“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Terrorism not an option

CBSNews blogs reported that “a controversial Arizona minister who prays for the death of President Obama has attracted attention from the Secret Service.”

The minister doesn’t plan to assassinate the president; he wants God to take the president away by natural causes. I didn’t read the article, and don’t know his reasons, but they must be misguided.

I just want to clarify my statement in my post on September 13. I wrote, “Soon, we are going to have to be Dietrich Bonheoffers.” If you know Mr. Bonheoffer’s story, as a Protestant pastor, he was one of only a few pastors who didn’t side with the Reich. He stood up and preached against the evil Nazi regime. But, he was also involved in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.

I don’t really understand why a preacher would believe it is his duty to assassinate a leader, even one as corrupt as Adolf Hitler. I can’t say Pastor Bonheoffer was thinking “kill or be killed.” He probably desired to protect his loved ones and his beloved nation from the ruthlessness and brutality of this new enemy of democracy and peace on earth.

Nevertheless, the Bible teaches, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rom. 12:19). To fight is to make things worse. “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Ex. 14:14). “Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2Chron. 20:15).

When we take on the fight, we always lose. Moses tried to deliver his people from oppression, and got one Egyptian. Peter tried to save himself (and, of course, his Master) from the Jews and got one ear. Only God can fight the battles and do it right.

I want it to be very clear that I don’t condone terrorism. When I was in the U.S. Navy standing watch topside, if I was commanded to shoot at a person stealing nuclear secrets or components, I would have done my best to aim and shoot to kill. Ours is a righteous nation. We have righteous laws. Our nuclear stance is deterrence, not aggression.

The person I were to shoot per lawful order would be my brother by creation. If he was right with God, but deceived at the moment into stealing for a rogue nation or rogue paramilitary group, God will judge him and I will see him in heaven. We will live together for eternity. If he wasn’t right with God, I wouldn’t see him in heaven even if I hadn’t shot him by lawful order. And he would miss out on eternal life.

Nations are sovereign; mine is and United States military exists to protect the sovereignty of all other nations. Therefore, no nation has the right to trespass and steal from another. Law and order must be maintained in the world. And I’m glad my country stands for that. And as long as my country stands for that, I stand by my country.

I don’t believe in doing as did Dietrich Bonheoffer in attempting to overthrow the Third Reich. I went on to write, “We are going to have to speak out against a massive abomination as in the days of Nazi Germany.”

The role of the church has always been as counselor. It speaks; it warns; it admonishes. Beyond that, it suffers and advances the cause of truth through blood, sweat, and tears. The blood of martyrs is seed. “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” 1Tim. 5:22).

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.” (1Tim. 2:1-3).

“For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand , and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” (Is. 8:11-13).

When the Lord sent the empire of Babylon to conquer Israel because of their disobedience to His laws, He warned them not to fight back. The captivity and loss of autonomy was their punishment from their God. To fight was to bring on a worse scourge. They fought anyway, and the devastation was so much worse.

“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.” (Rom. 13:1,2).

Theocracies are no more. Pagan governments rule the earth. The church can only be an advisor of earthly matters. It must not involve itself in the enforcement of civil law. Its only concern must be in preparing people for eternity, which begins in this life. Even without involvement in politics and law enforcement, through the power of God, through the power of His Spirit, we can yet hold a place above the most powerful civil leaders. This is why true overcomers of sin through faith in the love of God have been feared and hated by corrupt oppressors, beginning with Cain.

“Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:5,6).

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9,10).

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father.” (Rev. 2:26,27).

“Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation: and Thy right hand hath holden me up, and Thy gentleness hath made me great.” (Ps. 18:35).


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