American Jesus And The Religion Of The State.

American Jesus

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3 (KJV)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

I believe in the true meaning of the separation of church and state. Actually I believe in the separation of state and everything. But nonetheless; nowhere in the Constitution do the words “separation of church and state” appear. This phrase has become the most twisted phrase in modern vernacular pertaining to the U.S. Constitution. The founders of the United States were opposed to a state sponsored church. It really is as simple as that. The first amendment guarantees that Congress shall not establish a national religion. On the flip side of that it says Congress cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion. Here we are living in modern times and the church has put itself in a box. Stifling it’s right to freely exercise the right to exist independently of the state. Far too long the church has slept quietly while major denominations and prominent leaders pimp themselves out as cheap whores to political special interest groups and their party of choice. Statism and idol worship have even crept their way in to the church like a deadly silent plague cleverly disguised as patriotism and honor. The church should be governed solely by God and led only by the Holy Spirit without pagan practices and worldly influence. Most American churches are adorned with idolatrous symbols and led by those who are more influenced by political winds than they are of the Holy Spirit.

Anyone that has spent anytime in Sunday school knows the story of the three Hebrew boys; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into the fiery furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the land during their time and he made a giant image of gold demanding all his provincial officials bow and worship it. Anyone who refused would be thrown into a blazing fiery furnace. The Hebrew boys watched over the province of Babylon at the time of the idol’s dedication. At the dedication some astrologers brought it to the king’s attention that the Hebrew boys neither served the king’s gods nor worshiped the golden idol. King Nebuchadnezzar was outraged and interrogated the boys. The king gave them an ultimatum; either worship the idol or be thrown into the fire! The boys refused so the king became enraged and had the furnace heated seven times greater than usual and he threw them in. To the king’s amazement the boys not only survived the blaze but were miraculously rescued by a fourth person in the fire. The boys emerged from the fire without even one singed hair on their heads. So great was the miracle that there was no smell of smoke on them and their robes were spotless. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego trusted in the one true God and defied the king’s demand to worship other gods and idols. They were willing to give up their lives rather than worship anything or anyone other than their God. It is important to note here that King Nebuchadnezzar did not ask the Hebrew boys to worship the golden idol with exclusivity. He asked them to worship the idol in addition to their God.

In many ways modern Christians worship government, in addition to God, much like pagans worship their false gods and idols. They look to government for their protection and sustenance and faithfully expect it to be their supplier and provider. Government is exonerated and its officials are extolled like they have been ordained by God to lord over the populous. Churches very openly fly the U.S. flag higher than the Christian flag and their platforms are often adorned with nation flags. I have no ill will towards the flag and see nothing sacrilegious about businesses or homeowners displaying them if they choose to. Even wording that one hundred years ago would have been reserved for holy objects is now referred to for state objects. For example, if someone were to destroy a U.S. flag the media, and common folk alike, will say someone has desecrated the flag. To desecrate something means to destroy something that is sacred. The word sacred means that the object is connected with God or used for religious purposes. Church choirs sing hymns to the state on or around national holidays and special services are dedicated to honor the state and its vast military industrial complex. All of this without even the slightest apprehension from clergy or parishioners.

Within Christianity there are Christian organizations solely dedicated to promoting legislative action and political agendas. While these things are not entirely bad they still miss the purpose of the Great Commission. You will not find one example in the New Testament when Jesus ever condones the use of government or legislative action for a godly end. Furthermore, you would be hard pressed to find one instance or example of early generations of the church promoting political agendas by protesting or boycotting certain groups of society, calling for special amendments to the constitution, or demanding special elections. Boycotts and protests simply isolate Christians from those they are called to minister to. Taking legislative action against those we are called to reach is a non-spiritual attempt to use man’s institution of government to try to achieve something that can only be achieved in the spiritual realm. Even if these organization succeed in their efforts, they have not changed anyone’s hearts or minds. They will have only won a political battle driving a wedge further between them and non-Christians.

What Christians fail to see is government is coercive in nature and inherently evil. I cannot imagine the early church singing songs praising their country or lauding their politicians. We must rely on God and Him only. We should pray the Holy Spirit convicts our leaders of their horrendous sins and makes their paths straight. First Timothy 2:1-4 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” It is time for Christians to step up to the plate and do what God has intended for us to do. For too long the church has chased its tail and fervently supported political agendas at a fever pitch. Sadly the American Christian church has become a state religion that resembles a political action committee far more than the Church of our Lord. State worship is blatant in American Christianity and sadly it is encouraged and promoted. I fear American Christians have made Jesus to be an American Jesus proudly pictured with a Bible in one hand and the U.S. constitution in the other.

Do you serve the American Jesus or the Jesus of the Bible?

Advertisements

I Am a Political Atheist.

“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” – Mark Twain

“Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:27 (NIV)

Yes, it is true, I am a political atheist. I do not believe in elected politics or the almighty god of democracy any longer. I will admit I used to be a political junkie and election night was my Super Bowl. I would argue the doctrine of what I thought was conservatism like a fiery Pentecostal evangelist. I was right, you were wrong, and that was the end of the story. I was an apostle of Shawn Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh and I new all the clever RNC talking points spewed forth by the aforementioned. I thought I was educated in the way of elected politics, political theory, conservatism, and what the Bible said about who and what to vote for but I was dead wrong. Blasphemy was common place and I did not even know it. I actually thought Republican and Christian were synonymous and if Jesus were here in the flesh He would actually vote, and even worse vote a straight Republican ticket. An awakening began in me around 2004. The Spirit of the Lord began to deal with me concerning these matters and I began to read books and essays on economics, elected politics, political theory, history, and Christianity’s role in politics. I was becoming what the political elites and the media do not want you to be; educated.

No meaningful change ever comes from elected politics. Sure, they will throw you a bone from time to time by lowering or raising a tax or passing some controversial bill, but it is just a dog and pony show. Voting has become a sacred cow. Election Day is akin to a holy day to be revered and respected by the masses and voting is considered an honor similar to a religious rite. After all, “good men and women died for our right to vote.” A good majority of polling stations are even in churches. In election season you will hear the same pitch over and over. “If you don’t vote you don’t have the right to complain!” It is my opinion that the folks that do vote do not have the right to complain. The voters are the ones perpetuating a broken system and voting for the proverbial “lessor of two evils.” The problem with voting for the lesser of two evils is you are still voting for evil. There is no choice in elected politics. You have two sides arguing over two candidates who are bought and paid for by the same corporations and supported by most of the same special interest groups. In reality it is only their rhetoric that is just somewhat different. Politics is like professional wrestling. In front of the camera the wrestlers are enemies but behind the scenes they are friends and even write their next match’s script together.

Senate races are especially amusing to me now. The age old argument is you have to hold your nose and vote for candidate A because you do not want candidate B’s party to win the majority. But so what if one party has the majority over the other? Americans are either incredibly optimistic, ridiculously naive, or the majority of voters have early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. One only has to go back a short time to see the folly of the, “majority will run amuck” myth. In 1994 after the Republicans won the congress with the “Republican Revolution” and Speaker Newt Gingrich made his “Contract with America” the Republicans repealed nothing. That is right; nothing. All their talk of the bloated Clinton controlled government and they repealed nothing. Government, on their watch, just got bigger. More recently under Bush II’s administration when the Republicans controlled every branch of government, government grew more than even FDR could have imagined . The spending was astronomical and the policies were detrimental. The TSA, No Child Left Behind, The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (the largest socialized medicine scheme since Lyndon B Johnson), and countless other boondoggles were ripe with fraud and cronyism that would would make LBJ look conservative. Bush’s numbers in his first four years, while his party controlled Congress, added almost $350 billion to the federal budget.

The Republican pander to the religious-right is especially sickening at election time. A lot of Christian Republicans will tell you they are a one issue voter and the swing of their vote depends on the candidates position on abortion. If the Republicans did not have the “pro-life” platform to run on, they could not run. If they really wanted it abolished it would have been abolished by now. And what constitutes being pro life? How could someone claim to be for life and lobby to bomb civilians? The Republicans controlled the government under Bush and essentially they could have rammed almost anything through but here we are years later and abortion is still legal, government is a tyrannical behemoth, and Bush’s extra-constitutional exploits paved the way for Obama’s follies. It is astonishing to me how Obama supporters could still hate Bush. Obama has taken the Bush Doctrine and ran with it. Obama shares a myriad of commonalities with Bush; so much so you would think Bush never left office. For example both administrations had enormous bailouts, out of control federal spending, colossal unemployment numbers, stimulus packages, assaults on civil liberties, huge expansions in social medicine, executive orders, and more illegal wars and skirmishes than all administrations combined. Any reasonably thinking and educated person would look at the two administrations and draw one conclusion, that these two are one.

So what is a good Christian political atheist to do? It is simple really. Pray and believe God for the best despite the ridiculous propaganda and folly of the ruling class. A Christian should only look to the Bible for their example. There is no example of the early church promoting political revolution. Jesus could have came to earth and set up an earthly kingdom here. The Jews fully expected Jesus to helm a major political revolution. In fact, Satan promised Jesus that very thing if Christ would only bow down and worship him. The Word says in Matthew 4, “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” I cannot even begin to imagine the Apostles advocating and promoting Caesar the way Christians advocate politicians. Even if Rome would have been a “Christian” nation you would not have seen politicking in the early church because it only causes division and bitter divide amongst believers and those we are called to reach. No substantial or meaningful change will ever come from elected politics, if it did voting would be outlawed. Change will only come when people wake from the slumber, really educate themselves, turn off Fox News and CNN, and study unbiased history while seeking God’s will.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)