Sunday, June 18, 2017

Standing Up for the Truth and for What is Right

Truth is timeless. Truth does not differ from one age to another,
from one people to another
from one geographical location to another …
the great all-prevailing Truth stands for time and eternity.”
-- Billy Graham in Quotes, p. 135., c. 2011.

Christians have been taught to turn the other cheek. In the strictest form, this means that when someone hits you, you turn the other cheek and let them hit you again if they are so inclined, but we are not to hit back. For, Christ said, “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also, and if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.– (Matthew 5: 40. NIV).  In both these situations Christ was telling us that we must resist the evil that is in this world, and not become part of all the evilness by reciprocating with more evil. In other words, we are to let the world see Christ’s love through our actions as well as our words. Therefore, we are to have good actions. So, we are to show our Christian love by not retaliating in an evil way.

This above verse does not mean, though, that we are not to protect our families, loved ones, and our country when the need arises. For, throughout both the Older Testament/ Covenant and the Newer Testament/Covenant there would be times when the Israelites had to protect themselves from the evil that came against them, and God even helped them to win many battles through their faith and reliance upon Him. Indeed, even in A.D. 70 when the Romans wiped out everyone in Jerusalem, the Israelite people were allowed to fight back, but sadly they just weren’t prepared for the large Roman army and the viciousness of the Roman General who starved hundreds to death during the siege. In this particular case, the Jewish people were desperately outnumbered. Moreover, their destruction and the destruction of Jerusalem, as well as their diaspora had been prophesied by Jesus.

   God sent Jesus to save humans from eternal death. Indeed, Jesus came to save those who would believe on Him and repent of their sins as well as to bring in the Kingdom of God that is based upon the love of God and the love of each other. In fact, our (saved) bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit. For the Apostle Paul wrote, “Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price….– (I Corinthians 6: 19, 20. NLT). So, in honoring our bodies as a temple for the Holy Spirit, we are to try not to sin, try not to hurt our bodies, try not to hurt others, and we are not to reciprocate with more evil against the evil that is often thrown our way. This does not mean, however, that we are not to defend ourselves and our families from would be murderers, from violence, and other kinds of evil. Christ was, though, telling us that we are not to be retaliatory in our dealings with people. In other words, if someone says something hateful and mean to us, we are not to try to find ways to get even or hurt them. We are not to sue someone because we want to get even either. For, being vengeful is not showing Christian love to world. It is not representing Christ and His love to the world when we deliberately try to reciprocate hurt to another. In these cases, we are to show Christ’s love to others, by turning the other cheek.

As Christians, we are to teach others about the love of Christ and the Gospel message of Salvation. We can do this in our daily mentoring of others as well as in specific Active Relational Christian Mentoring of one or more individuals. (See The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring: Women Mentoring Women with Christ at the Center by Vicky Lynn Thomas). But, we also need to be able to understand the words of Christ so that if a specific question like “what does it mean to turn the other cheek” is asked, we can then give a clear answer. Consequently, Christians need to study God’s Word and meditate on the Word as well as pray for clear answers to our own questions about certain verses that we need help in understanding. We need to know the Truth. Otherwise, we can take mistakenly take a single verse out of context and become confused over its meaning.

Unfortunately, confusion is often the case with the “turn the other cheek” Bible verse, for Christians have allowed this one verse in the Bible to dictate how we respond to all the evilness in the world. For in turning our cheek within every area of life, we have allowed ourselves to become so complacent about the evil that surrounds us that we sit by and allow those that are evil and who are doing evil things to quietly and determinedly destroy our country and our very lives. We have taken the biblical verse and phrase “turn the other cheek” to mean something that it was never meant to mean. Consequently, we now do nothing to stop the destructive forces that are so determined to destroy all Christians and our country.

Because we have so identified with the “turn the other cheek” verse in the Bible, we do not even choose to use our voices to project truthful words and biblical verses, which can respond to Satan’s arrows of lies and destruction that he continually throws at us through his people who have hidden agendas and lies to tell. For example, Christians and Americans in general are constantly being bombarded by the media and the liberals with false information, lies, and deceit. But instead, of countermanding these things with the Truth, we all sit back and do nothing even when we recognize that they are lies and deceits. To make matters worse, some Christians are so complacent and focused on turning the other cheek that they do not even teach their children to distinguish between the lies and hidden agendas of deceit bombarding them. They and their children just accept the lies and deceit as part of what is happening in the world, and go on and do nothing as if their freedoms will always exist.

The devil is always trying to twist the Truth to his advantage. In fact, “It is Satan’s purpose to steal the seed of truth from your heart by sending distracting thoughts…”  -- (Billy Graham in Quotes, p. 136., c. 2011). Christians, though, should know that the devil has again usurped and used a particular Bible verse, “turn the other cheek”, for his benefit just as he tried to do so but fortunately failed to accomplish when Jesus was alone in the wilderness. (See Matthew 4: 1-11.). But, if we are to protect our freedoms and our Christian life, we have to not only be discerning and always searching for the Truth, but we have to also step up and tell the Truth, just as Jesus did out in the wilderness when Satan tried to tempt Him. Notice that Jesus did not turn the other cheek and just not say anything. Instead, He clearly told the Satan where and how he was wrong and what the correct use of those Bible verses were.

Righteous Rebuttal

We do not have to sit by and do nothing when we know that someone or some entity is telling a lie. Although, Jesus told us to turn the other cheek, He also knew when it was time to take a stand for righteousness. One example of such a stand, occurred after Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem before Passover and before His subsequent death on the cross. Shortly after entering Jerusalem Jesus went to the temple. The Bible says: “And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, ‘Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a House of prayer for all the Nations?’ But you have made it a Robbers’ Den.’”  -- (Mark 10:15-17. NASB).

Notice that Jesus acted upon a situation that was not right. He did not simply say, “Oh well, they will learn someday not to do this,” or “I will just turn my cheek and not say anything.” Instead, Jesus acted. Moreover, He was not sinning when He acted even though He became angry at the money changers. That is because there is a place for righteous anger, just as Jesus became righteously angry with the moneychangers and with those that were selling merchandise in the Temple. This was God’s House, i.e., His Father’s House, and these men were desecrating it.

Christians also have a right to be righteously indignant or angry when we see sin and injustice taking down our neighbors and our country. Why? Because God established Truth, and He established this country on His Truth. This country was created by God. Indeed, God used specific men He had chosen, to establish our Republic which is based and founded upon God’s laws and upon the foundations of the Bible. Obviously, they were not perfect men, for there are no perfect men, but God brought together a unique group of men who had a love for the divine and who wanted to have the freedoms that God had specifically given to humans to be established for us in this nation and for all future Americans. These freedoms would be enumerated in the Constitution and established for them and for future generations through a new concept; a Republic, i.e. a democratic Republic. No, it was not to be a government based solely upon democracy. It was first and foremost to be a Republic that would use democratic principles in keeping the people engaged for the Republic and their freedoms.

 We were given a special gift to be cherished and maintained through our strong reliance upon God and more specifically through Jesus Christ. However, just as the moneychangers in the Bible desecrated God’s temple, people today have desecrated the Republic that God established for those who have believed in and would follow Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. So, just as Christ became righteously angry and threw the moneychangers and merchants out of the temple, we should also become righteously angry and throw the representatives and senators out of congress who are lying to us and who are acting like the Pharisees who established laws for themselves and not for God. We can do this by voting them out. We can do this by holding them accountable. We can do this by not watching the liberal shows on television and thus not giving them the ratings they hope to receive for their lies.

 There are many legitimate ways that Christians and conservatives can stand up for our country before it becomes a pile of rubble the way that the Temple became a pile of rubble in A.D. 70 when the Romans sacked Jerusalem. We can even start with each of us becoming Active Relational Christian Mentors who can mentor those you need our help, who have yet to come to know Christ as their Savior, or who have not learned in school what our Republic stands for. In our Truthful mentoring, we can teach others how to study the Bible and how to stand up for the Word of God. Whether it is helping another woman through our counseling, coaching, teaching, sponsorship, or just by becoming an accountability mentor/friend, we can all be there to teach the Truth when we see and hear the lies that the left is spewing all the time. We must no longer be passive when it comes to our country and the Truth. We must step forward to mentor the Gospel Truth and then to show people how they can use their voice to stand up for the Truth.

Unfortunately, Christian believers have become passive about many things, because we have only heeded and have only adhered to the one verse in the Bible about turning the other cheek. We have failed to read the whole Bible and to understand what righteous anger is. So, when someone or some entity sins, lies, misleads, or hurts others or us we do not do anything. Certainly, we do not have to become retaliatory and we certainly should not deliberately hurt another person, but we do have the right to stand up for the Truth. Unfortunately, instead of using our brains to find legitimate ways of rebuking the lies and deceit, many Christians have just given up and have accepted the lies and deceits.

Remember that prayer is a powerful way to find answers and to receive help from God. We cannot forget to pray or forget to ask for directions and for strength from Christ in every area of our lives, including to ask Him for help for our country and for the hurting people around us. Instead of just turning the other cheek and allowing ourselves to be walked over, let’s turn to God and Jesus Christ for answers and directions. God wants us to tell others about Him and His Son, so it is safe to say, that He wants our country to stand up for His Truth. But, when we fail to teach others about the Gospel message, when we fail to mentor those that are hurting or need help, or when we fail to set straight the lies that are perpetrated upon us or others, we are not doing what God wants us to do. Furthermore, when we fail to stand up for the Gospel message and the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, we are not doing what God wants us to do. We are failing to live the Truth!

What can Christians do besides just accepting the status quo? Well, Christians can write letters. We can call our congressperson and tell them what we think about certain situations. We can become involved in local politics by supporting the conservative agenda. We can volunteer and work to defeat such a program as planned parenthood and by trying to stop our tax dollars from funding abortions. All along the way, we can actively mentor other women in order to empower them to be all they can be for God, themselves, their families and friends. Indeed, there are many many things that Christian women can do to help our country and to teach future generations about their responsibility to protect and defend our country and its freedoms. What about starting a massive nationwide writing campaign to tell our congressmen and congresswomen how we feel about what they are doing or not doing? There are so many ways that we could stand up for what is right, but we have to actually take the time to do so. What happens, though, when we fail to do anything?

The Repercussions of Our Failure to Rebuttal the Lies

By failing to be righteously indignant and by failing to do something to stand up for our rights, we have allowed the liberals, including the media, and now our elected officials to stomp all over our constitutional rights including our right to say Jesus’ name in public. Instead, of voting out of congress people who have failed to stand up for the religious rights of all Americans, we are now adding more and more liberal and ungodly men and women in Congress. We are even adding more and more Muslims to congress all in the name of fairness and political correctness. Thus, we are sending wolves into the hen house to destroy our Republic, because we have bought into the political lie that Islam is a peaceful and caring religion. That is a blatant lie.

Islam is about taking over the world through aggression and Shira law. Muslims have no intention of standing up for the constitution and assimilating into our way of life. They will continue to lay low until the time comes when they can rise up and change our nation through Shira law, and if that fails then take it over through aggression. But we have only ourselves to blame for what is happening to our nation. Why, because we have become complacent and have turned the other cheek. We have succumbed to the lies of political correctness and the new politically correct definitions for other religions like that of Islam, thus giving them the time to grow and plan as they lie in wait to overtake us. Moreover, we have refused to become indignant with falsehoods and have refused to call the liberal media and the liberals out on their lies and their thievery, because we have been taught to view their sinfulness as just part of the political aspect of being Congress people and of part of being in politics. Some people have turned the other cheek so long that they no longer know the Truth even if it is right in front of them. Or perhaps, we know the Truth within our hearts, but we do not want to be politically incorrect by saying something against the lies that are being told. How sad!

What do you think Christ would be doing if He were here on earth at this present time? I believe He would be doing the same thing that He did when He was here in the first century. He would be calling out the liars, thieves, and murders, for what they have done and for what they continue to do to hurt people, just as Christ called out the Sadducees and the Pharisees back then. He would be stepping up and pointing out the dishonesty and the ungodliness of these people and of the people who support them. For, wrong is always wrong, no matter what century we are in.

Yes, when we stand up for the Truth we take a chance that we will be hurt in some way or another, especially when we step forward with truthful and godly words that others do not want to hear. But, we need to stand for something, or we will fall for anything. That “anything” can be devastating too, for it can lead to the destruction of our nation or to the destruction of our right to express our belief in Jesus Christ and God. We must know, though, that even when we are threatened, we need to stand up for Truth and honesty, but above all we need to stand up for the Truth of God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. ‘For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?’– (Matthew 16: 24-26. NASB).

Taking Up Our Cross and Following Christ 

What does this verse mean? Well, any time that we suffer in some manner or another for identifying with Christ and for spreading the Gospel message, we are taking up our cross for the Lord. In foreign countries, this can mean that someone is persecuted or is actually killed for their belief in Jesus Christ. For us here in America, it may not mean that we have been persecuted or have been afflicted because of our belief in Christ, although we are beginning to see this type of persecution happening more and more often. We are now seeing this type of persecution happening with Christians who own businesses and are then expected to put aside their religious beliefs in order to not be sued or in order not to be shut down by the government or by those who would decide to boycott them. But for most of us, the way that we will suffer for Christ is only when we actually deny ourselves what we really desire in order to do the will of God.

Some of Christians will deny themselves the comforts of America by giving up their cushy lives in order to be missionaries in areas that take them far away from home. Thus, they give up the luxuries that they may desire in order to do the work of Christ. Others will give up lucrative careers in order to do the work of God. Most of us, though, will at the very least have to give up some of our leisure time in order to actively serve and mentor another for the Lord. But all of the things that we give up in order to do work for the Lord and in order to serve Him and others will come under the category of “taking up your cross to follow Christ”. However, there will always be repercussions either personal or community wide if we fail to step forward to serve and to do the will of God. One of those repercussions could be the eternal death of someone for whom we failed to share the Gospel message. Perhaps we failed to be there for someone who really needed our help and they subsequently led a different life than they could have led. Do you think about those people that you have failed to help?  

Another way that we can take up our cross and follow Christ is to stand up for what God has established as a godly nation. We may be abused for telling the Truth, for contacting our representatives, and for contacting newspapers about things that are not right in society, but if we do it in a kind and caring way progress can be made. Remember, how Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up to those who would put black people down. He was peaceful and always looking for ways to use the Words of God to express the truth to those who couldn’t see the truth for the blinders that they had on. This country had made a lot of progress through the example of Martin Luther King Jr. But, when Barack Obama came on the scene, people forgot the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and again turned to violence and lies to get what they wanted. The peacefulness and growth of our country was set back decades due to Obama. The progress that Martin Luther King Jr. had made was overlooked when Obama came on the scene with his ideas of black persecution and continual blame of the white people. Again, we see the repercussions from blatant lies and deceit. No one, including the media, spoke out against these falsehoods.

Christians cannot blame others for where we are in our country. We must blame ourselves for not stepping up and standing up for the Truth. Instead, of standing for the Truth, we have turned the other cheek and allowed our country to slide down the steep slope into an ever-deepening valley of political mud made up of a valueless society that exists on lies and the dreams of the elite who wish to overtake our country and turn it into a communist country. We are to blame for doing nothing.

Yes, we have to use the Bible and God’s words and the truth to rebut the falsehoods perpetrated upon society. It isn’t easy, and one person alone may not be able to do much to stop the progress of these propaganda falsehoods. But if Christians constantly pray, God will hear us and the Holy Spirit will guide us in how we are to speak the Truth. God will show us what all Christians can do to save our nation. But, it all starts with learning to love our neighbors as ourselves. We do not have to be belligerent, hateful, vindictive, or mean when talking to others about our country or God. But, we do have to speak up and tell the Truth. Otherwise, we will have nowhere to live that is free and filled with love. We have to tell the true history of our nation and not accept these made up watered down liberal versions of American history that are now in our children’s school books. We also have to share the Gospel message with others, and we have to do the will of God as directed by the Holy Spirit.

Standing up for Christ and the Gospel

Obviously, we know that standing up for Christ and the Gospel can be dangerous, but doing nothing can be just as dangerous in the long run. The disciples ended up being killed for the Gospel message that the authorities did not want to hear about and did not want others to hear. Just as there were back in the first century, there are Christians today throughout the world that are being killed or harassed for their belief in Christ. Yet, we here in America sit back with very little persecution at present. Unfortunately, we are still willing to accept the possibility that socialism, or worse communism, will take over the government of the United States by doing nothing to speak up for the Truth about socialism and communism. Instead, we have to stop the college professors glorified propaganda of socialism and communism by taking our children out of those colleges or not paying for them to attend them in the first place. If we do not do anything to stop the onward roll of lies and propaganda we will reap what we have not sown; weeds which results in persecution. Indeed, the insidious goals and agendas of the Universities and Government agencies to willingly promote the lack of free speech by shutting down the opposing views of conservatives or by shutting down those people who don’t adhere to what they believe in results in the loss of many freedoms.

The first loss of freedom is the right of people to express themselves, or our right to free speech. The next loss of freedom will be the freedom of religion or the loss of our right to worship God and Jesus Christ. Then the next loss of freedom will be the loss of the right of people to make a living doing by doing what they want to do, as the government through socialism and then communism will tell people what they have to do. If we do not want these things to happen, we must rebut them with words and writings and through what is left of the democratic process.

Sadly though, Christians who give great amounts of money to certain educational institutions do not even pull their children from the colleges and universities that have become liberal cesspools of propaganda and who trample upon the constitution even when they realize that their children are marching against their own hard fought for freedoms and especially against the freedom of speech. Just as importantly, many Christians do not tell their children that they cannot go to a liberal college for at least the first two years of their college life so they can be grounded in the truth of a conservative college first. Instead, most parents allow their children to choose where they want to go college based upon where their friends are going or based upon the fun times that they have heard that they can have at that university.

There is another reason that certain parents will go into great debt to send their child to a prestigious college or university. That reason is the parent’s ever-present need for prestige and being able to tell others that their child has graduated from some ivy league or prestigious college or university. Unfortunately, most parents fail to think about the type of education or type of professors that will be teaching/ brainwashing their children before they agree to a particular college for their child. But it is very important for Christians to think about and first pray about the college that they will invest their money in for the education of their child. Christians should also teach their child to pray to God for guidance in choosing the college that will give them the best well-rounded education possible.

Christians have many choices to make when standing up for God and for the truth. From where we go to church, to where we will send our children to college the choices are enormous. Then we add to all to those choices the decisions or lack of decisions that we make in regard to standing up for the Truth in all aspects of life and in doing what is right for our nation, and the choices can become overwhelming. This is where we should turn to God and do not allow the devil to overwhelm us.

We are to pray for direction, guidance, and help. We are to ask God how we can tell others the Truth, how we can stand up for the future of our nation, how we can stand up for Christ, and what we can do to strengthen our freedoms for now and for future generations. But we have to take the time to pray. Then we have to take the time to do what God has shown us that we can do. So, whether it is mentoring an acquaintance, sharing the Gospel with a stranger, or writing to your congress people, we all have a responsibility to serve God and His Kingdom every day. You can do it! You can be that Christian mentor for others. You can be that dedicated prayer warrior. You can stand up for the Truth in regard to our country and in doing what is right. We just have to give up a little of our leisure time for God, neighbors, friends, family, and country. You can become an Active Relational Christian Mentor and become a serving Christian!

Indeed, The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring by Vicky Lynn Thomas is a good book that will help you find ways to stand up for the Truth. This book will also show you how to become excited about Christian mentoring and how to find ways of incorporating mentoring into your life. You can order the book from Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Google play, iTunes, etc.   

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