FIRST THINGS FIRST
Rt. Rev. Robert S. Biermann
I almost find it hard to believe, but just over 72 years ago during the Second World War (June 6, 1944) brave allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in France. This unprecedented military armada was the beginning of the liberation of western Europe and the defeat of Nazi Germany just under a year later.
Shortly after the invasion, President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the nation in prayer. You can hear his prayer and radio address to the nation by clicking here.
There was a time that our nation was very public in our Christian heritage. There was a time, regardless of your political persuasion, God was highly honored in our lives, our schools, our communities and in ALL levels of Government. How times have changed in a generation.
The 10 Commandments on the United States Supreme Court Building
I firmly believe that BOTH major political parties have mocked and/or misused God. The Republicans have used those of faith by making promises they never intended to keep, and the Democrats (the party of FDR that openly prayed to God) has seemingly have gone out of their way to push God from the public square. Leaders of BOTH parties have willfully violated the 8th Commandment in not telling the truth among others.
I remember during my studies for the ministry trying to fully comprehend St. Paul's letter to Timothy where he states: "A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear." (2nd Timothy 4:3 GOD'S WORD® Translation)
In my lifetime I have witnessed how once faithful church bodies have turned their backs on God, distorted His Word and now celebrates and enshrines that which God clearly forbids. Almost 2000 years of consistent teaching has been jettisoned for the sake of political expediency and personal indulgence.
The truth is your politics and your faith are NOT mutually exclusive. I have been criticized for often pointing out what God's Word has to say on a particular matter, regardless of the cultural or partisan backlash. Even those I consider friends (who claimed to be followers of Christ) will put their politics over what God's Word clearly says.
It is amazing, when someone is confronted with what God says (to which they disagree) they become very defensive and attempt to shut down the discussion and become CLOSED minded to God's absolute and UNCHANGING Word and Truth. They want all the benefits without the obedience. the In the United States we have the freedom to believe or not believe. Our faith (currently) costs us nothing. In many parts of the world that is not the case.
While there are many things on which Christians can "agree to disagree" without betraying the absolutes of the faith, God's Word is absolutely clear on a number of social and moral issues where there is NO room for debate. On a number of critical issues facing our nation our opinions and votes do NOT control or bind an almighty God.
"Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows he will reap in return. The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:7-8)
To mock God is to disrespect, dishonor, or ignore Him. It is a serious offense committed by those who have no fear of God or who deny His existence. The most easily recognized form of mockery is disrespect typified by verbal insults or other acts of disdain. It is associated with ridicule, scoffing, and defiance. Mockery is a dishonoring attitude that shows low estimation, contempt, or even open hostility.
But the most subtle mockery of God, and the most dangerous, comes from those who claim to be followers of Christ. These are those that will behave with an outward show of spirituality or godliness without an inward engagement or change of heart.
Charles G. Finney, a preacher in the 1800's, wrote about the effects of mocking God: "To mock God is to pretend to love and serve him when we do not; to act in a false manner, to be insincere and hypocritical in our professions, pretending to obey him, love, serve, and worship him, when we do not. . . . Mocking God grieves the Holy Spirit, and sears the conscience; and thus the bands of sin become stronger and stronger. The heart becomes gradually hardened by such a process." The bible adds that we ultimately deceive ourselves.
The truth is you can turn your back on the messenger and message. You can criticizes what I and others say from God's Word all day long, but God's Word NEVER changes. What does Jesus Himself have to say? “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ " (Matthew 7:21-23 New King James Version)
So what will it be? In Psalm 146: 3-5 we read: "Do not put your trust in princes, (I.E Government) in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God."