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

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Shake Off the Dust, ARISE, and Sit Down! - Is. 52:2

There are two theological errors in modern Christian evangelicalism that stunt the spiritual maturity of God's people. 

The first is from theological Calvinism in neo-reformed evangelical churches. Reformed pastors who focus exclusively on the sovereignty of God in saving sinners are prone to emphasize, re-emphasize, and further emphasize that "you are a sinner" in need of a Savior. In an attempt to exalt God's grace and Christ's cross, reformed pastors unintentionally excuse saints' sins. "We are but sinners..." becomes the excuse for continuing to roll in the dust of one's sins.

On the other hand, the "feel-good" me-oriented "self-care" churches with little interest in the Bible only focus on what makes them feel good. From the songs to the small groups, everything is about "finding balance for my life and family." The error of this kind of evangelicalism results in the same error as the first. Rolling in the dust of sin is excused because sin is not thought of in terms of bondage but "self-care."

The Old Testament Jews in Babylonian bondage (609 BC to 539 BC) picture God's people in bondage to sin and death. Isaiah 52 is a beautiful chapter of God's redemption of His people Israel, but it is also a beautiful picture of how God redeems spiritual Israel (the church). This chapter precedes the great Messianic chapter of Isaiah 53, the chapter that beautifully describes how the Suffering Servant would die on a cross for the sins of His people. 

Isaiah 52:2 is a prescription against the error of both neo-reformed evangelicals and "self-care" evangelicals of our day. 
"Shake off the dust, ARISE, and sit down!" 
What does that mean? 

Servants are people of the dust. When Ruth and Naomi became slaves in Bethlehem because of their debts, they rolled in the dust to glean from the fields of Boaz. When the Jews were taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, they were "people of dust," in bondage to the wicked Gentiles who mocked the name of their God. Dust is a picture of slavery.

"Shake off the dust." When the LORD redeems you by His grace, you are called to "shake off your sins." What you used to serve - that is yourself and your sins - you now "shake off." You die to self, and you die to your sins for the sake of your Redeemer and His Kingdom.

"ARISE" - to a new life and a new you. If any person is in Christ, he or she is a NEW person with a NEW life. Arise and live differently than you did in your days of servanthood to your sins. 

"..and sit down." But what does it mean to "ARISE and sit down"? The Jewish Targum translates this, "ARISE and sit on your throne." You have become a child of the KING, a co-heir with Jesus Christ. Take your place on the throne, and rule this world with the power and grace of your Master. 

In other words, a BELIEVER REDEEMED is BEHAVIOR REFORMED.

Suffering has a way of separating the dross from the pure. Christianity has been too comfortable in America for too long. We are about to find ourselves imprisoned by the Gentiles who mock the name of our God. Redemption, however, has come.  

"Shake off the dust, ARISE, and sit down!"

Separate from your sins, stand up with Christ with your new life and take your seat on the throne of His Kingdom. Man's kingdoms come and go, but you've been given an unshakeable Kingdom so don't settle for something less than the Kingdom that will never end. 

48 comments:

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Yes, Christians should do as the NLT states: “Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in the place of honor…” (Isaiah 52:2)

I believe as you said, “If any person is in Christ, he or she is a NEW person with a NEW life.”

That’s why I have a problem with Paul saying: “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (I Timothy 1:15 KJ)

The Scripture should read: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I WAS chief.

Rex Ray said...

P.S.

Paul wasn’t the chief of sinners. I mean he didn’t do what Herod did:

“Herod was furious…He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under…” (Matthew 2:16 NLT)

Christiane said...

If I may offer some insight:

in eastern Christianity, 'humility' is highly valued and expressed in a far different way than in western Christianity, so that expressions of humility before God and before one another will present differently and be perceived differently

I'm the first to admit I do not comprehend clearly how evangelical traditions in the way of 'being saved' are expressed, and I certainly don't belittle or deny the deeply held beliefs of Christians from different denominations;
but there is an enormous different in how 'the old ways' voiced the 'mea culpa' especially in the liturgy as an expression of repentance and of the recognition that each human person's sins are responsible for the suffering of Christ on the Cross, and that having a broken-hearted repentance was a part of being forgiven.

From a 'distance', people of the Christian faith from the old traditions will often pray 'Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof; speak but the word and my soul shall be healed'. For such Christians, the 'healing process' is on-going on the 'journey' and Christ is needed every day, every moment in the life of a 'sinner' who acknowledges their grief for His suffering for their sake.

Such Christians see evangelical people as accepting that the 'process of salvation' is a fait accompli (done deal) and, having been 'saved', they are not in danger of ship-wrecking their faith, but will be 'saved' regardless of all their activities IF when they were 'saved', they believe it was 'the real deal'. For those who back-slide, there is 'redemption', surely, but for the evangelical, there is not the same voiced expressions of 'mea culpa' as for Christians from ancient Church.

That is what I see. The 'old ways' don't offer what evangelical teaching offers.
But something is also lost, I think. But Our Lord knows the hearts of all who live under the mercy of God. I don't 'judge'. Just sadness sometimes. And lots of prayers for good to come.

Hope this helps a bit.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I wholeheartedly agree.

Christiane,

"For evangelicals, there is not the same voiced expressions of 'mea culpa' as for Christians from the ancient Church."

You are on to something, Christiane. LORDSHIP was important to the ancient Church and it needs to be as important today.

RB Kuter said...

"Sinning Christians" has always been a dilemma for me because I am one.

Thankfully, God has loved me into a closer relationship with Him that helps me to live a life which better reflects that I am a "child of God", but there have been times...

It is difficult for me to express what it was that finally led me to move closer to God and to have a desire to surrender more control of my life to Christ. I think that only born again followers understand. I am sure it was the voice of His Spirit living in me that continued to aggravate me and make me more uncomfortable with living outside of God's will than I would be in giving up those temptations to which I was yielding.

Whatever, I just praise our Father for His grace and mercy whose voice tenaciously pursued me and guided me back into the awesomeness of close fellowship with Him, where I belong.

Rex Ray said...

NEWS FLASH:

Tucker Carlson show yesterday said, “That on C-Span February 2015, Biden said: “Non-White DNA is the source of our strength, and by 2017 White People will be in the minority in America.”

No wonder the first illegals were wearing Biden T-shirts.

In the words of Barney Fife: “He’s a nut.”

Scott Shaver said...

That makes Biden sound more like the racist we knew he was back in the 70’s while he was hanging with Robert KKK Byrd.

The deal with Biden is he will co-opt either black or white racism without hesitation as long as he can spin it to his personal and political favor.

America should apologize to Benedict Arnold.

Rex Ray said...

Scott Shaver,

I don’t understand you saying, “America should apologize to Benedict Arnold.”

Benedict Arnold - Wikipedia

“Arnold was a brigadier general in the British Army, with an annual pension. He led British forces in the Raid of Richmond and nearby areas. They burned much of New London, Connecticut to the ground, and SLAUGHTERED SURRENDERING FORCES after the Battle of Groton Heights a few miles from where he had grown up.

Scott, Benedict Arnold makes Hitler look like a Saint. Biden is only Biden.

RB Kuter said...

No matter what anyone says, I believe I would rather have Biden than the alternative to see every day. Incompetence? We've seen nuthin' yet.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Rex Ray,

This is what Biden actually said:

(Biden is recounting a conversation he had with a former president of Singapore)


And he said to me — and he speaks perfect English — he said, “They're in America looking for the buried black box.” And I looked at him just like you're looking at me — like, “What's he talking about?”

He said, “They're looking for that secret that allows America to constantly be able to remake itself, unlike any other country in the world.”

And I said, “I can presume to tell you what's in that black box, Mr. President. I’m old enough now.” I said, “One is, that there is in America, there's an overwhelming skepticism for orthodoxy.” From the time a child, whether they're naturalized or they're native-born, they — think about it, a child never gets criticized in our education system for challenging orthodoxy, for challenging the status quo. I would argue it's unlike any other large country in the world.

I said, “There's a second thing in that black box — an unrelenting stream of immigration, nonstop, nonstop.” Folks like me who are Caucasian, of European descent, for the first time in 2017 we'll be in an absolute minority in the United States of America, absolute minority. Fewer than 50% of the people in America from then and on will be white European stock. That's not a bad thing, that's a source of our strength.

And so, we have been — we haven't always gotten it right. I don't want to — I don't want to suggest we have all the answers. But we have a lot of experience of integrating communities into the American system, the American Dream.

https://www.mediamatters.org/media/3971581

RB Kuter said...

It is always critical to interpret things within the proper, entire, context in which it occurs. I sometimes hate that when I hear an account of a situation that affirms my position and then when I do a bit of research to discover the context in which it was said find that my notions were not valid.

Yet, these days in particular, a bit of fact-checking everything from every angle is warranted.

Scott Shaver said...

You are certainly entitled to your opinion Rex Ray.

After looking at how Biden and his family have sold out America, armed our enemies and pedaled influence for money, I will shout from the rooftops the we need to APOLOGIZE to BENEDICT ARNOLD.

Scott Shaver said...

Rex:

Would not surprise me, if stats were available, that Biden’s body count thus far into the first year of his term overshadows that of Benedict Arnold.

Rex Ray said...

Neil Cameron,

Yes, you’re right in the context what Biden said, and Carlson put a ‘slant’ on it.

But if you made a plan to destroy America, can you think of anything better than Biden paying people more money than if they were working?

About everywhere I go, I see help wanted signs in windows of stores. A nation that won’t work is headed for disaster.

Paul wrote: “…Those unwilling to work will not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NLT)

Neil, who will pay for money that’s Biden paying non-workers other than our children and grandchildren?

Neil, am I right in assuming you’re a Democrat?

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Rex Ray,

I live in Australia, thus I'm neither Democrat nor Republican. I'm not a member of any political party.

I actually think that elections for the legislature should be replaced by Sortition - instead of electing politicians, members of congress/parliament are selected randomly from the population.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortition

RB Kuter said...

Selected by whom?

Rex Ray said...

Neil Cameron,

I stand corrected.

Your link is very impressive.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

You said, “Selected by whom?

Neil’s link by Wikipedia states:

“This article need attention from an expert in politics. The specific problem is: Many citations are from independent bloggers. WikiProject Politics may be able to help recruit an expert. (September 2019)

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, thank you for directing to me to the nose on my face. I should have seen the link on "Sortition" given by Neil.

Neil, if you are proposing that the government be "selected" by random lottery, your credibility (which I had considered to be pretty good) just took a BIG hit! That is the most absurd proposal for forming a government that I have ever heard. Would be in the line of thinking of anarchists in my estimation.

Perhaps I am misreading your proposal. Sure hope so. I have a lot of GREAT Aussie friends and they all have a lot more sense than that.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

RB,

The history of Sortition goes back to the Athenians, who introduced it after they discovered how corrupt electoral democracy can be. Of course, the Athenians had an ancient form of democracy, which means they randomly selected people to serve in certain positions of authority. This obviously failed, as those positions required a level of skill and merit to fulfill.

In modern terms, sortition would replace legislative elections. That is, for congress or parliament. Rather than having people going around trying to convince others to vote for them, people are randomly selected from the population to fill those positions.

The idea is to create a legislature (congress/parliament) that functions as a microcosm of society as a whole. Obviously all of society can't be members of one giant legislature, but if enough people are randomly selected, the legislature can accurately represent it. Representation here is important, since most legislatures call themselves by that name (House of Representatives).

To summarise some of the main issues and questions people have:

* No one will be forced to serve if they are selected. They can refuse.
* There will be selection criteria: over 18, Natural-born citizen, of "sound mind"
* A president or governor is NOT selected by Sortition. This is for the legislature ONLY. Selection for the legislature is a decision based purely on equality; those who become members of the executive (president/governor) should be chosen by merit.
* The process will be gradual, meaning that people will be selected continually. It's not as though suddenly everyone in congress has just newly been selected randomly.
* There will be term limits and the selected people will be paid.
* Once selected, a person will be given access to experts who can advise them about issues, but any decisions on bills is entirely up to them.
* There is a chance that people with crazy ideas will be selected, but these people will be a minority and won't affect the passing of bills - but only if there's enough people in the legislature (the larger the legislature, the less effect crazy people have)
* Selection could be by computerised random selection, but is better done manually through a physical lottery system. A similar system that was used to select people for the Vietnam War could be implemented. This involves a person picking balls out of a rotating lottery cage for dates of birth and then finally selecting a person from a list of people born on that date.
* From a Christian point of view, this method takes into account God's Sovereignty: Proverbs 16.33 - "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord."

There's plenty more questions you can ask - I may have forgotten to include some above.

This is NOT something which is Australian in origin, but is being discussed internationally as a way to improve democracy.

Brett Hennig gave a TED talk on this subject here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUee1I69nFs

Tom said...

RB

Australia does elect their politicians by the Sortition method. The system is know as the Donkey vote system where their position on the ballot paper is drawn out of a hat randomly, or supposedly so. Political parties try and cook the books so to speak and hope that their candidate will gain the donkey vote by being first on the ballot paper.

I believe that we should vote for the candidates that will do the least amount of damage during their time of office, sadly they never get voted in even though I may vote for them during an election.

Oh well. Each country to their own political rorts.

Shalom

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

What Tom says is true.

We in Australia still vote, but the position of the candidate on the ballot paper is determined by a lottery. This ensures that any advantage a candidate might have by having their name at the top of the ballot is randomly determined.

The lottery is held weeks prior to the election, and is held in each seat (congressional district) where election officials have a lottery cage and balls that contain the name of the candidate. This process is completely open to the public and any political parties who wish to observe.

Once the order of the names have been determined, the ballot is printed, with the name of the candidate and their political party on it.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

A picture of the process can be seen here:

https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/6787980/liberal-party-candidate-last-on-ballot-for-by-election/

Christiane said...

Rise Up!

reminds of a song, this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGV9-wC9yfo

Tom said...

Hello

The donkey vote, that is countered on in the USA, IMHO, are the non registered donkey votes of the people who do not vote but complain when the candidate they would have liked to have been elected does not get up. These donkey votes seem to have been hijacked in the last Presidential election and used to great advantage to get the required outcome that the elite desired.

I believe it is called rigging.

Many year ago in the state where I live in AUST. one of the parties described their corrupt election practices as, "Political expediency," where they promised to do something that satisfied a few constituents if the constituents voted them into power. The party being Politically expedient was a nicer term for them instead of being labelled as a political corrupt party. Both side of politics play this rouse and we get what we deserve.

Since then this state has spent billions of $ on attempting to fix the same problem that would have been achieved for the same right outcome for a fraction of a billion dollars back then, but the additional cost which we are now saddled with, is an on going cost for the state, because when that party got elected during that election, they canned a particular utility structure and stopped it being built that would have benefited that area of the state for many years and given security to the population in providing water into the future.

The outcome was a slum development in the area where the dam would have been built.

I am sure that the same practices also occur in the USA.

Shalom

PS: - The problems in the USA at present was foretold in the Book of Jeremiah for those who are diligent in their reading of the scriptures because of what they have done over the past 20 years..

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

"The outcome was a slum development in the area where the dam would have been built."

Which state of Australia is this?

As far as I know, there's nowhere in Australia that can be labeled a "slum". There are poor areas, but not slums.

RB Kuter said...

Neil, okay, I give you back your credibility. Thanks for being patient and you and Tom leading me through this process. It is totally new information for me and quite different from all of the processes of which I was aware, not that I am an international political science wizard. Have lived in a variety of systems in other lands but not one like this.

My impression from our conversation is that the Australian model is a lottery process to determine the order that candidates are listed on the ballot which does seem logical, but not a lottery where citizens from the population are randomly drawn from a lot who are then qualified by the mere basis of having been pulled out of the hat to serve in the national legislative governing body.

Although I think that Neil is saying that model of randomly pulling the name of citizens to serve is one that is being discussed in some circles but not implemented in contemporary society.Is that accurate?

At first the latter model mentioned, that of just pulling name of citizens from a hat to go to serve in Washington in Congress, seemed radical. Now that I have had a moment to consider it, I am not sure that would at least be as good as what our current process has devolved in being. When I consider what seems to me to be a Congress that has totally lost its marbles I wonder if we would do worse by just closing our eyes and pointing at names in the phone book, ("Pin the Tail on the Donkey" style) and then putting them in Congress in place of what we have. Then with the terms being limited, replace them in 5 or ten years.

Think of the clowns we have now! Many seem bent on intentionally destroying our nation.

Anyway, this all is quite interesting as a matter of conversation at least. Thank you both, Neil and Tom, for introducing the concept, to me, at least, and taking the time to lead me through it.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Hi RB,

What Tom described is how we place the names of candidates on ballot papers. That's been done for many decades here in Australia.

What I'm proposing, and what you have latched onto, is the idea of a random lottery replacing elections.

The point you make about whether this system will actually be better than our current one is an important one to ask.

The first thing to understand is that sortition is not a perfect system. What I'm proposing won't solve all the problems of the world. It won't create some sort of legislative utopia.

But the second thing to understand is that it solves, or improves upon, many of the problems that are associated with modern electoral systems. I believe that it will make the legislative process a lot easier to work.

Okay, I'll be a bit long-winded here. Forgive me if it is too long.

In the US, as in Australia, as in virtually every electoral system in the world, candidates up for election are usually members of a political party. These political parties are committed to gaining power in the legislature. But if you want to be a elected representative, you have to toe the party line. Example: You might be in support of increasing welfare and introducing medicare for all, so you naturally think about joining the Democrats. But you might also be a Christian who does not support abortion, so you end up having either to compromise on your own beliefs, or else you join the GOP and abandon your social welfare support, or else you don't run at all, or else you run in a third or fourth party or as an independent, and not have much chance of being elected anyway.

Moreover, people who run for elections have to navigate through the mire of advertising. They have to raise money to create an effective political campaign. And by being supported by moneyed individuals means that you are "in their pocket" - they're not supporting you out of the goodness of their heart, they're supporting you because they want something from you. This situation faces all politicians around the world of all different ideologies. In the end, the candidate with the most amount of money raised ends up being the candidate that is successful.

And that, of course, means that and electoral democracy can easily be swayed by moneyed individuals. The very system itself is corrupted from the beginning, log before a person gets elected. The ancient Athenians discovered this, which is why they then experimented with Sortition.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

(continued)

With sortition, however, this entire process of influence peddling, raising money, advertising and being beholden to donors is done away with. Since no one knows who is going to be randomly selected, moneyed donors no longer have any power over an individual before they enter congress/parliament. Moreover the randomly selected individual, now in congress, doesn't have anyone breathing down his neck telling him what to do or vote for and threaten him with withdrawing their financial support.

Instead, the new randomly selected congressman has complete freedom to support or oppose a bill based on their conscience and their knowledge of the subject. If they're not sure of the issues involved, they can chat with other people who do know the subject, including experts, to give them an idea of what to vote for.

And because they're not facing re-election, there's no political price to pay for making up their own mind on whether to support or oppose a bill. They simply make up their own mind, with expert advice.

Of course there IS a chance that, once they have joined the legislature, that they will be approached with corrupt intent. They can be promised well paid jobs after they finish their term in office. But simple laws can be set up to prevent and punish anyone who does this sort of thing. In fact, such corrupt intent is expected. However, this sort of danger is something that is already built into the current electoral system anyway.

And yes, there will be clowns. But remember that if a legislature accurately creates a microcosm of society, there will be a lot of ordinary non-clown people as well. And if people truly are selected randomly, you will have a 50/50 male/female ratio, an appropriate ratio of various ethnic and cultural groups being selected.

And lastly, for us as Christians, it means that the legislature will be filled with as many believers as there are in society. And if Christians are unhappy that there are too few, then the solution is evangelism - the more people who are born again, the more born again Christians will end up in congress. For Christians, this means that our political power is aligned with our desire to spread the Gospel.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

And lastly, look at the amount of time current members of congress devote to creating laws and bills, and the amount of time they spend with donors and trying to gain support. The amount of time they spend in the latter is much higher than the former. This means that the time an elected member of the legislature spends on legislation is actually very low. This is inefficient.

By contrast, if a randomly selected person enters congress, they don't need to spend any time on raising money or pleasing donors or staying in power. And with the time they save no longer doing this, they can spend on learning about important issues, discussing potential bills and laws with other members. In short, 100% of their time can be spent on investigating and researching potential legislation.

RB Kuter said...

The current system has distorted the original intent of our political structure as to make it a joke in terms of really representing the people.

The system you propose would be a lot like our jury system with members of the jury not being career jurists, lawyers, etc. and being randomly (kind of) pulled from the list of citizens in the jurisdiction of the court. Seems to work out reasonably well even though I am sure there are those on the jury who are clueless in terms of figuring out the arguments of the perspective attorneys pleading their case. Hey, seems to be the same in our government!

All that you say regarding our current system having the manipulation of political parties, campaign financing, committee assignments and the tendency to re-elect congressmen/women for decades is really a sad situation. I can see the potential for the system you describe.

We have shown that "experience" in government certainly does not qualify one to be competent and the best to serve. Whether agreed or not, we have also seen that competence and incompetence in government is certainly not determined by the politician's experience.

The current political system in the US is so powerful and bent on sustaining its control that I cannot imagine a significant change taking place in the structure. Add to it those like myself whose tendency is to be leery of change and the untried and it seems hopeless that this corrupt system we have will ever change.

Still, at least you guys have helped me to be more informed and equipped to discuss this when conversations allow. Thanks for that.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

The only way Sortition could be introduced at the Federal level in the US would be by a constitutional amendment.

Moreover, there would also need to be discussions as to whether the legislative system remain bicameral - House & Senate - or become unicameral.

New Zealand has a unicameral parliament - one legislative house only. They used to have a senate, but they got rid of it in 1951. In fact the senators who voted themselves out of parliament were called "the suicide squad". So it is possible for politicians to vote against their own interests:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_squad_(New_Zealand).

A minimalist solution for the US - keeping a bicameral and federal legislature - would be:

* A 435 member house, with a 10% turnover every year (44 one year, 43 the next, etc). The 10% of new members will be selected randomly from around the country. At-large representatives will be factored in for small states. The 10% of members removed from the house will be selected from the 10% longest serving members. This effectively gives house members a 10 year term.

* A 100 member senate, with 10% turnover every year, same as above except the members will be randomly selected from the state of the senator who is being removed. Eg if a senator from Vermont is retiring, the random selection of a replacement will be only be made from people in Vermont. The 10% of members removed from the Senate will be selected from the 10% longest serving members. This effectively gives senate members a 10 year term.

----

To be honest, this sort of proposal would actually have the broad support of American progressives (of course, not necessarily the progressives who are actually IN congress of course). If there can be conservative support for it, the chances of it being implemented would be high.


Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

I do have ideas on how to reform the executive branch of government (president/governor), but that proposal is separate from sortition. I'll be happy to share my ideas though, if anyone is interested.

RB Kuter said...

Neil, Tom, after sleeping on it, I concluded that the problem is our decadent society from which the national mindset is derived. Any system will fail in terms of functioning in a manner that is just and righteous as long as the population is primarily immoral, self-serving and corrupt.

That being the case here, any representatives chosen will reflect the mood and sentiments of that population from which it was chosen. People are indeed duped into supporting politicians with millions of dollars in their propaganda machines who are promising free gifts of livelihood and prosperity with zero effort required by the population when the people are indifferent as to the well-being of their neighbors and the rationale of doing what is "right". So corrupt, self-serving, greedy, representatives are elected by the people. The same sordid sort would be put into the government no matter if they were chosen by random lottery or any other method.

If you have a barrel of rotten apples and pull a few out to serve as samples of what the entire lot is like, you will have a "rotten" sample group no matter what method you use to extract the sample.

People whose moral fabric has been totally obliterated want to live without boundaries, without laws that impose limits to their self-gratification and they do not have the capacity to see the logic of there being consequences to their foolish actions. In other words, when a society is dominated by what Scripture defines as being "fools", they will chew their leg off to remedy an itchy toe.

That being the case, the government will reflect the same ideology, immorality, and self-serving agenda as does individual citizens no matter if it is a parliamentary structure, Sortition, or any other.

How to impact the spiritual/moral condition of a nation is the question which should be asked. IF this is God's providential time for the world to be moving into that final chapter this "age" and toward entry into the "Great Tribulation/Anti-Christ/Return of Christ/Armageddon" phase, there is zero possibility of there being a reversal in the spiritual status of the people. The "Church" which would serve as the only source of moral and righteous input into society could be the only hope for a reversal from the current degenerative population but as contemporary assessment shows, the "Church" itself has apparently lost its "salt and light" core for providing remedy.

It appears that the worldly influence has impacted the "church" to the point of its sanctification diminishing to make it indistinguishable from the population that surrounds it. I believe that in this day and "age" the authentic "Church" serves as a "remnant" that continues to maintain its Christ-like power but its scope of rescue has become the ministry to the damaged goods brought about by the general society's madness and salvation of those who will choose to enter the haven of God's Kingdom.

As I observe the signs of the seasons, I am personally convinced that this is where we are there.

Rex Ray said...

I’m beginning to wonder if our present system of government is right. The reason is a couple of years ago I gave a politician a sizable contribution.

Ever since then, I’ve been bombarded with letters asking for money; as many as 5 letters a day. I usually don’t open them as I can tell by the return address.

Once I received a long phone call by some lady asking for more money that I gave to my ‘hero’ in government. I told her I believed I’d already given my share and hung up.

CONCLUSION: Does the side with the most money win by ‘buying votes’; advertising on TV and newspapers, or they adding to their bank account?

Maybe a portion of all three?

Scott Shaver said...

Rex:

My answer would be an emphatic yes to all three. We are so far gone we’re having trouble remembering what the shoreline looks like.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, personally, I don't believe it is for personal monetary gain given that all of those involved are so filthy rich they can't even count the amount of money they have. I do think they are striving to accumulate more and more millions to buy advertising to influence the public. ALL of them on both sides are playing this game.

I'm pretty sure their personal motive is "power".

Tom said...

Neil,

You asked

"The outcome was a slum development in the area where the dam would have been built."

Which state of Australia is this?

As far as I know, there's nowhere in Australia that can be labelled a "slum". There are poor areas, but not slums.


The Australian state is the one where it ended up with a “media tart” as premier for a long time, a number of years later.

The year was 94, and the advisers to the then to be elected, one term premier, was Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swann.

The houses built in this development are so close together that thieves can out run the “law” by running across the tin roof tops and so out run the law. A slum is a state of mind by the people living in it and that state of mind can take a number of years to materialise as the people begin to lose all hope because of where they live. My experience from travelling overseas is that some of the richest people, I have rubbed shoulders with, actually live in what we would call slums and their richness is found in the people that they have become.

The problems we have is because of the deliberate dumbing down of the western society that we live in.

People today do not know who is primarily responsible for their governance.

People today do not know who is primarily responsible for the enforcement of law and order.

People today do not know that “freedom” is a spiritually quantified entity that no one can take from them but that they can be enticed to relinquish their grasp on it.

People are so self-centred in their focus, that the “god” that they hold dear to themselves is themselves and they are at the centre of their own universe.

Sadly people today are paupers because they have no time to contemplate their navels. They cannot perceive what it takes to climb out of their self-made dilemmas. Their minds trap them in the reality that they find themselves in and they can see no way of escaping.

Shalom

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Tom,

Don't be so vague. Say the names and the place. I've worked out from your limited information it was the Qld premier Wayne Goss. But was it the Wolffdene dam?

Please name the suburb that this slum is located.

Tom said...

Neil,

The accuracy of the historical story depends on who will rightly write the story.

Smaller dams have been built within the an adjacent catchment area, but in one case no one checked up on how hard the water was to treat.

The Wolffdene Dam was the last dam that could be built in the SE to supply the water needed for an expanding population. The number of so called corrupt members of NP members that were holding out, at the time of the election, on selling their properties was, from what I have been told, three. The land bank owner did not want the dam to be built because it devalued his holding to much and the LP saw that the corruption storyline would win them an election. In my view the dam still needs to be built, but the cost of reacquiring the necessary land for the dam is to high for it to now proceed. Oh well, good stories are hard to come by in any situation.

Political expediency is really only another word for corrupt activity by a political party.

Shalom

RB Kuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RB Kuter said...

Tom wrote: "People today do not know who is primarily responsible for their governance."

This is a very true statement but personally I am convinced that the fault does not lie entirely in the indifference of the people. The normal person struggles to discern fact from fiction, authentic reports from imposed propaganda, reality from an instigated media movement impacting the general population.

My opinion, not entirely based upon speculation but from "signs" and unintended leaks is that there are "behind the scene power players" orchestrating the events and trends on a global scale. True, individual nations and their central governments wield much power but they are not the sovereign or ultimate authorities. They are serving, either wittingly or not, forces that are bent on globalization through the undermining of the concept of individual nations.

Likely "Global Wizards Operating Behind the Curtain" are the likes of George Soros whose "Open Society Foundations (OSF) is a grant-making network founded by business magnate George Soros. OSF "publicly identifies itself as financially supporting civil society groups around the world, with a stated aim of advancing justice, education, public health and independent media. The basic precepts of Soros' ideology seems to be that "globalization" with the minimization at best, elimination entirely, at worst, of the concept of individual nations would best serve humanity.

Bill Gates is another extremely powerful player in events taking place whose along with Warren Buffet, neither of which are enemies of the proposal that globalization would expedite solutions to the world's problems and increase progress to a better world society. I doubt that any "one" of these personalities is in control but collectively or under the direction of even higher forces would more likely be the case.

That being said, I do not believe that our current US President has much to say about anything that is done. He is a pawn being played by higher forces. It is difficult for me to believe that his actions are not being directed by more powerful forces/influences surrounding him and that their strategies are consistent with others that are in even higher positions of directing world affairs.

What evidence do I have for such a conspiracy "theory"? I do not want to bore readers with why I have come to these conclusions except to say that if you see wildfires breaking out throughout the forests and see shadows of people carrying gas cans and matches you might begin to suspect that the fires are not entirely being ignited by lightning strikes.

I try to be vigilant in objectively reading available signals and activities and not to reject the legitimacy of some options simply because they are not assumed as credible by popular opinion/media. Admittedly, my assessments ultimately are influenced by how things might be falling into place with God's prophesied events.

Anon.E.Moose said...

Who governs us? Is it not obvious -- the "Deep State" or the "Administrative State" or whatever you want to call it.

We like to think that we are governed the way that we were taught -- that we live in a republic where we elect leaders and they then vote on bills that influence our lives via subsequent laws (and budgets), but as the government has grown, a deep administrative state, that seems to only look out for it's own best interests has grown.

Young girls being molested by coaches (the gymnast story) reported their molestation to the FBI but nothing was done. It was buried, because.....?? And now there was a hearing, but those at fault seem to be beyond the reach of discipline at this late date.

There is a "J6 Rally" reportedly to protest the imprisonment of people that took part in the January 6 insurrection......there were more people from the FBI and the press than from the reported protest group.

Nancy Pelosi famously said of Obamacare that you have to pass the bill to find out what is in the bill. I attempted to read the bill as it was coming up (OK, not the whole thing, just sections.....it was something like 2100 pages). It literally said things like "change paragraph 10 line 8 of regulation 230.1245 to read "not."" I personally think that every bill needs to be understandable on it's own -- none of this change some other regulation not easily available to read "not" rather than.....

Look at the current state -- Biden puts out a vaccine mandate. Immediate questions arise: 'well, we don't know. We are going to have to wait and see what OSHA comes up with.' BUT we are going to have a vaccine mandate because you know the 'rona is particularly affecting all companies employing more than 100 people (those lucky people working for companies with only 99 employees just seem to be immune by virtue of working for a company of 99 people). Once again, Congress is exempt from the vaccine mandate....just kind of like they were exempt from Obamacare. Nothing to see here.....keep moving along young plebe.

Now, we have the public health care apparatus governing us in ways that I thought that US citizens would never allow. Elizabeth Warren is now trying to codify the craziness with a bill that would resurrect the eviction moratorium: the “Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021.” This bill would give the CDC the authority to re-enact the rent moratorium, applying automatically to all rentals. This would remain in place until 60 days beyond the “conclusion of the public health emergency." What could go wrong here?

Does anyone really want to tackle the question of who is responsible for our governance? For our earthly governance, it is slowly growing into a morass of career politicians and bureaucrats. For my spiritual governance thankfully, that is a constant and unchanging loving God. (Of course, I have to be willing to allow God to govern.....stiff necked human that I am.....)

Rex Ray said...

https://www.ajc.com/pulse/why-you-might-have-a-shingles-flare-up-after-your-covid-vaccination/U4MPENQYQNAXBJ3GLJFVB6ESQQ/

“Doctors in Israel recently reported that six women with autoimmune disorders developed the painful rash 3-14 days after a first or second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Some people used this information to form a correlation between the vaccine and the virus.”

I believe this is true because it happened to my daughter.

Rex Ray said...

Another link:

https://www.flatlandkc.org/news-issues/health/getting-shingles-or-hives-after-the-shot-experts-connect-the-dots/

I thought it was funny what one guy said who opposed the two links. He said, “It’s like the sun comes up because the rooster crows.”

(My daughter is 57.)

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, I've heard of similar reports of folks getting shingles following their taking the needle. I like the explanation as to why there is no connection by the pro-vac people that just because you get something following taking the vaccination doesn't mean there is a connection.

RB Kuter said...

Anon E. "For my spiritual governance thankfully, that is a constant and unchanging loving God. (Of course, I have to be willing to allow God to govern.....stiff necked human that I am.....)"

Perhaps God is allowing things to get this bad and worse so that when our King does return to initiated "His" governance we can fully appreciate the contrast between "our" ways and "God's" ways.

It seems to me to be a heavy cloud over the societies of the entire world. I have friends whose personalities have changed from being uplifted, and positive and cheerful to being angry and seemingly oppressed and frustrated. It's no wonder. I occasionally turn on the morning news only to see smiling, gay, happy-looking, TV personalities reporting constantly on additional Covid vaccines, boosters, vaccines for little children, mandates, full hospitals,and then add a sprinkling of reports of overnight shootings and murders, rapes and tens of thousands of illegal intruders surging across our southern borders. The cheerful reporters admonish the Border Agents for putting their horses between the border and the invaders and even sometimes flipping the reins at the illegals as their only means to deter them from forced entry. All the while the reporters look like they are celebrating and rejoicing at all of the chaos and destruction.

Any "positive" news? Maybe a warm, fuzzy account of a transgender who overcomes all adversity to live their life in a new, improved identity.

It is difficult not to get caught up in all of Satan's hype and destructive propaganda and instead to project a life of joy, peace, and productivity of being a child of God. I have been thinking I need to visit one of my close brothers in Christ whose personality has altered to see if there is anything I can do to encourage him. He is obviously undergoing spiritual attack and needs a brother to walk with him.