WHATCHU TALKIN BOUT WILLIS?

I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...



Friday, September 12, 2008

MacArthur on Christians & Politics (Part 1)

I'll probably make all my readers mad, but I do think MacArthur's thoughts on these matters are worthy of your consideration. This is "part 1" but I think it will suffice.

By John MacArthur

There was a time (in the days of our Puritan forefathers), when almost every soul in America acknowledged the Ten Commandments as the cornerstone of ethics and morality. Today most Americans can't even name three of the Ten.

There was also a time (not so long ago) when Americans universally disapproved of homosexuality, adultery, and divorce; they believed sexual promiscuity is absolutely wrong; they regarded obscene language as inappropriate; they saw abortion as unthinkable; and they held public officials to high moral and ethical standards. Nowadays, most of the behavior society once deemed immoral is defended as an inalienable civil right.

How times and the culture have changed! The strong Christian influence and scriptural standards that shaped Western culture and American society through the end of the nineteenth century have given way to practical atheism and moral relativism. The few vestiges of Christianity in our culture are at best weak and compromising, and to an increasingly pagan society they are cultic and bizarre.

In less than fifty years' time, our nation's political leaders, legislative bodies, and courts have adopted a distinctly anti-Christian attitude and agenda. The country has swept away the Christian worldview and its principles in the name of equal rights, political correctness, tolerance, and strict separation of church and state. Gross immorality--including homosexuality, abortion, pornography, and other evils--has been sanctioned not only by society in general but in effect by the government as well. A portion of our tax dollars are now used to fund programs and government agencies that actively engage in blatant advocacy of various immoral practices.

What are Christians to do about it?

Many think this is a political problem that will not be solved without a political strategy. During the past twenty-five years, well-meaning Christians have founded a number of evangelical activist organizations and sunk millions of dollars into them in an effort to use the apparatus of politics--lobbying, legislation, demonstration, and boycott--to counteract the moral decline of American culture. They pour their energy and other resources into efforts to drum up a "Christian" political movement that will fight back against the prevailing anti-Christian culture.

But is that a proper perspective? I believe not. America's moral decline is a spiritual problem, not a political one, and its solution is the gospel, not partisan politics.

17 comments:

Laura W. said...

Hey! It's me again.

Just wondering...do you support the separation of church and state?

Sprocket said...

I'm glad to see that such an august figure as John McArthur shares my political views (or non-political views). In fact, I think he ripped off my blog article from some time back. Yeah, that's it, Johnny Mac reads my stuff and steals my ideas! 8-)

Seriously, though, this is how I view politics. I'll go and vote for the person that I think will hurt the country the least. But in the end, I think change only comes by changing hearts. We Christians will not solve anything (much) through politics, nor did Jesus tell us to take that approach. But if we share the Gospel and change hearts, the world will be changed, one person at a time.

Thanks for sharing this article.

Sprocket said...

Sorry to change from Badger to Sprocket: couldn't remember my blogger account info now that I'm on wordpress.

David H. Willis said...

Laura,

"Separation of church and state" is a loaded term and means many different things to various people. You'd have define what you mean exactly for me to answer accurately. This might help explain my view: I support not having an established state religion. I think freedom of religion is a great idea and I'm glad it's in our Constition. The problem is the too many folks think freedom OF religion equals freedom FROM religion.

William Mckinley Dyer said...

Like i said on my last post...who we vote and put in office will not have half the weight of a righteous prayer. Oh that Christians would learn the value of being prayer warriors again.

David H. Willis said...

Badger/Sprocket,

Well we've returned to our normal state of agreement and i'm happy about that. I hope all is well with you and you find some time to blog every now & then.

Laura said...

*sorry for the length of this Sprocket, but it can't be condensed to a few sentences.

I don't know of many Christ followers who believe the government is going to lead this country back to it's original roots. In fact, I don't know of any.

However, I know of many who will argue that there shouldn't be a separation of church and state in America. The ten commandments should be allowed to be posted, prayer should be allowed in school, etc. Isn't this what our nation was founded upon?

Here's the problem, some of these same christians will choose to take the stance that government and politics is not something to be concerned about because...well, why does it matter? God is still in control, is he not? They are using our government's same argument that church and state are and should be separate.

They aren't separate. Our nation was created to be a God fearing christian nation. It is the apathy of the christian voters that has helped to bring us to this point. Only 1 in 4 christians even go to the polls on election day. Many church leaders urge their members not to get involved in politics. Some political races are won by as little as 90 votes. That is one small church congregation who decided not to get involved in our nation's politics.

I believe America's founders would roll over in their graves if they had any idea how apathetic many christians are today. To think of the lives that were lost so that we would have the right to go stand in line and vote. What so many christians call unimportant or something we need not involve ourselves in.

Consider just one of the many verses in the bible showing that we are to have an interest in our country and governments...

". . .I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity."
-1 Timothy 2:1, 2

Yes. It is true that some look to the government as a way to turn our country around instead of looking to Jesus. God is our ultimate authority and I would never suggest that our government would take the place of that. The bottom line is that evil was, is, and forever more shall be a part of us as individuals, us as Americans, and us as the human race until Jesus returns. Not one of us is perfect and that includes any and all politicians.

A righteous prayer is absolutely needed. I just don't see our lives (as christians) to be filled with prayer all day and no action to back up those prayers. For example...one would pray that God will bring our nation back around to the morals it was founded upon (although, even back then there was sin and dishonesty and things were done for political and monetary gains in government) and then after praying that prayer one would decide to sit home and not do his or her part because, "It doesn't matter anyways." I see all throughout the Bible ways in which God used governments and more specifically, people who were willing to be involved in government to accomplish his plans. I am in no way saying that government or politics would come before God, prayer, sharing Jesus with others and furthering His kingdom. I just can't understand the argument that they have nothing to do with each other.

As christians, everything in our lives is to be intertwined with Jesus. This includes the food we eat, the way we spend our time, what we do with our money, the things we involve ourselves in and things we choose not to be involved in. Everything. God is not just a compartment that makes up one part of our lives as a whole. He has a part in it all. I know you guys know that, and I am not trying to insinuate that you don't. I am just saying that you can't separate God and government anymore than you can separate God and the way you spent your time today. We are to have a part in choosing what is best for our country. We can't choose perfect because there's no such thing. However we can discern one man as better (more moral and in line with our beliefs) than another.

What would have happened if Rahab, instead of helping the spies, had not gotten involved in political affairs, but rather just offered up a righteous prayer?

William Mckinley Dyer said...

Nice verse laura it says exactly what im saying. Pray for those in office and pray for the situation.No need to try to start a political reformation. I just wish people would stop acting like if christians dont vote they arent good christians or that the country is going to blow up tomorrow. We need to take our zeal and turn it to spreading the Gospel which will turn this country back to where she needs to be. Laura you seem like a nice girl, i just hope the passion you have about politics is the passion you have for God's Church and if it is (and i have a sneaky suspicion it is) then more power to ya. Im just glad you have passion and aren't apathetic.

Soren said...

Johhny Mac rocks!

Larry said...

Laura, Im not sure where you're getting that the foundin fathers were "Christians". Most of our founders did not believe in even the most standard teachings of Christianity today.

Ben Franklin was a Deist, although a viewpoint and not a religion, to be a Deist meant that you did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, nor in miracles, nor in the resurrection nor the trinity--nor did he take communion. Franklin was also a Freemason. Franklin believed that the Bible was a good book and it taught good lessons, but to call him a Christian---well, would you call him one if you discarded the aforementioned teachings?

Thomas Jefferson was a Unitarian/Deist. Jefferson did not believe in Christ's divinity, nor the resurrection, nor the trinity, nor did he take communion. Again, is that a Christian?

Not much is known about James Madison except that he was probably Episopalian and he used Deistic vocabulary in his writings.

George Washington used Deistic writings too but not much is known about his religious views but Washington was a Freemason---that's irrefutable. Freemasonry is a secret society.

John Adams was a Unitarian, but Adams DID believe in Christ's divinity, the resurrection and miracles, but did not believe in the trinity.

Very little is written about the beliefs of James Monroe, except that he probably sided with Unitarianism/Deism and he was definately a Freemason.

As you can see, most of the founders were Freemasons and Deists/Unitarians. The belief that the founding fathers were Christians has been one of the biggest myths ever. Were they great men? YES. Were they intelligent? YES. In fact, they used human reason more than the Bible for the establishment of our founding documents.

You can call them good men, educated men and very very intelligent men, but you cant call them Christians---and you know what? I dont really care. Im not knocking the fact that they weren't. Im just trying to debunk a myth. These men were the greatest men to ever live in my opinion. In fact, of all 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence---only 4 were FORMER ministers and only 1 was an active minister.

The seperation of church and state thing is easy to understand. Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802 basically saying that the government should not persecute a particular church, not grant it any special status. What's hard about understanding that?

Larry said...

wow, I must have missed that whole paragraph when you said this Laura, "I am just saying that you can't separate God and government anymore than you can separate God and the way you spent your time today. We are to have a part in choosing what is best for our country. We can't choose perfect because there's no such thing. However we can discern one man as better (more moral and in line with our beliefs) than another."

Wow. You cant seperate God and government? The founding fathers sure did. They only used God in their writings as a general principle--and they used Biblical principles. To incorporate the Bible or God into laws or to make any one religion a state religion was never, ever their intention or purpose.

Yes, Christians are to be a voice in the process of democracy in America, I agree---but not because you're Christians, but because you're Americans.

You can't choose perfect, correct, but you can study and research the candidates and come as close to perfect as you can possibly come. That is why Ron Paul was my choice, he was not only the closest to perfect that ran in the race, but he's the closest one we've had to a founding father in a long, LONG time.

How can you support McCain and at the same time utter the words, "However we can discern one man as better (more moral and in line with our beliefs) than another." You think McCain is the closest to perfect there was of all the candidates? If you think that, then no amount of words on my part can help you. Do research on McCain, I mean extensive research from all sides and not just the FOX News website. A good place to start would be the website:

http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com/

These are the very men who were with McCain in Vietnam telling the truth about him. Funny, in 2004 everyone was so quick to believe the troops that were with John Kerry when they swiftboated him and that wasn't considered biased, but when it comes to McCain's own fellow soldiers, no one wants to talk about that. Yes, I voted for Kerry, but that was a mistake. We would have still had war with Kerry and he wouldn't have done nothing---either will Obama.

The Constitution is the ONLY thing that can save America and Ron Paul was the BEST choice (actually IS the best choice...I'm STILL voting for him) because his voting record is 100% in synchronization with his Constitutional stances. He has voted "No" on every single, solitary bill and law that violates the Constitution. McCain could only pray that HALF his voting record matched Ron Paul's.

Ron Paul's morals, character and personal integrity are also the most CHRISTIAN of anyone who ran this time. Ron Paul is even an expert on monetary policy and has even written several books on it, so he would have been the best to handle the economy too----which has now seen TWO of its six worst days EVER under the Bush administration (9/11 and yesterday)---and McCain knows NOTHING about the economy----zippo!

Again, just my thoughts

Laura W. said...

Perhaps you all are right on your political and spiritual views. I was raised in a strong Christian home and have always been taught to stand up for what you believe in. I think I may have done so on the wrong blog. I am a woman and you are Bible college trained men. Far be it from me to possibly sound preachy. I have no idea what some of you believe. Some of it is a little scary to me to be quite honest, but who am I to question that. Best of luck to you all.

Larry said...

Laura, I realize I can come off as an angry uptight person when I spout off my views and I personally offended you, Im sorry. The reason why I sound angry is because I AM angry. I'm angry at myself, first and foremost, because I was asleep so long and I woke up from my slumber about 4 years ago when I started to find out what was REALLY happening in the world.

I want others to see it too, and when they dont. I dont get personally upset because I know it took me long to see it. I was 36 when I woke up. Youre still young. You could have a 10 year jump on me if you dug down and started to know what is really going on in the world---because it affects you and your family way more than you want to realize.

The very first step you should take if you want to know whats REALLY going on is turn off the TV set. Do I mean never watch anything? No, of course not. But dont watch news, especially FOX News. I dont say that because Im a Democrat or a liberal. I say that because FOX News is, by far, the single biggest fearmongering, propaganda spewing media outlet in the world. All news media has their fair share of propaganda and media shills. They are ALL controlled by corporations---so ALL networks will not give you 100%truth all day long--none. Get your news from books and the internet---two NON-controlled mediums. But keep in mind, as you get your news from alternative sources, be aware of what the corporate controlled media is saying. I always stay on things even though I dont believe or buy 90% of what they are shovelling. My site is somewhat of a watchdog of the liars in the media. I deliever SOME opinion on my site, but most of the time I provide video in order to prove what Im saying is right.

Keep in mind, knowing what is going on isnt something that will make you lose faith in God. It did for me, but not for this particular reason. Alot of things went into that. I have friends here in Hagerstown that are very strong in knowing what is really going on and they are Christians---although I have many debates with them and they cant answer half the things I ask. Many things I have found out are downright scary and they are all documented fact. If you get into this as deep as I am, you will discover a very harsh reality---how much our media and government lies to us and covers up soooo much corruption. When you discover how many bad things that leaders of America (past and present) have done to this country and other countries, you might even break down and cry. Crying isnt my style---I just get angrier. When you discover that Pearl Harbor was actually known about in advance by Roosevelt and that the incident that supposedly started the Vietnam war (The Gulf of Tonkin incident) never even happened and it was all a lie to get us involved in the war--you will (or should) become outraged.

Tell Tony not to apologize for "not being a better example to me" (his words)---it had nothing to do with him and he shouldn't apologize as if Im in some weakened, lessened state. I have never in my life felt more liberated and closer to the truth as I do now. I like myself better now more than any other time in my life. Im tired of putting my faith in things I cannot see or touch. Ive had a hard life and I think I was one of those people put on this Earth to just experience hardship over and over and over again. Im not bitter, although I do have resentments toward certain people in my life along the way--but the hardships have made me a better, informed person. The hardships have made me angry, and Ive turned my anger into a quest for the truth and someone the government despises---because Im a thinker and not a sheep, and they hate that----and it makes me feel great. Good luck with your move and dont leave the blog.

Laura W. said...

Maybe coming from a woman, you view this as invalid or unspiritual. Maybe I have no place to say this in most of your minds.

Larry...a few more things before I leave the blog.
Then you can come find me at my own.

Faith has to be in something that can't be proven and can't be seen. I find it more difficult to believe in the idea of there not being a God, but that is just me.
The Bible says every man must work out his own salvation. I think most ministers today have this idea that they have it all figured out and will be surprised to find out differently when they reach eternity. Not saying they won't be in heaven, but rather they will realize how prideful they were when preaching "issues" that are nonessential to salvation. I believe baptists, lutherans, etc. will all be joined together in heaven. Not just the christian church die hards, or any other church that believes they have it all figured out.

Man kind got into trouble when Satan deceived Eve and Adam stood by and allowed her to be deceived. The downfall was not just eating the wrong fruit out of the wrong tree. It was that they wanted to know what God knew. They wanted to be as knowledgeable about God as God himself.

We need to follow what Jesus told the religious leaders of his day. We need to love God and love others. We must have faith and be careful we are not being as the Pharisees and thinking we have it all figured out.

I am not sure where you get all of your information. I am sure conspiracies are a part of our government just as much as they are a part of other things in our lives. But, I don't take just video footage that can be spliced and diced to serve the documenter's purposes as the 100% truth anymore than I take FOX news to be the 100% truth. . I don't believe Michael Moore and most of what he says. Neither do many of his own friends. I do prefer FOX news because they are trying to be fair and balanced and you can see that in their coverage. They also don't offend me on a daily basis.

Again, I am not a conservative die hard. I'm not so much voting for a candidate this year, as I am voting against one.

*I did not realize before I posted my original post that it was the view of this blog that women should not be trying to preach, teach, share the gospel or otherwise. That is man's work. I have always felt that it is a man's place to lead the church. I view Tony as the head of my household. I am a stay home mom and view my job as the most important for a woman...caring for my family. I believe women are viewed as highly valuable to God. I don't think men are viewed as more valuable. I think some things in the Bible were customary in Biblical times and are not so today. Washing people's feet for example, or women having their heads covered in church. A woman has just as much of a calling in bringing the lost to Christ as a man does, and I read no where in the Bible where it reads that a woman can only talk to other women about spiritual matters. Again, I did not know that that was the opinion held here. I am sorry if I have offended anyone.

David H. Willis said...

Laura,

Your presence and comments here have generated the most comments ever. I hope you know that you are free to challenge (or aggree with) anything you read here.

You wrote: "Maybe coming from a woman, you view this as invalid or unspiritual. Maybe I have no place to say this in most of your minds."

Frankly that's just silly. If that was my position I would've simply deleted your comments. I'm no mind reader but I sense a little sensitivity here, particulary with your comments that follow. Please know that my posts about gender roles have nothing to do with your appearance on this blog. I have a history of addressing this topic and I recently preached about it, hence my recent comments on the blog. My view can be summarized in this way: Christian women are only prohibited from teaching Christian doctrine to Christian men in a Christian assembly. By the way I pretty much agree with what you wrote about your role as a Christian woman. I hope you'll continue to stop in and comment whenever you like. You and Larry have quite a discussion going. Maybe you 2 could get your own show on FOX! lol

Now to your point about who will be in heaven. I agree that it will a surprise, but we might also be surprised by who is not there. I'm 100% confortable with God making that call. to Him be the glory!

Larry said...

Actually yes, I was going to address that too (about Laura's women comments) but I got sidetracked by my own long-winded diatribe. What does you being a woman have to do with having an opinion about things? Do you not have a mind? That's yet another (among the many) issues I have with the Bible. Women are good enough to go through the pain of bearing children (Jesus himself being one of those babies), yet they can't speak in church? I know that's what the Bible says, but Im not referring to having a problem with the interpretation...Im talking about the fact that it's even in there. How do we know that God really ordained these doctrines in the Bible? How do we know that the men who wrote these passages about how women should submit to men and "shut up" in church weren't a bunch of sexist buffoons with cave men, Rush Limbaugh mentality? Of course, the answer is: we don't---period.

Your opinions and views are very valuable. I may not agree with alot of things you say but that's not because you dont care. You're simply in a position where you may not have the time that I do to devote to this. I have one child, you have three, so obviously your time goes toward raising your family...and your kids are still small, mine is grown. I have freedoms now that I didnt have 10 years ago. I read and read and read and do extensive research on everything I write about. I am in no way calling you stupid. I judt dont think you've researched and read as much as I have (about this particular topic). That doesnt make me a better person-----my goodness, heaven knows I am NOT the better person and I dont even know you that well, and I know you HAVE to be better than me. You have every right to have an opinion, but beware I will jump on that opinion when I think you have totally lost your mind (like saying FOX News is 'fair and balanced'). It's like I said on my blog a few weeks ago about Bill O' Lielly (yes I spelled that right)---I said "I disagree with Billo most of the time (99.9%), but I will fight to the death for his right to say it". The first amendment grants you the right to speak your mind---and I am all about the Constitution. I will never "cut your mike" like O' Reilly does.

Larry said...

ME on FOX News dave? Now THATS FUNNY! I would never WANT a show on there. I'd be as out of place as David Bowie was singing "The Little Drummer Boy" with Bing Crosby. I would LOVE to go on O' Reilly or Hannity and rip them new behinds----(and I could).

Let's see....if you DID give me a tranquilizer and wheel me into the News Corporation building (home of FOX News), what would me and Laura's show be called? I'll let Laura pick the name.