Is there proof that God exists and what is the nature of the divine? Many are asking and there are many sides to this question. Religions want us to accept a creator that is primarily male in the physical sense […]
First, he says, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. That always used to bother me. How can Jesus sort of put God and Caesar side-by-side and say “These things belong to God” and “Those things belong to Caesar.” Doesn’t everything belong to God? The cattle on a thousand hills are his. But we have to remember what Scripture says about stewardship. Yes, God owns everything; but he delegates responsibility to human beings as his stewards. God is king over all the earth, but he has made us vassal kings, assistant kings, steward kings, to replenish and subdue the earth under his authority. So God appoints earthly rulers. Romans 13 calls them “ministers of God.”
We need to step back and take a lesson from Jesus. Jesus’ faith and values certainly had an impact on the political world. He would not have been crucified otherwise. But he did not focus on political action. His mission was introducing broken people to the redeeming love and reigning power of God. Among his closest disciples were a former Zealot revolutionary against Rome and a former tax collector for Rome. He must have asked his disciples to keep their focus on his kingdom mission and off politics, because, despite their differences, he was able to send them out, two-by-two, to proclaim the kingdom of God, healing and delivering people, and calling them to repent and to believe the gospel.
In the 2014 midterm elections, the Republican Party enlarged its majority in the U.S. House of Representatives with continued strong support from white evangelicals and people who attend religious services regularly. In addition, the GOP appears to have made inroads among some religious constituencies that traditionally have not been as supportive of Republican candidates.
Voters who attend religious services occasionally (rather than more frequently), for instance, voted for Republican candidates at higher rates than in the 2006 midterms, the last time midterm exit polls included a comparable question about worship attendance. Jewish voters also appear to have moved somewhat in the Republican direction compared with 2006 (the last midterms that included enough Jewish voters in the exit polls to analyze). However, in 2014, Jewish voters supported Democratic congressional candidates at rates similar to those seen in the 2012 presidential election year.
National Election Pool (NEP) exit poll data reported by NBC News show that about seven-in-ten white Protestants (72%) voted for Republican candidates in theircongressional districts, roughly the same share as i
Political discourse is the Las Vegas of Christianity—the environment in which our sin is excused. Hate is winked at, fear is perpetuated and strife is applauded. Go wild, Christ-follower. Your words have no consequences here. Jesus doesn’t live in Vegas.
It’s time we talk politics in a way that models the teachings of Jesus rather than mocks them.
Not only are believers excused for their political indiscretions, but they are often applauded for committing them. Slander is explained away as righteous anger; winning arguments are esteemed higher than truthful ones (whether or not the “facts” align); and those who stir up dissension are given the pulpit. So I balk when pastors tell me the Church should engage in the political process. Why would we do that? The political process is dirty and broken and far from Jesus. Paranoia and vitriol are hardly attractive accessories for the bride of Christ.
Christian history begins with Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew who was born in a small corner of the Roman Empire. Little is known of his early life, but around the age of 30, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and had a vision in which he received the blessing of God. After this event, he began a ministry of teaching, healing, and miracle-working. He spoke of the “kingdom of God,” condemned religious hypocrites and interpreted the Mosaic law in new ways. He spoke before crowds of people, but also chose 12 disciples whom he taught privately. They eagerly followed him, believing him to be the long-awaited Messiah who would usher in the kingdom of God on earth.
After just a few years, however, opposition mounted against Jesus, and he was ultimately executed by crucifixion by the Romans. Most of Jesus’ followers scattered, dismayed at such an unexpected outcome. But three days later, women who went to anoint his body reported that the tomb was empty and an angel told them Jesus had risen from the dead. The disciples were initially skeptical, but later came to believe. They reported that Jesus appeared to them on several occasions and then ascended into heaven before their eyes.
Is there proof that God exists and what is the nature of the divine? Many are asking and there are many sides to this question. Religions want us to accept a creator that is primarily male in the physical sense and able to be manipulated by repetitious prayers. According to the tenets God is distant and must be yelled at or mailed through an intercessor. They also claim it uses sexual reproduction to produce its many sons.
To the genuinely spiritual God is any of those things but the Spirit of the Universe. It exists everywhere at all times. It is also omnipotent. To the wise it is asexual as spirit has no genes and cannot reproduce in the physical sense. That means there has never been a Son of God or any who were sent via a virgin birth.
And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. And Isaac dwelt in Gerar.
Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.