Ooops . . . this article should have preceded the article entitled ‘Either/Or’ . . .
Sorry, somehow it did not get posted.
This is one of those articles that is more about asking questions than providing answers. So, let’s jump right in.
It’s amazing how we as people in general will make a statement and then turn right around and contradict ourselves. For example, as good Christians we will fight to post the Ten Commandments from the courthouse to the outhouse and then turn right around and conclude that at least one of them no longer applies. “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy …” Oh yeah, God changed that one. But I didn’t think God changed?
Malachi 3:6: “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” So, if God doesn’t change, and He has established certain guidelines and expectations, how does that fact apply to the issues of today, how those issues are defined and how they should be resolved?
There is much debate in many circles concerning the important issues of our day and one question that always arises is whether these issues are political or religious. It’s ironic and many times confusing how a particular issue can be spun by one pundit as political and another “spinner” concludes the exact same issue is purely religious. Which one is correct? Can they both be accurate?
In last week’s edition Howard Coop spoke of a national heritage and he quoted, among others, Benjamin Franklin’s statement and we quote — “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proof I see of this truth — God governs in the affairs of men.” We have read this quote many times in the past, but this time it caught our attention. “God governs in the affairs of men.” We read that as if it means God is somehow involved or God has some input or God has a vote when the issue comes up.
Now, Mr. Franklin was a pretty sharp fella and he used the word “govern.”
By definition, to govern is “to rule over by right of authority; to exercise sovereign authority over.” This implies God not is only involved or has input in the affairs of men but actually has sovereign authority and the right to rule over those affairs. So, can an issue that we deem as political also be religious by the very nature of the fact God has ultimate rule over those issues? The title of this column is Mining the Truth, so what does the Bible have to to say about this question?
Here are some nuggets to ponder . . .
Proverbs 14:34: Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Proverbs 16:20: He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
Proverbs 16:33: The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.
Jeremiah 18:9: And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10: If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Isaiah 26:2: Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
If we understand this Book correctly, in God’s eyes important issues should be weighed according to the Word of God. Based on His Word, is it actually possible to separate politcal’ from religious? Next week, we hope to compare these two terms and observe how they should interact with one another, much like “law” and “grace.” Shalom.