are susceptible to self-serving motives and in some instances evil attitudes and behavior. Modern society dislikes the word “sin” so much that there are many people saying it does not exist; wishing it away will not make it vanish. Acknowledging it will help people to do a better job at lessening sin and its negative effects. The Bible paints a realistic picture of life as we know it and instructs us how to be victorious. First you must be honest.
Romans 3:23 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Next Christians must strive to live the new life they have been granted even as their spirit still dwells within their old body.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Victory over sin in this life requires a number of proscriptions and prescriptions.
Yet it is not a simple matter of memorizing a list of do and don’t instructions (Like The Ten Commandments), it is understanding our nature, believing GOD, and possess the commitment to persevere knowing at times we will fall short.
1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Even if Christians are diligent this Old World can only improve to a degree; human nature and current reality will prevail.
1 Timothy 6:17 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Matthew 25:37-40 ESV
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Manipulation – control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously. www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&q=define+Manipulation
Mind control (also known as brainwashing, re-education, brainsweeping, coercive persuasion, thought control, or thought revision) is a controversial pseudo-scientific theory that human subjects can be indoctrinated in a way that causes “an impairment of autonomy, an inability to think independently, and a disruption of thought…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_control
MANIPULATION is operational
Advertising in all its forms is omnipresent here in the United States; in fact around the world in many if not most countries. This part of our reality can be viewed as a necessary specter because though a nuisance businesses need to advertise in order to function and compete – new and worthy products and services are often revealed in this way. When does manipulation become mind control?
Brainwashing or mind control . . . etc.
Is it real? Science Fiction demonstrates what this concept could be if it becomes irrefutable yet there are skeptics and experts that resist accepting even the possibility. OK I am not an expert; I need to lean on the literature experts present. Yet, when I review the research published about how our human brains work I suspect the science fiction writers have raised important questions about the possibility of actual mind control.
Our Brain is more than a Super Computer
We store memories and information not in a static state as a computer but rather in a dynamic state. The value of knowing this alerts us that our memories are not infallible and can be altered. Whether or not external forces can modify our minds substantially or not may be debatable but, it seems to me the more willing we are to accept change and, the longer we are exposed to what affects change within our brain, I believe the more likely changes will occur. How, parents influence their children, schools facilitate learning, the military trains and organizations guide their employees are all dependent on knowing how our brain works. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series “The Brain – The Story of You” and the companion book written by Dr. David Eagleman presents an excellent snap shot of where science is today concerning understanding our human brain. I recommend both highly. It may be just a matter of time before true and complete Mind Control is indisputably real.Our Brain is more than a Super Computer
Can the INTENTION justify the end result
Last week I wrote about “The Greater Good” and the danger of the concept when its definition is changed or is subject to change; the thoughts about this subject can lead one to consider implementing a perceived “good thing” by any means possible. Who decides what will offer the most good to whom and how many? The method of accomplishing the goal can be negative for some. Shouldn’t that cancel its implementation. Many of us probably heard a parent say, “I am doing this for your own good.” This most likely was true. As a citizen of a complex and often devious world we are reluctant to be so easily convinced by a political leader who espouses plans in a similar fashion. So what are we to consider when we plot a course for our life?
We are FINITE and subject to limitations
As a follower of Jesus Christ my Lord and I tend not to ‘lean on my understanding’ but rather trust GOD’s Word as a guide for my life. If studying and applying lessons learned from the Holy Bible manipulate me I do believe it is for my good and for the good of all.
Excerpts from the Holy Bible (ESV)*:
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
John 14:26 ESV
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
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In a world increasingly influenced by multiculturalism, pluralism and (seemingly CONTRADICTORY) individualism circumstances may beg the question: What is meant by The term “The greater good”?
If we could eavesdrop on two wise and learned people engaged in a debate about “The Greater Good” – one from antiquity and one from a possible future – perhaps we may gain some deeper understanding of this concept.
Standing on a stage before a group of people from around the world and many different periods of time, are two distinguished representatives about to debate one another on what is meant by the phrase “The Greater Good”?
￼The representative for the ancients is a man named Manu on the right; the representative for people yet to be extant a woman named Ai on the left; I (James) shall be seated below and in front of them and act as moderator when necessary.
Moderator: Ai and Manu you have read the rules for this discussion; if you do not have any questions are you ready to discuss the topic “The Greater Good”?
Moderator: Manu please tell us about what the term meant to early humans before there were cities, farms or permanent settlements.
Manu: In those days the created people emerged from the forests and engaged the world; the men hunted or fished as the women and children (able enough to help), gathered seeds, fruit and other small edibles. All helped manage water use and waste disposal. These practices constituted the first rules intended to insure survival; they insured all members of the group had the best chance to survive. Survival equaled “The Greater Good” Not adhering to them would certainly lead to death.
Moderator: Ai in the eras yet to come does this clear concept still ensure survival for the people who live in the future?
Ai: “The Greater Good” in the future is the same as “Do what Ever Makes You Happy”.
Moderator: Manu what kinds of humans suffered punishment and why if they were judged to do things or behave in such a way as to violate the rules jeopardizing survival of the many?
Manu: In the earliest days there were no jails or systems to modify or control recalcitrant individuals therefore capital punishment was the norm. Very few violators were punished in less severe ways. Gradually with the advent of larger populations other punishments requiring payment or restitution supplanted capitol remedies.
Ai: Allow me: In the future there is no punishment we understand all things are relative so we tolerate all but a very few crimes; the only remedies are control of a violator with substances that modify their behavior or relocate them. We no longer prosecute victimless crime.
Manu: Excuse me, what kind of life do individuals lead?
Ai: Most law-abiding individuals are happy and content; everything is provided from cradle to death (death is only determined by choice of the individual) or they can live perpetually since science prolongs life indefinitely. People try this or that but most settle into a quiet lifestyle enjoying constant virtual reality entertainment.
Manu: Is there nothing to engage in? No great people of science or leadership?
Ai: There is no need for any of that. Machines attend to every conceivable need a person may have. Machines do all the work and people simply seek pleasure and enjoy whatever pleases them.
Manu: And what about spiritual life, family life, friendly competition, exploration of the universe or altruism?
Ai: Those are all things of the past. There are no needy people; we can explore any imagined world using virtual reality; there is no need for GOD, God or gods we are each a god of our own. Humans can choose to live perpetually if they want to.
Manu: What is the average life span in this Utopian future?
Ai: Life span by choice averages about thirty years of age . . .
Ai: By that age most people have experienced all the joy they can and chose to vacate allowing room for a newly emerged individual . . .
Moderator: Ai and Manu I am sorry because that is all the time we have for today’s debate. We hope to see you both again and continue with this topic.
to be continued.
I am not sure what you make think concerning this topic but, I as a follower of Jesus Christ trust Him for my future.
GOD has created us for a purpose that is beyond our selfish selves. In this life we can be transformed by following HIS precepts; we can be fulfilled; we can know that we have a purpose and a destiny; HE will prepare us for a new future with HIS gift of eternal life that has meaning and fulfillment now and forever more.
Some Bible verses that point the way:
Isaiah 5:20 ESV
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!
James 2:14-17 ESV
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Galatians 6:9 ESV
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 5:19-26 ESV
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. …
Proverbs 4:27 ESV
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
Romans 12:21 ESV
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The young-boy had taken a candy bar and was caught when he was escorted home by the patrolman everyone agreed: It was just a little thing. When his dad came home mom told him, “It was just a little Thing.” A few years passed and the boy was about to enter high school when a note arrive in the mail from his teacher:
'Dear Mom and Dad,Your son was caught sharing answers on the final exam . . . in light of his generally good record we'll consider it just a mistake . . . no punishment beyond a re-test is warranted . . . IT WAS JUST A LITTLE THING .Truly Your, Mrs. Teacher'
Now a teenage driver the young man had worked part-time and saved enough to buy his first car. One evening he and his best friend were ￼speeding home from a party; a patrolman waiting for speeders near their hometown caught them. The patrolman recognized him because he knew his father well, so he said, “Son in light that this was just a little thing I am letting you go with a warning; just do not do it again.”
In the university the young man did well with maybe a minor indiscretion or two now and then: they all were “just little things.” He finished his education and advanced as an attorney and eventually ran for, and was elected to, political office. His political career flourished and the story of his life seemed to be the embodiment of The American Dream.
When he had matured in age and stature he held one of the highest offices of the land; he was respected and heralded as a respectable elder statesman. No one including he ever dreamt of the disgraceful ending that befell him. It was exposed in the news to everyone that many of the political accomplishments attributed to him were achieved by subterfuge, backroom deals, deception and in one instance breaking a law.
As he was led away from the courtroom where he had been convicted he mumbled over and over, “It was just a Little thing.”
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
James 1:15 ESV
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
1 John 1:8 ESV
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Discipline your child, and he will give you rest; he will bring you happiness.