Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Outsourcing the Truth


Understanding the New Covenant really makes such a difference when looking at world events, nations, Israel, and attempts to make a nation "righteous" through its laws and having "Christian" leaders. Many Christians in the United States (most perhaps, or at least the loudest voice of the Church in America) are pursuing a course for their nation---and the world---along the lines of the Old Covenant. They don't know the lesson of the Law (that it brought death and was not able to produce a righteous nation). It is leaving them severly blind to being manipulated by politicians who say "the right thing" (pun intended).

In short, the American Church is pursuing a neo-Old Covenant vision for itself while trying to claim Christ at the same time. I believe that through the crisis already coming upon the nation God is perhaps giving a wake-up call to Christians in America, saying, "Choose one or the other! Me, or the ways of death!" When church leaders get prophetic whiffs of this, they assume that the 'ways of death' being referred to are growing sympathy for liberal politics, sins in the nation, and separating church & state. In the same way the Pharisees might have blamed Judea's woes on the 'sinners' in the nation. The truth is that there are nations with much worse sins of pornography, abortion, homosexuality, etc. For such things judgment came upon ancient Israel (a nation uniquely covenanted to God under the old covenant). Because Church leaders & teachers in America do not understand the difference between the covenants, they preach a view of America that sees it as under similar conditions to ancient Israel.

You might simply summarize this by saying that we believe we are "God's nation".

In a word, no.

And neither is the state of Israel, for that matter.

God's nation is a faceless nation of believers united by the unseen Holy Spirit, transcending tribes, tongues and nations. God the Son said, "My Kingdom is not of this world." I think our loyalties have been divided. Not only have we been pursuing both covenants ---old (a theocratic nation) and new (Christ)-- but we've been confusing kingdoms. We've been giving honor and praise that belong to God alone to 'Caesar' (the United States).

Today as I stopped in the bookstore, I saw an interesting title, "The Assault on Reason", written by former Vice President Al Gore last year. Having just had two recent brushes with people online who assumed (like I used to before I met God) that faith was the opposite of reason, I opened up the book wondering if Gore would take a similar line (he didn't). The book was mainly about what's happened under the Bush administration.

I read most of one chapter entitled, "Convenient Untruths", and found a lot of information that I already knew -- that the Bush administration's own insiders testified that the administration wanted to go to war in Iraq from day one and was looking for an opportunity to do so; that when 9-11 happened, they searched for ways to link it to Iraq; that they flat-out deceived the nation into believing Saddam and Al Qaeda were connected; that they flat-out sought to make the nation afraid it was under the threat of imminent attack from Saddam & Al Qaeda; that they knowingly skewed intelligence to back up their claims and pressured/bullied anyone who disagreed; that even when their claims were found false, they did not own up to it but either denied their own words or simply didn't care but 'stayed the course' instead... and so on.

Gore put it together in a very straightforward way. I had known most of the information already (and more... I remember reading online months before the UN resolutions used as excuse to begin the war how the US government was already at that point handing out oil contracts for fields in Iraq). But seeing it put together so well by Gore, I don't know. It made me think again.

I don't want to sound "too political", but what this simply is... it is massive deception. How many lives (American and Iraqi and more) have been sacrificed by the deception? How many generations have been scarred? I thought, "Well, this isn't the first time the public's been deceived by any means." True. But as I thought of how many lives were lost, and how so many people in the nation were deceived... it then looks worse. And most shocking of all, the American church swallowed the deception hook, line and sinker. The American church preached it from the pulpit. I can't think of any other time in the American church's history when one deception was so widely and thoroughly embraced and sold from the pulpit as being "God's will". (The development of the American frontier ["manifest destiny"] may be a contender, though).

One of Gore's criticism's bears quoting:
"It has become common for President Bush to rely on special interests, like the one represented by Chalabi, for basic information about the policies important to these interests. ExxonMobil, for example, has apparently been his most trusted source of information about the climate crisis. Chemical companies are his most trusted sources on whether or not particular chemicals are hazardous to the environment. The major pharmaceutical companies are his most trusted advisers on the health risks of new drugs. Insurance companies are considered the most reliable sources of data on any policy that affects them. And so forth.

"And then, amazingly, the president seems to trust what these special interests tell him over and above objective information prepared for him by independent analysts who are charged with protecting the public interest... he actually prefers to rely on biased information prepared by sources of questionable reliability--like Chalabi--who have a private interest in a particular policy outcome. The president has, in effect, outsourced the truth."
That last phrase really catches me -- "outsourced the truth". Although Gore was talking about the way the Bush administration has done it, I think the phrase also hauntingly tells the truth about the church in the United States. The church has relied on the Republican party for truth. The church has supported whatever the party supports as if it were God's agenda -- gun rights, oil drilling, environmental exploitation policies, unfair trade agreements, expanding presidential powers, curtailing civil rights, capital punishment, indefinite imprisonment of 'enemy combatants' without trial, et cetera...

The church has outsourced the truth.

Instead of encouraging members to search for the truth in matters themselves, believers are told from the pulpit that a person in political office is good or bad simply because of their party affiliation (first) and faith profession (second). The politician's actual plans and policies are a very distant third, and the actual independent facts about the politician are even further behind. Yet from the pulpit Christians are told that such and such person is "God's man" (or woman) for the job, making further investigation unnecessary, and disagreement a stand against God & the church! Whatever "God's person" recommends is God's plan because of the person that recommends it. The "American way" is "God's way", and America's wars (nevermind the evidence) are "God's will". Instead of teaching people to discern by the Word and by the Spirit, truth has been outsourced to the Republican party.

A result of outsourcing the truth --putting truth in the hands of a political party instead of in the Word of God-- has been this war that has cost lives on all sides (and has greatly wounded many non-believers by cutting off their spiritual 'ears' with the sword of 'Christian' America). But more astounding and most frightening to me is that the American church remains deceived! Even with so much clear evidence out there about the war, the church continues to outsource the truth, continues to look to a political party for "truth" instead of to the Word and the Spirit. Indeed, the Word is bent to support the party. And the Spirit... well, the prophets are prophesying in accordance with the party. A few have stood up, but their voices are often drowned out amidst the roaring chorus of pro-party prophets. These are the 'days of Elijah'... when Ahab reigns with Jezebel and all of her prophets are in agreement.

It seems like the only places you can actually hear the truth about what's happening in the States (re: deception, etc.) are from non-Evangelical sources. From the left-wing, from liberals, from other countries, from unbelievers, from less-than-orthodox churches, from people of other faiths, even from atheists, etc.

The 'rocks' are crying out because the church is not.

Have we mishandled the Word of God in outsourcing the truth? I think so. As Hymenaeus and Alexander were "handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme" by the apostle Paul, is God going to hand over "Christian" America to crises in order to be taught not to blaspheme, not to outsource His truth and then claim His name?

It's heavy. I can only pray that God raises up prophets. There are a multitude of "prophets" in the church, but so very, very few prophets. There are 'rocks' outside of the church who are crying out, but they do not usually see it through God's eyes. Someone needs to declare to God's people (the church) her transgression, and sound the trumpet to call her to repentance.

In prayer and in Christ,
Ramone

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