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(#151) The Proverbs of Solomon 20:28-How To Lose An Election

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 20:28: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.”

“Mercy” is “kindness, forgiveness, protection offered,” and kingdoms, countries, or empires that incorporate “mercy” in its laws and leaders can survive. Jesus used such a king to make a powerful point about “forgiveness” (Matthew 18:21-35), for a servant is forgiven his debt but he will not forgive one who owes him. The king wanted his “compassion” to be passed along, and when it wasn’t, the unforgiving servant was condemned, and Jesus said, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). Mercy shows a king’s heart for his people. When people realize that “the king” (or leader of government, whether an individual or congress) doesn’t care what pain, anguish, penalty, or price government policies impose upon them, they will seek a change of leadership.

“Truth” is “fact, reality, veracity, honesty,” and laws of the land must have this at their core, or else there is no standard for conduct. The Israelites settled in their Promised Land, but failed to follow God’s Law. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Governments without Biblical, Constitutional, or Legislative truth for a moral compass are destined to fail. “Truth” is the backbone of good law. All law that is based upon half-truths, lies, or deceit should be uncovered and removed.

Without “mercy and truth” for limits, no government will survive, and without personal “lovingkindness,” elections are lost! “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:1-6).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #compassion, #congress, #elections, #forgiveness, #government-leaders, #kings, #laws, #mercy, #proverbs, #truth

What to make of the election

Christian reaction to US elections

One perspective on the US elections

What to make of the American election results yesterday? One, it highlights the task of the church to evangelize a country that moves further and further away from any sort of biblical standard of morality. The US is now a post-Protestant country. The extreme positions of the president and his party on abortion apparently mean little to the nation. We are drowning in the blood of innocents. Support for homosexuals and their so-called marriages grows. The belief that one should support oneself in the world, instead of attaching permanently to the teat of government, falls quickly by the wayside. These basic values have changed and point up the greater work needing to be done by the church, not as a social change agent, but as God’s proclaimer of the gospel which radically transforms the heart, soul, and mind of a person.

Two, that being true, the church needs to invest heavily in evangelism. We’re getting away from it. We’re investing more and more in physical aid, less in spiritual transformation. Church budgets are hiding this shift by classifying it all as missions. It is not. We do not have a mandate for social programs and material improvement. Our abandonment of the Great Commission as a message to be preached for eternal salvation seems to be another election lost, as we turn away from the task of evangelism. In our own way, we are as guilty as the television preachers who promise riches, since we, like the postmodernists, think any good thing you do in this world is worthy and God-approved.

Three, it highlights the truth that human institutions tend to degenerate into corruption and self-interest. We have not kept the republic the founders gave us, for the people have discovered that they can vote themselves money. If in the church it is difficult to preserve the truth, it is impossible outside the church to hope for justice and righteousness to prevail. Yesterday proved to be the irrevocable American decision for inevitable decline. The decline is moral and spiritual, what little there existed. There seems to be, now, no going back, no restoration of respect for the Constitution. The rule of law has turned into the whims of man. So the election demonstrates that the people of God can never place their faith and hopes in a human system. Continue reading

#divine-sovereignty, #elections, #evangelism, #obama

We voted against

Legislate morality

Old-style Brazilian mailbox

The Missus and I received our absentee ballots on Monday, promptly marked all the items of interest, and put them back in the mail. We voted against casinos, new taxes, and medical marijuana, as well as against candidates who support taking the life of unborn children, restrict religious freedom and conscience, and promote homosexuality, among other issues of interest to all Christians.

• Our Internet Provider, which hosts BNc, FMag, FPress, BPrayer, and my own little blog, has locked me out of all of them for working hard. I was testing themes in the first site when the hammer fell. Hours later, I’m still waiting to hear from the honchos about my situation. In the meantime I can’t even open the sites. Nada. This is the third time this has happened. Seems like there ought to be a better way to protect a server than by walloping a hard worker. Bellyaching over.

• The BNc site is stuck with an experimental theme until I can get back in and settle on one. After almost four years of the same theme, it’s past its prime. Time to update.

• Speaking of honchos, do you know from what language the word is borrowed? Think before you answer! English is a fascinating language, borrowing from so many of the world’s tongues, so that, according to linguists, it has the largest vocabulary of all of them. No excuse for lacking for a word, now is there?

• If all works out well, tomorrow The Missus and I will host two good American brothers for the day. Their main work this fall break is to teach in Peru. They’re swinging by Brazil to see us in our setting. We’ll have a couple of days with them next week as they head back home. One of them, representing a supporting congregation, we’ve known for some years; the other we’ll have the pleasure of meeting.

• For lunch today, The Missus fried up some manioc from the organic garden of our brother in Christ, Liu, who brings us home-grown delicacies on occasion. I grew up on fried taters, but it would be hard to beat the taste of the light and crispy manioc. The chicken and lentils-and-whole-rice were quite good as well. How to stay a long time on the mission field? Learn to like the local culture, including the food. OK, so I’m still working on the feijoada, with the pig ears and tails and other less seemly parts.

• Last night in our home Bible reading group, we read the whole chapter of Matthew 18. Big idea there are the little ones. See my blog for a devotional on that. Don’t miss the line of application where I take on big-dog preachers, theological education, and building programs. Is there anybody I didn’t offend yet? Continue reading

#christian-universities, #corollaries, #elections, #missions, #voting

Walking away from Politics

I am a recovering news addict. In times past, political news was one of my chief interests. However, I have left that life behind me and it has made me much happier and calmer. I needed it for my emotional, spiritual and physical health.

God has promised us peace in Christ and all Christians should pursue it:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.   Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:6-8, NKJV).

Politics will divide friends, family and foment anger.

In terms of political posts and discussions on Facebook, we must step back and ask the following questions:

Continue reading

#christians, #elections, #facebook, #politics