"It was for freedom that Christ has set us free..." Gal 5:1



Posts Tagged “the Bible”

In Matthew 6:9ff Jesus teaches us how to pray.

I find that what he teaches us challenges some basic, and often unspoken, presuppositions of the modern Christian.

The contemporary believer believes that God is concerned about spiritual things primarily; things like prayer, going to church, looking forward to heaven.

Jesus does start with a spiritual thing when he teaches us to pray. “Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” He starts with worship. He starts with looking to the eternal God who is over everything.

But then, before going into seeking forgiveness, reconciling with your neighbor, seeking provision, etc. Jesus drops a bomb on us: “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

When was the last time you prayed that in your “quiet” time?

Do you even know what the implications of such a prayer are?

God would not tell us to pray something unless it is something that He Wants, Intends, and Can Do!

So… God wants His Kingdom to Come on earth in the same way that the Kingdom is in heaven!

How goes the Kingdom in Heaven? Completely! Perfectly! In Every Area!

So God is not only concerned with getting us into Heaven. He is interested in His Kingdom manifesting in the earth right now. Obviously, that starts with individuals being eternally reconciled to God; but it goes way beyond that. It involves things to be done on earth as they are done in Heaven. It involves God’s ways salting, lighting, and yeasting this current world!

I have spent most of my life concerned about eternity. I don’t intend to give up that priority. I am, however, becoming increasingly aware that God is doing something now as well.

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tencommandments.jpgI find that people are afraid of the concept of getting our ideas from God’s Law in the Bible for use in our own Civil Government. Of course, the very same Biblical Law is one of the foundations of law in Western Civilization! In other words, we already did this as a society over hundreds of years.

I think the image of Puritans and the Salem Witch Trials come to mind when people hear Christians say “let’s base our laws on the Bible.”

So how are we as Christians going to present something different to the world? To be fair, people calling themselves “Christians” have done bizarre things throughout history in the name of Enforcing God.

 

God doesn’t need to be enforced, He can enforce Himself just fine!

We won’t succeed in implementing God’s ways unless there is a significant moral consensus. We will never be able to “implement” faith. We can “implement”, by free will choice, in agreement with the rest of society, the ways of God in civil government. Until their is a moral consensus, however, we have to present the ideas in the language of this world. We can’t try and force this thing! It will not work that way.

Amongst Christians who are convinced that God’s ways are the best ways we can talk about getting our laws from the Bible. Amongst the world we need to somehow come up with Reason that will appeal to the Law of God that is written on the hearts of all men! And I suppose, in some circumstances, it is ok for us to try and explain and clarify what we mean by “base our laws on Christianity.” I don’t think everyone knows what we mean. The scary thing is, I don’t think all Christians know what we mean. Perhaps the world is right to be afraid.

Here is a comment I made on Digg.com in response to “Ramble” who was displaying the very fears and concerns I am talking about:

Hello Ramble. I don’t think you understand the idea. I am not saying that we make the Bible the Civil Law. I am saying that we would be unwise to disregard the only time in History we have Authoritative Written Record of God creating a Civil Government. I am convinced that we are not “under the law” (New Testament Christianity), but the law is wisdom from God. We can study His Law, discern His Heart and Wisdom, and be inspired in our own Civil Lawmaking by the wisdom and ideas behind God’s Civil Laws for Israel. I have no problem with sorting out “religious” laws from “civil” laws because we are NOT ancient Israel. We are America (or wherever you are from).

So we don’t need to ban cutting the hair on the side of your head. But we can search for info on how God sorted out disputes, enforced Civil Peace, and provided a Healthy Society.

I want to know His thoughts on the matter and then humbly (I hope) present those thoughts to the world. The Bible talks about God’s laws being written on the hearts of the “gentiles.” People know God’s laws. They are “common sense” (although not so “common”). God reveled His Wisdom for us to discover and understand, just like we discover and understand the Created Natural Universe.

🙂

ThirstyJon

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I read an article today arguing that the Bible should not be used in defense of public policy views. The author makes some good points.

I am also in the midst of a discussion on this very blog. One commenter suggested that we be very careful about wanting to make our laws based on the Bible.

Here is my response as I posted it there:

God Himself led a people out of slavery and formed a nation in ancient Israel. We have no other case in history where he has done this in such an authoritative manner. We would not be wise to discount the reasonings of the only civil government ever founded directly by Supernatural Intervention from God Himself.

I do not propose such a shallow reading of the scriptures that would result in outlawing clothing made of multiple materials. However, we as humans are free to each read the Bible for ourselves and then come together to form our forms of Civil Government. Including the revolutionary Freedom Ideas from God Himself in His Law would be a good idea.

Unfortunately, not everyone accepts the Story of History as told by God in the Holy Scriptures. It would be best for those of us who do accept them to seek understanding of the reasonings behind God’s Laws, then apply those reasonings to our quest to form good law, and then present them to the world.

We can also work to persuade the world of the benefits that have resulted from Christian Civilization.

Most importantly of all we can work to invite and persuade the world to embrace Jesus and be filled with the Holy Spirit. A bunch of people filled with God can still disagree, but at least we would be pursuing the same goal – the Character of the Kingdom of God manifest right here on earth while we await Jesus’ imminent return.

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