If you want to attract an honorable lady, be an honorable man.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Goings-on Lately

Ok Guys, I've been a little behind. Been running around, and have finally sat down for some bloggin. So, here's a quick update for all you who have been wondering and waiting ( I hope that is all of you......)

Well, first of all, and the furthest back, I officially joined the world of deer hunters last month.
My daily carry. A rifle, and a pack with lunch, knives, gps and other usefull items. 

My faithful hunting buddy - Josiah - who trucked up and down hills with me for a full week

And the actual fruit of the hunt. 7 days of hunting and one shot at 20 yards later, I bagged my first deer. 
So, that was very exciting. I hunted for a full week, and put in almost 40 miles of hiking - and that's not counting how much was uphill.

Nov. 1st will go down in my history as a good day. A very good day. God provided, and made me wait and trust for a whole week that he would.

Next, I got promoted in my Civil War reenacting group, and recently went through an entire three-day weekend as the ordinance sergeant. That was hectic, challenging, and was a good experience for me, since I was constantly having to do something, thinking outside the box, and was responsible for a lot of equipment. Thank God I think things went well, and hopefully is now set up (thanks to the help of wonderful NCO's under me)  better than before. I hope. We'll see how that goes.........

And lastly, besides running around with this and that other small things, I officially saw The Avengers.

I borrowed it from a friend, and finally saw what I had heard was a masterpiece of a film. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. A full review is coming soon, but for now, I will say it was awesome. Way awesome. Not a perfect movie by a long shot, but one of the best movies I have seen this year, and officially made it to my favorites list. 

Well, that's about it for now. I'm off to work on a full blown review for Avengers! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I Won't Be Voting This Year.

(Warning – LONG POST.)  : /

Yeah, kinda shockin (not the fact that the post is long). I, for the first time a legal adult and able to vote in a presidential (Or any) election, will not be voting. I have always looked forward, to with a fair amount of composed excitement, the day when I would be able to walk into the crowded and hushed room, and be pointed towards a small booth where I would cast my opinion to help change the country.


And the first year I am able to do it, I am turning the opportunity down.


Well, that takes a heap of 'splaining. Ready?

I am going to try to keep this short folks, but I can tell you right now it is NOT going to be short. So for the present, just be glad this is the edited version. : )

Before we can ever even raise the question of whether or note it is Biblical to vote, we need to go further back and ask the question of whether or not we even have a Biblical system of government. No, I am not talking about today, in our corrupt society and corrupt political leaders. I am talking about the government how it was originally set up. The Constitution is our ( or suppose to be ) blueprint for our government.  Christians for years have held up the constitution as this monumental document of Christian freedom,
letting us have the freedom we were all born with, and.... and........

They rave on, but actually, I am not so convinced. 

I am going to lay out ( or try to at the very least ) what I think is wrong with our present government ( not actual today politics, but the ideal that is laid out in the Constitution ), what is Biblical government, and how to get there. After that, I hope to lay out many of the objections that I have heard to this plan.

Let me tell you now folks, you might be in for a shock reading this, and let me tell you, this has been a bit of a shock for me as I learned this. 

If you were anything like me, you were raised with this notion of the Constitution being this document that was almost on inspired status, and thus almost on par with scripture. Granted, nobody actually ever came out and said that, but that was the attitude that was communicated and transmitted, and I was a firm believer that our Constitution was the epitome of Biblical government, and here, in the U.S. was embodied the soul of Biblical freedom, government, and spirituality. 

I mean, after all, the Constitution says I have all the right I please to carry whatever guns I please when I please. Could it get better than that? 

Well, as I get older, and have looked more at the Constitution, the less I like. The more I look at scripture, the more I see a different form of government. But before I propose a new boat to float our country, I am obliged to put a few auger holes in the mental block of the bottom of the present one, to show you there is even a need for a new government. Again, I am not talking about the way things are run today. Even unsaved people don't like it and want to get back to the Constitution. 

But should we? 

Well, here goes.

Our Constitution lays out a government with three branches. Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The Executive branch is Comprised of the President and his cohorts. 
From Wiki....

The top leadership roles of the executive branch may include:

~ Head of government—overseeing the administration of the state, managing the bureaucracy, and enforcing the law
~ Foreign minister—overseeing state's ambassadors, managing and determining foreign policy
~ Commander in chief—commanding the state's armed forces and determining military policy and the cabinet ministers.

The Legislative branch~ (from http://www.whitehouse.gov)

Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers.

And the Judicial Branch (from http://www.whitehouse.gov)

Article III of the Constitution, which establishes the Judicial Branch, leaves Congress significant discretion to determine the shape and structure of the federal judiciary. Even the number of Supreme Court Justices is left to Congress — at times there have been as few as six, while the current number (nine, with one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices) has only been in place since 1869. The Constitution also grants Congress the power to establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court, and to that end Congress has established the United States district courts, which try most federal cases, and 13 United States courts of appeals, which review appealed district court cases.

Ok, So we have a Legislature to make laws and declare war if needed, a President and company to oversee the enforcement of the law, to regulate and over see foreign policy, and to command and lead the STANDING military forces and policy. (you know my opinion on that already.......) and a Judiciary system to try cases, and otherwise, apply the punishments and applications of the laws in court.

Ok, so that is basically the gist of the system.

As Americans, (sorry for all you out there who aint, just bear with me) we are under this law by mere birth, or by choice if you immigrated.

As Christians however, we can't just look at whatever set of laws we are stuck with and call it God-approved. God may have allowed it, but we know from scripture that not everything that God allows, does God approve. David and Bathsheba, for example.

So we are forced to ask, as Christians, is this system Biblical? Do we really believe the Bible speaks to this area, and how we should set it up? Do we? Well, if we really do, and really believe the Bible is totally sufficient, we should believe the Bible has plenty to say about government and how to set it up.

So the Bible should have examples of our type of government, right? I mean, it was almost (or maybe just a hair closer) God inspired and on par (gasp, did I say that??) with.... Scripture! (there, I said what everybody else was thinking but not wanting to say....)

So, I went looking to the Bible to see what it said concerning our form of government, and the evidence I found for it was rather.... non existent. Let’s go to the classic text for the role of government - Romans 13.  

Romans 13:4
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Ok, so he is supposed to execute God's wrath upon those who do evil, or in other words, give the crooks the due punishment for their crooked ways.

Then it goes on to say that the government can get involved in foreign policy, regulate taxes, get involved in foreign policy, and declare war on those who need a good whoppin.

Or does it?

It says we can make new laws for social order, as we see fit, to help lead us towards a Godly society.

Or does it?

God says in Deuteronomy 4:2 "You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you."

Well, some say, just because the Bible doesn't say it, doesn't mean that we can't do it. I mean, after all, that was then, and this is now. Things have changed a bit. We are no longer a Theocracy.

So is the Bible sufficient or isn't it? Do we really believe that God spoke to us on that issue? Or do we really believe that God left us in the dark, just this once, to figure out how things were supposed to be done?

Do we? Or are we willing to face that fact that God might have had an opinion or two on what we should do.

So have things changed? What has changed then? Has God's nature changed? We know that can't happen.

“And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind” (1 Samuel 15:29).

Has the nature of man changed? Um, Don't think so.

Has God's word changed? Well, If the Bible is God's word, and we know God can't change, then therefore his word can't change.

Has our circumstances changed?
Well, if God is the same, his word is the same, man is the same, and circumstances really don't affect moral issues, then what about God's system has changed?

Our covenant has changed, and now Christ is our high priest and sacrifice, but from what we see from scripture, the sacrificial system didn’t affect the governmental system in the OT, and God didn’t say that it changed after Christ died in the NT.

I think it hasn't.

Does God no longer rule over us and keep us and take care of us?

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

So, if that is the case, what does the Bible say about government? I mean, after all, God doesn't pull Moses, or Jeremiah, or Isaiah, or any other prophet aside one day, and give them the inside scoop on exactly how to set up a government.

Or does he?

If we mosey back to (guess!) the Old Testament, we find that - oh fancy that! - God actually did set up a system of government.

Ah, you mean the kings - right?

Well, maybe, but God made it pretty clear to Samuel, that when the people wanted a king like everybody else, that they were turning away from God.

1 Samuel 8:4-9
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

Ok, so God made it pretty clear that having a king, to "judge us like all the nations" was turning away from God. If God says having a person up there with that much power, is turning away from him, I would guess he means it.

Also note what the Israelites said. "Like all the nations".
The very fact that everybody but God's people were doing something, and we know that everybody else was not serving God, that would be an automatic turn-off for me.

But hey, there were kings who followed God and did great good in Israel! Look at David.... and....and...

So if we do things in a way that God doesn't like, in a way that somehow has some good effects, does it all of a sudden becomes acceptable to God? Is God pragmatic? Whatever works goes?  

Well, we don't see that in scripture. And remember, as Christians, the Bible must be our sole text book on how to live life that is pleasing to God.

So, what is left?

Well, you have to back up even farther in time, to Moses (Oh, I guess God did pull him aside. Whoops).

We see a very interesting form of government. We see, kinda as we know it, a judicial system, and judicial system only.

We see only Moses, and captains of fifties, hundreds, etc., set up to judge the cases brought to them by the people, and they applied God's law and his commands to the cases brought to them by the people.

And they set up taxes and trade with foreign countries and made new laws.......

Well, actually, they didn't. All they did was apply God's law to the lives of the people, and apply God's just punishment to those who deserved it.

Hey, that sounds familiar..... Let’s go back to Romans 13.

Romans 13:4
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

In the context of what Moses did, that now makes a heap of sense. God, though the judges of Israel, executing his wrath upon them that do wrong.

But, what about all the things that.....

That we have in our Constitution that we don't see in the Bible? Well, I guess they have to be chucked. God said don't add or take away from my law. I guess that is pretty clear.

   Exodus 18:19-23
 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.

So, just a judicial system, to apply the judgments that God laid out, with no making new laws, or regulating......anything?

Well, that is all I see from scripture, and I am trying to operate completely from Scripture, since I believe that Scripture is completely sufficient.

The more I think about it, what are new laws for? Are God's laws not good enough? Has things changed?

Wait.... we already went over that.

The more I think, the more I lean towards having God’s laws he laid out and God’s laws alone. NO other laws officially on the “lawbooks” of the government.

Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

People start arguing right there. They say we need more laws to keep people safe. Traffic laws, or hunting regulations, for instance. We need to have these regulations set in place so that way evil man will be restrained from doing wrong and wiping out either people or animal populations.

But you know, God didn’t do that did he? In all the wicked nations in the OT, God didn’t go in and tell the good guys to go in and make new laws to keep all the bad guys in check. He either told them to wipe them out, or go evangelize to them. Yet for some reason, in our country, we as a Christian people think it is the Christian thing to do to go and make laws to keep the evil people from doing evil things like abortion, or gay marriage and such.

So do we believe God might have got it right? Or do we believe that maybe we got the one-up on God, and the way it was carried out then was old hat, and what we do today is the new in-method on going towards a Godly society? Do we? Are we really willing to look only to scripture for our method of government?

As I have thought about it, the reason we make laws other that what God specifically gave us, seems to me, is because we think we can have a civil society full of wicked men with wicked hearts, that are not following God, and not suffer consequences in our society and immediate surroundings.

I am going to say that again, because this is huge, and it is not just the heathens out there believing them. It is the mainline big-wig Christian reformed leaders of today.

The reason we make laws other that what God specifically gave us, seems to me, is because we think we can have a civil society full of wicked men with wicked hearts, that are not following God, and not suffer consequences in our society and immediate surroundings.

We think that we can have wicked men, and if we merely have good traffic laws, we will somehow escape the negative effects of having evil men doing evil things, and killing people by reckless driving. We somehow think if we have good hunting regulations, (and you can define “good” any way you please) we will escape the negative side effects of having evil men doing evil things, and wiping out animals populations uselessly.

God didn’t (and doesn’t) think that is the way to handle it. Why do we have the gumption to think that we somehow know better?

We rant and rave over how bad our government is now, but we don't realize that the founding fathers, not knowing what was coming, and in my opinion, not taking scripture into account, set up a system that was radically unBiblical from the get-go.

I am going to make a statement that will probably go against most American’s grain. The more I study the actual debates of the founding fathers, and what they said, and why they said they said what they said, I conclude that the founding fathers of the United States set up as secular a nation as communist Russia. The only difference is that ours had effects that allowed us to be free and worship God as we saw fit. Nowhere in any discussions, any debates, or any arguments surrounding the Constitutional Convention, was the Bible as an even remotely important document.

I know for years we have been told that our founding fathers were Christians, and how they made a system of government based on their beliefs of God and man, and so thus we have fully Christian form of government.

Well, if you have ever read the stuff the founders wrote, and said, and published, you find that what they actually said and tried to do and make, was in its essence, completely secular. I know it is a shock to most, but go read the Federalist Papers, Antifederalist Papers, Articles of Confederation, etc., and anything that actually reports what they said and did, and you might be in for a surprise.

What might also surprise you, is how off beat some of the big names you always hear about. For instance, James Madison was a massive influence on the Constitution, and he had ideas that basically were heading back towards the system in Britain they just left.


Is having the ability to obey God freely in a government the same as having a Godly government? So maybe our system isn’t quite the Biblical example, but look how much good we have done with our country! If we have freedom, and we are free (or were free) to obey God as we pleased, isn’t that pleasing God?

 So, can we do something that God didn’t say we can do, to hope that we might get the same results as if we had done it the way he did? In other words, does the end justifies the means?

Sorry to say, but I don’t think so. God in several cases in the OT shows us he cares about not only what he tells us to do but how he told us to do it.

Yes, I know America has been the most free nation, physically and spiritually, since Israel's time, but that is kinda like the Kings in Israel - A method that is not God's plan, that happened to produce a few benefits we like at the same time.

So, we see from scripture that a judicial type of system was what God had set up, but an Executive and Legislative branch were not set up, and both seem to contradict principles of government that God set up.

So I believe that a Biblical system of Government, is where a judicial set-up of fifties, thousands, etc., applies the application of God’s law on the situations brought to him from everyday life, and deals out justice as dictated by the case law and specific commandments of God’s law. Nothing more, nothing less.

Man is free to do as he wills, inside of what God allows, and he is judged when he goes outside of the laws God sets out. Period.

I am going to wrap this up (finally, sorry it has been so long) with a paraphrase from Frederic Bastiat.

“Now that busybodies and do-gooders have inflicted so many systems upon society, let them try freedom, since that is having faith in God.”

So, to answer the question I posed in the title, the reason I will not be voting, is that by voting (for officials and posts other than what is explicitly shown in scripture), I believe a person is saying that they think the system they are in is Biblical. Let me explain. By voting, you say.

A.    The system (of the Constitution) is Biblical.
B.     That the office of a president, senator, etc., is Biblical.
C.     That by voting for a president, senator, etc., you can move your nation towards a society that is pleasing to God.

 I believe, by what I have shown, that those are unbiblical statements, with an unbiblical thesis, and because of that, I will not vote.

I will get the Gospel out.

The Gospel, and only the Gospel, can ever change a country. Not a new political leader who just might give us our guns and not kill as many babies.

The world, not just America, needs the Gospel. Not a political leader at the top to do things God isn’t pleased with. Mormon or Muslim. Doesn’t matter. Not a bunch of guys making laws that God didn’t make. I believe that is not what God wants.

I would love y’alls opinion on all this. This is based totally from what I have seen from scripture, and have pieced these theories and arguments together by my own thoughts, so I would love other scriptural inputs from you guys. I have tried to make this completely from scripture, and from scripture alone. Please share any scriptures you know that would share light on this subject.