Thursday, May 09, 2013

God Takes No Sides

Is there anything more paradoxical and ironic than seeing a house or senate hearing on whether someone lied? I have always defined politics as one liar calling another liar a liar. And when you have a roster of liars interrogating other liars it does make for some great Kabuki Theatre. And millions of partisan Americans watch as if they were watching a sporting event as they root for their side to score points against the other “team”. All that’s missing are home and away jerseys.

And the news whores from both sides feast upon the spectacle with great relish. Fox News shares their angle while MSNBC shares their bias as well. But please, if you are a follower of Jesus you must realize that Christ is in none of it and He does not take sides…He IS the side.

So as you view the hypocritical and even adolescent exhibition in the political arena just remember that our God reigns supreme and is not interested in the games men play, especially the most favorite game in politics called hypocrisy. It is an interesting game in which the church has demanded a seat at the table. And graciously the politicians have welcomed the church to their game, or in fact vice versa.

Josh.5: 13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

Joshua saw the man with a sword and demanded to know if he was for or against Israel. But this was God’s messenger and he told Joshua that he was on no one’s side but he was the Captain of the Lord of Hosts. Whether or not that was a Christophany, an Old Testament appearance of Jesus, is not the point here. The point here is that God will not be used to forward man’s agenda. He demands man come to His “side” with complete faith and surrender.

We have so lost the vision of a holy and sovereign God who now acquiesces to the whims of man as we attempt to change the culture to look like we desire. When did a culture that is pro-life and pro-traditional marriage please God? It doesn’t. Do you think God approves of a pluralistic society? Is that the jealous God you see in Scripture? How can we even imagine God approves of a culture which worships Baal, Dagon, Allah, and a thousand other false caricatures of Jesus? Where oh where did the church ever get such a notion?

We are in fact mocking God when we attempt to build some moral Tower of Babel so we can claim we are a “Christian” nation and of course the common declaration, “America is the greatest nation of earth”. What hubris! What self righteousness! You can understand that kind of idolatry emanating from unbelievers, but from those who profess Jesus? You can only wonder what Jesus people claim to follow. But there is only one Lord Jesus and all others are imposters of death. There is no American Jesus, no founding fathers Jesus, no capitalist Jesus, no democracy Jesus, no George Washington Jesus, no conservative Jesus, no, away with all those false gods.

There is one and only one Jesus the Son of God. Only one. All of us are on a journey to see and worship and serve more clearly. None of us can claim we know Him in all His fullness, but none of us should create Him in our own image. And in America the hubris runs so thick that it has permeated the church and even in the evangelical community Jesus has been shaped and molded and like a doctrinal marionette the church has made this Jesus dance to the tune of our choosing. But be very careful, this Jesus that dances to the music of men is not the Risen Christ and the Jesus who will come again to this planet in great glory and great power.

This is a very serious issue which the church has refused to even acknowledge. The ecclesiastical structure and culture is so entrenched in this secular culture that it not only ignores any correction, but it fiercely defends all its constructs and belief systems with great vigor. And is it any wonder why? It is in the best personal interest of the leaders who benefit greatly from such a system to fortify it, protect it, and convince their listeners that they speak for God.

The whole rotten system is little more than a corpse, still twitching its religious muscles, but neatly wrapped in a bright and attractive sarcophagus adorned with all kinds of sparkling activities. It is most appealing to those dead in trespasses and sins. And when they are lured inside and find a comfortable place to raise a family they are quickly assimilated into the Eli Whitney brand of Christianity. It is warm and sociable and affirming, but it does not serve Jesus.

Imagine yourself going to an airline ticket counter. And you ask the representative if they are selling tickets to a certain city. She scans her computer and informs you that there are no flights to that destination. Surprised you ask her to check once again. She turns the computer so you both can see and sure enough there are no flights to where you want to go, and even the closest ones are very far from your desired destination. You thank her and slowly walk away wondering what you are going to do. You now realize that if you wish to go to that certain city you will have to get there on your own.

Look around you. Most churches are not going where you want to go, and if you desire to pursue Jesus you will have to take that journey on your own, or, with His gracious help. And if you truly desire to pursue Jesus with all your heart you will have to reject some things and leave them behind. You will have to reject politics. You will have to reject nationalism. You will have to reject hero worship in the church. You will have to reject moralism. You will have to reject hatred. You will have to reject all the many and varied bastardized versions of Christianity.

But most of all you will have to reject yourself.

Do not give up pilgrim, but make sure you always are just a pilgrim.
You have no home here.
You never will.


Annette said...

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them."
Jesus speaking. Matthew 18:20

Hope For Today...a true story.

The mother and teenage daughter sat at my kitchen table sipping on a cool glass of water. We were strangers as their family came to look at our camper. They had made the decision to buy a pop-up camper instead of tenting on their trips, a huge step up in the camping world, from sleeping on the ground to having a three inch matress. As the men were outside making the necessary arrangements to haul the camper back to their home, we had some time to visit in warmer environment. The older daughter became chilled due to the sharp brisk air and chose to lie down inside their warm pick-up cab, so she was well taken care of.
As we became aquainted with healthy conversation (back and forth questions and answers to get to know one another), I learned that their oldest was a fierce competitor in the Special Olympics. As the mother shared, in her slow, soft voice, she weighed her words very carefully....sharing that her daughter had been normal until she reached kindergarten, then she contracted leukemia. Due to major complications and doctoring for almost a year at a major hospital, her daughter came home with brain damage and would never be the same again. As tears flowed from our eyes I asked "Is it a miracle that she is even alive?" to which the mother responded "Yes, God's miracle." Then it just came out, tenderly, tasting the tears streaming down from my eyes, "One day when we are in the presence of Jesus, your beautful daughter will have a new body and be made whole again through Him."

And the mother said, "Amen. Praise the Name of Jesus."

I met another believer and follower of Jesus Christ that day, filling me full of hope and the wonders of His Work. And as I stand at the kitchen sink washing dishes on my farm, doing what seems mundane to most, my heart is filled with love for that precious family and the hope that He gives His people.

May the Name of Jesus be praised above all names. Be encouraged in your faith this day.

Rick Frueh said...

Beautiful, Annette. Just beautiful.

Teresa said...

Annette thank you for sharing your story. Even though life can be harsh, brutal sometimes we have hope in Jesus Christ and perfect eternity. This story, though sad gave me such hope today! God bless you Sister!

Anonymous said...

My faith and praise have been built by this post and by Annette's testimony. I live on a small farm, too, with lots of solitude for reflecting, praying, listening to good preaching on mp3 from SermonIndex. The Lord just reconnected me to a sister who lives very nearby, recently widowed. We can feel His presence and His good pleasure when we get together and serve one another, in the simple chores of life. We discern the Body and our place in it, by the Spirit. True, most churches around me are not going to take us where we need to go.

You have some tremendous pull quotes in this piece, dear Brother Rick!
"God will not be used to forward man’s agenda."
"You now realize that if you wish to go to that certain city you will have to get there on your own." That city not made with hands, whose builder and maker is the Lord--that's where we need to be heading!

Thank you, my online church, for ministering to me today. Thank you, Father!

Cherie c. said...

I missed you guys so much yesterday, it made me cry. I cannot do without my brothers and sisters in the Lord. The day couldn't end fast enough for me. I have no one to fellowship with where I live and in my household, so it is a bit on the lonesome side when I am not interacting with you all.

This post is awesome, what godly wisdom and such teaching. So refreshing to actually learn and apply it to my life. I left many years ago; even as an unbeliever I could not stand to be around the farce they call politics. In 1993 I attended a campaign kick off breakfast for Rep. Chris Smith where he and I debated our choice for president. He wanted Jack Kemp and I wanted Dole. When I look back at that breakfast, it wasn't just a meeting to organized the volunteers, it was also a bashing fest of Bill Clinton. I guess that is what they do to pump up the team. My friend and I weren't having it. I never did work on his campaign that year. He is a nice person, but politics are not for the Body of Christ.

Pastor Rick, I knew three years ago, although I tried to resist it, that I would have to go it alone in more ways than one. I try not to let it get to me, but I am sick over the condition of my family. Is it sinful to want them to be saved? I feel like a coward. It goes through my mind sometimes. and I wonder if it is the Lord, that if I ask Him to draw near to my family that I would gladly keep the pain I have been dealing with for these past six to seven weeks now. Is that what He wants me to ask for? The Apostle Paul had a heart for his people, the Jewish people, and would have gladly spent eternity in hell if he could to save his people. I am not so generous and I guess that maybe I am not saved after all. Perhaps that is why I cannot get an appointment with a good doctor, and that PT hasn't worked, although I went to a message therapist this morning and I am hopeful. I didn't care for her music, but then when I go to a doctor's office we hear the local rock station so what difference does it make.

Even though it goes through my head, I can't help but believe that being well I can do so much more. Right now my house is a mess, the dishes are piled in the sink, and my husband is mad at me because of it. He was not very happy to have to vacuum under my bed and let me know about it. Please don't think poorly of him, he is lost like the rest, so his being unkind is just a symptom of his condition. But when well, I could do what the Word says I should be doing as keeper of the home and life perhaps may be a bit less stressful.

I miss you all when no one is around and I am so blessed when I see your posts. Eager to get here and fellowship. Really gives me strength, and I know from Who it comes, the Lord but through each of you.

There is only one side I belong on and it is that of Jesus Christ and God our Father, and that is enough for me. I used to be so active in politics, now I watch it to see where we are in God's time line. At the very end.

Love you all,

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...


Anon. J.

Josef Sefton said...

I love the true story how David so calmly and boldly defeated Goliath. I've come to realize that we all need God's blessing of calmness and boldness to triumph in our day to day chàllenges.

Our awesome Lord God was with David when he stood up against someone who was blaspheming His holy name.

In this sense He does take sides. Our Lord is for righteousness and against unrighteousness, though we must remember also that He is just and incredibly long-suffering.

Cherie, I'm confident that you know how to bring a smile to your husband's face. Make a new friend of your vacuum cleaner and don't treat the dishes with distain! Please give them a good wash before they pile up!

May Almighty God bless you Cherie with increased calmness and boldness as you go to battle on behalf of your precious family.