The Source of Our Suffering

It Begins with Me

Life can be very difficult at times, that’s for sure.  Our days may be filled with many joys and a certain measure of happiness, but lurking somewhere in the shadows is disappointment, discouragement, or perhaps even despair.  Bad news happens.  Sickness happens.  A sprained ankle happens.  Sometimes things just happen.  We may not be able to control the negative things that happen in our lives, but we have full control over how we respond to them.

complaining

Suffering or Just Complaining?

Sometimes Christians suffer because of their association with Christ.  In Acts 5:41 the apostles had already been warned that they were not to be preaching or teaching in the name of Jesus anymore.  Verse 40 says that the council called the apostles in and they flogged them.  (Imagine the agony that those men felt, to have the skin stripped off their backs, flayed open).  They flogged them and then they released them.  Verse 41 says, “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”  That’s the proper way to react to suffering; but that’s not the way we always react, is it?

Now do you believe that these disciples would have prospered, or that the Lord would have comforted them, or that the Lord would have blessed them if when they left there they said, “I’ll tell you what, I am so sick of being a Christian and being kicked around in this town!  All we have done is gotten hauled up before the council every time we speak.  I’ll tell you, if it weren’t so hard to be a Christian, it’d be a nice existence!  And if I didn’t want to go to heaven so bad, I wouldn’t put up with this junk!  I’m tired of being a Christian!”  Do you think that there would have been a blessing in it for them?  There wouldn’t have been.  Would the Lord have comforted them?  Would there be any joy among the disciples if they had reacted that way?  How does the Lord feel when if something doesn’t go right for us, or somebody gives us a hard time for being Christians, then we complain and grumble and talk about how tough it is to be a Christian; and how sometimes we wish we weren’t, and if we didn’t want to go to heaven so bad we wouldn’t put up with all of this?  Friends, it cannot help in our suffering, if we suffer for the wrong things.

We also need to recognize that some of our suffering may be self-inflicted to some degree.  For example, a person may suffer in their relationship with other people; but who is at fault?  Some have a rocky relationship with their spouse.  Some have an on-again-off-again relationship with their friends.  Some parents are out of touch with their children.  Some Christians struggle in their existence with other Christians.  While there may be a lot of blame to go around, the key to making the most out of difficult situations is to stop blaming everyone else and start examining ourselves.  Maybe we are the problem (or at least part of it).  We need to adopt this policy: “A better friendship begins with me.”  “A better marriage begins with me.”  “A better family begins with me.”  “A better church begins with me” – etc.  Jesus said, “…first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matt. 23:26).  If we would all follow this rule, imagine how truly wonderful this life could be.

Posted in Aaron Veyon | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Real Men and Politics

Real Men and Politics

Because I totally reject the idea that politics and religion are separate, I want to address the topic of “ Real Men ” in Politics from a Biblical standpoint. Sure I will be glad to point out the oft used definition of Politicians – “many blood sucking parasites”. How does a “ Real Man ” relate to this? He twists the parasites out and pops off their heads. He doesn’t stand by and do nothing, he crushes the life taker. He has a moral code that says “I won’t coexist with the little leaches”. He has a vision of freedom from the bloodsuckers. He acknowledges he made a mistake by letting the parasite get a hold of him in the first place and is vigilant to not let it happen again.

So often I hear how every politician is a liar and just in politics for the buck or for themselves. My father was involved in the political process since I was a little boy. I had the great opportunity to be around politicians. I flat out reject that every politician is a liar, out for only the buck and themselves. Many folks are good, kind, honest, and concerned about the good of their country, friends, and family. Are there some crud balls out there? Yes. These are not “ Real Men ”. Do some of these good people make mistakes? Oh ya! If they were “Real Men” to begin with, the mistakes will be proclaimed loudly and proudly by their critics. Do these good people sometimes change? Yes, sadly sometimes they do. Sometimes the parasite killer becomes the parasite. When that happens, they must be treated the same. Pluck them out and crush them.

Who are the “Real Men” of politics?
First, they are men and women of all races who pop the heads off of parasitic problems. OK, What??? Women can be “ Real Men ”? When this article talks about “ Real Men ”, we are talking about a set of characteristics that represents solid honor worthy character. So for the sake of argument in this article, women can be “ Real Men ” too. Let me give you an example of a female “ Real Man ”.

2 Samuel 20 tells of a treasonous thug by the name of Sheba. Sheba revolted against the authority of King David. The kings’ general, Joab, took mighty men and pursued Sheba. Eventually they chased him into the town of Abel. They put siege to the city and began to work at knocking down its walls. At this point, a woman of the city asked Joab why he would do such a thing. He told her he wanted the parasite traitor. The woman got it. She knew what she must do to save her city, family, and friends. She talked to the city, they chopped off Sheba’s head, and threw it out to Joab. End of problem. “ Real Men ” don’t put up with blood suckers. They pop off their heads. This woman was a “ Real Man ”.

Second, “ Real Men ” don’t stand by and do nothing when the life is being sucked out of their country, family, and friends. James 4:17“To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”. There was a man who observed this principle in the Bible. His name was Abram. His nephew was a man by the name of Lot. Lot and his family were kidnapped and had their possessions seized by evil men in Genesis 14. Abram could have not gotten involved. He could have seen generations of his family lose their lives and inheritance. He could have seen them become slaves under the thumb of oppression. Instead, he took “ Real Men ” and they went and crushed the parasites. Abram was a “Real Man”.

Third, “ Real Men ” live by a moral code. Three “ Real Men ” in the book of Daniel lived by a moral code. Their names were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. They lived during the time of the Babylonian empire. The king was Nebuchadnezzar. He was quite narcissistic. He had a giant golden image created and demanded everyone bow down to it. The men lived by a moral code given by God. It called for them never to worship an image. They could not coexist with two different codes. So they refused the Narcissistic king. He threatened to throw them into a pit of fire. They still refused the king. So they King threw them into the flames. Now, the outcome was that they survived without even smelling of smoke, however, consider what they said before they were thrown in the pit:

Dan 3:17-18 – If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

These men lived by a code such that the consequences did not matter to them. They were going to do what was right, because it was right. They did not let threats and intimidation detour them. The efforts of the parasite to gain control were rejected.

Fourth,  “Real Men ” have a vision of success for all. When Israel came and spied out the land of Canaan, it was full of many enemies. Twelve men went into spy out the land, only two came back with a positive report. These were “ Real Men ”. They had a vision. They saw a land of milk and honey, a land full of great blessings with freedom for them all. One of the men, Caleb, stated in Numbers 13, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it”. He didn’t whine about how hard it would be. He had a vision of success that they all could achieve and he shared it. He didn’t sow seeds of doubt among the people. He didn’t shame them for their past actions. He said, they could be free from the bloodsuckers of the land.

Finally, a “ Real Man ” acknowledges when he has made a mistake. He sees where he went wrong and then determines not to do that same thing again. In Luke 15, there is a parable about a young man who was sucked in by the false promises of a freeloading life. He demanded his inheritance and off he went into the world to party on what he didn’t earn. There came a day of reckoning. He looked around and saw everything had come to ruin. He had nothing. He was ashamed. He realized he had made a mistake. So he owned up to it, determined to get back to work and do things right. It takes a “ Real Man ” to do this. “Real Men” can and do make mistakes. It’s not just the realization of a mistake that makes them what they are, it is the actions to make things right afterward that sets them apart.

So in examining “ Real Men ”, we have 5 key characteristics:
1) They take action to pop the head off of problems.
2) They don’t stand by and do nothing.
3) They live by a moral code given by God.
4) They have a vision of success.
5) They acknowledge their mistakes and determine not to make them again.

Let’s put this in a more direct political perspective and approach these characteristics in reverse.

America, we have made a big mistake in allowing the folks now in control to obtain the positions they are in. They are bloodsucking parasites. They are destroying our country, family, and friends. They are ruining our lives. They are enslaving us. They promised “HOPE and CHANGE” and I HOPE we soon get a CHANGE. Sadly, many folks bought into the false promises. They demanded “pay our mortgages, take care of us, let us sit back and watch.” These folks now have their reward, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 -“If any will not work, neither let him eat”. Jobs have been taken away, blessings have been removed. We have an administration that has turned its back on God and views itself as God. We are a Christian nation! It’s time we determine not to make the mistake of following the Godless again. It’s time we determine ourselves to be “ Real Men ”.

We need a vision of success, one that sees a free market, where man enjoys the fruit of his labor and is not punished for it. 1 Timothy 5:18“For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his hire.” Why should a man who has through his own initiative be taxed more than any other? That is tyranny. Let us envision an environment where men are rewarded by enjoying the fruits of their success. Their efforts help all of society. They provide jobs. They aid families. Let us envision an America strong and able to help the needy of the world through voluntary means by loving hearts. America has great people who can do great things if they are allowed to do so. It’s time we see things like “ Real Men ”.

The founding fathers of America believed in God. They set the country on a foundation of God. They even purchased Bibles for the citizenship so that the morality of God would not be forsaken. Currently, we have leaches in power who have and are cheating law which God endorses – Acts 5:29“We must obey God rather than men.”. They have no qualms about lying – Colossians 3:9“Lie not to one another…” They approve of homosexuality – 1 Corinthians 6:9“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” They approve of the murder of unborn children – Romans 13:9 “…You shall not murder…”. There are so many sinful things that demonstrate the current administration is one without a moral code. It’s time for the standard of “ Real Men ” to be followed.

Europe was nearly taken by its enemies in the 20th century because men were standing aside and not acting. Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. How many atrocities will take place if America does not stand up now and do something? How many children will be brainwashed? How many Christians will be persecuted? How many families will be broken? How many people will suffer? When you have men who worship at the feet of communists, you do not have to look far into history to see the hundreds of millions of lives lost. Is America going to give into such a threat? Will it bow to Islamic violence and oppression? Or will it stand up and say, “As for me and my family, we will follow the Lord”. The time has come for ” Real Men ” to do something.

The storied history of America shows a people who hate oppression. We have rushed to the aid of countries all over the world. We have given them their peace back. We have rebuilt their homes. We have extended the hand of friendship. Now, at a time when America is being belittled by a marxist in the white house, when its borders are being invaded with no response, when it is being morally reconstructed from within, when its poor stewardship is running its financial stability into the ground, we must chop the head off the beast. We must stand up and rid ourselves of the problem. We must remove all who would subscribe to such villainous behavior as to destroy our country at its heart. We must act in peace and act as one and through the power given to the people – vote the politics out. Stand up to defend our country. It is time for “ Real Men ” to pop the heads off the parasites who would suck our God given freedoms away.

Posted in Travis Main | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Moral Convulsion in America

“Domestic Convulsion”

The Founders of the American Republic were well-informed, educated, intelligent men. When it came to establishing a republic, they did their homework. They familiarized themselves with history and grasped the principles and lessons to be learned from the past. They understood not only how to initiate a new nation, but also recognized what would be necessary to perpetuate and sustain it. What’s more, they articulated very firmly the circumstances that they predicted would lead to the dissolution of the Republic.

One such political prophet was Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816). Having graduated from King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York, Morris was admitted to the colonial bar in 1771 and became a member of the New York provincial congress from 1775-1777. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the New York State militia in 1776. He was a member of the Continental Congress in 1778-1779, and signed the Articles of Confederation. He was a delegate to the convention that framed the Constitution of the United States, speaking more than any other delegate, and serving as the head of the Committee on Style that was responsible for the final wording of the Constitution—which he signed in 1787. He then served as America’s Minister Plenipotentiary to France (1792-1794) and also served in the U.S. Senate from 1800-1803. He is buried in St. Anne’s Episcopal Churchyard in the Bronx in New York (“Morris…,” n.d.).

On September 4, 1816, just two months before his death, Gouverneur Morris delivered a speech to the New York Historical Society on the occasion of the 206th anniversary of the discovery of his home state of New York by English explorer Henry Hudson (Morris, 1816). In that oration, Morris made several insightful, eerily descriptive observations of current American culture. First, he insisted that the Bible is the key to making sense of history and learning from the mistakes of the past: “The reflection and experience of many years have led me to consider the holy writings, not only as most authentic and instructive in themselves, but as the clue to all other history. They tell us what man is, and they, alone, tell us why he is what he is” (pp. 7-8). Making brief allusion to the biblical characters Joseph, Moses, and David, Morris explained:

From the same pure Fountain of Wisdom [i.e., the Bible—DM] we learn that vice destroys freedom; that arbitrary power is founded on public immorality, and that misconduct in those who rule a republic, necessary consequence of general licentiousness, so disgusts and degrades the nation, that, dead to generous sentiment, they become willing slaves…. Then laws to protect the weak against the strong, the innocent against the wicked, become instruments of oppression and torture (pp. 8-9, emp. added).

One would have difficulty finding a more applicable description of what has happened to America in the last 50 years—from the widespread surge of crime and immorality, to the governmental encroachments on personal freedom, and the use of those legions of laws to favor the lawbreaker over the victim, as well as promote hedonism.

Second, Morris insisted that the “profound lesson of political wisdom” to be learned from 1 Samuel 8, acknowledged by such authors as Machiavelli and Montesquieu, is that “virtue is the principle of republics” (p. 10). Even the government that God Himself set up (i.e., for the Israelites) “became intolerable from the prevalence of vice and impiety” (p. 10). Here, again, is an uncanny anticipation of America’s present spiritual condition. Vice, impiety, immorality, and crime are rampant and continue to increase. What can be done?

Morris noted that man is governed by hope and fear. People are motivated by hope when their desires for pleasure, wealth, and power are achieved. They are motivated by fear when they are able to avoid poverty, pain, and death. They are likewise governed by “prompt generous reward” and “speedy severe punishment.” These “are the human means to invigorate duty, stimulate zeal, correct perversity, and restrain guilt” (p. 10). However, these tools are insufficient. After all, is not America the wealthiest nation in human history, having provided for a larger percentage of her citizenry a higher standard of living than any previous civilization? And is it not the case that Americans experience more pleasure, wealth, and power, and have surpassed all previous human progress in reducing poverty, masking pain, and postponing death? Yet, despite these incredible advancements, America is experiencing widespread social chaos and moral decline—in the government, school, workplace, and home. As Morris foreshadowed: “criminals escape punishment, by the perpetration of new and more atrocious crimes” (p. 10).

So something more is needed. Morris pinpointed that “something”:

Something more, then, is required to encourage virtue, suppress vice, preserve public peace, and secure national independence. There must be something more to hope than pleasure, wealth, and power. Something more to fear than poverty and pain. Something after death more terrible than death. There must be religion. When that ligament is torn, society is disjointed and its members perish. The nation is exposed to foreign violence and domestic convulsion. Vicious rulers, chosen by vicious people, turn back the current of corruption to its source. Placed in a situation where they can exercise authority for their own emolument, they betray their trust. They take bribes. They sell statutes and decrees. They sell honor and office. They sell their conscience. They sell their country. By this vile traffic they become odious and contemptible…. But the most important of all lessons is the denunciation of ruin to every State that rejects the precepts of religion (pp. 10-11,13, emp. added).

The religion to which Founder Morris referred is the Christian religion—to the exclusion of all others.

According to Founders like Morris, the general doctrines and moral principles of the Christian religion must thoroughly permeate our civilization if our nation is to avoid “the denunciation of ruin.” Otherwise, America will be subjected to violence inflicted by foreign enemies (terrorists?). And the nation will find itself in the throes of “domestic convulsion.” Domestic convulsion? What better epithet to identify America’s current national condition?

The key to securing America’s future is simple and definitive: “May it be secured by a pious obedience to that divine will, which prescribes the moral orbit of empire with the same precision that his wisdom and power have displayed, in whirling millions of planets round millions of suns through the vastness of infinite space” (p. 24, emp. added). In the words of the inspired writers: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

REFERENCES

Morris, Gouverneur (1816), An Inaugural Discourse, Delivered Before the New York Historical Society, 4th September, 1816; the 206th Anniversary of the Discovery of New-York, by Hudson (New York: T. & W. Mercein), [On-line], URL: http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=nys;cc=nys;idno=nys004;view=toc;node=nys004%3A3.

“Morris, Gouverneur, (1752-1816)” (no date), Biographical Dictionary of the United States, [On-line], URL: http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000976.

Dave Miller – Apologetics Press – http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2595

Posted in Dave Miller | Tagged , , , | Comments Off