Friday, October 17, 2008

The Heart of America

...Where do you stand this political season? Where do any Christians stand in politics? How about for the last ten years, twenty? ...If you are like many Christians planning to vote with the Constitution Party, I ask you to prayerfully read this paper. I am not attacking you or your opinion or convictions, nor am I trying to bring further division to the people of God. But I am condemning America for her pride and her wretched drifting from the lap of God. And I am condemning the church for abandoning true religion, the work which God gave to her. Both of these units are made up of people like you and me, Christians and American citizens who have lost our way; we are more concerned with the Law than with the Spirit, with works than with faith. Let me explain. ...Many believe that it would be wrong to vote for Sarah Palin because she is a woman. (After all, the New Testament is full of passages admonishing women to be submissive to their husbands and keepers of the home.) Allot of this has been coming from conservative home school families who have been carefully raising their daughters to be homemakers. Families like my own. Personally I am not so conservative as some, although the world has accused me of being legalistic; I believe being a wife and mother is a high and noble calling, one which most women are called too. It is the normal way the Lord works, a sure way of raising up holy offspring for the next generation which is what the Lord seeks. But these are not "normal" times. ...What we have witnessed in America is a spiritual decline; our families are crumbling through divorce and rebellion; our churches are often dead and dying; and our government has become a seat for pride and hypocrisy, surely a stronghold for Satan. Despite valiant efforts on the part of many, especially the "reformed conservative home school" movement, our country is worse than ever. What is wrong? ...Now I do not pretend to have all the answers, and far be it from me to point at others with a plank in my own eye! I can only share with you the burden on my heart, you must take it to Scripture and see if it rings true. Please pray and search Gods Word on this matter - and let the Holy Spirit help you draw conclusions before replying. ...The reason we have not had a great spiritual awakening in America for so many years is because we Christians have not been faithfully doing Gods Work. Instead we have focused on ourselves; on how to become "holier" by what we wear, what our profession is, how many children we have, how we keep the Sabbath, whether or not we home school, whether or not we have a "classical" education, whether we read plenty of "out of print books", whether we have memorized the Westminster Catechism, whether we have our children baptised as infants or not; the list goes on and on. I am not saying that these things are wrong, on the contrary, most of the above are helpful and probably godly things to do as families. Yet we cannot let these things become the heart of Christianity, any more than we can let "political correctness" and socialism become the heart of America. Our heart is Jesus, our center is the cross, our hope is in Christ alone. Not modesty, not stay at home mothers, not having large families, not homeschooling, and not what denomination we attend. ...This is the difference we must see, the difference between walking in the Spirit and walking by the letter of the Law. Works could not save Israel and they certainly will not save us. Faith in Jesus, doing the work of God, true religion, this is what America needs. we have strayed from our roots and God has allowed us to come this far. I believe this election season is a judgement from God, and like the Israelites in Jeremiahs time, we need to accept what He is doing. In fact if we as Christians would stop to see the parallels between ourselves and wayward Israel the results would be stunning. Lets look at the story of Deborah. ...In the days of Deborah Israel had been sold into slavery, they were harshly oppressed. Here in America we may not yet find ourselves physically oppressed, but we are spiritually. America has become a slaughterhouse for the unborn, an arena for unfaithfulness and abomination, and we are fast moving towards a new era of depravity as our pride soars unbound. China and the Middle East poise on the horizon, much as Sisera and the King of the Canaanites did for the Israelites. American Christians have brought this on themselves by handing over the cares of the church to the state, bu abandoning true religion as spoken of in James, and by becoming silent about the Gospel under the pressure of "religious tolerance". We are all guilty, I am guilty. ...Why is it we are so divided as Christians in the political arena? Why have we not been able to get a third party Constitutional candidate in office? Some might say its because other Christians are afraid to vote their conscience, or because of unfairness in the White House/Press/ Republican, or, Democrat party..... I say lets look at the issue from a bigger perspective, Gods in fact. ...Ultimately God is the One who has allowed our politics to get where they are, He is the One who has not blessed Christians efforts in the last couple decades. The question we need to be asking Him and ourselves is Why? ...Maybe it is because we have not been faithful to our posts. Maybe it is because we have been teaching our children to honor God with their lips and appearance, but not with their hearts and deeds. I've heard many Christians say that it is wrong for Christians to work outside of Gods prescribed way of "doing" things in order to bring about His will. I say Amen to this!But lets be honest, have we been working Gods way to bring in the harvest in America? Have we been true to the great commission in our every day lives? Is the only time we talk about Christ when we are at church or around other Christians?When was the last time you shared the Gospel with an unbeliever? When was the last time you were even around an unbeliever? ...I can only blush when I think about my own actions. But by Gods grace I intend to turn this around, to share Christ at every grocery store on every street corner, and by more than what I "wear" - by the words I say to those I meet.I've been letting my clothes, family size, hairdo, even shoes! do the witnessing for me. Brothers and Sisters that's not enough. Many of you may feel as I do, lets pray for great revival and go out and do the Lords work by preaching Christ to every soul we meet. Lets recognise the judgement of God on America, our country, right now. ...So why am I voting for Mcain and Sarah Palin? Isn't voting for a woman going against Gods way of doing things? Would He bless that? ...Firstly, as far as what God blesses and doesn't bless, He certainly has chose not to bless the constitution party nominee for a long time. Why? I believe it is part of the judgement on America and we Christians. Secondly, in times of judgement before, God has appointed woman leaders. This is evident by Deborah and is perhaps why her story is included in Gods Word. I do believe this was a mark of shame for Israel, and it would be a mark of shame for America. But it was Gods will at that time and He used it to save His people. The way I see it we have shame on one hand and terrible judgement on the other. Not deliverance by a third door, this is not a lack of faith, but a discernment of the times we live in. We need to suck up our pride and recognise that the fight for our country has just begun. Sometimes God works in mysterious ways, appointing a godly woman instead of a godly man to office would be one of them. I think it is a merciful wake up call for Christian Americans. Our Calvinism, doctrines, and reforms won't save us. Only the pure Gospel of Christ. ...Lest anyone should think that I think Palin is a 'savior' or the answer to all our problems let me quickly what I think about her. She is a godly woman who has a solid stance against abortion, she believes in less government and lower taxes. I believe she is a reformist and possibly the start of the change we need. The fact that she is a woman is a issue for me, it goes against my conviction concerning women., However I believe God is doing something right now in my heart, in America, in our government, and I would rather accept His judgement of a godly woman in office that vote against His mercy. It is a mercy that we have anyone godly running for office with the chance of winning the election. I'm not going to complain when God allows a godly woman to run for office. ...In my opinion it comes down to this, do we want Deborah or the Cannanite King? ...Next year, Lord Willing, more Christian men will become involved in politics. More women will go to their unbelieving neighbors and share the gospel, not how to dress, not how to home school, not who to vote for. We are not persecuted for witnessing, yet. Lets take advantage of that as the blessing it is and get to the heart of the matter. When a soul is awakened to the Lord then other things will follow. Lets teach our children not to look down on the neighborhood kids in the street, but instead to lovingly reach out as ambassadors for Christ. Together let us reach the voting masses with the heart of the matter, Christ. ...But first we need to change. We have to experience the love for God before we can talk about it with others. Our hearts need to be on fire for God, He has to live in us. He doesn't want lip service when you sing the hymns, He wants your love, your joy, your devotion. In short your "feeling" of love and joy in Him. Don't say you love Him if you don't. Love is felt, don't shy away from the word emotions because its a taboo word in the Presbyterian church. God wants everything from you and chances are if you say you love Him without "feeling" it then you are a hypocrite. ...Don't live by the law as the Pharisees did. Walk in the fullness of the times with Christ. Share Him with the unsaved, with the unwed mother, with the gang members, the atheistic co-workers, the freaky cashier girl, the grubby neighborhood kids. They are the Heart of America. Your heart is Christs. "Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God."

Joel 2: 12-14

12 comments:

Savannah said...

I totally agree with you!!!!Of course:)
Savannah

Robert L. said...

You make some good points. However the conclusion that you bring some of them to I do not agree with. At all! Like voting for McCain. McCain voted for the bill that allowed the use of human embryos (babies) left over from fertility treatments for stem cell research. He is an accomplice to murder. I as a Christian, cannot and will not vote for him.
You did a nice job writing the article. God bless.

Robert L.

Martinez Family said...

Dearest Lauren,
I know you understand when I say how much I hate to disagree with my friend, especially a friend who is as dear to me as a sister could be! Psalm 133 says, " Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like precious oil..." indeed how precious is that oil! It certainly makes disagreements (disunity of opinion) of any nature unpleasant, and especially disagreements on the bible! I of course agree with much of what you said in your post, especially about the gross lack of evangelism in our lives, I am very guilty of this! But by God's providence we seem to have come to quite different opinions on much else. I pray God will give us both wisdom as we further study these topics, and grace to discuss in a manner that is edifying to both of us and pleasing to Christ!
God bless!

Your loving sister and servant in Him,
Johanna

Lauren said...

Thanks for the comments everybody, I can see some of us must agree to disagree for the time being :)

Don't worry Johanna, this rarely ever happens to us! (that we disagree :) I am sure that the Lord will answer each of us as we seek Him in this matter. I don't have it all figured out by a long shot!

In Christ,
Lauren Ashley

Robert L. said...

No one will ever have it figured out completely. But I hope that you will reconsider your support for McCain. I know you do not agree with 30% of what McCain stands for. I have heard your dad bash McCain and rightly so. I know, or at least I think I do, that you think more akin to someone like Chuck Baldwin then McCain. McCain is very much like Obama. The difference is very small. I know that you think God will do great things through Sarah Palin, but she is not running for president. supporting McCain would be against what you stand for. Which ultimately is Christ. What I am trying to get at is, if voting for McCain to get Palin in a spot of power to do the work of God is what it takes, I cannot do it. I will trust that God will find another way to raise up people to help this nation, rather then betray God by voting for a man that does not stand for Him.
I know you are smart, (smarter then I am) and with the Lords help I am sure He will lead you to a point where you are even more sure of where you and your family stand politically. And the same for Johanna and I, along with our family.
As I draw this to it's overdue end, I would like to ask you one last question for you to consider. (Do not fill obligated to respond to any of them.) Would you prefer Baldwin or McCain (not Palin) McCain as your president? I trust you know the answer.

Robert L.

Lauren said...

Robert,

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. You are right when you say you know I do not agree with Mcain on everything. There's a whole lot he leaves lacking in my opinion!

Chuck Baldwin is a much better candidate as far as what he believes and takes a stand on. I respect him and wish he could win the election. However back in the nineties when Clinton won without the clear majority due to a third party, the Republicans and the Democrats changed the voting system so that would not happen again. That is "so" wrong in my opinion! We have an unjust system right now; also the Constitution Party Nominee will only be on the voting ballots in 35 of the 50 states. Basically the other party's have made sure that a third party will not get into office. A vote for Baldwin is a vote for Obama, because Mcain will need every vote to beat him.

I know Palin is not running for president, though in some ways I wish she was over Mcain. The reason I was more focused on Palin than Mcain in the paper is because I was trying to address the issue of a woman in governmental office.

I believe that we are in a time of judgment from God already, and it is a mercy that there is anyone godly running for office! God is the one who has allowed it to be this way. We need to be working to change the senate, and the congress, so that we can get the voting system changed. This was part of my focus on evangelism, how can we expect to get someone like Baldwin voted in unless we first reach the voting masses with Christ?

Anyways, I hope this answers some of your questions. Another thing, to the side, is that my Dad is voting for Mcain. So as a submissive daughter :) I will be voting for who he votes for. But I do feel that Mcain/Palin is the right choice and my conscience is at rest.

Again thanks, and God Bless,
Lauren Ashley

Robert L. said...

I am very afraid of what Obama might do if he gets elected. I can only imagine the havoc he would bring to the people of this nation. And I agree that this nation is under God's judgment, and has been for many years. But that fear that I have for Obama, is nothing compared for the fear that You and I and our families have for God. However your conscience and fear of God leads you to support McCain despite his failing to conform to God and His law, in hopes that God will use Palin in a mighty way. My conscience and fear for God leads me not to support McCain for his failing to conform to God and His law.
I believe that a Vote for Baldwin is not a vote for Obama. I believe that a vote for Baldwin is a stand for Christ. Saying "I will not support a man that only honors God with his lips. I will honor God by supporting a man that stands for Him. And will not fear Obama over God." That is the message we are trying to send the world. So men might see our faith in God and marvel.
Change for this country starts with us. With what we say, what we do, with whom we stand. Change starts with the Church making a stand. Taking back what we have given up. And not compromising with the world anymore. It starts from the bottom up. With the Church as it spreads to the government. It is our fault that we have McCain and Obama running for our next president. But the stand that we take for Christ, that is what we want the world to see.
I hope that McCain does beat Obama, but the coast of helping him do that is to high for me.
I know that you and your father see it differently. And know that you must vote as he directs you, and even as your conscience does also. I will commend you for your loyalty to your father and holding firm to what your conscience is bound. But it is stinging to us as Christians, me, you, Johanna and the rest of the church, that shares the same faith and the same ideas on almost everything with each other. That we cannot come to one conscious on who to vote for. It makes me fill weak. I am sure that the world sits back and laughs at the lot of us.
Maybe through much preying and by Gods will, in the next four years we all can stand together behind a man that knows the Lord, and who will lead this country, with the help of the Lord back to where God would call it His nation again.

I think we will just disagree for now. Four years from now we will see where we are at. You have done every nice work on the other topics that we do agree on. Keep it up.

And speaking about very nice work...:) We Martinez, (Okay really just Johanna and I) have been wondering if y'all were up for a...joint East and Martinez play (like what y'all do all the time up there, and we have seen on camera when visiting) while y'all are down here?

Anyway take care and may God bless the East.

Robert L.

Lauren said...

A joint play? Well, that certainly is something none of us expected to hear proposed from the Martinez corner of the world:)

What kind of play were you all (Johanna and Robert that is :) thinking about? Maybe something for Thanksgiving if we get to come down... We will be thinking of ideas. And we will be recording it!

Lauren Ashley

Robert L. said...

Well we had been thinking about a Thanksgiving play...But we also looked at some other ideas. Most of them we discarded after some thought. The only other thing we came up with...ummm...really Johanna came up with it, but I thought it might be a winner, was a Japaneses theme as a comedy. Or a reenactment of the battle between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō. But then we figured that we should ask you to give some input before we went off the deep end.

Robert L.

P.S. Tell Jay he is falling behind on his blog. :)

Martinez Family said...

'The Old Orange Flute', has a very catchy tune, I wanted to put it in the post, but I was not smart enough to figure out how to do that! :)
It was hard not to cringe at the thought of that terrible song (the unmentionable SS) having yet more words! But I shall be happy to here your improvement on it!
And just to clarify something, the "battle between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō" was not my idea! As matter of fact reading Roberts comment was the first I had heard of it! I did suggest a Japanese skit as a joke however.
Talk to you later!
Johanna
PS.
Feel free to delete this comment! It is a little off topic and people might think when I referred to the 'SS' I was talking about Nazis or something! ahh!

Lauren said...

Johanna,

Funny!I was wondering if you all were joking about the Japanese "battle between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō" , possibly a teasing reminder from my earlier obsessions?...

Anyways, we will have to be in some thought about the play. I am not sure how long our visit will be if we do get to come, there are soo many factors. So it may be impracticable for us to try to squeeze rehearsing and all in on top of Thanksgiving. I guess it depends on how long our visit was!

By the way, I had heard from somewhere that is was a possibility for the Candlers to be coming down there for Thanksgiving too? Is that just a rumor or have you heard something too?

Love in Christ,
Lauren Ashley

Robert L. said...

The Candlers were going to be coming down but have canceled (for now). At least for Thanksgiving, they will most likely be coming down later. They had said they wanted to come down when they heard y'all were coming, but it looks like it will not work out for them (maybe).
I thought Miyamoto and Sasaki was a great idea. I like that story. Jay would have made a great Miyamoto. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails