Yesterday I read;
I bought this book from my favourite second hand bookstore. They said that it came from a lady’s estate who had thousands of books. What a gift to posterity! I was able to purchase it for $2.99. and gladly paid.
I had read it with interest in fits and starts as I usually have books of assorted kinds going at once. Books are a comfort and joy and food for my many jumbled thoughts and concerns. It is joyful whenever I find a book written by someone who has love in his heart as Alan Paton demonstrates with Ah, But Your Land is Beautiful. This book covers the 1952-58 time period beginning in what they call, “The Defiance Campaign” in which they pushed back against some of the apartheid laws such as separate use of public places, places of worship, transportation, and land occupancy laws.
Many things I’ve read in the book have reminded me of the injustices in our own country’s dealings with our neighbors in our own country as well as the world. The fears of the Afrikaners made them do horrid things through apartheid and of course they committed even worse atrocities against the black and brown peoples with whom they unevenly shared that beautiful land.
To simplify I will say that their justifications for their separate existence laws from the native South Africans and the other brown skinned peoples like the Indians whom they imported into the country for labor to build railroads were made out of arrogance, greed, and Darwinian type genetic racial inequality theories, but mostly FEAR of their superior numbers. The Christians in South Africa of all colors were sifted through the age of White Rule. There where were many Whites who responded to the commands of Jesus Christ to treat their Black and Brown brothers with kindness, many as in this book were ostracized for it.
This book was written in 1981, before the abolition of official Apartheid. Looking backward we can see many things have improved, yet much is still to be done. I think much has to be done in our country too. God cannot be pleased with Christians supporting suppressions of freedoms out of fear when He told us that we are to fear none but God himself. We have a long way to go. In verse 34 Jesus gives a new commandment.
I meditated upon the act of Jesus washing feet all night long, I dreamed in wonder about it. This morning I got my Bible out to get the unadulterated Word.
Verse 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Do they know? Do we love?
If taken to it’s furthest application, the rejection of liberty in man’s government here on earth will lead to the necessary establishment of the beliefs of one or other group of peoples. As a Christian it is tempting to attempt to institute Christianity (which incidentally has no law only grace) as the bar of all law in the United States of America.
John 18:36 King James Version (KJV)
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Our Saviour was not the kind of king that the Pharisees and Sadducee and leaders of His people wanted, He came in humbleness in a low estate not the conquering king they wanted. The folly of this is the violation of God’s order of the church age in which “whomsoever believeth” SUBMITS BY GRACE given to Him by God to the commands of Christ. That leaves all others under forced obedience (in effect slaves) to LAW without belief.
Christ fulfills the LAW but He never took away the liberty to reject His Propitiation. Jesus gave clear warnings of the consequences of rejecting so great a sacrifice, but He did not force anyone to believe.
Another folly is to attempt to institute Levitical Judaic law as a broad basis for man’s government so as to leave the New Covenant of Jesus out of man’s government, thereby placing man back under the law that our Saviour fulfilled and replaced with His Propitiation. In what way is that Christian? How could that be considered as giving more opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth?
Rather government without Christ is government without Christ’s commandments and specifically his two greatest;
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets.”
These two commandments include the ten commandments. What is then different about Christian/Judaic government vs. New Covenant Christian government?
A. The complete absence of Jesus Christ (He is not named in our US Constitution even though Christians ascribe “our Creator” to be Jesus).
B. The Levitical law and the 613 Judaic laws in the Pentateuch which were added by the priesthood onto the Ten Commandments.
C. No grace only law.
Jesus Christ came to give liberty to the captives. His Kingdom is not of this earth.
It is foolish to sidestep into the Law away from Grace.
We have eternal citizenship in heaven if we are believers in Jesus, and we are temporary citizens of the world which we have been told we have to be in but not to be of.
I’ll be blunt. I am not a “Conservative Christian”, I am rather just a believer in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I am for the blood of Christ covering all my sin, I believe that I should obey the commands of Christ because He told us that if we love him we will obey him. Therefore I am FOR LIFE and family according to the pattern in the bible. I believe that Jesus came to fulfill the law and made a New Covenant with us with his earthly walk, crucifixion, resurrection, and Ascension into heaven to be our Mediator. Don’t think in terms of there being two choices, either “Conservative” or “Liberal” because a “Liberal” in the common modern sense of the word which has lost its original meaning and been co-opted by the DNC. So I won’t wear a label, I rather take the attitude of the Apostle Paul who boasted in nothing save the cross of Christ Jesus.
Labels are for those who trust others to do their thinking.
Properly used labels give a starting place, but even so using our faculties is necessary to keep from us from being mislead.
Labels are simplistic yet front loaded with meaning and promise. They designed to be used as scorecards for quick information for busy people and or for those who lack familiarity, confidence, or expertise. After all, to know a matter takes time and attention, comparison and analysis.
For instance when getting a glass of milk to drink you look at the expiration date, pick up the carton noting its temperature, open the carton, put your nose to it, pour the milk into the glass look at its consistency, smell it once again in the glass, then take a sip to be sure it’s sweet before chugging it down. Unless you really don’t mind realizing you’ve just swallowed sour milk and suffering from a bout of gagging, stomach upset, or heaven forbid, food poisoning and maybe death later you have to understand that even a “good” label won’t protect you from spoilt milk.
Also we have to be aware that labels can be peeled off and changed with very little or even no actual changes in products for “re-branding” purposes they direct attention to things away from others, and act upon us as magician’s illusions.
Folks who claim the name of Christian have no business playing the game of politics. Sorry for all the Moral Majority babies out there in their 40s and older, but we were convinced by the co-opted church that the route to the land of the free and the home of the brave was just too dangerous because it allowed folks who don’t embrace our beliefs to make their own choices. So we adopted “Conservative” value politics.
But the label “Conservative” is fraught with meanings that are both negative and positive. Conservative does not equal Christian. It means status quo. Keeping things the way they are and never allowing any change good or bad.
Have you ever been able to clean your house and keep it that way? Absurd to even imagine, yes, you’d have to stop living in it then go into it on a regular basis to dust and air it out and still you’d see it fade and deteriorate from oxygen and sunlight exposure. Maybe you could put it in an airtight vault? But who would benefit from its shelter then?
I’m all for cleaning my house and keeping separate from corrupting systems such as the public school system and many corrupting influences. I try to stay in a good community and eschew places and groups who outright make choices to rebel against God’s ways. He commanded us to be in the world but not of the world, so despite my efforts I find sin and corruption wanting to take over.
No, you’ll have to admit that our Christian walk must be continually tended to and thought about and maintained. Conservation would be a silly thing to do with your home. Your standards have nothing to do with status quo then, do they? Jesus teaches us to abound!
The story of the master giving the talents comes to mind. He came back to see how his servants used them. The master revoked the talent from the “conservative” and gave it to he who had put it to work and doubled it. How does that stack up to the idea that Christians should be conservatives?
Liberty is only freeing if we take responsibility, otherwise we are like the wicked servant who buried his talent because he reasoned, “I knew you were a hard master…….” Notice the distrust, resentment, contempt, rejection of the talent, and the self-reliance of the wicked servant. He imagined there would be no reward and no punishment if he simply conserved the talent! Being a conservative didn’t work out well for that man. He not only didn’t benefit or gain from it, he had it taken from him, and was judged for neglecting it, called wicked, and sentenced to punishment!
Shouldn’t we reexamine the label? Jesus surely wasn’t a conservative. He tore the status quo from top to bottom with his new covenant. He is the Lamb without spot, sacrificed once and for all, fulfilling all righteousness. He said, “It is done!” He gives liberty to the captives! We partake of that liberty when we believe that was done for whomsoever believeth.
Confessing that belief and throwing off all excuse because of the conviction that we are truly liberated by the grace of God’s will to believe in Him. He draws unto Himself, that is His own mystery and not ours to even understand. Just acknowledge and believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
That is our only political power or obligation that we will account for. Whether we live in a government under despots or believers we each one of us have been made in His image and have no excuse, in neither estate is it easier to come to Christ. We are all captives of the flesh. He came to give liberty to the captives. Take that liberty to be truly free.
This is posted because I am truly agog at the speed with which the freedoms I grew up with are shutting down. Who knows how long the illusion of liberty I have lived in my 58 years will be completely dispelled, I am asking rhetorically, just to make a sound while I still can. ACTA, SOPA, PIPA? We cannot play politics five or six days a week and worship God the others. Making choices for the lesser of evils isn’t Christian. My choice for president is for Ron Paul because he is the only candidate who espouses liberty and personal responsibility. Whether Dr. Paul would follow through on his words will be on his own head, but as I see it, no other candidate available to us even talks about it. Our true government is above. While a have a vote I will cast it, but I know God is above politics and world orders and He is not slack or slow but merciful and will at his appointed time judge us all.