Conservative Christians Stumble at Their God-Given Freedom

The Coronavirus COVID-19  temporarily closed down the world.  As spring arrived, huge sectors of the population became restless and irascible.  Young and old longed for contact with people outside their household.  
 
Unfortunately,  many “not grown-ups” habitually came out all over the country in rebellion against measures proven to deter the spread of the virus.  Now, conservatives and even churches have jumped on the dangerous bandwagon by holding services in close contact with others and without facial protection.  
 
It is unequivocally unethical for these “not grown-up” conservatives (or any other actors) to promote their right to act when their actions infringe upon the rights of others.  Your right to act ends there.  You are abjectly wrong.  
 
The prime case in point is the facial mask deemed required by most governors and corporations to protect others.  I agree that the masks are a nuisance, bothersome, and obstructive to breathing.  They are however, proven effective to restrict the contagion of this dangerous virus.  
 

What does the Bible say?

Being insistent upon your right to freedom as a U.S. citizen is not justifiable.  Might I remind you that your U.S. citizenry is secondary to your Kingdom citizenry.  As a Christian, you are a citizen of an impenetrable, everlasting Kingdom.  Your first allegiance is there.  
 
Make no mistake, you are free: ” . . . where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” [II Cor. 3:17b].  But, as it has been said, freedom isn’t free.  The freedom we have was paid for by Christ Jesus.  He is the victor with keys to death and the grave.  We are not free to simply indulge our natural desires, there is caution from Galatians 5:13
  13-15 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. [MSG]
 
We are to be submitted to those in authority:  Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.  [Romans 13:1-5]
 
Another valid word for all who call themselves “born again”:
And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.  [I Cor. 7:22]

All quotes from [MSG.]

Was Judas Right?

My mother bought home the boxed set, black and impressive containing the rock opera album musical released in 1970.  We were traditional evangelicals unsure of the relevance of the newly invented genre “rock opera”.  What did Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber know about Jesus and why would they call him a superstar? 

 

We listened to the records frequently at the time noting that one of the tunes was being given widespread airplay on FM radio.  The soundtrack itself showcased some serious rock guitar solos and riffs.  But what was the message?  I was reminded of all this as I watched the live performance with John Legend recorded last year.  I was also reminded of one of the themes that seems worth repeating now more than ever.

 

One of the protagonists, Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, was portrayed as decidedly angry and resolute choosing to turn Jesus in to authorities to up-end the movement.  Judas is consistently portrayed as a consummate bad guy.  The easy viewpoint is that he was only interested in fattening his pocket.  But if he was a follower like the others, he had to leave everything he had behind.  I don’t think that explanation tells the whole story.  Judas, like all of us, had some redeeming value.  

 

A point that Rice/Webber seem to make is that Judas must have gotten caught up in the politics of the time and became frustrated with the Messiah’s efforts to overthrow the Roman Empire’s infiltration of Israel.  It wasn’t moving fast enough; it wasn’t gaining ground.  He wasn’t being ‘king-like’.

 

Here’s the message to all those who want their vision or knowledge to supersede what God is doing.  That is, “God’s not getting it done, I’ll do it my way . . . “The Bible is full of examples from Cain to Jonah to Judas and beyond.  Their way did not go well for them.   Judas was right in a very limited sense.  Jesus was not going to overthrow the Roman Empire and reclaim the Hebrew homeland because he had an entirely different end game.   His strategy was to re-connect the world with the Kingdom of God. His strategy is still working, on his timeline.  

 

We cannot expect to know the best way to go about things and we need to stop getting in God’s way as He is healing the nations.  This quote from John MacArthur says it best.

 

Kingdom Wealth

First in a series – Humility

My journey has led me to examine my own sense of humility.  How have I moved toward servanthood and away from self-serving interests?  How have I looked to devolve from the arrogance admired and emulated by the world?  

Philippians 2:3-4   [AMP]

3D Fantasy Castle by Mika

3 Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves].
4 Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others.

The kingdom path leads forward to humility from the natural pride that that we are all born with.  

We must learn to avoid the backward path to selfish arrogance that [so easily besets us].

You see, our King was not born into his royal position.  He was born [on earth] into a lowly family and reared in the ‘hood of Nazareth.  It was not plush or luxurious.  It was later asked if anything good could come from Nazareth.  Kingship was conferred upon him as a result of his extreme sacrifice.  He was after all God [the fullness of the Godhead in one body] but verse 7 goes on to illustrate: 7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [e]rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!9 Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has[f]freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

As I found myself staggering at this place of my journey, I have stopped to ask: “What do I need to do to be more humble?”  Someone suggested long ago that you don’t ask the Lord to humble you; be careful what you ask for . . .