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Posts Tagged ‘government’

A Quick Political Thought

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 20, 2010


What is the perfect political landscape?

We have seen in the past 19 months what happens when one party has a virtual super-majority. Say what you want on the political realm, one thing is definitely true, more laws have been written, rules created, taxes taken, debt incurred, money spent, and powers shifted than in any time in recent history and probably all of US history.

So what would we get if the power swung to the right to the same degree over the next couple elections?  Most likely, more of the same… too many new laws written, rules created, money spent, etc.

I propose an alternative.  51/49 split in the Senate to the political Right, 50/50 split in the House, and keep the President. At the next election, reverse it all. Elect a Right sided President, a Left leaning Senate and 50/50 House. Continue this process alternately, indefinitely.

Simple theory here – Only that which really matters will actually get done because it will take actual common ground to do it.

No new theoretical manipulations can be applied to the economy; no pie-in-the-sky dreams can be implemented. We’ll just have a government with little power and a people that are free to fix the economy themselves because the government, for the most part, will be out of the way.

Oh, yeah, and someone in the court that would actually enforce the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Thoughts anyone?

 

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Can the Star Spangled Banner Stand?

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 25, 2009


The Star Spangled Banner (our national anthem for those unsure of the title) is a very brilliant anthem.

This great anthem is totally written in the form of a question.

Why a question?

Francis Scott Key wrote it so that every time you hear or sing it, you will reevaluate, “Is it still true today as it once was?”  He wrote it in 1814 when the British attacked Ft. McHenry.  When he witnessed the large flag still standing over the fort at the end of the battle, he wrote the poem which would later become the nation’s song titled, “Defense of Fort McHenry.”

Let’s take a look line by line, and while doing so, ask yourself, “Can the Star Spangled Banner Stand as it once did?”

Oh say can you see?

This is question that every American should be asking every day.  Can you see what’s happening to our nation, to our freedom, to the things that made this country great? Is the greatness of this nation and its freedom deteriorating?  Not only that, but are we still the leader of the free world, or are we becoming the follower of the rest of the world that has given up their individual rights and freedoms?

By the dawn’s early light…

What will the “new day” bring?  A progressive view says, “We need to change?” But do we, and if we do… What will that change look like?  Darkness is blackest just before the dawn.  Don’t surrender everything we are just because it seems to be night.  For the light is going to come and show that the flag of freedom is still needed.

What so proudly we hail

I am a believer in Jesus Christ first.  That said… I love the nation God has chosen to allow me to live in.  There is now, nor has there ever been (except for early Israel) a greater nation.  Freedom here has historically been the banner we fly under.  The most known symbol of that freedom stands in a New York harbor.  It’s at the end of our pledge “liberty and justice for all”.  I am a believer first, but while I breathe in this flesh, I am proud to be an American!

At the twilight’s last gleaming

I will be proud to be an American til the last bastion of our freedom still remains.  Once that is gone, I will fight hard at the last twilight to win her back! That day is fast approaching, may God continue to show us the grace we do not deserve for the sake of our children.

Whose broad stripes and bright stars

Thirteen colonies became thirteen states.  The intent to start something that had never been tried (white), the blood of men and women that gave their lives for the freedom of the people (red), the robes of leadership we have shown the world over the past 200 years (blue) and the brightness of 50 states united as one (stars).

Through the perilous fight

A heavy, heavy, heavy HEAVY price has been paid for our freedom.  Freedom is not free and it cannot be legislated from Congress, it is earned by the people willing to stand firm on principle while the truth is the only thing marching on.

O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming

Ramparts  represent the walls of defense that must be put up to hold back the tides of change that take us from our position.  We cannot back down and thus let the walls fall else, the flag will cease to stand for anything.

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there

The battle now is not on a battlefield, but in the hearts, minds and souls of every American out there.  We must remember what made us a great nation and never forget.

Glenn Beck has an illustration – In 2001, September 10th, we were apathetic, caught up in our own world. On September 11th, we cried together, our world was shattered and we were broken. But on September 12th, we were united, we lived and loved, we remembered why we were the greatest nation on the earth.

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

That day, September 12th, the flag was still there.  Is it still waving today?

O’er the land of the free

Freedom is not, never has been and never will be the government taking care of us.  It has always been people loving people, with the government ensuring that our freedom is not destroyed. Are we still free?

And the home of the brave

You cannot be free without being brave.  Brave men and women died to give it to us, and it will take brave people to hold on to it.

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What’s a Believer to do about our Political Situation?

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 29, 2009


Intro:

This article is a bit longer than normal, and certainly more political than most of the ones I publish, but I felt such an urgency to write it that it kept me up half the night.  I finally succumbed to the drive to write and woke up at 5 AM on a Saturday morning to put it all down… That in itself should tell you something.

The UnderGroundChurch Pupose:

The purpose of the UnderGroundChurch is to prepare the church and anyone seeking God for the days ahead which include new methods of doing church in an increasingly hostile environment and understanding the environment from prophetic angle so that as things occur in our American society, we can take hope that no matter what actually happens in America, two things are always true:

1)      America, as great as she once was and to some degree still is, is not the center of God’s plan.

2)      God has a plan that will unfold.  It will be messy, and that is by design.  It is not to be feared if you are a believer, but to be embraced as a time of refining, rebuilding, reorganizing and revival in the church. 

The Dream:

Last night, I dreamt of a changing world.  It was such a powerful dream that I still remember every detail of it, which for me is extremely rare.  The following is that dream.

My family and I just installed a pool at the house (that’s the good part, hope that it comes true someday). As we are swimming in the rather frigid waters, I was talking of creating a solar heater system to make the water somewhat bearable.  As we were conversing, two rocket ship like objects blasted out of the earth about a mile away in town.  They looked almost alien in their appearance with technologies that couldn’t be manmade.

They landed on the town, sprouted four legs each and began a journey that lead them straight toward us.  As they walked along, their powerful pace and frightening appearance cause everyone around to pause in fear.  I looked to the street where some military vehicles pulled up.  I was set back by their inactivity; I mean, they are the military here to protect us, so why weren’t they shooting it or something?

I walked over to them after the craft stepped over our house, and as I approached, I saw them waving green flags that had a camouflage pattern.  This certainly intrigued me, so I asked them what they were doing. Their answer literally woke me from my slumber.

The soldier there told me that everyone would be issued three flags.  As the robot like crafts passed by, you were to wave the flag that represented your support for our government.  The first flag was the one the soldiers were waving.  It represented support for the current government.  The camouflaged nature of the flag meant that your support didn’t necessarily mean you agreed with everything, but that you wouldn’t do anything about it even if you didn’t agree; therefore, your support was implied, and you were safe.

The second flag was white with some symbols I didn’t recognize in a circle in the middle.  The white flag told the alien looking craft that you were a believer, and that you wanted to practice your faith.  You were committing to practice your faith in so far as you didn’t speak against the current system of government, and that you weren’t going to make any waves.  You were just going to be spiritually minded and not concerned with the political or social environment around you.

The final flag was red. This represented you as a rebel to the ways of the government and that you opposed the direction the government was taking and that you were willing to fight for freedom.

In the absence of waving a flag, the default interpretation of your intention was that you were a “red flag waver”.  A red flag waver was the enemy and would be captured or killed on site to preserve the new American way of life.

Waking Thoughts:

As I awoke, I reviewed the dream and was reminded of a speech almost a half-century ago in 1961 that Ronald Reagan gave about the threat that lay before the American people.  This speech, which I was reminded of recently and which I have posted below, coupled with the changing times made me think of the challenge before the believer.  Do we get involved?  If so, how involved do we get?

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:

  • from bondage to spiritual faith
  • from spiritual faith to great courage
  • from courage to liberty
  • from liberty to abundance
  • from abundance to selfishness
  • from selfishness to complacency
  • from complacency to apathy
  • from apathy to dependency
  • from dependency back to bondage.

—unknown

The Constitution was given as a framework of the nation for two reasons:

1)      To limit the powers of the federal government, giving governmental powers not specifically granted in the Constitution to the state governments (see the unenforced 10th Ammendment)

2)      To protect the citizenry of this great nation for a government that, by design, seeks to grow its power, intrude in people’s lives, oppress its people and in the end, control everything – thus ending our republic (See the first 10 Amendments, a.k.a. the Bill of Rights)

The Bill of Rights aren’t freedoms granted by the government for us, they are our protection measures given to protect us from an out of control government.  Over the past 50 years, those rights have been diluted by ideologies foreign to the framer’s original intent.  The Constitution is no longer a framework, but an obstacle.  Freedom is no longer a right by default, it is a privilege given to a few.

What is Our Precedent?

Again, I ask, “So what is the believer to do?”  Is there Biblical precedent to do anything? Is their historical precedent to do anything?

Biblically speaking, there is a precedent.  Nations don’t just popup out of thin air, they are made.  God made a nation called Israel with rules, laws and ceremonies to govern their activities.  It wasn’t just a gathering of people to worship him; it was a nation under God to be governed by the will of God.

In the New Testament, there is not much political precedent to “rebuild” government, but rather an underground approach to change the hearts and mind of the leaders.  God wasn’t building a church-state, but a people whose hearts were bent toward him.

Paul actually sacrificed his freedom, rights and dignity for the chance to change the heart of Caesar.  He willingly was led captive to Rome so that in the hopes of real change, he might show the leader of the world the love and power of a humble Messiah; any governmental change would have been a byproduct of that change in the heart of Caesar.

Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, a group of God fearing, Bible believing men made a choice to break from a tyrannical king to create a new nation with the hope of freedom.  It cost many, many lives to establish that new nation, and many more to keep it, but in the end, it became one nation, under God which impacted the world in ways never before seen.

What makes the founding of this nation unique is that never before was a nation created by the people for the people.  It was designed specifically to allow for the people to drive the growth of the nation.  It was not the intention of the framers to take on power over people but to empower the people.  Freedom was granted to the people and only the people could choose to give it away.

What next?

This is a tough question to answer.  At what point does out nation cross that line where the vote no longer works, where freedom is gone, where society is lost to government control, where the “American dream” for a brighter future gives way to an “American memory” of what once was?

A day may come when the people’s voices are no longer heard and a rebellion foreseen as possible by the framers of our nation actually manifests. That day I believe is sure to come as long as a thirst for freedom still exists in our nation.

This is a possible outcome, but is not necessary if we can take action while our voice is not silenced.  We are believers first, but as believers in America, we are obligate to work hard to set a tone for America. 

In setting that tone, we must always understand that you can’t legislate morality, virtue and character.  You can’t “make” people believe in God; you can’t force your opinions on others.  Unfortunately, the government is not bent that way and because they are men and women given power, they can be corrupted and lose sight of why they are there in the first place… to defend freedom.

We must fight for the hearts and minds of the American people.  That is our first call.  You don’t legislate change, but you can inspire people.  If the last campaign taught us anything, it taught us the power of inspiration. 

The Political Tone:

President Obama won the election without telling anybody what he actually believed, how he was actually going to do anything, without any opposition, without any leadership or governing experience, without any executive or military experience.  He won with one word, “change”, which in itself doesn’t say anything.  However, the word spoke to people because they wanted something different, and they didn’t really care what it was as long as it wasn’t the status quo.  They were voting against the current circumstances, not for the direction that has been set in the past 8 months.

He has set a tone in our government not seen in this country in 50 years.  The tone is one that has been tried for over 100 years and has failed every time it is implemented.  But what it speaks to is the destruction of our political infrastructure, our freedom and our way of life.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties do not exist today.  The Democrats have been taken over by the minority extremists in their party that seek to undermine the whole point of our Constitutional government. The party of JFK, fiscally conservative, socially balanced and defenders of national freedom, has given way to liberal extremism, apologizing to the world for being a leading nation that stands up for absolute truth in the face of relativistic ideology.

The Republican Party has lost its voice, its power and its conservative roots.  The party of Lincoln and Reagan is now leaderless, and the leaders that try to step up are either spineless or shut down by pseudo leaders and the media.

Real Change:

The only political change you can believe in is change back to the system that actually works and not an experiment that has repeatedly failed.  There is a swell of opposition to the current direction of our nation because of legitimate fears that our freedom, our way of life and our history will become a memory. 

As believers in Jesus, we can capture this wave of change and fight to win the hearts and minds of the people, not just for political reasons, but for eternal reasons. 

“By our apathy, by our acquiescence, and by our ignorance, the church of Jesus Christ has consigned itself to irrelevance and impotence in the ongoing struggle for the soul of America.”—Alexis De Toqueville

People are circumstantially driven.  The feelings are based largely on their environment.  Fear is a powerful weapon that is used quite extensively from both the left and right.  Quotes like, “If we don’t pass this legislation now…”  can create a sense of desperation where there really doesn’t need to be panic. 

Believers are not to drive people with fear.  We use the opposite force, FAITH!  Fear and faith are both of the same substance, but have vastly different results. Fear is the belief that it’s all bad; faith is the belief that it’s all good. 

Our Choice Matters

We can cry a rally call for conservative values, Constitutional ways, American spirit, and  Godly principles, but we must do so with a heart of God.  We must stand on truth, not fear.  We must do everything for people, not for selfish interest or power.  We don’t do it to legislate morality and virtue but to facilitate an atmosphere where people have a choice.

The best and worst part of freedom is that we have a choice to make choices.  This is the essence of Love.  Love only exists when the choice not to love exists.  If I have no choice but to love, then I am not truly loving. 

God gave Adam that choice in the garden, and Adam chose not to love.  That choice still exists for each one of us today, and God still waits for our answer. 

So always remember that whether we win or lose, we fight the good fight of faith and that if we don’t operate in love, we are nothing and our message means nothing.

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Independence, Interdependence and Dependence

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 2, 2009


This Fourth of July, we Americans celebrate the Independence of our country from Dependence on Britain through an Interdependence on each other. This is the summary of our nation’s title, “The United States of America”.

This principle defines freedom.  When any part of this is removed, freedom is diminished.  As Dependence upon government grows, freedom diminishes.  As Interdependence on each other lessens, freedom diminishes.  As Independence gives way to “one world governments” and we aim to please as opposed to aiming to lead, then we become less of an independent nation.

Each of these ingredients must be balanced appropriately.  Even in our own lives, true freedom comes when we are independent from sin, interdependent on one another and dependent on God.  If I become dependent on self and less of God or I believe I can be a Christian without interdependence on my fellow believers or I become more independent from God, I become more and more in bondange and less free.

Our freedom as believers is found in Christ; we must become more and more dependent on Him and less dependent on our own strengths and understanding.  Our freedom comes in relying on the gifts of others in the church through blessing one another.  When we function in the strength of a union… a body, then we truly experience power.  The hand can’t tell the foot, I don’t need you.  (1 Corinthians 12:15)

Finally, we need to be more humble in our approach and less “independent”.  We are not “know-it-alls”, we can’t be a Christian on our own, in our own strength; as we do that, we isolate ourselves from the power of God in our lives.

The church is more than a title, it is a function.  It is not a place you go, it is a state of being.

Jesus is more than an escape ticket from Hell, He is a life and freedom giver here on earth today!

So while we celebrate our Nation’s independence with all the pride and excitement it brings, so too celebrate your dependence on God, and remember that it was our nation, under God, founded on a dependence on God that made us great.

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Church! the Tax Man a Cometh!

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 15, 2009


In my previous article, we looked at the reality that the government is going to come looking for new money because it is spending huge amounts of money it doesn’t have, and the church is in its sights.

I ended with two points, the tax man will come looking at the money coming in.  They will tax the church on its income and diminish or remove the tax deductible gift to the non-profit thereby reducing the amount coming in.

There are so many false promises coming out of Washington that it is really hard to keep up.  The one most applicable to this article has to do with not raising taxes on 95% of Americans.  This is simply a lie.  5% of America’s popluation, no matter how rich they seem to be, cannot possibly foot an extra 4 trillion plus dollars over the next 10 years on top of what they already spend in taxes.

What will most likely happen is that they will raise taxes on the rich and then look to other areas like non-profits to raise more.  This will delay them raising taxes on everyone else just long enough to get re-elected.

So how are they going to do this? 

They will use the same method they used to tax corporate executives of the bailed out financial firms when they took bonuses.  They will redirect public opinion to look to “waste” in the non-profit sector – specifically churches, and then they will begin taxing them or removing their non-profit status or reducing the deductible amount given to these organizations.

What will happen to the churches?

First, reducing the tax deductible nature of gifts to non-profits will unfortunately reduce giving. We are blessed in this nation to have our gifts deducted from taxes.  However, most other nations do not have this luxury.  Since our government wants to become more like those nations (e.g. nationalized healthcare), it won’t take much to implement this strategy.

In fact, this has already been tried in the first 100 daysof the present administration. Once the government connects to a new source of income, they will never give it up. This is why tobacco is not outlawed.  They have too many taxes depending on it.

Second, they will look at the “wasteful spending” of churches.  To be honest here, churches are not the best managers of money.  Most of their income goes to non-eternal things (e.g. buildings, heating, lighting, sound systems), and all it will take is swaying public opinion against the “waste”.  Something will happen, hit the news and the talk will never cease until something is done to “fix” this problem. What will follow is taxation on church income.

This will then spread locally.  Those churches that still exist will have their properties taxed in areas where property taxes are collected.  The preceding will hit all charities, not just churches and most will fail. 

Now you’re probably asking why I think this would happen. 

It goes far beyond just taxes to power.  The government is not just on a money binge, but a power grab.  Things are being set up in this administration to install a one party system.  For example, bringing the 2010 Census into the Whitehouse control gives the Whitehousecontrol over redistricting.  Whoever draws those lines, can virtually ensure their candidate gets elected. There was not other reason from bring it into the Whitehouse since it has never been part of the executive powers.

Churches and other non-profits are competition to a socialist style government.  The socialist style government needs to make you (the lowly citizen) completely dependent on them.  If you depend on someone else like the church would be a dilemma.  Look at every socialist and communist government over the past century. The first two things they get rid of are guns and churches.

I heard the president say today that he is going to build a “New Foundation“. He said,

We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity – a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest; where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad.

The foundation he speaks of is the capitalist system that made this country great. (But that is for another article in another place.)

But no matter what happens, the core church will remain.  Don’t fret! Our buildings, sound systems and theater seating is going to burn up on the day of Jesus’ return anyway, but when need to be aware that these things are coming. It is a good thing to lose the world and gain your soul.

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The Church vs. the Money Hungry Government

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 12, 2009


Happy Easter!

Ok, I know that the title of this article is a bit strong, but the reality remains; we have a very money hungry government that is about to go on a binge.

Let’s look at some facts:

According to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), the recently passed $789 billion spendulus bill that was supposed to stimulate the economy will cost an actual $3.27 Trillion over the next 10 years.  The main reason is that it contains items that will have to be renewed annually and a cool $744 billion in debt servicing (interest and the like). Source

That’s like buying a house for $100,000 which will actually cost you $220,000 over the next thirty years because of interest.  Only the building project ran into overruns and you end up paying $200,000 for the house.  Now it is going to cost you $400,000 for that $100,000 house and you have to pay it back in 10 years, not 30 years. To make matters worse, this is a house that you won’t even use.  You already pay for a house somewhere else that you can’t afford; now you are adding to your debt load.

At some point, you won’t even be able to pay the interest on the loans you have with the money you have coming in.  You will need to find new sources of income. 

This is where the government is right now.  They are adding huge amounts of debt at an astonishing rate.  It will break the bank and the government will be forced to look for new sources of income.  Now where can they look?

The rich are always a nice source to tap.  Only problem there is that there are not a whole lot of them around, and that well is going to run dry eventually.  The rich will only allow themselves to be shafted so long and then is astalavista baby. Don’t forget that it is the rich that employ the rest of us.

We know they will never raise the tax on the lower and middle class.  They are the voters that keep them in office.  They are the recipients of all the government prize money. The only thing they will do is lower the top end of the middle class definition, but not too much.  They want to stay in power. (A little sarcasm I know, but it is true)

What other source is available?  What about groups and organizations that don’t pay taxes like non-profits and churches.  It’s time they step up and contribute.

There are two ways the government will do this.  First, they will lower or remove altogether the tax deductible nature of the charitable donation.  Second, they will tax non-profits (including churches) according to their income. 

We will discuss how this is going to unfold in my next article.

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