Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sermons from Barney Fife, In God’s Country

The Virtual Pew
Sermons From Barney Fife
To hear some Christians talk you would think that America was God’s chosen country. I have to admit, I have heard this from neo Nazi groups and white supremacist groups as well. I don’t know if everyone draws those comparisons or not, I certainly don’t think that is a position that Barney Fife took. I do believe though, that Barney like a lot of people, talked a lot about their country, the constitution, and the like, and in reality doesn't really know that much about what it says. We tend to act like our country and our faith are one in the same, but in reality, are they? Does your nation, no matter what nation you live in, have any guidelines that supersede the guidelines of your faith? What do you do when your faith and your nationalistic values are in conflict? What about ol’ Deputy Fife here in the video, does he get it, or are there other ways he reminds you of those who talk about God, Gun’s and Guts Made America? How much do we take for granted what others have said about the bridging of faith and politics? How much do we really know about what the Bible says, or for that matter, the beliefs of the founders of this country, or any country? Did Jesus talk about anything regarding bringing political change? Think about it and then share your thoughts.

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Anonymous said...

I believe that the two don't have to be mutually exclusive, Christian and American, for I am a Christian American.

We do not live in a country run by a king, we live in a country that was set up to be run "by the people", and that includes everyone regardless of their religious preferences.
So where we have both the right and privilege of shaping our laws, I think that if Christians stand by and let everyone else decide for all of us, we get what we ask for.
I'd like to remind everyone that though Jesus did not advocate the overthrow of the Roman empire, Esther did petition the King for her people. We call her a hero, but if an Christian American does the same, they are out of line! How can this be???

I'm first and foremost a "citizen" of Heaven, and also a citizen of these United States with rights and privileges that we should use if we have the opportunity to do so.
If I can be instrumental in getting a law to limit the killing of babies, then maybe I should.
The United States has seen the favor of God, does that make us His chosen people, NO, that would still be Israel and it doesn't make us better than any other country.
Should we be involved in politics here in the U.S.? I believe we should, but it is America and we are free to do what we want, and nothing is certainly an option.
But don't whine, cry, and scream when a law that is passed that infringes on our Christian values when you could have voted on another Representative but didn't.

I think we should ALL get out and vote in the next National election and completely remove the entire House of Representatives, lock, stock, and barrel and start over! Could we really do any worse???
At the very least we could save about $60 million a year in Nancy Pelosi's private jet expenses.

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

I wonder if we as Americans ever think about what people from other countries think of us when we say we have been blessed by God. Does this mean they haven't been blessed? Also, various theologians like Hank Hannegraph and others differ as to who is and is not "God's Chosen Nation." Good points for discussion though.

Anonymous said...

Where does saying we have been blessed by God say no one else is???

That sounds like the liberal's agenda, making something politically incorrect by making a positive statement about something because it "might" offend someone.

Should I NOT acknowledge that our country has seen God's favor because another country will get mad? That's utterly ridiculous!

Should we then refrain from giving a "praise" report of what The Lord has done in someone's life because there might be someone in the group that has NOT seen The Lord's favor in the same way? That would be contrary to the very scriptures that say even the rocks will cry out praises to God.

The problem is in trying to draw or define a line that I'm not so sure God wants drawn or defined at all, especially by us.

Debating who is God's "chosen" nation is just lame. Israel and the Church, I see no others, and the Church isn't a nation, so that leaves Israel. We may have a "New" covenant, but I don't see that God has disowned Israel as a nation, otherwise how could we be "grafted" in? and to what would we be grafted in to?

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

A simple answer to the question(s) without resorting to name calling like the L word would have been nice.

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

Here is a link to an interview with Sigmaund Brauer, one of many who would differ on some of the points per example regarding Israel. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thevirtualpew/2007/11/02/Fuse-of-Armageddon-Interview-with-Sigmund-Brouwer I am not saying I agree with everything he is saying, I am saying ignorance of other beliefs is in fact ignorance and the truth is, many followers of Jesus believe different things, but debate on the actual subject without name calling and so forth would be fine if that is the intent. Otherwise, I can simply refuse to publish arguments or name calling posts.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll start by apologizing, it was not my intention to call anyone a "Liberal", it was meant to point to a group in general and the way something that is said can be spun into something it had absolutely no design for. So your thinking I called you a name, I'm sorry, I actually wasn't.

My mind doesn't even think that way, that by making one statement about God blessing America, that someone might take exception and somehow construing that I was implying that God WAS NOT blessing them. I believe that God has blessed EVERY country with resources, gifts, and talents. However, not every country acknowledges that it is the Lord that has blessed them with those resources.

How we got off on the rabbit trail of Israel being the "chosen" nation instead of the primary point being both Christian and American and how we live that out is surprising to me.

If I got someone upset, I'd have thought it would have been the idea of voting out the entire House of Representatives.

With no comment on whether we should be or allowed to be involved in politics is what I thought we were discussing, but that was devoid of the subsequent comments.

Instead it degraded into believing someone was name calling and something about whether the nation of Israel is God's chosen nation.

As for name calling, the thickness of my skin didn't even let it register until I asked someone to look at these posts that I could have taken offense to the terminology of "ignorance" implying that I was ignorant, which beings I'm not was not in the least bit offensive.

Back to the questions at hand...

So can we be involved in politics as a Christian American?

Can we run for office to try and promote Christian values in our laws?

Should we notify our Representative and Senators that we disagree with laws that are undermining God's values and His commands?

Is it "un"Godly to know the Preamble to the Constitution and stand up for what it calls our "inalienable" rights that some sects would like to take away from us even though they are not the ones who gave them to us?

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

Great start and much appreciated. I appreciate it, I am just trying to be sensative to all people who read these things, and realizing that thankfully, people from all circles do. FYI, I consider this a seed planting ministry of sorts but don't take that the wrong way, we certainly want people to reconsider and contemplate the reality of God, through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now to some specifics as I think others reading this can actually get something out of the conversation and that is good.

As to God blessings other nations in fact all nations, even those not accepting his reality, I totally agree with you here. Let me state, it is a shame that nations, don't accept the reality of God, what he has done, and the incredible gift of life and hope offered through his son Jesus Christ. Jesus in fact came and died for all people, no matter what nation they are a citizen of.

As to voting out the entire house of Representatives in the USA, let me say, I likely couldn't agree more. From a political perspective I am for term limits and strict ones at that, while we loose some benefit of good people in office for a long period of time, we do some good in getting rid of long term politicians who really care for nothing more than the politics which keep them in office and line some of their pockets with the wealth of the people.

As to the nation of Israel, my only point here, was that there are more than one view on this issue, held by more than one very well respected theologian. I think and hold it responsible on my part to point out that a single popular view is not always the only view held, such as a point we could get into regarding "The Rapture." When in fact very well respected theological views are held on a subject, I hold to Luthers concept that the Holy Spirit is capable of speaking truth to individuals. Of course when there appears to be more than one truth there is certainly room for question. I will also say, these are minor issues in reality in comparrison to the major issues of for example, who is Jesus and what do we do with him.

Now on the questions at point.

I can give my responses, for myself, that don't make them right and others will hopefully respond. I certainly have good friends whom I consider sound theologically, that disagree with me on some of these issues, including the issue of voting. Being Anabaptist in form, (speaking of me) that shouldn't be unexpected.

Regarding voting - I would agree I think with you, not only can we but we should, yet that vote needs to be informed and based on our belief. I will note here, I see strengths and weakness regarding kingsom concepts in both the Pubs and the Dems.

The next one I would again, say yes, but it is very difficult. I speak from experience here as one who has run for office, been involved in the political system from being a candidate, to being a delegate. For example, within the Democratic party, many local democrats, especially in the South are pro life and adhere to strong biblical concepts. I actually addressed the largest Democratic convention in the Nation once advocating that they not accept the pro choice platform the party was taking, the overwhelming majority of delegates gave me a standing ovation at the completion of my presentation, yet the national platform never even considered changing their platform. The same types of things occur on the Republican side as per my observation. On the issue of politics, I have written a great deal and most all of that can be found on line.

Regarding notification of senators and reps. Certainly so, not only should we, we must, standing up for and advocating on what is right and just is appropriate.

Regarding knowing the preamble and all, certainly we should know it.

Now on this point is where some dissagreement may come. We need to know the real history, not the revised history that many, especially within Christian culture present. For example, the majority of signers of the constitution were in fact Deist, not Christian, and even some of the greats like Jefferson, and even Washington, Payne and others had many negative things to say about Christianity.

I would also make note on this point, Jesus speaks specifically about the need of Christians to help the poor and needy the widows and orphans over 200 times and it is in the entire Bible over 2,000 times. When we as Christians place more emphasis on the protection of a nation as opposed to the lives of the poor and innocent, we seem to me at least to be ignoring the very message of Jesus. Of course how we help is open for debate and I can respect that. The reality of where our emphasis is placed, based on the very teachings of Jesus and the Bible, should not, and cannot be up for debate. In fact, when placing our focus on the political, it is possible, even in some situations, likely, that many who call themselves Christian, are in reality more like Judas who was involved in the politics of his day, than they are Jesus, who seemed to about bringing a change to the way people were viewed, and in fact treated, even loved.

Enough for now, good conversation and again, much appreciated.