Friday, October 12, 2012

Wellspring Newsletter, October 2012

       I very much admire Dr. Art Mathias and Wellspring Ministries.  Wellsprings "treating the whole person approach" restores so many to health both physically and emotionally.  Dr. Mathias is a man of integrity with a balanced, Biblical view.  This recent Wellsprings newsletter reveals much of what he believes about church and politics.  He urges everyone to pray for our government and the coming election.  It is imperative that we discover what each candidate stands for so that we can vote for righteousness.

WellspringNews    October 2012
2511 Sentry Dr.   Anchorage, AK  99507
Politics & The Church by Dr. Art Mathias

There are many that believe that the church should stay out of politics. We often hear that we should leave our “beliefs at the door,” or this is an “individual decision” so stay out! Some even say that since Jesus was not involved in politics we should not be either. We need to remember that our constitution guarantees a freedom “FOR” not “from” religion. Separation of church and state simply means that the government cannot have an official religion or church—everyone has the freedom to worship or not worship as they choose, nothing more and nothing less.  Now let’s take a look at what the Bible really teaches and what Jesus really did about politics.

I am not interested in anyone’s personal opinion of who I should vote for. But I am very interested in God’s opinion of who I should vote for, based on His Scriptural laws, and the best information I have for what candidates stand for. Many people in this country have no clue of what Scripture teaches, what a candidate really believes and the impact that they can make for good by participating in our system by voting.

Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”  For the Lord, righteousness and sin are more than individual personal issues. “Nation,” and “people,” means that groups of people, even nations of people, are called to live in righteousness. God says sin, and tolerance for sin, is a disgrace. I can accept a person or a people in love and still call sin, sin. Jesus did so with the woman caught in adultery.

I do believe that it is every believer’s identity to be light and salt for the world (Mat. 5:13-16). That means shining the light of God, His word, and His precepts in every area of life, including our government. No area of life is exempt from God’s marvelous light! Our identity and responsibility is to teach people God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit, and part of this includes teaching people right from wrong according to God’s word in every area of life.

Some then would counter and say “Jesus did not get involved in politics,” but is this really true?  To answer this let’s start with the messages of the prophets of Israel. Almost every statement made by the prophets was made to kings and rulers of Judah, Israel, and many surrounding countries. Many of these messages were what we would call “political,” in that they address how the people are being governed, and whether or not they are obeying God’s laws. The messages deal with morality, economics, and foreign relations. It is impossible to read the prophets without their political statements coming through.  

When any nation began to turn to God and follow His ways as outlined in the Word, amazing blessing followed. When the pagan Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged and followed the LORD, blessing followed him. Nebuchadnezzar himself admitted:
“And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (Daniel 4:36-37)

There are many other examples such as the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as recorded in the Book of Exodus. God through Moses was instructing Pharaoh and all the people in Egypt in right and wrong. The result was that over 12 million people accepted God’s ways and left “Egypt.”

Later, John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, told Herod, the political ruler of Israel, that it was “unlawful” for him to be married to Herodias (Mat. 14:3).

Jesus even said, “Beware of the leaven of Herod.” (Mk. 8:15) He also referred to Herod as “that fox.”(Luke 13:31)

Jesus often rebuked, the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, all of whom made up the Sanhedrin,the political ruling entity of His own people. As we know, these people were famous for twisting the laws of God for their own benefit, to the harm of the people they were governing. The entire 23rd chapter of Matthew is devoted to Jesus’ rebukes of these rulers, most of which begin with “Woe to you…!”

It is very true that Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36) In other words, His kingdom does not originate in this world, with worldly wisdom. However, His kingdom is IN this world, because we are in this world and He is our King! And the wisdom of the Word, God’s laws and principles, is intended for all humankind, because following them brings life.

Our government and all governments on earth are in need of fervent prayer and the life that comes from obeying God and His ways. Both of the main political parties in our country are in need of this. Our nation needs to acknowledge its Creator and His Son Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. We need to pray, everywhere, including schools and public places where people should be free to pray and worship. I believe our nation is in danger of being guilty of the same great darkness that existed in Isaiah’s time: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

We will always find the correct answer in His word and in His precepts. His words are life and health to all who find and obey them. Therefore we must not be silent!

The Bible is very clear about lying, idolatry, covetousness, stealing, murder, adultery, abortion, homosexuality and many other issues of right and wrong. The Bible also has a lot to say about relationships with other nations (foreign policy) and economics. We need to study and understand His precepts to make good choices in who we vote for and in our personal lives.

A few months ago I sent you a paper on economics. In case you missed it, I have taken the liberty to send it again. Click on the link here.   God cares about our material needs and has a strategy for our personal and national needs. Please read this and feel free to send it on to others.

I have also included a link to an incredible video by pastor, Bishop EW Jackson.  Please take a look at it and forward it to others.

We are at a very critical crossroads in our lives and in our country. We cannot sit on the sidelines. Vote on November 6!

God Bless You!
Dr. Art Mathias

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