Below is a the text of both a hard-copy letter and e-mail blast I sent out this morning to everyone I know who names the name of Jesus, or is G-d fearing. We are living through a year where we are constantly receiving diametrically opposed messages from our neighbors, workplaces, media, governmental leadership, and iconic voices from pop culture. We are being asked to both trust science, (when it comes to the World Health Organization), but disbelieve science when it comes to the Covid response of nations like Sweden or states like South Dakota. We ask students to verify their sources, yet daily take in opinion-based current event stories who fail provide a single credible source for their information. We are taught the merits of observational truth, yet are comfortable in denying election judges from all parties observing something as basic as a vote tally!?
It seems we may be reaching an epoch in our society where these bifurcated beliefs have infected our process and methods of voting. We are taught, “Every vote counts”, but can observe dozens of populous counties where more than 100% of the vote has been collected and counted. We are taught “All politics are local”, but then can observe the influence of foreign actors such as George Soros, and nations such as Cuba, Venezuela, and China influencing the vote counting hardware and software of allegedly up to 30 states. Yet, we who know the risen Messiah do not have reason for fear, but to raise our appeal to a higher court than public opinion or even the Supreme Court of the United States. Let’s ask and see what He says today?
Tuesday December 1, 2020
GOOD MORNING! RISE UP AND PRAISE HIM!
I’m sending this to you because I trust your hearts and minds as voices of discernment. There is much contention still in this election process and the allegations are serious enough we need to respond prayerfully to call the Justice of Heaven to intervene. Our nation, in my recollection, is experiencing a time of incredible partisanship. The “us versus them” mentality that is often present only at the times of revolution or great division.
I thank G-d that we are called out of this partisanship and into his kingdom. We are not here to build: the kingdom of the Democrats, the Progressives, the Greens, the Libertarians, or the Republicans to name a few. Like Daniel, we act as the authority of our authorities when we fast, pray, and agree with the eternal laws of heaven. Why did the Lord chastise Israel over dishonest weights and measures so often: Proverbs 11:1 “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord…” Proverbs 20:23 “Unequal weights are detestable to the Lord…” Micah 6:11 “Can I excuse dishonest scales…” Leviticus 19:35-36 “You shall do no wrong in judgment…” Deuteronomy 25:13-16 “You shall not have in your bag differing weights…” Ezekiel 45:9-10 “Stop your expropriations from my people…” Amos 8:4-6 Condemnation of conspiracy to cheat one’s neighbor Hosea 12:7-8 “A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress…” Proverbs 22:28 “Do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set…” He clearly loves honesty and integrity. When we practice these, we also are practicing His Presence in our homes, businesses, and in our city, county, state, and Federal Government.
But… We do have a very clear mandate in I Timothy 2:1-5 to contend in prayer for our civic leaders. We are to pray the Grace and Truth and Justice of the Lord into the legal and political fabric of our society.
This movement, started by Dean Briggs of IHOP KC and Lou Engle, began during the week before Thanksgiving. Even though its “old news” I invite you to join in prayer, worship, and fasting for our 2020 Election process and its aftermath throughout December. Come bring clarity to our confusion, dear bright Morning Star!
A vintage Golden Eagle microphone circa late 1960’s
Let’s begin this transmission with a message broadcast by an author, Qoheleth, likely King Solomon roughly 2400 yrs ago. (One could say it’s a “Golden Oldie”!) This king is alleged to be the wisest human being of all time. We’ll roll this pre-recorded interview for your listening pleasure! Enjoy!
DJ: Qoheleth, is that you?
Q: It is I.
DJ: The people of the future have a pressing question for Your Majesty, are you willing to oblige them.
Q: I am.
DJ: King, live forever! Forgive my many words, but I must explain the backstory of my question because it is from the future.
Q: You may proceed.
DJ: The year is 2020 AD, and it is unlike any before it because the entire world is cowering before a pandemic. Earth’s people are largely shuttered. Their governors’ are practicing a form of soft monocracy; simultaneously shuttering millions of humans from: buying, selling, working indoors, working outdoors, play and recreation outdoors and on the seas, and even closing the doors of their temples forbidding the worship at Passover.
There are many chasms of ethnic strife. There are peaceful protests in the streets as well as fires of insurrection. Instead of solving these problems, face to face, all this melisma and cacophony is filtered through a device known as a computer. This device is neither good nor bad, but is as useful or harmful as its user or programmer. (One who instructs it what to do.)
Natural relationships are disrupted. Children do not know play. There is fear, suspicion, and distrust in those who were comrades and neighbors only months before! People see things going the wrong way, but do not know how to effect change.
Allow me to illustrate further, O King? These peoples have a tradition and a high holy day where they express gratitude; to each other, to their families, to the Most High. Many are forbidden this practice! Even more are disallowed to eat a meal in their own homes, “for their own good”, by their satraps, rector provinciae, governors, and proconsuls. These leaders mesmerize the people with trading liberty for the temporal illusion of security against this omnipresent pandemic.
What say you Qoheleth? What wisdom will you convey to us from Adonai?
“1There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
End of show.
Friends, I am first a man of prayer. I only wish to engage the political culture of this world when it steps on the Laws of Nature, and Nature’s G-d. It is time to raise our voices. It is time to write. It is time to give voice to oppose those who would stifle our humanity; even our expressions of gratitude in the dangerous act of sharing a Thanksgiving meal?!?
Pray Through History: A New Way of Looking at History
Though this post mostly portrays my theology and touches on historiography, I want to bravely lead out with baring my heart. I pray through history out of love of Our Father. I pray because it is a calling. I’m incensed at the wrongs our human race commits towards Him. I’m humbled at my own betrayals of myself, my G-d, and others. We spend so much time academically threading the needle of who is offended by whom at what time in our past, but we rarely, so rarely, if ever look above the heads of our beloved enemies to see the offenses and betrayals committed against the “I AM”. How will we move forward as the human race if we maintain permanent grudges against each other? How do we heal the huge chasms caused by deep and real wounds, “ethnos to ethnos”, if we do not have a way to forgive, and an academy too often stuck in the same trap?
Dear and Holy Messiah, how grateful I am that You made a way! You literally gave Your blood and yielded Your life so that when we, too, are falsely accused and crucified by our neighbor(s); we also will rise again! Forgiveness may be the most costly of all the virtues You exhort us to live by. It is not a feeling that can be manufactured. It is not a commodity that can be bought or sold. It is not an exercise of the mind, or an intellectual “ism”. It is a habit of Your Kingdom; of those eternally committed to unconditional love. It is an impossibility without Your impartations of humility, revelation, and a new heart to replace our hearts of stone.
Though not in Scripture, You crystalized this human condition through the pen of English poet Alexander Pope. About 1711, he wrote a powerful poem entitled so appropriately “An Essay on Criticism, Part II”. What did You speak to us through this beautiful man’s mind but ‘To err is human; to forgive, divine’?!
May You be honored by our repentance, Eternal Father. May we break off the bitter branches of this tree of humanity. May we prune our own branches so that our neighbors may again enjoy Your light! How we love You, and need You this day to survive! Your adoring adopted son, James
A PRAYERFUL MODEL TO ANALYSE HISTORY
I. THERE ARE SPECIFIC ‘MOMENTS OF SEPARATION’ IN HUMAN HISTORY.
> For example, the Seljuk Turks attack Jerusalem.
II. ACTION-BASED JUDGMENTS IN PRESENT TIME.
> Jews to Seljuks, Jews to all Turks, Jews towards any outsider
> Seljuks to Jerusalem’s Jews, Seljuks to all Jews
III. FUTURE JUDGMENTS ARE FORMED BASED ON MEMORY, PERCEPTION, AND BITTER ROOT JUDGMENTS ARE SOLIDIFIED.
> Transference on a cultural scale.
> Perpetuation of offense.
IV. PARTIES ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND JUDGMENTS IN THE LORD’S JUSTICE.
> Even righteous anger betrays the victim. Even if the victim is a city, culture, tribe, or nation. We have been forgiven all, and therefore must forgive all. (This is not easy. The decision of the will may be simple, but the maintaining a heart of forgiveness is divine. )
> This is not an endorsement of living without boundaries, especially personal boundaries. Rather, it is a challenge of the rights of a human being to hold another prisoner by the maintenance of an offense.
V. WE CAN REPRESENTATIONALLY ACKNOWLEDGE HISTORICAL SIN BEFORE OUR LORD.
> Through Christ we have access to his Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. He is present to all history, the present, and future events. He is within time, and beyond our comprehension of time. He knows all and can guide us to pray representationally, (intercession) for events of history, the present, and the future. He truly has unlimited power to forgive, heal, restore any human condition!
>His only limitation is self-imposed: He is a gentleman with boundaries. He believes in good and evil, justice and injustice, lightness and darkness, separateness and relationship. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” We can trust in distinctions because He trusts in distinctions. Denial of sin within the context of our relationship with Him or others offends God because it denies our condition of separateness, or that we may have a need to address. Denial allows us to keep our pride, hold a grudge, or maintain anger. To use an old Baptist analogy,
“The whole world stand under the Niagara Falls of the Lord’s love. Some have their cups turned up and are filled. Others, although they under a deluge of love, can’t seem to keep a drop because their cups are turned upside down.”
VI. THROUGH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HISTORICAL SINS, WE SET THE PROCESS OF RESTORATION IN MOTION.
A. We become aware of historical sin through experience or education.
B. We confess it to the Lord. This is a legal admission of guilt.
C. We pronounce the Lord’s forgiveness of confessed sin. (1 John 1: 8-10)
D. He will guide it through the full process of restoration.
1. Confession leads to remorse.
2. Remorse leads to repentance.
3. Repentance leads to reconciliation.
4. Reconciliation leads to restoration.
VII. ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES OR MANDATES THAT OUTLINE OR AUTHORITY TO PRAY THROUGH HISTORY.
A. “It is never the will of God that the judgment due the wicked should come upon the righteous.” pp 14-15 citing Genesis 18: 23,25 NIV
1.”Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” v. 23 Abraham asks.
2.”Far be it from you to do such a thing-to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” v. 25
B. “Every Christian has dual citizenship.” pp 32-35
1. “By natural birth he is a citizen of an earthly nation, and he is subject to all the ordinances and requirements of his nation’s lawful government. But by spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ, he is also a citizen of God’s heavenly kingdom. This is the basis of Paul’s statement, already referred to in our previous chapter: “We…are citizens of heaven.” Philippians 3:20 NEB
2. Example of dual citizenship: Jeremiah 1: 5,10 NIV
-”I approinted you as a prophet to the nations.” v.5
-”See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” v.10
– Jeremiah was subject as a citizen of Judah: “he did not “preach or practice political subversion or anarchy. Nor did he ever seek to evade or resist decrees made by the government concerning him, even though these were at times arbitrary and unjust. Yet on the spiritual plane to which God elevated him through his prophetic ministry, Jeremiah exercised authority over the very rulers to whom he was in subjection on the natural plane.”
Derek Prince, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting, (Springdale, PA: Whittaker House,1973)
Mark 2:1-12 NIV
v 5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “ Son, your sins are forgiven.”
v 10. “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…”He said to the paralytic, v11. “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
“It is interesting to note that in John 20:22-23, Jesus breathes upon his disciples to receive the Holy Spirit, and then pronounces, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Jesus is giving the church the authority to announce His forgiveness in the lives of those who come to Him in faith. We do not have the innate ability to forgive anyone’s sins against God, or to withhold God’s forgiveness of sins from anybody. But Jesus has given the church the authority to act as His regents or representatives in the world, and to speak on His behalf. We can declare that “God forgives you” with all the authority of Jesus, because we are not declaring our forgiveness, but rather His forgiveness in Christ. We are merely pronouncing the forgiveness made possible by the sacrifice of Christ.”
Timothy Tennent, President Asbury Theological Seminary
His Holiness John Paul II, First Sunday of Lent, “Day of Pardon” Presentation
12 March 2000
I. The meaning of the celebration
1. On 12 March 2000, the First Sunday of Lent, the Holy Father will celebrate the Eucharist with the Cardinals and will ask forgiveness from the Lord for the sins, past and present, of the sons and daughters of the Church.
The celebration of the Day of Pardon was expressly desired by the Holy Father as a powerful sign in this Jubilee Year, which is by its very nature a moment of conversion.
“As the Successor of Peter, I ask that in this year of mercy the Church, strong in the holiness which she receives from her Lord, should kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters. All have sinned and none can claim righteousness before God (cf. 1 Kgs 8:46)… Christians are invited to acknowledge, before God and before those offended by their actions, the faults which they have committed. Let them do so without seeking anything in return, but strengthened only by the ‘love of God which has been poured finto our hearts’ (Rom 5:5)” (Incarnationis Mysterium, 11; cf. Terno Millennio Adveniente, 33).
2. Consequently, the Church, in a Eucharistic celebration at the beginning of her Lenten journey, and thus in an act of thanksgiving to the Lord, confesses, proclaims and glorifies God’s work within her during the past two thousand years of Christianity. The Lord has been living and present in his Church, and through the Saints he has demonstrated that he continues to be at work in human history, in the midst of his community. Certainly, Christians, as pilgrims and wayfarers towards the Kingdom, remain sinners, frail, weak and subject to the temptations of Satan, the Prince of this world, despite their incorporation into the Body of Christ. In every generation the holiness of the Church has shone forth, witnessed by countless numbers of her sons and daughters; yet this holiness has been contradicted by the continuing presence of sin which burdens the journey of God’s People. The Church can sing both the Magnificat for what God has accomplished within her and the Miserere for the sins of Christians, for which she stands in need of purification, penance and renewal (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8).
3. “The Church cannot cross the threshold of the new millennium without encouraging her children to purify themselves through repentance of past errors and instances of infidelity, inconsistency and slowness to act” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 33). Consequently, a liturgy seeking pardon from God for the sins committed by Christians down the centuries is not only legitimate; it is also the most fitting means of expressing repentance and gaining purification.
Pope John Paul II, in a primatial act, confesses the sins of Christians over the centuries down to our own time, conscious that the Church is a unique subject in history, “a single mystical person”. The Church is a communion of saints, but a solidarity in sin also exists among all the members of the People of God: the bearers of the Petrine ministry, Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.
Please pray for me to stay centered in the Lord. I wake up most days with a sense of heaviness for our state that has publicly weighed the expression of our worship as “non-essential”. Though I know that we serve a Savior that is omnipresent, I feel remorse that we have not responded in grace and truth to the governor, and his limitations imposed on every house of worship. Where is the masculine leadership of the Church of Minnesota to kindly, respectfully, but firmly stand up to the notion that taking communion, common prayer, common worship and fellowship is as valueless to our society as pumping gas?
He is our fuel! He is our grocery store! He is the department store for our spirit! He is worthy of the respect shown to Holiday, Cub, Target, and Walmart. Lord, if Gov. Walz is truly and sincerely acting from a place of benevolence, why is there no public recognition of the sacrifice of the Church of Minnesota? Why hasn’t our Governor made statements to assure our houses of worship that they will fully retain their inalienable freedoms of religion? Where is the law or precedent that a Governor can regulate, monitor, or insert state controls on the practice of our faith and worship?
If you know the answers to any of these questions, please tell me. My understanding of our law is that it based on the idea of apportionment, the idea that we can and should expect an even and proportional application of the law. Does this mean we can expect Walmart to limit itself to 10 shoppers at time like our cathedrals and large sanctuaries? Will G-d’s house be limited to 10 guests at a time irregardless of size? Shall all food sales, whether packaged or fresh or fast foods be restricted like a communion served only through a table at the door?
What about the spiritual ramifications of touch: in prayer? in baptism? in marriage? in mourning? Are the expressions of our humanity less valued if they come in the Name of the Lord than our neighbors who handle sod, install doors, or serve coffee? Must we wear PPE to remain human?
It seems that these issues all hinge on choice and responsibility. If Governor Walz is the arbiter of health, then it follows logically that we are not responsible for our own health, and the state must make choices for us. Yet, for 244 years, the opposite is the norm. We have the precedent given us by the 9th and 14th Amendments to retain choices not expressly given to the Federal or State governments.
“In sum, the Ninth Amendment simply lends strong support to the view that the “liberty” protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments from infringement by the Federal Government or the States is not restricted to rights specifically mentioned in the first eight amendments.” Cf. United Public Workers v. Mitchell, 330 U.S. 75, 94–95.
Lord, come stand between us and Governor Tim Walz. You have made him our legal authority whom we esteem, honor, and regard. Will You resolve this painful issue between the worshippers of Minnesota, and our Governor? We do not wish to become outlaws, but we must not fail by ceasing to worship You. We need You for our survival! We need Your Body for our survival! Come Lord Jesus; show us again that worship is essential!