The Coliseum Around the Corner

The Coliseum Around The Corner
 
Most of the time politics disinterests me because it’s just one talking head blaring over another one. I don’t even hope to change anyone’s mind. But I have to speak my own. I know this is too long and most won’t take time to read it. But children in cages. On American soil
 
Have you ever wondered how humans could gather at the Coliseum and watch Christians being eaten by animals for sport? The law of the land allowed it … and the Christians were not Romans … they wouldn’t say ‘Caesar is Lord‘ … so who cares what happened to them? When the elderly Polycarp was about to be taken to be set on fire for his lawbreaking allegiance to Christ, he showed hospitality to the soldiers, setting a table before them. They begged him to say ‘Caesar is Lord‘ so that the wouldn’t have to kill this old man they admired and who was so kind. He didn’t even have to mean it – just say the words! Polycarp wouldn’t have it.
 
Humanity has a way of writing laws that disadvantage the ‘other’…often to their death … and then turning around and saying “well, it’s the law… tsk tsk…go away to your death vermin”. Children in cages. Lawbreaking parents. Do they deserve it, Christian? Polycarp was a lawbreaker, tied to a pole and set afire. I know that some of these people may be criminals, some may be intent on harming America. But some are Christian … and some are seeking escape from terrorizing forces. And for many there was only one hope.
 

But children in cages? It’s complicated, I know, this business of immigration.

A view of inside U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention facility shows children at Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center in Rio Grande City, Texas, U.S., June 17, 2018. Picture taken on June 17, 2018. Courtesy CBP/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. – RC174C9B4E40

But we ‘hired’ (elected) people we considered to be brilliant and worthy to fix it. And they COULD. But they won’t because someone else may get the credit, or some other party might get an advantage, or some lobbyist might not be happy. Children in cages. In America.

 
 
We’re not far from the Coliseum friends. If not in reality, in spirit. I don’t talk about politics much, I find it all sickening. The corruption from top to bottom. A friend said, “It’s not a swamp, it’s a hell” in DC. I think he’s right. Children in cages. Just keep repeating that to yourself. Imagine your grandkids in the cages. I know, they’re not lawbreakers. They were born in the right place.
Caesar still wants to be Lord. But Jesus is Lord for all eternity.
 
Take some time to read about martyr Polycarp.  Let it sink in.
Forget who you voted for. Put aside your platitudes – no matter which party you’re with. I don’t care if other administrations practiced this. I don’t care which party created the “law”. I don’t care if someone broke the law trying to get to America. I don’t care about these excuses for treating children this way. There are better ways to deal with this situation.
If you are a Citizen of Heaven, then you already have many of the answers which elude our political elite.  I’m not too surprised at how the world treats anyone. But when Christians give their seal of approval, I’m at a loss. I’m so sorry to read of the separation of children from their parents and can’t imagine anyone who loves Christ being in support of that. They’re not cattle. They are humans. 
But hey, the economy is good.
In spite of all of this, out here hope remains. It’s just that sometimes it seems dim. Thanks for reading. JED

Election Year Intrigue for Your Kindle!

Being an election year, there is plenty to read from all perspectives. F. LaGard Smith is always provocative … but hard to disagree with. His new book on President Obama will no doubt evoke Smith’s logical, biblical approach to every subject about which he writes. And it’s only $5.99 for your Kindle today! But he’s not the only one writing!

$9.99 The Amateur by Edward Klein

12.99 It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! by James Carville and Stan Greenberg

12.99 Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow

12.99 No, They Can’t by John Stossel

16.99 No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington by Condoleezza Rice

12.99 – Screwed!: How Foreign Countries Are Ripping America Off and Plundering Our Economy-and How Our Leaders Help Them Do It by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

The Secular Satan

A recent DRUDGE REPORT headline screamed that Rick Santorum had declared that Satan was attacking our country (story link HERE). He did so in 2008 while speaking at a church.  Rush Limbaugh commented on the story and made some observations HERE. Michael Savage and Sarah Palin have weighed in on this as well. It seems to me that there was quite a little storm over this idea that Satan might actually have an agenda.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.                    ~1 Peter 5:8

The secular Satan is merely a force to blame when things go wrong. It’s a means of expression, kind of like Murphy’s Law. The secular Satan is not real. He means no more to the secular man that claiming that Mother Nature is angry if it storms. His is the “devil may care” attitude of life. Or when things get really bad there may be “hell to pay”. But since he isn’t real, he cannot have a plot. And certainly he would not plot against America!

Secular Satan is similar to secular Jesus.  Secular Jesus wants hungry people to be fed, the homeless to be housed, the naked to be clothed and the sick to be made well. Justice is the calling card of secular Jesus. Everybody likes secular Jesus. Secular Jesus isn’t asking me to make changes in my life nor to overcome sin – he just desires me to be nice, civil, and mindful of my fellow man.

This week when the real Satan was mentioned in secular politics, “all hell broke loose.” This is why Christians need to stop talking about bad luck (is there any such thing?) and the pitfalls of human nature and realize that there is a real enemy working against us.

The Real Jesus demands an exclusive attachment and following. He is not just a concept of all that is good and right – he is the resurrected Lord to whom all authority has been given. If the political candidates start talking about a resurrected Christ, the secular media will have the same reaction.

The danger for Christians is that we can become much too secular – much too blase’ about spiritual realities. We can become focused on social justice comfortably without a thought given to the spiritual realities that drive us to social justice.

The earliest Christians, as they were persecuted and scattered throughout the known world, could not stop talking about the resurrected Christ.

For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. ~Acts 4:20

Today’s Christians temper their speech so as not to alarm their secular neighbors. Maybe that’s why the flame isn’t spreading like it should. In that sense, an unreal powerless secular Satan may have silenced the crowd that should be speaking the loudest. Sounds like a plan of Satan to me!

~John

He’s the President

In this election season it is the way of men to verbally destroy one another. There is a war afoot – a battle to occupy the White House. There are no rules when it comes to the destruction of opponents. If you are political candidate you must learn to do unto them before they do it unto you. Ask Herman Cain. In November a very tired, very beaten up candidate will claim the throne and serve as the king of America, the President.

I’m concerned that American Christians seem to think that we are to fight to the bloody end to see that the ‘right‘ candidate wins in the end, that there are no boundaries to observe in our tactics. Call the opposing party jerks, creeps, or morons (or worse) – that’s what the world has taught us to do. We’ve got to win our country back – and to adopt the mean spirited vitriol of commentators, talk show hosts, and pseudo journalists is acceptable behavior.

Except it isn’t.

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. … Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king…. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. From 1 Peter 2

I see nothing here that tells me not to express my opinions. I believe in voting. I believe in supporting your favorite candidate. I believe in supporting candidates that express your moral convictions.

Should I choose, however, to join in the malice and slander of a pagan world in which I live, I would be wrong. I am to honor the king. No matter what we may think of his policies, him as a person, or what we’ve been led to believe by pundits and the priests of the media… he is to be honored….by Christians.

Did we ever stop to think what a pagan world thinks when they see Christian people slicing up the President and speaking of him with such hatred? I can tell you what they are not thinking about. They are not thinking about Jesus Christ who was unwilling to return insult for insult when he suffered. He made no threats.

Whether online or verbally with friends (or anyone), we have a calling to live like Christ. That calling rises above our feelings about a President or the candidates who desire to be President. We are strangers and exiles in this world. We’ve simply got something more important to occupy our minds.

~John

Political Messiahs

Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?

It is true that Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts is historic. Although it was fairly close and not quite the mandate that some are touting, it is a real win.

I’m disenchanted with politics and politicians. As campaigns progress totals are kept on how much money is spent and what lobbyists candidates hang out with. Unions back candidates and so do large corporations. The rich and powerful have the means to be self-serving in whom they fund. Those same people owe them in terms of votes and attaching pork to bills.

There was a little part of me that really hoped that President Obama would be different. That all the talk about change and transparency would bring about the needed direction in Washington. But I do not see anything different from one administration to the other. The faces change but the tactics remain the same. When the Democrats are doing it the Republicans howl, and when the Republicans do it the Democrats cry fowl.

Somewhere along the way the governing of our land has very little to do with the average person. Pity the below-average person, because the promises flow to them only long enough to garner a vote.

Yes, important legislation does make it’s way through the halls of our lawmakers. But unrelated bills are attached that contain favors and paybacks. And so if there are any honest legislators, they vote for the important pieces while holding their noses at the pork that stinks up the place.

What kind of scenario would it take to bring about a tilt toward a more righteous political system? Whatever answer is offered would seem to be impossible.

I think everyone has a right to express jubilation over Scott Brown’s election.  And I’m sure some are downhearted over the loss of his opponent. In the end of the day he may swing a vote one way or another, but being a freshman on the scene I doubt his power and influence will be of much effect.

As the early disciples, many still look for political solutions to kingdom problems. The government will never care about the poor and uninsured as much as Christians should. Neither should we await them to fix a problem that is beyond their control.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

My hope is not in a Republican nor a Democrat. My only hope is in the King of Kings who reigns forevermore.

Any kind of political talk can be inflammatory … I’m just ruminating over some things going through my mind tonight.

Thanks for reading.

John

Gustav, Mass Panic, Money, and Gas!

Gustav was more than a gust, but not quite a Katrina. Not even close. Still, there is damage and there are an awful lot of people who have had their lives interrupted by this storm. It was a serious weather event. I’m grateful (as are many others) for the repeated prayers of those around the country for the dissipation of the storm. It certainly weakened and was not nearly as strong as they predicted. Which has me thinking tonight…

Is anything served by super-hyping a storm as I believe was done in this case? Mayor Ray Nagin called this the ‘mother of all storms‘. Dr. Jeff Masters, one of my favorite meteorological bloggers (ok, the only one) had a graphic of Hurricane Betsy and made some pretty strong statements about the need to flee New Orleans.

Don’t get me wrong, I would have evacuated… I think everyone that did was wise.

But I wonder if a medium sized storm like Gustav could be used to hype the public into a panic, run endless exaggerated reports (as did The Weather Channel), then what becomes of the public’s perception when another Katrina roars ashore?

The news channels also excitedly proclaimed how massively powerful the storm was. Ratings, I suppose, plays a role in this. We like the drama.

Maybe I’m guilty of making too little of it while criticizing the information media for making too much of it. I’ll admit that possibility.

But it all leaves me with questions…

Do we have to convince the public that each storm is another Katrina in order to motivate them to evacuate dangerous areas? I’m not denying that possibility.

Since the government (at all levels) was so inept in the initial response to Katrina, were they overplaying their hand in order to try to make up for it this time?

Was it of practical value for anyone that the Republican National Convention was basically postponed … or was it simply an appearance of concern? I think the rest of the government / country continued on as they had planned. I’m just asking questions here!

Do state and local governments have something financial to gain by declaring a state of emergency?

Why does the cost of gas go up and down with these weather threats… when it is the same physical gas in the gas station tanks? How can it’s cost go up and down as it sits there underground?

Again, I’m very sympathetic… empathetic even … with those who have suffered damage, are sitting in a shelter, had no power this evening, or who may have lost loved ones. I know that there was financial loss as people evacuated – at an unexpected cost. I’m not questioning the wisdom of evacuation from any hurricane. Our family has evacuated for most of them when we lived on the Coast. Our church is active in providing some support through deacon Ken Dorsey and the Northeast Louisiana Food Bank. We’ll likely be involved further in other ways.

My questions and thoughts tonight aren’t about the general public and our struggle against the elements. But I’m thinking about the public media … the government … the dollar to be made off of a natural disaster … and our how it seems we need to be dramatized and traumatized into action.

And hey, I’ve already heard how awful Hurricane Ike is going to be!

Check out Danny Dodd’s thoughts along the same line.

Your thoughts are welcomed! If I’m off-base, give it to me!

Thanks for reading,

John

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Helpful Links for Hurricane Gustav Response

Red Cross Seeks Volunteers, Donations

Louisiana Emergency Headlines

National Hurricane Center

Weather Underground’s Tropical Weather

Dr. Jeff Master’s Tropical Weather Blog

Volunteer to Staff United Way’s 2-1-1 call service

United Way’s Website of Links For Helping Others

Office of Governor Bobby Jindal

Whites Ferry Road Gustav Response

Church of Christ Disaster Relief

Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team

Convoy of Hope deploys to help Gustav victims.

Lutheran Social Services prepares to go into action.

Episcopal Disaster Response.

Operation Blessing.

Salvation Army prepares for Gustav.

FEMA

More info from readers is welcomed.