Monday, March 31, 2008

# 243: Freedom

# 243: Freedom The majority of us in the world, especially in America, take freedom for granted. But freedom is like a two-sided coin: It can bless, and it can damn. Freedom to do as one pleases brings damnation, while freedom to do as one should brings blessings.

The freedom that is given to us by Jesus Christ teaches us to love God, our neighbor and even our enemies, while the negative side of freedom which is given to us by man/woman gives us a license for greed, inequality, immorality, and much, much more.

Let me quote the verses in Luke 4:5-8, where the devil was tempting Jesus, and then give the implications/inferences of that section of Scripture that may shock many. "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, because it has been given to me. And I can give it to anyone I want. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only."’”

Some will say that the devil was lying and the world does not belong to him. If that was true, Jesus would have corrected him. Instead, by his silence, Jesus condoned/agreed with his statement of ownership. Since Jesus refused his offer, that offer still stands to anyone and everyone who desires splendor and authority (the good things of this world). [We must remember, "The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it." 1st Corinthians 19:26]. Therefore, the devil was referring to having control of a multitude of people in the world with their self-centered, satanic splendor and authority.

Now the question comes up: When someone, possibly unknowingly, blissfully worships the devil [there are many who do], what does a person do and how do they live with all that authority and splendor? Repeating, the first thing is that those people may not know they are worshiping him by the way they live. If they believe they are Christians, with all that wonderful splendor and authority, they will most likely praise and thank their god, who they may presume is Jesus Christ or Jehovah, but is most likely Allah, Buddha or Satan.

Many Americans believe God has blessed, and is still blessing, individual Americans and this country in general with the wealth and power it/we possesses/possess. To believe that statement, a person cannot be familiar with the New Testament (NT); or, he/she just ignores Bible verses that are contrary to their sinful human nature. Just read Luke 12:19-21 and many more similar verses, which this Biblical blog brings to the surface, to see how God feels about that type of life. This is what a rich man said: "And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. [His wealth gave him the freedom to] Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

If one can distinguish good from evil, it becomes evident that America is not a Godly country. Just in case anyone is not aware of what is going on, I will sadly point out just a few of the practices that are an abomination to Jesus Christ and Almighty God. Just remember, this is my country; I was born here. The fact remains that this is not my home. I am just passing through. Thank God I am a citizen of another place: the Kingdom of God.

We were given many freedoms by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Some of them are precious and we, the people of America, have given many of them a sour note, to the point where they are repulsive to the true people of God.

As previously mentioned, the most prevalent of all our ungodly attitudes is our desire for wealth (the American dream). That statement may sound foolish to some who are not aware of what the NT teaches. And according to our human nature, it is stupid. Why, then, is wealth an abomination to God? To verify that God really teaches this principle, I will just quote two of a dozen or more similar verses. Jesus speaking in the book of Luke 16:13 and 16:15: "You cannot serve both God and money . . . What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight."

Two of the main reasons God detests wealth in the hands of those who profess Christ as their Lord are: Money has an ever-present companion—pride—which makes them believe they are better than others. Along with that, wealth gives security against unforeseen want. With that type of worldly security, a need for spiritual security becomes superficial, though not one wealthy person will ever admit it.

Of course, many will give this rebuttal: "Look at all I am doing for the cause of Christ with His money." That is only an excuse to keep living above and beyond “the good life.” The truth of the matter is, the size of the gift is not of importance; the motive behind one’s devotion is what has value in the sight of God (doing/giving all one can to promote the cause of Jesus Christ). Scripture offers conclusive evidence in Luke 21:1-4: "As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’"

To put it in baby language, money is God’s greatest competitor. In this world, money speaks louder than God. This principle is not believed by the majority of worldly Christians. And one can see why. Money can give people just about everything their worldly hearts desire, except holiness. The people in America and the world are money-hungry. No ifs, ands, or buts. Therefore, since the prevalent desire most Americans have is their desire and love for wealth, that would make our freedom- loving country ungodly.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t people in America who are blessed with true wealth; they have the freedom to receive the wealth that can never perish. When someone has this Godly type of wealth, the desire for worldly wealth is put into its proper place: in the hands of those who go after the freedom this country gives. If anyone needs more proof of how God feels about worldly prosperity, there at least half-a-dozen posts in this Biblical blog that will give all the Biblical evidence needed concerning the freedom that gives life.

When we talk about our god in America, we have to be honest with ourselves. Our real god is our desires in this complex and pampered society. What are the names of some of our gods? The first is comfort, easy life, entertainment, freedom to do as we please, wealth, our stomach, which means we are slaves to our taste buds. If it doesn’t taste just right, regardless of whether it is extra-nutritious, we have the freedom to reject it for processed, fattening and poisoned "food" as long as it is tasty. Restaurants are the guiltiest, as they cater to our taste buds. They make their food taste as good as possible so that customers come back and they increase their bottom line. That is the god the majority of us truly worship. The price for that form of worship is a god we hate: sickness and disease. Have you ever heard of this type of restaurant advertisement: “Our food is nutritious but it may not taste the best; but remember, we care for your health and not our profit. Taste is not everything”? Forget it; it will never happen.

You see, the freedom Christ gave gives us the freedom to live in a way that pleases God without harassment from our sinful human nature, inspired by Satan. 1st Peter 2:16. "Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil." Also, in the book of Jude, verse 4, it says, "They are godless men who change the grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our Sovereign and Lord." If anyone forgets all that is written within this post, don’t forget this homemade cliché: “Freedom without love for God and our fellow man/woman is a license for greed and immorality, while freedom which Jesus Christ gives is a license (power) to have faith, love and obedience to all that Christ teaches.”

Another activity the vast majority of Americans, Christians and atheists alike engage in is the freedom to be greedy. Of course, few will call it “greed.” In its place they use many euphemisms, thus making it attractive and not so self-centered. Next to having the desire for wealth, its kissing-cousin is greed. It is one of the most ungodly and destructive freedoms of all. There are many verses that teach us not to be greedy. I will give just one. Luke 12:15: "Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’" Here is the biggest lie in America: Stamped on our money are the words, "In God We Trust." To be truthful, it should say, “In Greed We Trust.”

We have freedom of religion. Isn’t that wonderful? That means we should tolerate and not criticize anyone’s religion, regardless of how ungodly it is. That is one of the main reasons why ungodliness is so prolific in the religious world. That does not deter this Biblical blog from saying it like it is in God’s New Testament. If, by some chance, religion in America was banned altogether with punishment, the few Christians that would dare to worship in this country would be the type of people genuine Christianity was meant for.

When it comes to inequality, the good-old USA is the champion of most industrialized nations. The top one percent of the population is richer and healthier, lives longer, and makes more money than the other 99% of the population.

How did this inequality come about? In 1913, some of the richest men in America (John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford the 1st, J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt (the railroad tycoon), Seymour Hersh (the news paper magnate), and a few others) came up with a great idea to increase their earnings at the cost of the working-class people. They somehow went in cahoots with our government to require an income tax on all working-class people. When corporations and government get together to rule the people, it is called fascism. At the same time, they put into existence the Federal Reserve, which was financed by money that was yours and mine. If that is not bad enough, it was done according to the 16th Amendment. Would you believe that the 16th Amendment gave no such power to take our hard-earned money and slyly give it to the richest of the rich? That is still going on to this day. It was illegally enacted, and it is still illegal to tax our salaries. The IRS cannot show you or me where it says anywhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that it gives the government the right to tax our income. This is difficult to believe, so don’t believe me. Go on the internet and search for "Aaron Russo--America--Liberty to Fascism.” There you will get all the details and proof that this country, which was supposed to have freedom, has become a fascist country with your money and mine.

Then, politicians who claim to be Christians are the biggest legal crooks in the world, like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and all their cronies. Politicians were crooked in 1913 and they haven’t changed to this day. One has to be at least a millionaire to run for most high offices in America. The question remains: How can the rich govern the middle- and lower-class and still give us the freedom all peoples, rich or poor, are entitled to? In order to aptly govern the working-class, they would have to walk in our shoes. Sure! That will never happen.

What happened to equal rights for all? Have the African Americans had equal rights with all the personal discrimination that has been going on since who knows when? This is a gigantic disgrace for a country that supposedly considers all people equal.

Let’s not forget “liberty and justice for all.” That type of justice comes at a price, and it may not be the freedom for the downtrodden. If they can’t afford a good lawyer, they get screwed, whereas the rich, along with a few crooked lawyers, can actually get away with murder, like O. J. Simpson. Therefore, many times, our freedom, which entitles us to “liberty and justice for all,” is not real freedom.

Another activity our freedom has given us that repulses God and company is the sexual immorality that is going on. It is now commonplace. Anyone can see it or hear about it no matter where they go. As to what is going on among the young, the two most prevalent sins are premarital sex and all kinds of promiscuity, to say the least. They fear not concerning pregnancy; they have the freedom of choice: abortion (legalized murder).

This immorality all started big-time about thirty-some years ago at Woodstock, and their immoral role models are still going strong. Along with that is the acceptance of homosexual activity. It is now as accepted as heterosexual lifestyles, on TV and elsewhere, and nothing, to my knowledge, can be done to reverse these situations except Godly intervention: the duplication of Sodom and Gomorrah.

This type of activity is encouraged by all kinds of video entertainment which are usually sexually explicit. The entertainment industry gives us only what makes them money; thus, the choice of our entertainment is a truthful barometer of America’s moral makeup. They [many who call themselves Christians] love to watch this filth. This fact is an indication of where so-called "christians" are and where they are going. Our freedom of speech and freedom of the press have made all this filth possible, not to mention the type of music the young are listening to. They call it rap. It rightfully should be called “Satan’s dance of death.”

Let us not forget another freedom we have in America: legalized pornography. This popular sport has been the demise of many a good man, and the breaker of many homes. Guess what is missing in their lives? Jesus Christ. If a man claims to be a Christian and is engaged in this filth, he is worse than the unbeliever who does the same thing. He is a hypocrite, and hypocrisy is God’s most despised transgression. Therefore, many of our freedoms are a license for immorality. For these reasons, God has damned, not blessed, this country of ours.

To qualify God’s sentence of damnation, check out the book of Revelation, Chapter 18, and three other verses in that book: Revelation 14:8, 16:19, and 17:5. Try to figure out what country the apostle is describing via the glorified Christ, which is the modern-day Babylon, and read what will happen to it. Many of the indications aim at our great and beloved USA. If it isn’t the USA, then what other country could/would those descriptions be pointing to?

----------------------------------------------------- This is a response to comments which turned out to be longer than I expected; therefore, I am placing it on the main section of this Biblical blog. Also, this person asked questions which, most likely, will interest many.

“Anonymous” has left a new comment on your post # 243: “Freedom":

Who in the world could possibly argue with this post? It is funny because I have the same thoughts regarding this subject matter.

Now maybe you can help me where I am confused. What is considered wealth? Does God imply that you have to be poor as in "homeless" to be blessed? I had a job that I worked at 16 hours a day 6 days a week that consumed my life. It brought me lots of money, and a huge ego. A wonderful acronym for ego is Edging God Out. Realizing this while I was in the action and was often appalled with myself. I broke loose of the chains that were around me and left that job. Now, I know I have to make money to eat, I like having a roof over my head, in the town I am in it is imperative to drive a vehicle... I no longer "worship" money, but I realize I need it to some degree.

At what point is money considered greed? Desiring to live correctly and in line with what God desires for yourself. Eating well (unprocessed organic fruits and veggies) etc., fasting, praying, loving others above ones self, and studying the Bible. What would someone do, what do you do for the money you need to support your roof, food, and bare necessities? Just curious, please shed some more light on this issue.

-------------------------------------------------------- Thanks for your comments and heart-piercing questions.

As to your first question: "Who in the world could argue with this post?" No doubt, some will say that I am looking only on the negative side of America. That may be true, but the negative doesn’t go away by denying it. I ask, What is there in this country that would give God a reason to bless us? Of course, some religious people would comment on all the churches we have in America (about 300 thousand). Sure. They are filled every Sunday morning with people who know very little about what the New Testament teaches except what they hear from the pulpit. What I mean is that church leaders must be very careful that what they preach is not offensive or too demanding, or they will go looking for a less demanding church.

As I read your second question, "What is considered wealth?" I must examine my own life regarding wealth. Material wealth can be described as a condition of the heart (no matter how much one has, it is never enough). The wealth God abhors borders on greed. In fact, I believe wealth and greed cannot be separated. If we are able, we must work to earn money to care for our needs and our family—if one has one—who depends on the breadwinner. If we have a little left over—the amount depends on the size of one’s heart—it might be a good idea not to spend it frivolously or put it in the church basket (the clergy have more than they need) in case an emergency comes up. But here is the catch: That extra money is also a nest-egg when a neighbor is in need. Their needs are as important as yours and mine if one lives by the second most important command "love your neighbor as yourself." It may sound stupid to those who are not motivated by Godly love.

As I have said many times, genuine Christianity is a religion of Godly love. We are showing the world what Christ would do in our situation. If that is not one’s motive, a bit of remodeling is in order. Christianity is not just going to church on Sunday morning and thinking one has done their duty to God for the week. That type of religion will send many to a place they never dreamed of going.

Concerning being homeless, if that situation came about by any of a multitude of abuses, it would be a disgrace to Christ. In that situation, there would be little one could do to promote the cause of Christ. Most often, homelessness is the result of many bad choices. This doesn’t mean a homeless person isn’t/couldn’t be a disciple of Christ, but chances are slim. When Christ and the apostles talk about the poor who are blessed, the disadvantaged (poor) have the greatest need for real life, which only Christ can give. This subject of wealth and poverty walks a fine line. The main thing is to have genuine love for the needy. If one has that love, chances are that it would be impossible to have wealth to the point where it is lavished on self, with regard for those in need. This question can never be adequately answered, since life has many variables.

I also agree with you that we should to feed ourselves and our families the healthiest food available, made from scratch, so we can avoid as many commercial toxins as possible and avoid poisoning our body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. That is much more important for physical, spiritual, emotional and mental health than many are aware of. I also agree with your next statement concerning fasting, praying, loving others above one’s self, and studying the New Testament.

Your last question about me: "What would I do?" I am retired and receive a small monthly pension, which is more than I need; thus, I have a great opportunity to help those who are in need. Although I eat well, I never waste anything and am frugal in my spending. But never will I scrimp when it comes to the needs of others; in that way I am a spendthrift. I live in a small studio apartment, which is more than big enough for me; the rent doesn’t cost much, so there is that much more money to have when the need comes up. I ride my bike 90+ percent of the time, thus saving gas and money and living green, while getting plenty of exercise. I have no debts except my rent, and I do advertise this Biblical blog on Yahoo. For some reason, God has been extremely gracious to me, enabling me to publish this blog and promote His love.

This blog has one purpose: a desire for every person to experience eternal life in the here and now with Christ, which brings them the joy, peace and love I was given. Even though God’s free grace makes us eligible for Salvation, it still comes at a price: the death of self-interest, which may sounds foolish to many.

I would not be able to write what I do if I wasn’t living it. I would be the biggest hypocrite in the world. What is written in this biblical blog comes straight from the horse’s mouth. I could go on and on about myself, but I think I have answered your question. I pray God will continue to bless you and yours with His love and grace. From the little you wrote in your comments and questions, I perceived you must be a real Christian. JC

No comments: