Friday, April 19, 2013

All Men Are Created Equal

     In schools today, students are graded like produce.  If you take tests well you may be grade A and if not maybe grade C. The IRS will categorize into different graduated levels based on your income.  In India, people are sometimes viewed in different castes, and even in the west peoples lives are thought of as being more or less valuable based upon their abilities, achievements or backgrounds.  But the fact is that God is not a respecter of persons.  this means that God does not view one person as being more important than another based on his position.  
     This truth has application for how we view others.  People are prone to be intimidated in the presence of a dignitary.  A person might be intimidated in the presence of someone like Bill Gates, because he has been involved in so much and made so much money.  But, we should not be intimated by people of position in science or law or government or whatever else, because all men are created equal.  And for this reason we should also not idolize a personality in Christendom or someone of wealth lest we become respecters of persons.  Neither should we despise the weak or poor.  An elderly person who is close to the end of life may not have the same capabilities as one who is young but he is just as important and so is the child who has not been born.  Some think that abortion may be okay to save the life of the mother, but when considering difficult situations we must remember that each person created in the image of God is equally important.
     This should also affect the way we see ourselves.  Gideon and Saul seemed afraid to do what God desired for them because they thought that they were to low.  We can look at people of God in history or the Bible and think that they were somehow higher than us and we can't expect or do things like them but God has made us just as He did them and He will be just as faithful to us and will use us if we obey Him.  On the other hand we need to recognize that no matter who we think we are or what we have done we are not better or more important than anyone else.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dealing with Bad Government - Part I

       When the founding fathers were working out our constitution they had many specific and sophisticated ideas about how government should be run.  They understood some of the basic Biblical ideas about government but they also saw that the scriptures had great depths of wisdom for details of how each area of the state should run.
       We will never be in the same position that they were but there is just as much wisdom available to us for the situations that we face with our government and for each area in life if we will ask God for it and seek the scriptures.  I do not know all the things that we will face in the days to come, but I believe it would be prudent for us to seek wisdom about the proper course of action if we were to face the outlawing of firearms, the limitation of family size or some other outrage before we are actually in the undesirable position.  Daniel and his three friends purposed in their hearts that they would not defile themselves and then they were ready to deal with the situation they faced.
      One idea to consider is that we should not be surprised if a bad government makes illegal something that we should do.  We see in Babylon that prayer to God was prohibited and I think the example of Daniel can be very instructive in what we ought to do if we face some similar thing.  Daniel could have stopped praying except to the king or he could have hid or perhaps even tell the king, "I'm not going to listen to your new law."  What he did was to not change what he did whatsoever!  If a preacher were going through Genesis teaching on topics that came up and the state said, "No more talking against Sodomy," he should not let that prohibit him from speaking about what he would have otherwise.  If he were in the habit of putting his sermons on the internet he should not keep one on Sodom and Gomorrah off because it would be to volatile but rather deal with it as normal.  We see in the case of Daniel that God honored his steadfastness and changed the decree of this empire and He could do the same for us but even if He did not we should still do what's right.  Daniel did have to go to the lions before there was a change and we may have to face similar things even if God does change a decree.  I'm grateful that there were people who were willing to go to jail for homeschooling so I could be homeschooled and before that people were willing to die so I could have the Bible and many other such things.  We may not be called to face such things but we should know what we believe it is our duty to do no matter what and be prepared to know how to respond to difficulty.