Saturday, December 11, 2004

Satan masquerades as an angel of light and his servants wear the guise of righteousness

What I, as an outsider, have noticed of the Christian Leaders overtly involved in politics (Falwell, Phelps, Robertson, et. al.) is that their focus is not their own behavior or tending to the needs of their own flock, it's the behavior/actions and beliefs of those outside their domain. The neocons they support are equally hypocritical. Who among us would use religion/faith as a weapon; focus on condemnation instead of love; legislate decisions for us lest we dare to exercise free will; or lay claim of knowledge to what cannot be known and use this intimate knowledge for political gain/ambition? When acting acting out of "love" and concern for sinners, should you not tell them: "we love you, we are concerned about you, we understand you are free to make your own choices and we'd rather you choose otherwise so we have no other choice but to say (1) we're here for you, if you want our help to change and/or (2) we can not keep company with you because we don't want even a remote association with that with which we disagree" or do you protest them, enact laws against them and send treatises about their eternal damnation? Which would be consistent with the truly faithful?
Galatians 6:"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. commentary on false prophets, I noticed the following interesting points (emphasis added by me):
Examining the conversation of these leaders can quickly reveal the God they serve. Do they speak of God's kingdom, His righteousness, and His love; or does their conversation center on the things of this world and life? Are they peacemakers, sowing mercy and love? Are they gentle and patient, or do they lose their temper easily? Do they walk in faith, or are they continually looking to other men for their needs to be supplied? Are they always pressuring people for money, or do they simply receive those gifts over to others, or do they continually complain and gripe over all the things that are not pleasing to them? Is goodness evident in their lives instead of evil? Do they put people in bondage by always threatening them with the wrath of God, or is freedom of choice extended with the warning of the penalties of sin? Jesus came to set us free, not to bring us under the bondage of men.

Let us prove all leaders and see if their fruit is good fruit.Do they love and not hate, have joy instead of depression, and promote peace instead of strife? Are they longsuffering (patient) or impatient, gentle or harsh? show love and tolerance for those that oppose them?
Who but a false prophet would say "well yes, we're all sinners" then stand in judgment to say G-d thinks that the sins of others are more grievous than their own? They point out that they repent their sins and do not continue to engage in them unlike, say, homosexuals who do not recuse themselves from sinful relationships. Yet they preach and impose legislation on all of us in a manner that breeds contempt and fosters sin.
Galatians 5:19 "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of G-d."
When those of us who do not support the imposition of the religious beliefs of other on our lives, or even the foisting of our own religion on others, point out morality cannot (and should not) be legislated and that people must live in accordance with their own faith, we're accused of mocking G-d.
Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived: G-d cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."

Well, if there is a G-d, the lives we lead and our own behavior and actions will be what he bases his judgment on. G-d is omniscient and infallible, man is not.

Those who oppose separation of church and state are labeled by these leaders a "godless secularists" and yet among us there are many faithful who do not like the bastardization of our religions to be used as a test or tool to control the masses. Those who know full well that man has free will and he can, and should, make moral decisions of his own volition (you can't just claim the moral high ground, you have to live it and let others choose how to life their lives.) If your only way of not succumbing to temptation is avoidance, then avoid it, others get strength by temptation and some indulge; it's called free will and we're nothing without it.

The neocons, Falwell/Roberston/Bush/Phelps assert that religion must remain in the public domain as it's the only way to prevent our descent into moral decay and, therefore, we must support bringing prayer back into schools and municipal/government settings so people can attest to and express their faith to the world. Funny, Matthew 6:5 actually seems to admonish this need for overt displays of faith:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen."

Express your faith by leading a good moral life and when you pray, do so to communicate with G-d, not to show others how faithful you are. Is it possible these leaders are pushing this issue to affect an appearance of faithfulness and lay claim they can expose those who are not among the "faithful" for their own personal benefit (because those who are not with them are against G-d)?
Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity*."
* iniquity also means injustice; isn't offering different rights to people inequitably an injustice?

2 Corinthinians 11:13 "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, that his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness."

Is it not possible that these religious leaders could really be false prophets leading those who truly wish to lead good, moral lives down a path other than the one they think they're on? Their end will be what their actions deserve. Torelance is not limited to saying you can exist but our rights/beliefs supercede your rights, tolerance affords equal rights (you don't have to like them, you done have to approve the actions but you can't tell them they have to hide or are not allowed the same rights and protections you have yourself).
1 Corinthians 13:4 "Love never fails. But where there are prophesies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child a I talked liked a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."


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