Posts Tagged With: John 14:6

Fear Voting for a Mormon? Fear God First!

As I slowly darkened the selection bubble on my 2012 Presidential Mail-in Ballot, I felt a sense of peace. Peace, knowing that the choice I was making was being done in the best interest of the United States of America, and my Christian faith. It wasn’t a decision based upon political party lines, ethnicity, or who seemed to have the best plan to benefit my pocketbook later on. It was a choice that strictly was decided upon by the candidate that best aligned themselves with my beliefs as a follower of Jesus Christ. And that choice was sharply clear to me; that choice was Mitt Romney.

I suspect now that you know whom I voted for, there will be one of two thoughts running through your head. First, you may agree with me and be voting for Mitt Romney yourself. Or, you may be feeling sucker-punched and decrying, “How can a Christian vote for a Mormon?” My answer to you is, “I didn’t.” I didn’t cast my vote for a Mormon, or any other religious label you want to place upon a person or their identity. If I where directing my vote to a religious affiliation, then I would have to be honest and say that this election is not between a Mormon and a Christian; but a Mormon and a person I believe who is not a Christian.

Many of you reading this may be saying, “How dare you say that President Obama is not a Christian.” To you I say, “I’m not, President Obama has proven he is not.” In America we attach label after label upon people. Terms like ‘fat, skinny, rich, poor, young, and old’ are used so flippantly, that there’s no recourse. We throw a label on someone all in an effort to identify them with a stereotype or social class. Case in point the word ‘Christian.’ There are many today that claim to be a Christian, but in reality, it’s just ear service. Claiming to be a Christian doesn’t make you a Christian; any different than sitting in a garage and claiming yourself to be a car makes you a car.

The Bible says, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands, … the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4). A Christian, then, is a person who is born again by the Spirit of God, who unequivocally trusts in Jesus Christ and seeks to follow Him in obedience to His Word. For a Christian knows there is no other way to the Father, no other way to be a Christian, than through personal faith in the Son of God and the infallible truth of the Bible. As Jesus Himself confirmed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Let me turn back to those still grasping at straws who say, “Mitt Romney is a Mormon and Mormonism does not align with Christianity.” Well, you’re right, you may have a point.  Nevertheless, Mitt Romney has not viciously attacked Christianity or vowed to force Christians to betray their Christian faith. As his political record has proven, President Obama is boldly and arrogantly implementing his own anti-Christian agenda. Regrettably, many so-called followers of Christ have realized who Obama really is and what he is trying to accomplish, yet they will still vote for him. Why? Because of a false sense of the truth or their own justification based upon race and not testing the facts through the guise of a biblical worldview.

So here is the assertion. Governor Romney is a self proclaimed Mormon, and President Obama professes to be a Christian. Let’s look at a few political issues through the lens of a biblical worldview and you decide. Before we begin, let me state that failing to consider which candidate values what God values, then we’re voting without conferring with God first. Far too many believers will enter the voting booth this election season without first consulting what God’s Word says. There are certain biblical values at stake in this election that may prove detrimental not only to our Christian faith, but also will have lasting impact on future generations to come. When looking at a candidate we should support the candidate that best aligns themselves with the Christian faith; not who claims to be of the Christian faith.

Let’s say that you didn’t know the religious background of either candidate, but you wanted to vote biblically. First, as a Christian you should support the candidate who is pro-life, and fights to protect the life of the unborn. Next, you should support a candidate that supports the definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Who also supports the Defense of Marriage Act. Third, it’s important that we as Christians vote for the candidate that will work to protect our religious freedoms. There’s no question that our religious freedom have been under severe attack under this current administration the last 4-years. And finally, Christians must support a candidate that wholeheartedly pledges to protect and provide security to Israel without waiver. If you are not aware, Governor Romney supports all of these issues, while President Obama arrogantly opposes them outright and defiantly.

So Governor Romney is pro-life. He supports the definition of marriage between a man and a woman. He has vowed to defend our religious freedoms. And finally, he has passionately pledged to protect and defend the security of Israel. And this is a Mormon. Yet, our sitting President rejects to support all of these critical, and biblical based issues. Based on these facts, who aligns themselves closer with our Christian faith? Isn’t it amazing that a Mormon man appears to be more of a Christian than the man that professes to be a Christian?

Our great nation is living in perilous times. We have come to a crossroads, and this very well may be the last election that any of us will be able to vote in. While many may decide they can’t vote for a Mormon, let me be bold in my statement; to vote to re-elect President Obama is to cast a vote against God Himself. You are in effect saying that you know better than God and His Word does not matter. Casting your vote to re-elect President Obama declares before God that you support which he stands for. In effect, you are saying to God that you support the death of children, you support homosexual marriage, you support the destruction of Israel, and thus you support Barrack Obama’s mission to seize our religious freedoms from us.

Many of you may say, “Well I just won’t vote.” Let me tell you emphatically this is an unbiblical approach. The New Testament scripture tells us, “We are citizens of heaven” (Philippians 3:20). But we “Should be good citizens” (Romans 13:1) of the land in which we live. We’re called on by the Bible to participate in the governmental system. And one of the ways we can do that is by responsibly voting. In addition, a great price has been paid by those defending our freedoms to insure our voting privilege. And as a matter of conscience, every believer should register to vote, and then Vote!

In closing, I’m sure that many people out there will disagree with this view. They may even scoff at the notion that I’m judging the faith of our elected President. Yet, what do you call it when Jesus Christ died on the Christ for your sins and mine, and paid the ultimate price for our freedom, yet President Obama’s own political party fights to not have the name of God mentioned in their political platform? Moreover, get’s offended by the mere mention of Jesus’s name? If you attend a church where the pastor is telling you to support President Obama and his political party that tells you it’s okay to disrespect Jesus; you need to leave that church! In the end, make no mistake; people that cast a vote for Barrack Obama are going to have to answer for their vote. You either are serving Jesus, or the democratic party. People in this country are clearly fed up, and they want change. But that change will never come from a man who denies biblical principles and betrays the very moral fiber of the Christian faith. It’s time for Christians to rise up and have the courage to stand not for a political party, but embrace the candidate that closely aligns themselves with our Christian faith. Over the years the Democratic Party has become increasingly more Anti-Christian, Anti-God, Anti-Bible, Anti-Life, and Anti-Marriage. More frightening is that the Democratic Party has shown an alarming opposition to Israel. And as many of us know in regards to Israel, God’s Word declares, “Whoever curses you, I will curse” (Genesis 12:3). Do you want to be cursed for opposing God’s Word?

It is time to take a stand. It’s not about Romney’s religion… it’s about Righteousness. It’s not about a race… it’s about Repentance. And it’s not about rights… it’s about Redemption. Where you cast your vote on November 6th should not be about your party winning the election… but saving this great nation! Vote biblically, for on that day each one of us will be held accountable for which switch we pull in that election booth. And I know without a doubt if it were Christ voting, I know which lever He’d be pulling…

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

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Jesus: Social Reformer or Revolutionary?

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father” (John 10:14-8). There is overwhelming biblical evidence, such as this passage, that Jesus declared a new way of living exists. Were these the words of a social reformer, or a revolutionary destined to break down the barriers between God and man?

Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ, or simply “Jesus,” was born in Israel more than 2000 years ago. A Jew, who’s life would later become the foundation for Christianity; would rise out of the oppression of Roman rule to lead followers to salvation by reconciling their relationship with God through sacrificing His own life to atone for the sins of man. For most of His life, Jesus lived a life of obscurity as a simple carpenter. It was not until His second cousin John the Baptist of Judea baptized him that He fully embraced his rightful namesake. “Jesus” stemming from the Greek language relating to the Hebrew word Joshua, means “savior;” and “Christ” stemming from the Greek language related to the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning “anointed one.” In theological circles the word baptism has often been met with resistance. Jewish baptism customarily was looked upon as a process of one’s conversion from a pagan to Judaism. Yet, when Jesus was baptized the Bible states, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him” (Matthew 3:16). This baptism not only marked the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, but a spiritual awakening foretold by Old Testament prophecy.

Many words have been used to describe Jesus Christ; Son of God, Savior, and Redeemer to name just a few. However, no two words bring questions to the life-works of Jesus Christ more than words: Reformer and Revolutionary. Was Jesus a reformer, was He a revolutionary, or was He both? The opinion one can conclude is best derived from the evidence presented and how one views its importance. Christ’s teachings were synonymous with humility, grace, and empowerment. However, His instruction moved beyond that of an influential reformer; His teachings became the voice of a revolution.

To begin, let us look at the role Christ played as a reformer. As Christians, we can spend literally years thumbing through the New Testament marveling at the events that identify Jesus as a reformer. Ironically, Christ’s ministry only took root during the last three years of His life. The Roman Empire, led by Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus was an unscrupulous political regime and as a reformer, Jesus chose to make changes to improve this tyrannical corrupt system. Through His ministry, Jesus was insistent upon confronting those religious leaders that kept its people in a constant state of oppression. He not only broke down barriers by standing up for woman and the poor by calling them to take part in His ministry; but also questioned the hierarchical system of those religious authorities that tried to define the status quo. Instead Jesus was insistent upon calling the poor to partake in the best of life. Jesus wasn’t one just to standby and allow circumstances to dictate His work. He confronted wealth, racism, and fought to defend the common man against the oppressive Roman Empire, all the while conveying His message of hope, faith, and love.

Perhaps it was not even Jesus, “the man,” that was the greatest reformer after all, but the reformation that His ministry provided to this earth; for it was His inception of an approachable God that seemed to provide the greatest reform. A God based upon love, forgiveness, and grace; not one who was ready to destroy and wreak havoc on those who sinned. When Jesus taught about the kingdom of God He did not do so as a forewarning of the apocalypse, but in true Hellenistic form, Jesus was using the opportunity to urge His followers to embrace relationships among people of all social classes. Jesus reformed a society; He changed a mindset. He was a gift given from God, His only begotten Son. Who would die for all of us, in effect redeeming and atoning for our sins; which laid the groundwork by which Christianity is based upon today.

When looking at the life of Jesus, one cannot argue that He was in fact a reformer; however, the reform he provided also translated as being revolutionary. Characterized by many accounts in the Bible, “Jesus is clearly the Davidic Messiah, that figure expected within certain circles of Judaism as the hope of the future, a figure as magnificent in general promise as he is unclear in precise detail” (Crossan 19). He became known as a freedom fighter for His attempts to liberate His people from Roman control, but became discouraged by the reality of the political state of affairs. “Jesus did not teach violence and murder; rather… He strove for nonviolent liberation” (Schnackenberg 11). Jesus the insightful philosopher, who’s strict moral code drove Him to strive for the transformation of a corrupt society, who foretold the end of the world and crusaded to prepare the world for it, would one day find Himself in direct conflict with Pharisees and teachers. Only to have one of His chosen followers betray him in the Garden of Gethsemane.

As Jesus stood before His accusers, He remained a revolutionary as the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, read His sentence of death by crucifixion; a death so vial that it was reserved for Rome’s greatest enemies. He bore the final judgment for man as an act of human compassion rather than a religious obligation. As the Roman soldier shackled Jesus to the whipping post, Jesus looked up even though He knew what He was about to face, as if still saying, “I love you.” The Roman soldier then bore the cat-of-nine-tails against Jesus’ back thirty-nine times, because forty was considered execution. Then with His back barely held together, they forced Him to pick up His cross and carry it through the streets of Jerusalem to the hills of Golgotha. There, they would pound eight-inch spikes into his hands and his feet, and hang Him on an old Roman cross. When thinking of this account I reflect upon the book of John when Jesus said, “”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Life, this is life? Life taken by thirty-nine lashes? Life taken by eight-inch spikes and gruesomely suspended on a cross? Nevertheless, this was not really about life; it was not even about power, or even overturning the Roman government. This was about forgiveness. For even when He hung there suffering, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:24). Ironically, what the Romans really did not understand was that they had just began a “revolution.”

Whether you believe Jesus is a reformer or a revolutionary, it makes little or no sense in the context of His life. Through His teachings, He reformed a society; yet, it was these same teachings that proved revolutionary to the history of the world. Fact, Jesus was the Son of God, Savior to the world; and the ultimate reforming revolutionary figure in the Bible. As Christians, each day we have the honor of sharing our appreciation for the liberating gift that Christ’s death provides; a gift that flows through our relationships and remains the hallmark of forgiveness, reconciliation, and an abundant love for others. This same gift that once transformed me, this wretch of a man, into a compassionate soldier for Christ. The same person that used to make fun of “bible-bangers” is not only now one of them, but now serving in God’s Kingdom as a pastoral leader. Had I not chosen to say “Yes” to the grace and love that Jesus provides to us, I seriously do not know if I would be alive today. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can be viewed as reforming or revolutionary; but one thing is for certain, it will continue to remain a life-changing authority that generates a revival of the Divine law; and a revolution that closed the gap between the relationship we now have with our Heavenly Father.

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

Works Cited:
Crossan, John Dominic. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1994. Print.

Schnackenburg, Rudolf. The Friend We Have in Jesus. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. 1997. Print

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