"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Mike Huckabee, Don't Repeal the 17th Amendment

I normally find Gov. Mike Huckabee a thoughtful politician. However, when the Senate failed to repeal Obamacare this week, Huckabee came out and advocated the repeal of the 17th Amendment. Most American's don't even know that the 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913 and established the popular election of senators. Previously, senators were elected by state legislatures.

When some people began responding negatively to Huckabee's suggestion, the former Governor of Arkansas responded on Twitter:
"Ignorance of history of 17th Amendment is revealed by response to my earlier Tweet. Direct election of Senate is major cause of #swamp."
I might offer that Gov. Huckabee may actually be ignorant of the history of the 17th Amendment.

In the early 20th century there was a copper baron from Montana named William A. Clark whose lifelong dream was to be a United States Senator. It wasn't enough that Clark's massive wealth allowed him to build the most expensive home in the history of America at 962 Fifth Avenue in New York (77th and 5th), William A. Clark desperately wanted to be a U.S. Senator.

So he decided to pay Montana state legislators a massive amount of money, similar to the manner he paid contractors working on his New York house. He paid out a boatload of cash to Montana state legislators so that they would elect him as the state's Senator.

Prior to the 17th Amendment, state legislators from each state in the union elected their respective United States Senators. William A. Clark bribes to Montana's legislators worked! He was elected Montana's Senator in 1899, but his opponents immediately filed a petition charging that Clark "secured the election through bribery."

Nearly 100 witnesses would testify that white envelopes filled with hundred dollar bills had been given to state legislators in Montana, with the promise of more money if the legislators elected William A. Clark as their Senator. With the evidence stacked against him, Clark responded to the allegations with this famous statement:

"I never bought a man who wasn't for sale."

The people of the United States passed the 17th Amendment in direct response to the corrupt political campaign of William A. Clark. The American people believed it would be far more difficult for an aspiring U.S. Senator to bribe an entire state populace than it would to bribe individual state politicians. With Oklahoma designated "the 11th most corrupt state in terms of politics" in a recent survey,  I think my fellow Oklahomans and the rest of the American people knew what they were doing in 1913 when they passed the 17th Amendment.

William A. Clark would serve just one term as U.S. Senator. After he left the Senate, Clark moved moved to New York where he lived in the "Clark Mansion" at 962 Fifth Avenue. He died in the at age 86 in the mansion his money built.

In a 1907 essay, the same year as Clark's retirement from the Senate, Mark Twain portrayed Clark as the very embodiment of Gilded Age with all its excess and corruption:
Clark is as rotten a human being as can be found anywhere under the flag; he is a shame to the American nation, and no one has helped to send him to the Senate who did not know that his proper place was the penitentiary, with a ball and chain on his legs. To my mind he is the most disgusting creature that the republic has produced since Tweed's time.
I became fascinated with the story of William A. Clark for two reasons:

1. I have relatives who live at 962 Fifth Avenue, New York, the very location where Clark's Mansion once stood and Rachelle and I always look forward to our visits with them and our discussions on the history of New York, and,
2. I have read the award-winning book Empty Mansions: The Mysterous Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. Huguette was William A. Clark's mysterious daughter who died in a New York Hospital in 2011 at the age of 104.

The 17th Amendment was, and is, and will always be needed by the American people.

So, Governor Huckabee, though you and I have much in common (both evangelical, both politically conservative, both pastors, etc...), and though I often appreciate your insights, I must gently disagree with your assessment of the need to repeal the 17th Amendment.

And contrary to your belief, this disagreement comes from someone who knows a little about the history of the 17th Amendment.

41 comments:

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I did not know what the 17th amendment was so I looked it up:

17th Amendment:
“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.”

I like Mike Huckabee, but he’s wrong about this.

Rex Ray said...

Thanks for the background history lesson. Lived to 104; WOW

Wade Burleson said...

You're welcome, Rex!

Karl Davis said...

Really good history lesson wade! Thanks for making the investment. Did you send a copy brother huckabee? John Karl

RRR said...

Okay, you've hit a nerve.

Unfortunately, our current political system (Senators being voted in by the people) facilitates a corruption structure as bad as the pre-17th Amendment system. The 17th Amendment as it stands is really no fix.

In today's system of having the majority of voters determine their political representative, special interest groups, most notably industrial, financial, and powerful social lobbies, invest millions of dollars into the campaign war chests of those politicians who are purchased for the promise of their favoring the interest groups. They're puppets, and their strings are not pulled by their constituency base.

Forget the argument that there are limits to campaign contributions. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent in campaigns are not coming from millions of $25 contributions. These special interest power players (and money PACS) know how to filter the big bucks into campaign chests while avoiding the violation of the law.

With the might of their tremendous campaign resources, the politicians selling the most favors annihilate competition assuring that they are repeatedly re-elected to their office, thereby resulting in the majority of our Congress men and women being career-politicians. We voters cannot help but be influenced by the deluge of campaign rhetoric purchased by the politicians and financed by their crony special interest groups so, in spite of the recognition of our being bamboozled by the system, we continue to play it.

The longer the politicians remain in office the more leverage they achieve through political deals and maneuvering to obtain committee positions with greater influence and media exposure. Not only do they use their Congressional committee posts as a means to build their power base in Washington (Ability to offer more to other fellow Congressmembers in return for favors) but are able to direct more Federal money and benefit for their constituents at home. This, in turn, adds to their support for the next election as voters reason, "Why would I vote for a green politician with no committee status or power when we can have this powerful political boss working on our side?"

Indeed, it is the proverbial "political swamp" of Washington (and state legislatures).

The ONLY hope for any change in the system is "term limits", but of course, that AIN'T gonna happen, because who do we think would have to vote it in!!



Christiane said...

My opinion of Mike Huckabee was affected by something that happened some time ago, but it gave me some insight into what his values were.

It was the time a Church called Heartsong Church welcomes their Muslim neighbors to the community. And Mike Huckabee said 'What were they thinking?" and it was then that I realized he didn't understand the Holy Gospels of Our Lord that would have explained very well 'what they were thinking' when Heartsong Church reached out in charity to the strangers in their midst. I am a Catholic and I was very moved that this Church had such a profound grasp of the Holy Gospels. It was one more example of how the well of the Holy Spirit goes much deeper than any barriers or boundaries between Christian people, and is able to reach the ones it seeks in order to help them to 'understand'. So Mike Huckabee didn't 'get it'. And I thought, he needs prayer rather than condemnation. Who knows what he may someday come to see by the grace of the Holy Spirit? :)

For example, look at another prominent person who suffered from blindness until towards the end of his ministry, this time concerning racism. I know the history of Dr. Criswell’s journey into the light concerning this particular issue of racism. I like to think the Holy Spirit has worked in his heart to complete the work of the beloved ‘gospel’ Criswell preached all of his time as a preacher.
When Dr. Criswell became president of the SBC, he gave a speech called “God’s Unchanging Hand” and I found these, his words, very moving indeed:

“I never had a battle in my heart, I’ve never faced one in my life, and I never thought I’d have to go through it, as I have these last several years. Nobody in this earth knew that was going on in my soul, but I came to the firm conclusion that I had to change. And this man who needs me, whoever he is, is my brother, and my hand is outstretched” (WA Criswell)

For me, these are the honest words of a Christian whose sojourn on this Earth led him to comprehend that ‘this man who needs me, whoever he is, is my brother’ in a way that is a real testament to the power of the Holy Spirit to come along side and be ‘with’. So I also have hope also for Mike Huckabee.

About the Heartsong Church's sojourn, this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYembGqZF94

Anonymous said...

Senate seats are no longer for sale? Ask former Ill. Gov. Rod Blov. He just got caught. Where does the campaign money come from? Does it have many strings? We catch one crook, so we get an amendment that does nothing.

Christiane said...

As long as the basic structure of our US Constitution holds, I think our country will be 'okay'. I do believe the system works, and IF there is corruption, I do believe it will be eventually outed.

When you get folks wanting to 're-write' the rules and laws that are core to our nation, then you may want to look at the agenda of these folks closely.
Especially if at some point, these folks have taken oaths to uphold the Constitution and to obey our laws.

We are not yet a full-blown banana republic and as long as we have the Constitution intact, I see hope for our country. Today, an out of control, foul-mouthed spokesperson in a powerful position was let go and escorted off of the White House grounds. Hopefully, the patriotism of Gen. John Kelly will rise to the fore as he serves our nation honorably in his new position. I can only be encouraged by this 'change', that good will come as a result.
Too much has happened of late that was discouraging. Maybe the tide has turned. Prayers of many good people helped, I think.

Tom Kelley said...

There's more to the history of the 17th Amendment than that, Wade. It was part of the Progressive Movement, which sought to expand the power of the federal government (as do today's progressives).

One intent of selection of Senators by states legislatures was to help ensure the power and interests of the states were preserved and not overridden by the power of the federal government. The state legislators who elected them were expected to provide direction concerning the will and interests of the states as sovereign entities. It was also a means to temper the inherent populism of the House of Representatives. Selection of Senators by state popular vote ran contrary to the form of government designed by our Founders, who had a higher view of state power and authority than most people have today. Progressives of the early 1900s wanted to lessen state power and expand federal power, and the 17th Amendment was part of how they achieved that goal.

The situation with William A. Clark was not a common occurrence, and his election was voided after it was concluded that he bought his way into office. So the system already had a means of addressing such abuses. I believe concerns about people paying off state legislators to get in the US Senate could have been addressed via other means than the 17th Amendment that would have better matched our Founders' intent of preserving the power and influence of the states within the federal government.

Rex Ray said...

Off topic
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/07/30/jimmy-hoffa-investigation-frank-sheeran-and-blood-evidence-found-in-case.amp.html

In short, Jimmy Hoffa was killed by his best friend because the mob told him to do it. Just lately they removed the tile floor and found blood traces where his friend said Hoffa fell after he shot him. Two others had him cremated at a mob controlled place.

RRR,
I believe you wrote the best information how our government works that’s ever been written. “Term limits” would solve the problem, but like you said it ain’t going to happen.


Christiane,
My son has five boys. He was a missionary to Muslims for seven years. The nearest a Muslim that came to accepting Christ was one that said, “I’d be a Christian if I knew God would give me five sons.”

W. A. Criswell was the preacher at camp Woodlake when my brother was saved when he was 13. A pastor search committee heard Criswell and called him to be their pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas. Many years later our pastor led a group of Christian Koreans on a tour of Criswell’s church. They were confused after seeing all the plaques, pictures, and statues of Criswell. They asked our pastor if the members of Criswell’s church worshiped Jesus or Criswell.

I looked at the link you referenced and made a comment. The link seemed to be an argument who was right, Muslims or Christians.

RRR said...

Thanks, Rex Ray. Came from book "When I Am President-The President's Bible", Chapter 2 "The Terminal Disease of Politics"

Robert Megee said...

Let's consider what the intent our founding fathers had for our government, they wanted federation of states working together. I would inject that we have seen the "Fed" part of this grow in strength over the years. The 17th amendment furthered the reduction of the power held by the states. So you don't like what one state did to this method? Is that any reason to destroy the entire process? And if so, what do you propose as a replacement of a way to keep the power that the states had before the 17th amendment? I would propose that the way Al Franken was elected in Minnesota is just as bad an example of a person buying an election as the election of William Clark. So what do we do now?

RRR said...

Christiane, my impression is that you may be over-simplifying, if not distorting, the intent of Huckabee's comment when he asked, "What were they thinking?" in regard to Heartstrong Church's inviting Muslim worship in their church.

Huckabee went on to say that he acknowledges Heartstrong Church, and any church for that matter, being an autonomous entity with the right to do whatever they choose to do, but that he is confounded by their decision to accommodate, if not endorse, the Muslim message.

One would gather that Heartstrong Church would not object to Hindus, Buddhists, or any other world religion, or even atheists, having the accommodations to their church building to perform their worship rituals. Why wouldn't they?

Certainly, the video you provide is heartwarming and does portray the intent of a people to express love and tolerance. But the manner in which they choose to express this is quite controversial and not at all a simple matter. Huckabee is right in that the religion of Islam as portrayed in their holy books as not being at all tolerant of Christians. I was amazed to see in the video that Muslims practiced their prayer rituals underneath the image of The Cross, which generally is a symbol hated by Muslims who see it as representative of the ancient Crusades.

My point is to say, that Huckabee's comments could easily have merit without compromising his own compassion and the genuineness of his having a close relationship with Christ.

Christiane said...

Hello RRR,
it occurs to me that the kind of people in both Islam and Christianity who are not able to get along with each other may not be the best representatives of both faiths at all...... because they bear ill-will towards those who are 'not like them' and because they feel threatened by people who are different

I look at how many ways Our Lord tried to get people to see things differently and how He took the part of those who were rejected and hated and showed them in a different light:
the Publican in the temple as a repentant sinner who found favor with God,
the Samaritan somewhere on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho who stopped to care for the man left beaten and injured by robbers,

some of our Christian people 'get it', and some aren't able to see it yet, but those teachings of Our Lord are as meaningful for us today as they were then, when people looked down on others without empathy or compassion or respect

And Our Lord was Himself a Stranger in a strange land when He was a child in Egypt, a refugee . . . .

Maybe someday Huckabee will come to KNOW what it was 'they were thinking of', and I think that will be a good day, a very very good day indeed. :)

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,

I was thinking of the slogan “Evil will reign as long as good men do nothing”, when I wrote on the link you gave (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYembGqZF94):

“Can two things that are opposite both be right? The Bible or the Koran, God's Son; Jesus or Allah's Mohammad? After Jesus was crucified at Calvary, he rose from the dead. Mohammad died and is still dead. I will serve a risen Savior that gave me the Holy Spirit when I asked Jesus to come into my heart.”

How can you possibly promote worshiping with Muslims whose Koran states: “Kill the infidel!”

Christiane, that infidel is you and me for starters.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY :)

you write a good question here and I want to give it my full attention and I hope an answer that will help instead of the usual confusing drivel I am capable of writing .....

I don't think that Church was promoting 'worshiping' with Muslims so much as wanting to help them come into the neighborhood and have a place to pray until their mosque was built;
and, in doing this, that Church witnessed to Our Lord in a way that I believe was something that the Muslim people would come to understand in a good way. I think it is time for Christian people to come and stand beside their Muslim neighbors in solidarity with them against the vicious Islamophobia that is being spread by some for agendas that profit from spreading hatred, fear, and suspicion. No people of good will deserve to be demonized and persecuted. And these are our own American people who are worshiping their God.

If you want my opinion about taking verses out of context, we do have the 'ban' in the OT that presents a 'god of wrath' that is not who God is, but represents instead a way of writing about banishing evil itself. So taking verses out of context is not always helpful, no.

As for praying WITH Muslims, I have no problem there because I am Catholic. They are human persons made in the image of God with a God-given soul who worship our Creator God, the One God. Our Lord assumed the humanity of our whole human kind to Himself in the Incarnation. And in doing so, He made us "the brothers and sisters of one another" to paraphrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

I think I can respect all people of good will who worship their God and who live according to their consciences in order to do what is right and good in this world. And I think Muslims have a really good grasp on something that some evangelicals hardly ever talk about: the mercy of God. They are not unaware of His mercy, no. Many Christian people do not speak of God's mercy and forgiveness, but do concentrate of sitting in judgement of 'the others' and I pray FOR their eyes to be opened to their own need for God's mercy, yes.

Hope this helps. I never was one to write very clearly, so forgive if I have made a muddle of it.
You know you are a beloved friend. That's what's important.

RRR said...

Christiane, could you expound a little on what you mean by:
"Our Lord assumed the humanity of our whole human kind to Himself in the Incarnation. And in doing so, He made us 'the brothers and sisters of one another' to paraphrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer."

Also, it would help me to understand better if you could share the premise of your statement:
"And I think Muslims have a really good grasp on something that some evangelicals hardly ever talk about: the mercy of God."

One other that has me puzzled as to the basis of your conclusion that:
"Many Christian people do not speak of God's mercy and forgiveness, but do concentrate of sitting in judgment of 'the others' and I pray FOR their eyes to be opened to their own need for God's mercy, yes."

Thanks.

Rex Ray said...

“…How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? …what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NLT)

Christiane said...

Hello RRR,
well, the Incarnation, which is best understood in Eastern Christianity in my opinion, is also something much understood by the Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a Lutheran. I quote him here:

"Bonhoeffer on the Incarnation:
“” We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others. The incarnate lord makes his followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation is the ground of Christian love towrd all on earth that bear the name of human. The form of Christ incarnate makes the Church into the body of Christ. All the sorrows of humanity falls upon that form, and only through that form can they be borne. The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed: in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:4). The Christian life is a life of crucifixion.”
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

as for the other you mention, I was thinking about the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican in the temple and what we are taught about what is pleasing to God and what is not . . . I think Muslim people understand God as 'The Merciful One' and I wish that more of our Christian people were less preoccupied by 'those other sinners' and more focused on their own need for the mercy of God, as was the Publican in the temple who went away in the friendship of God. Hope this makes sense. Thanks for responding with your concerns about what I wrote so I could try to clarify a bit.

RRR said...

Thank you, Christiane, for sharing the basis of your thoughts. I get what Bonhoeffer is suggesting and appreciate your bringing his comments to light. I can accept portions of his reasoning but not in its entirety. He quotes Titus 3:4 ("4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and [His] love for mankind appeared") as a basis for his conjecture that followers of Christ being "brothers and sisters of all humanity." I respectfully disagree. To say followers of Christ are "siblings" with those of all faiths because our Creator God loves all mankind is not a viable supposition. We followers of Christ love all humanity but that does not make us siblings.

I believe that the only "brothers and sisters" of Christ, and those followers of Christ, are other followers of Christ. If you have any genuine siblings it is because they are born of the same parents. Followers of Christ are born by the supernatural indwelling of God's Holy Spirit, in a literal sense. This makes God their Father and each other their siblings.

We could be portrayed as the carnal "brothers and sisters" of all other humankind in the sense of our all being descendants of the same carnal Adam and Eve, but certainly not in the spiritual sense. Also, I don't agree with Bonhoeffer's statement; "we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others." Indeed, we must bear the responsiblity for having compassion for the lost of the world and desperately share The Gospel message with them (and perhaps that was what Bonhoeffer was proposing), but in no way or form do we "bear their sins and sorrows" in a redemptive sense, as can only be done by Christ on the Cross.

I respectfully disagree with your proposal that Muslims, as a collective group of followers of Islamic ideology, are anywhere close to understanding or portraying the "mercy and grace" of God than the collective body of Christ followers. But I respectfully concede to your having your own interpretation and conclusions on these things.


Rex Ray said...

RRR,

Preach on, Brother, preach on!

Bonhoeffer saying Christians must bear the sins and sorrows of others is crazy.

Christians are not to go around crying their eyes out over the sins of others.

Jesus said, “I am come that they [Christians] might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 KJ)

Christiane,

How does Bonhoeffer explain his saying, “Christians are brothers and sisters of all humanity” when Jesus said, “…The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the MANY who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficulty, and only a FEW ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NLT)

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY
I think the operative word is 'choose'.
Our Lord becomes for us 'the new Adam' so to speak.
But we are to 'choose' and we are told to 'choose life' if we want to live.

Hi RRR, about the 'Incarnation', one of the oldest liturgical prayers in Christianity speaks to it, this:

"Be thou ready, Zabulon; prepare thyself, O Nephthalim. River Jordan, stay thy course and skip for gladness to receive the Sovereign Master, Who cometh now to be baptized. O Adam, be thou glad with our first mother, Eve; hide not as ye did of old in Paradise. Seeing you naked, He hath appeared now to clothe you in the first robe again. Christ hath appeared, for He truly willeth to renew all creation.


In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.”

In the sense that God is the Creator God, then all people share the same origin and hopefully, the same end IF they 'choose life'.
And we share a common unity in that we human persons are made 'in the image of God' and all are given souls directly from God. This is the basis for our dignity as human persons and our need to be respectful of this dignity in each person as a way of honoring the Creator God who made them in His image.

'Brothers and sisters'? I am from another tradition in the Church, so I can easily see this reasoning. And Bonhoeffer's writings have great meaining for me based on my respect for persons in the sense of the 'human' family which Our Lord 'assumed' and which, because of that assumption, has now the power to choose to be healed. That is a pretty close bond and it is spiritual to the max, being held together in unity 'in Christ'. :)

Aussie John said...

Rex,
You said, "Bonhoeffer saying Christians must bear the sins and sorrows of others is crazy."

Is it really? Christ set the example by bearing my burdens! Thankfully He doesn't expect me to die for my brothers sin, as He did for me.

I like what Albert Barnes had to say, speaking on Galatians 6:2: " 'Bear ye one another's burdens', refers to Rom 15:1,'"We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves". Bear with each other; help each other in the Divine life. The sense is, that every man has peculiar temptations and easily besetting sins, which constitute a heavy burden. We should aid each other in regard to these, and help one another to overcome them.

And so fulfil the law of Christ. The peculiar law of Christ, requiring us to love one another. Jn 13:34. This was the distinguishing law of the Redeemer; and they could in no way better fulfil it than by aiding each other in the Divine life. The law of Christ would not allow us to reproach the offender, or to taunt him, or to rejoice in his fall. We should help him to take up his load of infirmities, and sustain him by our counsels, our exhortations, and our prayers. Christians, conscious of their infirmities, have a right to the sympathy and the prayers of their brethren. They should not be east off to a cold and heartless world; a world rejoicing over their fall, and ready to brand them as hypocrites. They should be pressed to the warm bosom of brotherly kindness; and prayer should be made to ascend without ceasing around an erring and a fallen brother. Is this the case in regard to all who bear the Christian name?"

John Gill wrote similarly.

Paul certainly was of the same mind,"Brothers,if anyone is caught in any transgression,you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted". Galatians 6:1





Rex Ray said...

World Religions http://www.religionfacts.com/big-religion-chart

This list 43 religions. I’ll list some. “M” stands for millions.

Aladura 1M
Atheism 7.4M
Baha’ Faith 6M
Buddhism 500M
Caodia 5M
Chinese Religion 394M
Christianity 2.2 Billion
Confucianism 5M
Falun Gong 3M
Hare Krishna 1M
Hinduism 1 Billion
Islam 1.6 Billion
Jainism 4M
Jehovah’s Witnesses 6.5M
Judaism 14M
Mormonism 12.2M
New Age 5M
Seventh-Day Aduentism 25M
Shinto 3.5M
Spiritualism 11M
Taoism 20M

Rex Ray said...

Bob,

I think the word “others’ is what is confusing. I said “others’ in referring NOT to Christians but to Bonhoeffer referring to ALL humanity…that bear the name of human because we are brothers and sisters to them.

Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Christians are to bear one another’s burdens.

Bonhoeffer would tell David he was a brother to Goliath.

Wade Burleson said...

You guys are having a really good discussion.

I learn from reading what you all right, all different perspectives, but some great comments.

Wish I had time to chime in, but know I read and learn!

Wade

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I don’t think you could have made a better comment.

Doug Simmons said...

While I accept that the 17th Amendment was a reaction to a bad situation, it actually has created a situation that the Founding Fathers had hoped to avoid. The two houses of the US Congress were intended to serve two separate and distinct functions. The House of Representatives was to be the people's representation to the federal government to see to it that collectively their concerns and needs were addressed. The US Senate, on the other hand, was to be the representative of the several states to the federal government with the purpose of protecting the rights and responsibilities of the states against the natural tendency for the federal government to expand and encroach on their local and regional authority. The 17th Amendment, by making the position of Senator a popularly elected one essentially stripped the states of their representation and created a second House of Representatives. It may be true that there were isolated cases of individuals buying their way into the Senate, the popular election of Senators has devolved into the constant search for money to keep buying the election by all senators all the time. Repealing the 17th Amendment would restore some power to the states and thus enhance and empower the 9th and 10th Amendments to limit the scope of the Federal government as was originally intended. BTW, any state which wanted to continue to choose senators by popular election could do so under the terms of the original Constitution as nothing prohibits the Legislatures from using such a method for selecting their choices.

Aussie John said...

Rex,
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

It's true>Isn't it? That sometimes we get so involved in "being good Christians" that we forget that we have an obligation toward others. James tells us that the whole essence of the life we are to live, is to show compassion on those hurting and to keep morally pure (James 1:27). In regard to the Great Commandment the question always arises, 'Who is my neighbor?' The answer is that my neighbour is any person who is wounded (maybe by their being a sinner). Any person in need. Anyone who needs the saving news of God's great grace in Jesus Christ.

According to Jesus if we love and show compassion on only those who are our friends (those who are like us) we really are not doing what God desires. "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?" (Matthew 5:46-47)

Good questions!

Rex Ray said...

Aussie John,

I’ll answer your questions after you tell me how Goliath was a neighbor to David.

Rex Ray said...

Or how the devil is a neighbor to Jesus.

Rex Ray said...

Aussie John,

I believe we’re on the same page, but we’re looking at something from two directions.

The Great Commission includes the whole world, but no one becomes “our brothers and sisters” until after they’ve accepted Christ.

What do you think?

Aussie John said...

Rex,

The questions are Jesus own words in Matthew 5:46-47. As for your question regarding David and Goliath, and the devil(the devil being created in perfection as an angel); each are created beings, each like Goliath's masters the Philistines, like all created beings, were fallible and apt to fall into the same sin as all of us,sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, etc(Gal.5) all of which are can be broadly included in the sin of pride(like assuming we are "good Christians"?). Goliath did the bidding of his masters.

As humans they were all neighbours good or otherwise.

Jesus is NOT a created being, but is God Himself incarnated as a human. He is God in human form who put aside His rights as God to pay for the sin of humans.

Your question is irrelevant to the matter at hand.

The important issue is that our Lord, Jesus Christ, through His finished work on the Cross inaugurated a NEW Covenant under which He expected adherance to a new order of human behaviour which reflected His rule in our lives hence His words in Matthew 5:46-47 in which He is saying, "In loving those who love you, there is no evidence of the superior principle which I set forth; the worst of men will do this: even a tax collector will go that love those who love him. I expect a much larger step of loving your enemies, of loving those who hate you, who despitefully use you (Matt. 5:44)"

Love towards all mankind is the result of who we are in Christ, as John wrote,"We love because he first loved us".

I like what Gill had to say,"But our Lord intends by it to include, that love, benevolence, and good will, which are due to every man; and suggests, that this comprehends not only all that contained in the second table of the decalogue, but all duties that are reducible thereunto, and are obligatory on men one towards another whatever; all which should spring from love, and be done heartily and sincerely, with a view to the neighbour's good, and God's glory.

After 70 years in Him I am still amazed that He loved and called the likes of me to be part of His family!

Rex Ray said...

Aussie John,

I agree with your statement: “As humans they were all neighbors good or otherwise.”

The point that you ignore is Bonhoeffer stating we are “brothers and sisters to all humanity.”

I listed 21 religions with the Christian population being 2.2 billion. Do you believe we are brothers and sisters to the 1 billion Hindus or the 1.6 billion Islams?

Rex Ray said...


Aussie John,

BEN CARSON’S VIEWS

The underlying premise that has kept Christianity and Islam apart is they cannot and will not assimilate into any society that does not embrace their theocratic views. Europe has already suffered a recent invasion of Muslims under the guise of refugees that will destroy Europe as we and they once knew it. To ignore the same here will be at our peril.

At convenience stores, many Muslims praised their men for devastating the World Trade Center.

Ten reasons why good Muslims cannot be good Americans.

1. Theologically: Their allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.

2. Religiously: No other religion is accepted by their Allah except Islam.

3. Scripturally: Their allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.

4. Geographically: Their allegiance is to Mecca, to which they face in prayer five times a day.

5. Socially: Their allegiance to Islam forbids them to make friends with Christians or Jews.

6. Politically: They must submit to the mullahs, who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.

7. Domestically: They are instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge their wives when they disobey him. (Quran 4:34).

8. Intellectually: They cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and they believe the Bible is corrupt.

9. Philosophically: Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

10. Spiritually: When we declare 'one nation under God,' The Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99 excellent names.
.
Muslims have said they will destroy us from within. SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

Aussie John said...

Rex,

I have no problem at all with your quote from Ben Carson. I also have read and heard the comments by radical Muslims and even Hindus. But my answer regarding your question re Bonhoeffers statement that we are “brothers and sisters to all humanity” will remain a resounding "Yes!"

I did answer your question re your Bonhoeffer words in the quote from Matt.5: Jesus thoughts are rather clear, I would think!

Albert Barnes reveals in his thoughts in the same way as I understand Jesus words, "If you only love those that love you, you are selfish, you are not disinterested; it is not genuine love for the character, but love for the benefit; and you deserve no commendation. The very publicans would do the same."

If you and I are saved by Gods love being poured out upon two undeserving sinners, did we deserve that great grace, more than does a sinner who is a Muslim or Hindu? Did God discriminate because of some pre-existing lack of the common disease inflicting all the children of Adam, the sin which Paul tells us inflicts us all?

Would you attempt to show the love of God in Christ by serving a next door neighbour who happens to be a Muslim with the thought that that service may lead to an opportunity to share the Gospel?

For obvious reasons where they are cannot be mentioned, but, at this very moment in time missionaries live amomg Muslims BECAUSE, in their own words, "the Holy Spirit impels me to love these dear people".

That's a clear case of loving God and ones neighbour as ones self. Is it not?









Anonymous said...

Aussie John,

I agree we are to love Muslims just like I said the Great Commission tells us. We all become "brothers and sisters" ONLY when we accept Christ. Would you agree to that?

If not, you will have a lot of "brothers and sisters" in hell.

I know you are a good guy...I hope we can agree.

Rex

Aussie John said...

Rex,
A concession? Can that be? :)

All mankind are born "brothers and sisters" as members of Adam's family (natural man), but, according to Scripture a multitude of us are adopted into a new heavenly family, whose Head is the new Adam, Jesus Christ. As you say,"brothers and sisters" in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45ff). While we are on earth we have dual familial relationship, and look forward to the joy of the heavenly.

I'm not privy to the spiritual state of all of my earthly neighbours, much less all mankind. At best I can guess some, which I won't do.

By the way. My agreeing or otherwise with your question guarantees neither heaven or hell.


Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time understanding your "guarantees neither heaven or hell".

Accepting Jesus as our savior guarantees heaven just as John 3:16 states.

Rex

Aussie John said...

Rex,

My agreeing with you or not guarantees neither heaven or hell.

My relationship with Christ alone can guarantee that.

Thanks for the conversation!

Rex Ray said...


Aussie John,

Well said!