"Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony?" (Job 28:29)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Who is President, Emperor, or King?

AS WE approach the end of the church liturgical year, preparations are made in many congregations to close out the calendar with a celebration. This Sunday comes upon as our traditional way to remind everyone present about who is Lord of Lords.. Hear this "Lesson from the Laundry"...

Jesus Christ is indeed King of kings and Lord of lords. By the power of the Holy Spirit it is thus that we gather and worship on Christ the King Sunday. Let us especially strive to do so then... and give thanks to the Creator of heaven and earth. Please be welcomed to explore the web site of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) wherein you may find a congregation near you.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, may the Peace of God that surpasses all human understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, Our Lord.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Church and Governmental Politics

DEFINED AS expression of a person or entity’s position, whether called north or south, east or west, positive or negative, conservative or liberal.., personal politics becomes a sociological factor that is ideally found in any human society. In this vein, given that we are constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, we in the United States of America have a right and responsibility to voice our opinion in the public square. This is most evident in our free, Constitutional-guaranteed ability to cast votes in any public election.
Amid the fray, however, comes instances where public statements are needed. This was accomplished by congregation member and Viet-Nam veteran Lenny Anderson, and myself... as pictured below.

 Denominational allegiances found within the church, however, often use scripture foundations and traditions to justify any discipleship attitude of the church expressed also in the political process. Responses to political current flow from the church, therefore, may range from a full expression and financial support for any political participant or position... to a total withdrawal from any participation, Diverse opinion exists within the church then..., about whether a person found in authority, clergy or laity, may rightly participate or serve within secular government. Answers range from those entities that recommend active participation in “worldly” concerns in the public square, to those denominational expressions that wholeheartedly dictate to their adherents a reluctance to participate and influence governmental processes.
 In Reinhold Niehbur’s work “Christ and Culture”, the author classifies and describes our church participation according to denominational expression. Each class is derived from a particular theological interpretation of scripture and its accepted view of the world in salvation history. Herein lays the deciding factors within a church, each which holds its own internal measure of politics.
 Within Niebuhr’s pages we find positions portrayed… ranging from “Christ over Culture” wherein the church leadership is bound by divine right to oversee, guide and render judgments upon any political processes of a secular leader or government
 From this overseeing position, found primarily expressed in Catholic and Orthodox denominations, comes a political stance that attempts dictatorial speaking of divine will into the public square. This position is derived from such scriptural foundations as the exemplary prophets that chided ancient kings such as Saul or David.
 Other denominations, however, form quite different opinion. To many of these, the church is to maintain some level of either authentication, dialog or separation. For example, given its roots in English history, the Episcopal denomination is classified as “Christ and Culture”. In this vein, the church largely helps to establish and authenticate governmental position, especially on such matters in our own day as gay marriage and abortion. These are items that affect the very foundations of societal behavior.
 Midstream in the flow we find my own denomination. Lutheranism attempts to maintain a dialectical “Christ over against Culture” expression. We attempt a “push me, pull you” relationship as we participate in political process. As well, we find that many other Protestant denominations carry similar political stances. These include Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist and other independent, but small Reformation offshoots of Calvinism.
 The last category we find in Christian expression falls subject to quite isolational theology. In their fundamental sway, found by some in Assembly of God and Pentecostal denominations, the church is not to have any discourse with the “sinful” hoi poloi of the world. With a definition that supports strict separation of church and state, this "us vs them" theological thought world leans heavily on dispensationally-interpreted writings found as such in the book of Revelation. Within this theology, the worldly and sinful shall be dealt with supernaturally, independently and prophetically by God… daily and most certainly in the “end times”.
 Carried to unhealthy extremes, however, this last theological stance carried into error may form a worldview that results in such tragedy as the cultic Jonestown or Davidian massacre of persons… or a cult that goes suicidal to hitch a ride on a comet.
 Here please know that within my own Lutheran faith expression carried out in the United States, I find keen agreement with my denomination’s “Christ and Culture dialectic”. In this expression, whether as a church leader or layman, Lutherans hold the right and responsibility to dialog at varying levels… and influence our governmental expression. With foundations in Luther and Melancthon’s opinions expressed in the Book of Concord and other Reformation era documents, and stemming from guidance found in the Augustinian “Two Kingdoms” doctrine, I conclude that God works within society through both church and government. In this, it is then the responsibility of the populace of the church to participate with, or hold office within government to endorse or reject governmental process, even to the point of civil disobedience. These molding attempts I see as according to proper expression of both Law and Gospel.
 The proper function of Law as encountered in commandments and legal structure is that the Ten Commandments are the immutable and unchanging dictates of the Almighty will of God. These constructs first convict humans of sinfulness and drive us to seek salvation in Christ. They are the “nomos” laws of the Torah that are so well communicated in the book of Exodus, The laws are repeated in scripture as recovered and published again in Leviticus, even though slight differences in stating of the Law exists between the two due to their historical time frame of retrieval.
 Scriptural study, however, reveals that a second quality of law is revealed as casuistically founded. This flows from Old Testament record. In "case by case" style, casuistic law flows to the Hebrews from the ancient scribal pens. In these laws we find that enforcement may find either foundation or adaptation, according to a “greater good” within a given society. In this way, we find such items as ancient dietary restrictions against eating pork and seafood to now be unnecessary in public domain. Many biblical scholars and theologians believe these were casuistically given to a mobile shepherd society, a society which often had no proper way to cook said providence. In this way the nomadic Hebrews acquired protection against death from trichinosis. This danger is no longer primary in our more sedentary society that is highly educated concerning proper food preparation. These dietary laws are thus relaxed in our society
 Scriptural law, however, has a third use. These are present additionally to regulate the fair doings of human society. But, with this last being said… we find that gross, unfair and harmful laws passed by a society are often counter-productive… passed with political sway and power struggle in mind. These are often made in the name of modernity. These laws are keen fodder for discussion and expression from diverse church venues. This is especially so in sensitive areas, such as those expressed in God’s Commandments that fomenting proper care for the elderly, the marriage union, and nascent, embryonic life.
 The unchanging Commandments are surely foundational for the over-against-ness positions voiced from such as my own denominational expression within the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). As a called NALC pastor, I strongly endorse the unchanging Commandment foundations of proper care and respect given to the elderly through Social Security, Medicare, and similar legal activities. Additionally on these grounds, I endorse the biblical definition of marriage strictly as being a state that can only exist between heterosexual beings. Lastly, my record shows strong opposition to the abortions of unborn infants. I believe to kill an embryo at the whim and will of the human politic is a bold affront to the divine will of God toward life. To do this horrid deed, though deemed necessary by society under such instances as certain medical procedures and life threatening malady, is surely murderous.
 The downhill slide caused toward greater sin sets up our society for such as focused abortion toward minorities and others who may be considered as genetic misfits. Such praxis was followed by Darwinistic social evolutionists within the Nazi regime of WW2, and are yet followed subtly in this land. This latter evolutionist concept is statistically found to be heralded by profit-seeking demonical organizations and money-mongering physicians. This is  particularly found in this decade focused toward black, female or Down’s Syndrome-afficted embryos that have been provided with nascent life in this nation.
 It is in this discourse that I find our church is surely needed as an expression of God’s intent for life and liberty in this society. But we have become lazy and timid and neglect our responsibility. I counter that we are called, encouraged and empowered in the Spirit to express opinion in the public square. If needed, write or call a Congress person about issues, or request Presidential attentions. Indeed, if need be we are called even to “lay down” our substance and our lives in right service.
 Be urged, therefore, by this article to call or write leaders in all three branches of government to amend the progress of unjust legislation or practices. Let us do so in the name of Jesus Christ, who overturned tables in the marketplace of the temple, and who therein confronted powers within both church and state during his ministry on earth. In this way, such appalling events as the blocking of entry for veterans to the WW2 Memorial may disappear from the American scene. So it should be written, and so it shall be as God wills it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fuels and Fools...

AN EXAMINATION of automotive news this week revealed to me that yet another of the entrepreneurial efforts of the President of the United States' ecological investments has gone belly up. The Fisker electric automobile manufacturer in Norway is ceasing production of its sports car. The vehicle, which I shall pejoratively call the Fisker Flounder, shall not be a part of our picture for an ecologically pure, motoring future. Deletions from a future marketplace, though I deemed this as predictable, heightens our thoughts about future dialogue needed. These are discussions that should be taking place within an ecological crisis and lessening of non-renewable fuel supply. This latter couplet is due to continuing subjective ethics within modern technological, industrial societies.

 I tender that recent discovery of large deposits of shale oil in Canada and the US, and their development have spurred great disregard within the transportation and energy distribution industries, slowing progress toward developing long term clean, cheap alternative fuel technologies for society. This matter should be cooking on the front burner of our modern stove, whether the stove is electric or hydrocarbon burning.
 In the electric car or hydrocarbon fuel dilemma, some technologically-challenged but lobby-influenced politicians went with big spoon toward financing electric car developments a decade ago. If these bottom feeders had only gone up the supply food chain they would have eventually arrived at electric power resources that also have predominant operational basis in non-renewable, hydrocarbon productions. I fear that when we get to the bottom of the hydrocarbon pot, which we shall certainly do in future generations, shortages of energy supply will still trigger world-wide chaos.

A Broken Pot?
Thus a marked decline of interest seems now expressed for such as hydrogen as automotive fuel. This fuel bubbled downward in research interest since recent years. The energy taste is thus salted though hydrogen as fuel for many prime movers is abundantly available in nature, can burn efficiently in automotive engines, and provides adequate vehicle power with only water vapor as its major exhaust by-product.
As well, hydrogen sourcing does not impact negatively upon Third World agriculture. I ask then, why the declining interest in doing research on this readily available and clean fuel? We already have vehicles, aside from high-tech hydrogen consuming fuel cell electric cars, that will burn this clean and renewable fuel in combustion engines. It is published fact that within the last decade, BMW marketed a vehicle that would run on either gasoline or hydrogen fuel. As well Mazda, of rotary engine fame, has built wildly successful hydrogen-powered rotary prototypes that go “Hmmm…”
 The bubbling pot remains, however, though present methanol and ethanol fuels are known for high levels of alehyde-based air pollution, and negatively impact the agricultural scene of sugar cane producing Third Word countries... resulting in known competition for food producing acreage to feed the Third World's poor.
 We note also that recent political conversations have been derogatory concerning promoting other bio-fuels. Within the last decade, profound advances have been made in the southern US, in the production and refining of algae-produced hydrocarbons. One of the higher agendas of the present government’s administration has been toward development of this potential. When fully developed, within a decade, farms could be established which convert sunlight into hydrocarbon fuels using this beneficial bio-tech research. Yet I hear derogatory comments coming from the political realm. I even admit that some of these blasphemous comments come from my own party allegiances…likely financed by the thickening starches of lobbying donations spewing from present fuel suppliers.
 Why the reluctance to promote and invest in this promising technology? At this point in time, I can only offer that the recent, profitable fracking frenzy fills the need for viable fuel for a near future. Additionally, the cost of refining this fuel remains less than research for the alternatives. Combine this with bio-hazard warnings that are politically squelched, though nearness to a fracking site may deliver a tap water smelling like a pungent sauerkraut boil, you are left with a recipe for future disaster. My present guess, therefore, is that reluctance to get us past this technology rests in the arena of profitability. Money seems the root of all fuelish evil.

Taste the Stew!
Consider that bio-fuel emergence would lower existing fuel demands, and change the price of these naturally-produced oil products, thus making recent infrastructure investments in hydrocarbon gaseous and liquid fuel production as moot. As well, the expenses associated with converting our societal fuel infrastructure to gaseous hydrogen would also impinge large corporation profits. Any competent chemical engineer can relate that dispensing of gaseous hydrogen requires quite different handling, shipping and pumping equipment that is now present in our liquid fuel transport industry. You can see that profitability in such delivery methods as the proposed Midwest pipeline would be less certain. In other words, the economic forces at work in our present day, make a profit by continuing and developing ecologically harmful technological structures within the multi-national industrial complex. They wish to simply expand traditional fuels and improve distribution methods. By maintaining such patterns, these economic powers sacrifice our life quality for many generations to come, unless they begin to regard present energy delivery infrastructure as stepping stones toward cleaner and more sustainable fuel supply.

Theological Thoughts!
Two commandments thus lift my hood and boil my cooker today. As a Christian, my calling is to first love God, and also love my neighbor. Both are dependent on my listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, given to me through the power of revealed scriptures. In this, I must refer first to the Law that condemns us. In these I find that we are convicted in our consumptive guilt of God’s gifts in creation. We are like a household scourge who simply sits at table as the pot grows lean, bellowing “More meat!”
 My opinion is that technological powers within the modern world are not guided by a stable, transcendent social ethic. Any ecological attitude now extant within the corporate operates in a subjective system of profit, based tenuously within wide and changing multi-national legalities. These are often far removed from true, ecologically-responsible values. It is, therefore, my proposal that this abysmal lack of a transcendent, ecologically sound ethic should be addressed by the Christian church. One of our mandated instructions from Jesus Christ was to love one another. To do this task of love properly, therefore, we must include the welfare of those in Third World nations, and our own generations to come.
 We in the church are called to engage the scientific and technological communities in ethical dialog. If these powers in society refuse to embrace said dialog, as offered for the future good of all, it should cause the whole church to condemn these reluctant powers. This should be done through the focus of Divine Law upon harmful technological deeds or lack thereof.
 We are thus admonished by the Decalogue to work for our neighbor’s good. While surely delivered from condemnation by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, we are yet called to preserve life… to go and sin no more. We are to love society toward God’s formative future. It is our task now to challenge the many devils of corporate reluctance in the public square.
 In the “household” of God, therefore, a word which comes from the Greek “oikiomene” or “economy”, I say that this matter can no longer be spooned into the garbage disposal of church history. We shall not find our talents hidden there. In future conversations, whether soft or harsh, let us move from the Law toward the fruitfulness of the Gospel… the good news of a warm and mobile future in Christ Jesus.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Infant Mortality for Gain...

PROGRESSIVE AND LIBERAL POWERS today, expressed in both religion and state, offer the mortality of weaker persons in our society upon altars yet formed by ancient gods. With a selective focus in the modern world using tactics that remind us of Nazi experiments and genocidal manias in Eastern Europe and Africa, we find that the populations most impacted by this horrendous modern ideology are the unborn and very young. This is tied to the inability of this segment of our population to voice complaint. Others segments of our population, namely elders and geriatric... though similarly attacked by our cannibalistic society... normally do have some resources to express when they are made victims of persecution.

 Another important fact often escapes us.. our quietude leads us to wrestle with such alarm only as we challenge rapacious abortion facilities. Consequently, we need to examine the roots of the problem. We need only look at our human history to find the flaw. Viewing human history, we find a glaring reflection. A horrid furrow ploughed deep into our society is highlighted. We become aware that murder of these helpless children has been a stalwart of human depravity for eons of time.
 You see, we find that ancient biblical record reveals the practices of rampant child murder in societies that existed centuries ago... often given the gratuitous title of “sacrifice”. The act was a method of deity appeasement during ancient times. As biblical witnesses describe, the thunder gods Marduk and Ba’al Hammon were thought to be persuaded by such horrid practices. Though both nature gods were just natural occurrence that we moderns know as thunderstorms, the upshot was that depending on the weather conditions of such as land and sea in Canaan, a nature god would seasonally roll in upon the land toward pre-scientific peoples from the Mediterranean Sea, or similar bodies of water. By doing so they would quench the thirst of the land for a bountiful spring planting.
 However, if the wind blown storm god entourage did not show with its attending royal goddesses, named in the Canaan realm as Astarte and Tannit (thunder and lightning), and thus water the land for a good crop like a bull urinating on a flat rock... some satanic priest would say that something needed to be done to lure the deity’s attention.
 When rain did not fall, being pre-scientific... but not stupid, the priest divined, “Let’s sacrifice something to get Ba’al’s attention.” There was not enough food, but surely there were plenty of relatively insignificant crumb snatcher’s running around playing with dradles. These were already too many to feed if the society's sacrifice idea didn’t work, so child sacrifice would be repeated again, and again, etc. It was done repeatedly to offer up blood and bones, and sometimes by virtue of weather patterns... it worked. The rain would come. Thus as time rolled on, the practice of child sacrifice grew, entrenched satanically by such as Beel-ze-bul into the ancient cultures.
 To be sure, even when not always successful in bringing rain, the blood and body of a child spilled out on the ground in a religious ceremony did save food that would have been consumed by that child. The food was preserved for those other villagers deemed more worthy because they would have bodily strength for the next planting. The ancients would just keep doing this child sacrifice horror until either the god paid attention, bringing rain.., or the lesser population would make food shortages a moot point because there were just not as many persons left around to feed.

Mot and Worms of Destruction…
How widespread was this phenomenon? Very wide! In ancient Persia, Babylon and Canaan, fickle Marduk was courted and cantankerous Ba’al Hammon was also invited. In the Mediterranean arena, Isis, Osirus and Mot were wooed in Egypt to a rain dance for the crop cycle. In the pantheon of the northern Africa, we read that the ancient gods Ba’al Hammon, Astarte, and Tannit and other deities were enticed for grape crop success. You see, even wine goddesses of the very early Greeks and Roman cultures did the same until those cultures realized that the practice was deleterious to the growth of their armies.
 How far did this human sacrifice go? Records of such activities echo into Germanic, Teutonic, Nordic, Slavic civilizations, and others farther removed. We see in this historical study then, that widespread child sacrifice was done very early in history.
 We then may ask ourselves, "Is it any wonder that this murderous practice still persists in our scientific era?" Children are still being “sacrificed” to the gods of prosperity, whether the economic aim is personal, national, or international, and not necessarily agricultural.
 The recent, and too long enduring massacre of children by such as abortionist Dr. Gosnell under the State of Pennsylvania’s nose, is surely based in this economically motivated agency. He and others profited greatly by continued child sacrifice. It was a racially and class biased eradication of societal “crumb snatchers” by political powers, continuing so that persons in this nation may be wooed and secure with bigger, better housing, nice cars, and many fields for employment and gain. Many since infamous abortion promoters such as eugenics promoter Margaret Sanger, yet query, “Why should a modern, progressive population allow the birth of a child, when their un-tethered preschool tuition could be used as down payment for a golf club membership or new convertible?”
 Is the travesty that blatant? Yes indeed, but clothed in satanic forms. Author Ann Coulter noted the various means of subterfuge that these murderous and self-centered powers exert. They are devious  and should be known by anyone with concern. You can find them discussed in her book. Click here to view her work...

How Should Christians Respond?
Where should Hebrew and Christian world views differ from this inherited nature deity appeasement? The revelation of God’s mindset as to our faith walk on this matter begins partly through the story of Abraham and Isaac. The scripture reveals to us that father and son were called by God to go up on Mount Moriah. Faith history tells the mountaintop scene of potential child sacrifice, designed both as a test for the fidelity of Jehovah’s servant and revelation of God's deliverance. God intervenes before Abraham’s knife saps his son’s life, saying that Abraham should withhold the slaying… and God substituted a goat as blood sacrifice. God then states to his servant..,

 "By myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice." (Genesis 22:17)

 We note here that amid the unfolding of subsequent covenant history, instead of child sacrifice for the benefit of his nomadic people, God substitutes his own sacrifice. The faith history of Israel shows our God as a benevolent, creative deity that provides plenteous population growth. In this way the faithful will survive amid wars and the warp and woof of civilizations… until the time of Christ’s birth and beyond. Therefore in the flow of history, once and for all, Christ Jesus is finally made the “one and only, all time” child sacrifice for eternal survival and the prosperity of faithful humanity.

 With this history therefore, as Christians we should point out sinfulness and economic practices that say we need to sacrifice precious children to the faux gods of our own profitability. In fact, we must protest and witness that the love of our Creator indicates that just the opposite is true, in our God’s mandate he says that “Thou shall not kill.”
 The only begotten, eternally living Son of God, Jesus Christ, sacrificed himself so that his church might grow across the world.. The kingdom of God should not have its numerical growth hampered by those in the body politic who grow richer by stealing the inheritance of a murdered, future community in Christ.
 In this proper work of faith, therefore, we are freed from our dependence on the gods of crops, houses, cars, and other possessions. We are called to rightfully use these things, and not make them our masters. Our task is to further the work of Christ’s kingdom. We are also called to voice condemnation and march against on those who would snip the spine of children in the quest of satanic pursuits. We are called to birth, baptize, raise, educate and commune these silent and vulnerable children. This is where the people of God, in his one, holy apostolic church, should rightly stand… this is where we Christians need to stand firmly.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage and the Church

OUR MEDIA crackles with news about growing approvals in American state legislatures concerning Same-Sex Marriage. Repeated turmoil comes out of politically progressive states such as California. Some states, like New York, have already moved to legally permit such unions.., thus putting clergy in rather delicate conversation with non-heterosexual couples about their expressed reluctance to perform such ritual. Conversations about this matter, and any resultant refusals to perform said ceremony have brought several lawsuits to the fore.

My own denomination has thankfully already stated its position against such matters, citing that heterosexual marriage is the only human sexual union that is scripturally supported. The statement, at present, legally protects my right to provide refusal. However, this last statement does not necessarily provide for me, as a pastor, an argument for pointed justification on our position to valued persons within our society. Greater clarity is needed whenever questions arise from persons who cite that an American majority approves of such legal relationships. In considering the point, and others often expressed, I can now turn you to a recently received article published for English churches, which may help many American clergy who ponder answers for the same issue. I offer that article to you now…

Several good points are raised by the author, that leaders and laypersons of the church in this or any other nation should not join a sinful, yet progressive “going-along-with-ness” in order to “get-along-with” an impetus of our society. We are called as God’s people by the Word of scripture alone, over and above any local, state, or national government mandate. Therefore, let us study scripture.., and be ready to answer concerning the faith that is within us.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Of Faith and Guns...

WHERE IS the Christian to stand amid the gun debate? As Americans, we may rightly proclaim our opinions when our present governmental branches attempt to legislate concerning our right to bear arms. We may rightly call their attentions to our historical legacy having been gained by the founders of this nation, those who preserved for us the right to own firearms by writ of the Constitutional Second Amendment. Yet, as Christians we are also called to be healers, now faced with loss of life in schools and society through domestic small arms fire that demonically clings to our environment with horrid tenacity.

Personally, I find myself torn when witnessing the murder statistics of major population centers within these United States. I seem to witness a rise in violent, gun involved death both near and far. However at the same time comes to me, memories of hunting to put food on our family table. I also take comfort in knowing the security of having my home fires protected by the presence of a firearm. A sense of guilt, however, intrudes again on my consciousness when I see these tools of providence and protection used on helpless teachers and students of our nation’s schools, even while remembering the faces of my parents who strove hard during WW2 to preserve my right to bear arms.

Being a Christian then, I believe to solve this corporate and personal dilemma, we must turn to scripture to reckon a clear way ahead. Now, my knee-jerk reaction would be to rail in public for armed guards and a return of prayer to our nation’s schools, but the latter of that path would only fall on the deaf ears of a now heathen brood. We turn to scripture because there we interact with our God, whose Word has hewn for us a clear path. We read surely of a Divine determination that a peaceful and settled people shall be established within the kingdom of heaven, but it reveals also that our God’s method in this world has been historically quite varied.

Sculpted From Chaos
As biblical history reveals, for example, God himself rescued his chosen nation Israel from Egypt. Israel, as described in Passover narrative, was a people without the ability to defend or free themselves. This was so as Moses says to them as they cry to the God of Israel…

"Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-14)

Surely in scripture, therefore, we are told of the Yom Yahweh (War of God). A man called of God, warns and guides the people, but Yahweh delivers. This happens most surely when the people of God finds themselves backed against the drowning sea. God himself rails against the Oppressor. What does God use? The warfare of nature is first thrown against Egypt by God in the form of plagues of frog, bugs, and other relentless burdens. The people need only to mark clearly their own identity, but cannot watch… only to hear the lament of Egypt when at last its power is drowned by supernatural wrath.

But then, we also see that we lost and wandering humans, like Moses, may be rightly used corporately in the Yom Yahweh. After Israel (named as those who contend or wrestle with God) find they are rescued by God, they are groomed to participate as an infant vagabond nation in wars fought for a place to settle. They move against many city states within the ancient lands encountered. The Bible reveals that they attack Ai, Jericho, and other ancient principalities and prevail whenever divinely-guided. The Psalmist recalls that Yahweh has said…

“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling, kiss his feet, lest he anger, and you perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled.” (Psalm 2:8-12)

Now we note, that as the psalmist of David exhorts the people Israel, and thus to us as their descendants through Christ, he clearly stated “with a rod of iron.” This armed action continued until the occupants of the land, the people of the Philistines, were decimated. This is a judgmental God, this Yahweh! All nations stand in peril. Only Israel is somehow gracefully chosen to reveal his holy will. Israel is thus established as a nation ruled by tribal judges. May we safely read from this that since that time “science” has added to spear, sword, and catapult. We now include my 12 ga. double-barreled scattergun, and are thus prepared to wage holy war with greater efficiency .

Apostolicity and Combative Discipleship?
However, we now turn to what our Lord Jesus tells us. It seems that the very Word lashes out against evil in this world as he says to his gathered people….

“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:30-38)

Now, while the argument is often made that this is strictly a spiritual battle, I differ with that assessment. It was certainly not thought as much by Herod, the Chief Priest, or Pontius Pilate. Therefore, if we begin pacifist or not, we as Christians are joined with the militant Messiah (The Anointed One) who comes to make war on evil, delivering us and others from the power of sin, death, and hell. In this he gives us a commandment to guide his people until he returns…

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:12-15)

It is of scriptural record that some stepped to the fore to defend Jesus, as revealed by Matthew. When the time for his arrest by authorities came…

“And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?" (Matthew 26:51-54)

Ah, but therein lies the catch. God needs no defense. And those who defend with the sword by their interaction in the use of armaments participate in the sinful ways of this world. Thus it is that Paul says of us, “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” and follows with “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23 and 6:23)

Thus we humans are truly at enmity with one another, though we often mistakenly consider our cause to be truly righteous, we usually find it is not. Additionally, the hidden agenda of self preservation wrestles with our intent to lay down our lives for others. Only agreement with the proclamation of Christ unto our salvation will guide us as truly the Righteous.

Boldly We Sin...
Like the worlds' courts we must make judgements. From this discourse then, we see that we have two paths that may be taken, both are sinful within a sinful world, but either being somehow useful to our God. Indeed,our Creator. God makes wondrous things from chaos. First, I say that we are to collectively stand in the midst of the assembly and watch as our God takes nations, including our own, to task for sinfulness and unbelief. Such a costly stand was recently taken by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He participated without violence in many battles that were won peacefully in his stand for human rights, though the war against prejudice still seems unending. In this, we still must stand in his place, and watch as God calls other nations to task against the enslavement of race, ethnicity, women and children. We work for resolution knowing that these nations make war against the will of Yahweh, in that they have not believed in the divine Warrior that he sends. These powers shall certainly fail. Watch for the frogs.

But secondly! Know that we must be to be willing to lay down our own lives for the sake of children and friends of God, and others who are ensnared in this world’s turmoil. In recent history powerful nations have fallen, that deigned for themselves superiority through the drive of madmen. Touting a progressive agenda that proclaimed that human evolution can build our own ziggurat and we thus reach the kingdom of heaven, against such heretical thought, the church has stood firmly and actively on the firing line in the personages of such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Thus it is that both Christian soldiers and citizens, no matter their station and employ, must continually strive so that those under bondage and threat may be freed. We are called to do battle with Evil, and evil often uses the weapons of pistols and more. Whether the weapons of choice and avenue held by us under the condemnation of Law are sword or gun, is only determined by the strength and methodology of our foe. The human purpose is ethically to attain at least a balance of power to rob the attacker of profit, and pray for a cessation of strife. May the necessity of our weaponry drive us then before the Law toward clinging to our salvation in Christ.

While working in this physical realm in spiritual war against the Satanic in this world… we need also to look for opportunity to proclaim conviction of sin, absolution, and salvation in Christ that is provided by our gospel message. We invite thus those freed from physical bondage and loss of life, to embrace the Prince of Peace and join us in being his chosen servants.

Finally then, you witness that I find myself firmly opposed to efforts to disarm the American populace. To do so is delusional. It is wishful thinking that does not account for the power of evil, not only providing the false concept that our government can defend all persons, and opening the way for the thought that it too could turn on a disarmed public... let us not think like those who have said, "It can't happen here." For the history of previous centuries shows clearly the fate of a collective people who walk through this sinful world disarmed. May we instead work in this world as sinners made saints only by the gift of the holy cross of Christ. We use the weapons of this world, though distasteful, and the Word of the heavenly kingdom to wage a somewhat passive and subtle, but holy war. Let us fight the good fight with the Word held in our hearts by the Spirit of God, for ultimately our Lord himself shall determine the caliber and strength of his peoples. May he truly one day say, “Well done, good and worthy servant.”