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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Message- Before November Comes



We live in a nation where one side says it's okay to protest authority- and so what if someone else's property gets damaged in the process;  the other side says it's all right to degrade our leaders for the poor job they do.  One side thinks nothing of stretching the truth for a sound bite; the other side wants to build walls.  One side says we must bend over backwards for the poor; the other says the poor are poor of their own device.  Both sides say things that serve their purpose.  What is God's side of the matter?


Exodus 23 (and the preceding chapter, quite frankly)  is a particularly scathing indictment of this current society, given to Moses while on the Mount of Revelation.  As I read it, I couldn't help but think of when King Josiah re-discovered the Books and read them to the people, and they cried.  I wonder if we would cry now...


Let us take a look at part of this chapter.


Exo 23:1  You shall not raise a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 

Not to get too political, but CNN's broadcast of the false story about the Secret Service speaking to Trump about the "2nd Amendment comment" is just the most currently glaring of the examples available.  The news media, which we falsely believed was once honest and impartial, now has become so partisan on both sides it is barely worth listening to, and has gained a worse reputation than the politicians they shill for.

Not that the media and the pols have the market cornered, though.  Apply and read on...


Exo 23:2  You shall not follow a multitude to do evil. Neither shall you speak in a cause in order to follow many in order to wrest judgment. 


First thing I thought of was Ferguson.  Out of every 100 protesters that have even a clue of what they are protesting, how many just go to parrot what they've been told without looking into it?  How many just take advantage to wreak havok?  And beyond that- if we accuse the political parties of dishonesty and trustworthiness, and then VOTE for them, how are we not indicted?  Moving along...

Exo 23:3  And you should not favor a poor man in his cause. 

Exo 23:6  You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his cause. 

Two separate verses, one overriding thing- wealth or lack thereof should NOT affect judgment.  And yet, rich criminals have a lot more access to judgment than poor innocents.  And rich innocents get accused of using money to escape judgment BECAUSE they are rich.

We had a conversation at work the other day, when a vendor gave us all company-labeled boat key-ring floaties.  One person said, not like those of us that make OUR wages can afford a boat, to which I responded tongue in cheek, "Those are for CUSTOMERS!"  A joke yes, but also a divide.  And we judge on divides in this world:  black/white, rich/poor, man/woman.  How do you judge?  How do I judge?

Exo 23:4  If you meet your enemy's ox or his ass going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. 
Exo 23:5  If you see the ass of him who hates you lying under his burden, and would hold back from helping him, you shall surely help him. 


I thought about the pictures I have seen on Facebook of the Israeli athlete holding out his hand to the Egyptian athlete he had just defeated, and the Egyptian refusing it.  But wait, had it been the Egyptian offering and the Israeli refusing, would the picture have been posted?  I was angered by yet another story from India last night where a man walking was struck by a truck and seriously injured; the truck driver got out, looked him over, and drove away.  The next guy that came along stopped long enough to steal the dying man's phone.  One of many stories that I have shared about the septic tank India is becoming; but would I have blinked if it happened in New York, or Fort Wayne?  It's all about examining the MOTIVE for your actions...



Exo 23:7  Keep far from a false matter, and do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. 
Exo 23:8  And you shall take no bribe, for the bribe blinds the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 


The heat on the "Clinton mafia" is rising; every day you see a new story about some low level DNC staffer meeting an "unfortunate accident" after harming Hillary's campaign in some way.  True?  Who knows.  Now it's the "pay for play" DOJ that Hillary ran.  But before we jump on the bandwagon against her, stop and think:  What has the other guy done?  Are we calling attention to one's evil to justify the actions of the other?  Again, as the prosecutor would say, "goes to motive..."


Exo 23:9  Also you shall not oppress a stranger. For you know the heart of a stranger, since you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 



And if you think I am hitting one side too hard, how much of the other campaign has been built directly contrary to this principle?  I have long been opposed to illegals getting amnesty, and for the same reason I oppose free trade- I have no desire for an "even tide for everybody" lowering our nation to the world's level of mediocrity.  But how do I- how do we- square that with this?


I don't have the answers on this one.  All I have is a realization that in following our "political leanings" and looking at things on a MACRO level, we may be bringing ourselves into judgment- not by the world, not by the atheists and LGBTs, not by the Muslims and the Europeans- but by God's Word.  Can we vote with our noses held, for "the greater good", realizing that it is in the end a "secular government"- and then go forth and live our lives in the micro?  Can I "vote against" and still love?  Can I "vote for" and not hate?  I don't know about you, but I have a lot of thinking- and praying- to do before November comes.

12 comments:

  1. Chris:
    This is such a marvelous indictment to SO many of the wrong things in our world (especially our nation) that I am beside myself with Kudos for your exemplary call on this.
    You use the word MOTIVE...and I use the word CONTEXT.
    I think BOTH words can be easily interchanged with MANY (if not all) of the things you have touched upon here.

    While motive applies to the ACTIONS of people, context applies to the WORDS used by same, but again, you can look at the context in which an action is performed along with the motive of the person (or persons) committing the action (or speaking the words).

    And yes, both can be just as "hazardous to our (spiritual) health" if we're not paying attention.
    Great job using EXODUS as the jumping off point here...so much truth to be found there.
    Very well said, and indeed, we ALL have a LOT of thinking AND praying to do over the next 80 days.
    (and we're not even ballooning around the world).

    Excellent post.

    Stay safe & stay strong up there, brother.

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    1. Yep, word and action, motive and context, it can get to all of us. You try to believe your motives are pure... till you hear someone else's take on the tale.

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  2. Yes yes yes you speak a lot of sense my friend but I think you know that is how I think.

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    1. Thanks, but as you know I only take credit for being the Learner who shares what he's learning.

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  3. What is God's side of the matter?

    Isn't that the truth? Politics has made people so divided that it's truly one side against the other, and if you're an American, you HAVE to choose. And once you choose, you HAVE to hold the opinions that go along with that political side. A Democrat that's pro-life? Unheard of! A Republican that supports gay marriage? GTFO of here! You can't half ass it - you must be all in!

    Forget all that BS. I just want to be on whatever side God is on.

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    1. I'm beginning to think a WWJD bracelet might spontaneously combust in a voting booth this year...

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  4. Yes! I have a lot of praying and thinking to do before the election, as well. I felt so thankful for my state's primary because I felt that my vote counted a little "further" on those elections and yet, it is a scary responsibility, especially when I found out afterwards that only 33% of the elgible voters actually voted. That bothers me. Sure, I can say that my vote may have gone even further with so few voters, but I would really like people to vote - even if they disagree with me completely. That sounds weird, I guess, but I want people to care enough to take responsibility and to enjoy the freedom of voting that so many people have given their lives for us to have. Why are we protesting the lack of power and freedom on one hand and then disrespecting the freedom and power that we do have in voting? Anyway . . . that may be too much rant for a comment here.
    Just wanted to say, I'll be praying about the election, too.

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    1. You are always welcome to rant on my page. Especially if we are in agreement, lol! I have only missed one general since I could vote (car problems), but I am sorely considering sitting this one out, just because I am so undecided. Not just about the candidate (an easy choice between the big two for me), but are ANY of those who want the office worth supporting? Where does my concern lie? Wish I had the answers.

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  5. As horrible as this election is, I have a feeling it is the much-needed spark for a bigger change. A BETTER change. At least I hope it is.

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  6. One of the things I've been asking myself rather a lot lately is this: Does God even care about politics?

    Before anyone gets bent about the question, I'm going to suggest that Jesus didn't seem to care a whole lot about what was going on in government while he was alive. About the only reference that immediately comes to mind when questioned about Rome was his response to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." That tells me that Jesus didn't think much of all this political nonsense, recognizing that it was a corrupt business and not worth his attention. He was in the business of gathering souls into his Father's House and just didn't have time to deal with things that don't matter.

    And so I have to ask myself: Does God really want me to expend my energy (including my mental energy) on things that don't really matter or does he want me to spend my time being more like Jesus? Telling people about Jesus? Sharing Jesus? Granted I'm kinda sucky at this and don't spend enough time doing it, and haven't found a way that doesn't come off creepy and/or self righteous to the stranger on the street. But, I still think my mental energy would be better expended at trying to unravel that puzzle versus the other one.

    Just some food for thought...

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    1. This is exactly what is making me consider not voting- wasting time on pointless battles. Of course the other side of the coin is if Jesus has NO interest in politics, then voting ceases to be a moral dilemma. It does however carry a moral responsibility to pick a candidate that at least isn't Satan's wife (or husband).

      At the very least, I think a Christian soldier doesn't get mired in what is essentially a secular war. Thanks for phrasing it in a different perspective.

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