Patriot No More

Patriot No More

comrade-putout-putin-jokePatriotism is in the air, it is election time and we are being bombarded with TV and Radio ads, junk mail, internet ads, billboards, and yard signs promoting one candidate or another.  My wife works for a company that requires that she belong to a union, I used to be a card carrying member of the NRA and a registered republican.  Every day the mailman brings the union mailers telling us how the republicans must be stopped, and republican mailers telling us how we must act to stop the democrats from destroying our country.  Sometimes I wonder what the mailman thinks of our household based on the junk mail he has to deliver every day.   He must wonder which way we lean, left or right.

I used to lean right, hard conservative Christian right, but that was a long while ago.  Today I am free of that crap, I no longer participate in politics at all.  I used to debate with my liberal friends, I felt it my patriotic duty to spread ‘conservative principals’ and promote ‘Christian values’.  I would watch the “liberal television media” and shout at the television when I felt that they were distorting the truth.  I listened to right wing talk radio and I shunned “Liberal” talk radio.   I was a bible believing Christian who thought he had to stand up for all that was right and good, I believed that God needed my help to fight the good fight, and of course I was a proud American and a Patriot!

 

I Once Was Blind

I remember asking a “progressive” friend once, “Aren’t you proud to be an American”?  I was shocked to hear him admit that he was not.  It’s funny really when I think about it now, I was such an idiot at the time.  One day my unpatriotic friend shared a cartoon with me.  In the cartoon there were two potted plants next to each other.  The pots were identical and the plant in the pot on the left was saying to the plant in the pot on the right “I am proud I was planted in this pot, and not that pot”.  There was a caption at the bottom that read “Patriotism”.  It was about then that it started to occur to me how ridiculous the idea of patriotism really is.  How can I have pride in the fact they I was born in the United States?  I had nothing to do with where I was born, did you?  Don’t get me wrong, I am very glad that I was born here and not someplace else, but as I said, I can take no credit in being an American, I was born one.   I guess someone who moved her from another country and studied to meet the requirements could take some pride in being an American, but if you were born here, you have nothing to be proud of.  I don’t think I would want to live in any other country, but I can no longer identify as a proud American.  I am an American, not by choice but by birth.   God chose the pot I was planted in, not me.  It would be silly for me to express any amount of pride in being an American.

 

But Now I See

Up until about seven years ago, everything that I believed was taken from other people.  I considered myself to be open minded.  I adopted my beliefs from many places.  Many of my beliefs came from my parents, many from life experiences, and the rest came from the ideas of others that seemed to make sense to me.  Over a lifetime I had accumulated a set of ideals that I felt were pretty solid.  I later discovered that, with the exception of the ideas of right and wrong that my parents taught me when I was young, almost everything else I had adopted as truth was crap, especially the things that my political party and my religion had taught me.

 

Craptastic

“God is Love” and “I hate to break it to you, but non-christians are going to burn in hell for eternity.”  Say What?  How can these two things be true?  Well, William H, a seminary student and prayer warrior, made it his mission to convince me that both of these things were in fact truth.  William sure knew how to quote from his English translation of the sacred scriptures.  He had an arsenal of verses to support his beliefs.  He could quote scripture and the ‘church fathers’ and he was not joking around, he was dead serious.  I respected William, after all, he sounded so devout and sincere when he prayed.  The biggest obstacle he faced with me was that of everything that I knew to be true, one thing was solid.  “God Is Love”!  This was the one thing I knew I could count on.  Not just because my parents taught me this as a child but because I had faith.  And not the fake plastic faith of religion, but a true faith. The kind that can only be given by God Himself.  So as great and as eloquent, and as sincere as he sounded, I had to call bullshit.

So, as William would present verses to support his faith in eternal torments, all I could do was poke logical holes in the things he presented as proof.  All I had to combat his religious training was my God given faith, I seemed to be outmatched.  I was so wrong. I went home and got on my knees and I had a sincere conversation with the God of my faith.  “God”, I said.  “I can’t reconcile my belief that you ARE love, with the teaching of eternal torment.” I went on.  “I can’t believe that you could cause, or even allow anyone that you love to be tortured without end!”  I announced firmly.  “I believe that the bible is your inspired word, and I want to know that what I believe in my heart to be true is not simply wishful thinking.”  I continued.  “I want to know that there is a scriptural basis for what I know in my heart to be true.” I finished.

Well, God answered my prayer, he gave me the scriptural proof that I asked for and in the process destroyed pretty much everything else that I believed.  Everything other than “God is Love” had to be tossed in the trash, where it all belonged.  Everything that William, that the ‘church fathers’, that my pastor and my ‘church’ had taught me was not only wrong, it was completely contrary to the truth.  It took several years for me to shed all garbage that I had accepted as truth.

 

Free At Last

Once I lost my religion and learned that God is in control of all things, my life began to change for the better.  I learned that scripture actually teaches that Christ is the savior of all mankind, l learned that all is of God.   I discovered that Christ was completely successful on the cross. I came to believe that God does not need my help or require my obedience.  I’ve learned that God is currently conciliated to the world and is no longer holding their offenses against them.  I learned that I am not charged with fighting the good fight, or winning souls for Christ.  I learned that God places all of our leaders in power.  He placed Ronald Regan, and He placed Barrack Obama, both for his good purpose.  I am not charged with defending against the democrats or the republicans! I learned that my citizenship is nowhere on this planet, but rather in the celestials.  I learned that I don’t have any business complaining or wringing my hands over the state of the nation or the world because all is going according to His perfect plan and He knows what He is doing.  I am an ambassador of Grace today, and ambassadors don’t participate in the politics of their host nation.  So I am free at last.  I get to just trust God and rest in the knowledge that God is in control and that His plans end well for all creation.  I am free from patriotism, from world politics, national politics, and even local politics.  I am free from religious legalism and the constant treadmill that keeps people in bondage to man and its victims focused on themselves rather than what Christ has accomplished.  I am free from guilt, free from sin, free from religious and political bondage.

 

So that’s the story about how I lost my patriotism and gained my freedom in Christ, and all it took was some God given faith.  A faith based in one solid fact.  “God is Love”.   I can’t wait to see who God picks in the upcoming election.

 

-DH

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10 Replies to “Patriot No More”

  1. Darron very good, I mean that I appreciatte your explanation and I am very close to being in agreement on everything you said.

    How do you resolve Faith without works is dead?

    I ask that because it sounds like you are not advocating any effort (maybe ‘choices’ is a better word than effort) need be applied by those who are free in Christ.

    I am not asking this as someone who believes you need to have works to get into Heaven I ask it as one who beleives that those works are the fruit of our faith and the evidence of the Spitrit in us.

    thx mark

  2. Mark,

    I am absolutely advocating no effort of ourselves.

    James was an apostle to the circumcision. Paul is our apostle and was given a completely different gospel, one of grace.

    Most confusion about Gods plan and purpose for us today comes from two things. Mistranslation from the original Hebrew and Greek, and a failure to rightly divide the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)

    In order to make sense of the bible as an English reader, you must understand first that it was not recorded in English. But even when you get past the mistranslations, you must understand that the bible was given to us, and that not all of it is for us.

    We see contradiction in scripture if we fail to rightly divide the word of truth:

    James 2:20 “Now are you wanting to know, O empty man, that faith apart from works is dead?”

    Romans 3:28 “For we are reckoning a man to be justified by faith apart from works of law.”

    With the exception of Paul’s letters, the bible is all about God’s plan for Israel. Everything that Jesus spoke (your red letters) was spoken only to the lost house of the nation of Israel. (Mat 15:24) Everything James writes pertains to Israel. You see a contradiction in the bible between James 2:20 and Romans 3:28 because you fail to rightly divide the word of truth. There are two distinct gospels in scripture, the gospel of the circumcision (for Israel) and the gospel of the Un-circumcision. (Galatians 2:7)

    When you mix these you get a perverted gospel. Paul was given a new and different gospel than that given to the 12 apostles. The gospel given to Paul by our risen savior is our Gospel. It is all grace, no works. Until you see this right division you will continue to pit scripture against itself and have to choose which one to believe.

    Once I began to rightly divide the word of truth, I began to believe all the bible.

  3. Let me jump in here real quick and then you boys can hopefully resume your captivating repartee. I can sum up my comment to your article, D, in 3 words: “What he said.”

    But I won’t stop there. I mean c’mon, I’m an estrogen-fueled woman. I need to contribute to my daily quota of words spoken and what better way than to use them up talking about the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. Because really, whether we’re discussing faith versus works, correctly translated and righty divided scripture, a believers ambassadorship in the celestials or Israel’s rule of her earthly kingdom–everything culminates in God’s matchless love for all humanity. After all, isn’t it the Love of Christ which fulfills the law? This Love will one day mend all disputes, unite all warring factions and reconcile all creation back to Himself. Which circles back around to your eloquent thoughts, Darron. What you said and how you said it is everything I meant to communicate in the previous article. For the most part, your story is my story. Your experiences were my experiences, especially your heart-yearning prayer in the section titled “Craptastic” (my new favorite word). Reading that, my jaw literally dropped. That was me 17 or 18 years ago! That was my exact prayer. And yes, God was equally faithful to me. It may’ve taken Him six or so years to deliver, but deliver He did!

    Thank you for writing this, really. I pray that one day Father zaps me with the ability to speak my beliefs with similar fluidity. With calm conviction. Until then I am being truly blessed by yours and Mark’s sincere and lively conversation. Thanks to both of you God-loving men–you, Mark, for seeking the truth and you, Darron, in heralding it. Go in grace and peace.

  4. Darron do you believe that a Jew following Christ is under another Gospel than say you or I?

    What is the differences in the Gospel that Jesus professed and the Gospel that Paul professes?

    Look forward to your responses.

    thx mark

  5. Sheryl,

    “This Love will one day mend all disputes, unite all warring factions and reconcile all creation back to Himself”

    Well said: We will all be reconciled back to one another before we are reconciled back to Christ and then the Father.

    “Peace is inevitable” – Darron Haworth

  6. Darron thanks for sending me the link, I now understand what you are talking about, I have never thought of two Gospels I have always looked at it as one Gospel from the same God with different aspects and applications.

    I was fortunate in that I did not grow up in the church except for a very short (few months) in the Church of Christ which was so legalistic that I pretty much immediately discounted their teachings and searched for the truth of Grace for the next 12 years. That was twenty years ago and it has been an amazing walk with the Lord since then.

    I want to encourage you to continue to seek what the Lord has for you with this revelation of the Gospel of Grace…there is more and it is wonderful!
    I would encourage you to look deeply at what some refer to as the five fold ministry in Eph 4:11 and and the manifestation of the Spirit 1Cor 7-11 and what that means in the the Gospel of Grace.

    I want to encourage you to not stop with the revelation of Grace, seek out every aspect and characteristic of the Grace that abounds.

    I say this as one who thought that accepting the Gospel of Grace was enough, thankfully the Lord did not let me rest there very long and He has drawn me into a greater revelation of who He is, transforming my mind through renewal along the way.

    So many have let the cessation teachings of the church leaders limit the move of the Spirit in their lives, but God has so much more. Amen!

    Thx for sharing your walk, be Blessed, and I pray for a greater measure of revelation for you.
    Love, mark

    P.S. When you come to a place in your walk where you are ready to seek more of the Kingdom of God and the power within it, let me know and I can direct you to some teachings that will amaze you.

  7. Mark,

    With respect to revelation, I have all that I need, more than I could ask for, and will continue to be molded by the potter until He finishes the work that He started in me. It’s all in His hands, not ours.

    With Grace and Peace,
    Darron

  8. Hello in Christ,

    I am a mid-Acts dispy who has been puzzled by the apparent spread of universalism (if that’s the correct term) in MAD circles. I know the bulk of the evidence for the view you share seems to come from Paul, but then so does 2 Thess 2:10-12. May I please ask, with NO interest in starting a debate, how a flat statement like that is taken into account? Thank you very much for your time…in Him…

    D.

    PS

    I’m with you on the patriotism thing. Ben Franklin was right.

    1. @ D.

      Thanks for your comment, my apologies for the late reply but I haven’t been very engaged with the site for some time. Time to get back to it I think?

      So, the first time I was accused of being a mid-Acts dispensationalist was in an online debate (argument really). I thought I was being insulted (based on the context of the comment) and had to google the term. I read up on it and, as it turns out, I decided the term fit. (although, I really shy from labels)

      I appreciate that you are not looking for this discussion to turn into a debate or argument, I feel the same way.

      Also, I am not a universalist. As I understand it, universalists do not really base their teaching on the literal writings of the sacred scriptures but more on their own (or other peoples) personal spiritual interpretation of the written word. I believe what is literally written. I believe in universal reconciliation, yes. While I may share this one truth with them, I reject much of what they teach so I cannot share the label of ‘universalist’.

      So, lets look at 2 Thess 2:10-12: [CLV]

      10 and with every seduction of injustice among those who are perishing, because they do not receive the love of the truth for their salvation.”11 And therefore God will be sending them an operation of deception, for them to believe the falsehood, 12 that all may be judged who do not believe the truth, but delight in injustice.”

      My synopsis of these verses based on my understanding of the scriptures:

      Among those who are living and dying today, people are seduced by injustice, and because they do not receive the love of truth for their salvation (because God has not given them faith) He gives them over to their deceptions so that they will believe falsehood. (This clearly states that it is God who wants them blind for now, and wants them to believe these deceptions.) These who God has not given faith and who delight in injustice will be judged. (Actually they will be cast in to the lake of fire, the second death as stated in Rev 20:15).

      I know you must be stuck on the following words:

      “they do not receive the love of the truth for their salvation.”

      I believe the words written. They perish (die) without yet having received the love of truth for their salvation. It does not say they do not receive salvation as you must think.

      Read the words carefully, they do not say that these people do not receive salvation, it says that they don’t receive the love of truth needed for their salvation. (Before they die) I believe every word written in these verses, it is all true and does not in any way teach that God will not accomplish his stated goal that all mankind be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth as stated in 1 Tim 2:4.

      These will, after the second death (when death is abolished), receive the love of truth needed for their salvation. Otherwise, Christ is not the savior of all mankind as clearly stated in 1 Tim 4:10. Otherwise every knee does not bow and confess Christ as their lord and savior as stated in Phil 2:10. Otherwise, all flesh would not see the salvation of God as clearly stated will happen in Luke 3:6.

      God bless,
      Darron

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