Holistic Hegemony Has Hope

Thank you for enduring my love of alliteration. It serves several purposes, not the least of which is it forces me to think about the meaning of words. We must go beyond the superficial or casual use of words, just as we must avoid the pompous display of knowledge. Why? Because the essence of communication transcends the casual and shreds the pompous. It is about ideas, dialog, and ultimately results. Consider the power of these words, oft quoted.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

What do I mean by “Holistic Hegemony Has Hope”? Allow me to expand on the alliteration. Holistic means the “comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” Hegemony, as I am using the word for my alliterative purposes refers to leadership, not dominance. “Has Hope” ought to be self explanatory.

In order for someone to fully understand me, you must understand that the parts of me are intimately interconnected. Lets start with the obvious. I’m a human male. I’m married. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a sinner, therefore I have flaws. Some flaws are obvious only to me, others only to my wife, and still others only to Jesus himself. I am politically active. I am conservative, notice I didn’t say Republican! I desire to make a difference, yet the difference I want to make, will likely not be popular in our culture. Many of you think I should stop being holistic. In other words, I should separate religion or church, and state.

I’m submitting to you that a big part of the reason we are in the place we find ourselves locally on up to nationally, is in large part because we make a separation between church and state. We have forgotten that liberty is achieved only under a moral and just leadership. Our Founding Fathers intentionally created a difficult document with checks and balances to minimize the negative impact of our flawed human desires, mine and yours.

How is that good? Well, if it is done properly, it means you can elect me to a position of leadership, even though I am flawed! It means that other people can also be elected when they are flawed. And when it is working correctly, those who are elected can be counted on to hold other elected officials accountable within the governing framework of our constitution.

But, what happens when we elect individuals who are not governed by a moral code that transcends human law? Or, who seek to eliminate God, and/or Divine Providence? Simply saying that God doesn’t exist, or that evolution over billions of years produced human life does not make it so. Much of the premise of our science in this country is based on a lie. Who are we kidding? We teach evolution as fact, and in the next breath ask God to bless the United States of America. Do we think God is deaf, blind, dumb or non-existent?

So it is, that I am through pretending to go along with this bunk that church and state should be separate. I am standing up on the principle that we govern with the consent of the governed, and under the authority of God, the Creator and sustain-er of life.

You don’t have to agree with me, but I am no longer going to pretend that these things do not matter. They are in fact more important than human life itself. Think what you will of me. It doesn’t matter so much. Consider how much God desires to have a relationship with you. He sent his Son to be born into a despised family, in a despised town, to a despised people, to a despised cross, to a criminal’s death, when Jesus alone was without sin, holy, righteous, and without fault. God raised him from the dead, and the sacrifice of Jesus on that cross is a demonstration of God’s love for mankind. Believe that Jesus paid the debt you could never pay, and you will understand that it is not about separation of church and state! It is about getting rid of the guilt of your sin. That’s what it really takes to be free.

Until then, you may live in a land that calls itself the “land of the free”, yet be in complete bondage. A slave to sin, a slave to death, a slave to the government. The promise of these United States is not the obvious freedom, it is the ultimate freedom. To be free of the bondage of sin, not by force of government, as if government could even do that… rather by government making the environment conducive to the process of being truly free.

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.[b]

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would[c] do what Abraham did.40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” – John 8:31-47


Holistic Hegemony Has Hope, then, is another way of saying we need to return to the principles of our founding as a nation.  We need to return to the notion that while all men are created equal, we are not guaranteed equality of outcomes.  We need to pick up the individual fight to retain the unalienable right to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”, from a government that has overstepped its constitutional bounds.

World Wide Wisdom – NOT

It should not surprise me, or anyone else, honestly.  Chaos, violence, death, and rape in the middle-east.  Then drawing parallels to those events in Madison, Wisconsin, should not surprise me either.  The problem is that there are no parallels.  Wisconsin’s governor was elected by the voters of Wisconsin.  The senators who fled to Illinois, were elected to the Wisconsin Senate to represent the people from their senate districts.  What a terrible example of responsibility that is.

I believe the things I’ve talked about on blog posts, and shared on Facebook.  I will not run away from them, even if the World Wide Wisdom says I’m wrong.  The human problem of sin clouds World Wide Wisdom, and ultimately required the death of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice demanded by a holy God.  Ironically, World Wide Wisdom and a sham of a trial resulted in Jesus’ execution at the hands of the Romans, and the behest of his own people, the Jews.  And it was that seminal event that provides atonement for all of my sin, and the sin of the world.

To add further irony, there is a huge push to secularize society, and the more that push occurs, the more we are reminded by the violence in Egypt and the middle-east, that the God of the Bible will not be thwarted or dismissed.

Deny God at your own peril.  I urge you to abandon World Wide Wisdom, and seek instead Wisdom from above.

Lessons Learned, and Applied!

In order for this to make any sense at all, I need to explain a few things relating to technology.  Sprint has a device called a MiFi that creates a personal wireless hotspot for laptop computers.  It bridges the gap between the cellular network, and computers and allows you to check e-mail and surf the web from anywhere you can get a cell signal.  Sprint’s new 4G phone, the HTC EVO does the same thing, on top of being a phone.  This 4G phone is about as popular in the Sprint world as the iPhone 4 is for AT&T.  When I went to get one to replace something that wasn’t working, I was 14th on a waiting list for the device.

Now I need to warn you, technology is about to turn into theology.  Yes, surprise surprise theology has something to say through technology if you’re looking for the application, and don’t dismiss life’s events as pure coincidence.

While it seems like just yesterday, it was probably more like several months ago now, Pastor Steve DeWitt spoke about hanging on to our possessions with a loose grip.  I remember thinking that this was one area of my life where I did a fairly decent job.  After all, what do I have that isn’t ultimately from God?  And, I won’t be able to take any of it with me when I die.

Time passed.  Then, Thursday I had the opportunity to give up “my” Sprint MiFi so the Coldstream team could take it with them.  Granted it wasn’t a very big sacrifice, because WiFi is in so many places.  But as is often the case, my thoughts turned to “what if we need it in the next couple of weeks?”  I chose the loose grip, but honestly it really wasn’t as easy as it should have been.  I resigned to trust God… novel thought, eh?

Then, Friday, I got a call from Sprint that the EVO phones had come in, and they had gotten to my name on the list.  How fortuitous was that?  If I was the only one involved, fortuitous indeed.  But I wasn’t.  God had a hand in it, and I got to have a front row seat for the show, namely, that he will provide in his way in his time.  Now, all I need to remember is to apply the “loose grip” to everything!  It really boils down to “who do you trust?”

How hard is it for you to hold on to the things God has given you with a loose grip?

Parents Parenting Prevents Police Policing

Last night– a Saturday night, we were letting the dogs out for one final time before going to bed at 11:00pm.  I noticed at least two police vehicles with lights flashing and sirens blaring… not to mention engines roaring, going North towards a major US highway.  This was quickly followed by at least three more squad cars going at the same rate of speed.  Now, I need to say this is not a regular occurrence around here.  One, maybe two squad cars responding to a serious accident perhaps, but this many, followed by even more made me just a little bit curious.  What has happened at 11 pm in our normally quiet communities?

By the title of my post you might have already answered that question.  When I arrived at the major US highway, I turned right… then noticed yet another squad car going West.  At that point I realized that I needed to turn around if I was going to catch what was going on.  I turned around as quickly and safely as possible.

As I approached a 24-hour fast food restaurant, I saw lots of “juveniles” hanging out in their parking lot.  I thought for sure that was what the police activity was about, yet there wasn’t a squad car in sight.  I went further West.  The scene as I approached the next major intersection of the major US 30 highway was much different.  There were State Police, County Police, and local Police from multiple jurisdictions.  I saw “juveniles” with their hands zip-tied behind their backs, and Police running all over the place.  I saw one ambulance at a gas station, and as I approached the intersection they closed the intersection.  Great, I’m stuck watching this unfold, wondering and praying.  Praying for peace, calm and safety.  I sat and waited as squad car after squad car turned left in front of the stopped cars.  I suspected they were heading to the fast food restaurant.  After what seemed like a dozen squad cars turned and sped buy, they opened the intersection.  I went to the next one and turned around to head home.  I’d seen enough, and I didn’t want to become a statistic.  As I went past the still active scene, I continued to pray.  When I got to the point where the fast food restaurant was, I noticed that the parking lot was mostly empty, and squad cars where everywhere.

After stopping at our local police station to inquire, I headed home.

With that story off of my chest, I need to ask a few questions.  What are parents thinking these days?  We want to pay less taxes, yet you are not acting like parents.  What kind of parents allow their children to congregate late at night in public without parental supervision?  Newsflash, the local, county, and state Police are not parents.

We are in trouble as a nation, if parents do not have control of their children.  What we have are “juveniles” that have perhaps never been disciplined by parents.  We have “juveniles” that cannot experience corporal punishment in school.  And now they are old enough to drive.  Old enough perhaps, but not responsible enough, or they would not be out at 11 pm on a Saturday night.

I can hear it now.  “But they have rights… to assemble.”  Spare me.  Look at the constitutional right more closely.  We have the right to peaceful assembly.  That assembly at the fast food restaurant was anything but peaceful, and that was before the Police showed up there.  I could hear the noise of their car radios from my car, and I had the windows up and the air on.

The bottom line is this.  If parents parent the police wouldn’t have to parent.  The next time you complain about your taxes, I will complain about the way you parent.  There is a direct correlation.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword!

The TEA Party on April 15th brought to mind some interesting things.  It took an e-mail I received today to remind me of one of the complaints that was raised as people were sharing at the TEA Party.  Someone spoke about churches and prayer, and being involved in community.  All things I agree with.  But, then the comment was made from the audience that the church is largely silent on the issues and voting.

STOP!

Why?  Why is the church largely silent on the issues of the day?  Do people really think that it is because churches do not care?  Or, more importantly that God does not care?

I submit that it is fear of men, more than the fear of God that keeps churches from speaking to culture today.  “How so?” you ask.  Well, with the threat of having the tax exempt status revoked for being politically active, and having the donations of members of the church being invalidated as deductible contributions, it becomes easier to see how there is a reluctance to speak out on any issue that appears to be political in nature.

As it stands now, Congress is proposing “hate crimes” legislation that would criminalize the Biblical view of homosexuality.  Make no mistake about it, homosexuality is a sin!  However, so is lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, gluttony, drunkenness, and more.  I haven’t even mentioned the “big one”, murder.

Should I be surprised that in a country that legalizes the murder of the innocent unborn, that we would try to rewrite other areas of God’s law?

So it is that I am hoping that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.  I am hoping that the message of repentance that the one crying in the wilderness some 2000 years ago is adopted today.  John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus Christ.  Are you prepared for the return of Jesus Christ?  The last time Jesus Christ came to earth, he was born to die.  It was his death, and subsequent resurrection celebrated these past two weekends by millions of believers, that makes it possible for any of us to stand a chance before a holy and just God.  Jesus paid the price my sin deserved.  Has he taken care of that for you? or are you unprepared for his return??

Why am I so concerned?  Well, this time when Jesus returns to earth, it will not be to redeem–it will be to judge.  Most people I suspect think they are good enough.  Watch this, and then see what you think…