where religion and politics meet

Everyone has a worldview. A worldview is what one believes about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Countries also have a worldview, a way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Ours used to be Christianity. Now it is secularism, which is practical atheism.

Some of us are trying to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

A religion is not a culture, though it creates one. It is not what you prefer, like your taste in music or your favorite movie. It is what you believe to be true. Because it deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, but the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation and critical thinking.

Every human being has the duty to search for and learn the truth about life. Education and science used to be valuable tools in this search, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues,

For now I want to focus my writing now articles specifically addressed to Christians. So most of my new posts will be on my other website listed below. I will continue to write and post short responses to newspaper columns and letters and even other articles as the inspiration hits me.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A letter to my son

Hi ______

You are my son.  I love you more than anything else in the world.

There is one way that I have let you down, and I am sorry for that.  Let me try to make it up to you.

There is nothing more important in life than God.  You’ve already experienced a miracle in your life when I saved it that day.  But then you said that you didn’t remember anything.  I remember it very vividly, and it makes me sick.  That noise I heard in the kitchen when I knew something was wrong.  What if I hadn’t been there right at that time?  I wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t had that heart attack.  I should have been at work.

Lifting that weight off you was a miracle.  I had to lift it over that curling attachment.  I don’t even remember doing that.  I grabbed the bar and set it on the floor.  I don’t remember anything in between.

You went into convulsions.  I immediately put my hands on your chest and neck and commanded you to be healed in Jesus’ name.  And you were.   Most people I am sure at that point would have run upstairs to call 911.   You might have been a vegetable by then.  I don’t know.  But you were fine and went back to your workout. 

Nobody knows how life works out.  What I mean is that nobody knows how much God influences or brings together events.  This event required a number of ‘chance’ circumstances for everything to have worked out.

I had to be close by when it happened.  Why was I home at all?  If I didn’t believe in healing like I do, your life today could be living in a wheelchair or being dead. 
One thing I do know about God is that He wants and expects to be a very big part of our lives.  Actually first.   The most important thing in life to do is to love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength, and might.  Those are His words. 

But what does that look like?  It shows itself in different ways with different people.  But there is at least one common thread.  It affects one’s whole life such that you can’t do it in secret.  It changes your priorities, the things you do, the things you love, how you spend your time, everything.  God is what gives any real sense of meaning to life.  Without God we are just random molecules that collide and have reactions with other molecules.  There is no real point in living apart from just enjoying yourself until you die.  Doing good things for other people can give one some satisfaction, but life is just a matter of staying busy so as not to get bored, trying to minimize any pain or discomfort until we die and go into oblivion.

But God says that we are created in His image.  That means that we are not just physical beings but that we have a mind and a soul.  Our lives exist and will exist apart from our bodies, and there is no real end to our existence.  Heaven or hell.  Life has consequences.  We have purpose.  Life is about something. 

Everybody will have a different specific mission in life, but there are some common threads.  The Bible is our instruction manual, our guidebook, the rulebook, our education in the fine workings of life, the communication from headquarters, our Father’s heart to heart talk with us, our spiritual food for the soul that we need to feed on, our light in the darkness, our compass giving us directions, our protection against error, deception, temptation, or bad choices. 

Anybody who doesn’t read the Bible regularly and tries to learn it doesn’t have a clue about God and life.  They are walking in darkness and are lucky that they don’t walk off a cliff.  I saw an old Bible that you had sitting in our attic.  Do you have another one?

Another common thread is church.  I know I don’t go, and the reasons are actually complicated.  I certainly would rather be in church on Sundays than working.  When I started in this business, they didn’t even sell meat on Sundays.  But I wanted to go into the ministry, but that didn’t work out for a lot of reasons. But this is after a lifetime of going to church, so what I am missing now is not as critical, at least in most ways.  It’s not as important for a person who graduated from college to go to school compared with somebody who never finished grammar school.  Church is about a lot more than just getting an education, but I believe God is preparing me for something else.  But that’s another story.

You and I are both loners.  That’s why we work out with weights instead of joining a basketball or bowling league.  But the Bible says that church is like a human body.  Each part has a different function, but they all work together to form a person.  So the church is like a huge team, an army, a nation, a multi-national corporation.  It has a mission of transforming the world, and it can’t do that as a bunch of individuals.  A running back is going nowhere without blockers. 

Now if none of this is making your heart beat faster in anticipation, then there is something that is missing.  Your life isn’t plugged in.  The switch is shut off.  The motor is out of gas.  There are no batteries.  The thing is broken.  You need a new one. 

A new what?  A new life.  Spiritually we all start out dead.  Young children are aware of God more than we are, but as they get older, it’s like the light just keeps getting dimmer.  They need an awakening, a new beginning.  Actually it’s called a new birth.  And it’s a lot like getting married.  Life is full of so many analogies that picture this reality of God.  That’s why so much of life is the way it is.

Marriage is a choice where two lives become one.  A relationship with God starts with a choice.  Not always conscious whet n it begins, but a definite choice nonetheless.  Marriage has a ceremony that marks the beginning of it, and sex is called the consummation of the marriage.  Without it the marriage is not complete.  But sex alone doesn’t make the marriage; both are required.

So accepting God, or beginning a life with God, requires a conscious beginning.  The Bible calls this baptism, though the Church has kind of garbled the message.  It emphasizes the fact of a personal commitment to Christ, sometimes called asking Jesus into your heart.  Baptism is often neglected.  

But both are important.  Just like a wedding is a ceremony, it needs vows.  A wedding without vows is just a ceremony, and vows without a wedding don’t hold weight. 

So a life with God needs a beginning.  We aren’t always sure when it begins, but we can tell if it has begun by what we see afterwards.  If you plant a seed, you will see something grow.  If nothing is growing, there is either no seed or it never took.  And if it is growing, it will be seen by everyone who looks at it.

I know you accept the Christian worldview.  A religion is a description of life, basically telling what is true in life.  But it is also a person, a relationship.  And like getting married, it involves a commitment.  You know a lot of people, but there will only be one who you are married to.  This person becomes the center of your life.  The one you always go home to.  And God is the same way.
Jesus is the one who connects us with God.  (Deep theology here.)  God in Himself is just too big and too holy to connect with human beings as we are.  Not originally but something happened early on that changed things.  So Jesus’ death and resurrection make it all possible.  And Jesus is the one who we get married to, though He is actually the husband, but that’s another story as well.

When we invite Jesus into our lives, commit ourselves to Him, accept His as our savior, get baptized, something happens.  Again, this part gets a little garbled at times as well, but we become born again.  The Bible talks about having someone lay hands on us (this is another way the church is important), and we receive the Holy Spirit.  Most Christians don’t do this, but I think they are missing something important.  But anyway, things change.  God starts working in our lives to change us into his image.  

It’s a slow, lifelong process, but it’s like stopping your car, turning around, and going in the opposite direction.  But there should also be desires and a new passion for God.  We finally realize just what God is all about, and we are overwhelmed.  They call that worship.  Churches try to do that on Sundays, and it’s always better to do that in groups, though it takes place all the time in people who have encountered God.

So Christmas is in a few days.  This is why it is so big.  God entered the world so He could have an intimate relationship with people like us. 

You grew up in a family where we always believed all this, but just like you moved out and started on your own, your life with God requires just as decisive of a move.  At home we cooked your meals and made many of your important decisions for you.  Now you do that.  Same with God.  If you had made this decision with God, I think at least mom and I would be more sure that you had. 

God gave us families for a lot of reasons.  But know that He loves you more than we do.  And He wants your love and respect just like we do, only on a much bigger scale. 

Everything I have done for you in life is for nothing, if this part isn’t right.  My life isn’t complete until I know that my sons love God as much as I do and that they want His will for their lives.

love,

pops


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