WE WANT A KING!!!

Did you know that legend has it George Washington turned down kingship in the US of A?  I’d never heard that until very recently.  Now, I say legend, because as I do some “googling”on the topic, I find differing assertions as to whether this was or was not true.  I was not there.  It may not have happened.  Someone smarter than I can prove it’s truth or falsehood.

But legend has it the people (Or some people, or a person…) wanted George Washington to be our king, as we declared our independence.  But our first president turned that down.  Again, someone smarter than I…

I bring it up however, because I find it fascinating that someone would deny this kind of authority, this kind of power.

And I find it fascinating, that we as a people, would WANT to return to the power structure we suffered and died to get away from, we fought so hard to be independent of.  I guess we do what we know?  “Everyone else is doing it”?

When I was in elementary school, I recall being corrected by one of my teachers, as I thought our president was basically our king.  She told me that is not how American government works, that he is not a king.  He’s a servant.  He’s a leader, sure, in a sense.  But that we are not under rule of a king, as other nations are.  This was part of what made us great (Sorry – I know those very words might stir up emotions, good or bad, for some in these times).

So – why do we want a king so badly now?  Why do we look at President Obama as our hope?  Or Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or whomever you may want as your “savior” in office?  Why do we want to be like the other nations, so badly?

Why do we forget, WE HAVE A KING.  His name is Jesus.  He rules with an iron scepter (a strong, unbreakable dominion).  It’s not a matter of when this will come to be.  It already is.  JESUS IS LORD.  And – THERE IS FREEDOM in His kingdom!  Christ came to set you free!  You think that was so you can just be put back into bondage?  My dear friend, what has religion taught you?  That’s not what He’s done…

“The Spirit of YAHWEH is on Me,
    because He has anointed Me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18)

But we just… try so hard to reject this, and return to – what we know…

We do what we know.  And that makes me sad…

 All the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.  They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to YAHWEH.  And YAHWEH told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King.  As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.  Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

Samuel told all the words of YAHWEH to the people who were asking him for a king.  He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.  Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.  He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.  He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.  He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.  Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.  He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.  When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.  Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before YAHWEH.  God answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

You Need to Know…

I said, “I will watch my ways
    and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
    while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent,
    not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
    my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue…
(Psalm 39:1-3)

“Religion is personal, private”

“Two things you don’t talk about – religion and politics”

“Keep your religious thoughts to yourself”

“Proselytizer…  Go proselytize somewhere else…”

If this “religion”, this Jesus the Christ, is not real – not God in flesh, Savior, Redeemer, lover of your soul – then I agree with all of those statements.  I should shut up, keep it to myself.

If Jesus did not come to take on your sin, my sin, the sin of the ENTIRE WORLD, so that we might become the righteousness of God (read:  He does everything, we simply trust…  BELIEVE on Him…), then I agree, your religion should be kept to yourself.

Or better yet – it should be abolished.  I mean – if Jesus is not the Christ, then it’s all a lie, a sham, anyway.  Why bother?  Not even just a waste – it is downright harmful.  And thanks to how man has bastardized it for his own comfort, profit, benefit – it’s become oppressive to many.

BUT – if Jesus IS the Christ!  Then for me to remain silent is the greatest offense!  To my God, and to YOU.  Then remaining silent is truly hatred toward you…

And that weighs on me…

I can’t change your mind.  I don’t even want to.  If I change your mind, then we ARE talking about religion.  Or politics.  Or some nifty negotiating/debating power/magic trick (By the way, I cannot negotiate or debate, and I don’t know any magic tricks).

But if God is doing a mighty work, and I’m simply one very small tool which He can use as He sees fit – then, O then, we are talking about something so amazing, so beautiful, so AWESOME!  Why on earth would I try and keep that for or to myself?

Come and listen!  Come and see what He has done!  Could this be the Christ?

You need to know that YAHWEH, the creator of the universe, knows you by name….

You need to know that He cares DEEPLY for you…That He obsesses over you…  He even numbers the hairs on your head…

You need to know that while your sins are like scarlet, He has made you white as snow…

You need to know that Jesus always was, always is, always will be…

You need to know that Jesus the Christ, is God in flesh.  Emanuel.  God with us…

You need to know that Christ dying on the cross – FOR YOU – was not “Plan B”.  This was always God’s redemptive plan.  Way before you were born…  And His plan was for YOU…

You need to know that hell is real…  You and I both choose hell by rejecting God…  So we can’t be surprised, or offended if we end up in a hell we chose by rejecting God…

You need to know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance…  It’s not your doing…  He’s drawing you to Him, because He loves you…

You need to know what He’s done…  Forget about all that you have done…  Realize what He has done…

I am praying for you.  I love you…

Come and listen!  Come and see what He has done!  Could this be the Christ?

Bold and Courageous…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:9)

I think there is a striking similarity in this video:

And this blog post:

https://lastchanceamerica.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/to-the-never-trumper-a-biblical-case-for-trump/

I’d ask that you first watch the video, in its entirety, and read the blog post, in its entirety, then come back to my post.

……

Did you watch the ENTIRE video?

……

And read the ENTIRE post?

…….

OK, ready?  🙂

What do I see as similar? Not their stance on who to vote for, clearly.  Maybe a little their reasoning behind their stance – both persons are concerned for our future, for our children’s future.  But more than their reasoning – it’s the PASSION and the courage, to stand up for what they believe in.  It doesn’t matter if I believe it – they do and they make no bones about it.  So much so, they are willing to plead with others to do the same.  As Frank Schaeffer says, he would run into a burning car to save his grandchildren – that’s the level of urgency he has for pleading with us to vote for his candidate.  And the anonymous write of the post, states the same in hers.

Now, to be clear – I’m not saying that anything is right, if you believe it enough.  I’m not even suggesting which one is right and which is wrong – you likely already have your opinions on that, have strongly agreed or disagreed with one or both points of view.  The video and blog post aren’t even the point of this post.

My point is this:  If we can find truth in God’s word, if the truth sets us free, if Jesus the Christ is the way and the truth and the life, and nobody comes to the Father except through Him – then why would we as Christ followers not have the same passion these two advocates have, to spread the Gospel?  Why would I not plead with you, as Frank says he will, these next four months until election day?

And so that is what I will do.  I can’t make you believe anything.  Faith in Christ is up to Christ alone.  And I know that I am not a great debater, so I will not win an argument to save my life.  But as an ambassador for Christ, if I’m going to advocate for anyone, it’s going to be Christ.  Anyone or anything else, is just – temporary.

So – to paraphrase Frank Shaeffer- I’m asking you to PLEASE listen.  With your ears, with your heart – with your mind.  PLEASE, stop suppressing the truth for a lie.  PLEASE stop choosing death, when you know life is in Christ.  PLEASE.

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people
(Romans 9:1-3)

“Come now, let us reason[c] together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
    you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel,
    you shall be eaten by the sword;
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
(Isaiah 1:18-20)

 

The Big Dumb Boat, and Bill Nye’s Soul

File this one under confession, contemplation, opinion and praise…

So there is this huge boat now in Kentucky, as part of a new theme park.  According to the Ark Encounter website:

“Ark Encounter features a full-size Noah’s Ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. Spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, this modern engineering marvel amazes visitors young and old. Ark Encounter is situated in the beautiful Williamstown, Kentucky, halfway between Cincinnati and Lexington on I-75. From the moment you turn the corner and the towering Ark comes into view, to the friendly animals in the zoo, to the jaw-dropping exhibits inside the Ark, you’ll experience the pages of the Bible like never before.”

It’s certainly getting some attention, though it sounds like not as much as Ken Ham had hoped, from a financial/profit perspective (At least according to some searches I did).

It’s also stirring up, in some circles, controversy.  The argument over whether it is historically accurate (If it ever happened, how the ark could have housed all the animals, how they would have survived, etc.). But also, things like money are brought up, in objections from non-believers AND believers.

  • $18 million in tax breaks.  First of all – that tax break is due to the cost of the ark being built, and the fact that ANY theme park is entitled to this tax break (read here for more information).  To be clear, it’s NOT $18 million of our cash in their pocket.  The money would never have been given to the government, if the ark were never built.  It’s not like Ken Ham and his company got kick-backs personally. Again – it’s something any theme park, including Disney, 6 flags, you name it, are entitled to
  • $92 million to build this thing???  Woah!  What???  How many hungry people could be fed, or homeless could be housed, with $92 million???  Well, I don’t know, I bet a lot.  But honestly, nobody asked that about our new Vikings stadium, which by the way a good portion of it WAS paid for out of my tax paying pocket.

    To be fair, many do object to a stadium being built, when money could be used in other ways.  The difference here is that none of the money raised by tax dollars (Again – a tax BREAK is NOT tax dollars)

  • Still – that’s a tone of money.  And even if it came from donors, why wouldn’t they donate their money to a “better cause”?

I kinda think of Jesus response to those who objected to the woman “wasting an expensive bottle of perfume” on Jesus’ head.  From Mark chapter 14:

While He was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on His head.

Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?  It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.  She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.  Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Jesus told them, point blank, “The poor you will always have, and you can help them any time you want”.  I take that also to mean, “The poor have always been here, why haven’t YOU, the one who wants to condemn this woman for her devotion to me, done anything about it before?  Why do you bring it up now?”

Yes, I know $92 million is a ridiculous amount of money.  And I also assume the majority of attenders will be believers, not so much useful as a tool to reach the lost.  But I don’t know, can you honestly say God did not tell Ken Ham in some way to build it?  Can you?  People did think Noah was crazy too, when he built the first ark.

Oh wait – it doesn’t really SAY in the bible that Noah and his family were mocked!  I always THOUGHT it said that, because I inferred or was taught that.  But I can’t find where exactly it SAYS he was mocked.  Nor can others.  He may have been.  I probably would have mocked him, if I were around then.

Bottom line though, if I’m being honest, I think the boat silly and a bit much.  Maybe foolish, if you’ll forgive me for being blunt and judgmental.  But Ken Ham.  He’s certainly not afraid of being a fool for Christ.  I don’t say this to insult him, nor to defend him.  Just stating  what I see – Ken Ham is not ashamed of the Gospel.  And while I may even look at something as large as this big boat, and question the logic in building it, when I see a video of him sharing the gospel with Bill Nye the Science Guy, I tend to think, maybe it’s all worth it.

I can only find this video, from Facebook, so if you don’t have a Facebook account and can’t see it, I’m sorry.

 

And yes, I am quite sure that Mr. Nye’s respectful silence during Mr. Ham’s Gospel presentation, was most likely out of respect.   Very likely not the first time Bill Nye has heard the Gospel (Heck – he’s debated bible scholars many times, including Ken Ham a couple years ago.  Likely the message fell on deaf ears.

But as a believer, I know that God’s word does not return void.  I know that there is no such thing as “falling on deaf ears”.

“As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”
Isaiah 55:10-11

 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

“For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17)

God is giving Bill Nye, and many others, every chance to come to repentance.  This is not a matter of Ken Ham winning a debate or argument – I don’t really care if ANYONE wins a debate or argument, and that is not the point of my post.  Ken Ham was simply a tool, an instrument in that moment, to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ.  For that, I commend Ken Ham for his obedience.

And Bill Nye is the one precious lost sheep we read about in Luke 15:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.  Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

I have no idea if that means some day Bill Nye will repent and have eternal life.  Neither do you.  That’s between Mr. Nye and God. But I do rejoice in the good news being spread. However I do know that to God, Bill Nye’s life is worth a million times 92 million…  And so is yours…  And that big dumb boat just might have served its one purpose.  🙂