Pastor's Blog

A Deplorable Comment

Posted by Mark Roath on September 14, 2016 @ 3:28 PM

I have studied rhetoric more than most.  In its simplest form, speakers are more persuasive when they accomplish success in three areas:  Logos (knowledge of the subject), ethos (genuinely honorable and live what they speak) and pathos (passionate belief in what they are saying).  In order to persuade, a speaker must accomplish all three.  For a politician in America, the danger they face is that America is divided on a world view level.  As a result, when you speak persuasively to one world view, you are alienating the other.  For example, the words typically used in a progressive secular environment are homophobic, Islamaphobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, racist and sexist.  These “big words” provide a feeling of logos for those who are convinced that America is full of the underprivileged.  However, these same words are deplorable for those who believe that there has never been a nation in history that provided a greater opportunity for anyone to pursue their dreams than America today.  Further, with those who share the progressive secular view their politician’s ethos is viewed favorably because he/she champions the cause of the victim.  While for those who do not share their progressive ideas, they only see email scandal’s and lies.  Which brings us to pathos, the greatest example is the “basket of deplorables” comment.  Hillary is merely speaking to a base of supporters with passion.  But the problem is, while passionate speech, that vilifies the other side, invigorates your supporters, it also angers those who are not supporters.  Thus, a greater division is created.  Donald Trump is doing the same thing, but I am not as convinced that he understands much about rhetoric and its effects.  However, I think he is only naturally doing what he has learned from other politicians.  As a result, we have two candidates who are creating a Jerry Springer atmosphere, and America keeps growing the gap of division. 

The lesson that I must learn from this, and I wish our politicians would learn, is that it is better to speak passionately, smartly and rightly about WHAT you are for, instead of WHO you are against.  Our current political environment seeks to gain favor by setting up our foes as deplorable.  As a result, America as a whole is losing.   

Eloise Stewart said...

Posted on September 23, 2016 @ 7:04 PM -
Proverbs 21:1 - "The King's heart is like a stream of water in the hand of the Lord, He turns it wherever He will." That verse helps me to remember that no matter who wins, God is in control and will even use unbelievers to fulfill His Will. And that gives me peace in our super crazy society we live in. Everyone please exercise your right to vote!

Johnnie Estes said...

Posted on September 18, 2016 @ 9:23 AM -
Pastor Mark has written something here that every American who plans to vote should be reading. He is so right because Hillary's platform is all about how bad Donald Trump is and Trump's platform is all about how bad Hillary Clinton is. However; we do hear things from time to time from Trump on what he would do to help our great country. I am still waiting to hear what Hillary will do to help our country. I guess you can say this is just my most humble opinion.

Add Your Comments

Your Name:

God's Cure for Chaos

Posted by Mark Roath on July 26, 2016 @ 2:19 PM

How would you describe our world today?  For me, the word is chaos.  Webster provides three points of definition. 1. Obsolete as in a chasm or abyss.  2. the state of the universe before there was any order and before stars and planets were formed.  3. a state of utter confusion.  All of these are wrapped up in the phrase, “a lack of order.”  Without order there is disarray, a lack of control, unreliable, unpredictable, bedlam and turmoil.  All of these adjectives seem to apply to our world today.  If chaos were a fire, does our governmental leadership have the needed water to put out the fire of protesters, terrorists and random assassins?  Further, is the government our best source for help? 

In order to answer the question, we must understand where chaos is born.  The reason dictionaries will define chaos as the state of the universe before there was any order, is because the origin of its meaning goes all the way back to the very beginning.  Genesis 1:2 says

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  The word chaos comes from “formless and empty,” the condition of the universe before creation or matter/time/space.   There was no order.  However, it also says that the Spirit of God was there.  And so, it was out of chaos, that God created order.  In the universe, there is order.  In the galaxy and the solar system, there is order.  There is order in planet earth (atmosphere, life cycle, water cycle, plant cycle and animal cycle).  There is even order in the human body.  The only place where this is NOT order on planet earth is in the relationships of man.  More specifically, order is lost when man rejects God.  This is true in the individual heart and subsequently in the community.  Disorder is the result of greed, jealousy, rage, sexual immorality, bitterness, unforgiveness and any other rejection of the goodness of God. 

Atheists have been using the slogan, “good without God.”  The reality is that without the one true Creator God there is disorder and chaos.  The reason why we are the only things in all of creation that are in disorder is because we have rejected God.  This is something that a government cannot provide.  It is an individual choice.  Our constitution was leveraged on the idea that man could not only live in self-government, but that he could live in self-restraint under the leadership of God in his heart.  Without the self-restraint that comes from a relationship with God, we will not be able to sustain a community of self-government.  God’s cure for chaos is Himself, in Jesus Christ. 

 

Sherry Mowery said...

Posted on August 15, 2016 @ 9:33 AM -
Our world is in chaos, folks today, don't know what to believe, if they believe anything...but the most comforting and assuring thought for me, is that The Lord God Almighty is still on his throne. We are not in control, be HE is and in the very end, even as we fret over the times today, we know that in the very end JESUS WINS, HE is victorious over all the earth! Giving me calming assurance of peace and hope.

David Johnson said...

Posted on August 06, 2016 @ 9:27 PM -
After spending a week in the Texas Hill Country, you can see God in the world around us. He is in the earth, the water and the Sky. No Chaos in Creation. The Cypress Trees line the Medina River, giving shade and beauty. The Water is Crystal Clear and cool bubbling from the spring deep within the earth. Then the moon, the stars and the sun giving light both night and day.

Add Your Comments

Your Name:

Equality or Value? An Answer to the "Race" Question in America

Posted by Mark Roath on July 11, 2016 @ 5:09 PM

 

Before any problem or conflict between two parties can be solved there must be an agreement on a definition of what really is the problem and that definition must be true.  If there is conflict in a marriage and the husband believes it is about her constant nagging and the wife believes it is about his insensitivity toward her as a person, there will be no resolution of the conflict until the husband first agrees that the wife is right and the wife agrees that the husband is right and solutions are sought.  With agreement, the husband can work on providing what the wife needs and vice versa.  Without real agreement the behavior will continue and there will be no satisfaction.  However, even if there is agreement on the problem, if the real problem is that their financial problems are causing stress and resulting in the behavior, then their conflict will remain.

When it comes to the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM), it seems that both the definition of the problem and the truth of that problem are being mishandled and therefore solutions are hard to come by.  Of course with all the anger and resentment that has sky-rocketed in the past few days, I’m not sure anyone is in a mood to have a reasonable discussion on the matter.  However, if someone were willing to set aside the assumption of guilt before the mouth is opened, we might have an intelligent discussion on the matter. 

When it comes to defining the problem, surely no one would disagree that the BLM problem is being defined in the context of civil rights.  However, for many Americans, when you bring up the words “civil rights” you are speaking of equality.  And immediately the movement is dismissed because many believe that race equality issues have been settled for quite some time.  As I read the BLM website and listen to the interviews of protestors on the news, it is clear that the movement isn’t seeking equality, rather it is seeking value.  The slogan reads that they are advocates for “dignity, justice and respect.”  I believe the true problem is that the black community does not feel valued in America.  As long as this is framed as a racial or equality issue, I don’t believe they will get anyone to agree that there is a problem.  Hence no one will work on a solution.    

However, even if everyone agreed on “not being valued” as the problem, the next issue would be to ask the question, “where does value come from?”  By framing the issue as race, the inference is that value, respect and dignity have been taken away by white supremacists.  Having been a preacher in country Churches, I can already hear the farmer proclaiming, “respect is earrrned.”  And there is the REAL problem.  Americans will disagree on the source of value.  What is the source for the value of a human being?  In a secular world view, which champions evolution as our origin, we are all equal, but our value is the same as animals and therefore, we must get value somewhere else.  Either from ourselves, through self-esteem or through others if we are oppressed.  BLM, is saying that they have been robbed of value by their oppressors.  They have taken this hint from the Secular Movement, which is being advanced rapidly in our culture, and places the government as the referee to insure, not freedom for all, but VALUE for all.  And so the government is left to even out the value by taking it from the oppressors and giving it to the oppressed, as if it were some kind of physical currency.  The problem is that value is a condition of the soul, not a condition of the pocketbook or the scepter.  In other words, money and power don’t buy self-value.  Therefore, the only play left, which is a meaningless play, is for the politicians to try and prove to the BLM that they are valued by giving them what they want as much as they can.  Indict innocent police officers, do federal investigations, let criminals go free, enforce a change of semantics within law enforcement, take away the program that arms police with used military equipment so that they won’t look so militant, try and get people together at the community table to listen to them etc.  And in the end, not one of their ploys will provide real value to the soul of the hurting. 

God has a better plan.  A Christian world view, which has been our tradition, advocates that value comes from God.  Specifically through the value placed on the individual through the death of Jesus on the cross.  With God we are created equal AND we are not only the highest form of His creation, we are worthy of the death of the One and Only Son of the Living God.  And that value is available to all.  God’s way instills hope, encouragement, perseverance and peace.  Without God, we are left angry, jealous, bitter and resentful.  God’s way leads to peace and life and love of each other.  Man’s way leads to death.  Specifically five Dallas Police officers.  Racism isn’t the problem and Secular thought isn’t the solution.  The more we pray together, seek the Lord and love our neighbors in the context of God as our advocate, not the government, the more we will find solutions.

Share it if you like it.  Comment if you want.  

Eloise said...

Posted on August 08, 2016 @ 9:46 AM -
Pastor Mark, you mentioned that our church is working to join with a black church in another town for fellowship. Since music always seems to help find common ground, would it be possible for both our choir and theirs to sing, and maybe even some combined choir singing? (I don't want to start anything complicated, but it does sound like fun.)

Natali said...

Posted on August 07, 2016 @ 7:55 AM -
It's such a complex issue, and yet so simple.
I migrated to the U.S. 16 years ago as a teenager with my mother and my American step father, here I met hundreds of amazing people, but every so often I would encounter a type of American mentality that no one cares to justify, the person that doesn't know who you are or where you have been nor cares to know, the person that sees you enjoying the same privileges as them, but still believes you don't deserve this joy, the person that grew in a household where grandma and grandpa often complained about the many inconveniences they suffered as a result of specific races, and often referred to people in derogatory ways, fomenting hate within their own families.
You may see faces but not the hearts of people.
Respect may be earned, but dignity is a quality of life we all should enjoy. When people say, I want to die with dignity they are saying, give me death, but don't kill my character, who I am as a person, what I stand for and what I value.
Racial hate is a real issue in this country not just for African American's, it's an ungly and unfortunate truth.
The only way we can change it is by getting to know the people and the stories behind these issues.
A congressional man may receive respect every day of his life until he is prideful, but a homeless man sleeping on the streets needs dignity, to know that he's worth more than gold. Is a child ever too young to receive respect? Who is ever entitled to distribute or entitled to receive such a gift? Yet Christ died for all.

Donald said...

Posted on July 12, 2016 @ 6:46 PM -
I don't know why my comment posted twice. It could be the issues with power and internet we've had in the recent days after the storm.

Anyway, I think another big step could be in recognizing, celebrating, and becoming comfortable with the sometimes large differences in racial cultures. The differences in culture will always keep races somewhat segregated, just based on personal preferences. However, this doesn't have to keep us segregated forever! The more we learn and become exposed with other cultures, the more we understand and become comfortable with including ourselves into other cultures and allowing other people to be subjected to our culture.

Donald said...

Posted on July 12, 2016 @ 6:41 PM -
I like that you identified a deeper issue than just civil rights. The problem with a lot of the BLM arguments that you hear from people is that they're trying to argue something that a large part of the country already considers to be resolved. Blacks can vote. Slavery has ended. There are plenty of policies the country has put forth to try and help advance the standing of minorities. To try and tell people that the government needs to do more to help them makes it sound like they're just begging for a handout instead of an equal chance.

The problem with the BLM movement isn't even the movement itself. The problem is the lack of leadership within the movement, specifically leadership that will take the movement in a clear direction. Is it a movement of protests? If so, what are they protesting, a few bad cops? For every bad cop in America, there are a thousand good ones. Is the movement supposed to promote equality in the justice system? If so, what does that even look like? The statistics that are repeatedly used are the type of statistics that show that more blacks are convicted of crimes (especially in certain cities) than whites, and many other similar statistics. These types of statistics don't prove what they are trying to justify their actions with. What these statistics actually show the criminal justice world is that blacks COMMIT more crimes, and are therefore convicted of more crimes. The overwhelming difference in the convictions can't be completely explained by a few corrupt judges, and you won't convince people that the entire justice system is stacked against the black community because there are just too many examples of blacks coming out of the projects and becoming extremely successful just based on their character and hard work.

If the people of the BLM want results, they need a more tangible and measurable goal. Goals like reform in the schools of the at-risk communities, attractive incentives for first-generation high school or college graduates, and some way to actually motivate people to come off of welfare. Too many families of all races are passing down a learned behavior of living off of the government and supplementing income in ways not reported to the IRS.

And if their goal is to make giant changes to the criminal justice field, they can start by fighting for a formation of what police officers are asked to do. Right now they are asked to wear so many different hats that it's hard to specialize in any type of criminal justice. One police officer has to know how to handle domestic disputes, suicidal people, drunks and addicts, noise complaints, traffic stops, and a plethora of other unforeseen situations. Most police officers are required to learn all of this inside a police academy that may last a year and then they are eager to join a patrol squad with little to no experience actually dealing with these situations. Police forces, especially in the major cities, need to be more focused and trained in a specific line of duty much like the military is. A member of the infantry isn't expected to know how to fly a fighter jet at any given moment and a pilot isn't called upon to disarm IED's in the field.

To sum up my response, in order for the BLM movement to make the change they desire, they need a clear and achievable direction with positive leadership to communicate this direction and motivate the people to use positive means to make those goals realized. Also, the police community needs to understand that, while the BLM movement has taken a turn towards violent protests in order to try and get their point across, the people of the BLM movement still have legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. This divide will not be cured by one side or the other, but by both sides, equally trying their hardest to acknowledge the value and importance of the other. By congratulating each other for the things that are done well and empathizing with each other when they have disagreements, these two very important groups of people will find their place in society in a way that both of them can feel like a positive, respected, and valued contributor to our country.

Mark said...

Posted on July 12, 2016 @ 12:58 PM -
Yes Donald, it sounds like maybe you have read a little of the BLM website. There is no clear direction and the leadership is so fringe in their beliefs, they will struggle to get a willing ear. Our Church is working to join with a black church in another town just to meet and fellowship. (our city is less than 1% black). I think the best thing we have to offer each other is the unity that exists in Jesus Christ. I don't know what all good it will do, but at least its something. Anything. I am further dismayed that our Churches are so segregated as well (it seems by choice). Maybe we can do something about that.

Donald said...

Posted on July 11, 2016 @ 10:46 PM -
I like that you identified a deeper issue than just civil rights. The problem with a lot of the BLM arguments that you hear from people is that they're trying to argue something that a large part of the country already considers to be resolved. Blacks can vote. Slavery has ended. There are plenty of policies the country has put forth to try and help advance the standing of minorities. To try and tell people that the government needs to do more to help them makes it sound like they're just begging for a handout instead of an equal chance.

The problem with the BLM movement isn't even the movement itself. The problem is the lack of leadership within the movement, specifically leadership that will take the movement in a clear direction. Is it a movement of protests? If so, what are they protesting, a few bad cops? For every bad cop in America, there are a thousand good ones. Is the movement supposed to promote equality in the justice system? If so, what does that even look like? The statistics that are repeatedly used are the type of statistics that show that more blacks are convicted of crimes (especially in certain cities) than whites, and many other similar statistics. These types of statistics don't prove what they are trying to justify their actions with. What these statistics actually show the criminal justice world is that blacks COMMIT more crimes, and are therefore convicted of more crimes. The overwhelming difference in the convictions can't be completely explained by a few corrupt judges, and you won't convince people that the entire justice system is stacked against the black community because there are just too many examples of blacks coming out of the projects and becoming extremely successful just based on their character and hard work.

If the people of the BLM want results, they need a more tangible and measurable goal. Goals like reform in the schools of the at-risk communities, attractive incentives for first-generation high school or college graduates, and some way to actually motivate people to come off of welfare. Too many families of all races are passing down a learned behavior of living off of the government and supplementing income in ways not reported to the IRS.

And if their goal is to make giant changes to the criminal justice field, they can start by fighting for a formation of what police officers are asked to do. Right now they are asked to wear so many different hats that it's hard to specialize in any type of criminal justice. One police officer has to know how to handle domestic disputes, suicidal people, drunks and addicts, noise complaints, traffic stops, and a plethora of other unforeseen situations. Most police officers are required to learn all of this inside a police academy that may last a year and then they are eager to join a patrol squad with little to no experience actually dealing with these situations. Police forces, especially in the major cities, need to be more focused and trained in a specific line of duty much like the military is. A member of the infantry isn't expected to know how to fly a fighter jet at any given moment and a pilot isn't called upon to disarm IED's in the field.

To sum up my response, in order for the BLM movement to make the change they desire, they need a clear and achievable direction with positive leadership to communicate this direction and motivate the people to use positive means to make those goals realized. Also, the police community needs to understand that, while the BLM movement has taken a turn towards violent protests in order to try and get their point across, the people of the BLM movement still have legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. This divide will not be cured by one side or the other, but by both sides, equally trying their hardest to acknowledge the value and importance of the other. By congratulating each other for the things that are done well and empathizing with each other when they have disagreements, these two very important groups of people will find their place in society in a way that both of them can feel like a positive, respected, and valued contributor to our country.

Add Your Comments

Your Name:

Is Homosexuality a Sin?

Posted by Mark Roath on June 29, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Is homosexuality a sin?  (Or transgender?)  When this question is asked in this culture, it is vital to get further information, because without the parameters being clarified, the secular world is making statements that are illogical about Christians.  The questions that need to be clarified are: 1) What is sin?  2) Who or what is this a sin against?  3) What is the standard or law being used?  4) Who is the judge of the standard?

 

It seems to me that this question is being asked of Christians in the context of a Christian Biblical world view, but Christians are being judged in the context of a Secular world view.  In a Biblical world view, sin is breaking God’s law.  Any transgression is against God Himself.  God’s law is written in the Bible.  And it is God Himself who will judge whether or not someone is guilty of breaking His laws. 

In a Secular world view, sin is the breaking of man’s law.  Sin is against another person.  Man’s law is written by our government.  And it is our justice system that determines if someone is guilty of breaking laws.  Therefore, when the Supreme Court determines that Homosexual Marriage is legal (setting aside arguments of their ability to do so), then it would be a “sin” to proclaim that homosexuality is a sin in a Secular world view. 

 

So, here is the scenario that plays out over and over in our world.  The question is asked of a Christian, “do you think homosexuality a sin?”  The Christian says, “yes,” because he assumes the person is asking if it is a sin against God.  Then, invariably the Christian will be told that he is judgmental, that he is old-fashioned, that he is mean to homosexuals and that he is unfair to people who are simply born that way.  In other words, the Christian is deemed a societal “sinner” if he believes that homosexuality is a sin.  In reality the Christian is not mean or judgmental, it is God who wrote the law and judges whether or not someone is guilty or innocent.  From a Christian standpoint, if someone has a problem with the law, their problem is with God, not man.  No mere man can judge the innocence or guilt of God’s law.  He can only report what the Bible says.  Incidentally, the Bible is clear in the Old Testament and New Testament that God has deemed homosexuality a sin.  There is no question.  Therefore, to socially condemn a Christian for reporting on God’s law is absurd.  To be more accurate, if someone has a problem with God’s designation that homosexuality is a sin, they should come out of the closet proclaiming that God Himself is mean, unfair and judgmental. 

 

The reason that Christian’s themselves are being attacked has nothing to do with the Bible, it has everything to do with whether or not God’s law is a valid standard for us as a nation.  Christians are being asked (or forced in some cases) to proclaim a Secular world view that is counter to the law of God because that is what is necessary in order for a Secular world view to be the determinative source for our laws.  A Christian, who believes that the Bible is without error and timeless, can never agree, not because he is mean, but because he believes that God is right.  As a result, the Christian will automatically believe that our nation would be better off if we seek to base our laws on God’s laws, without forcing individuals to believe.  That is what our founders did and our nation thrived, as good laws can help produce a good society.  Conversely, as the Secular world view continues to pervade our law-making and law-enforcing entities, that same luxury of freedom is not being afforded to Christians (The proposed California law against Christian universities is another example of this reality).  In the end, the Secular argument against Christians is schizophrenic.

 

I wrote this quickly and would like some feedback on how to improve it. 

Troy K. Green said...

Posted on July 08, 2016 @ 5:23 PM -
Great job Mark.

I believe the reason this is more difficult for us to understand and see in the US is because from the founding of this country until about 70 years ago, the laws of the land were nearly entirely based upon the Law of God. The liberals and a certain political party in this country have been busy trying to distance the law of the Land from the Law of God. Of course, they have had to try to re-write history to do so. The liberals, not the Christians, are the ones who have been trying to remove our choices and rights given under the Law of God. It seems to the liberals that all of our wonderful freedoms in this country come from a benevolent hand of an all-powerful big government. Well that is simply, not true. They might want to read our founding documents which they have been trashing for so long. Those documents explain exactly from Whom our rights and freedoms come. Our current leaders in Government and others might want to read Psalms 2:10-12. These verses make it all very plain.

Thank God for His Law and those who have gone before us who have taught us this Law, lived it by upholding its tenants, wrote it into our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution; thereby helping to make us truly "free", because in these two documents, both His Law and the secular law are about as closely aligned as possible in this life and on this earth. To date, in the "secular" world, these two documents are our best examples of His "Pure and Perfect Genius". However, we also know, that God has only one world and it is His World.

Roy Owen said...

Posted on July 06, 2016 @ 3:01 PM -
Pastor, please continue to preach the Word of God as it is written. Your ministry is a breath of fresh air in this very polluted society we currently live in. May God open the eyes of the "Tim Durhams" of this world.

Mark said...

Posted on June 30, 2016 @ 9:31 AM -
Tim, I wish you could see that you are only proving my point. I truly don't have hatred.

Tim L. Durham said...

Posted on June 29, 2016 @ 9:23 PM -
What tender beautiful words to cloak your hatred and exclusion. Very well written, though.. But your hatred and exclusion sprinkled with glitter is still that same old tired dog turd. It's prettier now, but it's still an anachronistic dog turd. How many more people will die from shame, murder, suicide, etc., due to these shameful condemning religious tenets of yours?
And including transgender in your trumped up morality play? It's a birth defect you backward toothless individual. It happens rarely during phoetal development of the dermal cells early on. Read up on it. It's like a withered arm or a cleft palate, only it's "down there", you know... the "nether area" that godly people aren't allowed to say aloud or discuss intelligently.
I may someday come back within the fold just as soon as you get rid of the hatred and exclusion you promote for other religions, and/or non religions and or people "not like you".
Respectfully submitted,
Tim L. Durham, andabunchoflettersandperiodsafterthesignature
Have a nice day in your world. Try to be nicer to all people for a change.

Candy said...

Posted on June 29, 2016 @ 8:43 PM -
Pastor Mark, thank you for this. I was just asked that question by someone in my family who doesn't believe in God at all, I answered him with exactly that "Christian" answer and was bombarded with the comments similar to your scenario. Thank you for the clarification of sin and the different views. I believe this will help me in future conversations on this topic.

Mark said...

Posted on June 29, 2016 @ 3:15 PM -
I use the word sin in quotations and societal sin when speaking of it from a secular world view because you are right, they don't really use that word. However the concept of it exists. For a secular, it is probably more apt to say "morally wrong." Perhaps I will change this to be a bit to be more clear. However, the explanation takes a lot of words that I may not be afforded. Good thinking.

Mona said...

Posted on June 29, 2016 @ 12:41 PM -
Question: is "sin" even a term for the secular world? I understand your idea that God is the center of the Christian worldview, that he is creator and the definer of all things. And that man is at the center of the secular worldview. But from a secular worldview perspective when I say homosexuality is wrong they have all kinds of missiles to hurl my way bc I'm not in agreement with their definition of right and wrong. I did not sin against a higher power, they are the higher power bc they define right and wrong. Sin by definition is any transgression against the law of God.
So without an admission of a higher power how can my action/response be a sin.

Add Your Comments

Your Name:

The Importance of Israel

Posted by Mark Roath on June 20, 2016 @ 4:23 PM

Visiting Israel is a powerful thing.  As a Christian, I was impressed by the reality that not only was I physically walking where Jesus walked, the Holy Spirit of Jesus within me was retracing His own steps.  The things I was taught in the midst of that dynamic cannot be measured.  As I go through the process of having an exit interview with myself, one of the questions that I need to pursue is “what is the importance of Israel in the world?” 

If you take the Bible out of the equation, the Israel should hold no more or less importance than any other nation holds.  The only exception I can think of would be the sentiment that arises from World War II.  The treatment the Jews received during that time certainly deserves to receive some sentiment from the rest of the world.  Further, as World War II ended, the French went back to France, the Americans when back to the US, the English went back to their home, but the Jews did not have a nation to go back to.  The land of Israel itself, was still Israel.  The name Palestine was given while England had control of it.  That is not a Muslim name for the nation, in fact the Arab language doesn’t have a pronunciation for it.  In other words, “Palestinians” aren’t a people group.  When you take the Bible out of the equation, Israel’s only importance is as a people group without a home. 

When you add in the Scriptures to the equation, Israel’s importance is found both in the past and the future.  It is a fact that a large percentage of the earth’s population is Christian and just the mere reality that the land of Israel is where Jesus walked and the people of Israel were chosen by God to reveal Christ, makes them a very important nation.  To have the opportunity to walk where Jesus walked in a nation that is not only preserving, but is seeking to uncover more and more is amazing.  The reality however, that Muslims have erected a Mosque where God’s temple was is very disrespectful to the God of the Bible.  Other nations are very respectful of Biblical sights, but in Israel, while under Muslim control, they erected that “abomination that causes desolation,” over God’s historical house.  Israel is important to a large portion of the world because of her Biblical past.  Not only that, but her future as well.

Before 1948, it would have been thought impossible for the Jews to get their home back, but God found a way.  And it is in line with Biblical prophecy that God is gathering His children together again.  It is a miracle that we are seeing a modern day return from exile.  The last time God did that, He was setting up the coming of His Son.  This time…  In addition, the Bible speaks of a revival among the Jews before the end.  Right now Jews in Israel, though still very small in number, are coming to Jesus at higher rates than ever before.  In addition, the government is more and more involved in providing for Israel’s biblical past as well as future.  The Bible is playing itself out in front of our very eyes.  If God is who the Bible says He is, (and He is) then the importance of Israel exceeds the desires and thoughts of politicians or other nations. 

All of that to say.  Israel is of vital importance to the world and as believers in America, it is our responsibility to vote, persuade and proclaim accordingly.  To think that Biblical truth has nothing to do with history past or our future is ignorance.  Israel is part of that truth. 

Trusting in the Character of God

Posted by Mark Roath on April 12, 2016 @ 1:58 PM

For the last several weeks I have been demonstrating the point that the Christian life is lived spiritually, not intellectually.  I believe that many in our Christian culture have intended a spiritual relationship with Jesus, but have settled for an intellectual one.  I know that while I went to Seminary and even before that, I was continually blown away by the things that I learned about God.  From the "I Am" statements of John, to the typology of the Old Testament that points to Jesus, to understanding the necessity of the three persons of the Trinity and on and on.  When a new understanding would hit me, I truly believe that I was affected spiritually.  Perhaps I even began to crave that spiritual inspiration.  However, the question becomes, is that the extent of a true Christian relationship with God?  I think not.  Time after time, Jesus and the Bible refer to "our side" of walking in a relationship with God as being accomplished through obedience.  (i.e. if you love Me, you will keep My commandments, faith without works is dead)  With that being the case, I can be inspired by the truth of the Bible and still remain disobedient.  Again, it is the difference between Revelation and Inspiration.  

While revelation is the spirit giving inspired teaching to my soul, I don't truly understand the deep truth of God in my soul until I have learned it through faithful obedience.  To experience that God is powerful and beyond the rules of this world in the context of the events and happenings of my life cause the truth and person of Christ to be firmly planted in my soul and therefore become life altering.  As I have always said, you can't live it until you learn it, but you aren't truly going to learn it, until you live it.  (Not sure if I came up with that, or I read it somewhere).  

That leads to the final step.  In order for me to live the truth and promises of God, I must follow the Spirit and deny the sinful nature.  In other words, I cannot rely on MY thinking, I must rely on the reasoning of God and HIS thinking.  This requires a living relationship where communication with a living God is reality.  And the only way that happens is spiritually.  As the Spirit of God speaks to my spirit (or soul, or heart...you pick).  Therefore, the Christian life goes from spiritual revelation, to spiritual communication, to spiritual faith in a spiritual reasoning.  Then when that truth is experienced, it is planted in my soul spiritually and brings about an altered life.  

 

I'd like to hear what you think.  Comment and let's go.  

greg said...

Posted on March 30, 2017 @ 1:00 AM -
your well chosen words have inspired me and compelled me to reply, god only has concern for what is in our hearts, so look straight through this worldly exterior and always try to see through the eyes of the heart, for where love dwells and so shall mankind truly see prosperity! in closing I would like to comment that I will not talk to god about how big my problems are, but let my problems know how big our god is and in control, no weapon formed against gods people will ever prosper! god bless you all and I hope we cross paths again! gods grace be with you and hope to come and visit your church house!

Grady Pattterson said...

Posted on July 19, 2016 @ 11:47 AM -
Hancel much TV and see all the news it is very disturbing to watch most of the church is on TV I think they forgot about who God he is. What we need and churches today is a word of God or a word from God the people in the church And the pastors need to get back in reading God's word and pray. I'm so thankful to belong to hacking Baptist Church for the word of God is top not only in Sunday school but preached.

Grady Pattterson said...

Posted on July 19, 2016 @ 11:47 AM -
Hancel much TV and see all the news it is very disturbing to watch most of the church is on TV I think they forgot about who God he is. What we need and churches today is a word of God or a word from God the people in the church And the pastors need to get back in reading God's word and pray. I'm so thankful to belong to hacking Baptist Church for the word of God is top not only in Sunday school but preached.

Lisa P said...

Posted on May 07, 2016 @ 8:09 AM -
Father Gid, Firmly plant yourself in our souls! Alter us so that we are forever changed into highly effective servants of the King! And thank you Lord for the ways you have shown your power in the middle of our circumstances! This is my prayer also!

Sharla R. said...

Posted on May 01, 2016 @ 10:13 PM -
The concept that Truth is a person has really gripped my heart since the sermon a few weeks ago. He can be tangibly experienced & He desires that we have our lives completely altered by encountering Him.
"To experience that God is powerful and beyond the rules of this world in the context of the events and happenings of my life cause the truth and person of Christ to be firmly planted in my soul and therefore become life altering." Amen, Lord Jesus!!! Firmly plant Yourself in our souls! Alter us so that we are forever changed into highly effective servants of the King! And thank You, Lord, for the ways You have shown Your power in the middle of our circumstances!

Add Your Comments

Your Name:
Email A Friend
From Name
From Email
To Name
To Email
Note