Friday, March 5, 2010
According to the bible, God wants us to put Him in first place in our lives. Then, the way I read it he wants us to consider others next, and ourselves last. In Romans Chapter 13, the apostle Paul explains the role and purpose of government and what our response should be as Christians. Governments (good and bad) are there for the purpose of keeping us from anarchy and in a state of relative peacefulness so that we can worship God. God knew how difficult it was for men to grasp spiritual principles, so he sent Jesus Christ to be our human example. What did we do? We killed him. I'll not try and explain all the rest of the plan here, but it was a necessity that Jesus die. My bible says he rose from the grave and ascended to God to sit at his right hand. God also sent the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirits when we accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us. This Holy Spirit then provides us with the spiritual guidance to know the correct spiritual response in every situation. You might ask, "How can you believe all this?" Well, God provides the faith we need to believe when we approach him. We don't have to qualify by doing anything but accepting what he has done for us through Jesus Christ - this is known as grace (unmerited favor). We are to read his Word daily (The Bible) to get the objective answers to our questions. Then the Holy Spirit enlightens our understanding and helps us to apply it. Because we also have our human mental and biological processes still functioning we sometimes have leakage which colors our responses and makes our interpretations subjective to varying degrees. As we learn more about God's word (The Bible) we become more mature as Christians and less likely to let our carnal responses color our actions. The mature Christian should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit which is: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Galatians 5:22).
Because men have interpreted various segments of the Word differently, we have a variety of denominations within the belief system know as Christianity. They all believe what I have written about in my second paragraph but differ in often minor points of application. But, because some political systems sought to make all Christians belong to a state mandated denomination, our great nation was formed. Our forefathers were for the most part Christians. They varied in their beliefs, but our nation was established on the principles derived from the Bible. The only way a representative republic can exist and prosper is for the majority of its population to ascribe to the order set down by God in his word. When people put God first and abide by his principles and consider their fellowman next, then a plethora of laws are not necessary and government interference in our daily existence is not necessary. However, to the degree that individuals stray from this model, God's ordained institution of "government", will have to step in to maintain control.
When Jesus ministered here on this earth, there were many social practices that were not in line with what the Kingdom of God was all about. Instead of trying to immediately undo eons of accepted social practice (slavery being one example) he sought to change the hearts of individuals and let them mature spiritually to the point they would realize their error and change the institutions. He didn't condone slavery, but told Christian slaves how to respond to their masters, and Christian masters how to respond to their slaves. We will be blessed as a nation to the degree that we respond as individuals to God's plan to bring our individual lives into right relationship with our Creator. When enough people do what God says, then we will see progress in our nation. My job is to tell you about the plan and to daily work on maturing in the Spirit. My prayer is that you will approach God and accept his gift for you. He will do the rest.