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Biblical Worldview Lecture Series

 

What does the Bible teach about civil taxation? What did Jesus actually teach about "rendering unto Caesar"? How Biblical are our tax laws? We all have an opinion about taxation, but what does God say? You may be surprised to hear how much the Bible says about this important topic. A question and answer time follows the presentation, let us know your opinion!


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What's going on with our Mahoning Valley group? Contact Mr. Grant Stauffer: grant1@pdt.net

Biblical Worldview Lecture Series

Is It Ever A Sin To Vote?

Over the years I have had countless Christians tell me that voting is a gift from God, a privilege that is to be taken very seriously. They even go so far as to say that not voting is a (gulp) sin! Using the word sin is very uncommon these days; even among the professing evanjellyfish. But that is a topic for another day.

To globally declare that not voting is a sin displays the shallowness of today's Believers with regard to their Biblical Worldview.

When discussing this topic with those well-meaning folks, I try to keep it simple. The conversation goes something like this:

 (Me) "Are you aware that the Bible contains qualifications for the office of Elders and Deacons?"

(Them) "Yes, I am. I think there are some passages in I Timothy somewhere and maybe Titus..."

(Me) "OK, well suppose two men in you congregation (We'll call them Joe and Bill) were running for the office of Deacon. Joe clearly meets the Biblical qualifications outlined in the Scriptures and Bill clearly does not. Would it not be a sin to cast your vote for Bill?"

(Them) "Well, yes, I guess it would..."

(Me) "There are also Biblical qualifications for the office of civil magistrate. Exodus 18 and Deuteronomy 1 would be some verses you could start with... men who are able, men who fear God, men committed to truth, men who hate covetousness, etc."

(Them) "That's very interesting, I was not aware of those verses..."

(Me) "So do you see how casting your vote for someone running for office in the civil sphere who does not meet the basic qualification outlined in the Bible would be a violation of Gods law and therefore a sin?"

(Them) "Yes, I guess I should find out more about the candidates and determine if they are Biblically qualified..."

This, my friends, is what we are trying to accomplish at MARS, to get Christians to think and act Biblically. To look at everything (voting, war, money, law, property, etc.) from a Biblical perspective.

Sam RohrerThis past Tuesday was our Primary Election day here is Pennsylvania. There were several men running for office that clearly meet the Biblical standards. State Representative Sam Rohrer, running for the office of Governor is one of them. Sadly, none of these men won and I submit to you that the reason is because the average Christian does not take the voting process seriously, votes for only those candidates who "have a chance", or votes for the lesser of two evils, etc. My prayer is that when Sam or other qualified candidates seek office in the future, that we who name the name of Christ would do our homework, assist these candidates however possible, and then vote for them.

Any candidate not up to Biblical standards should not get our vote... It would be a sin to do so.

 

~ Toby Grater

“They Lied to Me…”

Dr. James Dobson

Last week, Dr. James Dobson switched his endorsement from Trey Grayson to Rand Paul in the Kentucky US Senate GOP primary.  Admitting that he had made an “embarrassing mistake”, He said:

 

"I was given misleading information about the candidacy of Dr. Rand Paul, who is running in the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate. Senior members of the GOP told me Dr. Paul is pro-choice and that he opposes many conservative perspectives, so I endorsed his opponent. "

                                                                                -Politico.com

 

We can be thankful, I suppose, that Dr. Dobson finally got it right.  He also gets a few points for his willingness to openly admit his error.  His endorsement of Rand Paul is a nice endorsement, and will hopefully help him to be elected.  But a casual Google search revealed to anyone with an interest in politics, a desire for TRUTH, and a grain of discernment that Dr. Rand Paul is a man running against the establishment party hacks that have dissipated all good efforts at steering the ship of state to the better.  He ACTUALLY strongly condemns the bailouts and associated fraudulent practices, takes a STRONG pro-life stand, and holds practically every position dear to the Christian Right, with no record of failure to work for these positions.  Dr. Rand Paul

 

His opponent, Trey Grayson, is endorsed by the GOP “leadership”, and has the endorsements of Dick Cheney, Mitch McConnell and Rick Santorum (clue numbers 1, 2, and 3).  What has he DONE for our causes as Kentucky Secretary of State? He has, it appears, all the marks of a politician who checks off the right blocks on the voters guide, and makes little effort to promote those values when in power.  Sound familiar? It should…it’s the same routine as hundreds of other GOP hacks who have tricked the Christian Right out of their money and votes.

 

Dr. Dobson for decades, as part of his full time vocation and ministry, has been heavily involved in political causes, and looked upon as a premier leader of the “Christian Right”.  In all that time, with all the money, resources, and time at his hands to spend on these things, he apparently failed to see what is intuitively obvious to anyone with a measure of discernment and a mind open to Biblical thinking (a “Christian world view” we have come to call it).

 

None of these things are difficult to find.  Yet, Dr. Dobson complains that he was “misled” by high ranking GOP members, who told him that Rand Paul was “not pro-life”.   Gotta be kidding…right?   Nope, Dr. Dobson actually trusted GOP hacks…he just took their word for it!!!  The trouble is that if you look at the past, it appears as though he has been doing it this way for 30 years.

 

Dr. Dobson: NEWS FLASH!!!  The people who run the GOP will lie to you for political purposes. 

 

Dr. Dobson: NEWS FLASH!!! The people who run the GOP are part of the corporate/government partnership that is stealing the accumulated wealth of generations of Americans!!!  And you think you can just ASK them, and they will give you Godly advice on who is a good candidate???  Are you serious???

 

To those who have paid attention, the most baffling thing is how easily Christians are (and have been, over an over) deceived and misled into supporting anti-Christian agendas, based on rhetoric that is phony and shallow (see eight years of George W. Bush). 

 

Dr. Dobson may do as he chooses.  Whether it is through astounding blindness or for some other reason that he chooses to return to support those who cynically use him (and his followers) for crass political purposes we don’t know.  But for decades, millions of Christians have gone to the “leaders” of the “Christian” “Right” for information, guidance, or leadership.  It’s all been for naught, because these blind leaders of the blind have made a train wreck with the efforts, time, and money that people assumed were going to correct the wrong directions that our civil government has taken.

 

Let’s not confine this to “Dobson bashing”.  Dr. Dobson is just a rather visible model of the typical evangelical “leader” in the political realm.  I can recall a few Christian University chancellors who foolishly endorsed the secular humanists Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney in the last presidential primary election, because “you don’t want the Democrat (gasp!) to win, do you?”  And there were many more.  Maybe when Christians repudiate “leaders” like these Christian University presidents, and begin to fear God more than they fear the Democrat party, God will turn things for us.  Whether He does or not, we owe Him trust and obedience, not support of His enemies because those who would be obedient to Him “can’t win”.  What an insult.

 

There have been a few voices pleading, for years, for Christians to open their eyes and see all of this; now there is only pain in having earned the right to say “we told you so”.

 

It’s long past time for Christians to begin to think and act Biblically in the realm of politics.  We teach the kids in Sunday school the great lessons of David and Goliath, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego, and Daniel, and then support godless politicians because they “aren’t as bad as the other one, and the other guy (the Godly Christian candidate) doesn’t stand a chance.”  No wonder America faces God’s judgment.

~ Jim Mogel

Mayday, Mayday!

It’s nice, I suppose, that Christians were out celebrating May Day even if it’s “only” to pray for the unborn.  Clearly, every day can and should be used to that end.

But, for me at least, something is missing. Should we really celebrate this so-called holiday?  According to Marxist.org this article,

The May First strike was most aggressive in Chicago, which was at that time the center of a militant Left-wing labor movement… it was…a fighting movement, always ready to call the workers to action, develop their fighting spirit and set as their goal not only the immediate improvement of their living and working conditions, but the abolition of the capitalist system as well [Italics mine].

Anyone who stands with the scriptures has a choice here: Participate publicly while hoping that most of America will forget what May Day is, or stand in opposition, speak up, and expose this Communistic charade for the fraud that it is.

Christians, especially, do not seem to understand the importance of holidays and public symbols. We still own a few—that very recognizable fish symbol for example—but for the most part we’ve allowed our symbols to be attacked, diluted and ignored; witness what has happened to the rainbow, Christmas, and Thanksgiving, for example.

Part of the problem is that we aren’t fighting. The quote above makes clear that those among us who hate Christ and His Word are indeed out to win. And, they are employing special commemorative days—May Day and Labor Day to name two—to that end.

But what do you do when you don’t have the stomach for a fight that you know you should join? Well, the next best thing is to make it look like you’re fighting, sort of fighting nice, so to speak, which usually means not fighting at all.

And so, evangelicals turned out on May Day to pray: According to this article,  rallies commemorating the plight of the unborn were held around the nation this past May Day, with prayer being highlighted.

So how is that a problem? How can anyone say that you shouldn’t pray, especially since we are told in I Thessalonians 5: 17 to “pray without ceasing?”

I have a confession to make:  One of my problems is that, when faced with something that I have to do, I’ll often put it off, not by doing nothing, but instead by doing something else that I’d rather do. The job I’d rather do may need doing at some point, but that’s what makes it all the more dangerous, because my conscience is eased even while I’m avoiding my responsibility. How nice.

The Christian community should oppose and expose the peculiar May Day sham on every level. The holiday was born in atheism and nurtured in communism. Its fruit is misery and despair. How can we as Christians pretend to coexist with such an attack on the love of one’s neighbor and the commands of scripture?

So here’s my solution: What we need is a counter holiday. I’d suggest a Thanksgiving holiday corollary: Why not thank God on that day specifically for business and property owners? It’s businessmen, after all, that give us jobs, and it’s hard to imagine life without them.

The May Day mongers among us need a break anyway. They need to understand that without business and property owners (capitalist pigs to them), we wouldn’t have socialists. The socialists need the property owners like parasites need  a host.

So even if we can’t have our own day, we can at least spend some time next May 1st exposing the ungodly origins of the holiday and publicly thanking God for business and property owners, something we don’t do nearly as much as we should.

And let’s not forget to pray, especially that our socialist acquaintances will get a clue. And for that, we really will have to pray without ceasing.

Submitted by Joel Saint



Food for Thought

Have you ever listened to the comments in a buffet line?  Recently I heard a mom “teaching” her youngster about the different foods.  It struck me that her attitudes and ideas were a pretty good reflection of the prevailing viewpoints of today’s popular culture. 

In a nutshell, it pretty much boiled down to this: it’s all poison.  “This has too much fat, this has too many carbs, this will do such and such to you”, on and on.  I don’t know what the poor child finally ended up with…maybe a few pieces of dry, raw broccoli…or maybe someone has “discovered” that broccoli also is now bad for you.  Think about it…with this kind of thing coming to kids from TV, radio, teachers, internet, parents, friends and I hate to say it…sometimes from church…is it any wonder that we are seeing “eating disorders”, something that was pretty much unheard of in past generations?   

How many times have you sat at the table only to hear someone point out how practically everything on the table is somehow bad for you?  But what does God say?  Let’s put aside discussions of Old Testament dietary laws for another time and focus for a minute on a broader principle: 

     …Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 
    For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.    -I Timothy 4: 3-5 

Food is mentioned over and over throughout the Bible, and repeatedly cited as a blessing from God, and often cited as a sign of God’s blessing on our lives.  Popular culture has turned this upside-down, and treated food as a necessary evil.  Aside from restaurant commercials we hear constant negativity toward food.   

Of course there are some pitfalls with food.  Gluttony is condemned by God.  Today’s foods come with varying levels of processing.  It seems evident that highly processed foods carry some problems with them.  This should be no surprise, since food, as created by God, is for our benefit; common sense tells us, then, that artificially altering it takes it away from the beneficial characteristics instilled in it by the Creator.  Wise counsel would be to stick with whole foods, as close to natural as practical. 

Those over age 20 or so can remember the time when eggs were certain to kill you.  After that fad ran its course, it is now acknowledged that our grandparents, great grandparents, and all previous generations were right…eggs are good for you in moderation.  Some of us skipped the fad and enjoyed eggs all along.  We weren’t fashionable, but we enjoyed our breakfast… and our bodies had enough protein.   

How disheartening to read a dessert menu with great desserts having “sinful” or “decadent” as part of their names.  Taken as part of a well balanced diet they are a blessing from God, and it is an insult to Him to name them in such ways.  It may be intended to be “cute”, but it’s not funny at all if you think about it.   

The characteristics of a well-balanced diet have been understood for millennia…better understood than the government’s “food pyramid”, which seems to need regular revision. The evil of civil government interfering with the diets of citizens is a topic for another time. 

Some of us could stand to lose a few pounds; we need to consider this in deciding what to eat. 

There’s nothing wrong with (and a lot right with) the study of proper nutrition.  Some have health conditions that demand prohibition or regulation of certain foods.  These are important considerations. Otherwise, let’s be careful how we allow bad thinking to give us a bad attitude towards food, robbing us of blessings that God intended for us.

Submitted By: Jim Mogel

Help thy Neighbor

It was the day after the Big Storm, and I was out shoveling. Because I live on a city street, it somehow didn’t seem like I’d done enough just digging out my own car.

So, with the help of some of my kids and neighbors, we dug their cars out as well.

The nice thing about shoveling snow is that you really don’t have to think too much. Its a simple process: 1) Sift through your pile of outdoor odds and ends; 2) Find your (preferably snow) shovel, and 3) Decide between doing it yourself or assigning the job to the kids. After that, the hard thinking is pretty much over.

But amidst the outdoor workout, I spotted a minor dilemma. A few doors down, a mother/son combo, armed with the requisite equipment, approached their buried car.

I say approached; that is, they moved forward with all the confidence of a freshman about to challenge the wisdom of a tenured professor. Instead of digging and shoveling, the operation looked more like a seven year old who had gained permission to pet a big dog, but remained too tentative to step up and get it done. The snow wasn’t being shoveled as much as poked and prodded.

It was the mom who was working, at least a little. But every time I looked, the teenaged son seemed more interested in discussing than digging, shooting rather than shoveling. His shovel was strong enough to support his weight when leaned upon; it was unknown how it would respond when engaged in actual snow removal.

But it was just the two of them; where dad was, who knew? Meanwhile, we were finishing up; should I/we help them out?

Well…how? The answer was easy: The only way to help was to do nothing. This young man was getting very little work done, while his body language shouted that he didn’t care to be working at all.

In this case, “helping” would have amounted to “hindering”. If the youngster didn’t want to dig out the family car, who was I to do it for him? If I were to assist this young man in evading his responsibility, could that possibly be called “help”?

Not at all. Work is a blessing and a privilege. We don’t always enjoy it, but it is a gift from above nonetheless. Why else would Jesus Christ, creator of the universe, spend so much of his time on earth working with his earthly father in a carpenter’s shop? His example has forever put a giant stamp of approval on labor, especially, perhaps, the labor accomplished with one’s hands.

Well, it’s the afternoon now, and the car appears to be mostly free of ice and snow. As for my tentative young neighbor, he never really did look like he picked up any good work habits.

So, despite the severity of the recent snow dump, it wasn’t enough to convince him that he needed to learn how to work.

Too bad; I really wish I could have helped.

Submitted by Joel Saint