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God and Country #2071
Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:42 AM
Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 199
Go Purdue! So guess at it alre...
E_F_Grant Offline OP
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E_F_Grant  Offline OP
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I'm never quite sure where to post things like this, so I'll do it here and the moderators can move it if they like.<br><br>On another Christian Reformed forum, there are several who have been commenting on the nature of our national loyalties, if I have it right. They are saying that the US is interested in nothing more than promoting her own economic interests, and that we ultimately want to build an Empire, if you will. They assert that we want the world to look just like us, as if there is no other good way of doing things politically and governmentally. As Christians they are cynical about things like what this new government in Iraq will look like, the fact that it will be for a while administered by an American, and extrapolating from that that soon there will be abortuaries on every street corner.<br><br>I need to step away from that and get my head screwed on more tightly with regard to this stuff. I assume this is a form of Libertarianism, of which I admit I do not know much.<br><br>Let me be clear: there is much about our country that I do not love. I don't love abortion, I don't love 'tolerance', I don't love the social welfare system, and I hate the whole godless twist that 'separation of church and state' has taken, as if it were even a part of the Constitution. My country is in trouble.<br><br>However, there is also much that is right with it, and we have been given position and power to do much good as well, and thanks to a President who appears to be both a believer and a great leader, we have done some real good.<br><br>I have always assumed that one's loyalties lie first with the Kingdom of God, then to one's spouse and family, then to the people of God (and sometimes those last two must be flexible, especially if you are a pastor), then to one's governing authorities, all of them subject to the Word. I am certainly not prepared to put democracy on a divine pedestal.<br><br>All that being said, what exactly do we do when we follow Christ's command to render unto Caesar...render unto God? Did Christ mean that we should pay taxes only insofar as our countries use them for godly purposes? Did Caesar use all those taxes for godly purposes?-of course not- they went to pay soldiers to hunt down Christians. Some say we should not even vote for people within this corrupt system. They call our government tyrannical, and call for its fall. They say we should not obey tyrants who trample the Constitution.<br><br>On the contrary, I read in the Word that we should pray for our governing authorities. I do this. I understand that God has put them there, in His own wisdom, and that I am to obey them until they tell me to do things that violate my loyalty to God. If my taxes are paying for schools which throw God out, should I then pay taxes? Or not?<br><br>Does not God use His people even in corrupt regimes as they obey trustingly His commandments to submit to the governing authorities? Did Christ encourage His people to rebel against Caesar?<br><br>Having some trouble finding the lines in the sand here...


Stand Fast, Craigellachie!
Re: God and Country [Re: E_F_Grant] #2072
Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:58 AM
Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:58 AM
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J_Edwards Offline
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Though prayer is good and biblical, I believe we are also under obligation to attempt to instill change as well. While I believe that such groups as the Moral Majority, and the like, go too far with their agendas, but they do show some progression towards Christian changes in government. I am stressing here the progression and not their agenda; Christians should be progressive, assertive, vote, run for office, et. al.<br><br>We will never be able to legislate Christianity (it is not even biblical to try), but we can ATTEMPT to get moral laws passed and put candidates in offices that "support" Christianity--though at times putting Christian and politics in the same sentence seems erroneous.<br><br>Daniel served in a corrupt regime and changed a nation somewhat for God, we should do the same, as we are gifted by God's spirit.<br><br>Support what is right, biblically campaign against what is wrong, and pay your taxes, after-all we could have [color:red]<font class="biggest">H</font mu=biggest><font class="bigger">I</font mu=bigger><font class="big">G</font mu=big>H</font color=red> taxes like Canada's [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/puke.gif" alt="puke" title="puke[/img]


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: God and Country [Re: E_F_Grant] #2073
Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:29 PM
Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:29 PM
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Obviously Caesar did not use all taxes for Godly purposes, and thus we are called to pay our taxes as well.<br>We have to balance our desire to change this temporal earth with the knowledge that Christ's kingdom is not of this world.<br> <br>Whenever I want to change the world politically, I think of the following.<br>"But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."<br><br>Let me state I believe that it is OK for a Christian to hold public office - but with the understanding that public office is a servant's role. They are to be true servants of the public; not ruling over the public.<br><br>Steve<br>


Grace is not common.
Re: God and Country [Re: J_Edwards] #2074
Sat Apr 12, 2003 1:25 AM
Sat Apr 12, 2003 1:25 AM

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I really dug all the things you had to say. I by the grace of God left the peace movement and have come to accept that the Lord is doing His thing and that I can't just go on feelings. Liberals are people that I can relate to considering I was proud to be one a few weeks ago. But I now see that there just isn't much hope for a biblical liberal to be so. Here's a really great article about the current Peace Movement from a Christian perspective that really got me to change my views.<br><br>The Resenters: Moralism without Morality

Last edited by Wesley; Sat Apr 12, 2003 6:50 AM.
Re: God and Country #2075
Sat Apr 12, 2003 5:03 AM
Sat Apr 12, 2003 5:03 AM
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J_Edwards Offline
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Thanks for your comments and I'll read the article.<br><br>It is GREAT to see Christ at work in in others!


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: God and Country [Re: E_F_Grant] #2076
Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:02 AM
Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:02 AM
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Northwest Indiana, USA
Wes Offline
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Eleanor,<br><br>I disagree with those who think the USA is building an empire. I think our President is trying to make the world a safer place after 9/11. He's trying to root out the sources of evil that threaten the USA before they come to our shores. There's talk about a democracy in Iraq. Even though a democracy can be a good form of government it doesn't solve all the problems there. It's good to see the evil tyrant Saddam Huisein and his administration removed but it's got to be replaced with a good government. All democratic rule will do is provide a government ruled by the majority of the people's will. It still needs a value system. Otherwise it will be like a house built on sand without a good foundation. <br><br>Calvin Coolidge once said, "The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country."<br><br>Noah Webster wrote, "The moral principals and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evil which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."<br><br>This is what is needed in Iraq. Iraq has been freed from her oppression but unless she discovers what these great men proclaim she will not have a strong foundation nor will she experience true freedom.<br><br><br>Wes<br>


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: God and Country [Re: Wes] #2077
Sat Apr 12, 2003 1:48 PM
Sat Apr 12, 2003 1:48 PM
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Posts: 199
Go Purdue! So guess at it alre...
E_F_Grant Offline OP
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I agree with your assessment. Having read Woodward's Bush At War, I believe that the President genuinely wants to bless other countries, and not with any kind of abiding US presence. Frankly, I'd be horrified if the US wanted to build any sort of Empire. I know enough about the Middle East to know that democracy would be a farce if left to Middle Easterners. They simply do not understand the concept of equality, and I think you were right on in saying that without a solid Biblical foundation, there is no hope for any kind of justice there. I know that when the British left Jerusalem, many were sore afraid, and obviously with good reason. <br><br>Well, it's disturbing to me. I have to say that this forumite's comments are making me pay a bit more attention to what our country is trying to accomplish.<br><br>One thing the man has been saying is related to the Civil War. He asserts that Lincoln was an evil monster who imposed godless Northern ideas on the South, without allowing them to reconstruct in their own way, and that most of the country learns that Lincoln was a great President because 'the victors write the history books'.. He has a point in that Universalism and liberalism was eating the faith out of the North in a bad way at the time, but at the same time, the supposedly 'godly' people in the South were turning a blind eye to the dreadful practice of slavery! Now, he says, the US is doing the same thing to the rest of the world. We will be exporting our godlessness anywhere we can, becuase our self-interest is all that counts. In another conversaton, he asserts that constituional monarchies are best because they most closely imitate the Kingdom of God.<br><br>In short everything I have ever learned in US history is being turned on its head. I hasten to add that I like the guy and think that other of his ideas are right on, but these ideas are creatures I've never encountered before. Maybe I'm just and ignorant, complacent Yankee. If I ever told him I was related by marriage to both Grant and Sherman, I think my computer might explode! [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif" alt="laugh" title="laugh[/img]<br><br><br>


Stand Fast, Craigellachie!
Re: God and Country [Re: E_F_Grant] #2078
Sat Apr 12, 2003 3:15 PM
Sat Apr 12, 2003 3:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 3,563
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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E_F_Grant<br><br>As someone who supports this war, I have to believe that the US is not into this war just for their own selfish interests.<br>If you have been involved in discussions like this for a while, you will have notice that even among Reformed believers the opinions of this war is mixed. There is so much conflicting information out there, that it hard to tell which is factual and which isn't.<br><br>I happen to believe Bush's intentions are honorable and I hope and pray that I am right about that. But when it comes right down to it, I am trying to place my faith in my Lord, not on man.<br>As I have seen mentioned many times, by Christians on both sides of this dispute, we are to pray for our leaders and I couldn't agree more.

Re: God and Country [Re: E_F_Grant] #2079
Sat Apr 12, 2003 8:51 PM
Sat Apr 12, 2003 8:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,540
NH, USA
Pilgrim Online content

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Pilgrim  Online Content

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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,540
NH, USA
In reply to:
[color:"blue"]and that most of the country learns that Lincoln was a great President because 'the victors write the history books'...

It is certainly true that history books are written from the author's perspective and may not be 100% factual. I cannot help but think of how many history books portray the American Indian as nothing more than brute savages whose main joy in life was to scalp people and kill women and children. On the other "side" are those who are wanting to portray the Indians as peace-loving people who were brutally killed and exploited. The truth, IMHO, lies somewhere in between. However, this person you have having these conversations with and who has made these accusations concerning the distortion of the historical facts, wasn't there personally, unless he is wanting to claim that he is 160+ years old? [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif" alt="laugh" title="laugh[/img] Thus he is either trying to rewrite history from his own private opinions or he has sources of historical accounts written by someone else. If the latter, what makes those sources any more reliable than those which are allegedly written by the biased "victors"? [Linked Image]

As a Christian, knowing that uninspired accounts are going to contain both prejudice and error, his alternative "history" is thus no more to be taken at face value as being an accurate account than any other until reasonable investigation reveals the verity of it. From what little you have shared about this man's views concerning the alleged "agenda" of President Bush and the U.S., it appears to me that much of what he is saying is based upon an inherent dislike and rejection of Western Democracy. So, what makes his criticisms of history any more credible than that which he says is conflated with little truth and mostly error?

One thing which I think is true is that the godlessness of Western societies is invariably brought into other cultures wherever it goes. This is not to say that those cultures are acceptable, godly or preferable, by any means. But what I am saying is that the immorality which already exists within each culture, seems to be "set free" or even accelerated by Western culture. What it amounts to, IMHO, is choosing the lesser of two evils; the depravity which abounds within a non-Western culture or the depravity which is introduced by Western cultures. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/rolleyes.gif" alt="rolleyes" title="rolleyes[/img]


In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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