Volume 14, Number 1, September-October 2010

 Our National Problems Need Spiritual Solutions!

by Norman Edwards with Tax Payers Party letter by Gerald Van Sickle

The debate among our politicians rages: What should our military do? What healthcare and retirement should our nation provide? What failing banks and businesses should be bailed out? What should be done about crime? What about disease epidemics? Who is going to pay for all of this? How and when will they pay?

It does not take much reading of history to find nations generally prosper and grow when they are founded on fairness, morality and hard work. And when they turn inward with greed, selfishness and unfairness, they decline and are often destroyed.

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible teaches God’s judgment of nations for their national sins:

“And also the nation whom they serve I will judge...” (Gen 15:14).

“Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested" (Rev 15:4).

There are many other verses in between. The judgment of God upon nations is not based on some complex set of religious rites and laws everyone has to know and follow. He does not judge nations simply because their churches, temples, creeds and customs differ from Biblical teachings. Indeed, He has judged many nations that never had a Bible. Our Father can judge nations based upon the golden rule alone (Lev 19:18; Matt 22:39-40). A most severe penalty came upon all nations in Noah’s day. It is explained in just 28 words:

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD (Gen 6:5-8).

Noah, a righteous man, was protected from this judgment. The Bible conveys how God deals individually with those who whole-heartedly seek Him (Jer 29:13). As He protected Noah and his family, He promises to protect His own even in the middle of national disaster all around them (Pslm 91:2-10). For personal help in how to cope with the future, see our article Faith to Face the Future (Sept-Oct 2009).

Even though he protects individually, God does not want His people to be ignorant of their nations sins. He protects people who “sigh and cry”—who are sad about their nation’s sins. Christ himself showed the attitude we should have toward an evil nation

That on you [the leaders that killed Him] may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matt 23:35-37).

God does not want us to go the one extreme of participating in our national sins. Those who do will receive the nation’s judgment (Rev 18:4). Nor does He want us to take the other extreme of rejoicing in the destruction of nations for their sins (Ezk 33:11). We should not be as Jonah, who was disappointed that the city of Nineveh repented and was spared a disaster (Jonah 4:1-4). Rather, we should hope that all peoples will repent as Nineveh did:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it (Jonah 3:8-10).

The Ninevites did not convert to Jonah’s religion, begin to worship in Jerusalem or begin to obey the commandments given through Moses. They stopped the violence and the evil that most knew was wrong to begin with. Even to the nation of Judah, who had the detailed law given through Moses, the basic rules to avoid national judgment are simple:

These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD" (Zech 8:16 -17)

Missing the Point

Nearly all the issues being debated by politicians in our federal and state governments are missing the big picture that would save our nation from a national judgment by God. Most Republican and Democratic leaders are arguing relatively fine points of programs that we probably do not need at all. The typical piece of legislation proposed today increases government regulation, control and taxation to solve a problem that was either created by the government or is not the government’s responsibility. Governments often ignore serious issues for which our nation is likely to be judged by God.

As just one concrete example, how do governments deal with the present epidemic of STDs (Sexually Transmissible Diseases) among teens? There approach is to provide birth control and disease barriers, education in the use of these things, more medical care and abortions for those who want it. The Bible, and nearly every other major religion would teach teens to wait until marriage for sex. But the Bible and religious instruction has long been banned from schools, and the present STD epidemic has been one result.

Is our nation a secular nation, with separation of church and state? Not really. Our constitution simply states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Our government is forbidden to set one religious denomination (establishment) above another; it does not require the removing of all religion from public life. Indeed the letters and laws of our founding fathers were full of references to God and the Bible. Schools should be free to teach a variety of religion chosen by the parents of the children in the school—just as an English class will compare and criticize the writings of many secular authors. All but a few modern religions would teach that teens should wait till marriage for sex, thereby avoiding the present plague of STDs.

Instead of this happening, the State has essentially replaced God in our schools—fulfilling the words of Communist philosopher Leon Trotsky: “God is the State; the State is God”. Sure, our governments do not actually claim to be God, but when one examines the behaviors of school staff and students, that is what has taken place. If the government says we cannot talk about religion, we don’t talk about religion. If they say it is all right for teens to have sex, then it is all right. Even if all of our leaders were sincere atheists at heart, they should have the wisdom to see from a historical/sociological perspective that the young people in schools would be better off waiting for marriage to have sex. But they keep promoting their promiscuous agenda.

The above is only one of many examples were the policies of our powerful governments are bringing the judgment of God upon our nation. While they try to ignore God, they cannot alter the fact that God judges nations whether they want to be judged by Him or not! Just because they choose to ignore the sources that show us our sin, does not mean we escape the immediate consequences of sin or God’s ultimate judgment upon us.

Are there good civil government leaders today who want to address the important issues and implement moral solutions to them? Yes! Do most Americans pay attention to them or even know about them? No! A few of those leaders are small voices in the big political parties. Others are in small, struggling parties, some are completely independent. Some promote just and moral principles from a Christian perspective; others use a secular perspective for much the same teaching. Either one would help us avoid the consequences of national sin and judgment.

Many people today, even Christians, are confused into thinking they must support the “lesser of two evils” because they are the only ones that have a chance to win. The result is still evil and we are not to join a multitude to do evil (Ex 23:2). While their may be no leader who shares our religious or secular governing beliefs exactly, some certainly represent the teachings of basic morality and the Scriptures much better than others. It is not the purpose of secular government to bring our nation to God—that is the purpose of the Church. But it is the purpose of secular government to be just (Deut 16:18-20) and to avoid bringing national judgment upon us.

How we deal with ourselves, personally, is much different. We are responsible to live by every word of God (Luke 4:4). We cannot expect to bring about our own personal deliverance simply by promoting the right people and laws. We must rely on our faith in our heavenly Father to protect His children who serve Him (Mal 3:16-18). But if we do take time to get involved in civil governments, we need to support the massive changes that could actually produce a favorable judgement on this nation. We must not get fooled into following those making minor changes to a secular system that is largely evil.

10 Legislative Goals — Supported by the Golden Rule and the Bible

The following ten points were the guts of a support letter sent by Gerald Van Sickle, chairman of the US Taxpayers Party of Michigan. (known as the American Independent Party in California, the Constitution Party in most other states.) It was not intended to cover everything important, but to cover 10 important things. There are other small parties, and a few major party candidates that also embrace these ideas. The letter does not mention God or the Bible, but contains Biblical principles. We include all 10 legislative goals, below, and a statement afterward showing how these goals can be supported from both the Golden Rule and the Bible.

Nearly all religions and even most atheists support the Golden Rule, so our secular government is without excuse. Our leaders should be able to see the justice in these principles. They should be able to enact the kind of laws they would want to have if they were an ordinary citizen. Citizens ought to vote for candidates who support these principles rather than voting for a smooth, well-presented candidate whom they think will win. Citizens participation in government should not be like sports or petty arguments where the main goal is to be on the winning side. It is about standing up for just and fair principles whether they win or lose a particular political contest.

The scriptural teaching is also expounded because God shows us what is right and often shows us how to implement it. We might go astray with our own reasoning on the golden rule, but we will not go astray with God’s reasoning. We do not need to learn lessons by many years of human suffering when God already has shown us what to do.

1.    PROLIFE—End the Killing! 50 million Americans killed in abortion chambers because Democrats and Republicans refuse to provide them the protection of the law!

Golden Rule: How old are you? That many years ago, plus six months, you were a fetus. You are glad your parents did not abort you. We should not abort anyone else. We all think the law should protect children from being killed by their parents. Newborn and pre-born babies both cannot legally represent themselves, but they both have a constitutional right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Abortion ends that. We don’t want that right terminated for us and we should not terminate it for anyone else.

Bible Teaching: “You shall not murder” (Ex 20:13). Other verses permitted people to kill in times of war or to punish someone lawfully found guilty of capital crimes. The only question that remains is, “Does the Bible teach unborn people are people?” “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my [David’s] body and knit me together in my mother’s womb (Ps 139:13). “...Two nations are in your [Rebecca’s] womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger” (Gen 25:23 ). “Luke 1:31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:31-32).“And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41). It is clear that God recognizes some people and their destinies before they are born. These women, thankfully, understood it would be wrong to abort these babies and resist the plan of God. What plans does God have for babies being conceived today? We do not necessarily know, do we?

2.    Return to the American Values of Faith, Family, and Individual Responsibility — Put morality back in our schools!

Golden Rule: Most older people today feel their childhood schools were better than the schools of today—both from an academic and a moral point of view. People were happy to have grown up in a family with a mother and father who had strong moral values. Those whose parents were not like this, wish theirs were. Nobody likes neighbors who can’t be responsible for themselves, but who always want somebody else or some government agency to provide for them. Even people who claim to be atheists like to be treated like someone special with a purpose in the universe, as opposed to 1 out of trillions of other evolutionary happenstances competing for scarce planetary resources. We were all better off when we had less government. We should want to give this same opportunity to others, especially our young people.

Bible Teaching: This is the thinking that made the early USA successful: “...If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt 17:20).  “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward... Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed...” (Ps 127:3,5) “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Tim 5:8 ). “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Eph 5:3, NIV).

3.    Protect American Independence and Sovereignty—Defend our Borders.

Golden Rule: We should stay out of other nations when we are not invited, and they should stay out of our borders. If Americans go to other countries and break their laws—including laws of entry, we should expect consequences. People coming to our country should expect the same thing. We expect to be rewarded if we obey the laws—so every person who has applied for legal immigration to the USA should be accepted here before anyone who has entered illegally.

Bible Teaching: God intended for nations to have borders: “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26). The Bible says people of other cultures living among us will be a snare to us (Ex 23:32-33). If foreigners do live among us, they should obey our laws (Ex 12:49). What sense does it make to spend $900 billion trying to kill uncertain enemies in a foreign land—killing thousands of civilians in the process—when our own borders could be secured for much less cost?

4.    Restoring Manufacturing jobs to America—Replace the income tax with a revenue tariff!

Golden Rule: We do not want millions of Americans working for low wages to have our goods exported to another country. So we should not buy lots of cheap goods made with near-slave labor from other countries. Placing an import tariff on these products bringing their prices in line with those of domestic items greatly reduces the amount of foreign goods sold here and encourages other countries to pay a decent wage even when it increases the cost of their product. (The USA would reduce our tariff to keep it in line with the cost of domestic products.)

Bible Teaching: Nations should be subject to their own laws and under God. Multi-national trading corporations often evade most national laws. God is opposed to large world-dominating trading empires (Gen 11; Rev 13; 18; 19), especially ones that are lawless (Matt 7:23; Matt 23:28; 2Thes 2:3-8—”man of sin” is “man of lawlessness”).

5.    End judicial tyranny—Restrict jurisdiction of federal courts. Remove out of control judges who debase marriage, sanction  immorality, grab guns, and trample the Constitution.

Golden Rule: Judges derive their authority to make judgments from the Constitution, and they swear to uphold it. Yet they make many decisions contrary to it. Furthermore, they make decisions against other people which they would not want made against themselves. The Constitution empowers the legislature to remove corrupt judges, but they almost never do. The legislature makes itself immune to most of the unfair laws they pass, and the judges do nothing. Both of these bodies, singularly and collectively, are not treating others like they want to be treated.

Bible Teaching: “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (Deut 16:18-20).

6.    Reduce taxes—Limit government to its constitutional functions!

Golden Rule: The Executive and Legislative branches love to exercise the power and spend the money the Constitution authorizes them to do. They should be fair and use that power only for the functions this constitution authorizes.

Bible Teaching: The Bible warns us that placing too much power in government will cause heavy taxation and oppression of the people (1Sam 8). We do not need a strong central government (Lev 26:8), but we want one because we see other nations have one (Deut 17:14).

7.    Implement a self-sufficient energy policy—Providing energy is more important than pandering to environmental extremists.

Golden Rule: Many of the politicians and businesses that are crying the loudest about global warming and environmental pollution live an extravagant life style that uses many times the energy of the average world citizen. The are not setting the example of personal conservation, but are demanding a worldwide tax. Some of the same scientists that are so convinced we have global warming were predicting a global ice age 30 years ago (see next issue).

Bible Teaching: While men are commanded to be good stewards of the earth (Gen 2:15), agricultural prosperity depends more on a nation’s righteousness than it does on how it controls the earth’s environment (Lev 26:3-6; Deut 28:1-12). “Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited’” (Jer 17:5-6). Our leaders rarely carry out policies and spend money as promised within their 2 to 6 year terms. They repeatedly borrow from the future to finance programs today. Are we foolish to trust them with huge amounts of tax money to supposedly solve a problem that is 20 or more years in the future—when most of them will no longer be living?

8.   Improve road maintenance and infrastructure—Set proper priorities.

Golden Rule: Citizens form and pay taxes to governments to accomplish things for the common good that they cannot do themselves, such as building roads, railroads, utility systems, etc. Politicians frequently divert money from these projects, to projects of their own. Politicians expect to be paid their promised salary and benefits, they should spend the citizens money in the way they promised

Bible Teaching: Roads should be built to important cities (Deut 19:3) The Bible praises leaders for using their authority for important infrastructure: Solomon built walled cities and an ocean-going fleet (1Ki 9:15-19; 26-28), Hezekiah built a city water system (2Ki 20:20; 2Chr 32:30), Nehemiah organized the repair of city walls (Neh 3); Gaius was a director of public works (Rom 16:23, NIV).

9.    Eliminate laws that violate property rights!

Golden Rule: When there is a dispute as to which city, county, state or country a particular piece of land belongs to, politicians on both sides fight hard to claim that piece of land for themselves. They should similarly recognize  the desire of their own citizens to keep and control their own property.

Bible Teaching: King Ahab knew he had no right to take a citizen’s property, even though he wanted it (1Ki 21). So his wife, Jezebel, made false charges against the citizen, the corrupt court put him to death, and she took the property. Our governments work similarly today—and will be judged like Jezebel if they do not repent.

10.  End Racial Discrimination—Equal Rights for every American and special privileges for none!

Golden Rule: This is so easy to understand, but people just do not do it. For years, our governments had laws discriminating against minorities. Now, there are laws discriminating against the majority. Nobody wants a less-than-equal status at law, so governments should not collect data on people’s races or treat them in any way differently based upon it.

Bible Teaching: “‘One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger who dwells with you" (Num 15:16). “‘You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s”... (Deut 1:17)

These may not be the 10 most important areas of government, but they are much more important than the issues discussed by most legislators, today. These leaders must realize that their authority is ultimately from God (John 19:11; Rom 13:1-7), and that they will be judged for the decisions they make (Ps 110:6; Matt 12:36). If God can hold the unbeliever accountable for his unjust rule, how much more so can he hold the believer accountable? (1Cor 6:2-5).

 

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