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Author Topic: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry  (Read 5564 times)

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Colin

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2015, 07:47:47 PM »

G’day John
The thoughts expressed by those who have contributed have been good in encouraging our consideration of the topic and comparison with relevant scriptures.   Bare verses, without commentary can leave us perplexed and left to guess at the intended input behind a posting.   Could I suggest that for an improved friendly “family discussion”, that a hint of your views be provided?   That way, all readers with varying levels of understanding could benefit.       Colin
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John from Kentucky

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2015, 10:02:51 PM »

G’day John
The thoughts expressed by those who have contributed have been good in encouraging our consideration of the topic and comparison with relevant scriptures.   Bare verses, without commentary can leave us perplexed and left to guess at the intended input behind a posting.   Could I suggest that for an improved friendly “family discussion”, that a hint of your views be provided?   That way, all readers with varying levels of understanding could benefit.       Colin


For those who have the Spirit of God, God's Words in the Scriptures, especially the Words of Jesus, do not need commentary.  God will give understanding.

Are you telling me that you do not understand the Words of Jesus, which I quoted from three Scriptures?  ::)  As Ray once said, "I may have been born at night, but not last night."

Besides, through the ages we have had way too much commentary from mankind.  I prefer the Commentary of God, which He expresses in His Word.
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lurquer

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2015, 12:47:48 AM »

Dear Colin,

Your suggestions will always be ignored by John.  That is because he is MUCH smarter than you and MUCH closer to God.

Just thought I'd save you some effort...   ;)
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John from Kentucky

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2015, 11:06:48 AM »

Dear Colin,

Your suggestions will always be ignored by John.  That is because he is MUCH smarter than you and MUCH closer to God.

Just thought I'd save you some effort...   ;)

Neo,

You sound like you have a sour stomach.  My grandmother always recommended a bowl of blackberries in such a case.

In Christian love,

Dr. JFK
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repottinger

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2015, 12:50:44 PM »

Well, Largeli, I think that if I add emphases to some of the passages I had cited, it might help to answer your questions:

Romans 13:1-7, AKJV

13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

I Peter 2:13-17, AKJV

13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

So we see that the representative of the state (which would include such things as the government, military, and police, I would think) “is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,” and that these ministers “are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers.” To me, this means that they are there for our legitimate use (as in reporting a serious violent crime like a murder or robbery) and that, if we call upon them, we aren’t “living by the sword,” but, in effect, using one kind of “evildoer” (the government representative, who stands for and upholds the Babylonian world system)--from a Christian standpoint, since we are not “of the world”--to “punish” another (the criminal).

Thanks a lot for such interesting thoughts on the subject.
Randy 
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 04:08:39 PM by repottinger »
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repottinger

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2015, 02:38:21 PM »

And thank you, John, for such pertinent scriptures about differentiating between our responsibilities to God and the Government.
Randy
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lareli

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2015, 06:07:53 PM »

Well, Largeli, I think that if I add emphases to some of the passages I had cited, it might help to answer your questions:

Romans 13:1-7, AKJV

13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

I Peter 2:13-17, AKJV

13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

So we see that the representative of the state (which would include such things as the government, military, and police, I would think) “is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,” and that these ministers “are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers.” To me, this means that they are there for our legitimate use (as in reporting a serious violent crime like a murder or robbery) and that, if we call upon them, we aren’t “living by the sword,” but, in effect, using one kind of “evildoer” (the government representative, who stands for and upholds the Babylonian world system)--from a Christian standpoint, since we are not “of the world”--to “punish” another (the criminal).

Thanks a lot for such interesting thoughts on the subject.
Randy

I have trouble understanding why Paul and Peter wrote these verses. I pray the Lord gives me wisdom to understand these verses.. Paul and Peter were both preaching Jesus Christ who was killed by the government. Paul himself persecuted Christs followers.. I believe Peter and most of the other apostles would soon be executed by the government also.

History is tells us that government is the leading cause of violent death. The Jewish and Christian holocaust of ww2 was legal. Which is to say it was sanctioned by the government. Slavery was legal.

I can understand obeying and complying with the rulers and authorities even if they're wicked. Same as turning the other cheek when wronged. I can even obey and comply with full joy.. No problem. They are ordained by God, absolutely. But to say that they aren't a terror to those who do good? I can't understand that because in many governments it has been or is to this day illegal to have a bible... Feed a homeless person... Illegal to be a certain race... Illegal to pray...

This brings us full circle back to the Nationalism/Statism as a religion issue... So is it that if one takes the commandments (laws) of a government and uses these laws as their barometer for what is good and evil then that is what constitutes a religion?

Obeying and submitting to the authorities which God has established over us is a good thing. But that doesn't mean that those authorities themselves are good. I don't believe Paul or Peter ever said that the authorities themselves are good... Unless I'm missing it. They did say that they are there for good but not that they are good.

I can obey and submit but I can't say that governments are at all righteous because governments are simply man ruling over man using violence albeit by Gods will. But if I pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven then I can't approve of things being done on earth as they are done on earth. When Christ comes to rule, man will no longer rule over his fellow man with violence. Righteousness will rule and until then wicked man will rule.. All by Gods will of course.

I'm thinking out loud at this point.. I'll continue to pray for wisdom.

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Rick

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2015, 09:47:34 PM »

Hi Largeli,

Ray talked about the synagogue of Satan of Jesus’s day and asked if you think the church has gotten any better ?

Do you think the governments of the world have gotten any better ?  I look at everything that is happening on planet earth like this, we are here for and experience of good and evil, what goes on we can agree is not right but its necessary for becoming sons and daughters of God.

Also, God has given us and experience of evil to humble us. Also remember Ray talking about virtue, one has to overcome some form of evil if they are to receive virtue.


I believe it will be easier in the next age for anyone who goes through the lake of fire because Jesus will reign as king of kings and I would assume that right doing will be rewarded unlike it is in this age.

These days I no longer look at what’s going on directly but rather ask what is its meaning and more over what am I to learn or understand from it.

If God wanted this age to be the garden of Eden He could of made it that way, obvious its not His intentions at this time, so with patients, love and forgiveness, worry about nothing in this life for God says we cannot change a single hair on our head white or black by worrying so be anxious for nothing. And keep praying.

God bless.   :)
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repottinger

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2015, 12:52:57 AM »

Those are great points, Rick—especially about the importance of learning from our experiences on this earth in preparing us to one day rule as sons and daughters of God. 
Thanks a lot,
Randy
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repottinger

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2015, 12:54:35 AM »

You ask a lot of fantastic questions, Largeli, and I’m sure that there are a lot of people who are more well-qualified than I am to answer them. I just think that our attitude toward government should be like that of the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets (though not that of leaders such as Moses, Joshua, and the judges and kings, who were acting under God-ordained governments, unlike all believers since their time) and Christ and the apostles in the New—one of peaceful submission, unless we are asked to do things contrary to God’s word:

Acts 5:29, AKJV
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

And I agree with you that worldly governments are not righteous by any means—they’re of the world, and so could never be considered so by God’s people:

John 17:9, AKJV
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

John 18:36, AKJV
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

I John 2:16, AKJV
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

This probably hasn’t been very helpful to you, but I’ll be sure to pray for God to increase your understanding and peace of mind (along with that of the rest of us) on this difficult subject.
Sincerely,
Randy
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 04:48:49 PM by repottinger »
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2015, 06:55:47 AM »

Just some thoughts. 

Jesus said, "Love your neighbors"--agape.  "Love your enemies". --agape.

John said "Love not the world, neither the things of the world"--agape.

Now I know those three don't contradict.  But I see them often quoted "against" each other, particularly Jesus's vs. John's.

I need more than one reason to get out of bed in the morning.  I also need more than one 'verse' to 'understand' just what God wants out of me in any situation.

I understand that I am an ambassador of Christ.  I understand that I am not to get entangled in the affairs of the world--most especially in a "worldly" manner.  To me that especially would be "loving the things of the world".  But am I wrong to be thankful when good things happen in the world?  Is it ONLY an experience of Evil which the Lord gives us to humble us?  Doesn't He also give us 'experiences of good?'  Isn't there "good" also in the fruit? 

The very reason Jesus gave to 'agape' our enemies is:

Mat 5:44, 45  ...Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

If we are here to learn (and I very much think we are) then isn't there something to be learned from the "good" we encounter?  Am I supposed to believe that there is no such thing as 'good'?   

But I need more than one reason to "not get entangled".  Here's more than one that apply to me.  Your mileage may vary.

1.  Involvement in politics on a level far above me seems to me vanity and pride.  I've lived that. 
2.  It causes me no end of grief, loss of faith, and temptation to 'hate' my 'political' foes.  And since I have no 'earthly' power, that too is vanity.  I've lived that too.

We're told that a good life is:

Mic_6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

What if I see "injustice", "no mercy" and "walking proudly"?  I know God hates these things.  Surely, my first concern is to make sure that I'M "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly."  First I have to judge myself.  But if I judge myself "not guilty", then what?  If the beam is out of MY eye, then what?

Should I not at the least be thankful when there is movement towards "justice, mercy, humility"?  Should I call out hypocrisy when I see it?  And to whom, if I should?  The whole world?  The 'church'?  My little corner of the world where my 'light' can actually be seen?

Did Ray write and record all these volumes to engage in a theological debate?  You have no idea how disappointed I would be if I were to learn that was true.

So if the "nation" and the "world" are not (yet) my domain, what about my community?  That's really where my neighbors are, and where this little grain of salt has fallen.  Can I do something 'here' that won't cause me to 'hate' or feed my vanity and pride?  Can I be part of something that partners with 'government' to try to do some good?  Big or small?  Maybe that might mean calling the police to end a string of robberies or burglaries?  Maybe working against some injustice?  Maybe feed or otherwise help some people?  Maybe?  Assuming I don't loose faith and my 'foes' are not 'political'--not even people at all--but conditions?  Even if it is ultimately pointless in this age, is it always going to be like that?  And isn't there something to learn from trying?

I know that for the flesh, nothing really ends 'well'.  But if we really are 'in training', is it sufficient that we only concern ourselves with the 'evil'?  "Be ye separate"...is that the end of that?  Or can I maybe 'be separate' in another way as well, by doing good when most everybody else is watching TV and eating Cheetos, or sitting in pews singing endless 'praise songs'?

I'm not saying I do much good.  I don't.  Like Ray said, he thought he ought to do some more of these 'good' things, but he was doing what God called HIM to do.  Maybe to a degree, so am I.  But at the least I want to understand what it really MEANS to 'let my light shine'. 

If I can misquote and expand on what Extol said...he said that for many people, 'nationalism' was their 'highest hope'.  Maybe I can soften that a bit and say that for many people "love of country" is their highest calling.  Even though that statement is a little sad, I really think that for most of them it is a "good" thing, as things go, even with all the baggage that may go along with it.  It can inspire them to something above selfishness. 

Given the alternative in parts of the world removed from my 'comfort' and 'blessing', I can't help but be thankful when oligarchs and despots get replaced by legitimate--even if imperfect--governments in places like Africa and South America. God set Kings for His purpose, but He also brought them down.   I just can't bring myself to tell 'those' people that they should do nothing.  That's for them to decide.  How and why things are done matters as much as what is done...maybe even more-so, because 'how' and 'why' are spiritual.  Jesus will judge righteously, both good and bad. 

I'm not so sure I should be telling myself to do nothing either.  Those three scriptures do not contradict.  If somebody has a better idea how to 'unify' them (and others), I'm listening.     

One thing you should give thanks for is that you are not me.  If you need only one reason to get out of bed in the morning, count yourself blessed.   :)   

 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 07:53:14 AM by Dave in Tenn »
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Rick

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2015, 11:13:05 AM »



What does it mean when scripture says we are in the world but not apart of the world ? Each must decide its meaning and how to walk therein according to the calling of Christ.

I live in the world, that is easy to understand but to not be of the world is the thing for us to comprehend.

I think to myself everything is about God, God this God that and all the things God is doing and the beautiful plan of God concerning humanity.

And while this is true, to God, is not everything about us His creation ?  I always thought I was ok , sure, I knew I had issues but for the most part I thought I was just fine.

What I have been realizing lately is I have a beam in my eye and I’m not ok, I’m not fine at all.
The rest of my life will be spent having that beam removed from my eye, then I’ll be able to see clearly. We know its Christ who will remove the beam from our eye and not us.

Everything is about us and our being raised up by God, as Christ slowly pulls that beam from my eye I start to see how sick I’ve been, how horrible I am ( carnal minded ) the carnal mind is capable of anything under the sun.

How can I remove the log from my brothers eye when I have a beam in my own eye ?  If I do a good thing for someone is it me doing that good thing ? Or is it the love of God flowing thought me that causes me to do that good thing ?

Everything that is good comes from God, without God doing it, is it possible for any human being to do good on their own ?

Everything Ray teaches leads to the beam being removed from our eye, how about the doctrine of hell ? When one comes to understand that this is the doctrine of demons then a small piece of that beam has been removed and so on and so forth.

I used to be a political junkie, I loved politics, I wanted to see this one or that one get in office because I thought they could make a difference. Today I’m not a political junkie, I understand that all politicians live under the same cause and effects just like the rest of us.

When I look at politics today and what the government is doing I think to myself what is God causing them to do and what am I to understand by it. What is God teaching us.

I’m a brother in Christ having the beam removed from my eye and that is a lifetime process. But each day with Christ I see just a little more clearly, I believe when that beam is removed completely I will be with Christ age after age.

God bless.   :)
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lilitalienboi16

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2015, 12:02:18 PM »

Hi Dave,

This may be my very quick take on your post but let me just say that I don't necessarily agree with you that we are even to 'try' and affect change in our 'local' area. I think we need to be focused inwardly on dying to self and through this process our light will naturally shine and permeate our surroundings. Rejoice over good if you want but God is absolutely sovereign and things are going exactly as He planned. God is not calling the world, He isn't even choosing many but only a few and then from that He is justifying even less. He's working with us on a personal level right now and I don't see Him currently interested in transforming us to affect change in the world (or even our local area) at this point in time though that change may naturally follow by God's work in us. When Christ returns and we are like Him, in character and form, then I believe is when He will begin using us to affect the world.

Jesus rebuked the pharisees for not cleaning what was on the inside of them so that the outside would follow. He rebuked them for putting on a show on the outside but being full of dead men bones on the inside. It is not to be so with us. Paul tells us to live quiet and peaceable lives in more than one place. Keep your eyes on Christ and the rest will follow. Don't worry about affecting change anywhere not even locally. That light will shine but when we turn our attention from God towards actually affecting change in our area, I believe (in my humble opinion) we are turning from what He is doing in us to what we can do of our own power. I see it similarly to how we once thought we had to save ourselves until we realized that God was going to save us in His time, through His means, and by His power.

Now as for the Agape and Phileo loves. It appears to me that John isn't saying, "don't agape your enemies" which Jesus commanded, but rather that we shouldn't love the world in its curroptness and evil that occurs. So in other words, don't love the world's WAYS. Don't partake in it. Be seperate from this. We are a [holy] nation onto ourselves with God as our King, a royal priesthood, our citenzship is in the heavens and not on this earth. We agape our enemies the same way God does because we see them for who they will be one day in God. We don't agape the world which is under satan's control right now because that world and its ways as they are now will cease to exist. God will completely destroy it when He ushers in His kingdom.

That's my quick thought on this. I, of course, should put more thought into it and I will return to consider this further but I wanted to share a quick at glance idea that came to my mind upon reading your post. Feel free to agree or disagree.

God bless,
Alex

P.S. Please forgive me if I completely mis understood you, its early morning and I got very little sleep last night... was up late studying and my daughter woke me brigth and early >.>
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 12:11:09 PM by lilitalienboi16 »
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Rick

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2015, 02:43:05 PM »


I agree with Alex, how can any of us think about making a difference with a beam in our own eye. Christ is working with us, not the world. It is we who are being prepared here and now.

When Christ returns then the beam in our eye will be removed and then we will see clearly to help all others.

As long as we are in these fleshly bodies the beam remains regardless of the knowledge we gain but this knowledge we gain is in preparation of reigning with Christ. 

Its about us right now, not the world or most of humanity. The world to us is only a place that God uses as a testing ground for our growth, and that growth is ultimately making us into the sons and daughters of God.

The difference between Christendom and Rays teaching is I finally understand these truths. 
As far as the government is concerned its going to do what God intended it to do no mater how you view it, Gods will, will be done.

God bless.
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Kat

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2015, 03:23:43 PM »


Do consider what Christ said about how we should live and the effect that has.

Mat 5:14  "You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can't be hidden.
v. 15  People don't light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
v. 16  In the same way, let your light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good actions and glorify your Father in heaven."

mercy, peace and love
Kat
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2015, 04:06:15 PM »

Do consider what Christ said about how we should live and the effect that has.

v. 16  In the same way, let your light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good actions and glorify your Father in heaven."

What does it look like to other people when you 'die to self'? 



« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 05:37:34 AM by Dave in Tenn »
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Rick

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2015, 04:21:00 PM »

Hi Kat,

I fully agree with your statement, however in our beginning when Christ calls us we are in a state of wretchedness but we don’t realize it because we are blind.

I remember when I first learned some truths that Ray had taught I wanted to tell the whole world but even though I had learned some truths, truths like hell is a Christian hoax but I was still wretched and had not a clue.

Mat 5:14 is true (You are the light of the world )  but the question I ask is when does it become true in a believers life ?

Christ said to the apostles ,( to you it is given ) but Ray said when was it given ? It was not until Pentecost that they received what Christ had said.

This world in this aged is not interested in Gods truth nor does it want it because it is carnal and the carnal mind hates God.

What I see and understand is the only ones interested in truth are those who are not perishing, all those who are perishing will be interested in Gods truth in the next age as we are interested in Gods truth in this age.

 Could it be that Mat 5 :14 becomes truth in a believes life in the next age when we will be the light of the world?     


God bless.
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2015, 04:33:05 PM »

Some of those "perishing" are alive today.  If you were, so are they.  Besides, He came to seek and to save those that are 'perishing'.
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Rick

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2015, 04:39:28 PM »

Hi Dave,

The true light has come into the world but the world comprehended it not because the world prefers darkness over the light.

I understand that any light that shines forth from a believer is proportional to the work Christ does in us, no mater how bright the light shines in the darkness, the world comprehend it not. 

Will the darkness comprehend the light in the next aged when Christ rules as king of kings with the elect ?
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To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Rick

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Re: Patriotism, nationalism, and statism as forms of idolatry
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2015, 04:44:18 PM »

Some of those "perishing" are alive today.  If you were, so are they.  Besides, He came to seek and to save those that are 'perishing'.


Hi Dave

I agree to disagree with your statement, Christ has come to seek and save those the Father has given Him, but Christ has not come to saved all in this aged.

Christ is savior of the world but the whole world is not being saved in this aged.

God bless.
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To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
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