Another step forward for this 7-year-old effort

progress-balloon

Almost seven years ago, Forthright Press launched The Fellowship Room as a group weblog of saints who could contribute and interact at will. (Here’s the first post.) In that time this modest effort has grown to include more than 11,400 posts by over 30 Fellows over the widest range of topics related to faith and discipleship in a fallen world.

Today, we take yet another step forward, with a new dot-com domain, which recently became available, and an installation on our own hosting. Several advantages now appear thanks to the move. Continue reading

#anniversaries, #attitude, #corollaries, #discipleship, #government

Influence upstream

forest-stream

I’ve never read this quote from A. Breitbart, but then again, I’m not a voracious reader of political content:

Andrew Breitbart was fond of saying, “Politics is downstream from culture.”

It’s true. Brazilians say all the time that a people have the government they deserve. (It probably comes from some ancient Roman philosopher.) Government is a reflection of the values, beliefs, and standards of the society.

It’s always said in desperation, however, rather than hope.

But let us take it in a positive sense, as a motivator to action. Let us change the people, thereby changing the politics.

The author at the link above is right about where to invest our energies. Further, it is time to invest in faith, in evangelism, in building up the church of God, in making an impact in society through the proclamation of the gospel. Let us throw all we have into saving souls, and we may then see a change in society and in government.

The quotes above assume something of a static set of values. They do not take into account that the evil one constantly seeks to degrade them. So that many people in government and potential office-holders look for ways to concentrate power, create dependency, erode rights and responsibilities, undermine ethics and morality.

The battle is constant to preserve decency and faith. It is a battle with spiritual armaments, not military or political ones. That battle is best waged, not in politics itself, but upstream, among the people. Purify the source.

All else is bound to fail. You can’t push water.

#evangelism, #government, #politics

3-10-2016 The Rule For Civilization

The Wisdom of God speaks: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth” (Proverbs 8:13-16 NKJV). Without the Wisdom of God, therefore: (1) There is no moral standard for arrogant attitudes and filthy language; (2) There is no solid advice for good judgments and sound reasoning; (3) There is no Divine authority for government! Jesus told the Roman, Pilate, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11 NKJV). The rule of Law and Order for Civilization is the Wisdom of God!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#good-judgments, #government, #morals, #wisdom

(#210) The Proverbs of Solomon 31:8-9-Listen to Your Mama About Words

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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 31:8-9: “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Step up and speak up for those who are less fortunate, specifically those who have: no voice, no parent, no justice, or no necessities of life. It is emphatic and an action of mercy to help the helpless. All leaders of government should admit that: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne” (Proverbs 20:28). God has always required this of His people: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15); “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17); “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

The “speechless” are those who have no voice or ability to defend themselves. They are easily victimized by all who would misrepresent their case;

Those “appointed to die” are people without possessions or permanence. According to the Hebrew expression, these may be strangers just passing through or orphans who cannot support themselves. God is mindful of such and required this of Israelites (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). Solomon wisely ruled: “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). Never was this clearer than when Israelites were taken from their Promised Land because: “The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (Ezekiel 22:29);

“Judge righteously” should be the outcry of all of God’s people. All judges and legal personnel should hear this command. Jesus has said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24), for “in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5);

“Plead the cause of the poor and needy,” for they cannot afford their own defense. The “poor and needy” are NOT those who demand their “right” to have the same possessions as those who have worked for what they have! The essentials of food and clothing are NOT in the same category as video games, big screen TV’s, cable, Internet, cars, or brand-name clothes!

No nation or people will stand when citizens have little or no recourse for their grievances!

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

#bible-study, #government, #judge-righteously, #judges, #mercy, #poor-and-needy, #proverbs, #truth, #wisdom

(#188) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:2-For Which Leader Do You Vote?

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 28:2: “Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; But by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged.”

A country, nation, and people who become corrupted by “transgression,” has frequent, often violent, turnovers in leaders. Solomon later said: “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves” (Proverbs 28:12). God spoke through Jeremiah and said, “‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the LORD. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it’” (Jeremiah 18:6-10). God’s case against Israel was because they followed their wicked king, instead of obeying God: “When I would have healed Israel, Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, And the wickedness of Samaria. For they have committed fraud; A thief comes in; A band of robbers takes spoil outside. They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face. They make a king glad with their wickedness, And princes with their lies” (Hosea 7:1-3). A nation that chooses corrupt leaders has chosen its own destruction!

The only remedy is to turn to God and choose “a man of understanding and knowledge” so that “right will be prolonged.” Not all government leaders are to be followed if they abandon God: “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion’” (Psalm 2:1-6). No concerted effort of “the kings of the earth” can overthrow God’s “King,” Jesus Christ, who now is on the throne of David in Heaven (Acts 2:25-32). Only a President and Congressional leaders who understand and know God’s Will can and should lead a country in the right way! It is by God’s Wisdom that “kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth” (Proverbs 8:15-16).

It is a wicked people who elect (and re-elect!) wicked leaders who justify their wickedness!

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

#bible-study, #congress, #god, #government, #jesus-christ, #king, #leaders, #practical-lessons, #president, #proverbs, #throne-of-david, #vote, #wisdom

#172 The Proverbs of Solomon What To Do…

(#172) The Proverbs of Solomon What To Do When It’s “Reigning”
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.

This group of proverbs are good for understanding more about God-ordained government (Romans 13:1-7). The timelessness of these rules is seen in Christians who: “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men– as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God” (1 Peter 2:12-16).

Proverbs 25:3: “As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, So the heart of kings is unsearchable.” Citizens outside of government circles may never fully comprehend its decisions, as “the heavens” and “the earth” may not completely be understood.

Proverbs 25:6-7: “Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of the great; 7 For it is better that he say to you, ‘Come up here,’ Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, Whom your eyes have seen.” This is a good social rule to apply to almost any situation, as Jesus applied it spiritually in Luke 14:7-11.

Proverbs 25:15: “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, And a gentle tongue breaks a bone.” It may take many appeals to be heard, but a ruler’s quick response may come from irritation and anger. Patience is a virtue (2 Peter 1:5-8).

Proverbs 29:26: “Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for man comes from the LORD.” Whatever government may decide, whether Supreme Court decision, Presidential Executive Order, or Congressional Legislation, the ultimate judgment of human behavior is in the hand of God only: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).  

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #government, #king, #proverbs, #ruler

(#149) The Proverbs of Solomon 20:26-True Political Correctness

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 20:26: “A wise king sifts out the wicked, And brings the threshing wheel over them.”

God sets the standard for what is “wicked” (Exodus 23:7; Proverbs 6:12-19), and this judgment is His. “The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup” (Psalm 11:5-6).

Another proverb also states this formula: “Take away the dross from silver, And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry. Take away the wicked from before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness” (Proverbs 25:4-5). These proverbs call for a government purge of evil. What has happened is the government has been purged of good! Political Correctness (“P.C.”) has lowered good morals to the level of evil, as Paul warned Christians: “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). “P.C.” is being used to silence the Truth of God and the righteous. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them” (Romans 1:18-19). Only the unrighteous would “suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” and when this is done by those in government, it is called “political correctness” by them, “censorship” by their citizens, but brings down “the wrath of God” upon them!

True “political correctness” is for government leaders to realize it is “an abomination for kings to commit wickedness” (Proverbs 16:12), and a king should scatter “all evil with his eyes” (Proverbs 20:8). Every president, king, queen, prime minister, or other leading representative of government that overlooks and allows the wicked to have influence in government is not wise and is wicked!

A main job of a God-ordained government leader, is to be “not a terror to good works, but to evil” because “he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:1-4). Since “there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God,” then citizen’s obedience is required (Romans 13:1). However, when the wicked rule, the people pay. Other proverbs state this plainly: “Like a roaring lion and a charging bear Is a wicked ruler over poor people” (Proverbs 28:15); “If a ruler pays attention to lies, All his servants become wicked” (Proverbs 29:12).

When people keep voting for “the lesser of two evils,” they have supported the wicked who rule! Citizens who should have a say in their government, but accept the wicked in government, deserve what they get! The outcries of the Israelites let God know they were ready for deliverance: “Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them” (Exodus 2:23-25). A word to the wise is sufficient.

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

#authority, #bible-study, #god, #government, #p-c, #political-correctness, #proverbs, #purge, #righteous, #wicked, #wisdom