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“Everyone must submit to governing authorities.” (Romans 13:1)
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Not every Bible verse we read may give us peace and comfort initially. A good portion of Scripture is instructional, designed for our well-being particularly when we’re unable to see the bigger picture. This was the
ecase for me four years ago. Romans 13:1-5 was not a comforting piece of Scripture to me, but I discovered peace and comfort in God in my obedience to His word. Like it or not (and I did not) Barack Obama was my president and I was going to submit because God said so. To put it another way: I feared not the man, but the Lord. I still do, therefore #Notmypresident was never an option.
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Now (for me) the tide has turned and I have a sense these Godly directives will be a bit easier for me to follow, but for you maybe not so much. Perhaps these last four years for you were smoother, but now you’re faced with submitting to folks you may very well despise. As I’ve previously outlined – I feel your pain and I can relate to what you’re going through. I am here to tell you that if you truly fear God, you would do well to comply with His directives. In so doing there is peace and there is comfort.
“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do.” (Romans 13:1-5)
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Now of course this is all grand counsel if you are a Christian. If you are not, the Bible and all of God’s tenets are foolishness to you, which happens to be another position I can relate to. The solution for me was to submit to Jesus Christ and His perfect will for my life. Prior to receiving Jesus as my Lord and Savior, there was no peace or comfort, only temporary solutions to problems that I had absolutely no control over. In Jesus I discovered the solution.
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If you’re still reading and you’re not a Christian, I suspect that perhaps you’re feeling God attempting to draw you closer into a relationship with him. If that is the case, the onus is upon you to respond to Him and I’d encourage you to investigate further.
Please don’t hesitate to comment or ask a question.
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My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)

Is Islam God’s Enemy?

The answer to that question depends upon who you’re asking, so just to be clear, I’m addressing Christians only: ‘Are followers of Islam the enemy?’

My guess is that the answer is split within the Church. There are some Christians who discern Islam to be a false religion [as described by the Bible] and that alone is sufficient to make it adversarial. Others would note the Jihadist aspects of the religion [as defined in the Qur’an] and say that is what makes Islam nefarious. Then of course there are Christians who maintain that Islam is merely another way to God (aka: a true religion) and/or peaceful in their existence. This is similar to the position President Obama has taken. It’s to this last group I am writing.

As to Islam simply being another way to God the Father, cover-to-cover the entire Bible disputes that notion. I do however commiserate with those who have taken this position because as a brand new believer I once thought the very same thing. It was not until I got into a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching environment (and later a Bible-believing and teaching church) that I learned the truth. Jesus said it best, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)

Look at this way. If there were many ways to God and Heaven, then God the Father had His only son Jesus horribly tortured and murdered for no reason at all. Why kill Jesus if there were these other ways?

Now to the second point that Islam is by and large peaceful, the best evidence against that ideology is the Qur’an and the accepted Islamic doctrines themselves. In an effort to keep this article short I’ve provided a link (HERE) to those teachings. A quick review destroys the argument.

Of course some might object and say that the Qur’an has many peaceful principles as well. That would be correct; there are nonviolent passages in the Qur’an. The question is then why – why are there verses in the Qur’an that advocate ‘present day’ peace and violence. The answer to that question is summarized in the following video. It’s 24 minutes long, but if you desire to know the truth about Islam, you must watch it.

Islam is the Enemy: Now What?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

Nothing Changes

The only difference is that now you are informed – you now know that the followers of Islam likely see you as their enemy too. I say that they ‘likely’ see you as their enemy because Islam, like every other religion of the world (including Christianity), has an undefinable number of nominal believers. That is to say that they are Muslim in name only. Like nominal Christians they do not read their doctrinal literature or ascribe to the directives of their religion. Having said that, the potential for nominal believers to become true believers is real, just as it is with Christians. These true believers, those who have submitted themselves to obeying the Qur’an, want to either convert you (remember, it’s a false god they follow) or do away with you.

Now What?

First, God would have you protect yourself. When Jesus sent His disciples out, He counseled them to purchase a sword (Luke 22:36). Jesus was very clear about the situation. He said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16).

If you do not want to arm yourself, that is certainly your choice, but know in advance it’s not what Jesus recommended and thankfully we live in a country where it is permissible to varying degrees, depending upon the state in which you live. Of course we’re also advised to don the full armor of God.

Jesus would also be clear that these safeguards were for defensive purposes (self-protection) only, not offensive ones. We’re authorized to protect ourselves and those close to us, but we are not called to proactively deter evil by force. That’s what the Lord instituted and ordained governments for: to be a destructive force against those who unite in battle against us; avengers to execute wrath upon those who do evil (Romans 13:1-4). If our government is not doing their job effectively, then according to the Bible it is our duty to support candidates that will do the job effectively. I pray that is clear.

Our mission is to continue to lovingly share the Gospel message. The Christian faith does not allow us to cower in fear because of overt terrorism, political correctness, or if the Attorney General of the United States threatens to have us arrested. If we’re afraid, we bring that anxiety to the foot of the Cross; it is but an emotional catalyst moving us towards Holy Spirit empowerment. And if we hate the hands that shed innocent blood, we have an Advocate who understands, for He does too. But amazingly, He simultaneously loves His enemies, so much so that He sent His only begotten Son to die for them. It’s difficult to fathom, but love and hate can coexist, just know that the former must not rule over the latter. We bring all our emotions to the Cross and allow Jesus to direct our righteous path – He desires that none should perish.

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22

If you are literally able to feed and water your enemy, then do so in the Name of Jesus, but more importantly we are to figuratively feed them with the Word of God and giving them Living Water (John 7:38) to consume, in that they might be saved. Don’t misread this passage of Scripture – ‘heap burning coals on his head’ is a good thing, not a bad thing, as it speaks to kindling a fire that is about to be snuffed out.  Jesus would never have us do good for the purpose of doing evil.

Finally, those outside the church will revile you for speaking about Islam truthfully, despite the fact you repeat over and over that you ‘love everyone.’ Do not be dissuaded. I suspect there is coming a time in our country that if you proclaim Islam to be anything other than a peaceful and truthful religion, you will be prosecuted. Again, do not be discouraged or distracted from the mission Jesus has given us – sharing the Gospel in truth; the truth that cannot be properly expressed without exposing the lie.

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

One last word about the enemies of God – at one time or another, before we received Jesus Christ as both Lord of our lives and Savior of our souls, we too were enemies of God.  No one is exempt. So it is not a hateful thing to establish that Muslims are God’s enemies, it is a truthful thing to make this designation and it is a loving thing. It is loving because recognizing who and what we are outside of Christ Jesus is the first step towards reconciliation in Christ Jesus.

[W]hen we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)

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Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2

I really didn’t want to enter the 50 Shades debate. I think it was because I’m still reeling from the President of the United States 1standing up before the 2015 National Day of Prayer and reminding us all that we should dismount our ‘high horses’ of anger and justice (in regard to Muslims burning a man alive), and pause to remember the church’s historical record. I’ve this vision of President Obama calling me out, “Ya know Dave, I think you should get off your ‘high horse’ and stop talking about all this ‘sex within marriage’ stuff. Seems to me your record on this issue makes you a hypocrite.”

Ya know Dave, I think you should get off your ‘high horse’ and stop talking about all this ‘sex within marriage only’ stuff.” 

Ugh

He’s right.

Where do I get off warning others about their sexual exploits after I’ve had my fill. While I’m at it, what business do I have warning others about drug and alcohol abuse, drunk driving, aggravated assault, or dare I say murder. Let the record show that Dave has lots and lots of blood on his hands.

A ‘Biblical Reality’ Check

This is where we all need to pause and consider all the players in the Bible, save Jesus. Can you think of one who was without sin? Me either. But yet these same men, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the Bible. My mind immediately flashes to the Apostle Paul; a guy who arrested and murdered Christians, not unlike some barbarian Muslims we know! How dare this wretched man offer us Godly counsel and call it wise.

Ah, but for the grace of God, there go I.

Our One Defense

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Romans 3:28

Sinners have only one defense in this matter: we boldly proclaim Biblical truth because we are justified by our saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is not the Christian who speaks, but the saint who is robed in His righteousness. No one in Christ’s church sits upon a high horse except Christ Himself, and it is in His name we may speak. It is for this reason I often declare on these matters that I have no opinion – I have a Bible. Therefore, we boldly proclaim that sex outside of marriage (i.e., marriage between a man and a woman) is wrong because God has said so.

I Don’t Agree

Please don’t argue with me or anyone else, read Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; and Jude 7 for yourself. If you still don’t agree, bring your debate to God, however trust me, “But Dave did it,” is not good fodder for your argument! The Bible commands complete abstinence before marriage, with sex between a husband and his wife being the only sexual relationship God approves.

It’s Black and White

5o Shades of Grey is nothing more than perversion. Even when I was active in my sexual sin I would have recognized this book as perverted, depraved, and pornographic. There’s nothing gray about it being smut. Know this: if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ and find yourself attracted to this book (and reportedly there are many), you are being deceived and you’re opening a door to consequences you may not be prepared for. Check out the last verse of Romans 1.

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:32

Earlier in this same Book, the Apostle Paul makes ill mention of all practitioners of unrighteousness, with dishonorable recognition going towards fornication, inventors of evil things, an unnatural affections. If we stop reading after verse 31, we might ride away on our high horses saying, “Shame on these evil doers,” but verse 32 serves to knock us out of the saddle by reminding us that if watch (or read) from the sidelines, we’re just as guilty.

Please don’t reject 50 Shades because some hypocrite told you it was filth; reject it because God says it’s more harmful than you know.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7-9

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