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Archive for September, 2009

Reclaiming the Glory of Self-Government

September 23rd, 2009 No comments

What is the alternative to having the federal government involved in every aspect of our lives? For many people, especially the youngest Americans, big, intrusive government is all that they know. For reformation to take place in our great nation, we must return to the glorious alternative both modeled and instituted by our founding fathers – namely, SELF-GOVERNMENT.

Self-government is synonymous with being self-controlled. A person who demonstrates self-control does not need external coercion to regulate his/her attitudes and actions. Reuben is an example of a man with no self-control. The Bible reveals his lack of restraint in Genesis 49:4:

But unstable and boiling over like water, you shall not excel and have the preeminence [of the firstborn], because you went to your father’s bed; you defiled it–he went to my couch!

 Because Reuben was unable to restrain his sexual desires, he eventually lost his inheritance. Because of his inability to govern himself, he had to forfeit the status and privileges which came with being the first born. 

Reuben highlights the relationship between self-government and godly leadership. Those who cannot govern themselves are not ready to exercise leadership over others (I Timothy 3:1-8).

Compare Reuben’s lack of self-control with the self-government of Joseph, who, in the midst of great pressure and temptation, demonstrated self-control (Genesis 39:7-23; 49:23-24). Because of Joseph’s ability to stand in the face of sexual temptation, he was qualified to exercise leadership over an entire nation.

So the first form of government is the government of each individual over themselves. When you and I are capable of leading ourselves, then we can be trusted by the Lord to lead others.

Ask the Lord to show you areas where you lack self-control. Begin to take dominion over yourself by bringing every thought, attitude, emotion and behavior under the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

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The Sin of Socialism (2) – Understanding Jurisdictional Authority

September 18th, 2009 No comments

In Matthew 22:15-21, Jesus introduces us to a principle that has served as the very foundation of American government since its beginning; namely, the principle of jurisdictional authority. Let’s go to the account:

Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 16 They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. 17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

Jesus is presented with a dilemma designed to trap him into a no-win situation. If he tells them not to pay taxes, he’s now in trouble with Caesar and the Roman government.If he instructs them to pay taxes, he would lose the respect of the common person who hated the cruel and oppressive Roman government. What will he do?

 Jesus asked for a coin. He was handed a Roman denarius, the only coin accepted for payment of the annual poll tax. On the one side was the Emperor Tiberius. Around his likeness were the words Tiberius Caesar Augustus, son of the divine Augustus. Jesus takes a look and says, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render to God the things that are God’s.”

Because Caesar had legitimate authority over the State, Jesus instructed them to pay the required taxes. But Jesus added a phrase that was totally radical and confrontational. He said, “Give to God what is God’s.”

You see, on the reverse side of the coin  was the image of Tiberius’s mother represented blasphemously as the “goddess of peace” along with the words “highest priest.” At this point, the State had exceeded its jurisdictional authority. While government is to be honored and respected as an institution created and ordained by God for the common good, it must never be worshipped. It must never take the place of God or try to seditiously undermine His ultimate authority.

 Caesar had stepped into the place where he thought he was both Emperor and Lord. Jesus put him in his rightful place. This is the true understanding of the separation of Church and State. It does not mean, as the common perversion goes today, that Christianity must be removed from the public square. In the pagan world, the Church and the State were often the same. Jesus was saying something totally revolutionary – the State is not Almighty. The State is not God. The authority of the State is limited. And the State must stay within its God ordained sphere of authority lest it forfeit its power.

When the government sets itself as ‘god” in the eyes of the citizens, promising to solve all their problems, promising to protect them from all their enemies, and promising prosperity for all, it takes the place that only God was meant to fill. We must worship Him alone. He is our Source, not Washington. When government fails to honor the jurisdictional limits which God has established, it becomes a counterfeit god and an idol in the hearts of the people.

The Sin of Socialism (1)- The Seditious Spirit of Socialism

September 16th, 2009 No comments

Sunday I had the privilege of preaching a message on a topic you probably have not heard addressed from the pulpit – the sin of socialism (You can hear this message in its entirety at the following link: http://lstones.org/crown-point-messages/529-sunday-cp-september-13-2009-dr-ron-johnson-jr.html). This administration is guilty of attempting the greatest grab of governmental power in the history of our great nation. And this power grab, contrary to the rhetoric, is totally un-American. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, explained in Federalist Paper No. 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” Our founding fathers  understood the inherent problems that occur when the federal govenment is given too much authority.

The role of civil government is very limited: to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens (Romans 13:4; I Peter 2:14). God also created two other institutions; namely, the family and the Church. Each of these spheres has been given jurisdictional authority by God. When one sphere encroaches upon another, you have the seeds of tyranny and oppression.

This is why the current government power grab is sinful. The government is stepping into areas in which it has no legitimate authority. Let me be quick to add that this tendency is not limited to the Obama administration. Conservative columnist, Walter Williams, reports, “It’s not just left-wingers and Democrats who call for and admire socialism but right-wingers and Republicans as well. Republicans and right-wingers support taking the earnings of one American and giving them to farmers, banks, airlines and other failing businesses. Democrats and left-wingers support taking the earnings of one American and giving them to poor people, cities and artists. Both agree on taking one American’s earnings to give to another; they simply differ on the recipients. This kind of congressional activity constitutes at least two-thirds of the federal budget.” 

Let that sink in. Two-thirds of our runaway federal budget involves the redistribution of your wealth, through unjust taxation, to fund a government program created for the benefit of someone else! If you or I did that on a personal level, we’d be jailed for theft!

Simply put, when the federal government oversteps its God-given and Constitutionally-defined authority and begins to encroach into sphere authority reserved for the family and the Church, it has committed a serious sin. It now becomes the job of the Church to speak out against this injustice and to hold the government accountable.

More to come on this vitally important topic….