If through some grievous error, I were invited to deliver a sermon on a Sunday morning at a Church, it would go this way:
What God wants could be summed up as: ask and you shall receive.
I won’t try to explain the conditions under which asking works for you.
But suppose it does. The question then becomes: what will you do with what you received?
I think many people would answer: help the less fortunate.
But suppose the less fortunate turns out to be 99% of EVERYBODY?
And further, suppose 99% of everybody is less fortunate owing to actions taken against them by oppressive rulers?
If you use what you received from God to alleviate a tiny fraction of the suffering experienced by everybody under the heel of oppressive rulers…fine. But isn’t it clear that the wave of suffering will continue, because these rulers simply don’t let up, don’t stop?
Therefore, wouldn’t it be moral and wise to stand up against the rulers?
Now I realize your pastor doesn’t preach this “standing-up-against” on Sundays. He probably doesn’t want to think about it. And neither do you.
Based on my limited knowledge of the Bible, I don’t recall God saying, “Refrain from thinking about what bothers you.”
In fact, you could say the whole Bible was written to interrupt people who were refraining from thinking about bothersome things.
So where did your pastor and you get the idea that religion involved avoiding bother?
Standing up against the State—every State, sooner or later, becomes oppressive—is the rational and moral and wise thing to do, after you’ve received what you asked for from God.
This is my view.
Is this also God’s view?
I don’t know. I’m not sure how He operates, or in how many dimensions. I suspect intermediaries have set themselves up as God, in acts of forgery. They pretend to be the highest God, but they aren’t.
All in all, I would say that if God gives you what you asked for, He would be pleased to see you use it for a good purpose. You’ve heard my reckoning and analysis, and you can take it for what you think it’s worth.
With this caveat: If you reason your way into avoiding standing up against your oppressive rulers, ask yourself whether this is a self-serving bit of sophistry. An excuse. A way out. A con, in which you’re both the perpetrator and the victim.
Ask yourself seriously. It won’t take long to arrive at an answer.
This is a nice church. It’s a bit too comfortable for my taste. Everyone here seems relaxed. The Bible, from my memory of it, isn’t a relaxing book. It isn’t something you nod yourself to sleep with at night.
Everyone here this morning is dressed up. As a sign of respect. I understand that. I’m sure some of you thank God for saving your lives. I understand that, too. But now that you’re saved, what do you want?
Ask and you shall receive. But then comes that question: what do you with what you receive?
Doesn’t the Bible contain a number of accounts of wicked men? And aren’t those men in positions of power? Aren’t many of them rulers? Isn’t God concerned with these rulers? Isn’t He making a clear distinction between Earthly powers and His power?
Doesn’t it stand to reason that a church created in His name would do the same?
Am I missing something? I don’t think so.
I know this church closed its doors when your Earthly rulers mandated the lockdowns. I know many of you have taken the vaccine because your rulers commanded it. I haven’t heard your pastor voice passionate objections to these orders. I haven’t seen him refuse to obey the ruling men. And none of you challenged him.
That’s odd. Strange. I would call it a reversal of religious morality.
Perhaps that’s why, when I see you at prayer, bowing your heads, I see the opposite of what I’m supposed to see.
I see you submitting to your oppressive rulers.
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