The Iran Deal

Nukes

Other than knee-jerk hysteria, hype, and slanted opinion; do you really know what this Iran Deal is about?  Let me be clear here: I in no way support the government of Iran. Nor am I a fan of President Obama, or ANY politician for that matter. But this deal could possibly be the only thing Obama has done right, or will do right, in his entire presidency.

Iran was never a weapons threat. They have not invaded or made a preemptive strike against another nation in a thousand years. It is time to move past the rhetoric from some of Iran’s leadership and look at their actions. Even Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have said they have NEVER feared an Iranian first strike, even if Iran had a nuclear weapon. The Israelis only fear is that an armed Iran would limit their freedom of action in the entire region. In other words, Israel would not be able to wage wars in the region if Iran did, in fact, develop a nuclear weapon.

The United States has had a cold war with Iran since 1979 when the hostages were taken. In 1979 the Iranians overthrew the American imposed dictatorship that the CIA helped to install in 1953 by overthrowing Iran’s democratically elected government. Iran has been repeatedly threatened with aggressive war from not only the United States but others across the region for years. The rhetoric from both Iran, the U.S., and Israel is nothing short of chest thumping pomposity for mostly political gain.

In the deal, Iran has taken their already safe guarded IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) civilian nuclear electricity program and agreed to significantly scale it down limiting their enrichment percentage to 3.67. This is industrial electricity grade uranium 235 and cannot be used for a nuclear bomb. The deal also says they will use everything they produce without stockpiling it. The Iranians have also agreed to shut down their second facility which only enriched up to twenty percent, still short of bomb grade and was used for their medical isotope reactor given to them by President Gerald Ford. They will also be bringing in Americans to assist them in reconfiguring their Arak facility so it does not produce and rely on heavy water. The water will be so polluted with other isotopes and waste that it will be completely useless for bomb making. They do not even have the reprocessing facility used to make the waste into useable plutonium if it was not polluted. They are also going from twenty thousand operating centrifuges to five or six thousand.

In this deal the Iran nuclear program will be the most inspected in history. All the facilities will be under the inspection agreement. The program was always safeguarded but now any reasonable thinking person could draw the conclusion that it is doubly safeguarded. In other words, any person who is not politically motivated can draw the right conclusion.

So does Iran want a nuclear weapon? Probably. But why would they not? Everyone around them has one. I hope Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. My wish would be that no nation, including the United States, on the planet would ever possess nuclear warheads.

So what does this deal really mean? For starters it could be the end of the cold-war with Iran. Especially considering the sanctions aimed at them will be lifted as a result of their cooperation. Sanctions never damage or hurt a government to any degree worth mentioning, but they do damage and hurt a country’s populous. A populous, by the way,  that includes Christians (who have been there for centuries), innocents, missionaries, and peace loving people who wold love nothing more than to live their lives.

So why all the hype? It seems to be a right of passage for every presidential nominee to threaten and condemn Iran. Mostly because it appeals to the overwhelmingly ignorant population stirring up a misguided and perverted swell of patriotism. It also ensures job security for the huge Israel lobby in DC who funnels the wealth of small nations into these campaigns. Interestingly enough these same chest thumpers never condemn Saudi Arabia’s atrocities.

So other than rhetoric from the U.S., Israel, and Iran; what makes you believe Iran has the ability to develop a nuclear bomb? Is it the candidates who profit from the lobbyists? Is it the doomsday TV evangelists who profit from the hype? Or is it talk radio or cable news getting their talking points from the highest bidder? If you believe that Israel is God’s chosen people, and God will protect them at all cost, then how could Iran destroy Israel even if they had a nuclear bomb?

Christmas-in-Iran-by-Wedin2

Christmas time in Iran.

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Nativity scene on the streets of Tehran.

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Joel Osteen is not your enemy.

Joel-Osteen-Victoria-Osteen-Facebook

This is for those Christians who ordain themselves “fruit inspectors” or consider themselves God’s “Holy Ghost police force.” It is not just about Joel Osteen. So many other ministers have been publicly raked across the coals for one reason or the other by Christians who consider themselves obligated, or feel it is their purpose, to expose and malign those Christians they do not agree with.  Let me start by saying I do not watch or listen to Joel Osteen. I have listened to him in the past but never on a regular basis. I am not an expert on Joel Osteen or his ministry, but neither are those who are so eager to bash him. I have done enough research to know that most of the stories circulating on the internet concerning him are either taken out of context or just false. Again, this journey is deeper than Joel Osteen. It is about the self-righteous piety on display by Christians publicly beating their chests like ancient Pharisees. Some Christians today are like vicious attack dogs. They are so eager to scream about supposed, and actual, short comings of any minister.

The one thing that sticks out to me concerning the criticism of Osteen and many others is their positive and encouraging message. Some have deemed their message the “feel good Gospel.” Like somehow if a Pastor is not preaching against sin at every opportunity, it is not the Gospel. The funny thing is those people who love it when ministers preach against sin, soon change their tune when the minister begins to preach against their sin. The Bible says it is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance. Romans 2:4 (NLT) says, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”

Plastering Joel Osteen or any minister’s face all over social media is not healthy. I dare say it is not Godly. There are ministers I would not walk across the street to see but it is not my job to rally against them. Let’s be honest, it is not Biblical to slander, accuse, or lambaste any minister’s character publicly. In Matthew 18:15 (KJV) God tells us, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”

If a minister commits an atrocity, lies, or spreads false doctrine; God will deal with them. Their public presence will ultimately fail. As Biblically based Christians we do not condone false doctrine; nor do we promote or defend it. If you do not like Osteen or any other minister’s message, do not listen to it. Find someone who you feel is well balanced and speaks the whole of the Gospel.

Remember that you are not the Holy Ghost Police – stop eating your own and remember Joel Osteen is not your enemy.  Satan is our enemy and he would love nothing more than the church to tear itself apart from the inside out. Next time you are inclined to share the latest attack article or status, try praying for that person.
It may just work out to be the best for you, and them.

American Church: Get Divorced… From The Government.

Marriage License

The rhetoric from both sides of the so-called “gay marriage” debate is nothing short of detestable. The “tolerant left” and the “Christian right” are spewing out hateful and hurtful hot air at a fever pitch. And… it is exhausting. How many bridges have you, as a Christian, burned? Is your opinion so important to you that you have to get it out there for the world to see, regardless of how much influence you lose? And to the non and liberal Christian; is your rainbow profile pic so important to you that you risk the chance of souring your relationships with those who do not agree with you? Your false sense of caring and your skewed sense of love is prideful at best. “Look at me! Look at how tolerant and excepting  I am!” “If you disagree you must be a close-minded country bumpkin.” Please… With that being said, lets get down to the brass tacks on the matter.

The church, whether it be intentional or non-intentional, has cared far more for the government’s definition of marriage than they have God’s definition of marriage. This is where we, as Christians, are wrong. Most Christians think of marriage as just a legal contract, almost exclusively in a civic sense. Which explains why the divorce rate among those claiming to be Christian are just as high or even higher as non-Christians. (Really the only thing a Christian needs to divorce is government.) Maybe Christians are afraid same sex “marriage” will threaten the sanctity of their fourth marriage? Marriage is not a legal institution justified and made legitimate by the state. Marriage is a spiritual institution given its legitimacy by God through an officiating Christian minister. It is a lifelong monogenist commitment between one man and one woman as defined in the Old and New Testaments. The government’s definition of marriage should not matter in the least to a believer. To belabor the need for a constitutional amendment for a definition of marriage to come from the highest echelons of government is a poor witness and only lends credence to government, implying its legitimacy is higher than God’s. It ultimately places government above God’s authority.

A minister friend of mine conducted a wedding for a very devout Christian couple and forgot to mail the proper paper work to the state. The couple received a letter in the mail requesting the paper work be mailed in. In a panic the couple contacted my friend fearing they were not really married because the paperwork for the state was not filed. They actually thought they were living in sin because of this. This is a Christian couple who stood before their congregation and made a marriage covenant before God to one another. This is what we have come to as a church. Where a marriage license, which is just a tax, is held in more esteem than the Word of God. This is a heart issue and idolatry problem. For more on that read my blog entry called American Jesus And The Religion Of The State. 

So the next time you find yourself calling for America to repent, maybe you should be a little retrospective. Perhaps God is calling for you to repent? The next time you feel the need to call for political action you should remember that this Supreme Court ruling has presented a grand opportunity for the church to divorce government once and for all. A chance to sing a sovereign anthem to the King of Kings and not a king. An opportunity to serve in the King’s court and not the jester’s. A chance to follow the wind of Holy Spirit and not the winds of political theatre. Christianity is not a political action committee. Remember this: We are strangers. We are aliens. We are not of this world. Our hope isn’t in a nation-state or its laws. Our God isn’t government. Our hope isn’t government. Our destiny isn’t government. Ours is a new covenant. Our citizenship is HIS kingdom. Our definitions of sacred institutions aren’t defined by any person, regardless of position or appointment. Start meditating on God and His Word and stop being a shill for government and its dictates.

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?

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)

Your Foreign Policy Is Wrong.

Lesley Stahl discussing U.S. sanctions against Iraq on 60 Minutes in 1996: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.” (May 1996)

“F**k Saddam, we’re taking him out.” –President George W. Bush (Said to three U.S. Senators a full year before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.)

“God is pro-war.” -Jerry Falwell (January 2004)

You would be hard pressed to find a subject more misunderstood in modern society, and especially in the church, than foreign policy and war. Christians and non-Christians alike will argue their position with fervent passion with most having never grasped the New Testament teachings of peace and grace or even read a book on the subject of foreign policy. Most could not even find the countries on a map they are arguing to invade! When the calls from Christians to bomb, invade, and occupy foreign lands is greater than the call to reach a nation for Christ there is serious error.

Your foreign policy is wrong when it does not line up with what the New Testament teaches. There are many times in the Old Testament that God directed His people to war but to say this is how God operates in the New Testament age of grace is the opposite of Jesus’ teachings. It also implies that modern governments are hearing from, and are being directed by God on matters of foreign policy. But the United States, Israel, or any other nation’s military is not God’s Army and their leaders are not God’s priests. Furthermore, to say God is on any one nation’s side is ludicrous. God does not look down upon the Earth and see a map with border lines and nation states. There are Christians on both sides of every conflict regardless of what nation they are citizen of or what their government represents. Christians perish, and have perished, on both sides of every bombing raid or invasion in all of history. See Here. But every knee-jerk argument invoked by well meaning Christians seem to follow the belief of what they claim as divine favor and to be in disagreement with the majority of government’s decisions, according to them, is sinful. The Book of Romans is usually the “smoking gun” to end all debate. For example… “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (‭Romans‬ ‭13‬:‭1-2‬ KJV) If this is a valid argument of what this scripture really means, or a worthy excuse to follow government’s every whim, then the Germans under the Nazi regime would be justified by following this misinterpretation and supporting every atrocity perpetrated by their government during the second world war. In actuality Christians are very selective as to which commands they will follow. Most of them would never travel abroad and preemptively kill in mass but let them be ordered by the government to do so and they will because they fail to correctly distinguish between Old and New Testament.

It seems today if you are a Christian you are automatically expected to believe that God is pro-war and blesses every skirmish, war or invasion. But being pro-war is not a traditional Christian position, nor is it a traditional conservative position. American Christians should study the Word without the dark cloud of political bias hanging ominously above their heads. They should also study the hatred and disgust of war by the early church fathers. For example, Justin Martyr said this of the peaceful nature and heart of early Christians: “And we who had been filled with war and mutual slaughter and every wickedness have each one all the world over changed the instruments of war, the swords into plows and the spears into farming instruments, and we cultivate piety, righteousness, love for all men, faith and the hope which is from the Father Himself through the Crucified One. We who hated and slew one another, and because of differences in customs would not share a common hearth with those who are not of our tribe, now after the appearance of Christ have become sociable, and pray for our enemies, and try to persuade those who hate us unjustly in order that they, living according to the good suggestions of Christ, may share our hope of obtaining the same reward from God, Who is master of all.” Contrast Martyr’s quote, which WAS mainstream thought, with a Methodist’s minister’s quote during the war hysteria at the beginning of World War I: “I would have gone over the top with other Americans. I would have driven my bayonet into the throat or the eye or stomach of the Huns without the slightest hesitation, and my conscience would not have bothered me in the least.” This quote represents the heart of modern Christianity that was birthed during the dreaded Century of War. Also, seeing that the majority of American Christians are Republican, they should study the early conservatives and realize that before William F. Buckley, Jr. (ex-CIA man), and the publication of his magazine National Review, the Republican Party was the anti-war party. The founding fathers were also vehemently opposed to foreign entanglements of every kind. Thomas Jefferson said: “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” The answer for modern theorists seems to be the more foreign entanglements the U.S. Involves itself in then the safer the world will be. If they would study blow black as suggested by the CIA and made mainstream by Dr. Ron Paul, they would realize the folly of their beliefs. Their answer to fix the problems started by dropping bombs is strangely enough, to drop more bombs.

Foreign invasions in modern time and throughout history have been done under the guise of humanitarian missions with the U.S. media being the most vocal supporters. Years ago there was a defector from the Soviet Union who said the biggest difference between the people of the Soviet Union and the United States is people in the U.S. actually believe what the media reports. No modern U.S. invasion has been a humanitarian mission. One example is Iraq. The entire Christian population has been driven out or ethnically cleansed of their communities where they have worshiped since the days of Christ and this is a direct result of the U.S. invasion. The same is true for Libya. It is true that Saddam and Gaddafi were horrible men and even more horrible leaders but the U.S. has no right to invade any sovereign nation, especially without congressional approval. Even with congressional approval it does not make pre-emptive war moral or just. If the U.S. military industrial complex was in the business of humanitarian mission then they would have liberated thousands of people in Africa who have been slaughtered by radical regimes for years.

Most modern Christians are unapologetically militant and ready to bomb any nation for almost any reason. Their hearts are so full of vengeance and blood-lust. Remember, sprinkled in amongst the bomb’s targets are children, women, and Christians dying a death they do not deserve. If there is one thing any U.S. president can count on, it is the support of American Christians and the dumbed down masses for any and all military action. This is in spite years of blow-back and terrorism started by illegal, unjust, and immoral offensive wars. Your foreign policy is wrong.

As for me and my house, we will serve The Prince of Peace…not the God of War.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 (KJV)

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 (KJV)

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18 (KJV)

Kingdom Come.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

You hear a lot of talk these days of the desire for Christ to build His kingdom here. But I believe it has just become a shallow proclamation and just a phrase christians say and do not know what it really means. Stumbling blocks are stacking up on each other around every corner and it looks as if this world has no hope. This culture seems to be the most godless in modern history and the church idly sits by fighting battles, that are  rooted in spirituality, with carnal weapons while it happens.

The church should stop pretending it has any significant influence on today’s culture. Mostly because the modern church looks and acts more like a political party or lobby group than it does a divinely led institution. Instead of showing love in situations we sputter out party talking points or regurgitate political rhetoric we have learned from our favorite talking head. Far too often ministers are calling for more political action than they are for corporate prayer. But Jesus never encouraged legislative means for a Godly end. You never saw an instance in scripture where the apostles picketed, boycotted, campaigned against (or for) the folly of the Roman government; even under bitter persecution. It seems Christians enthusiastically support almost every government mandate from wars to social engineering, especially under a Republican administration. The calls from pulpits for soldiers to invade the Middle-East are louder than the calls for missionaries to go. But the United States military is not God’s army and the President, regardless of party affiliation, is not God’s general. At election time you see ministers very publicly endorsing their candidate of choice regardless of the candidates voting record, religion, or moral failures. It seems many pastors today are pimps, whoring out the church to a political party or pet cause. The church is seen by the non-Christians as just a voting block or a Political Action Commitee. The sad reality is you will NEVER legislate your idea of morality or boycott someone into Heaven. We are failing future generations by being known more for what we hate than what we love, and being known more for what we are against than we are for.

“Heavenly places” occurs five times in the book of Ephesians. He has called us to heavenly places far above the things of this world. Ephesians 2:6 says, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The death of Jesus is the death of our old nature. Christ’s resurrection is our resurrection and His ascension is our legal access to heavenly places! We should be invading this culture with a standard of holiness. We should not try and achieve Godly ends through worldly means. We are so quick to support knee-jerk reactions to situations that can only be dealt with by the Holy Spirit through prayer. Jesus Christ gives us our blueprint of prayer in Matthew with the Lord’s prayer. He begins with “Your Kingdom Come.” We are to begin our prayers by acknowledging His will…not with self indulgence and selfish desires. If we desire His kingdom here then His kingdom business should be a way of life. We should be dwelling in heavenly places and projecting His kingdom from there to here. We should be foreigners invading the culture, but, more often times than not, the culture has invaded the church. It appears we are losing a battle that has already been won.

Your kingdom come oh Lord!

Would Jesus Drop An Atomic Bomb?

The old cliche is true; history really does repeat itself. And so, the wars roll on. With each generation humanity travels much of the same old road. The mistakes and atrocities of each generation seem to disappear in the annals of time with subsequent generations failing to learn or choosing to ignore, for whatever reason, the mistakes of their fathers. This Saturday, August 9, is the anniversary for the lesser discussed, and often forgotten, bombing on the city of Nagasaki, Japan. Nagasaki was the second city in two equally barbaric and aggressive atomic bombings on defenseless civilian populations that took the war torn Japanese people to the brink of extinction and further crippled their fascist government.

The original target was the city of Kokura, not Nagasaki. Kokura, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki had been mostly spared from the US bombing raids that burned nearly sixty other Japanese cities to the ground. The reason for mostly excluding these cities from conventional bombings was to see the affects on undamaged buildings with living inhabitants when an atomic bomb, the world’s first WMD, was exploded. In effect, the atomic bombings in Japan were nothing short of a nuclear science experiment.

On the morning of August 9, 1945 a bomber called Bockscar, with an all Christian crew, took off from Tinian Island and had been blessed by the prayers of several Christian chaplains. The crew was instructed to drop the bomb through visually siting the city but upon arrival to Kokura the cloud cover was so dense that the crew headed for its secondary target, Nagasaki. Most historians estimate the death toll in Nagasaki at 50,000. Children playing in the streets and innocent men and women were instantly vaporized while others that survived the initial blast lived to develop excruciating diseases and cancers. Tens of thousands suffered from radiation poisoning and chromosomal defects. One eyewitness account from a lady who survived the attack recalled a horrifying experience as two figures, what she thought were lizards, crawled on the hillside where she found shelter. It turns out they were two survivors who had their skin flash burned from their bodies. The hell dropped from the sky that morning is unimaginable, even in nightmares.

Nagasaki had the largest concentration of Christians along with the largest cathedral in the entire Orient. The Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier had established a mission church there in 1549 and the Christian community flourished for several generations. Unfortunately, around sixty years after Xavier founded the mission the Japanese government began persecution of the burgeoning community. They were tortured, murdered, and even crucified. The faith was all but extinguished. But was it?

In the 1850s, unbeknownst to the government, it was realized there were thousands of Christians in Nagasaki covertly practicing their faith. This rekindled another round of persecution, but due to international pressure the abuse stopped and the church emerged triumphant, even building a massive church building named St. Mary’s Cathedral. The Christians onboard Bockscar, when making visual conformation on the city, recognized their target by identifying the cathedral.

At 11:02 in the morning, the entire Nagasaki Christian community was annihilated by a Christian crew on behest of a Christian nation. The Japanese tried for 200 years to stamp out Christianity in their pagan nation; and what they could not do, American Christians did in less than a minute.

So I ask you, would Jesus Christ drop an atomic bomb?

Jesus Christ The God of War?

The American Christian church has a war fever. It is a cheerleader for every undeclared, illegal, immoral, preemptive, and unjust war the US government or its allies involves itself in. This seems to be one issue that crosses denominational boundaries and unites the modern church. Instead of praying for peace, church leaders and lay-persons are unilaterally praying for a swift and deadly defeat for every “foe” at the end of the American saber at any cost. The church collective is even far more supportive of sending troops to the Middle-East than they are missionaries. There are Christian populations in the Middle-East that have been free to worship since Christ walked the earth that are now being eradicated, prosecuted, tortured, and silenced as a direct result of U.S. interventionist foreign policy, with the full support of the American church.

The church will often justify every posture of US foreign policy by referencing Old Testament scripture. But the American military is not God’s Army and the Commander and Chief, regardless of party affiliation, is NOT God’s appointed Priest. An anonymous Baptist preacher from the 1800’s said it this way: “It should be remembered, that in no case, even under the Old Testament, was war appointed to decide doubtful questions, or to settle quarrels, but to inflict national punishment. They were intended, as are pestilence and famine, to chastise nations guilty of provoking God. Such is never the pretext of modern war; and if it were, it would require divine authority, which, as has just been said, would induce even members of the Peace Society to fight.”

The same Christians singing “Build Your Kingdom Here” are the most boisterous protagonists for every conflict. We are ambassadors for Christ on earth called to invade the world, not with tanks and bullets, but with the glorious Gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord. In His kingdom there is no war or death, so we should not advocate it here. Jesus said to let His Father’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We live in the age of grace not under the old law. Give me one, just one example in the New Testament of an instance Jesus Christ advocated, encourages, or promotes war. The Baptist minister further wrote: War “contradicts the genius and intention of Christianity,” “sets at nought the example of Jesus,” and “is inconsistent not only with the general structure and nature of Christianity and the example of Jesus, but it violates all the express precepts of the New Testament.”

The message of peace and the compassion for those lost should not be a difficult or confusing truth to embrace but the church is far more willing to believe American media than they are the timeless truths of God’s Word. So let the horror of war burn in your soul the next time the media mentions “collateral damage” which is simply newsspeak for innocent men, women, children, and YOUR brothers and sisters in Christ being bombed, maimed, and murdered.

In Romans 14:17-19 the Living Word says: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” If we are Christians and Christian means to be Christ-like then we should emulate Christ the peacemaker and stop cheerleading and electing the politicians and governments who send other people’s children to kill and be killed in war. We should pray for governments to seek peaceful ends not violent recourse on behest of lobbyists with the blind support of the church.

My prayer is that my brothers and sisters in Christ come to a true revelation of the Gospel of our Lord and they come to know Jesus Christ for who he is;
The Prince of Peace not The God of War.